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Queen’s Speech delivers for Scotland and the UK, says Alister Jack

Alister Jack said the UK would ‘prosper and thrive’ outside the EU (Michal Wachucik/PA)
Alister Jack said the UK would ‘prosper and thrive’ outside the EU (Michal Wachucik/PA)

The Queen’s Speech “delivers for Scotland and the whole of the UK”, Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has said.

The Scotland Office announced that of the 38 Bills in the UK Government’s annual legislative agenda, 27 applied in part or in full to Scotland.

This includes the Brexit Freedom Bill, which creates new powers to strengthen the ability to amend, repeal or replace retained EU law by reducing reliance on primary legislation.

It also includes the Transport Bill, which will create powers for a new body called Great British Railways to replace Network Rail as the operator of railway infrastructure.

Mr Jack said: “This is a Queen’s Speech which delivers for Scotland and the whole of the UK.

“Measures in the Queen’s Speech will help us grow our economy, so we can continue to recover from the pandemic, tackle the rising cost of living and level up across the country.

“We will bring in a range of measures to make our country safer, from tackling state-sponsored espionage, to cracking down on modern slavery.

“We will show leadership with a series of ambitious reforms which will support citizens across the United Kingdom.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021
Maggie Chapman said the Queen’s Speech did not have meaningful answers to the climate crisis (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“We will continue to maximise the benefits of Brexit with legislation to cement our fantastic trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, and remove outdated EU laws. Outside of the EU, the UK will continue to prosper and thrive.”

Responding to the Queen’s Speech, Scottish Green MSP, Maggie Chapman, said: “Beneath the pomp and pageantry, this speech offered more of the same failed Tory policies that have already done so much damage.

“It offered nothing to meaningfully address the climate crisis and nothing to help the millions of people facing the cost of living crisis, having to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families.

“The situation is urgent, and we need bold and transformative action. But what Downing Street is offering is more cuts and austerity, an energy strategy that will not go nearly far enough, repressive restrictions on the right to protest and an even more hostile environment for refugees.”

Downing Street partygate
Ian Blackford said the Prime Minister was consumed by scandals (Isabel Infantes/PA)

SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said: “This was not just a missed opportunity – it was a political choice by a broken Tory Government to sit on its hands while we face the biggest inflationary crisis in 50 years.

“The Bank of England confirmed last week that we are on the brink of recession, meanwhile, both the Prime Minister and Chancellor are too consumed by scandals to get on with the day job.

“Instead of tackling the Tory cost-of-living crisis and focusing on people’s priorities, Boris Johnson set out measures for a race to the bottom in standards through the Brexit Freedoms Bill to repeal EU retained law and the other Brexit legislation.”

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