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The State Opening of Parliament is scheduled to take place on 11 May 2021. Parliament was prorogued on Thursday 29 April 2021, bringing the 2019-21 Session to an end.

The State Opening marks the beginning of the parliamentary session. Its main purpose is for the monarch to formally open Parliament and, in the Queen’s Speech, outline the Government’s proposed policies and legislation for the coming parliamentary session.

This briefing identifies issues and bills that may appear in the Queen’s Speech.

Section 2 reviews legislation that has already been introduced and carried over, or was published in draft, in the current session. Section 3 covers plans for legislation, announced in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech, that have not progressed and might still form part of the Government’s plans.

Section 4 reports statements or press speculation indicating that particular issues are likely to be the subject of future legislation.

General information on the State Opening ceremony is provided in Section 5.

Section 6 is a short summary of the progress of bills announced in the Queen’s Speech at the beginning of the 2019-21 Session. Details of all Government bills introduced in this session can be found on the Bills before Parliament webpages.

Which bills are in progress?

The following bills have been the subject of carry-over motions in the House of Commons in the 2019-21 Session:

Two draft bills were published in 2019-21. When announcing the date of the Queen’s Speech, the Government said the second bill would be introduced in the coming session. These are the:

  • Draft Building Safety Bill; and
  • Draft Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (Repeal) Bill.

A draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill was published in December 2016 and may still be proceeded with.

Some bills that were announced in the December 2019 Queen’s Speech were not taken forward but may appear in the coming session. These are:

  • Employment Bill;
  • Health and Social Care Bill;
  • Online Harms Bill;
  • Registration of Overseas Entities Bill;
  • Renters’ Reform Bill;
  • Foreign national offenders legislation; and
  • Espionage legislation.

Potential subjects of legislation

The following issues are potential subjects of legislation:

  • Technical issues in Charity Law
  • National Insurance holiday for employers of veterans
  • Planning reform in England
  • Ground rents on future lease agreements
  • Reform of terminal illness rules in benefits
  • Strengthening freedom of speech in universities
  • Reform of the Mental Health Act
  • Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth
  • Adult social care reform
  • Unregistered providers of children’s social care
  • Northern Ireland: legislation to implement the Stormont House agreement and address the investigation and prosecution of historical offences in relation to The Troubles
  • Public procurement reform
  • New subsidy control regime
  • Overhauling the UK’s asylum system and approach to illegal immigration
  • Ending anomalies in British nationality law
  • Electoral integrity
  • Business rate appeals
  • Public service pensions
  • Judicial retirement

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