Solicitors in Westminster, London
Queen's Speech May 2022
As with most modern Speeches at the State Opening of Parliament, there were no surprise inclusions. In all, almost 40 parliamentary Bills are set out in the speech.
So, which of the Bills and policies listed by Prince Charles as he stood in for Her Majesty, the Queen, are most likely to affect our clients, old and new?
For schools registration is the key. Unregistered schools will be clamped down on, with greater powers available to close down schools operating illegally. Many of these are local faith-based establishments which may not have registered for good reason. For children not registered at a recognised school a new register will be created to ensure that all children are accounted for. It is unclear how such a register would operate in practice and we must see the drafting before we can comment on this. As part of the levelling up policy objective there will be a new schools funding formula, more education investment areas and the promotion of multi-academy trusts (so that all schools are academies and are part of a wider trust).
We are told to expect the bill to protect freedom of speech at English Universities to continue its journey through Parliament and a new one to provide for life-long access to loans for higher education. The latter might well change the way higher levels of education are accessed as well as change the demographic of many institutions. In theory it will be easier for people to defer going to University for decades, first building up work experience or savings before embarking on a degree course.
Levelling up and Regeneration
The scope of this policy objective is enormous and covers regeneration, education, health and localism. A highlighted area is the proposed power to force landlords in England to let out empty shops. The devil will be in the detail here.
This will look to replace the current EU rules on data protection.
Bill of Rights
A long-promised goal to replace the Human Rights Act is also proposed. This would look to curb the ability of the Courts to ‘over-rule’ or interpret Parliament’s intent.
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency
The government plans to give Companies House more powers to address abuse and criminal activity.
There are a raft of other important bills including those addressing Conversion Therapy, Northern Ireland, Non-Domestic rating, planning, transport and energy security. In addition there are carry-over bills and bills to implement known policy changes including to national security, immigration, mental health and government procurement.
If you are concerned about the impact of any of these proposed new laws do get in touch.