LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her government plan on Wednesday, promising to secure the best possible Brexit deal that secures the “maximum possible support” as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.
May left out a range of unpopular policies as she attempts to pass the government plan, known as the “Queen’s Speech”, without her own parliamentary majority.
A spokesman for May said that the government remained supportive in principle of some of the policies that were not formally included in the speech.
Below are some of the proposals mentioned - and left out - in the policy plan as well as comments by May’s spokesman.
You can read full details of the proposals here: here
As Britain departs the EU, the UK government plans the following:
- “As we enter the negotiation phase we will look to intensify this work in order to test and validate positions and to continue to build support from the business community as we move forward,” the government said of Brexit.
- May said her plan for Brexit would help to strengthen the United Kingdom, by supporting major industries in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She said she was “determined to deliver the best Brexit deal” and “Committed to keeping our country safe, enhancing our standing in the wider world and bringing our United Kingdom closer together.”
- A “Great Repeal Bill” to convert EU law into British law
- A standalone customs regime for Britain, with flexibility to accommodate future trade arrangements and changes to Britain’s VAT and excise regimes.
- A trade bill to let Britain operate its own independent trade policy when it leaves the EU.
- A bill to repeal EU law on immigration to end free movement, and make migration of EU nationals subject to UK law. May’s spokesman said that the government remained committed to its target to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands.
- Bills on fisheries and agriculture to enable Britain to manage its waters and support farmers
- A nuclear safeguards bill to establish a new regulatory regime following Britain’s departure from Euratom.
- Britain’s government said it would pay greater heed to public concerns about austerity but stuck with the broad outlines of its plans to reduce the budget deficit.
- The document also outlined plans for infrastructure projects, such as the next phase of the High Speed 2 rail line.
- There will be a bill to put into law the changes in National Insurance contributions announced in last year’s budget and autumn budget update.
WHAT’S NOT THERE
- May’s plan made no mention of a proposal to reintroduce selective schooling and the spokesman said that grammar schools would not be considered in the next two years.
- It also did not mention a plan for elderly people pay more for their social care, a proposal that was dubbed the dementia tax by opponents. The government is committed to getting consensus over any changes in social care, the spokesman said.
- May’s government did not mention plans to clamp down on executive pay and give workers a greater say in their company’s strategy. But the government is still committed to those plans, according to the spokesman.
- It also did not mention a proposal to roll the Serious Fraud Office into a broader, national crime fighting body.
- There was no mention of a proposal to vote on lifting a ban on hunting foxes with dogs. The spokesman said that fox hunting was not a priority.
- There was no mention of a planned state visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, which had been expected to happen this year. The spokesman said that this was because a date for the visit had yet to be fixed.
Although the government omitted some high-profile corporate policies from the Queen’s Speech, other measures were included.
- The government said it would put forward proposals “to ensure that critical national infrastructure is protected to safeguard national security”
- That would allow the government to “scrutinise significant foreign investment” and “will give the UK Government powers to intervene in those transactions which raise national security concerns”.
- The Conservative Party had pledged to introduce a safeguard tariff cap that would extend price protection for some vulnerable customers to more people on the poorest value tariffs.
- The Queen’s Speech says the government remains committed to extending the price protection to more of those on the poorest value tariffs, but does not make reference to a cap.
- “We are considering the best way to do this - whether through action by the regulator or legislation.” However the spokesman said it remained the government’s intention for there to be some kind of cap.
- The government said it would allow the regulatory framework to keep pace with changes in technology for electric cars, and provide for the installation of charging points for electric- and hydrogen-powered cars.
- It also promised to extend compulsory insurance to cover automated vehicles.
- There will also be a civil liability bill to bring down the cost of insurance premiums by reducing the cost and quantity of whiplash claims.
- The government pledged to crack down on unfair fees on tenants, capping holding deposits for renters and taking other measures to make the private rental market more affordable.
- The government also pledged to bring forward proposals to “help ensure more homes are built”.
Britain outlined its plan for “making the UK the most attractive place in Europe” for commercial spaceflights by pledging to:
- secure continued growth in the UK space sector to achieve a 10 percent share in the global space economy by 2030
- introduce new powers to licence a wide range of commercial spaceflights, which will include space planes, spaceports, satellite operation and vertically launched craft.
- develop a new regulatory framework to ensure the safety of commercial spaceflight, a separate framework for operational insurance, and measures to prevent unauthorised access and interference with spacecraft.
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, William James, Kate Holton, Costas Pitas and David Milliken; Compiled by Alistair Smout; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Louise Ireland
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