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Government’s Legislative Programme (Northern Ireland) 2016-17

Volume 611: debated on Thursday 19 May 2016

The second Session UK legislative programme unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May includes a number of measures directly relevant to the people of Northern Ireland. The majority of the 22 new Bills containing provisions that apply in Northern Ireland either in full or in part. Once again, this is a strong programme of legislation for Northern Ireland contained in a one nation Queen’s Speech from a one nation Government. The Government also reaffirm their commitment to the implementation of the Stormont House agreement and “Fresh Start” agreement.

The Government are using the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people; increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and strengthen national security. Bills such as the Better Markets Bill and the Digital Economy Bill demonstrate our commitment to strengthening the UK economy and supporting businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland, and right across the UK. The Lifetime Savings Bill provides important support for those on lowest incomes and in encouraging the younger generation to save regularly. The Criminal Finances Bill provides a new legislative framework to tackle money laundering, criminal assets and terrorist financing.

The following is a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech and its proposed application to Northern Ireland. Some Bills are still under development, including final decisions on the extent to which provisions should extend to Northern Ireland. The list identifies the lead Government Department. It does not include draft Bills.

The following Bills will extend to Northern Ireland, in whole or in part. Some deal mainly with excepted/reserved matters. Discussions will continue between the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that, where provisions for a transferred purpose are included in any of these Bills, the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be sought for them.

Better Markets Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Bill of Rights (Ministry of Justice)

Criminal Finances (Home Office)

Digital Economy Bill (Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill (Law Commission Bill)

Lifetime Savings Bill (HM Treasury)

Overseas Electors Bill (Cabinet Office)

Modern Transport Bill (Department for Transport)

Small Charitable Donations Bill (HMRC)

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill (Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Higher Education and Research Bill (Research Councils)—(Department for Business, Innovations and Skills)

National Citizen Service Bill (Cabinet Office)

Pensions Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)

NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill (Department of Health)

The following Bills will have limited or no application to Northern Ireland:

Bus Services Bill (Department for Transport).

Children and Social Work Bill (Department for Education)

Local Growth and Jobs Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Prison and Courts Reform Bill (Ministry of Justice)

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill (Home Office)

Wales Bill (Wales Office)

Education for All Bill (Department for Education)