Her Majesty’s most gracious Speech was then delivered to both Houses of Parliament by the Lord Privy Seal, in pursuance of Her Majesty’s Command, as follows.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, my Government have pursued a programme that has delivered stability, security and strong leadership, and begun the task of making Britain a country that works for everyone. My Ministers have brought forward measures to build a stronger economy, a fairer society, and a more united nation, while also acting to counter threats to national security and to build a more outward-looking global Britain.
The defence of the Realm has remained an utmost priority for my Government. Legislation was passed to ensure that law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies have the necessary powers to disrupt terrorist attacks within a framework of robust oversight.
My Government have continued with a programme to reform the criminal justice system. New legislation passed in this Session will help to make the police and fire services still more capable, efficient and locally accountable.
Building on the success of last year’s London Anti-Corruption Summit, legislation was introduced to strengthen powers to tackle money laundering, seize criminal assets and combat terrorist financing.
To build a stronger economy, my Government have taken forward a range of measures as part of their plan for a stronger Britain, so the country is well placed to exploit new opportunities in the global economy and to ensure the benefits are spread throughout the entire country.
To ensure that the United Kingdom remains a leader in developing new technologies, draft legislation was published setting out a new framework to support the growing commercial spaceflight industry. To foster innovation and to support the creative industries, legislation was enacted to reform the law on intellectual property.
My Ministers have continued to prioritise investment in infrastructure projects to ensure that the economy and local communities can continue to grow and prosper. Legislation has been passed to support the building of a high-speed railway from London to Birmingham and to allow for better local bus services in England.
My Government has also legislated to ensure that all households can access fast broadband and allow new telecommunications infrastructure to be rolled out across the nation. Legislation has been passed to give communities more control over housing developments in their area.
To build a fairer society, my Government has brought forward measures to protect the most vulnerable and to drive greater social reform so that every child has the chance to make the most of their talents. To this end, legislation has been passed to enable a world-class technical education system that will provide opportunities for all young people.
Legislation has been passed to improve children’s social care in England and to put the National Citizen Service on a permanent footing. My Government also supported legislation to tackle the scourge of homelessness and domestic violence.
Provision has been made to help the lowest-income families save for the future with a new Help to Save scheme, to help young people save for the long term with a Lifetime ISA, and to protect pension schemes. In recognition of the important role charities play, legislation has been enacted to help charities and community amateur sports clubs by simplifying the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.
A new Act will enable the National Health Service, and the taxpayer, to secure better value for money from the growing cost of medicines.
To build a more united nation, my Government has made it a priority to strengthen the union between all parts of the United Kingdom. Legislation was passed to establish a long-term devolution settlement in Wales and, in England, significant new powers have been devolved to directly elected mayors. My Government has taken steps to enable the resumption of devolved government in Northern Ireland when an agreement is reached between political parties to form an executive.
To deliver the result of the 2016 referendum, Parliament approved legislation allowing the United Kingdom formally to signal its intent to withdraw from the European Union.
My Government has worked to ensure that a global Britain plays a leading role in world affairs and provided assistance to British citizens overseas.
In order to bolster the United Kingdom’s role in developing countries, new legislation will allow further investment to create more jobs and boost economic growth in the poorest countries in Africa and south Asia. Legislation was also enacted to protect cultural property in times of war.
The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to welcome His Excellency the President of the Republic of Colombia in November, strengthening the United Kingdom’s friendship with an important partner in Latin America.
My Ministers have established a close relationship with the new Administration in the United States of America.
My Government has continued to play a leading role in the global coalition against Daesh and deployed British forces in Estonia and Poland as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence, while maintaining the European Union consensus in favour of sanctions against Russia.
My Ministers have pursued a campaign against modern slavery and helped to secure pledges of £4.6 billion for the humanitarian crisis in Syria during a conference in Brussels in April.
Members of the House of Commons, I thank you for the provisions which you have made for the work and dignity of the Crown and for the public services.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.
My Lords and Members of the House of Commons, by virtue of Her Majesty’s Commission which has now been read, we do, in Her Majesty’s name, and in obedience to Her Majesty’s Commands, prorogue this Parliament to the 2nd day of May, to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday, the 2nd day of May.
Parliament was prorogued at 5.42 pm.