Thursday, 19 May 2016
The Queen's Speech
The Queen's Speech has been delivered. It's significance is that a new Session has begun. Unless a General Election intervenes, (and after the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, that is very unlikely) the session will last until May next year.
Once sessions were almost watertight, only in a very few circumstances would a bill remain alive after the session ended. Now there are a number of "carry over" bills - which survive from the 2015-16 Session and will continue in the new session. Soon "Sessional Returns" will be produced, which give valuable data about the work (and effectiveness) of the last session. Academics studying Parliament (myself included) find these a valuable tool - they can be accessed here.
The other significance is that the Government (the 'Executive' part of government) has put forward its legislative agenda. Over the next few days some of those promised bills will be introduced and published. Some will be held back until later in the session. There is no requirement for the government to deliver its planned agenda - circumstances may change - less time might be available than planned for, and new legislation may be introduced to respond to events which occur.
To read about the Government's plans you can visit https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/queens-speech-2016 - and of course the newspapers and the broadcasting organisations have analysis and comment on their online sites.