His Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech Debate

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Lindsay Hoyle

Main Page: Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker - Chorley)

His Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech

Lindsay Hoyle Excerpts
Friday 24th May 2024

(1 month, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I have further to acquaint the House that the Leader of the House of Lords, one of the Lords Commissioners, delivered His Majesty’s Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of His Majesty’s Command. For greater accuracy I have obtained a copy, and also directed that the terms of the Speech be printed in the Journal of this House. Copies are being made available in the Vote Office.

The Speech was as follows:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

The focus of my Government has been to deliver its plan to increase economic growth and safeguard the health and security of the people of the United Kingdom.

My Government has taken action to lay the foundations for long term economic growth, to ensure that work always pays, and to support the British people with the cost of living. My Ministers have met their commitment to halve inflation, which is now at its lowest rate since September 2021.

My Government has delivered tax cuts for millions of working people, with National Insurance contributions for employees cut by four percentage points, saving a typical employee over £900 a year. National Insurance contributions for the self-employed have also been cut by three percentage points and the requirement to pay contributions on lower levels of profit has been removed. Legislation has been passed to raise the income threshold for the High Income Child Benefit Charge and halve the rate at which Child Benefit is withdrawn. This will help parents towards the cost of raising their children. My Government has also rolled out the first phase of expansion of childcare in England to hundreds of thousands of parents.

Through my Government’s direction, the United Kingdom has continued to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. New laws have fostered innovation in British broadcasting to reflect changing viewing patterns and growing demand for high quality online content.

Tax legislation enacted this session has incentivised investment and enhanced support to make it safer and easier for small and medium sized businesses to focus on innovation.

As more businesses shift to digital marketplaces, my Ministers have worked to ensure that new legislation promotes competition, while securing better value for money for consumers and protecting them from unfair practices.

Legal frameworks have been updated to ensure that Great Britain can safely capture the opportunities for economic growth presented by the evolving technology of automated vehicles.

My Ministers have championed British goods and innovation. The United Kingdom is now the world’s fourth largest global exporter while maintaining high standards in trade. Laws were passed to end the export of livestock from Great Britain for fattening or slaughter. Legislation was passed to support the United Kingdom’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. This will remove tariffs from ninety-nine per cent of British products exported to a trading bloc worth 15 per cent of global GDP following this accession.

My Government has taken advantage of the freedoms afforded by the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union to reduce burdens on business. The Smarter Regulation Programme has introduced reforms removing up to 50 million hours of administrative work per year for businesses, saving them an estimated £1 billion annually. Legislation was previously passed to remove the principle of supremacy of European Union law and over two thousand instruments of European Union law have been reformed or removed from the statute book.

To enable the NHS in England to carry out more operations and procedures, my Government has delivered 101 surgical hubs, Community Diagnostic Centres operating from 160 sites, and more doctors and nurses.

Legislation passed this session has made it cheaper and easier for leaseholders to purchase their freehold and addressed the exploitation of homeowners through punitive service charges.

My Ministers have taken action to deliver justice for victims and keep communities safe from crime, anti-social behaviour, and terrorism. The victims of the Infected Blood and Post Office Horizon scandals have suffered decades-long injustices. My Government has legislated to ensure that they are compensated fairly and treated with respect.

The Victims’ Code has been put on a statutory footing and the parole process has been reformed to put the interests of victims first. Laws passed this session will ensure that a parent who kills the other parent has their parental responsibility suspended.

My Government has taken measures to disrupt the business model of people smugglers and deter dangerous and illegal journeys to the United Kingdom. Legislation has been delivered to underpin the partnership with Rwanda to tackle small boat crossings.

My Ministers have ensured that intelligence and law enforcement agencies have the powers they need to keep pace with a new generation of threats to national security.

Legislation enacted this session will allow for the regulation of pedicabs in London. This will provide passengers with the confidence that they are in a safe, licensed and roadworthy vehicle and that they will not be overcharged.

New laws strengthening the sanctions regime have limited the role that sanctioned individuals can play in UK businesses and extended the use of immigration sanctions while stopping the exploitation of financial markets.

The United Kingdom continues to play a leading role in defending freedom across the world, including when ideological extremes and technological advances are weaponised to foster division. My Government has committed to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2030 and to ensure our gallant Armed Forces are equipped for the challenges they face. In an age of great change, my Ministers remain united by a steadfast belief that the United Kingdom and her allies are strongest when governed by values of freedom and fairness. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the United Kingdom’s allies, my Government has increased its diplomatic and military engagement in the Middle East to encourage de-escalation, deliver humanitarian aid to those in need, protect freedom of navigation and build momentum towards a lasting peace. My Government has consistently provided essential defensive military assistance to support Ukraine.

The United Kingdom has led global efforts on the safety of Artificial Intelligence, hosting the world’s first Safety Summit last year at Bletchley and launching the United Kingdom Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute - the first of its kind. At the Artificial Intelligence Seoul Summit this week my Government reached a new agreement between ten countries and the European Union to work together to launch an international network to accelerate the advancement of the science of Artificial Intelligence safety.

The Queen and I were pleased to welcome His Excellency the President of the Republic of Korea and Mrs. Kim Keon Hee for a State Visit last November.

My Ministers have consistently promoted the strength of the Union, including through action to support the restoration of the Executive in Northern Ireland.

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.


Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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The Commission was also for proroguing this present Parliament, and the Leader of the House of Lords said:

“My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:

By virtue of His Majesty’s Commission which has now been read, we do, in His Majesty’s name, and in obedience to His Majesty’s Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Friday the thirty-first of May.”

End of the Fifth Session (opened on 7 November 2023) of the Fifty-Eighth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Second Year of the Reign of His Majesty King Charles the Third.