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    Mid Devon Advertiser
    30 June 2017

    Last week we had the Queen’s Speech. Part tradition, part practical, it set out the government’s programme for the next session. Parliamentary sessions usually last a year and so there are typically 5 per Parliament. At the end of each session all legislation that has not passed at that point lapses and it is the legislation in the Queen’s Speech that is then taken forward. This time the speech covered 2 years rather 1 so giving more time for the legislation contained within it to be concluded. This is because of the vast amount of new Parliamentary work involved. Amongst many other important measures the speech included all the major Brexit legislation. The Great Repeal Bill which will take 40 years worth of EU legislation and convert it into UK law – a massive undertaking in which much will need amending as we go. There are also several other Brexit related bills including those to deal with the repatriation of our fishing grounds and to cover the way in which we will manage farming (including farm payments and the stewardship of the environment) in the years after we leave. This legislation and future changes to it are likely to preoccupy our parliament for a decade or more. Other measures include those relating to tightening up on our security in the face of the ever present terrorist threats and ensuring that those who are subjected to a major public tragedy, such as the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower or the Hillsborough disaster before it are provided with a public advocate who will support them during the public inquiries that follow. There is also a bill to promote the development of electric cars – this is a particularly exciting area. We have the technology and manufacturing base to capitalise on it and the benefits to the environment will be considerable especially in our congested towns where pollution from cars is prematurely killing 40,000 people in the UK each year according to some reports. Allied to going electric is going automatic – we will be creating the environment in which driverless cars are developed further and rolled out. The likelihood is that within the next decade the majority of vehicles on our roads will drive themselves with hugely positive impacts for the environment and our ability to get around. In time, for isolated rural communities these changes are likely to be profound – massively increasing their connectivity with other locations and at low cost. There will also be a bill pressing forward with our ambitious plans for further development of satellite and space technology – areas in which the UK is already well established and one which will help to further develop the high skilled jobs that will help underpin much needed productivity growth. In addition to all this, as part of our programme I will shortly be taking the Finance Bill through the Commons to raise the money to pay for it all – I am looking forward to the challenge.







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