Andrea Welcomes the Queen’s Speech

Today Her Majesty the Queen opened the new session of Parliament, with a Queen’s Speech that reflected the bold and exciting vision for Britain that our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has outlined.

Firstly, we will get Brexit done. This is the will of the British people, who voted in 2016 to leave. We must now deliver on this vote and meet Britain’s domestic priorities.

I am pleased that the Government is preparing properly for Brexit, with including measures to establish new regulatory frameworks for fishing, farming, trade and financial services, and a bill to end freedom of movement and bring in a points-based immigration system from 2021.

On Law and Order, our Government is committed to cracking down on crime and protecting our communities. Bills were announced to increase sentences for serious or violent criminals by ending automatic release at the half-way point, alongside tougher penalties for foreign national offenders who try to return to the UK after being deported. Further, I am pleased that there will be greater protection for police officers. Finally, I welcome that Domestic violence legislation will also be carried over from the last session.

On the economy, I welcome the rise in the National Living Wage to give a pay rise of over £4,000 to the average full time worker. I am pleased also that whilst important investments are being made to meet the people’s priorities – the Government is committed to strong fiscal discipline to ensure the sustainability of the public finances, allowing us to invest in growing our economy.

On Housing, I am pleased that a new Homes Ombudsman will be put in place to give residents more power to hold building owners to account. I also welcome that the Government is committed to ending unfair leasehold arrangements and ensuring no new build houses will be sold as leasehold unless there are exceptional circumstances. Further, I welcome the infrastructure revolution that will mean major investments in superfast broadband.

As an animal rights advocate, I am very pleased that the Government is taking steps to improve animal welfare. These include re-introducing the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty, and seeking to improve the welfare of animals transported for slaughter, and ban the import and export of trophies from endangered animals.

On Education, something I care deeply about, I welcome the multi-billion pound boost to schools funding. This will move towards a funding system that will deliver funds directly to schools, and will level up education across the country.

There were a further wide range of bills, including targets to reduce plastics, cut air pollution, restore biodiversity and improve water quality, and a pledge to update the Mental Health Act to reduce the number of detentions, and I look forward to working with the Government to legislate and move our great country forward!