Queen's Speech Draft Legislative Programme

Originally published May 2008

On Wednesday 14 May the Government announced its Draft

Legislative Programme (DLP), a preview of the legislation which

the Government intends to include in the Queen's Speech in


The DLP was introduced last year under the name "Draft

Queen's Speech". It was one of very the first steps

taken by Gordon Brown when he took over as Prime Minister. Its

purpose, as Brown told the House of Commons, was to reinforce

accountability and to expose "initial thinking, previously

private, to widespread and informed public debate". The

principle was widely welcomed, thought the content was

dismissed as "more of the same".

This year's DLP includes 18 measures presented under

four themes: Economic stability, Making the most of your

potential, Personalisation and improvement of public services

and Handing back power to the people. The full list of bills

and a summary of each is attached to this note.

Some measures stand out more than others, of course:

The Banking Reform Bill is a direct response to the

collapse of Northern Rock and the liquidity problems which

caused it. A major cause of the run on Northern Rock was not

that it went cap-in-hand to the Bank of England but that it

did so publicly. This bill will allow the Bank to lend

anonymously on a short-term basis.

It also provides for greater cooperation between the

Treasury, the Bank of England and the FSA when a financial

institution gets into trouble. The co-ordination between the

three arms of the banking system was a key criticism of the

response to the Northern Rock affair.

The Equality Bill introduces a single "equality

duty"; a positive duty on public bodies to consider the

diversity needs of the workforce when developing employment


Most significantly, this may signal the Government's

intention to do away with individual duties based on race,

sex and so on, replacing them with an over-arching duty not

to discriminate.

The Citizenship, immigration and borders Bill looks like

a major piece of legislation consolidating the existing law

on immigration. It introduces the concept of earned

citizenship a staged approach to the gaining of citizenship

including a probationary period outlined by the Home

Secretary earlier this year.

It may require migrants to show that they are "active

citizens" and, more controversially, to pay a levy to

assist with the impact of migrants on established


The DLP invites consultation on the DLP itself and each of


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