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The National (Scotland)

These are the 27 bills in the Queen's Speech that apply to Scotland

The Duke of Rothesay leaving the Palace of Westminster after attending the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords

THE majority of bills announced in Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech apply to Scotland – with issues ranging from “Brexit Freedoms” to the media.

Some 27 of the 38 bills in Prince Charles’s address to parliament either apply in whole or in part to Scotland.

Several of these pieces of legislation are controversial – including the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Bill, which bans local authorities and the devolved governments from introducing sanctions against other countries with the aim of “creating a coherent approach to foreign relations” across the UK.

This bill is thought to primarily stem from growing boycotts against the Israeli government and companies over involvement in the situation in Palestine – described by Amnesty International as a form of apartheid.

The plans for a British Bill of Rights have also been heavily criticised. The Government wants to scrap the current Human Rights Act – which more than 50 human rights groups say could risk violence in Northern Ireland, women’s safety, undermine international law and lead to the UK mimicking the rhetoric of despotic states.

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO, said: “Tearing up the Human Rights Act will unleash a Pandora’s Box of dire consequences for the UK and we desperately urge the Prime Minister to reconsider.”

The Brexit Freedoms Bill also features on the list, which Tories promise will make it easier to update or remove “retained EU law” now the UK is no longer in the bloc. However, it has been suggested by Hannah White of the Institute for Government that the legislation may be used to weaken parliamentary scrutiny.

She wrote: "It is important that any political decision to repeal or change these laws (in anything other than a limited and technical way) receives proper parliamentary scrutiny in the same way as any other policy proposal would."

Below are all pieces of legislation announced – listed by whether they do or don’t affect Scotland.

Do affect Scotland (in part or in whole)

  • Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill (GB) (carried over from the last session
  • Bill of Rights (UK)
  • Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Bill (UK)
  • Brexit Freedoms Bill (UK)
  • Data Reform Bill (UK)
  • Draft Audit Reform Bill (UK)
  • Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill (GB / UK)
  • Draft Protect Duty Bill (UK)
  • Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill (UK)
  • Electronic Trade Documents Bill (UK) (Law Commission Bill)
  • Energy Security Bill (GB / UK)
  • Financial Services and Markets Bill (UK)
  • Harbours (Seafarers’ Remuneration) Bill (UK)
  • High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill (UK) (carried over from the last session)
  • Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill (some provisions UK-wide)
  • Media Bill (UK)
  • Modern Slavery Bill (some provisions UK-wide)
  • National Security Bill (UK)
  • Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill (UK)
  • Online Safety Bill (UK) (carried over from the last session)
  • Procurement Bill (some provisions UK-wide)
  • Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill (UK) (carried over from the last session)
  • Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Bill (GB)
  • Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill (UK)
  • Transport Bill (UK)
  • UK Infrastructure Bank Bill (UK)
  • Social Housing Regulation Bill (some provisions UK-wide)

Don’t apply to Scotland:

  • Conversion Therapy Bill (E&W)
  • Draft Mental Health Act Reform Bill (E&W)
  • Draft Victims Bill (E&W)
  • Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill (E&W)
  • Higher Education Bill (E&W)
  • Higher Education Bill (Freedom of Speech) Bill (E&W)
  • Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Bill (NI)
  • Non-Domestic Rating Bill (E&W)
  • Public Order Bill (E&W)
  • Renters Reform Bill (E)
  • Schools Bill (E&W)

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford condemned a number of the bills set to impact on Scotland.

"The very idea that Westminster will be able to strike down devolved legislatures retained EU laws is the latest in a long line of blatant Tory power grabs," he said.

"And, the proposal by the UK Government to rip up the Human Rights Act is one more example of a government that is prepared to force through legislation that is not only immoral but internationally illegal. 

"The attack on human rights legislation is all the more concerning given the context of the continuing failure to respond compassionately and comprehensively to the ongoing Ukrainian refugee crisis – not to mention the anti-refugee bill that was passed in the previous session

"The agenda of this Westminster government couldn’t be clearer - a hostile environment to devolution, to human rights law and to refugees."

However Scottish Secretary Alister Jack (below) praised the legislative agenda and touted what he described as Brexit benefits.

“This is a Queen’s Speech which delivers for Scotland and the whole of the UK," he claimed.

“Measures in the Queen’s Speech will help us grow our economy, so we can continue to recover from the pandemic, tackle the rising cost of living and level up across the country.

“We will bring in a range of measures to make our country safer, from tackling state-sponsored espionage, to cracking down on modern slavery. 

“We will show leadership with a series of ambitious reforms which will support citizens across the United Kingdom.

“We will continue to maximise the benefits of Brexit with legislation to cement our fantastic trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, and remove outdated EU laws. Outside of the EU, the UK will continue to prosper and thrive.”