The Somerset Guardian, 5th May 2021

Last week, Parliament was prorogued by the Queen and the Lord Privy Seal read the Prorogation Speech on behalf of Her Majesty. Monarchs used to attend in person but have not done so since Queen Victoria in 1854. The speech outlined what action the Government has taken during the most recent Parliamentary session before the forthcoming State Opening of Parliament.

The Government’s programme ensured that public services and businesses had requisite support and progressed domestic reforms to strengthen the Union, delivering our departure from the European Union. It also detailed how the Government acted to protect the nation ensuring the NHS could provide care and that essential public services could continue.

Furthermore, the speech outlined how jobs, businesses and livelihoods were supported, with over £350 billion given to protect over 11 million jobs and the offer of affordable loans, business rates relief in tandem with modernised insolvency laws.

The Prime Minister worked with the devolved Governments so that all citizens shared the benefits of scientific advances in testing, medicines and vaccines, building one of Europe’s largest testing regimes and fastest vaccination programmes.

A points-based immigration system was introduced, ending free movement while enabling the UK to welcome skilled workers from across the world. The extensive domestic reform also saw increased investment in the Armed Forces, schools and police whilst legislation accelerated the delivery of gigabit-capable broadband. Laws were reformed to make it easier for people to save for later life, cyber security was reviewed and a landmark act to tackle violence against women and girls was enshrined in law.

Ministers pursued policies to protect the environment, including the sustainability of agricultural and fishing practices. Proposals were published to reform the energy sector and deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Additionally, funding was increased for developing countries to respond to the impacts of climate change, famine and the exclusion of girls in education.

The Government was able to deliver all of this and more during a global pandemic. As we begin to return to normal there will be no limits to what it can achieve.  

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