Queen's Speech 2022

A summary of the key highlights for business

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Aim – To “level up the UK, grow the economy in the places that need it most”, and “improve the planning system to give communities a louder voice”

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Place a duty on Government to deliver on its levelling up missions as set out in the Levelling Up White Paper
  • Give new powers to local authorities to bring empty premises back into use, and instigate rental auctions of vacant commercial properties on high streets and in town centres
  • Simplifying the process for local plans so that they are produced more quickly

Transport Bill

Aim – To “simplify the railways to ensure a better and more reliable service for passengers”

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Enacting the reforms set out in the Williams Shapps Review, including the creation of Great British Railways
  • Transferring contracting powers for passenger services to this new body, and introducing new passenger service contracts
  • Support for the roll-out of electric vehicle charging points

Energy Security Bill

Aim – To deliver on the policies set out in the Energy Security Strategy

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Support investment into low-carbon and low-emission technologies, including heat pumps
  • Extending the energy price cap
  • Proceeding with the policies of the Energy Security Strategy, including the development of nuclear sites and onshore wind


Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill

Aim – Reform UK’s competition regime and boost consumers’ rights

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Requiring businesses to provide clearer information to consumers and send reminders before a contract auto-renews
  • Strengthening the Competition and markets Authority to decide when consumer law has been broken
  • Empowering the Digital Markets Unit to designate a small number of firms who are very powerful in particular digital activities, such as social media and online search, with Strategic Market Status. This is to prevent them from abusing their position


UK Infrastructure Bank Bill

Aim – Finalise the creation of the Bank by establishing it in law

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Ensure the Bank is fully operational and provide the Bank with the necessary powers to lend directly to local authorities


Non-Domestic Rating Bill

Aim – Deliver reforms to the business rates system

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Shortening the business rates cycle from five to three years from 2023
  • Improving the valuation accuracy and timeliness in a shorter revaluation cycle through new duties on ratepayers, with measures to support compliance
  • Introducing new 12-month rates relief on increases to rateable value arising from improvements made to a property, and a new 100% rates relief for low-carbon heat networks that are assessed as separate entities for business rates


Electronic Trade Documents Bill

Aim – Put electronic trade documents on the same legal footing as paper documents

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Removing the legal obstacle to the use of trade documents in digital form, and ensuring that such documents have the same effects as paper counterparts
  • Ensuring that trade documents in electronic form meet certain criteria designed to replicate the key features of paper trade documents


Draft Audit Reform Bill

Aim – Rebuild trust in the UK’s audit, corporate reporting and corporate governance system and the insolvency regulatory framework

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Establishing a new statutory regulator, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority, that will protect and promote the interests of investors, other users of corporate reporting and the wider public interest
  • Giving the new regulator effective powers to enforce directors’ financial reporting duties
  • Reforming the regulation of Insolvency Practitioners to give greater confidence to creditors and strengthening corporate governance of firms in or approaching insolvency so that ‘asset stripping’ can be more effectively tackled

Brexit Freedoms Bill

Aim – Take advantage of the UK’s departure from the European Union and end the supremacy of EU law

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Creating new powers to strengthen the ability to amend, repeal or replace the large amounts of retained EU law by reducing the need to always use primary legislation to do so
  • Removing the supremacy of retained EU law as it still applies in the UK

Procurement Bill

Aim – Reform the UK’s public procurement regime to create a simpler and more transparent system that better meets the country’s needs

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Requiring buyers to have regard to the Government’s strategic priorities for public procurement as set out in the National Procurement Policy Statement
  • Making it easier, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, to bid for public sector contracts
  • Enabling smaller contracts to be restricted to UK suppliers, as permitted by World Trade Organization rules, and ensuring that procurement activities aid jobs and innovation


Financial Services and Markets Bill

Aim – Establishing a coherent, agile and internationally respected approach to financial services regulation that best suits the interests of the UK

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Revoking retained EU law on financial services and replacing it with an approach to regulation that is designed for the UK
  • Reforming the rules that regulate the UK’s capital markets to promote investment

Data Reform Bill

Aim – “Create a world class data rights regime that will allow us to create a new pro-growth and trusted UK data protection framework that reduces burdens on businesses, boosts the economy, helps scientists to innovate and improves the lives of people in the UK.”

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Designing a more flexible, outcomes-focused approach to data protection that helps create a culture of data protection, rather than “tick box” exercises
  • Creating a clearer regulatory environment for personal data use

Higher Education Bill

Aim – Ensuring people are supported to get the skills they need throughout their life

Key elements of the Bill:

  • The Bill will enable the introduction of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement, a new and flexible way of providing loan support for post-18 study. This will provide individuals with a loan entitlement equivalent to four years of post-18 education (£37,000 in today’s fees) that they can use over their lifetime for a wider range of studies, including shorter and technical courses

Renters Reform Bill

Aim – Delivering a better deal for renters through reforms and providing a more effective legal framework and a more stable rental market for landlords to remain and invest in

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Abolishing so-called ‘no fault’ evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, providing security for tenants in the private rented sector
  • Reforming possession grounds for landlords, introducing new and stronger grounds for repeated incidences of rent arrears and reducing notice periods for anti-social behaviour
  • Introducing a new property portal to help landlords understand their obligations, give tenants performance information to hold their landlord to account as well as aiding local authorities

Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill

Aim – Strengthen powers to tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime and help businesses grow

Key elements of the Bill:

  • Tackling economic crime, including fraud and money-laundering, by delivering greater protections for consumers and businesses
  • Broadening the Registrar of Companies’ powers so that they become a more active gatekeeper over company creation and custodian of more reliable data
  • Providing Companies House with more effective investigation and enforcement powers and introducing better cross-checking of data with other public and private sector bodies.