29 May 2015

What does the Queen’s Speech mean for the defence industry?

Defence industry Queen's SpeechBusiness leaders have praised this week’s Queen’s Speech, calling it a ‘positive first step’ in delivering growth across the UK business sector.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: “What we have seen in the Queen’s Speech is a positive start, and overall the message appears to be one of ambition, enterprise and growth for firms across the country.”

The Queen officially opened State Parliament with the delivery of the Queen’s Speech, which outlines the roadmap for the incoming Conservative Government to follow over the coming five years.

Reading the pre-prepared speech from her throne in the House of Lords, the Queen said: “My Government will continue with its long-term plan to provide economic stability and security at every stage of life. They will continue the work of bringing the public finances under control and reducing the deficit, so Britain lives within its means.”

This blog from Defence Contracts International looks at this important Queen’s Speech and what the implications might be for the defence industry.

Counter terror and communications legislation

In an effort to promote safer communities and combat extremism, the Conservatives have announced a Counter-Terrorism Bill to be included in the Queen’s Speech.

These measures will focus on reducing the presence of those who incite hatred against gender, race or religion on social media and in print.

In addition, the Communications Bill, known as the so-called “Snoopers Charter”, will aim to help police and security services improve their access to communications surveillance.

International relations

The Queen also announced that the Government will continue to play a leading role in global affairs, using its presence all over the world to re-engage with and tackle the major international security, economic and humanitarian challenges.

The speech announced that the UK will remain at the forefront of the NATO alliance and of international efforts to degrade and ultimately defeat terrorism in the Middle East including seeking a political settlement in Syria.

The Conservative Government is also to maintain pressure on Russia to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and will insist on the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Industry reaction

Mr Longworth said: “Businesses will welcome the government’s proposals to cut red tape, the move to more local decision-making and progress on an agenda which will see the UK reform its relationship with the EU before holding a referendum.

“While recognising that an incoming government cannot do everything at once, alongside these encouraging ideas, businesses will want to see the government seek to ease the housing crisis and tackle access to childcare in a sustainable way.”

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