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20 Dec 2019
On 19 December, the UK government laid out its policies on trade, crime, the environment and Brexit in the Queen's Speech.
The government stated that its priority is to ensure the UK leaves the EU on 31 January. More than 30 bills were announced during the Speech; seven are devoted to Brexit. These cover trade, agriculture, fisheries, immigration and financial services.
Additionally, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill will be put to Parliament today, ahead of the Christmas recess. In the speech, the government confirmed that the Department for Exiting the European Union will close on 31 January.
Extra funding for the NHS was also unveiled in the speech: an additional £33.9 billion per year will be provided by 2023/24. Plans for a points-based immigration system were also revealed, which will grant skilled workers entry to the UK. The government has also pledged to cut business rates for thousands of high street retailers, restaurants and pubs in England and Wales.
In regard to housing, the government announced its intention to implement a new 'lifetime deposit' scheme, which will mean that tenants will not need to find a new deposit every time they move.