The State Opening of Parliament took place on 6 November 2007, at which the Queen's Speech was delivered setting out the legislative agenda the Government wish to pursue in the coming year.
Whilst the content of the speech, and the government's legislative programme, was traditionally a closely guarded secret until the day it was delivered, the Prime Minister set out an outline of its content in a statement to Parliament prior to summer recess. That statement was also supported by the publication of a paper "The Governance of Britain – The Government's Draft Legislative Programme", which set out further details of the proposals.
The key areas of focus in this year's speech include: education and skills, children in care, security, the constitution, climate change and energy, welfare reform, local transport and businesses. Among the large number of bills proposed for this Parliamentary year are:
- The Education and Skills Bill, which aims to implement the main recommendations of Lord Leitch's Review into the UK's long-term skills needs;
- The Climate Change Bill, which is intended to create a legal framework for the long-term reduction of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions;
- A second Pensions Bill, which aims to implement the remainder of the 'Security in Retirement: towards a new pension system' White Paper's recommendations; and
- The Employment Simplification Bill, which is intended to 'simplify, clarify and build a stronger enforcement regime for key aspects of employment law'.
For more details on any of these bills, and others that the government intends to introduce in the coming year, see The Governance of Britain – The Government's Draft Legislative Programme.