Bills which recieved Royal Assent this week
This week marked the end of a session of parliament, and a whole series of bills received Royal Assent, meaning that they will come into law as the government takes action to address some of the problems Britain faces. The Conservative government under Rishi Sunak has been taking long-term decisions to deliver new laws for a brighter future.
Since the Prime Minister took office one year ago, we have offered immediate relief to hardworking families whilst being the only party able to make the long-term decisions for our country.
Last session we passed 39 bills. These included laws to stop the boats, bolster our energy security, and keep people safe by cracking down on disruptive protests, protecting children from harmful content online, and ensuring minimum service levels during strikes.
This legislation allows us to deliver on our five priorities, whilst taking the long-term difficult decisions that are in the best interests of the country.
Bills that received Royal Assent include:
- The Illegal Migration Act 2023, stopping the boats and putting fairness back at the heart of the immigration system. For the first time, our Illegal Migration Act will block asylum based on the mode of entry. This means 90 per cent of arrivals who claimed asylum in 2022 would have their claim heard in Rwanda or another safe third country.
- The Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act, ensuring the public can access essential public services in the face of political strike action. The Act ensures a minimum services operates in specified services during periods of strike action – protecting the safety of the general public and ensuring essential services are there when they need them.
- The Energy Act, bolstering energy security and delivering net zero in a fair and proportionate way. The Energy Act transforms the UK’s energy system by strengthening energy security, supporting the delivery of net zero and ensures households bills are affordable in the long-term.
- The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Act, enabling UK businesses to sell to Australia and New Zealand more easily. The Act removes tariffs on all UK goods exports to Australia and New Zealand, unlocks unprecedented access to these markets for services, and slashes red tape for digital trade and work visas – marking the UK’s first trade deal negotiated from scratch since we left the EU.
- The Finance Act 2023 and the Finance (No2) Act 2023, delivering a Budget that works to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt. Both Finance Acts legislate to deliver the tax changes introduced at the Spring Budget – including tax cuts to incentivise business investment, simplify the tax system and deliver pension reform.
- The Public Order Act 2023, clamping down on seriously disruptive protests including Just Stop Oil’s militant techniques. The Act gives the police powers to break up seriously disruptive protests, such as protesters that ‘lock on’ to roads and interfere with key national infrastructure – protecting the public to go about their daily lives.
- The Online Safety Act, protecting children from harmful content online and holding social media companies to account. The Act will make the internet safer for children while also protecting free speech – including by criminalising the encouragement of self-harm, requiring firms to show how they enforce user age limits, and prohibiting platforms from banning users where they do not breach their terms of service.
- The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, cracking down on economic crime and dirty money in the UK. The Act creates a register of oversea entities, broadens the scope of Unexplained Wealth Orders to target corrupt elites and strengthens our ability to take action sanction breaches – ridding the UK economy of dirty money.
- The Energy Prices Act 2022, reducing domestic energy prices and encouraging the efficient use and supply of energy. The Energy Price Act 2022 makes provision to control energy prices and encourages the efficient use and supply of energy in response to Putin’s weaponisation of energy.
- The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 repealing certain EU law and delivering legislation that works for Britain’s interests. The Retained EU Law Act 2023 ends the special status of retained EU Law, so it can be more easily amended or repealed, enabling us to pass laws to help grow the economy.
- The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, unleashing our world-leading financial services sector with post-Brexit reforms. The Act delivers on our vision to grow the economy and create an open, sustainable, and technologically advanced financial services sector – it seizes the opportunities of Brexit by tailoring financial services regulation to fit UK markets.
- The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Act 2023, unlocking key technologies to improve food security. The Act unlocks key technologies to improve UK food security, reduce pesticide use, and enhance climate-resilience in our crops, strengthening our food supply and supporting farmers.
- The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, ensuring universities protect and promote freedom of speech on campus, fulfilling a manifesto promise to bolster academic freedom. The Act protects and promotes free speech on campus, by strengthening the legal duties on higher education providers.
- The Identity and Language (Northern Ireland) Act 2022, delivering a balanced package of measures for Northern Ireland on identity and language. The Act makes provision about the national and culture identity and language in Northern Ireland, championing the country’s values.
- The Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act, speeding up the planning system to build more homes and unleash levelling up. The Act speeds up the planning system, holds developers to account, cuts bureaucracy, and encourages more councils to put in place plans to enable the building of new homes –levelling up in left-behind places.
- The Lifelong Learning Act 2023, transforming the student finance system and opening up opportunities for adults to study in a way that works for them. The Act will give all adults from 2025 access to loans worth up to £37,000 in today’s fees that they can use flexibly over their working lives to upskill or retrain, enabling people from all backgrounds to access education.
- The National Security Act 2023, bringing together vital new measures to protect the British public and address the evolving threat to our national security. The Act will make it harder for states to target the UK with hostile acts, including espionage, foreign interference (including in our political system), sabotage, and acts that endanger life, ensuring that we are protecting our national security and way of life from external threats.
- The Non-Domestic Rating Act 2023, modernising the business rates system to make them fairer and encourage investment. The Act will support businesses by modernising the business rates system to incentivise property improvements and support more frequent revaluations, making them fairer and more responsive to changes in the market as we support businesses and grow the economy.
- The Procurement Act, taking the long-term decisions to deliver a simpler procurement system. The Act provides for simpler procurement processes to support small businesses and innovation, and protect against national security risks in public contracts (Cabinet Office, Press Release, 27 October 2023, link).
- The Seafarers’ Wage Act 2023, protecting seafarers from being paid less than the National Minimum Wage. The Act will ensure that those working on vessels operating an international service will not be paid less than the National Minimum Wage, boosting pay and cracking down on unfair practices.
- The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, strengthening powers to tackle failing social landlords and improving support for tenants living in unsafe homes. The Act will hold failing social landlords to account, including strict time limits to address hazards such as damp and mould, and strengthen the regulators to tackle bad practices, giving residents a proper voice and improving the quality of life for those living in social housing across the country.
- The Social Security (Additional Payments) Act 2022 and the Social Security (Additional Payments) Act 2023, providing vital cost of living support to vulnerable households. The Acts provided vital financial support to low-income and vulnerable households worth up to £1,200 in 2022 and £1,350 in 2023, protecting those most in need as we continue to take action to reduce inflation.
- The Social Security (Special Rules for End of Life) Act 2022, enabling vital financial support to be accessed earlier for thousands of people nearing the end of their life. The Act will fast-track access to disability benefits for people in their final year of life, six months earlier than previously, providing vital financial support so they can make the make the most of their remaining time with loved ones.
- The Stamp Duty Land Tax (Temporary Relief) Act 2023, reducing the amount of tax paid for many house buyers until 31 March 2025. The Act increases a number of thresholds at which Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on residential property begins to be paid, therefore reducing the amount of SDLT paid for many house buyers, until 31 March 2025.
- The UK Infrastructure Bank Act, confirming the UK Infrastructure Bank’s independence. The Act enshrines the Bank’s operational independence, put its objectives to level up the UK, and help tackle climate change in statute and set out clear accountability structures.
- The Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023, granting electronic trade documents the same legal status as physical documents, making trade more efficient. The Electronic Trade Documents Act digitalises trade by giving electronic documents the same legal status as physical documents, boosting the UK economy by £1 billion, making trade more efficient and cheaper for firms.
- The Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits Levy Act 2022, helping us fund cost of living support for families and business. The Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits Levy Act delivers the necessary taxation changes on oil and gas companies, helping to fund cost of living support such as paying half of families energy bills last winter.