On 21 June 2017 the Queen’s Speech was delivered in the Houses of Parliament and announced a number of measures relevant to the TMT sector.
- Digital Charter: A new charter to create a framework balancing users’ and business’ freedoms and security online. The charter is also intended to make the UK the “best place to start and run a digital business”. The Government will work with technology companies, charities, communities and international partners to develop the charter and will ensure it is underpinned with an effective regulatory framework.
- Data Protection Bill: The new Data Protection Bill intends to ensure the UK’s data protection framework is “suitable for our new digital age” and the UK remains at the “forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data”. Among other things, the Bill intends to implement the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR“) including measures such as an individual’s “right to be forgotten”. It will also give individuals the right to require major social media platforms to delete personal data held about them before the age of 18. The Bill aims to modernise the regime for data processing by law enforcement agencies as well.
- Smart Meter Bill: This Bill will continue to support the effective and efficient completion of the smart meter rollout (including the manifesto commitment to ensure that smart meters will be offered to every household and business by the end of 2020). It will extend the Government’s ability to make changes to smart meter regulations by five years. It will also introduce a Special Administrative Regime to insure relevant infrastructure if the provider becomes insolvent.
- Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill: This Bill is intended to put the UK at the forefront of automated vehicle ownership, maintain our position as one of the best places to research and develop modern transport technologies, and ensure a world-class infrastructure to support adoption and use of such vehicles. Among other things, the Bill will allow the regulatory framework to keep pace with this fast-evolving area of technology for electric cars and will extend compulsory motor vehicle insurance to cover the use of automated vehicles.
- Space Industry Bill: This Bill will establish powers to license a variety of new commercial spaceflight technologies such as vertically launched rockets, spaceplanes, satellite operation and spaceports and other technologies. It will also provide a regulatory framework to manage related risk and safety issues.
A host of Bills were also proposed to bring about a “smooth and orderly” Brexit, including a Repeal Bill, Customs Bill, Trade Bill, Immigration Bill, Fisheries Bill, Agriculture Bill, Nuclear Safeguards Bill, International Sanctions Bill and an EU (Approvals) Bill.
Click here for the Queen’s Speech 2017 and associated background notes.