BSI weekly Policy and Public Affairs update
June 12th – June 16th
General Election- Government reshuffle
The ministerial reshuffle following last week’s election is now largely complete, with Jo Johnson continuing in his role as Science Minister. Greg Clark is also retained as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Nicola Blackwood, a minister in the Department of Health with responsibility for public health and life sciences innovation in the last parliament, failed to retain her seat. As did her ministerial colleague, David Mowat, with Steve Brine and Jackie Doyle-Price drafted in to replace them. Their ministerial responsibilities are yet to be confirmed,
Elections to the influential select committees, groups of MPs set up to scrutinise government policy across departmental responsibilities (e.g. Home Affairs, Health, and Science), will begin when parliament resumes next week.
Positions of particular interest to science and immunology include the below:
Department of Health (DH)
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP - Secretary of State for Health
Philip Dunne MP - Minister of State for Health
Steve Brine MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Jackie Doyle-Price MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Lord O'Shaughnessy - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health
- Nicola Blackwood (lost seat)
- David Mowat (lost seat)
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP - Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Jo Johnson MP - Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation
Claire Perry MP - Minister of State
Margot James MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility
Lord Prior of Brampton - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Richard Harrington MP - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
- Nick Hurd (now at Home Office)
- Jesse Norman (now at Transport)
Delayed Queen's Speech scheduled for 21st June
The Queen’s speech will take place on Wednesday 21st June, having previously been scheduled for Monday 19th.
The speech, in which the sovereign outlines a sitting Government’s legislative agenda for the coming session, also signifies the formal opening of a new session of parliament. It is thought the speech was delayed to give the minority Conservative government more time to reach an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party, a deal that will see the unionists support the Government’s policy agenda on a case by case basis.
The majority of this year’s speech is expected to set out the legislation necessary to advance Brexit, the centerpiece of which will be the Great Repeal Bill, which will transfer EU laws onto the UK statute book. The Queen’s Speech usually occurs every year, however it is possible that this year’s speech will set out a 2 year programme due to the complexity of the legislation that the Government wants to implement. This would also take the legislative programme up to the end of the Brexit negotiations.
Brexit negotiations confirmed to start on Monday
The Department for Exiting the European Union has confirmed that Brexit negotiations will begin on Monday 19th June.
There had been speculation that they might be delayed following the General Election, however following a meeting in Brussels UK and EU leaders agreed that formal negotiations on Article 50 would go ahead as planned.
Brexit Health Alliance formed to be voice of health sector as UK leaves EU
A group of UK health sector organisations, including the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) has formed an alliance to safeguard the interests of patients and the healthcare and research they rely on.
The Brexit Health Alliance is made up of organisations from the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health. It will be co-chaired by Sir Hugh Taylor, former Permanent Secretary the Department of Health and Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation. The Alliance will work to ensure that issues such as healthcare research are given attention throughout Brexit negotiations.