The Queen's Speech Commonwealth Highlights

The Queen's Speech to launch the new UK Government's legislative programme took place on Wednesday.

There were a number of highlights for Commonwealth supporters.

Her Majesty said:

"Prince Philip and I look forward to... our state visit to Malta in November, alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting."

Baroness Bottomley moved the motion for the Humble Address following the speech. She began:

"We rejoice that, in September, the Queen becomes the longest-serving sovereign in our history. There will be widespread celebrations in recognition of her extraordinary contribution throughout this country, the Commonwealth and many other lands.

Admiration and affection for the Queen extend far beyond our shores. In November, in her 90th year, she will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, maintaining her lifelong commitment to the Commonwealth—a central part of her life, of our national history, and of our future."

Our Chairman Lord Howell added:

"In getting alongside these new powers and new markets we will need every conceivable instrument we can find and every advantage we can seize against our competitors. This is where the Commonwealth network, with its own colossal reach, rich markets and capital sources is—or ought to be—immensely valuable to us.

I fear that the people who drafted my own party’s manifesto did not quite understand that emerging markets and the Commonwealth network are all woven together and all part of the same thing. If we want what the gracious Speech refers to as, “an enhanced partnership with India”, for example, this is where it should begin.

The Commonwealth network is the gateway to China and Japan, the second and third largest economies in the world."

Lord Popat followed up saying:

"I am passionate about Africa’s future. Africa and Britain have a great deal in common. This morning, my noble friend Lord Howell mentioned our shared history, language, rule of law, freedom, democracy and, most importantly, the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth binds us together. We must wake up to Africa’s potential. It is home to the fastest-growing middle class in the world and the population is expected to double by 2045. As has been well-stated, six out of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa, with economic growth averaging more than 5% in the continent, which is three times the European growth rate."

Lord Anderson questioned:

"Where has the United Kingdom been in the fight against Boko Haram in Commonwealth Nigeria?"

Our report on Commonwealth security links might be of interest!

Lord Alton commented:

"We should promote the Commonwealth... particularly as an agency for education in parts of the world that will change only with the opportunities of education."