Mr. Speaker: I have further to acquaint the House that the Leader of the House of Lords, one of the Lords Commissioners, delivered Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Command. For greater accuracy I have obtained a copy, and also directed that the terms of the Speech be printed in the Journal of this House. Copies are being made available in the Vote Office.
My Government's overriding priority has been to restore growth to deliver a fair and prosperous economy for families and businesses, as the British economy recovers from the global economic downturn. Through employment and training programmes, restructuring the financial sector, strengthening the national infrastructure and providing responsible investment, my Government has taken action to support growth and employment.
My Government has sought effective global and European collaboration, including through the European Union, to combat climate change, including at the Copenhagen summit in December last year, and to sustain economic recovery through the G20.
The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to visit Bermuda, and Trinidad and Tobago for our State Visit and to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the Commonwealth's 60th anniversary year. We were glad to welcome the President of South Africa on his successful visit to this country earlier this year.
The Duke of Edinburgh and I were saddened to learn of the devastation brought on Haiti and Chile by recent earthquakes and hope that relief and reconstruction efforts, which my Government and the British people have supported, can build on the spirit and resilience displayed by their people.
My Government has continued to reform and strengthen regulation of the financial services industry to ensure a stable financial sector that supports the wider economy, with greater protection for savers and taxpayers.
As the economic recovery is established, my Government has taken steps to reduce the budget deficit and ensure that national debt is on a sustainable path. Legislation has been enacted to halve the deficit.
An Act has been passed to ensure the communications infrastructure is fit for the digital age, supports future economic growth, delivers competitive communications and enhances public service broadcasting.
My Government has remained committed to ensuring everyone has a fair chance in life and an Act has been passed to promote equality, narrow the gap between rich and poor and tackle discrimination. The Act also introduces transparency in the workplace to help address the differences in pay between men and women.
My Government has continued to work closely with the devolved administrations in the interests of all the people of the United Kingdom. My Government has remained committed to the Northern Ireland political process and has continued to work with Northern Ireland's leaders to ensure the continued stability of the devolved institutions and to complete the process of devolution by transferring policing and justice functions in April this year.
In Scotland, my Government set out plans to further strengthen devolution in its response to Final Report of the Commission on Scottish Devolution. My Government has continued to devolve more powers to Wales and has remained committed to a referendum on further devolution.
"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons:
By virtue of Her Majesty's Commission, which has now been read, we do, in Her Majesty's name, and in obedience to Her
Majesty's Commands, prorogue this Parliament to Tuesday the twentieth day of this instant April to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Tuesday the twentieth day of this instant April."
End of the Fifth Session (opened on 18 November 2009) of the Fifty-Fourth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Fifty-Ninth Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.