THE King’s Speech set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the coming parliamentary session, but not everything applies all over the UK.

Here we’ve set some of the most important bills that apply to Scotland and what changes they will bring in.

Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill

This piece of legislation will see the UK Government ramp up oil and gas extraction by holding annual licensing rounds.

It will require the North Sea Transition Authority to run an annual process inviting applications for new production licences in the UK’s offshore waters, subject to key tests being met including around emissions.

The Government insists it will safeguard domestic energy supplies and increase certainty for the oil and gas industry, which it insists is “vital” to the UK’s energy security.

Briefing notes on the speech said: “The bill will enhance the UK’s energy security and reduce dependence on higher emission imports from overseas, including from countries like Russia - protecting the domestic oil and gas industry that supports more than 200,000 jobs as we grow the UK economy and realise our net zero target in a pragmatic, proportionate and realistic way.”

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The bill has angered green groups and climate campaigners. The SNP’s Dave Doogan said Scots were losing out on a green energy “gold rush” because of the “UK’s dead hand holding Scotland back”.

The Scottish Greens meanwhile have blasted the UK Government’s “obsession” with fossil fuels.

Media Bill

The Government says this will make “long-term changes” to ensure viewers and listeners can continue to access public service television and radio.

Crucially for Scotland, the bill will recognise the importance of minority language content in the public service remit for TV and give Gaelic-language content “appropriate prominence” through MG Alba’s partnership with the BBC.

Elsewhere, it will ensure public service content is always carried by connected devices and online platforms - including smart TVs – and that radio is easily accessible through smart speakers.

Public service broadcasters such as the BBC and Channel 4 will be encouraged to focus on what makes them distinctive through a “modernised” mission statement.

While plans to privatise Channel 4 have been dropped, the broadcaster will be pushed to diversify its income, the bulk of which currently comes from advertising. The bill will give Channel 4 the ability to make more of its own programmes. Its ability to do so is currently limited. 

Automated Vehicles Bill

The Government says this bill – which largely applies to the whole of the UK – will unlock a “transport revolution” by enabling the safe deployment of self-driving vehicles.

It will set out a rigorous safety framework for self-driving vehicles and hold companies “firmly” accountable once vehicles are on the roads. It also sets out processes to investigate incidents involving self-driving vehicles.

The National: A self-driving Nissan Leaf car A self-driving Nissan Leaf car (Image: PA)

Once authorised, companies will have ongoing obligations to keep their vehicles safe and ensure they continue to drive within British laws.

The bill will give people immunity from prosecution and vows to clamp down on misleading marketing.

Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill

This legislation will aim to tackle consumers being ripped off.

It is set to establish new rights which will make it harder for unscrupulous traders to trap people in subscription contracts they no longer want.

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It will also introduce new powers to tackle practices like drip pricing - where firms only advertise part of a product’s price upfront and reveal other charges later in the buying process.

Data Protection and Digital Information Bill

It is set out that this bill will “seize our post-Brexit opportunity” to create a new UK data rights regime.

Allegedly, it will allow businesses to protect personal data in more proportionate and practical ways than under the EU’s GDPR regulations, “eliminating unnecessary paperwork and cutting red tape”.

Briefing notes on the bill say: “Utilising data in an effective and safe way is helping to level the playing field. This bill will reduce compliance burdens on businesses and cut red tape, which we estimate will save micro and small businesses approximately £90 million a year in compliance costs.”

Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill

This will permanently ban the export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses for slaughter and fattening from Britain.

It is another piece of legislation that claims to take advantage of “Brexit freedoms”, given the UK could not previously ban live animal exports.

No animals have been exported for slaughter from Great Britain since plans for a ban were introduced in 2021, but the bill permanently bans the practice.

Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill

This will improve protective security across the UK by mandating, for the first time, those responsible for certain premises and events to consider the terrorist risk and how they would respond to an attack.

It will require certain venues to take necessary steps to mitigate the impact of a terrorist attack and reduce harm.

Some venues will be placed in an “enhanced tier” and will be required to take specific steps to ensure preparedness for attacks.