New laws helping to stop the boats and grow the economy receive royal assent

New laws to help stop the boats, grow the economy, support families and deliver on the priorities that matter most to the country received Royal Assent on 20 July 2023

  • Delivery on pledges to build a better, more prosperous future as four major Government bills became law today. 
  • New laws passed vital step forward to help stop the boats and support businesses to grow.
  • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak points to “action not words” as he gets on with delivering for the public.

New laws to help stop the boats, grow the economy, support families and deliver on the priorities that matter most to the country received Royal Assent today (Thursday 20 July).

The Government’s Illegal Migration Act marks a vital step forward to stopping the boats by removing the incentive for people to make these dangerous journeys in the first place.

Once operationalised, the Illegal Migration Act will mean that people who come to the UK illegally will not have a right to stay, and instead they will be liable to be returned either to their home country or relocated to a safe third country.

From today, people who arrive illegally under the new laws will be banned from lawfully re-entering the UK and will not be eligible for settlement or citizenship, except in limited circumstances.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

"The public’s priorities are my priorities.

"When it comes to making people’s lives better, I am focused on action, not words.

"We are getting on with the job and today passed new laws which will play an important part in our efforts to stop the boats, support businesses to grow and allow the public to access essential services in the face of disruption."

Members of the public disrupted by industrial action will welcome today’s new Strikes (Minimum Service Level) Act which will require essential services they pay for to be there when they need them. It will implement minimum service levels for rail passengers, ambulance and fire and rescue services.

The UK economy is set to see over £1 billion boost over the next decade thanks to the Electronic Trade Document Act which has also become law today. It will make trade more efficient, cleaner and cheaper for UK businesses.

The Social Housing (Regulation) Act will drive up standards of social housing and support families by giving residents a real voice to fight for the safe and high-quality homes they deserve.

Since the Prime Minister took office on 25 October the Government has taken action to deliver:

  • 24 bills to Royal Assent including the Illegal Migration Bill, Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill, Electronic Trade Documents Bill and the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill.
  • Introduction of 20 bills including the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, the Victims and Prisoners Bill and the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill.
  • Support for 16 Private Members’ Bills (PMB) to Royal Assent including the Child Support (Enforcement) Bill and the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill.

Three Government backed Private Members’ Bills have also received Royal Assent today.

Firms will be supported to attract more talent, increase retention and boost productivity through the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act, sponsored by Yasmin Qureshi MP and Baroness Taylor of Bolton. It will give people across the UK even more flexibility over where and when they work.

Separated families owed child maintenance from non-paying parents will be paid quicker through the Child Support (Enforcement) Act. The new law will get money flowing significantly faster by speeding up tougher sanctions where parents choose not to pay – recouping financial support which helps to keep 160,000 children out of poverty every year. The Bill was sponsored by Siobhan Baillie MP and Baroness Redfern.

The Equipment Theft (Prevention) Act, sponsored by Greg Smith MP and Lord Blencathra, will help prevent the theft and resale of agricultural equipment such as quad bikes by making sure they’re given forensic markings before sale. The new law will allow the police to more easily identify stolen equipment and for people to be able to prove ownership – benefiting farmers by reducing rural crime.

Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP