Immediately following the 1987 General Election the Cabinet met to agree the Queen’s Speech on the Opening of Parliament. The Chancellor of the Exchequer pressed for the water privatisation Bill to be put back into the legislative programme now that the decision to establish the NRA had been taken. The point was made that if the legislation was not enacted in the forthcoming session and privatisation was deferred until 1990, “there would be a damaging gap in the privatisation programme, and in the fl ow of privatisation receipts.” Also a later sale of the water industry, in 1990, might clash with the planned disposal of electricity supply, leading to competition for the available investment funds. However, not all ministers were convinced of the need to rush the re-introduction of the Bill, including Nicholas Ridley, the Environment Secretary. In conclusion, the possibility of introducing a Bill in the forthcoming Session was not ruled out, but it was agreed that the Queen’s Speech should not promise it. At the same time, it was argued that “early water privatisation would be a considerable prize to be won.”1 The PM requested that the Cabinet’s QL Committee, responsible for timetabling legislation, give advance drafting authority for a Bill for the following Parliamentary Session.2