Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to publish previously unpublished reviews, studies and reports into the effects of EU migration on UK wages and the UK economy.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 16 October 2017

A number of reports on the economic impacts of migration have been published by the Government, including the report jointly published by the Home Office and then Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2014 titled ‘Impacts of migration on UK native employment: an analytical review of the evidence’ which provides a comprehensive summary of the research on labour market impacts of migration.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Department for Education
Sixth Form Education: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2017 to Question 3811, how much of her Department's budget allocated to 16 to 19-year old education was reallocated to other budgets in the financial year 2016-17.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 16 October 2017

Budgets for 16 to 19-year-old education are set on the basis of the established funding formula which uses student number estimates. As in 2014-15 and 2015-16, student numbers and associated costs were lower than these estimates in 2016-17 which resulted in a lower spend of £106m. This represents 1.8% of the budget that was available for reallocation. Because this was a result of lower student numbers, it did not affect funding per student.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Ministry of Defence
USA: Counter-terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's policy is on monitoring the contribution of UK personnel, intelligence and assets including British bases to US-led counter-terror operations that result in casualties.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 October 2017

The Department ensures that any UK contribution to allies' operations is consistent with British values and British and international law. Legal advice is sought throughout the authorisation process, and policies such as the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance policy and the Cabinet Office Consolidated Guidance policy are also applied where relevant.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Ministry of Defence
Counter-terrorism: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether an estimate has been made of how many people have been killed in UK counter-terror operations outside of armed conflict since January 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 October 2017

Nobody has been killed in UK counter-terror operations outside of armed conflict since January 2017.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Ministry of Defence
Yemen: Counter-terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many casualties have occurred as a result of joint US-UK counter-terror activities in Yemen since January 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 October 2017

The UK is not involved in counter-terror activities in Yemen.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Ministry of Defence
Yemen: Counter-terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether UK personnel, intelligence, or assets including British bases were used in US raids which took place in the Yemeni villages of Yakla and Al Jubah in January and May 2017.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 October 2017

No UK personnel, intelligence, or assets including British bases were used in raids in the Yemeni villages of Yakla and Al Jubah in January and May 2017.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Ministry of Defence
USA: Counter-terrorism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on reports that the US is adopting new standards relating to the use of force outside of armed conflict.
A
Answered by: Sir Michael Fallon
Answered on: 16 October 2017

My discussions with the US Defense Secretary have not included the use of force outside of armed conflict.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
HM Treasury
Overseas Trade
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide breakdowns of UK (a) exports to and (b) imports from the top five countries, as published in HM Revenue and Customs' Overseas Trade Statistics for each month since June 2012 adjusted to remove exports and imports of non-monetary gold from the data.
A
Answered by: Mel Stride
Answered on: 16 October 2017

HM Revenue & Customs is responsible for the collection of data on imports and exports of goods into the United Kingdom. The attached provides a breakdown of UK exports to, and imports from, the top five countries for each month since June 2012 by value adjusted to exclude exports and imports of non-monetary gold.

imports/exports (Excel SpreadSheet, 36.88 KB)
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Department for Transport
Govia Thameslink Railway: Franchises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to immediately take steps to prepare for a publicly-owned organisation to take over the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise on an agreed date; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 16 October 2017

We have no plans to change the ownership of the railway. Our priority is to improve customer journeys and I am pleased that the quality of passenger services on Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has been significantly better since the New Year, with the Public Performance Measure of punctuality currently at 82%, compared to 62% in early December 2016. The latest National Rail Passenger Survey also showed a 4% increase in overall journey satisfaction on GTR compared with the previous survey. Work is underway delivering on the recommendations of the Chris Gibb report, including £300 million for Network Rail to improve rail infrastructure and resilience along the Southern and Thameslink rail networks, to drive further improvements.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of the minimum six week wait for successful claims of universal credit on (a) families and (b) other claimants over the Christmas 2017 period as part of his Department's planning for full-rollout of universal credit from 29 November 2017 in (i) Brighton and Hove and (ii) other areas; if he will make it his policy to suspend the full roll-out of universal credit in (A) Brighton and Hove and (B) other areas where the six week wait falls over the Christmas period; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 16 October 2017

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking: Ryedale
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has received an application for hydraulic fracturing consent for the KM8 wellsite in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 16 October 2017

The Department has received an application for hydraulic fracturing consent for the KM8 wellsite in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 11 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to consult (a) Parliament and (b) the public prior to taking decisions on granting hydraulic fracturing consent.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 16 October 2017

There is no legal obligation to consult on associated hydraulic fracturing.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Non-domestic Rates
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether his Department made an assessment of the effect on the timescale for local authorities to grant business rate reliefs detailed in Budget 2017 of the readiness of software used by local authorities in advance of making that commitment; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 13 October 2017

Following the Chancellor’s announcement of the Business Rates Relief Schemes at the Budget, on 9 March the Department published a Business Rates Information Letter to local authorities. This provided information on each of the three schemes including draft allocations for the discretionary relief scheme and guidance on the Supporting Small Business Scheme. On 10 March the Department began discussions with a group of local authorities and the main software suppliers to discuss the implementation of the schemes and system requirements.

The Department has continued to engage local authorities and software suppliers, encouraging authorities to speed up implementation and publishing the technical guidance for the Supporting Small Business Scheme and Pubs Relief Scheme on 20 June. However, local authorities have overall responsibility for awarding and maintaining contracts with their software providers and for ensuring value for money. While authorities have been able to manually identify eligible businesses for the Supporting Small Business Scheme since March, some authorities chose to wait for a full software update that enabled them to automate this process.

I met software providers on 12 July and agreed that the software update would be provided to authorities by 21 August at the latest. The update was released by all of the main software providers by this date. On 14 September I made a Written Ministerial Statement, which set out the good progress made by some authorities and a commitment to publish a list of authorities that have rebilled across all three schemes. This has now been published and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-relief-schemes-2017-rebilling-progress

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Department of Health
General Practitioners
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the GP to patient ratio for (a) Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, (b) other clinical commissioning groups and (c) the UK; what recent assessment he has made of the safe ratio of patients to doctors in GP practices; what steps he is taking to increase the number of GPs in Brighton and Hove; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 13 October 2017

NHS England and the Department have not sought to make a recommendation about the safe ratio of patients to doctors in general practice as the appropriate ratio is determined by local population demands.

NHS England and Health Education England are working together with the profession to increase the general practitioner (GP) workforce by an additional 5,000 doctors in general practice by 2020. This includes measures to boost recruitment into general practice, address the reasons why GPs are leaving the profession, and encourage GPs to return to practice.

The table below shows patient numbers per headcount GP and headcount GPs per 100,000 population for Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS England South East, South of England and England.

Area

Patient numbers per headcount GP

Headcount GPs per 100,000 population

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group

1,809

61.0

NHS England South East

1,527

68.4

South of England

1,380

75.9

England

1,391

76.5

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 September 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Intelligence Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Israeli Government on intelligence-gathering targeting pro-Palestinian activists; whether he has requested any information from Israel about UK nationals; and whether he holds any information on the number of UK citizens affected by such intelligence gathering.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 12 October 2017

It is the longstanding policy of successive UK Governments not to comment on intelligence matters.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 September 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Entry Clearances
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on UK citizens of the Israeli laws which preclude entry to that country for pro-Palestinian activists, supporters of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign and people who call for a ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 12 October 2017

We have not made any assessment. It is for Israel to decide its immigration policy. The UK's immigration policy is similarly protected. We have updated our travel advice recommending that concerned UK nationals contact the Israeli Embassy for further information.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 13 September 2017
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what administrative errors occurred that led to letters being sent to EU nationals incorrectly notifying them that they would be deported.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 12 October 2017

106 letters were sent in error between 11 and 16 August 2017. I wrote, personally, to all those affected to apologise.

The error made was an incorrect interpretation of the consequences of an EEA national’s unsuccessful application for a Registration Certificate

We have agreed to meet any reasonable associated costs incurred as a result of this error. We should be able to quantify the total cost in due course.

Grouped Questions: 105241
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Cabinet Office
Syria: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to review the Government's redactions of the Intelligence and Security Committee's April 2017 UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria report; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Damian Green
Answered on: 12 October 2017

The Government made redactions to the UK Lethal Drone Strikes in Syria report as permitted by
the Justice and Security Act 2013 and the terms set out in the Memorandum of Understanding,
which was agreed with the Intelligence and Security Committee under that Act. There are no plans
to review redactions to the report.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Home Office
Deportation: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many EU nationals living in the UK were incorrectly sent notifications after 26 June 2017 that they would be deported; what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of reimbursing costs incurred by those people in response to such letters; and whether there is an upper limit for compensation claims for people affected by those notifications.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 12 October 2017

106 letters were sent in error between 11 and 16 August 2017. I wrote, personally, to all those affected to apologise.

The error made was an incorrect interpretation of the consequences of an EEA national’s unsuccessful application for a Registration Certificate

We have agreed to meet any reasonable associated costs incurred as a result of this error. We should be able to quantify the total cost in due course.

Grouped Questions: 105048
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 14 September 2017
Department for International Trade
Arms Trade: Trade Fairs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government is taking steps to monitor the (a) sale and (b) promotion by companies at the Defence and Security Equipment International of (i) electric stun guns, baton type, (ii) electric stun guns, hand type, (iii) leg irons and (iv) thumb cuffs to countries to which (A) the UK and (B) international obligations prohibit the sale of (1) such and (2) military equipment.
A
Answered by: Mark Garnier
Answered on: 12 October 2017

The Government worked closely with the exhibition organiser, Clarion Defence and Security Ltd, to ensure that all exhibitors at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) were aware of their export control obligations. This includes which items they were prohibited from supplying or delivering – or agreeing to supply or deliver – or refraining from acts calculated to promote the supply or delivery of such items, including exhibiting and advertising. Government hosted a pre-event briefing with Clarion to ensure they were fully aware of their responsibilities. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who are responsible for the enforcement of export and trade controls, also attended the briefing to provide clear compliance guidance and to review the procedures Clarion had put in place.

The Export Control Joint Unit had a dedicated stand at DSEI which was manned by Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Trade officials. HMRC were present during each day of the exhibition to ensure exhibitors complied with UK Trade Controls, as they were in 2015. C-RICH Co and other stall holders were visited by HMRC.

Grouped Questions: 105414
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