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
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the severity of violence towards Rohingya people in Rakhine from the Burmese civilian population
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to secure humanitarian access to northern Rakhine in Burma.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the United Nations fact-finding mission in Rakhine State, Burma.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Department for International Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure there are confidential spaces for Rohingya women and children refugees to report any abuse and sexual violence in Bangladesh
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the documentation and investigation of sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls in Rakhine State, Burma.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage coordination between the International Organisation for Migration, the UN and foreign governments in response to the Rohingya crisis.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with other EU Member States on formalised travel sanctions on Burmese military leaders.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made with the Government of Bangladesh on reiterating the principle of non-refoulement in relation to Rohingya refugees in that country.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to raise the matter of the demolition of homes and structures in Area C of the West Bank at the United Nations Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of Israel, in January 2018
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what human rights issues his Department plans to raise at the Universal Periodic Review of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in January 2018?
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of the United Nations' conclusion that the 46 Palestinian communities in the central West Bank subject to a relocation plan by Israeli authorities are at high risk of forcible transfer.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 23 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with European Union Member States about drafting a joint letter to the Government of Israel demanding compensation for the demolition and confiscation of donor-funded structures in Area C of the West Bank.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Department for Education
Children: Poverty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate her Department has made of the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during the school Christmas holidays in 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Robert Goodwill
Answered on: 22 November 2017

The department has made no assessment of the number of children who are at risk of experiencing hunger during school Christmas holidays in 2017.

We are currently giving full consideration to the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill, which considers this issue, and will be responding in due course.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Home Office
Animal Experiments: Cosmetics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations her Department has (a) received on and (b) made to the United Nations on animal testing for cosmetic products.
A
Answered by: Mr Ben Wallace
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The Home Office is the department responsible for the regulation of the use of animals in science. The Department has made no representation to, nor received any representation from, the United Nations on animal testing for cosmetic products.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 16 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Government of Burma on allegations of mass rape in Rohingya women and children in Rakhine State.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The Foreign Secretary has repeatedly been clear about the need for the Burmese authorities to end the violence in Rakhine. This includes sexual violence. He has made these calls in telephone conversations with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi on 7 and 17 September, and 21 October; and to the Burmese National Security Advisor and Deputy Foreign Minister at a meeting of foreign ministers he convened at the UN on 18 September.

I met Burma's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on 20 September at the UN and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma on 27 September, and reiterated the same messages. Our Ambassador and Embassy officials in Rangoon have regularly raised concerns with Burmese Ministers, most recently with the Defence Minister on 31 October.

Lord Ahmad made a statement at the Human Rights Council on 11 September which made clear the UK strongly condemned the violence in Rakhine, and called on all parties to de-escalate tensions and address the humanitarian crisis.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 16 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Burma: Rohingya
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what measures are in place to provide support and treatment to Rohingya women and children who are victims of or witness to sexual violence.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The British Government is funding the provision of medical services, counselling and psychological support to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who have either witnessed or are survivors of sexual violence themselves. This support is being delivered through UN agencies and the NGO Action Against Hunger. The UK is also supporting UNICEF initiatives that help survivors of gender-based violence identify and access the support they need, and create 30 child-friendly spaces in the refugee camps. The UK is also funding the deployment of an official to coordinate the UN gender-based violence response in Cox's Bazar, and seeking ways to expand the gender-based violence response in coordination with aid agencies and other partners.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also sent two Deployable Civilian Experts to Bangladesh on 14 November, with support from the cross-Whitehall Stabilisation Unit. They will carry out an assessment of the extent of reported sexual violence, the current response to the needs of victims of gender based violence in Bangladesh, and identify gaps in service provision and provide recommendations for the UK. They will also conduct a thorough review of the investigation and documentation of sexual violence, through use of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict and make recommendations on possible UK support in this area.

In Burma the UK continues to press for greater humanitarian access to Northern Rakhine​.​​​

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 16 November 2017
Department for International Development
Yemen: Fuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of (a) the availability of diesel and petrol in Yemen, (b) how long supplies of diesel and petrol are expected to last there and (c) the effect of that availability on the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 21 November 2017

The UK is deeply concerned by the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and calls on all parties to ensure immediate access for commercial and humanitarian supplies, particularly to Hodeidah port, to avert the threat of starvation and disease faced by millions of civilians.

Restrictions on imports have already reduced the availability of fuel, and led to price increases of up to 160%, according to UN reports. As of November 12, the UN assessed that unless imports resume, diesel stocks in the north of the country would deplete in 20 days, and petrol stocks would deplete in 10 days.

Fuel is crucial for the delivery of aid and medical supplies, the functioning of clinics and hospitals, as well as other essential public infrastructure, such as water supply systems and waste water treatment plants.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 14 November 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fireworks: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of existing legislation regulating the sale of fireworks.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 20 November 2017

The Government takes the safety of fireworks very seriously. Regulations are currently in place which control the sale of fireworks to both consumers and professional display operators. Experience has shown that the current regulations strike the right balance between the enjoyment of fireworks by the public and restricting the sale and use of fireworks for public safety reasons.

Certain dangerous items are already banned for sale in the UK. These include bangers and jumping jacks, among others. Such items are prohibited regardless of whether they are approved for sale in other EU countries. This removes from sale higher risk fireworks which could lead to injury.

We will continue to focus on reducing accidents and nuisance by encouraging industry, retailers and others to promote the responsible sale and use of fireworks through guidance and public education.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to encourage the Israeli Government to engage with the United Nations Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review taking place in January 2018.
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 November 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Department for International Development: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he was made aware of meetings in Israel held by the Secretary of State for International Development in August 2017; and what information he has since been given about what was discussed at those meetings.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 13 November 2017

It is longstanding practice under successive Governments that we do not routinely disclose information relating to internal discussion and advice. My right hon. Friend the member for Witham (Ms Patel) resigned as Secretary of State for International Development on 8 November. I refer the Hon Member to the exchange of letters between my right hon. Friend and the Prime Minister on her resignation; and to the statement issued by my right hon. Friend on 6 November, a copy of which is available on the gov.uk website.

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