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
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 January 2018
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Edinburgh
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what charges his Department has incurred for parking vehicles in Edinburgh in the last 18 months.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 19 January 2018

The Scotland Office does not separately record the cost of parking vehicles in Edinburgh from other miscellaneous travel costs.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 09 January 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Business: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2017 to Question 2584, on Business: Scotland, which businesses in Scotland were engaged in the consultations referred to in that Answer and what methods of engagement were used.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 18 January 2018

Ministers and officials from across Government are engaging with businesses and other stakeholders in Scotland via a variety of fora including roundtables, visits and meetings.

Details of Ministerial meetings are published in the Department's Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are publicly available on GOV.UK.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 12 January 2018
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Travel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the travel costs for his Department have been in each quarter since May 2015, by (a) mode of travel and (b) Minister or Official.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 18 January 2018
Holding answer received on 17 January 2018

The Scotland Office spend on domestic travel costs by mode of transport, in each quarter since May 2015 are shown in the attached annex.

Table of domestic travel costs (Word Document, 20.05 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 14 December 2017
Home Office
Immigrants: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much has been raised by the Immigration Health Surcharge for the NHS in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 17 January 2018

The Immigration Health Surcharge was introduced in April 2015. Income received from Immigration Health Surcharge payments since then is reported annually in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts. However, the report shows the total amount of Immigration Health income raised in any given financial year, including the amount transferred at the year end to the Consolidated Fund for Extra Receipts. It does not show how much money was spent by the Home Office on collection costs, or how much was transferred to Department of Health and the Devolved Administrations for spending on the NHS; it just shows the sum of these two items. Therefore, to report the amount of Immigration Health Surcharge income “raised for the NHS” would equate to putting new information in the public domain

The Home Office collects this fee on behalf of the Department of Health and after deducting its administration/collection costs, it transfers the balance through the Main and Supplementary Estimate exercises using the Barnett Formula. Any surplus of income received over and above the allocations made in the Main and Supplementary Estimate exercises is transferred to the Consolidated Fund for Extra Receipts at the end of the year and made available by HM Treasury to Dept Health and the Devolved Administrations for spending on the NHS in the following financial year.
In the last Immigration Health Surcharge Order debated in Parliament £140.1m was made available for the NHS in FY15/16. Figure for FY16/17 is not readily available

FY2016/17 - page 117: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/627853/ho_annual_report_and_accounts_2016_2017.pdf
FY2015/16 - page 134 & 135: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/539638/HO_AR_16_gov.pdf

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 January 2018
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer of 6 October 2017 to Question 105441 on Scotland Office: Social Media, and the Answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 119818, and the the Answer of 8 January 2018 to Question 121531, what (a) the media strategy for his Department, (b) his Department's advertising procurement strategy and practice is and what estimate he has made of the amount of his Department's advertising spend which is made on the Departmental procurement card.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 16 January 2018

The Office’s media strategy is to support the core objectives in the Single Departmental Plan: (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/667897/SDP_2015-2020.pdf).

The Office’s advertising procurement strategy and practice also supports these objectives.

The amount of spending on procurement cards is subject to GPC Governance and Assurance rules and audit procedures. Any advertising spend by the Office using this method is subject to these procedures and reported accurately and exactly each month. GPC spend over £500 is reported monthly on the Scotland Office pages here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?departments%5B%5D=office-of-the-secretary-of-state-for-scotland

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 October 2017
Home Office
Licensing Act 2003
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Government plans to respond to the House of Lords Select Committee's post-legislative scrutiny report on the Licensing Act 2003, published on 4 April 2017.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 15 January 2018

The Government is carefully considering the detailed recommendations made by the House of Lords Select Committee’s post-legislative scrutiny report on the Licensing Act 2003 and published its response on the 6 November.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 05 January 2018
Prime Minister
Prime Minister: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, who attended each meeting of (a) the European Union Exit and Trade Cabinet Committee, (b) the European Union Exit and Trade (Strategy and Negotiations) Cabinet sub-Committee, (c) the European Union Exit and Trade (International Trade) Cabinet sub-Committee, (d) the European Union Exit and Trade (Domestic Preparedness, Legislation and Devolution) Cabinet sub-Committee and (e) the European Union Exit and Trade (European Affairs) Cabinet sub-Committee.
A
Answered by: Mrs Theresa May
Answered on: 15 January 2018

As has been the practice under successive Governments, information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees is not disclosed.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 21 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Joint report from the negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom Government on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the freedom of movement of UK nationals resident in another EU Member States.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 12 January 2018

Securing an early agreement to protect the rights of UK nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the UK was the first priority for these negotiations. The agreement that we have reached, set out in our Joint Report, will provide these citizens with certainty about their rights going forward and we have agreed a comprehensive deal that works in the best interests of both EU citizens and UK nationals.

During the first phase of negotiations the UK strove to secure the right of onward movement for UK nationals with status in an EU Member State. However, the European Commission felt that this was an issue that could not be resolved through the first phase of negotiations. This right of onward movement for UK nationals with status in an EU Member State remains an important issue for the UK and the UK is keen to return to it in the next phase of negotiations.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 July 2017
Home Office
Border Force: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Border Force officers are currently employed; and how many such officers she estimates will be required after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Home Office constantly reviews its capabilities in order to deliver the Government’s agenda. The Department responded quickly to the challenges following the EU referendum last June. With negotiations now underway, we continue to assess how our priorities will impact on the workforce and capabilities required.

Operational units across the Home Office actively monitor workflows to ensure sufficient resources are in place to meet demand and will continue to do so throughout negotiations and as the UK leaves the EU. Any resultant changes to resource requirements will be factored into strategic planning.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 08 January 2018
Cabinet Office
Devolution
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the minutes of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Devolution for Scotland, Wales and the Regions from 1997 and 1998 will be made public.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 11 January 2018

The Cabinet Office takes its responsibilities for transparency very seriously, and is releasing more historic records, more frequently than ever before. The Government is now halfway through the transition from a 30-year rule for the release of historic records to a 20-year rule. The schedule for the transition is set out in secondary legislation, namely the Freedom of Information (Definition of Historical Records) (Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2012. Under this order, records created in 1997 and 1998, including the minutes of Cabinet Committees and Sub-Committees, will be eligible for release in 2020.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 08 January 2018
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2017 to Question 119818, on Scotland Office: Advertising, what services were provided by (a) the Leith Agency and (b) Carat Ltd; and what the costs of those services were.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 11 January 2018

During the period February 2017-October 2017, the Leith Agency worked with the Scotland Office to deliver creative services including the design of templates for use on social media, copy writing and video production. The cost relating to these services is commercially sensitive.

The UK Government and Scottish Government both use Carat Ltd. to procure all media advertising. The cost relating to these services is commercially sensitive.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 12 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for Exiting the European Union: Official Hospitality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what estimate he has made of the expenditure on hospitality by his Department since its inception.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 10 January 2018

Hospitality expenditure is a locally managed area of expenditure, however, there are strict internal guidelines to ensure that value for money is always achieved.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 05 January 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Legatum Institute
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will publish the minutes and other papers for the meetings between the Permanent Secretary at his Department and Shanker Singham of the Legatum Institute.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 10 January 2018

Details of these meetings have been published in the Departmental Transparency Returns, which can be found on gov.uk. We do not publish the minutes of officials’ meetings.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 05 January 2018
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2017 to Question 118337, on Scotland Office: Buildings; what the equivalent costs were for the previous five years.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 10 January 2018

The cost of running the Scotland Office buildings for the five years previous to 2016-17 was as follows:

2015-16

Melville Crescent

£ 178,614.71

Dover House

£1,018,097.72

2014-15

Melville Crescent

£254,502.50

Dover House

£695,759.63

2013-14

Melville Crescent

£441,257.73

Dover House

£363,878.24

2012-13

Melville Crescent

£368,536.75

Dover House

£514,693.29

2011-12

Melville Crescent

£341,298.11

Dover House

£507,410.07

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 21 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for Exiting the European Union: Departmental Responsibilities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, who was present at each roundtable discussion listed in the Ministerial Meetings section of his Department's Transparency Data for July to September 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 09 January 2018

Details of Ministerial and senior official meetings are published in the Department’s Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are made publicly available on GOV.UK.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 21 December 2017
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Official Hospitality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2017 to Question 118330 on Scotland Office: official hospitality and the Answer of 19 December 2017 to Question 119750 on Scotland Office: official hospitality, whether he will list the events in each year.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 09 January 2018

Events included in the spend reported in questions 118330 and 119750 are as follows:

Armed Forces Reception

Athletes Reception

Beating the Retreat Dinner

Beating the Retreat Reception

Burns Supper

Business Roundtable Meetings

Civil Service Live

Dover House Lecture Event

Edinburgh International Film Festival Reception

Edinburgh Festivals Reception

Joint Management Board Meeting

LGBT History Month Reception

Moderator (Church of Scotland) Lunch Event

St Andrews Day Taste of Scotland Event

Points of Light Award Reception

Royal Highland Show

Trooping the Colour Reception

Western Isles Business Stakeholder Dinner

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 21 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Chevening Scholarships Programme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, who the multiple stakeholders within the private sector were at each Chevening business event listed in the Ministerial Meetings section of his Department's Transparency Data for July to September 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 08 January 2018

Details of Ministerial and senior official meetings are published in the Department’s Quarterly Transparency Returns, which are made publicly available on GOV.UK.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 21 December 2017
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Caledonian Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, for what reasons Lord Duncan held an introductory meeting with Caledonian Media on 24 August 2017; who he met from that organisation; and what was discussed at that meeting.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 08 January 2018

Scotland Office Ministers meet with a range of stakeholders to discuss various issues on a regular basis. The Government publishes a list of all ministerial meetings with external bodies on departmental business on a quarterly basis and are available at gov.uk.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 21 December 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has to maintain net neutrality after the UK leaves the EU; whether she plans to retain UK membership of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications after the UK leaves the EU; and whether her Department plans to maintain compliance with Regulation EU 2015/2120 after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 08 January 2018

We will continue strongly to support a free and open internet, as the bedrock for a thriving and innovative digital economy. As such we strongly support our net neutrality rules, which work well to help ensure users, not internet companies, are in control.

As such, we are clear that users of internet services should be able to access the services they wish to, without unnecessary blocking or slowing down by providers. The UK is currently subject to net neutrality rules brought in through the EU Open Internet Access Regulation. In order to ensure the immediate continuity of legislation after we exit the EU, over the coming months the Government will be converting EU law into UK law through the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. This means that EU Regulation 2015/2120, which concerns open internet access, will continue to be in place after we leave the EU.

EU Regulation 1211/2009 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is currently subject to review, as part of the recast of the EU Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications. The Government is seeking a deep and special future partnership with the EU, and and no decisions have yet been made. Future membership of the EU’s agencies and bodies, including BEREC, will be subject to negotiations.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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: 08 January 2018
Home Office
Home Office: Written Questions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to answer to Question 4342 on Border Force: Staff, tabled on 11 July 2017; and when she plans to answer Question 106287 on the Licensing Act 2003, tabled on 6 October 2017.
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