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 John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
EU External Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union what the process plans to follow to transpose obligations in mixed agreements ratified by the EU and the UK into UK law after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 22 December 2017

The UK will seek to maintain the relationships and cooperation it currently enjoys with non-EU partners and international organisations as it exits the EU. Our priority is to ensure continuity, and we recognise the need to promote stability for business and individuals.

To fully convert EU law into UK law and provide maximum certainty and continuity as we leave the EU, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill will, subject to Parliamentary approval, incorporate into UK law the directly effective rights and obligations in the EU treaties and related international agreements which are already available in our domestic law. The Bill also gives ministers a temporary power to make regulations to prevent or remedy breaches of international obligations arising from withdrawal.

In addition, the Department for Exiting the European Union, in conjunction with other Departments, is working with our international partners to identify the full range of international agreements that will be impacted by our exit from the EU, including mixed agreements. The Government’s EU exit legislative programme is designed to cater for the full range of negotiated and non-negotiated outcomes, including for international agreements.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
EU Emissions Trading Scheme
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether the UK will remain in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 20 December 2017

We are considering the UK’s future participation in the EU ETS as part of delivering a wider negotiated settlement that is in the best interests of the UK. There are a wide range of options and we are assessing these carefully.

The government's clean growth strategy published in October set out our clear commitment to continue growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK remains committed to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change and the UK's commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement is as strong as ever.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Biofuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the 36 per cent increase in the use of bioenergy referred to in the Clean Growth Strategy which the Government plans to come from woody biomass.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 19 December 2017

The modelling used to derive the changes in annual final energy consumption in 2032, relative to the existing policies scenario did not differentiate between different types of biomass fuels. The figure in Table 11 of the Clean Growth Strategy can be taken to represent a mixture of biogenic fuels, including woody biomass, waste and other sources however we have not made an estimate of which proportion will come specifically from woody biomass.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Electricity: Prices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to ensure that UK consumers can benefit from the cheapest sources of electricity.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 18 December 2017
Holding answer received on 14 December 2017

The design of the Capacity Market drives fierce competition with existing and new resources, of all technology types, competing together. These auctions allow the market to identify which technology type is cost efficient in delivering security of supply, creating good value outcomes for consumers. Similarly, the recent Contracts for Difference allocation round for low carbon generation has demonstrated that the costs of offshore wind have fallen significantly, driven by sustained competition for support.

We are also supporting an increase in Britain’s interconnection capacity by ensuring a stable regime under which interconnector developers can bring forward projects to enable access to cheaper electricity from Europe at times of peak demand.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that there is sufficient low carbon electricity generation in the UK to meet the requirements of the fifth carbon budget.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 18 December 2017

The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy sets out stretching domestic policies that keep us on track to meet our carbon budgets.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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 December 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
EU Environmental Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether environmental treaties agreed by the EU in lieu of its member states, such as the 2013 Minamata Convention on Mercury, will remain binding on the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 18 December 2017

The UK has signed the Minamata Convention in its own right, and intends to ratify the Convention in 2018, once our domestic implementing legislation is in force. As such, the UK will then continue to be a party to this Convention following exit.

The UK has a proud history of environmental protection which predates our accession to the EU (e.g. the 1956 Clean Air Act) and much EU environmental legislation is in line with UK environmental aims.

The Department for Exiting the European Union, in conjunction with other Departments, is working to identify the full range of international agreements that will be impacted by our exit from the EU. We recognise that in certain circumstances we will need to take action to maintain our commitment to environmental agreements.

We will work with our international partners to seek to maintain the relationships and cooperation we currently enjoy as we exit the EU.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Industry: Natural Resources
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the reference in the Government's Industrial Strategy to protecting and enhancing all aspects of natural capital applies to such capital in other countries that might be affected by decisions made by the UK.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 18 December 2017

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel, on 11 December 2017, PQ UIN 117908.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that potential delays to the construction of new nuclear power stations do not undermine the UK’s ability to meet the requirements of the fifth carbon budget.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Clean Growth Strategy sets out an indicative pathway to 2032 for meeting the fifth carbon budget through domestic action. This is one of a number of possible pathways. The route we ultimately take to meeting our targets will depend on a range of factors, in particular ensuring we are mindful of any impact on energy costs for households and businesses, and changes in costs as a result of innovation.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to incentivise businesses and consumers to participate in demand-side flexibility to reduce the cost of meeting the requirements of the fifth carbon budget.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 15 December 2017

The Government published the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan in July 2017, which outlined a series of actions to support the transition to a smart energy system, which could save the UK an estimated £17-40 billion up to 2050. The Plan includes measures to increase the participation of industrial and commercial consumers in demand side response (DSR), which focuses on improving access to energy markets and actively supporting National Grid’s changes to ancillary services. The Plan also details policies to enable domestic consumers to participate in DSR, including measures to increase the availability of smart tariffs and on standards for smart appliances, alongside provisions for appropriate consumer protection.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 11 December 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy: Carbon Emissions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to engage the UK public with future developments and opportunities associated with the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy system.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 15 December 2017

Moving to a productive low carbon economy cannot be achieved by central government alone; instead, clean growth must be a shared endeavour with business, civil society and the British people.

To this end, the Clean Growth Strategy announced that, from 2018, Government will work with business and NGOs to introduce a Green Great Britain Week.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 07 September 2017
Department of Health
Neuromuscular Disorders
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to increase the number of neuromuscular care advisors for people with muscle-wasting conditions.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 12 September 2017

NHS England is responsible for commissioning specialised neurological services, including some services for patients with neuromuscular disorders. NHS England has published a service specification for neurological care that includes an exemplar service specification for neuromuscular conditions which sets out what providers must have in place to offer evidence-based, safe and effective services. The service specification for neurological care can be found at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/d04-neurosci-spec-neuro.pdf

NHS providers, working with local area teams, may establish patient access to neuromuscular care advisers if they consider it would benefit service provision and such decisions are a local matter.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 07 September 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Cycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent progress his Department has made on the implementation of the Government's Cycle to Work scheme for his Department's employees.
A
Answered by: Caroline Dinenage
Answered on: 12 September 2017

The Department for Work and Pensions already makes provision for our employees through an advance of salary to purchase a bicycle and safety equipment and retailer discounts, which are available via our employee discount scheme.

We are currently working with a supplier with the intention of implementing a DWP Cycle to Work scheme by the end of this financial year.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 04 September 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Whisky: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to protect the status of Scottish whisky as a premium product in exports to the US after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 September 2017

Scotch Whisky is one of the UK’s great export success stories with global exports worth £4bn in 2016.

In the USA, Scotch Whisky is already protected in US Federal Law which refers to Scotch Whisky as, “whisky which is a distinctive product of Scotland, manufactured in Scotland in compliance with the laws of the United Kingdom regulating the manufacture of scotch whisky for consumption in the United Kingdom”. There is no reason for this to change as a result of EU exit.

More generally, our International Action Plan for food and drink exports details how Government and industry will continue to work in partnership to promote UK food and drink overseas, break down trade barriers and open up new international markets.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 20 July 2017
Home Office
Fruit: Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether EU nationals who work in the UK soft fruit sector will be able to continue to work in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 05 September 2017

The Government’s policy paper (Cm 9464), which was laid before Parliament on 26 June, sets out our proposals for enabling European Union citizens residing in the UK before a specified cut off date (to be confirmed, but between 29 March 2017 and exit) to continue to live and work here. After five years’ continuous residence, they will be able to apply for UK settled status. There are no plans to differentiate according to work sector.

The details of the new scheme will be subject to negotiations. We will publish further detail on the specifics of the new application process, including detailed eligibility criteria and requirements, in due course.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 17 July 2017
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the environment of potential changes in electric car sales after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 24 July 2017

This Government has a number of initiatives in place to encourage electric vehicle ownership and has committed to invest more than £600m to 2020 to make the UK a leader not only in their use, but in their development and manufacture. The UK’s network of rapid charge points is the largest in Europe and has helped the UK become the largest market for electric vehicle sales in the EU.We have an established programme of policies in place to support the UK’s growing market for electric vehicles. In 2016 the UK had the highest sales of ultra low emission vehicles in the EU.

The UK's exit from the EU will not reduce our ambition to be at the global forefront of the transition to electric vehicles and we remain committed to meeting our national and international climate change targets.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 17 July 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fracking
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 July 2017 to Question 3330, on natural gas: storage, if he will suspend fracking for as long as the UK continues to have secure gas supplies.
A
Answered by: Richard Harrington
Answered on: 20 July 2017
Holding answer received on 20 July 2017

Shale gas could have great potential to be a domestic energy resource that makes us less reliant on imports and opens up a wealth of job opportunities. The economic impact of shale, both locally and nationally will depend on whether shale development is technically and commercially viable and on the level of production. To determine the potential of the industry and how development will proceed, we need exploration to go ahead.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 17 July 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Carbon Dioxide: Alarms
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make the use of professional equipment mandatory for the testing of carbon dioxide alarms.
A
Answered by: Alok Sharma
Answered on: 20 July 2017

There are no requirements for carbon dioxide alarms in England and so there are no plans to make the use of professional equipment mandatory for the testing of them.

On carbon monoxide alarms, building regulations in England require that an alarm be provided when a solid fuel appliance is installed, and sets standards for the quality of that alarm. The Building Regulations set requirements when building work is carried out and do not set on-going requirements for testing.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 17 July 2017
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles: Sales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to tackle potential changes in electric car sales after the UK has left the EU.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 20 July 2017

This Government has a number of initiatives in place to encourage electric vehicle ownership and has committed to invest more than £600m to 2020 to make the UK a leader in both their use and their development and manufacture. The UK’s network of rapid chargepoints is the largest in Europe and has helped the UK become the largest market for electric vehicle sales in the EU. The UK’s exit from the EU will not reduce the Government’s ambition to be at the global forefront of the global transition to electric vehicles, and we remain committed to meeting our national and international climate change targets.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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 July 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Migrant Workers: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on steps he is taking to protect the status of EU migrant workers.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 18 July 2017

Defra Ministers have ongoing discussions with a range of government departments, including the Home Office, about securing the workforce industry needs for the future.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
[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: 13 July 2017
Department for Transport
Electric Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many petrol stations have received funding from the public purse for installing charging stations for electric vehicles.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 18 July 2017

To date the Government has not targeted any of its support for electric vehicle chargepoints at petrol stations. All Government funded public chargepoints are required to be registered on the Government’s National Chargepoint Registry, an open source data set containing information on the type and geographical location of chargepoints. The registry is available online at: www.national-charge-point-registry.uk. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles is considering what future support to provide for public charging infrastructure, and will confirm its approach in due course.

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