Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

Show
Find by:
Close

WSID

Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-20 out of 374
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all statements
Print selected
WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 23 October 2017
Made by: James Brokenshire (The Secretary of State)
Commons

Northern Ireland Security Situation

This is the eleventh written statement on the security situation in Northern Ireland since the Independent Monitoring Commission concluded its work in July 2011. It covers the threat from Northern Ireland Related Terrorism, rather than from international terrorism, which members will be aware is the responsibility of my Rt Hon Friend the Home Secretary, who updates the House separately.

In the ten months since my last statement, a small number of dissident republican terrorist groupings have continued their campaign of violence. They have planned attacks to murder people who work on a daily basis to serve the public. The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland have consistently demonstrated, through the democratic process, their desire for peace. They reject these groups and want a future free from violence. They recognise and value the increase in foreign direct investment, the enhanced job opportunities and the reduction in the number of victims of terror that has come about as a result of the peace process. Despite this overwhelming support for peace, dissident republican terrorists continue in their pursuit of violence.

The threat from Northern Ireland Related Terrorism in Northern Ireland remains SEVERE, which means an attack is highly likely. Dissident republican terrorist groups have continued to attack officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), prison officers and members of the armed forces. There have been four attacks so far this year. Inone sickening attack a police officer was shot at a busy petrol station in Belfast and sustained life changing injuries. These attacks, endanger the public and harm communities. In Great Britain, the threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is SUBSTANTIAL (an attack is a strong possibility).

Violent dissident republican terrorist groupings are fluid and they change regularly for a number of reasons. Firstly, the investigative effort of PSNI and MI5 has disrupted the activity of people and groupings who want to commit acts of terror in our community. Secondly, there is a desire for power amongst the individuals involved and this leads to fallouts and fractious relationships. There will be no let-up in our efforts to pursue these small groups.

Our strategic response

As our Northern Ireland manifesto at the General Election made clear, for this Government there is no greater responsibility than the safety and security of the people of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom as a whole. To this end we are providing £160 million of additional ring-fenced funding to support the PSNI’s work to tackle the SEVERE threat from terrorism during the current spending round, £25 million to tackle paramilitary activity; and a 30 per cent real term increase in cross-government spending on counter-terrorism.

MI5, which this month marks ten years since it assumed responsibility from PSNI for national security intelligence work in Northern Ireland continues to work hand in hand with PSNI, An Garda Síochána and other security partners in this task. Several dissident republican terrorist attacks have been prevented this year and PSNI have recovered a large amount of terrorist material - firearms, explosives and a range of improvised explosive devices - which has undoubtedly helped to keep communities safe.

In July, we saw the sentencing of Ciaran Maxwell, to 23 years in prison (the last 5 of which are to be served on license), for producing bombs and other munitions in Great Britain and Northern Ireland which were destined for use by dissident republican terrorist groups in Northern Ireland. I pay tribute to the police and other agencies in successfully bringing this case before the courts. This has undoubtedly saved lives and this significant jail sentence is an indication of the harm he posed.

As of 30 September 2017, in Northern Ireland, there have been 121 arrests and 6 individuals charged under the Terrorism Act this year. There have been four national security attacks, the same as the total number in 2016. This compares to a total of 16 attacks in 2015 and 40 in 2010. Although there has been a reduction in the number of national security incidents in recent years, terrorist attack planning continues with lethal intent and capability. Vigilance in the face of this continuing threat remains essential.

Tackling Paramilitary Activity

Paramilitary activity by both republican and loyalist paramilitary organisations, continues to be a blight on the communities in which they operate. So far this year there have been 2 paramilitary related deaths, 19 casualties of paramilitary style shootings and 57 casualties of paramilitary style assaults. Paramilitary activity was never justified in the past and cannot be justified today. These people target the most vulnerable members of their communities. The stark reality is that they are not helping but instead exerting control and fear over them. The perpetrators are criminals who use the cloak of paramilitary activity to line their own pockets and impoverish communities.

This Government is strongly supporting ongoing efforts to tackle the scourge of paramilitarism and organised crime in Northern Ireland. Through the Fresh Start Agreement, of November 2015 we are providing £25m over five years to support a Northern Ireland Executive programme of activity. This resource is being matched by the Executive, giving a total of £50 million over five years 2016-2021. We are working closely with Executive Departments and its statutory partners to deliver commitments set out in the Executive’s action plan on tackling paramilitary activity, criminality and organised crime, to rid society of all forms of paramilitary activity and groups. Progress on the implementation of the Executive Action Plan on tackling paramilitary activity, criminality and organised crime will be monitored by the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC), which was established under the Fresh Start Agreement and legally constituted in August. The IRC’s overarching objective is to promote progress towards ending paramilitary activity, support long term peace and stability and enable stable and inclusive devolved Government in Northern Ireland.

Good progress has been made during the last year. Projects and interventions have been developed to provide mentoring support for young men; to promote lawfulness among young people; and to enable more women to become involved in community development work. An Indictable Cases Process was implemented from May 2017 with the aim of speeding up the justice system in certain serious cases often linked to paramilitary groups. In addition to this, the PSNI has made significant progress with regard to the number of arrests and seizures from those involved in organised crime linked to paramilitary groups. It is now working with the National Crime Agency and HM Revenue & Customs through a co-located, dedicated Paramilitary Crime Taskforce.

As of 26 September 2017, investigations had resulted in just under 100 arrests and 200 searches. 66 people had been charged or reported to the Public Prosecution Service. Around £450,000 worth of criminal assets were seized or restrained including over £157,000 in cash. Drugs with an estimated street value of around £230,000, guns, ammunition and pipe bombs and other goods including a range rover and a number of mobile food stalls were all seized.

Conclusion

Significant progress has been made, but the SEVERE threat from violent dissident republican terrorist groups remains and we must be vigilant to this. There are still those who wish to murder public servants and commit acts of terror. Many people still live in fear of paramilitaries. Through the excellent work of PSNI, MI5 and security partners including An Garda Síochána, we will continue to bring those who seek to cause harm in our society to justice. I would like to thank everyone who works to protect the public for their ongoing service. There never has been, and there never will be any place for terrorism or paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland. We all must play our part in helping to rid Northern Ireland of this blight on our society, so that we can continue to build a brighter, more prosperous future and a stronger Northern Ireland for everyone.

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 20 October 2017
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice and Home Affairs Post-Council Statement

Justice and Home Affairs Council took place on 12 and 13 October in Luxembourg. I represented the UK for Justice Day, along with the Minister of State for Immigration, the Rt Honourable Brandon Lewis MP. The Home Secretary, the Rt Honourable Amber Rudd MP, represented the UK for Interior Day.

Justice Day (12 October) began with the adoption by 20 Member States of the Regulation establishing the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). We have always been clear that the UK will never participate in an EPPO.

This was followed by a policy debate on the proposed Regulation on mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders, which the UK has opted into. Discussion focused on extending the scope of the draft Regulation to include systems of preventive confiscation, on condition of a clear link to criminal activities, and the application of procedural safeguards. The Minister of State for Immigration intervened to support this extension, which was agreed by Ministers.

Ministers proceeded to discuss the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) and the proposed extension on the exchange of information to third country nationals. Debate covered questions on dual nationals and the threshold for the obligation to take fingerprints. The Minister of State for Immigration supported the extension, and urged for flexibility on the technical detail. There was no clear majority on the specific questions and the Presidency mandated further technical work on these issues.

Following this, the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency, Michael O’Flaherty, introduced its Annual Report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The discussion focussed on rights protections in the EU. EU Ministers then adopted the Council conclusions on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Over lunch, domestic implementation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation which will apply from 25 May 2018 was discussed. I used this opportunity to highlight the UK’s ongoing commitment to strong data protection standards, and that the UK was readying itself for application of the GDPR in a number of ways, including through the Data Protection Bill currently in Parliament.

The afternoon comprised a joint session of Justice and Interior Ministers. The Commission updated Ministers on their cyber-security strategy, e-evidence, and encryption. The Minister of State for Immigration intervened to support strong encryption and effective law enforcement access to electronic evidence, offering to share the UK’s expertise on working with service providers. The Commission noted that a new strategic framework for EU cyber security will be adopted at the General Affairs Council in November, and they will shortly issue a communication on tackling illegal content online.

The final item on Justice day provided Ministers with an opportunity to comment on the Presidency’s mid-term review of the JHA strategic guidelines. Ministers and the Commission were positive about the EU’s progress against existing guidelines, but noted the change of priorities in light of evolving threats. Ministers’ priorities included migration, data sharing and improved links between internal and external security policy. New guidelines will be proposed to the December European Council.

Interior Day (13 October) began with a discussion on the Commission’s proposal to amend the Schengen Border Code to allow internal borders to be raised in exceptional circumstances. As the UK is not part of the Schengen internal border free zone, the Home Secretary did not intervene. The proposal will now be discussed at a technical level.

This was followed by a presentation from the non-EU Counter Terrorism Group (CTG). The CTG reported on the development of improved cooperation with Europol. Interventions from Europol, the Commission and the EU Counter Terrorism Coordinator focused on the continuing need for greater cooperation.

Finally, the Presidency presented its progress report on the Common European Asylum system. There was no discussion.

Council concluded with a working lunch focused on resettlement. The UK, along with other Member States, supported resettlement. The Home Secretary highlighted the UK’s strong track record of resettlement, including our offer of 5,000 places so far in response to the Commission’s latest call. This is part of our wider commitment to resettle 23,000 refugees from the region by 2020. The Home Secretary also stressed that resettlement should be from the refugee’s home region to ensure that we do not inadvertently incentivise illegal migration.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 20 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Appointment of the Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Fire and Policing (Nick Hurd) has today
made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today announcing the Crown appointment of Michael Lockwood as the first Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), part of the package of measures which will create a stronger, clearer governance framework for the police complaints and discipline systems.

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 provides for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), to be reformed and renamed as the IOPC. The existing Commission will be replaced by a single executive head of the organisation, the Director General, with corporate governance provided by a unitary Board comprising a majority of non-executive members. The reforms are planned to come into effect in January 2018.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS187
WS
Home Office
Made on: 20 October 2017
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Fire and Policing)
Commons

Appointment of the Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)

I am today announcing the Crown appointment of Michael Lockwood as the first Director General of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), part of the package of measures which will create a stronger, clearer governance framework for the police complaints and discipline systems.

The Policing and Crime Act 2017 provides for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), to be reformed and renamed as the IOPC. The existing Commission will be replaced by a single executive head of the organisation, the Director General, with corporate governance provided by a unitary Board comprising a majority of non-executive members. The reforms are planned to come into effect in January 2018.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS186
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 20 October 2017
Made by: Dominic Raab (Minister of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice Update

When the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor on 26 July, the Government took immediate steps to stop charging fees in the Employment Tribunals. We also said that we would bring forward detailed arrangements to refund people who had paid fees. We will today be launching the first phase of the refund scheme.

We will use this first phase, which will last up to 4 weeks, to ensure that that the refund process works efficiently and effectively. From today, officials in the Ministry of Justice will be writing to an initial group of up to 1,000 people who paid fees for proceedings in the Employment Tribunals, inviting them to take part. This group will consist of people who have contacted us since the Supreme Court judgment enquiring about a refund. Those who receive a refund will also be paid interest from the date their payment was received.

We recognise that during the initial phase of the refund scheme, there is likely to be considerable interest in the details of the scheme. For those who have paid Employment Tribunals fees, but have not been invited to take part in the initial stage, we are setting up a pre-registration scheme so that they can register an interest in applying when the full scheme is rolled out. Those who wish to do so can register either by email at: ethelpwithfees@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk; or alternatively by post to the following addresses:

For proceedings in England and Wales

Employment Tribunals Central Office (England and Wales)/Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees

PO Box 10218

Leicester LE1 8EG

For proceedings in Scotland

Employment Tribunals Central Office Scotland/Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees

PO Box 27105

Glasgow G2 9JRX

This phase is primarily aimed at people making applications for refunds in single claims. During this period, we will also be working with the Trades Unions on how this process should be best applied to applications for refunds in larger multiple claims.

We plan to roll out the full refund scheme early in November. At that point, anyone who has paid a fee in the Employment Tribunals, whether in a single or multiple claim, will be able to claim a refund.

Those who will be eligible to apply for a refund under the scheme are:

  • People who paid a fee directly to the Employment Tribunal or Employment Appeal Tribunal, and have not been reimbursed by their opponent pursuant to an order of the Tribunal.

  • People who were ordered by the Tribunal to reimburse their opponent their fee and who can show that they have paid it.

  • Representatives (such as a Trade Union) who paid a fee on behalf of another person and have not been reimbursed by that person.

  • The lead claimant (or representative) in a multiple claim who paid a fee on behalf of the other claimants.

Further guidance will be available when the scheme is rolled out.

To receive a refund, applicants will be invited to complete an application form with their details, details of their employment tribunal claim and the fees that they paid. These details will be verified against HMCTS’s records. Where people are unable to provide full details of the fees they paid, or the details they provide do not accord with the details we hold, their application will not be refused automatically, but it may take longer to process.

Where a person is claiming for fees that they reimbursed to their opponent pursuant to a Tribunal Order, they will be asked to provide a copy of the Tribunal Order, and proof of payment. In cases where a person reimbursed their opponent under a private settlement, they will not be eligible for a refund; in such cases, the person who paid the fee to the Tribunal will be eligible for a refund.

All applicants will also be asked to sign a declaration of truth about the details they provide. Refunds will be made to the applicant’s bank account; if an individual does not have a bank account, they can contact HMCTS for alternative methods of payment.

WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Commons

Northern Ireland Update

As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my overarching objective is a more secure, stable and prosperous Northern Ireland. Having a fully functioning and effective Executive, delivering for all the people of Northern Ireland is a critical to meeting this objective.

Northern Ireland is currently in the midst of a period of political uncertainty. At this time there is no devolved government in place and there has not been one for 10 months. This is not what the people of Northern Ireland voted for last March. They want devolved government in place and expect their elected representatives to make decisions to deliver effective public services for all parts of the community. Moreover, they deserve to have a functioning government and locally elected voices representing them on key issues, including Brexit.

Over the past weeks and months the Prime Minister and I have sought, working with the Irish Government in accordance with the three stranded approach, to bring the parties together to work towards an agreement.

The DUP and Sinn Fein are seeking to find agreement on the issues between them. Those remaining are small in number but highly difficult and sensitive - notably in relation to language and culture.

The outlook for an imminent resolution is not positive. Time is running out. And without an agreement, we are on a glide path to increasing intervention by the UK Government.

The NI Civil Service have dealt with the lack of an Executive with the utmost professionalism to date - including in the face of Storm Ophelia. But by virtue of the legal spending limits imposed in the absence of formal budget, public services cannot be sustained without further legislation for much longer. Indeed the limits set out by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 are such that it is essential for Budget legislation to be in place by no later than the end of November. Working from that deadline, the Northern Ireland Civil Service have assessed that it would still be possible, with political agreement among the parties in the Assembly, for an Executive formed in the week commencing 6 November to take forward its own Budget.

Consequently, the last week I could introduce Executive formation legislation in Parliament for an Executive to take forward its own Budget would be the week commencing 30 October.

I have made clear that I will only legislate in this way on the basis of a written agreement between the parties. If this is not forthcoming before 30 October, the only option remaining would be to legislate for a budget at Westminster. This is not a step I wish to take, nor one I would take lightly. My strong preference is for a restored Executive in Northern Ireland to take forward its own Budget. Without an Executive, though, it would be grossly remiss for the UK Government not to step in and take action to ensure the continued funding of critical services in Northern Ireland.

I, the UK Government, and the Irish Government, want the parties to reach an agreement and restore devolved government in Northern Ireland. But my ultimate responsibility is to the people of Northern Ireland. The UK Government will do what is necessary to provide the stability required to ensure communities in Northern Ireland are not disadvantaged by the continued absence of devolved government.

Next year will be the twentieth anniversary of the Belfast Agreement. It behoves us all to do what we can to ensure that that historic date is not marked by an increasingly hands on UK Government, but instead by a functioning Northern Ireland Executive.

This remains my overriding priority.

WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Lords

Northern Ireland Update

My Right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (James Brokenshire) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

As Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my overarching objective is a more secure, stable and prosperous Northern Ireland. Having a fully functioning and effective Executive, delivering for all the people of Northern Ireland is a critical to meeting this objective.

Northern Ireland is currently in the midst of a period of political uncertainty. At this time there is no devolved government in place and there has not been one for 10 months. This is not what the people of Northern Ireland voted for last March. They want devolved government in place and expect their elected representatives to make decisions to deliver effective public services for all parts of the community. Moreover, they deserve to have a functioning government and locally elected voices representing them on key issues, including Brexit.

Over the past weeks and months the Prime Minister and I have sought, working with the Irish Government in accordance with the three stranded approach, to bring the parties together to work towards an agreement.

The DUP and Sinn Fein are seeking to find agreement on the issues between them. Those remaining are small in number but highly difficult and sensitive - notably in relation to language and culture.

The outlook for an imminent resolution is not positive. Time is running out. And without an agreement, we are on a glide path to increasing intervention by the UK Government.

The NI Civil Service have dealt with the lack of an Executive with the utmost professionalism to date - including in the face of Storm Ophelia. But by virtue of the legal spending limits imposed in the absence of formal budget, public services cannot be sustained without further legislation for much longer. Indeed the limits set out by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 are such that it is essential for Budget legislation to be in place by no later than the end of November. Working from that deadline, the Northern Ireland Civil Service have assessed that it would still be possible, with political agreement among the parties in the Assembly, for an Executive formed in the week commencing 6 November to take forward its own Budget.

Consequently, the last week I could introduce Executive formation legislation in Parliament for an Executive to take forward its own Budget would be the week commencing 30 October.

I have made clear that I will only legislate in this way on the basis of a written agreement between the parties. If this is not forthcoming before 30 October, the only option remaining would be to legislate for a budget at Westminster. This is not a step I wish to take, nor one I would take lightly. My strong preference is for a restored Executive in Northern Ireland to take forward its own Budget. Without an Executive, though, it would be grossly remiss for the UK Government not to step in and take action to ensure the continued funding of critical services in Northern Ireland.

I, the UK Government, and the Irish Government, want the parties to reach an agreement and restore devolved government in Northern Ireland. But my ultimate responsibility is to the people of Northern Ireland. The UK Government will do what is necessary to provide the stability required to ensure communities in Northern Ireland are not disadvantaged by the continued absence of devolved government.

Next year will be the twentieth anniversary of the Belfast Agreement. It behoves us all to do what we can to ensure that that historic date is not marked by an increasingly hands on UK Government, but instead by a functioning Northern Ireland Executive.

This remains my overriding priority.

WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Stephen Barclay (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Banking Act 2009 reporting

The Treasury has laid before the House of Commons a report required under section 231 of the Banking Act 2009 covering the period from 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS184
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Mr Tobias Ellwood (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Service Complaints Ombudsman's 2016 Annual Report - Ministry of Defence Response

The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) formal response to the Service Complaints Ombudsman’s (SCO) annual report for 2016 on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the service complaints system has today been placed in the Library of the House.

The Ombudsman’s report commented on the operation of the new service complaints system which was implemented on 1 January 2016 and the work of her office in 2016. The response sets out how the MOD proposes to address each of the Ombudsman’s new recommendations.

The MOD values the strong independent oversight that the Ombudsman brings to the new service complaints process, and remains committed to having a system in which our personnel can have confidence.

WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Banking Act 2009 reporting

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Stephen Barclay) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Treasury has laid before the House of Commons a report required under section 231 of the Banking Act 2009 covering the period from 1 October 2016 to 31 March 2017. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS184
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Service Complaints Ombudsman's 2016 Annual Report - Ministry of Defence Response

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Defence People and Veterans (Tobias Ellwood) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) formal response to the Service Complaints Ombudsman’s (SCO) annual report for 2016 on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the service complaints system has today been placed in the Library of the House.

The Ombudsman’s report commented on the operation of the new service complaints system which was implemented on 1 January 2016 and the work of her office in 2016. The response sets out how the MOD proposes to address each of the Ombudsman’s new recommendations.

The MOD values the strong independent oversight that the Ombudsman brings to the new service complaints process, and remains committed to having a system in which our personnel can have confidence.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Lord Callanan (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Roads

My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling), has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am today setting out further details of significant investment for our roads, including announcing the next two major local road schemes and 76 winners from the recent competition for National Productivity Investment Funding on local roads. This funding from the Department for Transport totals £345.3 million.

This funding includes two new large local major road schemes receiving Programme Entry approval, at Carrington Bridge in Worcester and at Middlewich in East Cheshire. The scheme in Worcester will alleviate congestion on the A4440 Southern Relief Road and receive £54.5m of funding towards a total cost of £62m. The Middlewich Eastern Bypass will alleviate congestion in the town centre and facilitate the expansion of the Magnitude employment site. It will receive £46.8m of funding towards a total cost of £56.9m.

I am today announcing the winning 76 local projects which will receive funding of £244m from the National Productivity Investment Fund, during 2018/19 and 2019/20. The schemes will help to ease congestion, provide upgrades on important local routes, as well as facilitating the unlocking of economic and job creation opportunities. They will also support, in some areas, the potential delivery of new housing developments. Further information on today’s announcement is available on the Department for Transport’s website. These projects are an essential part of ensuring we have a country which works for everyone.

The Government announced the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) in December 2014, an ambitious plan to increase much needed road capacity, boost economic development and improve road safety. It seeks to address many years of under-investment in England’s motorways and major trunk roads. Highways England have made good progress on delivery to date, completing 18 road schemes and starting work on 15 more.

Highways England has also undertaken longer-term planning work to ensure that the high level of road investment along key corridors of the network can be delivered in a way to minimise disruption and keep road users moving. These plans also help to mitigate delivery risks and achieve better value for money for the tax-payer. This planning work was referred to in recent ORR and NAO reports on the Road Investment Strategy. I confirm that Government has agreed with Highways England’s plans to optimise delivery of the RIS. This re-profiling and optimisation of delivery is consistent with Highways England’s remit and does not involve any cancellation of schemes, so the regions of England can expect continued and similar levels of road investment.

Further details can be found on Highways England’s website and press releases.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS180
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Lord Callanan (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act 2013, Annual Expenditure Report for 2016-17

My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Maynard) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act annual expenditure report is published today under Section 2 of the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act 2013. The report covers the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

A copy of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

HSR Expenditure Report (PDF Document, 887.72 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS179
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), 19 October 2017, Luxembourg

My honourable Friend the Minister of State for Employment (Damian Hinds MP) has made the following Written Statement.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will take place on 23 October 2017 in Luxembourg. Margot James, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will represent the UK.

The Council will be invited to agree a general approach on the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services. The Council will also be invited to agree a partial general approach on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation 883 on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation 987 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation 883.

The Council will be invited to adopt the text and provide authorisation to sign on behalf of the Council the Proposal for an Interinstitutional Proclamation on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The Council will be invited to endorse: (i) the key messages from the Employment Committee based on the Annual Employment Performance Report and the Employment Performance Monitor; and (ii) the main messages from the Social Protection Committee based on the Annual Review of the Social Protection Performance Monitor.

Under any other business, the Presidency and Commission will provide information on the Tripartite Social Summit. The Presidency will provide information on the Tallinn Digital Summit. The Commission will provide information on the New Skills Agenda for Europe. There will be a presentation by the European Institute for Gender Equality on the new edition of the Gender Equality Index.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS181
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Public consultation on defining antique firearms

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Fire and Policing (Nick Hurd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I have today launched a Government consultation on proposals for implementing legislation to define antique firearms.

Antique firearms are exempt from most of the controls placed on firearms if they are held as a ‘curiosity or ornament’. There has previously been no statutory definition of an ‘antique firearm – only non-statutory guidance. This has created legal uncertainty which has been exploited by criminals to obtain old but functioning firearms for use in crime. Since 2008, there have been four fatalities linked to antique firearms. The number of antique firearms recovered in criminal circumstances has increased from four in 2007 to 91 in 2016.

The Government included in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 provisions to define an ‘antique firearm’ in regulations. This consultation will inform the content of those regulations and provide a statutory definition which will ensure that old firearms that still pose a danger to the public are no longer exempt from control. It will also provide legal clarity on the definition of an antique firearm to help law enforcement tackle criminal use.

The consultation seeks views on:

  • the obsolete cartridges and propulsion systems used by old firearms that can be considered antique;
  • a cut-off date of manufacture, after which a firearm will not be considered antique; and
  • arrangements for the ongoing review of the regulations.

The Government welcomes responses to this consultation from everyone involved with antique firearms, including the police, dealers, museums and individual collectors. We will take account of all views before deciding on the final shape of the regulations.

The consultation will run for eight weeks.

A copy of the consultation paper will be placed in the House Library and will be available on the Government’s website at gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS182
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Fire and Policing )
Commons

Public consultation on defining antique firearms

I have today launched a Government consultation on proposals for implementing legislation to define antique firearms.

Antique firearms are exempt from most of the controls placed on firearms if they are held as a ‘curiosity or ornament’. There has previously been no statutory definition of an ‘antique firearm – only non-statutory guidance. This has created legal uncertainty which has been exploited by criminals to obtain old but functioning firearms for use in crime. Since 2008, there have been four fatalities linked to antique firearms. The number of antique firearms recovered in criminal circumstances has increased from four in 2007 to 91 in 2016.

The Government included in the Policing and Crime Act 2017 provisions to define an ‘antique firearm’ in regulations. This consultation will inform the content of those regulations and provide a statutory definition which will ensure that old firearms that still pose a danger to the public are no longer exempt from control. It will also provide legal clarity on the definition of an antique firearm to help law enforcement tackle criminal use.

The consultation seeks views on:

  • the obsolete cartridges and propulsion systems used by old firearms that can be considered antique;
  • a cut-off date of manufacture, after which a firearm will not be considered antique; and
  • arrangements for the ongoing review of the regulations.

The Government welcomes responses to this consultation from everyone involved with antique firearms, including the police, dealers, museums and individual collectors. We will take account of all views before deciding on the final shape of the regulations.

The consultation will run for eight weeks.

A copy of the consultation paper will be placed in the House Library and will be available on the Government’s website at gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS179
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Damian Hinds (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), 19 October 2017, Luxembourg

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will take place on 23 October 2017 in Luxembourg. Margot James, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, will represent the UK.

The Council will be invited to agree a general approach on the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services. The Council will also be invited to agree a partial general approach on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation 883 on the coordination of social security systems and Regulation 987 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation 883.

The Council will be invited to adopt the text and provide authorisation to sign on behalf of the Council the Proposal for an Interinstitutional Proclamation on the European Pillar of Social Rights.

The Council will be invited to endorse: (i) the key messages from the Employment Committee based on the Annual Employment Performance Report and the Employment Performance Monitor; and (ii) the main messages from the Social Protection Committee based on the Annual Review of the Social Protection Performance Monitor.

Under any other business, the Presidency and Commission will provide information on the Tripartite Social Summit. The Presidency will provide information on the Tallinn Digital Summit. The Commission will provide information on the New Skills Agenda for Europe. There will be a presentation by the European Institute for Gender Equality on the new edition of the Gender Equality Index.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS180
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Chris Grayling (The Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Roads

I am today setting out further details of significant investment for our roads, including announcing the next two major local road schemes and 76 winners from the recent competition for National Productivity Investment Funding on local roads. This funding from the Department for Transport totals £345.3 million.

This funding includes two new large local major road schemes receiving Programme Entry approval, at Carrington Bridge in Worcester and at Middlewich in East Cheshire. The scheme in Worcester will alleviate congestion on the A4440 Southern Relief Road and receive £54.5m of funding towards a total cost of £62m. The Middlewich Eastern Bypass will alleviate congestion in the town centre and facilitate the expansion of the Magnitude employment site. It will receive £46.8m of funding towards a total cost of £56.9m.

I am today announcing the winning 76 local projects which will receive funding of £244m from the National Productivity Investment Fund, during 2018/19 and 2019/20. The schemes will help to ease congestion, provide upgrades on important local routes, as well as facilitating the unlocking of economic and job creation opportunities. They will also support, in some areas, the potential delivery of new housing developments. Further information on today’s announcement is available on the Department for Transport’s website. These projects are an essential part of ensuring we have a country which works for everyone.

The Government announced the Road Investment Strategy (RIS) in December 2014, an ambitious plan to increase much needed road capacity, boost economic development and improve road safety. It seeks to address many years of under-investment in England’s motorways and major trunk roads. Highways England have made good progress on delivery to date, completing 18 road schemes and starting work on 15 more.

Highways England has also undertaken longer-term planning work to ensure that the high level of road investment along key corridors of the network can be delivered in a way to minimise disruption and keep road users moving. These plans also help to mitigate delivery risks and achieve better value for money for the tax-payer. This planning work was referred to in recent ORR and NAO reports on the Road Investment Strategy. I confirm that Government has agreed with Highways England’s plans to optimise delivery of the RIS. This re-profiling and optimisation of delivery is consistent with Highways England’s remit and does not involve any cancellation of schemes, so the regions of England can expect continued and similar levels of road investment.

Further details can be found on Highways England’s website and press releases.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS182
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 19 October 2017
Made by: Paul Maynard (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act 2013, Annual Expenditure Report for 2016-17

The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act annual expenditure report is published today under Section 2 of the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Act 2013. The report covers the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

A copy of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

HSR Expenditure Report (PDF Document, 887.72 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS181
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 17 October 2017
Made by: Andrew Jones (The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

The Crown Estate Transfer Scheme 2017

The Smith Commission Agreement recommended that the management of The Crown Estate’s assets in Scotland should be devolved. It also stated that, following this transfer, responsibility for the management of those assets should be further devolved to local authority areas. It was agreed that the UK Government would not determine how the Scottish Government managed further devolution. The Crown Estate Transfer Scheme 2017 brought this change into law on 1 April 2017.

During the passage of the Scotland Bill which implemented the Smith Commission recommendations, the UK Government promised that it would update Parliament on progress made by the Scottish Government with the onward devolution of management of The Crown Estate assets via a Written Ministerial Statement six months after the transfer.

The Scottish Government held a consultation on the long term management of The Crown Estate in Scotland, including opportunities for further devolution. The consultation opened on 4 January and closed on 29 March 2017. It covered four key areas:

  1. Vision

  2. Managing Crown Estate Assets for Scotland and Communities

  3. Securing the Benefits for Scotland and Communities

  4. Assessing Impact

The Scottish Government is currently in the process of analysing the consultation responses. These will inform policy and proposals for a Bill to be introduced in the current session of the Scottish Parliament.

The consultation document is available at https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/crown-estate-strategy-unit/long-term-management-of-the-crown-estate/supporting_documents/00512706.pdf

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS178
Expand all statements
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 374
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100