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:

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WS
Wales Office
Made on: 23 May 2016
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales)
Lords

Government’s Legislative Programme 2016 - 17 (Wales)

My Right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales (Alun Cairns) made the following Written Ministerial Statement on 19 May 2016:

The Government’s second legislative programme announced in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May contains a wide range of measures that will apply to Wales either in full or in part.

The following Bills and draft Bills will extend to in whole or in part:

Better Markets Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Bill of Rights (Ministry of Justice)

Children and Social Work Bill (Department for Education)

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill (Home Office)

Criminal Finances Bill (Home Office)

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

Digital Economy Bill (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

Education for All Bill (Department for Education)

Higher Education and Research Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill (Law Commission Bill)

Lifetime Savings Bill (HM Treasury)

Modern Transport Bill (Department for Transport)

National Citizen Service Bill (Cabinet Office)*

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (Department of Communities and Local Government)

NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill (Department of Health)*

Overseas Electors Bill (Cabinet Office)

Prison and Courts Reform Bill (Ministry of Justice)

Pensions Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)

Small Charitable Donations Bill (HMRC)

Wales Bill (Wales Office)

The following Bills will not extend to Wales:

Bus Services Bill (Department for Transport)

Local Growth and Jobs Bill (Department of Communities and Local Government)

*Discussions with the Welsh Government on these Bills will consider their application to Wales.

Discussions will continue with the Welsh Government on Bills that might include provisions that require the consent of the National Assembly for Wales or Welsh Ministers.

WS
Wales Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Alun Cairns (Secretary of State for Wales)
Commons

Government’s Legislative Programme 2016 - 17 (Wales)

The Government’s second legislative programme announced in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May contains a wide range of measures that will apply to Wales either in full or in part.

The following Bills and draft Bills will extend to in whole or in part:

Better Markets Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Bill of Rights (Ministry of Justice)

Children and Social Work Bill (Department for Education)

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill (Home Office)

Criminal Finances Bill (Home Office)

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

Digital Economy Bill (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

Education for All Bill (Department for Education)

Higher Education and Research Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill (Law Commission Bill)

Lifetime Savings Bill (HM Treasury)

Modern Transport Bill (Department for Transport)

National Citizen Service Bill (Cabinet Office)*

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (Department of Communities and Local Government)

NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill (Department of Health)*

Overseas Electors Bill (Cabinet Office)

Prison and Courts Reform Bill (Ministry of Justice)

Pensions Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)

Small Charitable Donations Bill (HMRC)

Wales Bill (Wales Office)

The following Bills will not extend to Wales:

Bus Services Bill (Department for Transport)

Local Growth and Jobs Bill (Department of Communities and Local Government)

*Discussions with the Welsh Government on these Bills will consider their application to Wales.

Discussions will continue with the Welsh Government on Bills that might include provisions that require the consent of the National Assembly for Wales or Welsh Ministers.

WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Mrs Theresa Villiers (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Commons

Government’s Legislative Programme 2016 – 17 (Northern Ireland)

The second session UK legislative programme unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May includes a number of measures directly relevant to the people of Northern Ireland. The majority of the 22 new Bills containing provisions that apply in Northern Ireland either in full or in part. Once again, this is a strong programme of legislation for Northern Ireland contained in a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government. The Government also reaffirms its commitment to the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement and Fresh Start Agreement.

The government is using the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people; increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and strengthen national security. Bills such as the Better Markets Bill and the Digital Economy Bill demonstrate our commitment to strengthening the UK economy and supporting businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland, and right across the UK. The Lifetime Savings Bill provides important support for those on lowest incomes and in encouraging the younger generation to save regularly. The Criminal Finances bill provides a new legislative framework to tackle money laundering, criminal assets and terrorist financing.

The following is a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech and its proposed application to Northern Ireland. Some Bills are still under development, including final decisions on the extent to which provisions should extend to Northern Ireland. The list identifies the lead Government Department. It does not include draft Bills.

  1. The following Bills will extend to Northern Ireland, in whole or in part. Some deal mainly with excepted/reserved matters. Discussions will continue between the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that, where provisions for a transferred purpose are included in any of these Bills, the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be sought for them:​

Better Markets Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Bill of Rights (Ministry of Justice)

Criminal Finances (Home Office)

Digital Economy Bill (Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill (Law Commission Bill)

Lifetime Savings Bill (HM Treasury)

Overseas Electors Bill (Cabinet Office)

Modern Transport Bill (Department for Transport)

Small Charitable Donations Bill (HMRC)

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill (Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Higher Education and Research Bill (Research Councils) – (Department for Business, Innovations and Skills)

National Citizen Service Bill (Cabinet Office)

Pensions Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)

NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill (Department of Health)

  1. The following Bills will have limited or no application to Northern Ireland

Bus Services Bill (Department for Transport)

Children and Social Work Bill (Department for Education)

Local Growth and Jobs Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Prison and Courts Reform Bill (Ministry of Justice)

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill (Home Office)

Wales Bill (Wales Office)

Education for All Bill (Department for Education)

WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Lord Dunlop (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland)
Lords

Government’s Legislative Programme 2016 – 17 (Northern Ireland)

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

The second session UK legislative programme unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on 18 May includes a number of measures directly relevant to the people of Northern Ireland. The majority of the 22 new Bills containing provisions that apply in Northern Ireland either in full or in part. Once again, this is a strong programme of legislation for Northern Ireland contained in a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government. The Government also reaffirms its commitment to the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement and Fresh Start Agreement.

The government is using the opportunity of a strengthening economy to deliver security for working people; increase life chances for the most disadvantaged and strengthen national security. Bills such as the Better Markets Bill and the Digital Economy Bill demonstrate our commitment to strengthening the UK economy and supporting businesses and consumers in Northern Ireland, and right across the UK. The Lifetime Savings Bill provides important support for those on lowest incomes and in encouraging the younger generation to save regularly. The Criminal Finances bill provides a new legislative framework to tackle money laundering, criminal assets and terrorist financing.

The following is a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech and its proposed application to Northern Ireland. Some Bills are still under development, including final decisions on the extent to which provisions should extend to Northern Ireland. The list identifies the lead Government Department. It does not include draft Bills.

  1. The following Bills will extend to Northern Ireland, in whole or in part. Some deal mainly with excepted/reserved matters. Discussions will continue between the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that, where provisions for a transferred purpose are included in any of these Bills, the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be sought for them:​

Better Markets Bill (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)

Bill of Rights (Ministry of Justice)

Criminal Finances (Home Office)

Digital Economy Bill (Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill (Law Commission Bill)

Lifetime Savings Bill (HM Treasury)

Overseas Electors Bill (Cabinet Office)

Modern Transport Bill (Department for Transport)

Small Charitable Donations Bill (HMRC)

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill (Department for Culture, Media & Sport)

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Higher Education and Research Bill (Research Councils) – (Department for Business, Innovations and Skills)

National Citizen Service Bill (Cabinet Office)

Pensions Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)

NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill (Department of Health)

  1. The following Bills will have limited or no application to Northern Ireland

Bus Services Bill (Department for Transport)

Children and Social Work Bill (Department for Education)

Local Growth and Jobs Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Prison and Courts Reform Bill (Ministry of Justice)

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill (Home Office)

Wales Bill (Wales Office)

Education for All Bill (Department for Education)

WS
Scotland Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Lord Dunlop (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland)
Lords

Government's Legislative Programme 2016-17 (Scotland)

My Right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland (David Mundell) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Following the passage of the Scotland Act 2016, the Scottish Parliament is now poised to become one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world. Ensuring the smooth transfer of those new powers will be a major priority for the UK Government over the next Parliamentary session and beyond.

13 of the 21 new Government Bills for this Session of Parliament contain provisions that apply in Scotland, either in full or in part. Elements of others may extend later depending on discussion with the Scottish Government.

The Government’s legislative programme has three clear aims: to deliver security for working people across our country, to increase the life chances for the most disadvantaged, and to strengthen our national security. Some of the Bills announced yesterday apply across the UK, while others cover areas where responsibility is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

UK legislation on the digital economy will enable the building of world-class digital infrastructure including fast broadband and mobile networks, as well as helping to support new digital industries.

A new Lifetime Savings Bill will create a new Help to Save scheme to support those on the lowest incomes to save and also a new Lifetime ISA, providing savers with a bonus on savings that can be used for a first home, or retirement, or both.

A Better Markets Bill will give UK consumers more power and choice, open up markets and make economic regulators work better. We will also take forward further reforms in a Pensions Bill that will provide greater protections for people in Master Trusts and remove barriers for consumers who want to access their pension savings flexibly.

This statement provides a summary of the new Government legislation for 2016/17 and its application to Scotland. It does not include draft Bills.

In line with the Sewel Convention, the Government will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government to secure legislative consent motions where appropriate.

The Bills listed in section 1 will apply to Scotland, either in full or in part. Section 2 details Bills that will not apply in Scotland, though some elements could be extended later following discussion with the Scottish Government.

Section 1: Legislation applying to the United Kingdom, including Scotland (either in full or in part);

  • Better Markets Bill
  • Criminal Finances Bill
  • Lifetime Savings Bill
  • Modern Transport Bill
  • Overseas Electors Bill
  • Pensions Bill
  • Small Charitable Donations Bill
  • Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • Wales Bill (as a constitutional bill this extends to the UK, but policy will impact on Wales)
  • Higher Education and Research Bill
  • Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill
  • Bill of Rights

Section 2: Legislation that will not apply in Scotland, though some elements could be extended following discussion with the Scottish Government.

  • Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill
  • NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill
  • National Citizen Service Bill
  • Bus Services Bill
  • Children & Social Work Bill
  • Education for All Bill
  • Local Growth and Jobs Bill
  • Prison and Courts Reform Bill

WS
Scotland Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: David Mundell (Secretary of State for Scotland)
Commons

Government's Legislative Programme 2016-17 (Scotland)

Following the passage of the Scotland Act 2016, the Scottish Parliament is now poised to become one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world. Ensuring the smooth transfer of those new powers will be a major priority for the UK Government over the next Parliamentary session and beyond.

13 of the 21 new Government Bills for this Session of Parliament contain provisions that apply in Scotland, either in full or in part. Elements of others may extend later depending on discussion with the Scottish Government.

The Government’s legislative programme has three clear aims: to deliver security for working people across our country, to increase the life chances for the most disadvantaged, and to strengthen our national security. Some of the Bills announced yesterday apply across the UK, while others cover areas where responsibility is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

UK legislation on the digital economy will enable the building of world-class digital infrastructure including fast broadband and mobile networks, as well as helping to support new digital industries.

A new Lifetime Savings Bill will create a new Help to Save scheme to support those on the lowest incomes to save and also a new Lifetime ISA, providing savers with a bonus on savings that can be used for a first home, or retirement, or both.

A Better Markets Bill will give UK consumers more power and choice, open up markets and make economic regulators work better. We will also take forward further reforms in a Pensions Bill that will provide greater protections for people in Master Trusts and remove barriers for consumers who want to access their pension savings flexibly.

This statement provides a summary of the new Government legislation for 2016/17 and its application to Scotland. It does not include draft Bills.

In line with the Sewel Convention, the Government will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government to secure legislative consent motions where appropriate.

The Bills listed in section 1 will apply to Scotland, either in full or in part. Section 2 details Bills that will not apply in Scotland, though some elements could be extended later following discussion with the Scottish Government.

Section 1: Legislation applying to the United Kingdom, including Scotland (either in full or in part);

  • Better Markets Bill
  • Criminal Finances Bill
  • Lifetime Savings Bill
  • Modern Transport Bill
  • Overseas Electors Bill
  • Pensions Bill
  • Small Charitable Donations Bill
  • Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • Wales Bill (as a constitutional bill this extends to the UK, but policy will impact on Wales)
  • Higher Education and Research Bill
  • Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill
  • Bill of Rights

Section 2: Legislation that will not apply in Scotland, though some elements could be extended following discussion with the Scottish Government.

  • Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill
  • NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill
  • National Citizen Service Bill
  • Bus Services Bill
  • Children & Social Work Bill
  • Education for All Bill
  • Local Growth and Jobs Bill
  • Prison and Courts Reform Bill

WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Baroness Stowell of Beeston (The Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Government's Legislative Programme 2016-17

Following yesterday’s State Opening of Parliament, and for the convenience of the House, I am listing the Bills which were announced yesterday:

  • Better Markets Bill
  • Bill of Rights
  • Bus Services Bill
  • Children and Social Work Bill
  • Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill
  • Criminal Finances Bill
  • Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • Education for All Bill
  • Higher Education and Research Bill
  • Lifetime Savings Bill
  • Local Growth and Jobs Bill
  • Modern Transport Bill
  • National Citizen Service Bill
  • NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill
  • Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill
  • Overseas Electors Bill
  • Prison and Courts Reform Bill
  • Pensions Bill
  • Small Charitable Donations Bill
  • Wales Bill

The following Bills will carry over from the last session:

  • Finance (No.2) Bill
  • High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill
  • Investigatory Powers Bill
  • Policing and Crime Bill

The following Law Commission Bill will be introduced:

  • Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill

Detailed information about each of these Bills can be accessed from the No.10 website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/prime-ministers-office-10-downing-street

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Baroness Anelay of St Johns (The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council: 23–24 May

My Right Honourable Friend, Minister for Europe (David Lidington), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 23 May and I will attend the General Affairs Council on 24 May. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the General Affairs Council will be chaired by the Dutch Presidency. The meetings will be held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will be preceded by the annual EU-Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting. The FAC agenda will include the Syria / Iraq / counter Daesh regional strategy, the EU Global Strategy and external aspects of migration. Ms. Mogherini is expected to cover the Arctic and Libya in her opening remarks.

EU – Eastern Partnership Ministerial

EU Foreign Ministers will meet with the Foreign Ministers of the six Eastern Partnership States (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) to review progress on the Eastern Partnership initiative since the EU-Eastern Partnership Summit held in Riga on 21-22 May 2015.

Syria / Iraq / counter Daesh regional strategy

The May Foreign Affairs Council will review of External Action Service (EEAS)/Commission programmes and projects undertaken within the framework of the March 2015 regional strategy for handling Syria, Iraq and the Daesh threat. This review will assess how the EU has been supporting political transition in Syria, political settlement in Iraq and efforts to defeat and degrade Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The European Union Global Strategy

Over lunch the High Representative will update Ministers on the preparation of the European Union Global Strategy.

External aspects of migration

Ministers will exchange views on the external aspects of migration. We expect the focus of the discussion to be on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) activities to support the development of border security in Libya and the Sahel. Building the capacity of the Libyan coastguard is of particular importance. We will also use the opportunity to discuss progress on Valletta Action Plan implementation. With a range of high level international events this year, leading up to the UNGA High Level Event on Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, there is an opportunity for the international community to build a sustainable global response to large population movements and the issue of irregular migration, by placing an emphasis on global responsibility sharing, reducing large-scale irregular migration, and providing protection and humanitarian support to those who need it.

The Arctic

Following the recent publication of the Joint Communication on the Arctic, Ministers will discuss whether the EU’s policy in the Arctic is appropriately focused. We also expect discussions on the EU’s application for formal observer status at the Arctic Council.

Libya

Discussions will focus on the latest developments in the Libyan political process. The EEAS is planning for a possible civilian CSDP mission for Libya. We will press the EU to develop a realistic and achievable offer based on the needs of the Government of National Accord and the situation on the ground. We are aiming for progress towards agreeing an updated mandate for EUNAVFOR MED (Operation Sophia), to include capacity-building for the Libyan Coastguard. The Vienna Ministerial on 16 May underlined international support for the Libyan Political Agreement, Presidency Council and Government of National Accord.

General Affairs Council

The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 24 May is expected to focus on Rule of Law and preparation of the June European Council.

Rule of Law

The GAC will conduct its annual dialogue on the rule of law, focusing on the issue of the integration of migrants.

Preparation of the June European Council

The GAC will prepare the agenda for the 28-29 June European Council, which the Prime Minister will attend.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Lord O'Neill of Gatley (The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury)
Lords

National Infrastructure Commission : response to the consultation

My right honorable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Greg Hands) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Yesterday, (18 May 2016) I laid the response to the National Infrastructure Commission consultation [CM 9289]. This reconfirms the government’s plans to establish the Commission via primary legislation, and sets out a number of areas where policy has developed following public consultation.

On 5 October 2015, the Chancellor announced the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission to provide expert independent analysis of the long-term infrastructure needs of the country. The Commission has been operating in interim form since then.

The government held a 10-week public consultation between 7 January and 17 March on the governance, structure and operation of the Commission. The public consultation attracted 136 responses, primarily from industry associations, companies, lobby groups, local authorities and research bodies. The majority were very supportive of the concept, and of the government’s proposals for fully establishing the Commission.

The response confirms that the Commission will produce a National Infrastructure Assessment once in every Parliament, setting out its analysis of the UK’s infrastructure needs over a 10 to 30 year time horizon. The Commission will also examine pressing and significant infrastructure challenges in studies set by the government. The government will be obliged formally to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.

To fulfil its objectives, the Commission will be able to request information and analysis from government departments. The Commission will work within a remit to ensure that it recommends infrastructure that is sustainable and affordable and offers real economic benefits.

The government intends to introduce legislation to place the Commission on a permanent, independent footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Copies of the response are available in the Vote Office, Printed Paper Office and on the GOV.UK website

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS2
WS
Leader of the House
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Chris Grayling (The Leader of the House of Commons)
Commons

Government's Legislative Programme 2016-17

Following yesterday’s State Opening of Parliament, and for the convenience of the House, I am listing the Bills, which were announced yesterday:

  • Better Markets Bill
  • Bill of Rights
  • Bus Services Bill
  • Children and Social Work Bill
  • Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill
  • Criminal Finances Bill
  • Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill
  • Digital Economy Bill
  • Education for All Bill
  • Higher Education and Research Bill
  • Lifetime Savings Bill
  • Local Growth and Jobs Bill
  • Modern Transport Bill
  • National Citizen Service Bill
  • NHS (Overseas Visitors Charging) Bill
  • Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill
  • Overseas Electors Bill
  • Prison and Courts Reform Bill
  • Pensions Bill
  • Small Charitable Donations Bill
  • Wales Bill

The following Bills will carry over from the last session:

  • Finance (No.2) Bill
  • High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill
  • Investigatory Powers Bill
  • Policing and Crime Bill

The following Law Commission Bills will be introduced:

  • Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill

Detailed information about each of these Bills can be accessed from the No.10 website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/prime-ministers-office-10-downing-street

WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Greg Hands ( Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

National Infrastructure Commission : response to the consultation

Yesterday, (18 May 2016) I laid the response to the National Infrastructure Commission consultation [CM 9289]. This reconfirms the government’s plans to establish the Commission via primary legislation, and sets out a number of areas where policy has developed following public consultation.

On 5 October 2015, the Chancellor announced the creation of the National Infrastructure Commission to provide expert independent analysis of the long-term infrastructure needs of the country. The Commission has been operating in interim form since then.

The government held a 10-week public consultation between 7 January and 17 March on the governance, structure and operation of the Commission. The public consultation attracted 136 responses, primarily from industry associations, companies, lobby groups, local authorities and research bodies. The majority were very supportive of the concept, and of the government’s proposals for fully establishing the Commission.

The response confirms that the Commission will produce a National Infrastructure Assessment once in every Parliament, setting out its analysis of the UK’s infrastructure needs over a 10 to 30 year time horizon. The Commission will also examine pressing and significant infrastructure challenges in studies set by the government. The government will be obliged formally to respond to the Commission’s recommendations.

To fulfil its objectives, the Commission will be able to request information and analysis from government departments. The Commission will work within a remit to ensure that it recommends infrastructure that is sustainable and affordable and offers real economic benefits.

The government intends to introduce legislation to place the Commission on a permanent, independent footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Copies of the response are available in the Vote Office, Printed Paper Office and on the GOV.UK website

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 May 2016
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Minister for Europe)
Commons

Foreign Affairs Council and General Affairs Council: 23–24 May

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 23 May and I will attend the General Affairs Council on 24 May. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the General Affairs Council will be chaired by the Dutch Presidency. The meetings will be held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will be preceded by the annual EU-Eastern Partnership Ministerial meeting. The FAC agenda will include the Syria / Iraq / counter Daesh regional strategy, the EU Global Strategy and external aspects of migration. Ms. Mogherini is expected to cover the Arctic and Libya in her opening remarks.

EU – Eastern Partnership Ministerial

EU Foreign Ministers will meet with the Foreign Ministers of the six Eastern Partnership States (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) to review progress on the Eastern Partnership initiative since the EU-Eastern Partnership Summit held in Riga on 21-22 May 2015.

Syria / Iraq / counter Daesh regional strategy

The May Foreign Affairs Council will review of External Action Service (EEAS)/Commission programmes and projects undertaken within the framework of the March 2015 regional strategy for handling Syria, Iraq and the Daesh threat. This review will assess how the EU has been supporting political transition in Syria, political settlement in Iraq and efforts to defeat and degrade Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

The European Union Global Strategy

Over lunch the High Representative will update Ministers on the preparation of the European Union Global Strategy.

External aspects of migration

Ministers will exchange views on the external aspects of migration. We expect the focus of the discussion to be on Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) activities to support the development of border security in Libya and the Sahel. Building the capacity of the Libyan coastguard is of particular importance. We will also use the opportunity to discuss progress on Valletta Action Plan implementation. With a range of high level international events this year, leading up to the UNGA High Level Event on Large Movements of Migrants and Refugees, there is an opportunity for the international community to build a sustainable global response to large population movements and the issue of irregular migration, by placing an emphasis on global responsibility sharing, reducing large-scale irregular migration, and providing protection and humanitarian support to those who need it.

The Arctic

Following the recent publication of the Joint Communication on the Arctic, Ministers will discuss whether the EU’s policy in the Arctic is appropriately focused. We also expect discussions on the EU’s application for formal observer status at the Arctic Council.

Libya

Discussions will focus on the latest developments in the Libyan political process. The EEAS is planning for a possible civilian CSDP mission for Libya. We will press the EU to develop a realistic and achievable offer based on the needs of the Government of National Accord and the situation on the ground. We are aiming for progress towards agreeing an updated mandate for EUNAVFOR MED (Operation Sophia), to include capacity-building for the Libyan Coastguard. The Vienna Ministerial on 16 May underlined international support for the Libyan Political Agreement, Presidency Council and Government of National Accord.

General Affairs Council

The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 24 May is expected to focus on Rule of Law and preparation of the June European Council.

Rule of Law

The GAC will conduct its annual dialogue on the rule of law, focusing on the issue of the integration of migrants.

Preparation of the June European Council

The GAC will prepare the agenda for the 28-29 June European Council, which the Prime Minister will attend.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS2
WS
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord Price (Minister of State for Trade and Investment)
Lords

Pre-Council Written Ministerial Statement: EU Foreign Affairs Council 13 May 2016

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) will take place in Brussels on 13 May 2016. Lord Price will represent the UK.

In relation to WTO Post Nairobi work, the Council will discuss latest developments regarding DDA and new issues, and the EU-strategy towards MC11 on the basis of a paper by the Commission.

The Council will discuss the state of play in the TTIP negotiations and next steps.

The Council will also discuss the trade-related aspects of the recent Communication on steel.

On the EU Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) the Council will reflect on the achieved result and discuss the next steps towards signature.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS724
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord O'Neill of Gatley (The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury)
Lords

ECOFIN: 22-23 April 2016

My honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (David Gauke) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

An informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Amsterdam on 22-23 April 2016. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following items:

EU Budget

Following an introduction from Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva, Ministers discussed challenges for the EU budget, caused by unforeseen events.

Strengthening the banking union

Views were exchanged between Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the regulatory treatment of banks’ sovereign debt on the basis of a Presidency note and a draft report from the High Level Working Group.

Panama Papers

The European Commission gave a policy reaction outlining measures being taken to tackle tax avoidance. The UK, along with France, Germany, Italy and Spain, launched an initiative on the automatic exchange of beneficial ownership information in April and wrote a G5 letter to EU Member States asking them to join the initiative. As a result of UK leadership all EU Finance Ministers have now agreed to enter into the project which will see tax authorities and law enforcements agencies automatically share information on who really owns and controls companies.

Sustainable Finance

On the basis of a Presidency paper, Ministers and Central Bank Governors discussed ways in which the transition to a sustainable economy could be financed and ways in which transparency could be improved.

Stability and Growth Pact

Ministers discussed a number of options to make the Stability and Growth Pact simpler and more transparent including whether more work should be done exploring the use of the expenditure benchmark and the medium term orientation of the fiscal framework.

VAT Fraud

In the final session, the Commission and Presidency led a discussion in relation to VAT fraud following the publication of the VAT Action Plan on 7 April. In particular, Finance Ministers looked at steps that could be taken to improve cooperation between Member States’ tax, customs and judicial authorities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS722
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Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord Freud (The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council 19-20 April 2016, Amsterdam

My Right Honourable Friend The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Stephen Crabb MP) has made the following Written Statement.

The Informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on 19-20 April in Amsterdam. Emily Shirtcliff, Deputy Director in the BIS Labour Market Directorate, represented the United Kingdom.

The first day involved a plenary session on labour mobility. The focus of most Member State interventions was on the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. The United Kingdom intervened to make clear that it did not yet have a formal position and was looking carefully at the Commission’s proposal.

The second day started with workshops on the European Commission’s consultation on its proposed Pillar of Social Rights and concluded with a plenary session on the Platform for Undeclared Work. At the workshop the United Kingdom welcomed the clarity that the Pillar of Social Rights was for the euro area, but also for other countries to join if they wanted to.

On the Platform for Undeclared Work the United Kingdom welcomed the progress made so far and looked forward to the Platform’s first meeting.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS718
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Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord Dunlop (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland)
Lords

Report by Lord Carlile of Berriew C.B.E., Q.C. on the National Security Arrangements in Northern Ireland

My right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Theresa Villiers) has made the following written Ministerial statement: This is a summary of the main findings from the report by Lord Carlile, the Independent Reviewer of National Security Arrangements in Northern Ireland, covering the period from 1 January 2015 to 31 January 2016. Lord Carlile concludes:

“Throughout the year I have been briefed extensively on the state of threat in Northern Ireland. The context in which national security activities are performed in Northern Ireland remains challenging. As in the previous year there have been successes against dissident republicans [DRs], with a number of high profile trials pending. Police and security pressure has resulted in significant attrition but attacks still occur. Cooperation with the Irish authorities is good. This has quickened the pace of activity against DRs.

I regard 2015 as a year of continuing success in thwarting and detecting terrorism; whilst there is no sign of reduced ambition in the minds of terrorists, the ability of these terrorists to carry out attacks has suppressed over the years by successful attrition and arrests. This is undoubtedly the result of excellent joint activity by MI5 and PSNI. Given that the total exclusion of paramilitary activity is unlikely to be achieved in the measurable future, MI5, the PSNI and others involved have maintained good progress.

In preparing this report I have considered the current threat level, and what I have learned of events of a terrorist nature during the year. There were 16 national security attacks during 2015, with no serious injuries. Dissident republican groupings are resilient and capable; a number of attacks in 2015 were unsuccessful by narrow margins. Current and released prisoners continue to present a challenge. I was reminded of the diverse and enduring nature of the threat.

Dissident republicans remain interested in and involved in criminality, organised crime and money laundering. They also retain a political purpose, some with more determination than others.

Loyalist paramilitaries also have political imperatives, though the motivation of many is the making of money through extortion and other organised crime.

During 2015, I have met a range of stakeholders. I have engaged with PSNI and MI5 and examined the relationship between them and the Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland [PONI] and the Northern Ireland Policing Board [NIPB]. I also met some of the NI political parties. I am grateful to NIO Ministers for their close interest in the matters discussed here. Meetings with Ministers have occurred. Ministers are always well briefed and exceptionally well informed on all material issues.

During 2015 I met with the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB), and also Alyson Kilpatrick, the Independent Human Rights Advisor to the NIPB. The NIPB can feel assured that the Human Rights Advisor is well able to discharge her duties in respect of national security.

I met the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive's Minister of Justice, David Ford MLA. Both have been extremely frank and helpful. I do not underestimate the formidable nature of the Ombudsman’s job, especially in relation to older cases. Furthermore, I would like to express my admiration and thanks to David Ford. He has played a significant part in the normalisation of the justice system and the rule of law in NI.

I am satisfied that the periodic briefings provided to me have been full and not selective, and that I have a good understanding of relevant matters. Interlocutors across the security piece, including vocal opponents and critics, have been willing to brief me.

I held a detailed meeting with the Committee on the Administration of Justice [CAJ]. They provided me with a robustly critical narrative of the current security situation. I found their views helpful, though more anxious than the true security situation justifies in my opinion. The CAJ expressed the view that deprivation caused by austerity is leading to recruitment into paramilitary groups. These views found resonance with some interlocutors.

This year once again I have reviewed the arrangements for Covert Human Intelligence Sources [CHIS]. Overall the use of CHIS is effective. CHIS operations are run with a clear investigative strategy. Participation of CHIS in crime is subject to strict control and protocols. There are frequent meetings between PSNI and MI5 at a senior level to discuss CHIS policy and operations, and in accordance with the St. Andrews principles, PSNI manage the majority of national security CHIS. There is a systematic review procedure for CHIS.

Across all my conversations in the past year I have found confusion and concern about how historic issues are to be dealt with and addressed. Much optimism is being placed in the proposed Historical Investigations Unit [HIU]. I am sure the Secretary of State and NI Executive Ministers will ensure proportionate funding, and the level of documentary and other evidential disclosure necessary for the fulfilment of its proper objectives.

I have considered a number of issues in relation to terrorism prosecutions. I continue to have concerns about the length of sentences in NI for terrorism related offences, and that delays in cases coming to trial are resulting in defendants being released on bail. I acknowledge the reform of committal proceedings contained in the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2015. I discussed more active case management and plea bargaining as means to save court time.

Despite the active and concerned involvement of senior judges throughout the criminal justice system there remain concerns about the disclosure system in which public interest immunity and related disclosure issues are not dealt with by the trial judge, as they are in GB.

I remain of the view that the residual serious and lethal threat of terrorism justifies the continuation of the non-jury trial arrangements provided under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007.

I have enquired again about the use of intercept evidence. I remain satisfied that there is solid scrutiny and review of interception, in an environment in which communications technology is developing quickly.

Continued vigilance and the maintenance of counter-terrorism resourcing are essential. However, once again I have drawn comfort from the successful joint operations between MI5 and the PSNI, and their high level of co-operation with their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland. Normality is a genuine and mostly realisable ambition, rather than merely an aspiration.

Attrition caused by arrests and charges both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland has been good in 2015; but a number of challenges in combatting the threat remain.

I have measured performance in 2015 against the five key principles identified in relation to national security in Annex E to the St Andrews Agreement of October 2006. My conclusions in relation to Annex E are set out in the attached Table.”

Text of Annex E

Conclusions

Further to reinforce this comprehensive set of safeguards, the Government confirms that it accepts and will ensure that effect is given to the five key principles which the Chief Constable has identified as crucial to the effective operation of the new arrangements, viz:

All Security Service intelligence relating to terrorism in Northern Ireland will be visible to the PSNI.

There is compliance. Arrangements are in place to deal with any suspected malfeasance by a PSNI or MI5 officer.

PSNI will be informed of all Security Service counter terrorist investigations and operations relating to Northern Ireland.

There is compliance.

Security Service intelligence will be disseminated within PSNI according to the current PSNI dissemination policy, and using police procedures.

There is compliance. Dissemination policy has developed since the new arrangements came into force.

The great majority of national security CHIS in Northern Ireland will continue to be run by PSNI officers under existing police handling protocols.

The majority of CHIS are run by the PSNI. Protocols have not stood still. A review of existing protocols and the development of up to date replacements should always be work in progress and clearly accountable.

There will be no diminution of the PSNI’s responsibility to comply with the Human Rights Act or the Policing Board’s ability to monitor said compliance.

The PSNI must continue to comply. The Policing Board, with the advice of their Human Rights Advisor as a key component, will continue the role of monitoring compliance.

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Home Office
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Advocate General for Scotland)
Lords

Progress Update on the UK Anti-Corruption Plan

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Security (John Hayes) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Today my rt hon Friend the Government Anti-Corruption Champion (Sir Eric Pickles) and I wish to inform the House that the Government is publishing a Progress Update on the UK’s first cross-government Anti-Corruption Plan, on the same day that the Prime Minister is hosting a global Anti-Corruption Summit in London - to galvanise international action against corruption.

On 18 December 2014, we published the UK Anti-Corruption Plan, which set out, for the first time, all of the UK’s anti-corruption efforts under one cross-departmental plan, including how we are tackling the threat of corruption and taking action to reduce corruption risks across a range of sectors, both in the UK and overseas.

In the UK Anti-Corruption Plan, we committed to publishing a progress update on the actions, ensuring that this was a living document which evolved alongside the nature of the threat from corruption and our response. The Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption, which we co-chair, has been overseeing delivery of the commitments and we have been working with colleagues across government and civil society to drive forward this agenda.

The progress update highlights the UK’s performance in delivering its anti-corruption commitments (62 out of the 66 actions (94%) are complete or on track to be delivered), and sets out the positive progress that has been made: to build a better picture of how corruption is affecting our society and economy; to strengthen our legal and operational tools and activity; to enhance our law enforcement response; to deny use of our financial system for those who are trying to abuse it; and to step up our efforts internationally.

Whilst there is still more to be done, the positive developments outlined in the progress update, coupled with the international leadership being shown by the UK through the global Anti-Corruption Summit, demonstrates the UK’s commitment to rooting out corruption in all its forms. Moreover, the new cross agency Taskforce to respond to any wrong-doing resulting from the “Mossack Fonseca” papers, sends a strong message that tackling corruption is a key priority for the UK and that we take decisive action wherever criminal activity arises.

A copy of the plan will be placed in the House Library and also made available on the government website: www.gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS729
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Home Office
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Advocate General for Scotland)
Lords

National Crime Agency Remuneration Review Body

My rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The report of the National Crime Agency (NCA) Remuneration Review Body for 2016 has been published today. In line with my letter setting the Body’s remit, it has made recommendations on pay and allowances for NCA officers designated with operational powers. I wish to express my thanks to the Chairman and members of the Review Body for their careful consideration of the evidence.

The Review Body received evidence from the NCA, the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Treasury and the relevant trade unions and has recommended an across the board increase of one per cent for NCA officers and a one per cent increase in London weighting. I accept their recommendations in full.

The report also sets the agenda for further reform of the NCA’s pay structure and we will continue to support the NCA to develop the workforce needed to tackle serious and organised crime in the 21st century.

Copies of the NCA Remuneration Review Body’s report are available in the Parliamentary Vote Office and at GOV.UK.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS728
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord Faulks (The Minister of State for Civil Justice)
Lords

Youth Justice

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Michael Gove) has made the following Written Statement.

"Following the troubling allegations raised by whistleblowers – and documented by the BBC’s “Panorama” – about the treatment of young people in custody at Medway, I appointed an Independent Improvement Board to investigate the centre’s governance and the safeguarding measures in place there.

I am today publishing the Board’s report, which tells a powerful story – not just about what went wrong at Medway, but about broader problems in the Youth Justice System, and specifically in the children’s secure estate. The Board’s conclusions reinforce the interim findings from the separate, wider review that I have asked Charlie Taylor to prepare on the Youth Justice System, which will report this summer.

Given the findings of the Independent Improvement Board, the pending Charlie Taylor review and the announcement by G4S in February 2016 of its intention to sell its Children’s Services business I have agreed with G4S that the new contract to operate Medway will not proceed.

The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will take over the running of Medway in the short term – by the end of July – and will work closely with the Youth Justice Board on the enhanced monitoring arrangements that will be put in place. Beverley Bevan – an experienced prison governor with seven years’ experience of working with young offenders – will be appointed as the Governor at that time.

The Independent Improvement Board made a series of recommendations which we accept in full and which will be implemented across all three Secure Training Centres (STCs). By implementing these recommendations, we will strengthen external scrutiny, safeguarding and monitoring arrangements and clarify the responsibilities of organisations and individuals involved in providing services at all STCs. Steps will be taken to ensure that whistleblowers – including young people who speak out – are supported and listened to.

However, the fundamental problem identified by the Independent Improvement Board was that those running Medway conceived of it as a place of coercion, where the culture and the incentives – as they were designed in the contracts – were centred around the corralling and control of children, rather than their full rehabilitation. Their focus should instead have been on education and care, on identifying root problems and giving children the opportunity to find their way back into society, and to make something of themselves.

Charlie Taylor’s interim findings have made it clear that the places where young offenders spend time should not be junior prisons, but secure schools. I am announcing today that each of the Secure Training Centres will have a new governing body who will scrutinise and support those running each centre. This will be a first step towards giving these centres the type of oversight and support that we would see in an ordinary school.

When Charlie’s final report is published, I hope we will be able to move swiftly to a model which ensures that the educational mission of these establishments is central to their existence.

Based on the findings of the Independent Improvement Board, I will appoint a similar Youth Custody Improvement Board to work across the youth secure estate, to help to make sure that children are safe and to improve standards of behaviour management in each Secure Training Centre and Young Offender Institution that holds children, including those currently run by NOMS. I will confirm the Board appointments in due course.

I am grateful to all the members of the Independent Improvement Board who delivered their important work at such impressive speed.

This report, and our response to the recommendations made by the Independent Improvement Board can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/medway-improvement-board-report-and-moj-response-to-its-recommendations. I will place a copy of these in the Libraries of both Houses."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS725
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HM Treasury
Made on: 12 May 2016
Made by: Lord O'Neill of Gatley (The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury)
Lords

Establishment of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI)

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

At the Summer Budget the Chancellor announced that HM Treasury will establish the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) before the end of the financial year to support the UK’s foreign policy and national security goals and help maintain the integrity of and confidence in the UK financial services sector. The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation was established on 31 March 2016 within HM Treasury. Its principle aims are to:

  • increase awareness of and compliance with financial sanctions;

  • ensure that sanctions breaches are rapidly detected and effectively addressed; and

  • provide a professional service to the public and industry on financial sanctions issues.

The Treasury, through OFSI, will continue to be the UK’s competent authority for the implementation of financial sanctions, and Treasury ministers will continue to be responsible for licencing decisions and designations under UK sanctions legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS723
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