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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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
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 17 October 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

The Crown Estate Transfer Scheme 2017

My honourable friend The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Andrew Jones) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

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 Commons: HCWS178
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 17 October 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

International Investment

My Rt Hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (Greg Clark), has made the following written ministerial statement:

The Government is today publishing a Green Paper: “National Security and Infrastructure Investment Review”. This sets out proposals for amending the current regime in relation to national security and investment.

First, the Government is introducing amendments to the Enterprise Act 2002. For most sectors, the Government is only able to intervene in mergers involving companies with a UK turnover of over £70 million, or where the parties’ combined share of supply increases to 25% or more. This means mergers or acquisitions of some smaller businesses whose ownership is critical to our national security cannot be scrutinised.

The Government proposes to amend the thresholds in two areas: the dual use and military sector, and certain parts of advanced technology, namely the design of computer chips and quantum technology. For these two areas only, we will lower the threshold for Government intervention to businesses with a UK turnover of over £1 million, and remove the requirement for a merger to increase a business’s share of supply to or over 25%.

The Government is also consulting on longer-term proposals, including:

  • introducing a ‘call-in’ power modelled on the existing power within the Enterprise Act 2002, to allow the Government to scrutinise a broader range of transactions for national security concerns within a voluntary notification regime; and/or
  • introducing a mandatory notification regime for foreign investment in parts of the economy which are critical for our national security. Mandatory notification could also be required for foreign investment in key new projects or specific businesses or assets.

These proposals will ensure that our arrangements for protecting national security are more closely aligned with those of major, developed economies, and more robust to the changing nature of threats to our national security.

The Green Paper delivers on the commitment made in the Queen’s Speech to bring forward proposals to consolidate and strengthen Government’s powers to protect national security.

I will be making an oral statement in the House later today and placing a copy of the Green Paper in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS177
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 17 October 2017
Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy )
Commons

International Investment

The Government is today publishing a Green Paper: “National Security and Infrastructure Investment Review”. This sets out proposals for amending the current regime in relation to national security and investment.

First, the Government is introducing amendments to the Enterprise Act 2002. For most sectors, the Government is only able to intervene in mergers involving companies with a UK turnover of over £70 million, or where the parties’ combined share of supply increases to 25% or more. This means mergers or acquisitions of some smaller businesses whose ownership is critical to our national security cannot be scrutinised.

The Government proposes to amend the thresholds in two areas: the dual use and military sector, and certain parts of advanced technology, namely the design of computer chips and quantum technology. For these two areas only, we will lower the threshold for Government intervention to businesses with a UK turnover of over £1 million, and remove the requirement for a merger to increase a business’s share of supply to or over 25%.

The Government is also consulting on longer-term proposals, including:

  • introducing a ‘call-in’ power modelled on the existing power within the Enterprise Act 2002, to allow the Government to scrutinise a broader range of transactions for national security concerns within a voluntary notification regime; and/or
  • introducing a mandatory notification regime for foreign investment in parts of the economy which are critical for our national security. Mandatory notification could also be required for foreign investment in key new projects or specific businesses or assets.

These proposals will ensure that our arrangements for protecting national security are more closely aligned with those of major, developed economies, and more robust to the changing nature of threats to our national security.

The Green Paper delivers on the commitment made in the Queen’s Speech to bring forward proposals to consolidate and strengthen Government’s powers to protect national security.

I will be making an oral statement in the House later today and placing a copy of the Green Paper in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS177
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Homelessness

My Hon Friend the Minister for Local Government (Marcus Jones) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today updating the House on a commitment I made during the passage of the Homelessness Reduction Act – the Member for Harrow East’s Private Member’s Bill – to fund the additional duties contained within the Act in line with the new burdens doctrine. Following further discussions with local authorities on the new duties, the Government is providing an additional £11.7 million in new burdens funding, taking the total amount of new burdens funding from £61 million to £72.7 million.

The Government will provide £72.7 million to local authorities to meet the new burdens costs associated with the new duties contained within the Act over the course of the Spending Review. It is anticipated that the additional duties to prevent homelessness will lead to savings for local authorities thereafter.

I am also announcing the local authority allocations of the new burdens funding. The Government has worked with local authorities and the Local Government Association to test the methodology behind the distribution, as well as the core assumptions of the costs of administering the new duties. The distribution reflects the differing need in different authorities. The funding has been allocated according to a formula which reflects where resource pressures are likely to increase as a result of administering the new duties contained in the Act. The details of allocations and new burdens assessment are attached.

Today I am also launching a consultation on the Homelessness Code of Guidance which will support local authorities’ work to prepare for the implementation of the Act. Additionally, Government will be providing local authorities with an equally distributed share of £3 million to support them in upgrading their data systems to monitor the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

The Homelessness Reduction Act will significantly reform England’s homelessness legislation and ensure that more people get the help they need to prevent and relieve homeless. It forms part of the Government’s end-to-end approach to tackling homelessness, helping both those at risk of homelessness and those experiencing a crisis. The new burdens funding for the Act sits alongside other funding for homelessness, including the £315 million Homelessness Prevention funding, our £50 million homelessness prevention package and the £402 million Flexible Homelessness Support Grant.

NB allocation (Word Document, 41.1 KB)
HRA new Burdens (Word Document, 105.75 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS176
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council – 17 July 2017

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alan Duncan), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 July. The Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

The meeting covered discussions on the EU Global Strategy, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Libya and Migration.

EU Global Strategy

The Council had a discussion on the implementation on the EU Global Strategy; Foreign Ministers provided guidance on the priorities for 2017 – 2018.

DPRK

The discussion was shaped by the Council Conclusions, agreed in the EU Political and Security Committee earlier in the day. Ministers focused on the threat the DPRK posted to global security and condemned its pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programme in violation multiple UN Security Council resolutions.

Libya

The Council adopted Conclusions on Libya. With the EU warmly welcoming the appointment of Ghassan Salame as the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General. The Council also agreed to extend the CSDP mission EUBAM Libya until 31 December 2018. The Council underlined the importance of Operation Sophia (the EU’s naval operation to disrupt the business model of human smugglers and traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean).

Migration

Foreign Ministers discussed migration, focusing on the situation in the Central Mediterranean Route, together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, and the Director-General of the International Organisation for Migration William Lacy Swing.

Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:

- The Council adopted a crisis management concept for a new civilian CSDP mission in Iraq.
- On 17 July 2017, the Council added 16 persons to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime.
- The Council adopted Conclusions on Pakistan, stating that the EU has a clear interest in a stable, secure, and democratic Pakistan.
- The Council adopted Conclusions on addressing the risks of famine.
- The Council adopted Conclusions on the EU priorities at the UN and at the 72nd UN General Assembly.
- The Council endorsed the EU-ASEAN plan of action 2018 – 2022.

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