Written statements

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

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

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

Show
Find by:
Close

WSID

Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-20 out of 953
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all statements
Print selected
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Sir Alan Duncan (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Informal meeting of European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers (Gymnich): 15-16 February 2018

My Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Boris Johnson) attended the bi-annual informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (known as the Gymnich) on 15-16 February in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Gymnich was hosted by Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ekaterina Zaharieva and was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Discussion centred on Syria, the Western Balkans and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

EU Foreign Ministers met Foreign Ministers of the Candidate Countries over dinner on 15 February and on the morning of 16 February.

The format of the Gymnich is designed to allow EU Foreign Ministers to engage in informal discussion on a number of issues. In contrast to the Foreign Affairs Council (the next of which will be held on 26 February), Ministers do not take formal decisions or agree Conclusions at the Gymnich.

Gymnich discussion

Syria

Ministers expressed concern about the security situation. My Right Honourable Friend spoke about the importance of the Geneva peace talks and maintaining pressure on the Syrian regime.

Western Balkans

Ministers discussed the Strategy, recently published by the Commission, and agreed the importance of remaining engaged in the region.

DPRK

Ministers briefly discussed the DPRK. They welcomed renewed engagement between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea while emphasising the importance of maintaining pressure, including through the full implementation of sanctions.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS468
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Sir Alan Duncan (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Foreign Affairs Council: 26 February

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mark Field) will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 26 February. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting will be held in Brussels.

Prior to the FAC there will be an informal meeting, over breakfast, of the European Action Group for the Republic of Moldova with the Foreign Minister of Moldova. The FAC will then discuss Moldova, Venezuela and the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). There will be a lunch with the Secretary General of the Arab League and some Arab Foreign Ministers.

Moldova

Ministers will have a substantive discussion of the key challenges facing the Republic of Moldova, including its implementation of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), and engagement by the EU and Member States. The UK remains fully engaged in the reform process in Moldova, and will focus on the need to encourage the Republic of Moldova to maintain progress in this process.

Venezuela

The FAC will discuss the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, following the announcement that Presidential elections will take place on 22 April. The FAC will consider the recent breakdown in political dialogue between the Government and Opposition, what conditions would constitute a credible election, and what more can be done to address the humanitarian situation.

Middle East Peace Process

Ministers will discuss the latest developments in the MEPP ahead of a lunch with the Secretary General of the Arab League and Foreign Ministers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan to discuss prospects for the MEPP, including longstanding EU support for a negotiated two-state solution.

Council Conclusions

The FAC is expected to adopt Conclusions on Burma, Cambodia, Moldova, the Maldives, Climate Diplomacy and the Special Report on EU Support to the Fight to End Human Trafficking in South and South East Asia.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS469
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Council of Europe Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions – Justice and Home Affairs opt-in decision on EU approval

The Council of Europe's Convention on the Manipulations of Sports Competitions seeks to combat the threat of match-fixing and protect the integrity of sport. The EU wishes to become a party to the Convention and has published two draft Council Decisions to conclude the Convention, one of which relates to Justice and Home Affairs matters.

The Government has decided not to opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision set out in the draft EU Council Decision to conclude, on behalf of the EU, the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions with regard to matters related to substantive criminal law and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. This Decision cites a Title V legal base and therefore the opt-in applies.

The Convention requires that EU member states have provisions in place to regulate the act of sports betting and to combat the manipulation of sports competitions in relation to sports betting – including provisions to make those acts criminal offences – and to apply those provisions extraterritorially (which can be derogated).

Only one discussion has taken place on this draft Decision, in September 2017, during Estonia's Presidency of the EU Council, with no further negotiations having been scheduled, and with no timetable presented for adoption. The Government placed a scrutiny reservation on this Decision at that discussion which remains in place.

A draft EU Council Decision with regard to matters related to substantive criminal law and judicial co-operation in criminal matters was published in 2015 for the EU to sign the Convention and, at that time, the Government decided to not opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision. That Decision was also not taken forward for adoption.

While there remains uncertainty as to how the EU might participate in the Convention, the Government has taken the decision to maintain its position and not opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision in order to preserve the UK’s ability to implement the Convention according to national needs, and in particular to preserve the ability to exercise the right of derogation under Article 19 of the Convention (the extraterritorial application of offences) - preventing the EU from exercising competence on behalf of the UK.

Protecting the integrity of sport is taken seriously by the Government and we view the Convention as an important tool in the fight against match-fixing. We therefore intend for the UK to become a signatory to the Convention later this year.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Council of Europe Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions – Justice and Home Affairs opt-in decision on EU approval

My Honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Tracey Crouch) has made the following Written Statement:

The Council of Europe's Convention on the Manipulations of Sports Competitions seeks to combat the threat of match-fixing and protect the integrity of sport. The EU wishes to become a party to the Convention and has published two draft Council Decisions to conclude the Convention, one of which relates to Justice and Home Affairs matters.

The Government has decided not to opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision set out in the draft EU Council Decision to conclude, on behalf of the EU, the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions with regard to matters related to substantive criminal law and judicial co-operation in criminal matters. This Decision cites a Title V legal base and therefore the opt-in applies.

The Convention requires that EU member states have provisions in place to regulate the act of sports betting and to combat the manipulation of sports competitions in relation to sports betting – including provisions to make those acts criminal offences – and to apply those provisions extraterritorially (which can be derogated).

Only one discussion has taken place on this draft Decision, in September 2017, during Estonia's Presidency of the EU Council, with no further negotiations having been scheduled, and with no timetable presented for adoption. The Government placed a scrutiny reservation on this Decision at that discussion which remains in place.

A draft EU Council Decision with regard to matters related to substantive criminal law and judicial co-operation in criminal matters was published in 2015 for the EU to sign the Convention and, at that time, the Government decided to not opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision. That Decision was also not taken forward for adoption.

While there remains uncertainty as to how the EU might participate in the Convention, the Government has taken the decision to maintain its position and not opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs provision in order to preserve the UK’s ability to implement the Convention according to national needs, and in particular to preserve the ability to exercise the right of derogation under Article 19 of the Convention (the extraterritorial application of offences) - preventing the EU from exercising competence on behalf of the UK.

Protecting the integrity of sport is taken seriously by the Government and we view the Convention as an important tool in the fight against match-fixing. We therefore intend for the UK to become a signatory to the Convention later this year.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council: 26 February

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 Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mark Field) will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 26 February. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting will be held in Brussels.

Prior to the FAC there will be an informal meeting, over breakfast, of the European Action Group for the Republic of Moldova with the Foreign Minister of Moldova. The FAC will then discuss Moldova, Venezuela and the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP). There will be a lunch with the Secretary General of the Arab League and some Arab Foreign Ministers.

Moldova

Ministers will have a substantive discussion of the key challenges facing the Republic of Moldova, including its implementation of the Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA), and engagement by the EU and Member States. The UK remains fully engaged in the reform process in Moldova, and will focus on the need to encourage the Republic of Moldova to maintain progress in this process.

Venezuela

The FAC will discuss the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, following the announcement that Presidential elections will take place on 22 April. The FAC will consider the recent breakdown in political dialogue between the Government and Opposition, what conditions would constitute a credible election, and what more can be done to address the humanitarian situation.

Middle East Peace Process

Ministers will discuss the latest developments in the MEPP ahead of a lunch with the Secretary General of the Arab League and Foreign Ministers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan to discuss prospects for the MEPP, including longstanding EU support for a negotiated two-state solution.

Council Conclusions

The FAC is expected to adopt Conclusions on Burma, Cambodia, Moldova, the Maldives, Climate Diplomacy and the Special Report on EU Support to the Fight to End Human Trafficking in South and South East Asia.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS482
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Informal meeting of European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers (Gymnich): 15-16 February 2018

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 (Boris Johnson) attended the bi-annual informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (known as the Gymnich) on 15-16 February in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Gymnich was hosted by Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ekaterina Zaharieva and was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Discussion centred on Syria, the Western Balkans and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

EU Foreign Ministers met Foreign Ministers of the Candidate Countries over dinner on 15 February and on the morning of 16 February.

The format of the Gymnich is designed to allow EU Foreign Ministers to engage in informal discussion on a number of issues. In contrast to the Foreign Affairs Council (the next of which will be held on 26 February), Ministers do not take formal decisions or agree Conclusions at the Gymnich.

Gymnich discussion

Syria

Ministers expressed concern about the security situation. My Right Honourable Friend spoke about the importance of the Geneva peace talks and maintaining pressure on the Syrian regime.

Western Balkans

Ministers discussed the Strategy, recently published by the Commission, and agreed the importance of remaining engaged in the region.

DPRK

Ministers briefly discussed the DPRK. They welcomed renewed engagement between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea while emphasising the importance of maintaining pressure, including through the full implementation of sanctions.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS483
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

Electronic publication of the Official Journal of the European Union - February 2018

I confirm that an exemption in accordance with Section 8(5) of the European Union Act 2011 (“EU Act 2011”) applies to the European Commission’s proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 216/2013 (COM(2017)87). The proposed Regulation refers to the electronic publication of the Official Journal of the European Union.

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to introduce the authentication of a document by an electronic seal. This option is offered by Regulation No 910/2014. This proposed amendment is purely technical and there are no policy implications for the UK. The legislative change is needed as the change in electronic seal alters the legal status in the publication.

The legal base of the proposal is Article 352 Treaty in the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Under Section 8 of the EU Act 2011, decisions under this require an Act of Parliament to approve the measure, unless both Houses agree to a motion that a decision is urgent or an exemption applies.

In this case Section 8(6)(a) of the EU Act 2011 provides an exemption to make provision equivalent to that made by a measure previously adopted under Article 352 TFEU. The proposal is to make a provision equivalent to that made by Council Regulation (EU) No. 216/2013, which was previously adopted under Article 352 TFEU on 7 March 2013. This proposal has the same substance matter. It relates to the electronic authentication of the Official Journal. As such, all that has altered is the specific form the authentication is to take. Therefore this proposal does not require an Act of Parliament for the UK to approve the measure.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS480
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 23 February 2018
Made by: Mr Steve Baker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

Electronic publication of the Official Journal of the European Union - February 2018

Lord Callanan, Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I confirm that an exemption in accordance with Section 8(5) of the European Union Act 2011 (“EU Act 2011”) applies to the European Commission’s proposal for a Council Regulation amending Regulation (EU) No 216/2013 (COM(2017)87). The proposed Regulation refers to the electronic publication of the Official Journal of the European Union.

The purpose of the proposed amendment is to introduce the authentication of a document by an electronic seal. This option is offered by Regulation No 910/2014. This proposed amendment is purely technical and there are no policy implications for the UK. The legislative change is needed as the change in electronic seal alters the legal status in the publication.

The legal base of the proposal is Article 352 Treaty in the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Under Section 8 of the EU Act 2011, decisions under this require an Act of Parliament to approve the measure, unless both Houses agree to a motion that a decision is urgent or an exemption applies.

In this case Section 8(6)(a) of the EU Act 2011 provides an exemption to make provision equivalent to that made by a measure previously adopted under Article 352 TFEU. The proposal is to make a provision equivalent to that made by Council Regulation (EU) No. 216/2013, which was previously adopted under Article 352 TFEU on 7 March 2013. This proposal has the same substance matter. It relates to the electronic authentication of the Official Journal. As such, all that has altered is the specific form the authentication is to take. Therefore this proposal does not require an Act of Parliament for the UK to approve the measure.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS467
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 22 February 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

Combat Air Strategy

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The British Aerospace industry has underpinned the Operational Advantage and Freedom of Action of the British military since the birth of airpower. It has long been an engine of national and local prosperity: made up of close to 2,500 companies, it generates more than £33.5 billion in turnover, and employs more than 128,000 people, some 26,000 of them in highly skilled research, design and engineering jobs. The Defence elements of that industry are particularly valuable: of the £73 billion brought into this country through Defence-related exports over ten years, around 85% was generated by aerospace, much of it specifically by the combat air sector[1].

The Government is committed to supporting growth and prosperity across British Industry, and Defence has a critical role to play in that commitment. My colleague the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy recently published an Industrial Strategy which reinforces our comprehensive support to the UK economy and our vision for a modern, internationally competitive UK industrial base. Following on from that my own Department published the Defence Industrial Policy refresh in December 2017 which made it clear that in a very few cases, a deeper analysis may be needed to establish whether our national security objectives would be served by specific sector approaches which help deliver long term value for money, Operational Advantage or Freedom of Action. Combat Air is one of these sectors.

Delivery of battle-winning capability to the UK’s Armed Forces is dependent on a number of vital national technologies and skills. This goes to the heart of our Operational Advantage and Freedom of Action and the Strategy will seek to ensure the UK maintains the ability to operate both independently and as part of international coalitions.

Recognising the importance of the Combat Air sector to UK military capability, Freedom of Action, prosperity and our industrial base, the MOD has decided to develop a Combat Air Strategy as part of the Modernising Defence Programme. Working closely with other Government Departments, industry and international partners, this work will define the UK’s future Combat Air aspirations, building on extant Government and Defence policies to identify the industrial capacity and capabilities necessary to deliver that ambition. In doing so, we will consider operational capability, technological advantage, economic benefits, industrial capability, capacity and skills, as well as international partnering, wider prosperity and export potential. The aim is to set the framework and timeline to assess options for the UK’s future Combat Air requirements and associated decision making. This should create a strong foundation for industry self-funded Research and Development and investment in skills, capacity and capability, whilst also testing UK industry’s ability to deliver our future requirements, remain sustainable and internationally competitive.

It will set out in practical terms how the MOD can deliver this critical military capability in an affordable way by establishing a more strategic relationship with UK industry, working with international partners and securing a competitive and sustainable industrial base to maximise prosperity.

[1] UK Defence and Security export statistics for 2016 released July 2017.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 22 February 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Gosport Investigation: Date of disclosure

My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jackie Doyle-Price) has made the following written statement:

The Gosport independent panel announced on 21st Feb that its disclosure to the Gosport families will be on 20th June 2018 in Portsmouth. The Gosport Independent Panel was formally established in July 2014. The Panel is chaired by Bishop James Jones and its role is to review the documentary evidence held across a range of organisations concerning the initial care of families’ relatives and the subsequent investigations into their deaths in Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS478
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 22 February 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

Outcome of the judicial review of the UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations

My Hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment (Thérèse Coffey) has today made the following statement:

Clean air is one of the most basic requirements of a healthy environment for us all to live, work, and bring up families. Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010 but we recognise that there is more to do, particularly to improve pollution hotspots in our towns and cities.

Present problems with air quality in the UK are the direct result of the EU’s failed emissions testing regime, the actions of certain irresponsible car manufacturers, and the rapid increase in the number of diesel cars on the road since 2001. 21 other EU member states are also breaching legal air quality limits.

In July 2017 we published the UK Plan for Tackling Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, and said that we will end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. We are investing £3.5 billion to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions.

Yesterday the High Court handed down judgment on the judicial review of the 2017 Plan.

The judge dismissed two of the three complaints considered during the case in relation to England. Specifically he found that there is no error in Government’s approach to tackling NO2 concentration exceedances in areas with some of the worst air quality problems, and that the national air quality modelling and monitoring that underpin the Plan are compliant with our legal requirements.

In relation to five cities identified in 2015 as having particularly marked air quality challenges, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Southampton and Leeds, the judge found that the Government’s approach to tackling their exceedances was “sensible, rational and lawful”.

We welcome the fact that the Court has dismissed the complaint relating to these areas with major air quality problems and has found that we are taking appropriate action. We are also pleased that the Court agrees that our evidence in support of the 2017 Plan is sound.

In relation to local authority areas which are expected to achieve compliance between 2018 and 2021, Ministers have already offered significant support, and as recognised in the judgment have “urged and encouraged” them to come up with proposals to improve air quality. However, the Court found that the Government should have legally required the local authorities to take such steps, but acknowledged that further action will not be required in 12 areas where compliance will be achieved this year.

We had previously considered that it was sufficient to take a pragmatic, less formal approach to such areas. However, in view of the Court’s judgment, we are prepared to take a more formal line with the other 33 local authorities.

We have already been corresponding with the relevant local authorities to offer them support in identifying measures to improve local air quality. These authorities had already been asked to provide initial information by 28th February on the action they are taking. They have now been asked to attend a meeting on 28th February to discuss their plans, and whether there are any additional actions they can take to accelerate achieving compliance with legal limits for NO2 concentrations. We also now intend in March to issue legally binding directions requiring these areas to undertake studies to identify any such measures.

As required by the court order, we will publish a supplement to the 2017 Plan by 5th October, drawing on the findings from local authorities’ feasibility studies.

The Welsh Government was also a defendant in the judicial review. Air quality is a devolved policy area in the UK; each Devolved Administration has responsibility for meeting its own obligations under the Ambient Air Quality Directive.

The Welsh Ministers indicated that they recognise that the Welsh element of the Air Quality Plan does not satisfy legal requirements. They have undertaken to publish a supplemental plan, following consultation, by 31 July 2018.

As we set out in the 2017 Plan, this Government is committed to improving air quality, and we have pledged to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. Later this year we will be publishing a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will set out further steps to tackle air pollution.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 22 February 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Combat Air Strategy

The British Aerospace industry has underpinned the Operational Advantage and Freedom of Action of the British military since the birth of airpower. It has long been an engine of national and local prosperity: made up of close to 2,500 companies, it generates more than £33.5 billion in turnover, and employs more than 128,000 people, some 26,000 of them in highly skilled research, design and engineering jobs. The Defence elements of that industry are particularly valuable: of the £73 billion brought into this country through Defence-related exports over ten years, around 85% was generated by aerospace, much of it specifically by the combat air sector[1].

The Government is committed to supporting growth and prosperity across British Industry, and Defence has a critical role to play in that commitment. My colleague the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy recently published an Industrial Strategy which reinforces our comprehensive support to the UK economy and our vision for a modern, internationally competitive UK industrial base. Following on from that my own Department published the Defence Industrial Policy refresh in December 2017 which made it clear that in a very few cases, a deeper analysis may be needed to establish whether our national security objectives would be served by specific sector approaches which help deliver long term value for money, Operational Advantage or Freedom of Action. Combat Air is one of these sectors.

Delivery of battle-winning capability to the UK’s Armed Forces is dependent on a number of vital national technologies and skills. This goes to the heart of our Operational Advantage and Freedom of Action and the Strategy will seek to ensure the UK maintains the ability to operate both independently and as part of international coalitions.

Recognising the importance of the Combat Air sector to UK military capability, Freedom of Action, prosperity and our industrial base, the MOD has decided to develop a Combat Air Strategy as part of the Modernising Defence Programme. Working closely with other Government Departments, industry and international partners, this work will define the UK’s future Combat Air aspirations, building on extant Government and Defence policies to identify the industrial capacity and capabilities necessary to deliver that ambition. In doing so, we will consider operational capability, technological advantage, economic benefits, industrial capability, capacity and skills, as well as international partnering, wider prosperity and export potential. The aim is to set the framework and timeline to assess options for the UK’s future Combat Air requirements and associated decision making. This should create a strong foundation for industry self-funded Research and Development and investment in skills, capacity and capability, whilst also testing UK industry’s ability to deliver our future requirements, remain sustainable and internationally competitive.

It will set out in practical terms how the MOD can deliver this critical military capability in an affordable way by establishing a more strategic relationship with UK industry, working with international partners and securing a competitive and sustainable industrial base to maximise prosperity.

[1] UK Defence and Security export statistics for 2016 released July 2017.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 22 February 2018
Made by: Jackie Doyle-Price (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

Gosport Investigation: Date of disclosure

The Gosport independent panel announced on 21st Feb that its disclosure to the Gosport families will be on 20th June 2018 in Portsmouth. The Gosport Independent Panel was formally established in July 2014. The Panel is chaired by Bishop James Jones and its role is to review the documentary evidence held across a range of organisations concerning the initial care of families’ relatives and the subsequent investigations into their deaths in Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS465
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 22 February 2018
Made by: Dr Thérèse Coffey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment)
Commons

Outcome of the judicial review of the UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations

Clean air is one of the most basic requirements of a healthy environment for us all to live, work, and bring up families. Air pollution has improved significantly since 2010 but we recognise that there is more to do, particularly to improve pollution hotspots in our towns and cities.

Present problems with air quality in the UK are the direct result of the EU’s failed emissions testing regime, the actions of certain irresponsible car manufacturers, and the rapid increase in the number of diesel cars on the road since 2001. 21 other EU member states are also breaching legal air quality limits.

In July 2017 we published the UK Plan for Tackling Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations, and said that we will end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. We are investing £3.5 billion to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions.

Yesterday the High Court handed down judgment on the judicial review of the 2017 Plan.

The judge dismissed two of the three complaints considered during the case in relation to England. Specifically he found that there is no error in Government’s approach to tackling NO2 concentration exceedances in areas with some of the worst air quality problems, and that the national air quality modelling and monitoring that underpin the Plan are compliant with our legal requirements.

In relation to five cities identified in 2015 as having particularly marked air quality challenges, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Southampton and Leeds, the judge found that the Government’s approach to tackling their exceedances was “sensible, rational and lawful”.

We welcome the fact that the Court has dismissed the complaint relating to these areas with major air quality problems and has found that we are taking appropriate action. We are also pleased that the Court agrees that our evidence in support of the 2017 Plan is sound.

In relation to local authority areas which are expected to achieve compliance between 2018 and 2021, Ministers have already offered significant support, and as recognised in the judgment have “urged and encouraged” them to come up with proposals to improve air quality. However, the Court found that the Government should have legally required the local authorities to take such steps, but acknowledged that further action will not be required in 12 areas where compliance will be achieved this year.

We had previously considered that it was sufficient to take a pragmatic, less formal approach to such areas. However, in view of the Court’s judgment, we are prepared to take a more formal line with the other 33 local authorities.

We have already been corresponding with the relevant local authorities to offer them support in identifying measures to improve local air quality. These authorities had already been asked to provide initial information by 28th February on the action they are taking. They have now been asked to attend a meeting on 28th February to discuss their plans, and whether there are any additional actions they can take to accelerate achieving compliance with legal limits for NO2 concentrations. We also now intend in March to issue legally binding directions requiring these areas to undertake studies to identify any such measures.

As required by the court order, we will publish a supplement to the 2017 Plan by 5th October, drawing on the findings from local authorities’ feasibility studies.

The Welsh Government was also a defendant in the judicial review. Air quality is a devolved policy area in the UK; each Devolved Administration has responsibility for meeting its own obligations under the Ambient Air Quality Directive.

The Welsh Ministers indicated that they recognise that the Welsh element of the Air Quality Plan does not satisfy legal requirements. They have undertaken to publish a supplemental plan, following consultation, by 31 July 2018.

As we set out in the 2017 Plan, this Government is committed to improving air quality, and we have pledged to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we inherited it. Later this year we will be publishing a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will set out further steps to tackle air pollution.

WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 21 February 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

Implementation Period Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I am today publishing the UK’s response to the European Commission’s draft legal text on arrangements for the implementation period, copies of which will be deposited in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS476
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 21 February 2018
Made by: Mr David Davis (The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

Implementation Period Update

I am today publishing the UK’s response to the European Commission’s draft legal text on arrangements for the implementation period, copies of which will be deposited in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS463
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 21 February 2018
Made by: Steve Brine (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

Charges for NHS prescriptions and wigs and fabric supports

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Lord O’Shaughnessy) has made the following statement:

Regulations will shortly be laid before Parliament to increase certain National Health Service charges in England from 1 April 2018.

In the 2015 Spending Review, the government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020-21 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings to secure the best value from NHS resources and Primary Care must play its part.

This year, therefore, we have increased the prescription charge by 20 pence from £8.60 to £8.80 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. To ensure that those with the greatest need, and who are not already exempt from the charge, are protected we have frozen the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) for another year. The 3 month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104. Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.

Charges for wigs and fabric supports will also be increased in line with inflation.

Details of the revised charges for 2018-19 can be found in the table below:

Charge from 1 April 2018 (£)

Prescription Charges

Single Charge

£8.80

3 month PPC (no change)

£29.10

12 month PPC (no change)

£104.00

Wigs and Fabric Supports

Surgical Brassiere

£28.85

Abdominal or spinal support

£43.60

Stock modacrylic wig

£71.25

Partial human hair wig

£188.70

Full bespoke human hair wig

£275.95

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS461
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 21 February 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Public Service Pension Indexation and Revaluation 2018

My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Elizabeth Truss) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Legislation governing public service pensions requires them to be increased annually by the same percentage as additional pensions (State Earnings Related Pension and State Second Pension). Public service pensions will therefore be increased from 9 April 2018 by 3 per cent, in line with the annual increase in the Consumer Prices Index up to September 2017, except for those public service pensions which have been in payment for less than a year, which will receive a pro-rata increase.

Separately, in the new career average public service pension schemes, pensions in accrual are revalued annually in relation to either prices or earnings depending on the terms specified in their scheme regulations. The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 requires HMT to specify a measure of prices and of earnings to be used for revaluation by these schemes.

The prices measure is the Consumer Prices Index up to September 2017. Public service schemes which rely on a measure of prices, therefore, will use the figure of 3 per cent for the prices element of revaluation.

The earnings measure is the Whole Economy Average Weekly Earnings (non-seasonally adjusted and including bonuses and arrears) up to September 2017. Public service schemes which rely on a measure of earnings, therefore, will use the figure of 3 per cent for the earnings element of revaluation.

Revaluation is one part of the amount of pension that members earn in a year and needs to be considered in conjunction with the amount of in year accrual. Typically, schemes with lower revaluation will have faster accrual and therefore members will earn more pension per year. The following list shows how the main public service schemes will be affected by revaluation:

Scheme

Police

Fire

Civil

Service

NHS

Teachers

LGPS

Armed

Forces

Judicial

Revaluation for active member

4.25%

3%

3%

4.5%

4.6%

3%

3%

3%

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS474
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 21 February 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Charges for NHS prescriptions and wigs and fabric supports

Regulations will shortly be laid before Parliament to increase certain National Health Service charges in England from 1 April 2018.

In the 2015 Spending Review, the government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment in real terms by 2020-21 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings to secure the best value from NHS resources and Primary Care must play its part.

This year, therefore, we have increased the prescription charge by 20 pence from £8.60 to £8.80 for each medicine or appliance dispensed. To ensure that those with the greatest need, and who are not already exempt from the charge, are protected we have frozen the cost of the prescription prepayment certificates (PPC) for another year. The 3 month PPC remains at £29.10 and the cost of the annual PPC will stay at £104. Taken together, this means prescription charge income is expected to rise broadly in line with inflation.

Charges for wigs and fabric supports will also be increased in line with inflation.

Details of the revised charges for 2018-19 can be found in the table below:

Charge from 1 April 2018 (£)

Prescription Charges

Single Charge

£8.80

3 month PPC (no change)

£29.10

12 month PPC (no change)

£104.00

Wigs and Fabric Supports

Surgical Brassiere

£28.85

Abdominal or spinal support

£43.60

Stock modacrylic wig

£71.25

Partial human hair wig

£188.70

Full bespoke human hair wig

£275.95

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS475
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 21 February 2018
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Public Service Pension Indexation and Revaluation 2018

Legislation governing public service pensions requires them to be increased annually by the same percentage as additional pensions (State Earnings Related Pension and State Second Pension). Public service pensions will therefore be increased from 9 April 2018 by 3 per cent, in line with the annual increase in the Consumer Prices Index up to September 2017, except for those public service pensions which have been in payment for less than a year, which will receive a pro-rata increase.

Separately, in the new career average public service pension schemes, pensions in accrual are revalued annually in relation to either prices or earnings depending on the terms specified in their scheme regulations. The Public Service Pensions Act 2013 requires HMT to specify a measure of prices and of earnings to be used for revaluation by these schemes.

The prices measure is the Consumer Prices Index up to September 2017. Public service schemes which rely on a measure of prices, therefore, will use the figure of 3 per cent for the prices element of revaluation.

The earnings measure is the Whole Economy Average Weekly Earnings (non-seasonally adjusted and including bonuses and arrears) up to September 2017. Public service schemes which rely on a measure of earnings, therefore, will use the figure of 3 per cent for the earnings element of revaluation.

Revaluation is one part of the amount of pension that members earn in a year and needs to be considered in conjunction with the amount of in year accrual. Typically, schemes with lower revaluation will have faster accrual and therefore members will earn more pension per year. The following list shows how the main public service schemes will be affected by revaluation:

Scheme

Police

Fire

Civil

Service

NHS

Teachers

LGPS

Armed

Forces

Judicial

Revaluation for active member

4.25%

3%

3%

4.5%

4.6%

3%

3%

3%

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS462
Expand all statements
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 953
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100