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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Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
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WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport )
Lords

Dartford Thurrock River Crossing Charging Scheme

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

The Dartford – Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme account for 2016-17 is published today under Section 3 (1) (d) of the Trunk Road Charging Schemes (Bridges and Tunnels) (Keeping of Accounts) (England) Regulations 2003. A copy of the accounts will be placed in the House Library.

Accounts (PDF Document, 419.9 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS431
WS
Home Office
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Caroline Nokes (The Minister of State for Immigration)
Commons

Opt-In Decision: Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an Agreement between the European Union and Canada for the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

Until the UK leaves the EU it remains a full member, and the Government will continue to consider the application of the UK’s right to opt in to, or opt out of, forthcoming EU legislation in the area of Justice and Home Affairs on a case-by-case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security and protecting our civil liberties.

The Government has decided to opt-in to a Council Decision authorising the opening of negotiations for an Agreement between the European Union and Canada for the transfer and use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.

This Agreement will replace the EU-Canada PNR Agreement which expired in 2009. The UK opted-in to negotiations for a new Agreement which opened in 2010. When an envisaged Agreement was presented to the European Parliament for approval in July 2014, the Parliament referred it to the Court of Justice of the European Union for an opinion on its compliance with the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In July 2017, the Court found that the envisaged Agreement could not be concluded in its current form and the Council has now decided to reopen negotiations.

The UK, in common with the other EU Member States and with an increasing number of third countries, places considerable value on the processing and analysis of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

PNR data is used by many countries to detect individuals involved in serious crime and terrorism-related activity as well as enabling the protection of vulnerable victims of trafficking.

The Government believes that PNR agreements between the EU and third countries play a vital role in assuring the protection of personal data within PNR data and providing legal certainty for air carriers required to disclose personal data to third countries’ authorities. It is for this reason the government has decided to opt in to the negotiation of an EU-Canada Agreement on the transfer and use of PNR data to prevent and combat terrorism and other serious transnational crime.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS425
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Stephen Barclay (Minister of State for Health)
Commons

Government Response to the Naylor Review of NHS property and estates

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

I am today announcing the publication of the Government Response to the Naylor Review.

In March 2017, Sir Robert Naylor published his independent review, NHS Property and Estates: Why the estate matters for patients. It highlighted not just the scale of the challenge we face in ensuring that the NHS has both the buildings and equipment that it needs, but also the scale of the opportunity open to us. It set out how, by taking a more strategic approach, the NHS can generate money to reinvest in new or updated premises and in better patient care. Unused land can be released for much-needed housing, driving regeneration and creating jobs. Using healthcare buildings more efficiently can reduce running costs and deliver more integrated care.

The Government welcomes the review and its recommendations, which we will implement in conjunction with national partners and the NHS.

Sir Robert set out the progress needed on three key themes to transform the NHS estate, and we are taking action in response. The themes highlighted by the Review are leadership and capability, national planning and funding, and incentivising action locally. We are taking action on each of these themes.

First, we have created a new NHS property board, of which I am the Chair. This brings together all the key national players and will act as a single point of leadership for the system on estate matters. We are improving capability at a local level by creating a new national strategic estates planning and advisory service, to help the NHS move from planning to delivery. This team has evolved over the last year as we have brought together all the local strategic estates advisers into a single team to provide expert advice to the NHS.

Second, we are taking steps to improve national planning and funding. Sir Robert gave a clear estimate of the level of funding required to enable the transformation of the estate to meet the vision of the Five Year Forward View. It recommended this could be found through government capital, private finance and proceeds from the disposal of surplus NHS land.

The Chancellor, in his Autumn Budget, announced an additional £10 billion package of capital investment over the course of this Parliament. The Government has committed over £3.9 billion of capital for the NHS. This will support the NHS to increase the proceeds from the sale of surplus land to £3.3 billion. We expect it to be supplemented by private investment, where this provides good value for money. It is likely some of this will come from the types of schemes that already fund primary care facilities. With this £10 billion package of capital investment, we will develop a pipeline of transformational STP projects over the next five years so that the NHS can deliver on the vision of the Five Year Forward View.

The first group of schemes to benefit from this new combined STP funding have already been announced and patients will see the benefits from this investment across a wide range of care settings.

Finally, we are taking action to incentivise local NHS organisations to take a more strategic approach to estates planning and management. I can reassure NHS organisations that they will be able to retain receipts from land sales, so these can be reinvested in the NHS estate, to renew and replace outdated facilities and to address backlog maintenance, in line with local priorities and STP strategies. Where surplus land is developed for housing, NHS staff will be given the right of first refusal on any affordable homes built. We have an ambition that this will allow up to 3,000 NHS workers and their families living in areas where accessing affordable housing can be challenging to own their home.

The Government has delivered its share of the funding needed; the NHS must also play its part. It cannot be right for NHS properties to remain unused and empty when their disposal could generate funds for reinvestment and thus improve facilities and services for patients. As Sir Robert recommended, in order to access capital funding STPs will need to develop robust estates plans with stretching disposal strategies and that reduce running costs and address backlog maintenance. The local NHS needs to act quickly to develop these plans and will be supported by advisors from the local strategic estates planning team.

I would like to again express my gratitude to Sir Robert, his advisory board and Review Team for their time, expertise and commitment.

I attach a copy of the Government’s response

Response to the Naylor Review (PDF Document, 522.53 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS422
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society )
Commons

Second annual report to Parliament on Sporting Future: A New Strategy for an Active Nation and the publication of the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping

I am today publishing the second annual report on the Government’s sport strategy Sporting Future: a New Strategy for an Active Nation, together with the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping.

Second annual report to parliament on Sporting Future

Sporting Future set out a new government vision to redefine what success looks like in sport by concentrating on five key outcomes - physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. It was a bold new strategy for an active nation. It marked the biggest shift in Government policy on sport for more than a decade.

We have continued to build on the significant progress achieved in the first year of the strategy and have continued to embed, and invest in sport and physical activity on the basis of, the five outcomes. On mental wellbeing, for example, we are working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to explore how elite and professional sport can improve its offer of mental health support. We are also building on Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care report to ensure that sport takes its responsibilities to all participants seriously, whether that be elite athletes or those at the grassroots.

Investment in sport and physical activity continues to be focused on the five key outcomes. Funding has been opened up to organisations which can demonstrate how they will consistently deliver some or all of those shared goals, with a strong emphasis on tackling inactivity and engaging underrepresented groups.

We want to make sure absolutely everyone can benefit from the power of sport and I am grateful to all those across government and the sport and physical activity sector who are working to make the ambition of Sporting Future a reality. The annual report is being deposited in the House Libraries and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sporting-future-second-annual-report

Report on the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping

Today I am also publishing the Tailored Review of UK Anti-Doping.

We want to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of efforts to to stop those who would wish to damage the integrity of sport through doping. This Tailored Review examines UKAD’s efficiency, effectiveness, governance and planning for the future.

The recommendations it makes will ensure that we are in the best place possible to continue efforts to stop drugs cheats and to continue to support athletes to compete on a level playing field.

We must continue to do all we can to support these efforts and I am grateful to all who were involved in, and contributed to, the review. The Tailored Review is being deposited in the House Libraries and is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-review-of-uk-anti-doping

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Government Response to the Naylor Review of NHS property and estates

I am today announcing the publication of the Government Response to the Naylor Review.

In March 2017, Sir Robert Naylor published his independent review, NHS Property and Estates: Why the estate matters for patients. It highlighted not just the scale of the challenge we face in ensuring that the NHS has both the buildings and equipment that it needs, but also the scale of the opportunity open to us. It set out how, by taking a more strategic approach, the NHS can generate money to reinvest in new or updated premises and in better patient care. Unused land can be released for much-needed housing, driving regeneration and creating jobs. Using healthcare buildings more efficiently can reduce running costs and deliver more integrated care.

The Government welcomes the review and its recommendations, which we will implement in conjunction with national partners and the NHS.

Sir Robert set out the progress needed on three key themes to transform the NHS estate, and we are taking action in response. The themes highlighted by the Review are leadership and capability, national planning and funding, and incentivising action locally. We are taking action on each of these themes.

First, we have created a new NHS property board, of which I am the Chair. This brings together all the key national players and will act as a single point of leadership for the system on estate matters. We are improving capability at a local level by creating a new national strategic estates planning and advisory service, to help the NHS move from planning to delivery. This team has evolved over the last year as we have brought together all the local strategic estates advisers into a single team to provide expert advice to the NHS.

Second, we are taking steps to improve national planning and funding. Sir Robert gave a clear estimate of the level of funding required to enable the transformation of the estate to meet the vision of the Five Year Forward View. It recommended this could be found through government capital, private finance and proceeds from the disposal of surplus NHS land.

The Chancellor, in his Autumn Budget, announced an additional £10 billion package of capital investment over the course of this Parliament. The Government has committed over £3.9 billion of capital for the NHS. This will support the NHS to increase the proceeds from the sale of surplus land to £3.3 billion. We expect it to be supplemented by private investment, where this provides good value for money. It is likely some of this will come from the types of schemes that already fund primary care facilities. With this £10 billion package of capital investment, we will develop a pipeline of transformational STP projects over the next five years so that the NHS can deliver on the vision of the Five Year Forward View.

The first group of schemes to benefit from this new combined STP funding have already been announced and patients will see the benefits from this investment across a wide range of care settings.

Finally, we are taking action to incentivise local NHS organisations to take a more strategic approach to estates planning and management. I can reassure NHS organisations that they will be able to retain receipts from land sales, so these can be reinvested in the NHS estate, to renew and replace outdated facilities and to address backlog maintenance, in line with local priorities and STP strategies. Where surplus land is developed for housing, NHS staff will be given the right of first refusal on any affordable homes built. We have an ambition that this will allow up to 3,000 NHS workers and their families living in areas where accessing affordable housing can be challenging to own their home.

The Government has delivered its share of the funding needed; the NHS must also play its part. It cannot be right for NHS properties to remain unused and empty when their disposal could generate funds for reinvestment and thus improve facilities and services for patients. As Sir Robert recommended, in order to access capital funding STPs will need to develop robust estates plans with stretching disposal strategies and that reduce running costs and address backlog maintenance. The local NHS needs to act quickly to develop these plans and will be supported by advisors from the local strategic estates planning team.

I would like to again express my gratitude to Sir Robert, his advisory board and Review Team for their time, expertise and commitment.

I attach a copy of the Government’s response

Response to the Naylor Review (PDF Document, 522.53 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS433
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 30 January 2018
Made by: Jesse Norman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Dartford Thurrock River Crossing Charging Scheme

The Dartford – Thurrock Crossing Charging Scheme account for 2016-17 is published today under Section 3 (1) (d) of the Trunk Road Charging Schemes (Bridges and Tunnels) (Keeping of Accounts) (England) Regulations 2003. A copy of the accounts will be placed in the House Library.

Accounts (PDF Document, 419.9 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS423
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 29 January 2018
Made by: Jesse Norman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Vehicle technology: Updated analysis of Report Stage Government amendments for the purposes of English Votes for English Laws.

I am today placing in the Library of the House the Department’s analysis on the application of Standing Order 83L in respect of the Government amendments tabled for Commons Report stage for the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.

Department’s analysis (PDF Document, 167.9 KB)
WS
Home Office
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Report of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation on the Operation in 2016 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006

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

In accordance with section 36(5) of the Terrorism Act 2006, Max Hill QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has prepared a report on the operation in 2016 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

I am today laying this report before the House, and copies will be available in the Vote Office. It will also be published on GOV.UK.

I am grateful to Max Hill for his report. I will carefully consider its contents and the recommendations he makes, and will respond formally in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS429
WS
Home Office
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Amber Rudd (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Report of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation on the Operation in 2016 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006

In accordance with section 36(5) of the Terrorism Act 2006, Max Hill QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, has prepared a report on the operation in 2016 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and Part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

I am today laying this report before the House, and copies will be available in the Vote Office. It will also be published on GOV.UK.

I am grateful to Max Hill for his report. I will carefully consider its contents and the recommendations he makes, and will respond formally in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS421
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Lords

Energy Policy

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Greg Clark), has today made the following statement:

Exploring and developing the UK’s shale gas resources could bring substantial benefits and the government’s view is that there is a national need to develop these resources in a safe, sustainable and timely way. As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the government is fully committed to the development and deployment of low carbon technologies for heat and electricity generation. As we move towards this low carbon economy, natural gas will continue to play an important role in our energy system. The government is confident that the right protections are in place to explore shale safely and has always been clear that shale development must be safe and environmentally sound.

On 29 November 2017 I issued a Direction to the Oil and Gas Authority. This Direction closed a loophole in instances where prospective shale gas wells had been drilled prior to the Infrastructure Act 2015 coming into force. It ensures that all operators proposing to hydraulically fracture a well are subjected to the same rigorous final step of scrutiny.

Third Energy UK Gas Limited’s proposals to hydraulically fracture its site in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire have been referred to me as a result. I am committed to ensuring that a meticulous approach, rooted in rigorous evidence, is taken when reviewing the application.

Having that shale development must be safe and environmentally soundHaving given careful consideration to the evidence submitted, I have informed the Oil and Gas Authority today that I am satisfied that the thirteen technical requirements set out in section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998 have been met.

I also consider that an equivalent assessment should be undertaken of the financial resilience of companies proposing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations so that stakeholders can have confidence in the company’s ability to meet its commitments.

I note that as of 24 January Third Energy UK Gas Limited and other related companies had yet to submit their accounts for the accounting period ending in December 2016, despite a statutory deadline of 30 September 2017 for them to do so. I have therefore asked the Oil and Gas Authority to seek further financial information from the company, including the required set of up-to-date accounts, to inform my decision.

I have also asked the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to assess the financial resilience of the applicant, including its ability to fund decommissioning costs. Once I have received this assessment I will inform the Oil and Gas Authority whether I am satisfied with the application as required by the 1998 Act.

The Government considers that the financial resilience of a company wishing to hydraulically fracture is a relevant consideration. As a matter of policy, we will therefore look at the financial resilience of all companies wishing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations alongside their application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS428
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy )
Commons

Energy Policy

Exploring and developing the UK’s shale gas resources could bring substantial benefits and the government’s view is that there is a national need to develop these resources in a safe, sustainable and timely way. As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, the government is fully committed to the development and deployment of low carbon technologies for heat and electricity generation. As we move towards this low carbon economy, natural gas will continue to play an important role in our energy system. The government is confident that the right protections are in place to explore shale safely and has always been clear that shale development must be safe and environmentally sound.

On 29 November 2017 I issued a Direction to the Oil and Gas Authority. This Direction closed a loophole in instances where prospective shale gas wells had been drilled prior to the Infrastructure Act 2015 coming into force. It ensures that all operators proposing to hydraulically fracture a well are subjected to the same rigorous final step of scrutiny.

Third Energy UK Gas Limited’s proposals to hydraulically fracture its site in Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire have been referred to me as a result. I am committed to ensuring that a meticulous approach, rooted in rigorous evidence, is taken when reviewing the application.

Having given careful consideration to the evidence submitted, I have informed the Oil and Gas Authority today that I am satisfied that the thirteen technical requirements set out in section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998 have been met.

I also consider that an equivalent assessment should be undertaken of the financial resilience of companies proposing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations so that stakeholders can have confidence in the company’s ability to meet its commitments.

I note that as of 24 January Third Energy UK Gas Limited and other related companies had yet to submit their accounts for the accounting period ending in December 2016, despite a statutory deadline of 30 September 2017 for them to do so. I have therefore asked the Oil and Gas Authority to seek further financial information from the company, including the required set of up-to-date accounts, to inform my decision.

I have also asked the Infrastructure and Projects Authority to assess the financial resilience of the applicant, including its ability to fund decommissioning costs. Once I have received this assessment I will inform the Oil and Gas Authority whether I am satisfied with the application as required by the 1998 Act.

The Government considers that the financial resilience of a company wishing to hydraulically fracture is a relevant consideration. As a matter of policy, we will therefore look at the financial resilience of all companies wishing to carry out hydraulic fracturing operations alongside their application for Hydraulic Fracturing Consent.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS420
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Lords

Energy Frameworks

My hon friend Richard Harrington, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has made the following written ministerial statement:

I am today launching a public consultation on the draft National Policy Statement and supporting environmental appraisals for geological disposal infrastructure for higher activity radioactive waste. I am also laying the draft National Policy Statement before this House which will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny, including review by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

A second consultation ‘Working with Communities’ proposes how local people should be engaged if they express an interest in hosting a disposal facility. A facility will only be approved for construction with the consent and support of the local community affected.

In 2014 the Government set out a renewed approach to finding a site to host a geological disposal facility in the ‘Implementing Geological Disposal’ White Paper which was developed following consultation with stakeholders and the public. In it, the Government committed to bringing geological disposal facilities and the deep investigatory boreholes necessary to characterise sites within the definition of nationally significant infrastructure projects and to producing a draft National Policy Statement for this type of infrastructure in England. The relevant secondary legislation to designate geological disposal facilities and deep investigatory boreholes as nationally significant infrastructure projects was passed in March 2015.

The draft National Policy Statement sets out a clear route for future planning decisions in respect of geological disposal infrastructure in England, as well as providing planning guidance for developers of such projects and for the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State in their consideration and determination of any such applications. The National Policy Statement will give greater certainty to developers and lead to faster and more transparent delivery of planning decisions. The Government has appointed Radioactive Waste Management Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, to develop this infrastructure. It does not prevent any other developer from bringing forward an application for development consent for a geological disposal facility or deep investigatory boreholes; however, we are not aware of any other developers showing an interest in developing a geological disposal facility and do not expect this to occur.

In this consultation we are actively looking for views and suggestions on the draft National Policy Statement and the related environmental and sustainability appraisal documents to enable us to meet our objective of delivering a clear planning process for a geological disposal facility in the most effective and efficient way.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, and will include a series of regional events and technical workshop with interested parties. In parallel with this consultation, we are also running another consultation seeking views on a draft framework for Radioactive Waste Management Ltd’s engagement with willing communities as part of the separate process of finding a suitable site for a geological disposal facility. The approach of working with a willing community to host a geological disposal facility, as set out in the 2014 White Paper, gives communities an opportunity to decide whether or not they wish to proceed with the development of a geological disposal facility. The Working with Communities policy sets out how Radioactive Waste Management Ltd will work with a community throughout the siting process. Once a community has indicated its support for hosting a geological disposal facility the National Policy Statement sets out how a geological disposal facility application will be assessed through the planning system. It is important to stress that all the usual opportunities for the public to have a say in the development of a facility like this through planning, safety, security and environmental permitting processes will also be in place.

Planning is a devolved issue and so this draft National Policy Statement provides the framework for the decision making on development consent applications for geological disposal infrastructure in England only. The planning process in Wales and Northern Ireland is to be decided by their respective administrations. Scotland has a different policy for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste.

Following our analysis of the responses to this consultation and the consultation on working with communities and feedback from the Select Committee, we will finalise our policy approach.

The ‘relevant period’ for parliamentary scrutiny of the National Policy Statement will be from 25 January 2018 to 28 September 2018.

The consultation document and supporting papers will be laid in the Libraries of the House.

Today I am also publishing the seventh and latest annual report on the geological disposal programme covering the period April 2016 to March 2017. The report can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-geological-disposal-annual-report-april-2016-to-march-2017 and I have made available copies in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS427
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity)
Lords

January Agriculture and Fisheries Council

My Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice) has today made the following statement:

Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place on 29 January in Brussels.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus will be information from the European Commission on ‘The Future of Food and Farming’, looking towards the next cycle of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Bulgarian Presidency will present its work programme for the remainder of this term, finishing at the end of June. The European Commission will update the Council on the situation in EU agricultural markets, and on trade-related agricultural issues.

There are currently three items scheduled under ‘Any other business’:

  • situation in the sugar market after the abolition of the quota system

  • situation in the pig meat market

  • conclusions from the Ministerial Conference on Xylella fastidiosa (Paris, 1 December 2017).

Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS426
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: Richard Harrington (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Commons

Energy Frameworks

I am today launching a public consultation on the draft National Policy Statement and supporting environmental appraisals for geological disposal infrastructure for higher activity radioactive waste. I am also laying the draft National Policy Statement before this House which will be subject to parliamentary scrutiny, including review by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.

A second consultation ‘Working with Communities’ proposes how local people should be engaged if they express an interest in hosting a disposal facility. A facility will only be approved for construction with the consent and support of the local community affected.

In 2014 the Government set out a renewed approach to finding a site to host a geological disposal facility in the ‘Implementing Geological Disposal’ White Paper which was developed following consultation with stakeholders and the public. In it, the Government committed to bringing geological disposal facilities and the deep investigatory boreholes necessary to characterise sites within the definition of nationally significant infrastructure projects and to producing a draft National Policy Statement for this type of infrastructure in England. The relevant secondary legislation to designate geological disposal facilities and deep investigatory boreholes as nationally significant infrastructure projects was passed in March 2015.

The draft National Policy Statement sets out a clear route for future planning decisions in respect of geological disposal infrastructure in England, as well as providing planning guidance for developers of such projects and for the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State in their consideration and determination of any such applications. The National Policy Statement will give greater certainty to developers and lead to faster and more transparent delivery of planning decisions. The Government has appointed Radioactive Waste Management Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, to develop this infrastructure. It does not prevent any other developer from bringing forward an application for development consent for a geological disposal facility or deep investigatory boreholes; however, we are not aware of any other developers showing an interest in developing a geological disposal facility and do not expect this to occur.

In this consultation we are actively looking for views and suggestions on the draft National Policy Statement and the related environmental and sustainability appraisal documents to enable us to meet our objective of delivering a clear planning process for a geological disposal facility in the most effective and efficient way.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks, and will include a series of regional events and technical workshop with interested parties. In parallel with this consultation, we are also running another consultation seeking views on a draft framework for Radioactive Waste Management Ltd’s engagement with willing communities as part of the separate process of finding a suitable site for a geological disposal facility. The approach of working with a willing community to host a geological disposal facility, as set out in the 2014 White Paper, gives communities an opportunity to decide whether or not they wish to proceed with the development of a geological disposal facility. The Working with Communities policy sets out how Radioactive Waste Management Ltd will work with a community throughout the siting process. Once a community has indicated its support for hosting a geological disposal facility the National Policy Statement sets out how a geological disposal facility application will be assessed through the planning system. It is important to stress that all the usual opportunities for the public to have a say in the development of a facility like this through planning, safety, security and environmental permitting processes will also be in place.

Planning is a devolved issue and so this draft National Policy Statement provides the framework for the decision making on development consent applications for geological disposal infrastructure in England only. The planning process in Wales and Northern Ireland is to be decided by their respective administrations. Scotland has a different policy for the long-term management of higher activity radioactive waste.

Following our analysis of the responses to this consultation and the consultation on working with communities and feedback from the Select Committee, we will finalise our policy approach.

The ‘relevant period’ for parliamentary scrutiny of the National Policy Statement will be from 25 January 2018 to 28 September 2018.

The consultation document and supporting papers will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Today I am also publishing the seventh and latest annual report on the geological disposal programme covering the period April 2016 to March 2017. The report can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-geological-disposal-annual-report-april-2016-to-march-2017 and I have placed copies in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS419
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 25 January 2018
Made by: George Eustice (Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
Commons

January Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place on 29 January in Brussels.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus will be information from the European Commission on ‘The Future of Food and Farming’, looking towards the next cycle of the Common Agricultural Policy.

The Bulgarian Presidency will present its work programme for the remainder of this term, finishing at the end of June. The European Commission will update the Council on the situation in EU agricultural markets, and on trade-related agricultural issues.

There are currently three items scheduled under ‘Any other business’:

  • situation in the sugar market after the abolition of the quota system

  • situation in the pig meat market

  • conclusions from the Ministerial Conference on Xylella fastidiosa (Paris, 1 December 2017).

Until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS418
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 24 January 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Lords

UK Public Register of Overseas Entity Beneficial Ownership

My hon friend Andrew Griffiths , the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has made the following written ministerial statement:

I am today confirming to Parliament the Government’s timetable for implementation of its policy to achieve greater transparency around foreign entities that own or buy property in the UK or participate in UK Government procurement. This will set down in legislation the commitment made at the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit and reaffirmed in the UK’s Anti-Corruption Strategy, published in December.

The Government intends to legislate to establish a public register of beneficial owners of non-UK entities that own or buy UK property, or which participate in UK Government procurement. It will publish a draft Bill before the summer recess this year. This will be a significant piece of legislation that delivers a streamlined policy, consistent across the UK, where currently the Land Registries for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland have taken different approaches to land registration and registration of overseas entities.

The Government intends to introduce the Bill to Parliament early in the second session. Following Royal Assent and the making of secondary legislation, the Government intends that the register will be operational in 2021.

Separately, I will be publishing a response to my Department’s call for evidence last year on this policy very shortly that will provide more detail on responses received and our proposed approach.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS425
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 24 January 2018
Made by: Andrew Griffiths (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Commons

UK Public Register of Overseas Entity Beneficial Ownership

I am today confirming to Parliament the Government’s timetable for implementation of its policy to achieve greater transparency around foreign entities that own or buy property in the UK or participate in UK Government procurement. This will set down in legislation the commitment made at the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit and reaffirmed in the UK’s Anti-Corruption Strategy, published in December.

The Government intends to legislate to establish a public register of beneficial owners of non-UK entities that own or buy UK property, or which participate in UK Government procurement. It will publish a draft Bill before the summer recess this year. This will be a significant piece of legislation that delivers a streamlined policy, consistent across the UK, where currently the Land Registries for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Northern Ireland have taken different approaches to land registration and registration of overseas entities.

The Government intends to introduce the Bill to Parliament early in the second session. Following Royal Assent and the making of secondary legislation, the Government intends that the register will be operational in 2021.

Separately, I will be publishing a response to my Department’s call for evidence last year on this policy very shortly that will provide more detail on responses received and our proposed approach.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS417
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 23 January 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Update on Carillion PLC

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On Monday 15 January 2018 I notified the House of the steps taken by the Government in regards to the compulsory liquidation of Carillion plc.

Throughout this unfolding situation the Government has prioritised the continued delivery of public services. Taxpayers should not, and will not, bail out a private sector company for private sector losses or allow rewards for failure.

The failure of this company has understandably caused concern for many people over their jobs, their pensions and their local services. The court has appointed an Official Receiver from the Insolvency Service who has taken control of the delivery of public services contracts and we are supporting them to do so. We will support the Official Receiver to provide these services until a suitable alternative is found, either through another contractor or through in-house provision.

I would like to provide further reassurance that all employees working on public services should continue to turn up to work, as they have been doing since the announcement of the liquidation, confident in the knowledge that they will be paid for the work they are providing.

In order to safeguard our public services, we have been implementing contingency plans that have been developed since July 2017. Since I last updated the House, there has been no significant disruption to service delivery in schools, hospitals, prisons, defence and other public services as staff have continued to provide services. We have been engaging with all devolved administrations with exposure to Carillion to ensure that robust contingency plans are being implemented.

A number of Carillion’s joint venture partners such as Kier, Eiffage, Balfour Beatty, KBR, Amey and Galliford Try have committed to stepping into the respective public sector contracts to ensure continuity of these vital services. Public sector construction sites have been secured and construction will begin following the appointment of a new contractor. I would like to express my thanks to all those who have worked hard to ensure the continuity of public services.

Over 90% of Carillion’s private sector facilities management service customers have indicated that they will provide funding for the Official Receiver to maintain interim services while new suppliers can be identified to deliver these, ensuring the retention and employment of staff on these contracts. In addition, we are making sure the usual level of support from Government to affected employees is available from JobCentre Plus, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), HMRC and also dedicated websites from the Insolvency Service.

At present, seven Carillon pensions schemes, covering 6000 members, have moved to the Pensions Protection Fund Assessment period, this occurs automatically when all the sponsoring employers become insolvent. The remaining 21,000 members are in schemes which have at least one sponsor not in insolvency, and are therefore not in the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Where pensions have moved into the PPF, the PPF is making sure current pensioners continue to receive their pensions at 100% of their usual rate, and are assessing the eligibility of Carillion’s pension schemes to enter the PPF to protect current employees’ future pensions. We have also set up a special additional helpline with the Pensions Advisory Service for members of Carillion’s pension schemes (0800 7561012). We have responded to over 500 calls to the Pensions Advisory Service line since it opened last week.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to ensure funding is available to support former Carillion apprentices. Over 1400 apprentices have been contacted and the CITB is offering every former Carillion apprentice a face-to-face session with CITB Apprenticeships to find out their individual learning needs. To date, the CITB have matched 400 Carillion apprentices to new employers, and they continue to assess the industry offers they have received to find placements for the remaining Carillion apprentices.

HMRC will provide practical advice and guidance to affected businesses in Carillion’s supply chain through its Business Payment Support Service (BPSS). The BPSS connects businesses with HMRC staff who can offer practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems, providing a fast and sympathetic route to agreeing the best way forward and addressing immediate concerns with practical solutions. HMRC has also offered to provide affected families with cash support through the tax credit system and has published details on how to contact them to arrange.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [Rt Hon Greg Clark MP], Economic Secretary to the Treasury, [John Glen MP], and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Startegy [Andrew Griffiths MP], met with several banks on 17 January 2018 to seek assurances that they will support small businesses affected by Carillion’s liquidation. Lenders are contacting customers and, where appropriate, are putting in place emergency measures, including overdraft extensions, payment holidays and fee waivers to ensure those facing short term issues can be helped to stay on track. Three lenders have made a fund of £225m available to support small businesses exposed to Carillion’s liquidation. Furthermore, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has set up a taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation on construction firms, particularly SMEs and those working in the sector. He chaired the first meeting of the taskforce on 18 January 2018 and will be holding a further series of meetings with stakeholders in the coming weeks.

The Official Receiver has also taken immediate action to stop severance and bonus payments to former Directors. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has written to the Insolvency Service and the Official Receiver asking that the statutory investigation into the conduct of Carillion’s directors is fast-tracked and extended in scope to include previous directors. He has also asked the Financial Reporting Council to conduct an investigation into the preparation of Carillion’s accounts past and present, as well as the company’s auditors.

Officials in my department have been in touch with various members’ offices last week following their queries through the dedicated helplines we set up. I shall be holding drop-in sessions for members to meet with Cabinet Office ministers and relevant officials to answer any further queries. Alongside ministerial colleagues, I will keep the House updated on this ongoing situation.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 23 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

Prime Minister's Trade Envoys

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (Dr Liam Fox MP) has today made the following statement.

The Prime Minister has approved two new appointments to the Trade Envoy programme. Ranil Jayawardena MP has been appointed as the Trade Envoy for Sri Lanka and Julian Knight MP, as the Trade Envoy for Mongolia. These new Trade Envoys take the total number to 30 parliamentarians covering 59 markets.

The Trade Envoy programme is an unpaid and voluntary cross-party network, who support the UK’s ambitious trade and investment agenda in global markets. They have contributed to business wins worth around £19.5 billion.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS421
WS
Home Office
Made on: 23 January 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Security Industry Authority (SIA) Annual Report and Accounts 2016 – 2017

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

The 2016-17 Annual Report and Accounts for the Security Industry Authority (HC 744) is being laid before the House today and published on www.gov.uk. Copies will be available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS424
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