Written statements

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

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

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

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

The Crown Estate Transfer Scheme 2017

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

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

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

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

  1. Vision

  2. Managing Crown Estate Assets for Scotland and Communities

  3. Securing the Benefits for Scotland and Communities

  4. Assessing Impact

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

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

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS178
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 17 October 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

International Investment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS177
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Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Homelessness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Foreign Affairs Council – 17 July 2017

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

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

Foreign Affairs Council

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

EU Global Strategy

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

DPRK

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

Libya

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

Migration

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

Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:

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

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council – 15 May 2017

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

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 15 May. The Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

Agenda items included Security and Defence, Horn of Africa, EU-Africa and the Eastern Partnership.

Security and Defence

The Security and Defence discussion centred on HRVP Mogherini and the European Commission updating Foreign Ministers on a variety of dossiers, including the Military Planning and Conduct Capability, Permanent Structured Cooperation, the Coordinated Annual Review of Defence, the forthcoming ATHENA review, CSDP and the European Defence Fund.

Horn of Africa

There was widespread agreement amongst Foreign Ministers that the Horn was of strategic importance for Europe. Mogherini and several others warmly thanked the UK for the London Conference which offered an opportunity to stabilise Somalia. Other areas highlighted for increased EU action were the border conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Nile basin tensions between Egypt and Ethiopia, and using the EU-strategic partnership with Ethiopia to deliver messages on human rights and political reform.

EU-Africa

Mogherini introduced the 4 May EEAS/Commission Joint Communication (JC) on the future direction of the EU-Africa relationship, including deliverables for the November Africa-EU Summit. There were two main themes: creating more resilient states and societies, and generating jobs - especially for young people. Member States welcomed the JC and its proposals to increase investment, jobs, and improve education. Foreign Ministers had lunch with African Union Chair Faki.

Eastern Partnership

Foreign Ministers looked forward to the Eastern Partnership Summit in November and discussed how best to build strong links with partners.

Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:
- The Council adopted Conclusions on Venezuela
- The Council adopted Conclusions on indigenous peoples
- The Council approved a concept of operations on regionalisation of CSDP action in the Sahel.
- The Council approved the staff rules of the EU Satellite Centre (SATCEN).
- The Council approved the High Representative Report on the Operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- The Council adopted a decision mobilising €2.64 million under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to provide support to 964 dismissed workers made redundant in four Finnish enterprises operating in the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products sector.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (Gymnich): 28 April 2017

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

I attended the bi-annual informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (known as the Gymnich) on 28 April in Valletta, Malta. The Gymnich was hosted by Dr George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta and was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Discussion centred on Turkey, Globalisation, the EU Global Strategy and the previous day’s violence in the Macedonia parliament.

Johannes Hahn (EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations) also attended. David McAllister (Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee) was present for the opening session on Turkey. EU Foreign Ministers met with the Foreign Ministers of the candidate countries in the afternoon.

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 19 June), Ministers do not take formal decisions or agree Conclusions at the Gymnich.

Gymnich discussion

Turkey

EU Foreign Ministers discussed Turkey in the opening session, agreeing on the need to maintain a dialogue with this strategic partner. I welcomed this consensus and stressed the importance of the tone of our engagement. In the afternoon, EU Foreign Ministers were joined by their Turkish counterpart (Cavusoglu) who touched on a number of matters of shared interest, including the result of the recent constitutional referendum.

Globalisation

Ms. Mogherini introduced a discussion on how to ensure the global trade agenda delivers demonstrable benefits for all EU citizens.

EU Global Strategy (EUGS)

Ms. Mogherini gave the assembled EU Foreign Ministers an account of the EU’s activity in the foreign and security policy sphere since the publication of the Global Strategy (EUGS) last June.

Violence in the FYROM Parliament

Several Member States condemned the violence in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia parliament on 27 April. The FYROM Foreign Minister (Poposki) said there could be no justification for the violence and that those responsible would be brought to justice.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council – 3 April 2017

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

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 3 April. The Foreign Affairs Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

Agenda items included Syria, Yemen and Libya. Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League, debriefed on the Arab Summit in Amman over lunch at the invitation of the HRVP.

Syria

The Council discussed the situation in Syria and adopted Council Conclusions. The discussion reaffirmed the EU remained committed to a political solution to the crisis. Planning for post-conflict assistance needed to start, but there could be no reconstruction assistance until a credible political transition was firmly underway. The Council agreed to adopt the EU strategy on Syria.

Yemen

The Council discussed the situation in Yemen and adopted Council Conclusions. HRVP Mogherini discussed a potential EU role in Yemen to restart political talks. Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the seriousness of the situation in Yemen and discussed a new framework that had been presented to the warring parties.

Libya

Council members discussed the situation in Libya following the first meeting of the Libya Quartet on 18 March 2017. They discussed common ground between the parties and underlined the EU’s commitment to supporting Libyans in finding unity and stability within the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement.

Ministers agreed a number of measures without discussion:

- The Council adopted Conclusions on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child.
- The Council adopted Conclusions on Somalia
- The Council adopted a decision supporting the UN Programme of Actions to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Lights Weapons (SALW) in All Its Aspects.
- The Council extended its decision 2014/129/CFSP until 2 July 2017 in order to ensure the smooth continuation of the work of the EU non-proliferation consortium of think-tanks, based on the funds still available.
- The Council amended the restrictive measures in view of the situation in Yemen to transpose an update by the United Nations related to four persons subject to restrictive measures.
- The Council adopted a new EU policy on training for the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).
- The Council approved the exercise specifications for the EU crisis management military exercise in 2017 (MILEX17).

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (Gymnich): 7-8 September 2017

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

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the bi-annual informal meeting of EU foreign ministers (known as the Gymnich) on 7-8 September in Tallinn, Estonia. The Gymnich was hosted by Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. Discussion centred on Democratic People Republic of Korea (DPRK), Middle East Peace Policy (MEPP) and working methods.

Johannes Hahn (EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations) also attended. David McAllister (Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee) was present for the working dinner and session on the second day. EU foreign ministers met Foreign Ministers of the candidate countries on the morning of 8 September.

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 16 October), Ministers do not take formal decisions or agree Conclusions at the Gymnich.

Gymnich discussion

MEPP

Ministers agreed that a two-state solution was the only way forward but the humanitarian situation was severe. Ms. Mogherini explained that the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the EU Commission were reviewing EU financial assistance to look at what would be most effective in advancing the two state solution.

DPRK

Ms.Mogherini proposed three strands of EU action. First, economic pressure. The EU should support a new UNSCR and adopt new EU sanctions, including looking at EU investment and targeted measures. Second, diplomatic action and insistence on peaceful denuclearisation. Third, protecting the global non-proliferation regime. The EU should lobby countries that weren't fully implementing existing UN sanctions on DPRK and protect the JCPOA.

Countering violent extremism

Ministers welcomed the existing security and counter-terrorism co-operation between the European Union and the EU candidate countries and agreed that it should be further developed and intensified.

WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

General Affairs Council October 2017

I will be attending the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 17 October 2017 to represent the UK’s interests. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full member.

The provisional agenda includes:

Preparation of the European Council, 19 to 20 October 2017

The Estonian Presidency will present its final draft conclusions on the agenda for the October European Council. The agenda includes: migration, digital, defence and external relations.

Rule of law dialogue

An annual rule of law dialogue has formed part of the GAC agenda since 2014. The Presidency has invited Ministers to consider ‘Media pluralism and the rule of law in the digital age’ for this year’s dialogue.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS172
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Home Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (01 June 2017 to 31 August 2017)

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

Section 19(1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (the Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of her TPIM powers under the Act during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

TPIM notices in force (as of 31 August 2017)

6

TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 31 August 2017)

5

TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period)

4

TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period)

1

TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period)

1

Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the

reporting period)

26

Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during

the reporting period)

1

The number of current subjects relocated under TPIM legislation (as of 31

August 2017)

6

The TPIM Review Group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The most recent TRG meetings took place on 26 and 30 June, and 3, 4 and 5 July. The next round of TRG’s will take place during September 2017.

One TPIM subject has been charged with breach of his TPIM measures the trial is pending.

The case of Secretary of State for the Home Department v IM, JM and LG [2017] EWHC 1529 (Admin) was heard at the High Court between 20 March and 7 April 2017. In a judgment handed down on 30 June 2017 Mr Justice Nicol upheld the Secretary of State’s decision to impose a TPIM notice on IM, JM and LG. In the same judgment Mr Justice Nicol ordered minor variations to IM, JM and LG’s police reporting requirements and a variation to the wording of the association measure.

This judgment can be found at www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2017/1529.html.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS173
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Home Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Annual Report of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

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

I am pleased to announce that I am today laying before the House the 2017 annual report of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. Copies of the report are available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS174
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Home Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Modern Slavery: 2017 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery

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

Today, I am publishing the 2017 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery. The Report covers the whole of the UK and has been drafted in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. This report sets out an assessment of the scale of modern slavery in the UK, and outlines the actions that have taken to combat it over the last year.

A copy of the report will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS175
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council (16 October)

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 will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on 16 October. The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The meeting will be held in Luxembourg.

Foreign Affairs Council

The agenda for the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) is expected to include Iran, Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), Turkey and Human Rights. Hungary has indicated that it will raise under Any Other Business its concerns over recent amendments to Ukraine’s Education Law.

Iran

Ministers will discuss the latest developments regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The UK fully supports full implementation of the deal by all parties. Preventing a nuclear armed Iran is a UK priority for both our security and that of the region.

DPRK

Ministers will focus on the threat the DPRK poses to global security and condemn its pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions. We want the discussion to reinforce the importance of a strong and united EU response. The UK has led efforts to agree a new set of EU autonomous measures against the DPRK set to be adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council. We will make clear the importance of the EU and all its Members States supporting the full enforcement in third countries of the measures adopted under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Turkey

Ministers will informally discuss development over lunch with a focus on the regional situation.

Human Rights

Ministers will discuss the EU’s approach to human rights challenges in bilateral and multilateral fora. We will stress that wider equities in EU and Member State relationships with third countries should not preclude holding those countries to account for failure to observe their human rights obligations and make clear that the UK will continue to work closely with the EU on human rights even after we leave. Council Conclusions will be adopted.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Disabled People’s Employment Corporation (GB) Ltd

My honourable Friend the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work (Penny Mordaunt MP) has made the following Written Statement.

The Disabled People’s Employment Corporation (GB) Ltd, one of DWP’s Arms’-Length Bodies, has entered Solvent Members’ Voluntary Liquidation. Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP are the liquidators and any residual asset value will be returned to the Department. The Company was previously Remploy Ltd and has been managing legacy issues following the exit of Remploy Employment Services from Government control in April 2015 as a partly employee-owned company.

Since 2015, the Board has been working towards a well-ordered closure, dealing with legacy assets and liabilities. The last premises were sold in September 2017, and the Company’s members agreed to put the Company into liquidation on 7 October 2017.

I plan to deposit the Company’s accounts for the period up to liquidation in the Library of the House in due course. But I can reassure the House that the Directors believe the Company has sufficient assets to settle its creditors in full, and there will be no redundancies as the Company has had no employees since 2015. The pensions of those who worked for the company are secure: the Remploy Ltd Pension and Assurance Scheme has been sponsored directly by my Department since 1 April 2016.

The liquidators are now responsible for the Company, and the Department will manage the contract with the liquidator, who will refer any significant decisions regarding the on-going management of the Department’s investment in the Company to the Principal Accounting Officer if necessary. Responsibilities during this liquidation period are explained in the Framework Document which will be deposited in the Library of the House today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS164
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 October 2017
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal)

My Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Boris Johnson), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

Her Majesty’s Government has taken note of President Trump’s decision not to recertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to Congress and, along with France, Germany and our other international partners, is concerned by the implications.

Her Majesty’s Government is strongly committed to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPoA. This deal represents the culmination of 13 years of diplomacy and was a major step towards ensuring that Iran’s nuclear programme is only for peaceful purposes. The JCPoA contributes to the United Kingdom’s wider non-proliferation objectives and strengthens the international framework in this regard.

The Government remains of the firm view that the deal is in the security interests of the United Kingdom and the wider region and is, most importantly, working to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The International Atomic Energy Agency has released eight reports on Iran's nuclear programme since Implementation Day of the JCPoA in January 2016. In our role as a member of the Joint Commission, the body set up to implement the deal, consisting of the E3+3 (UK, France, Germany, China, Russia, US) and Iran, and coordinated by the European Union, we have held Iran to account and urged continued compliance. Where Iran has previously pushed the boundaries of the deal, it has taken steps to remain in compliance. The most recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency in August 2017 confirmed that Iran continues to comply with its nuclear related commitments under the JCPoA.

However, the Government shares serious concerns about Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its destabilising activity in the region. Addressing these issues is a fundamental part of the Government’s policy towards Iran and we will consider further appropriate measures. The nuclear deal does not prevent us from tackling these issues. On the contrary, removing the most dangerous threat of nuclear weapons allows us to focus our efforts on challenging on the other areas of Iran's destabilising activity.

In parallel to agreeing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015, Her Majesty’s Government has been rebuilding bilateral relations with Iran in order to address issues of disagreement as well as discuss areas of agreement and cooperation. Both the United Kingdom and Iran reopened Embassies in London and Tehran in August 2015 and we upgraded to Ambassadorial relations in September 2016. We remain very concerned about dual British-Iranian nationals who are detained in Iran and on whose cases we continue to press for improvement at the highest levels. Both the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have raised these cases personally with their Iranian counterparts and will continue to do so.

Her Majesty’s Government will continue to make the case for the JCPoA with its partners, including the United States, and is committed to ensuring its success in delivering both our security objectives and delivering sanctions relief for the Iranian people, while we also work to tackle our broader concerns. The Government is encouraging the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any further steps that might undermine or weaken the JCPoA.

WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 12 October 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Spending Authority

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

It is important that departments can start spending to prepare for Brexit when they need to do so. Managing Public Money requires that expenditure on new services must rest on specific legislation. However, delaying spend until legislation has reached Royal Assent could jeopardise readiness for Brexit.

To address this, for the small proportion of spending affected, ministers can issue a technical direction, allowing critical spending to be incurred ahead of Royal Assent, whilst ensuring transparency to Parliament.

In these cases, the use of a Direction will be a matter of timing. Departments will still need to ensure spending is in all other respects regular, proper, feasible and good value for money, in the usual way. I have asked my officials to write to all departments explaining this process. They will also write to the Public Accounts Committee - this letter will be published to ensure full transparency.

As confirmed yesterday, by the Prime Minister to the House and by the Chancellor to the Treasury Committee, the Treasury has committed over £250 million of additional spending in 2017-18 to prepare for Brexit from the Reserve. Departmental allocations will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way. An update on Brexit spending will also be provided at the Autumn Budget.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS162
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Department of Health
Made on: 12 October 2017
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

General Practice Indemnity: Development of a state backed scheme

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has made the following written statement:

I am today updating the House on recent developments regarding indemnity arrangements for NHS general practice in England.

The Government is committed to ensuring that general practice is an attractive long-term career option that gives stimulus and stability to our brightest medical graduates. Therefore, today I have announced that the Department of Health is planning, subject to examination of relevant issues, the development of a state-backed indemnity scheme for general practice in England.

Rising cost of indemnity is a great source of concern for General Practitioners (GPs). Our ambition is to deliver a more stable and more affordable system for GPs and their patients. The scheme could provide financially sustainable cover for future, and potentially historic, claims arising from the delivery of NHS services.

The Department has benefitted from the engagement with the four Medical Defence Organisations (MDOs) and GP representatives over recent months. Any new scheme should meet the needs of current and future GPs, be in the interest of patients and represent value for money for taxpayers. Transfer of historic liabilities from MDOs to a new scheme would be dependent on satisfactory negotiation with the MDOs.

We will explore with GP representatives how to embed new indemnity arrangements, including the future costs, into GP contract negotiations. The Department will set up a stakeholder group and arrange a first roundtable next month with the Royal College of General Practitioners, British Medical Association and other GP representatives to gather views from General Practice and agree how best to engage with the sector going forward.

Any scheme would take at least 12-18 months to establish and require careful negotiation. GPs should continue to ensure they have appropriate indemnity cover in line with General Medical Council requirements to enable them to practise. NHS England has already committed to provide additional funding to GP practices to cover the estimated annual indemnity inflation for 2016/17 and 2017/18. NHS England has also announced additional money for indemnity cover over the coming winter.

Indemnity arrangements are a devolved matter and the Department will continue to liaise with the Devolved Administrations, who will make their own decisions about indemnity provision in their territories.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS159
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 12 October 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

EU Environment Council

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry (Claire Perry) has made the following written ministerial statement:

I will attend the EU Environment Council, which will take place on 13th October in Luxembourg.

Following adoption of the agenda, the list of “A” items will be approved.

Under legislative proposals, the Council will debate two proposals with the aim to get an agreement in the Council of Ministers:

  • A Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 for a resilient Energy Union and to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement and amending Regulation No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and other information relevant to climate change. This is known as the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR).

  • A Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the inclusion of greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry into the 2030 climate and energy framework and amending Regulation No 525/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and other information relevant to climate change. This is known as the Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation (LULUCF).

Under non-legislative proposals, the Council will seek to adopt Conclusions on the EU priorities for the third meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA–3), and on the preparations for the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The following items will be discussed under Any Other Business:

1. Reports on recent international meetings:

  • Sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP 6) to the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention),
  • Joint High-Level Segment under the Meetings of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention and its Protocol on PRTRs,
  • Third session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOPP 3) to the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers,
  • First meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP 1), (Geneva, 24–29 September 2017)
  • 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13)

2. A more transparent, more effective and safer assessment of chemical substances

3. Importance, for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, of good coordination and coherence between the integrated national energy and climate plans for 2030 and the long-term emissions reduction strategies, as well as of minimum quality, comparability and transparency standards

4. 50th session of the international seminar "Science for Peace the World Over" (Erice, Italy, 20–23 August 2017)

The UK has also secured an additional AOB to encourage those Member States who are ready to proceed with early ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the UN Montreal Protocol to protect the Earth’s ozone layer to do so in time for the 30th anniversary meeting of the parties to the Protocol, in Montreal this November.

Last October, agreement was reached in Kigali to amend the Protocol to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) globally by around 85% by the mid-2040s. This could avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century, making a major contribution to the Paris climate goal of a 2 degree limit. The amendment will come into force in 2019 as long as at least 20 countries have ratified by then.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS161
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 12 October 2017
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Rail Infrastructure Funding:2019 - 2024

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

I am today publishing my final Statement of Funds Available for the railway in England and Wales for Control Period 6, which covers the years 2019 to 2024. This follows my publication of a High Level Output Specification and initial Statement of Funds Available on 20 July.

The High Level Output Specification made clear that the Government is determined that the railway becomes more focused on issues that matter most to passengers – such as punctuality and reliability. It therefore focused on the operation, maintenance and renewal of the railway – areas which are crucial to delivering a more reliable railway. At the time of its publication, the Government deferred publication of a final Statement of Funds Available, following more work to establish Network Rail’s costs and the scope for efficiency savings across Control Period 6.

This work has now concluded. On the basis of further work by Network Rail, of continued scrutiny by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) – including through its independent reporter, Nichols – and through work by my Department and HM Treasury to challenge costings, Government is now in a position to set out its funding envelope for Control Period 6.

At this stage we expect around £47.9bn to be spent on the railway across Control Period 6. Of this, we expect up to £34.7bn to be provided directly via Government grant, with the remainder coming from a combination of track access charges and income from other sources, such as Network Rail’s property portfolio. These amounts will be refined during the regulatory process, which will produce by summer 2018 detailed draft amounts for the 2019-2024 period for consultation. Budgets will be set at route level, as part of the devolution of more accountability and authority to Network Rail routes, driving change in the organisation. The regulatory process will conclude with a Final Determination in October 2018.

During this process I expect the regulator to provide a strong efficiency challenge to maximise value for money, and the ORR has substantially changed its regulatory approach to help achieve this.

We have some of the most intensively used railways in Europe, and this investment focuses on the essential work needed to ensure their safety and reliability, including funding to support a significant increase in renewals activity compared to the current period, and increased maintenance spend to allow Network Rail to meet the challenges of a busier network. This investment recognises the critical importance of these activities in preserving the day to day operation of the railway.

I believe that a renewed focus on core railway activities will help return train performance to the levels that passengers expect and deserve. Overall, this significant funding demonstrates Government’s continued commitment to investing in the railway for the benefit of passengers, communities, the supply chain and the wider economy.

Government has already made clear that it expects new enhancements to the rail network to be developed outside of the regulatory system. However, the Statement of Funds Available published today includes funding to continue to take forward the enhancements that were deferred from Control Period 5. In line with the new process for enhancements these schemes will continue to be subject to ongoing consideration to ensure they deliver the best results for both rail users and taxpayers. In addition to this, I am making funding available for the early-stage development of new enhancement schemes. I will announce further details on a new process for taking forward enhancements later in the year. We need to ensure investment best addresses the needs of passengers and freight, and that funding commitments appropriately reflect the stage of development of those enhancements.

Furthermore, the Statement of Funds Available also includes funding for continued investment in improvements to both the accessibility of the railway and the rail freight network. Our commitment to funding accessibility improvements in the railway further emphasises our drive to ensure that the railway is accessible to all. The Government has recognised the crucial role that rail freight plays in supporting the economy and the environment and our continued investment in the freight network recognises this.

Given the need to spend public money wisely and to incentivise the industry to do so, I believe the funding envelope published today is stretching yet achievable. I will continue to push Network Rail to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. In particular I support an ambitious approach to route devolution, so that Network Rail is more focused on its customers. I will also modernise the Government’s oversight and assurance arrangements for Network Rail to properly reflect its public sector status. I have taken steps to ensure that this money is spent more effectively and that the problems with cost and delivery which occurred during Control Period 5 are not repeated. I will also continue to drive improvement across the wider industry, including the franchising system. I will update this House further on my plans for wider rail strategy in the near future. I am arranging for copies of the Statement of Funds Available to be placed in the libraries of the House.

Statement of Funds Available (PDF Document, 1.34 MB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS160
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 12 October 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

The Clean Growth Strategy

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry (Claire Perry) has made the following written ministerial statement:

The Government is today publishing the Clean Growth Strategy – an ambitious strategy to cut emissions while keeping costs down for consumers, creating good jobs and growing the economy. This is an important component of our modern Industrial Strategy. We are also laying our responses to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2017 Progress Report to Parliament and publishing a suite of related documents.

Clean growth can make a real difference to people’s lives, from reducing energy bills and improving air quality, to supporting new technologies and boosting earning power in high-quality jobs.

We start from a position of strength. We have already made significant progress towards our legally binding 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80 per cent against 1990 levels. We exceeded the target emissions reductions of our first carbon budget (2008 to 2012) by one per cent of the budget level and we project that we will outperform against our second and third budgets covering the years 2013 to 2022 by almost five per cent and four per cent respectively.

The UK is a world leader in cutting emissions while growing the economy. Provisional statistics indicate that UK emissions in 2016 were 42 per cent lower than in 1990 and 6 per cent below those in 2015. At the same time, the UK’s GDP has increased by 67 per cent since 1990 showing that a strong, growing economy can go hand in hand with reduced emissions. On a per person basis, this means that we have reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation and led the G7 group in growth in national income over the period.

The global transition to a low carbon economy offers huge growth opportunities which the UK is well placed to take advantage of as a core element of our Industrial Strategy. Our low carbon sector already employs over 230,000 people directly and another 200,000 through supply chains. Analysis for the Committee on Climate Change estimated that the low carbon economy has the potential to grow 11 per cent per year between 2015 and 2030 - four times faster than the rest of the economy.

While we have performed strongly to date, the task ahead is significant. The Clean Growth Strategy sets out policies and proposals across the whole of the economy and the country including business, housing, transport, power, the natural environment and the public sector.

Low carbon innovation is at the heart of our approach, with over £2.5 billion of government investment from 2015 to 2021. This forms part of the largest increase in public spending on UK science, research and innovation in almost 40 years.

The Clean Growth Strategy is an important milestone in the UK’s work to cut emissions and grow the economy. But it is not the end of the process. Clean technology is developing at a rapid pace and costs are falling faster than many predicted – for example, the cost of offshore wind has halved in two years. We look forward to working with colleagues across both Houses and the Devolved Administrations, and with people and organisations across the country, to ensure the UK can continue to lead the world in clean growth.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS158
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