Lords questions government on goods supply from China and social distancing
30 June 2020
Members questioned the government on Covid-19 impact on mental health, social distancing on public transport, the supply of goods from China, reducing UK emissions and arts venues closures on Wednesday 1 July.
A short summary of what members raise and discuss is available on this page.
Questions on Wednesday 1 July from 11am:
- Lord Bradshaw (Liberal Democrat) asked the government what steps it has take to relax the Covid-19 social distancing rules on public transport.
Members discussed topics including: government messaging to encourage use of public transport; the use of face coverings; compliance with regulations on cross-border transport; a cross-industry marketing campaign for the use of rail transport; a long-term strategy to encourage the use of public transport; and public transport in areas under local lockdown restrictions.
- Lord Blencathra (Conservative) asked the government about its assessment of the report by the Henry Jackson Society 'Breaking the China Supply Chain: How the ‘Five Eyes' can Decouple from Strategic Dependency', what plans it has to conduct an assessment with the industry based in the UK of the supply of goods sourced from China; and what steps they are taking to encourage such goods to be sourced from the UK.
Members discussed topics including: plans to determine whether any UK trading relationships are particularly reliant on China; whether China is now considered a hostile vendor; future free trade zones; supporting UK companies to build 5G equipment; a coordinated, cross-government approach to China; and China's compliance of WTO rules and the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Lord Bradley (Labour) asked the government what action it is taking to address the impact of Covid-19 on mental health.
Members discussed topics including: funding to support those infected; mental health and wellbeing of the traveller community; free access to online therapy for social care workers; government research plans into the longterm effects of Covid-19; online mental health services and the elderly; the impact of Covid-19 on antenatal and perinatal services; mental health support for children; and the wellbeing of nurses.
- Baroness Hayman (Crossbench) asked the government about its assessment of the report by the Committee on Climate change 'Reducing UK emissions: Progress Report to Parliament'.
Members discussed topics including: creating sustainable jobs and infrastructure across the UK; zero-carbon housing; the investment sector aligning its investments with government net zero targets; including aviation and shipping in UK climate targets; heat pump technology; rebuilding the supply of goods and services across the UK; the proportion of buildings in the UK designed to cope with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius; and low carbon manufacturing in the UK.
The Lord Speaker also accepted an urgent question (Private Notice Question) from Lord Berkeley of Knighton (Crossbench):
- Lord Berkeley of Knighton asked the government about its response to reports that orchestras and cultural venues are facing permanent closure as a result of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members discussed topics including: further funding for the culture sector; a long-term support programme comparable to the original foundation of the Arts Council; the impact of Covid-19 on touring companies; the five-step roadmap to re-opening live performance; the impact of the pandemic on venues outside of London; progress on research into the resumption of singing, brass and woodwind instrument playing; support for freelance workers in the culture sector; the impact of a lack of specific timeline for re-opening; the impact on recent arts graduates; the impact on outreach work by cultural organisations; and the future for orchestras.
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