Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2019-21 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which rail franchises have temporary non-compliance status from Network Rail and run rolling stock that dumps human waste and effluent on railway tracks in England and Wales.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 08 July 2020

The following franchised train operators have applied for, and been granted, temporary non-compliance status: Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Northern, West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales.

Other operators, such as charter and heritage, for which the Department is not responsible for have also been issued with non-compliance status by Network Rail.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which railway routes on the England and Wales rail network have temporary non-compliance status from Network Rail and allow the practice of dumping human waste and effluent on railway tracks.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 08 July 2020

Non-compliance status is granted to operators and not routes.

The following franchised train operators have applied for, and been granted, temporary non-compliance status: Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Northern, West Midlands Trains and Transport for Wales.

Other operators, such as charter and heritage, for which the Department is not responsible for have also been issued with non-compliance status by Network Rail.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 July 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Waste Disposal
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what risk assessment his Department has made of the effect on railway workers from human waste and effluent on tracks in England and Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 08 July 2020

We have been clear that our priority remains the safety of staff and passengers.

We have issued comprehensive guidance to employers on the steps they should take to make their workplaces Covid-secure, which outlines measures to assess and address the risks of coronavirus in the transport sector across England.

Operators have been instructed to undertake Covid-19 staff-safety risk assessments to determine how best to maintain the health of staff through safe distancing and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate. All guidance documents are available on the government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for International Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which Minister in her Department was responsible for the approval of any arms export licences for (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) its coalition partners from 17 July 2016 to 9 January 2018.
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Genito-urinary Medicine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timescale is for the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Genito-urinary Medicine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 July 2020
Department for Transport
Road Traffic Offences: Enforcement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the planned timescale is for bringing into effect Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 enabling local authorities outside London to enforce school streets schemes.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 07 July 2020

The commencement of Part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 is a longstanding and complex issue which we are looking at carefully, including the role that moving traffic enforcement powers could play in helping councils to deliver their transport recovery plans. No decisions have yet been taken.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 24 June 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Health and Safety Executive: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much funding has been allocated to the Health & Safety Executive for (a) delivering Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals after the transition period and (b) establishing a new building safety regulator following the Grenfell Tower disaster; and whether these funding allocations are in addition to the £14 million announced by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 12 May 2020 for making workplaces safe during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 02 July 2020

The total funding allocated to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for (a) delivering Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals after the transition period for 2020/21 is £3.46m. This funding is provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Allocations for future years will be decided as part of the Spending Review process for 2020.

HSE has not yet been allocated any funding in respect of (b) the new Building Safety Regulator. Costs to the organisation are currently being met by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). HSE and MHCLG are currently discussing future funding arrangements for this work.

The additional HSE funding of up to £14m is additional funding and is ring-fenced for dealing with additional work arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 02 July 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Genito-urinary Medicine
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the national sexual health and reproductive health strategy; and if he will make a statement.
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
HIV Infection: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to increase access to home-based and community testing for HIV during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 01 July 2020

Public Health England (PHE) supports HIV testing initiatives across England through its national programmes where appropriate.

During the COVID-19 outbreak PHE has committed to supporting the 56 Dean Street Breaking the Chain campaign via HIV Prevention England, the national HIV Prevention Programme and the national HIV self-sampling service. From 5 June 2020, residents of all local authorities in England can order a free self-sampling kit through the national HIV self-sampling service. PHE has committed to paying for 7,000 HIV tests, including syphilis opt-out testing, throughout the promotional period.

PHE is in the process of tendering a new Sexual and Reproductive Health Framework that will enable local authorities to provide a range of online and postal sexual and reproductive health services including HIV and sexually transmitted infections self-sampling, chlamydia treatment, emergency contraception and oral contraception.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 26 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the guidance entitled Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do after 4 July updated on 24 June 2020, what the limited set of circumstances when groups of more than 30 people may gather are.
A
Answered by: Penny Mordaunt
Answered on: 01 July 2020

As stated in the guidance published at the link below, the limited set of circumstances under which gatherings in groups of larger than 30 people will be permitted will be set out in law before 4 July.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do-after-4-july

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 30 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Chemicals: Regulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure it is able to (a) implement legally enforceable (i) restrictions on and (ii) authorisations for chemicals after the transition period and (b) access chemicals regulation information in the period before a replacement for the European Chemicals Agency database is created.
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
HIV Infection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it is policy on HIV to set out a plan to (a) reduce inequalities in HIV services, (b) tackle stigma and discrimination associated with living with HIV, (c) increase testing of HIV and (d) improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.
A
Answered by: Jo Churchill
Answered on: 29 June 2020
Holding answer received on 11 June 2020

The Government has committed to eliminating new HIV transmissions in England by 2030. In October 2019, as part of the Government response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on sexual health, the Department also committed to the development of an updated sexual and reproductive health strategy. We will consider issues around inequalities, tackling stigma and discrimination and other relevant issues as part of the strategy development. We are proud that the United Kingdom is one of the first countries in the world to meet the UNAIDS 90:90:90 targets and the NHS continues to provide world class treatment and care for people with HIV. In England, a range of approaches to HIV prevention are already in place; including the rollout of pre-exposure prophylaxis, encouraging condom use, needle exchange programmes, self-sampling and promoting expanded HIV testing and diagnosis.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Chemicals: Regulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will undertake a consultation on the terms of reference for the delegation of powers from the European Chemicals Agency to the Health and Safety Executive and the environment agencies in regard to (a) public participation, stakeholder engagement and transparency, (b) collaboration with other agencies and (c) whether it will include a role for the UK’s public health bodies.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 29 June 2020

The REACH (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 establish a UK regulatory framework and build domestic capacity to deliver the functions currently performed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). It is this Statutory Instrument (SI) that sets the terms of reference for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to take on ECHA's role.

As well as parliamentary scrutiny of the SI, we engaged with a range of stakeholders both before and after the Regulations were passed by Parliament. In addition, the SI itself contains a range of provisions to ensure that the UK Agency (HSE) consults publicly on its processes, decisions and opinions; develops appropriate contacts with stakeholders; acts transparently; and works collaboratively with other public bodies.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 24 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Chemicals: Regulation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many full-time equivalent staff the Government plans to recruit to (a) the Environment Agency and (b) the Health & Safety Executive to deliver the proposed post-transition Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH); and (i) what positions that recruitment will fill and (ii) what the timescale for that recruitment is.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 29 June 2020

The continued effective and safe management of chemicals to safeguard human health and the environment is our overarching objective now that we have left the EU. The preparations we made for the possibility of a no deal exit mean that we are well placed to be ready with our own independent regulatory regime for 1 January 2021. This includes ensuring that both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environment Agency (EA) have the necessary capability and capacity to carry out their responsibilities. Once we have staffed up to full operating capability we expect to spend about £13 million per year on the UK’s new REACH regulatory system. This figure covers the following costs:

Operation and maintenance of the REACH IT system; and staff resourcing in Defra, HSE and EA to ensure:

  • the necessary levels of technical specialist input into risk and socio-economic assessment of chemicals for the UK (for example, authorising the use of and restricting chemicals as appropriate);
  • high quality policy advice can be provided; and
  • we can increase UK and international stakeholder engagement.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 16 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Pollution: Pollution Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a policy of aiming for (a) World Health Organization guideline levels on particulate matter pollution by 2030 and (b) other stricter than existing environmental targets on the environmental sustainability of (i) general Government policy and (ii) business investment.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 24 June 2020

In July 2019, we published a report assessing the progress that will be made towards World Health Organization (WHO) PM2.5 air quality guidelines with actions outlined in the Clean Air Strategy by 2030. This report showed that significant progress would be made towards achieving WHO guideline levels through the actions outlined in the Strategy, but that additional action would be needed to reach WHO guideline levels in specific locations (i.e. central London). The Government is committed to evidence-based policy making and will consider independent expert advice alongside evidence and analysis on a diversity of factors in setting air quality targets outlined in the Environment Bill. This will include the health benefits, the practical feasibility and economic viability of taking different actions to ensure that the targets are based on realistic pathways, robust science and full economic analysis such that they are ambitious, achievable and deliver the greatest public health benefits.

The Government plans to bring forward at least one target in each of the four priority areas by the Environment Bill’s 31 October 2022 deadline. Legally binding targets are an important tool. They will drive action by successive governments to protect and enhance our natural world. They allow for robust, objective scrutiny and accountability of government’s progress and they provide much-needed long-term certainty to businesses and society, to support planning, innovation and investment.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 16 June 2020
Leader of the House
Overseas Aid: Parliamentary Scrutiny
Commons
To ask the Leader of the House, if he will bring forward amendments to Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.
A
Answered by: Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg
Answered on: 22 June 2020

The Government’s view is that select committees in the House of Commons should generally mirror Government departments, though this is ultimately a matter for the House. Precise changes will be announced in due course.

Grouped Questions: 59864
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 June 2020
Department for International Development
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the merger of his Department and the Department for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
A
Answered by: Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Answered on: 22 June 2020

The Prime Minister discussed the merger with both Secretaries of State ahead of his announcement in the House.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 June 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Reorganisation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has received from (a) Ambassadors and (b) other stakeholders on the merging of his Department and the Department for International Development.
A
Answered by: James Cleverly
Answered on: 22 June 2020

We will engage closely with interested stakeholders in the weeks and months to come as we work to create a new department, which will unite our development expertise and first class diplomatic service to deliver in the national interest and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 June 2020
Leader of the House
Overseas Aid: Parliamentary Scrutiny
Commons
To ask the Leader of the House, whether he has received instructions from Cabinet Colleagues to bring forward amendments to Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.
A
Answered by: Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg
Answered on: 22 June 2020

The Government’s view is that select committees in the House of Commons should generally mirror Government departments, though this is ultimately a matter for the House. Precise changes will be announced in due course.

Grouped Questions: 59861
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 June 2020
Prime Minister
Overseas Aid: Select Committees
Commons
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he has provided instructions to the Leader of the House to amend the Standing Orders to create a Development Aid Oversight Committee similar to the Environmental Audit Committee to ensure Parliamentary oversight of UK aid spending.
A
Answered by: Boris Johnson
Answered on: 22 June 2020

I refer the hon Member to the answer my Rt Hon Friend the Foreign Secretary gave to the hon Member for North East Fife on 18 June, Official Report, Col 947.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Home Office
Visas: Musicians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Australians used the Tier 5 visa route in 2019.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 June 2020

The Home Office publishes data on Tier 5 visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release).

Data on grants of Tier 5 visas by nationality are published in table Vis_D02 of the entry clearance detailed datasets (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/managed-migration-datasets#entry-clearance-visas-granted-outside-the-uk).

Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to year ending March 2020. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the entry clearance summary tables (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2020/list-of-tables#entry-clearance-visas). The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on entry clearance visas.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’ (https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?keywords=immigration&content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=relevance).

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 June 2020
Home Office
Visas: Working Holidays
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK citizens travelled to Australia under the Working Holiday Visa in 2019.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 22 June 2020

The Home Department does not currently hold this information. UK nationals’ usage of Australia’s working holiday provision is provided on an annual basis by the Australian Home Affairs department.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 on Ministerial Responsibility, of 29 May 2020 to Question 48589 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus and of 11 May to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, what communication he has had with the Cabinet Secretary on the non-publication of that document since the 2019 general election.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 June 2020

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 57315 | 57316 | 57317
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 3030 to Question 54223 on Ministerial Responsibility, the Answer of 2 May 2020 to Question 48583 the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, on Business Statement, for what reason he has not published the directory of ministerial contacts.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 June 2020

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 57314 | 57316 | 57317
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 and of 29 May 2020 to Question 48589 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, what investigations he has made to establish why the Department has not published that document in a timely manner.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 June 2020

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 57314 | 57315 | 57317
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 09 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 8 June 2020 to Question 54223 and of 29 May to Question 48589 and of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibilities, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, for what reason that document has not been published despite (a) six months having elapsed since the general election and (b) more than one month having elapsed since the first written question in relation to republishing that document.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 15 June 2020

Further to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020, it is taking longer than usual to compile a new List of Ministerial Responsibilities document including as a result of the challenges of Covid-19. An update will be published in due course.

Grouped Questions: 57314 | 57315 | 57316
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Arms Trade: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which sites used by holders of general export licences for military goods have not been inspected by her Department under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 in each of the last 36 months apart from the BAE site at Warton.
A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 10 June 2020

HM Government supports responsible defence industries, which make a major contribution to our prosperity. Licensing controls are a vital service to industry, protecting the reputation and legitimacy of business.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences. The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences.

The scope of the general licences includes only items and destinations that are consistent with the Consolidated Criteria. Those published by the Department for International Trade have all been pre-assessed for risk and agreed by all relevant departments that they can be published. Our compliance checks are focused where higher risks of non-compliance lie.

An answer detailing the sites that have not been inspected in the past 36 months can only be provided at disproportionate cost, as my Department would have to manually review every existing and surrendered open licence registration.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Arms Trade: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department last used its powers under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 to undertake inspections of (a) the Raytheon sites at (i) Glenrothes and (ii) Harlow, (b) the MBDA sites at (i) Stevenage, (ii) Lostock and (iii) Henlow, (c) the BAE site at Samlesbury and (d) the Rolls Royce factory at Bristol; and what the outcome was of each of those inspections.
A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 10 June 2020

HM Government supports responsible defence industries, which make a major contribution to our prosperity. Licensing controls are a vital service to industry, protecting the reputation and legitimacy of business.

The obligation is for a business to inform us of the address where records relating to exports made under general licences are kept. As such we are not able to ascertain where records may be held for specific sites and there is no requirement under the legislation that businesses provide that information.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of the licences they use. Whilst the outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive, the Hon. Gentleman may still find it helpful to know that the following inspections took place:

(a) Raytheon
(i) Glenrothes – 23 November 2016
(ii) Harlow – 5 November 2015

(b) MBDA
(i) Stevenage – 31 August 2017
(ii) Lostock – 19 October 2017
(iii) Henlow – no records held at this site

(c) BAE at Samlesbury – 5 April 2017

(d) Rolls Royce at Bristol – 18 September 2017

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Beverage Containers: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to publish a further consultation on the design of the deposit return scheme.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for wider packaging to drive greater levels of recycling and incentivise better design. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS and extender producer responsibility using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The scope of both schemes are being further developed and will be presented in second consultations. The Government is reviewing its implementation timeline for the proposed introductions of DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will be announced in due course.

Grouped Questions: 55112
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Beverage Containers: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to introduce (a) a deposit return scheme and (b) extended producer responsibility.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The Government committed in its manifesto to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers and extended producer responsibility for wider packaging to drive greater levels of recycling and incentivise better design. We are seeking powers to do so in the Environment Bill. Since consulting on its introduction in 2019, the Government has been developing proposals for a DRS and extender producer responsibility using further evidence and ongoing engagement with stakeholders. The scope of both schemes are being further developed and will be presented in second consultations. The Government is reviewing its implementation timeline for the proposed introductions of DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will be announced in due course.

Grouped Questions: 55111
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Beverage Containers: Recycling
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential for consumers to switch from aluminium cans in multi-packs to large plastic bottles as an unintended consequence of a deposit return scheme.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 10 June 2020

The Government is keen to avoid any unintended consequences. An Impact Assessment will be published alongside the second consultation which assesses the costs and benefits of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), the costs to business, and covers the wider environmental impacts of implementing a DRS. We are continuing to consult with stakeholders to advise us of any unintended consequences which could arise.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Defence
Oman: Air Force
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Royal Air Force personnel are on secondment to BAE Systems in Oman; and what the roles of each of those seconded personnel are.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 09 June 2020

There are currently no Royal Air Force personnel on secondment to BAE Systems in Oman.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 02 June 2020
Home Office
British National (Overseas)
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the proposed support the Government is offering British national overseas (BNO) passport holders to all people who are eligible for BNO status but might not currently hold a valid passport.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 08 June 2020

The practical details are still being worked out, but I can confirm amendments to the arrangements for BN(O)s will be applicable to all BN(O) status holders.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 June 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 2 May 2020 to Question 48583 and of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583, on Business Statement, what the date is for the publication of Government Ministers and responsibilities.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 08 June 2020

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
HIV Infection and Hepatitis: Homelessness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to ensure homeless people diagnosed with HIV and HCV during the covid-19 outbreak are retained in clinical care.
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
HIV Infection and Hepatitis: Homelessness
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with (a) local authorities and (b) the Greater London Authority on HIV and HCV testing for homeless people during the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to work with those bodies on that testing in the future.
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Treasury
Small Business Grants Fund
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allowing surplus money in local authority Business Grants Funds to be spent as part of their Discretionary Fund.
A
Answered by: Kemi Badenoch
Answered on: 04 June 2020

As of 31 May, over £10 billion of Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants had been paid to over 819,000 business premises. We encourage Local Authorities to make remaining payments to eligible businesses as quickly as possible.

We used the best data we had available when allocating grant funding to Local Authorities, however it has since become apparent that in some cases these original allocations were based on imperfect information regarding the number of eligible businesses. Some Local Authorities have an over-allocation of funding, whereas others do not. Therefore, allowing Local Authorities to use their own underspends from the grant schemes to give further discretionary grants would create unfair local disparities in the level of support provided to businesses.

The Government is aware that some small businesses have found themselves excluded from the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund because of the way they interact with the business rates system. That is why the Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to Local Authorities to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities are in the process of setting up their discretionary schemes, and we expect many Local Authorities to launch these schemes in the coming weeks. The Government continues to review the economic situation and consider what support businesses and other organisations need.

Grouped Questions: 51833
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Defence
Saudi Arabia: Tornado Aircraft
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when RAF personnel last serviced the Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado that was shot down over Yemen on 14 February 2020; what steps have been taken to replace that Tornado; and what support has been offered to its crew members.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 04 June 2020

RAF personnel do not service Royal Saudi Air Force Tornado aircraft.

Operational planning for the Tornado fleet and aircrew support are matters for the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 01 June 2020
Ministry of Defence
Oman: Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when his Department last revised its Directive to the Senior British Loan Service Officer in Oman; if he will publish that Directive; and whether that Directive permits British loan service personnel to engage in internal security operations in Oman.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 04 June 2020

I am withholding details of the Directive to the Senior British Loan Service Officer in Oman as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another state.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Global Resource Initiative Taskforce
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Government plans to publish its response to the Final recommendations report of the Global Resource Initiative.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 04 June 2020

The Global Resource Initiative taskforce published its final recommendations report on 30 March. This report comes at a time of an unprecedented global challenge, and the priority of the UK Government must remain focused on supporting the response to COVID-19. The Government is committed, however, to addressing the major challenges identified in the report and providing global leadership on these issues which are also important in supporting a recovery that is based on solid foundations including a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy. We will be looking carefully at the report’s detailed recommendations and issue our formal response later this year.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for International Trade
Trade: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on environmental protection and human rights of maintaining (a) free trade and (b) open supply chains during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 04 June 2020

Free trade has a vital role in addressing the immediate impact and resolving the longer-term effects of this pandemic. It is imperative that we keep our markets open to maintain the flow of essential goods and services, including medical products, which will protect lives and livelihoods.

HM Government intends to support Britain’s economy to become stronger, cleaner, and more resilient after this crisis. This will boost exports and create employment in the low-carbon industries of the future, while ensuring we address challenges including climate change and continue to protect the environment.

The United Kingdom has a strong history of promoting our values globally and we will continue to do so.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 May 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Forests: Energy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that domestic energy consumption does not contribute to global deforestation.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 04 June 2020

The UK only supports biomass for electricity generation which complies with strict sustainability criteria, and generating stations utilising biomass only receive subsidies in respect of compliant biomass. These criteria take into account of social, economic and environmental issues including protecting biodiversity, land use rights, sustainable harvesting and regeneration rates. They ensure that the carbon stock of the forest from which the pellets are derived is not decreased by requiring that biomass fuels are derived from forest waste wood and residues and that the forest owner adheres to relevant legal requirements to protect biodiversity and the environment.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to reduce the UK’s global environmental footprint.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 04 June 2020

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out our ambition to support and protect the world’s forests, support sustainable agriculture and work towards zero-deforestation supply chains.

The UK is part of the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership that aims to eliminate deforestation from agricultural commodity chains and supports a 100% sustainable palm oil supply chain in Europe.

Through International Climate Finance, Defra contributes to a joint pledge between the UK, Germany, and Norway to provide $5 billion to encourage ambitious action from developing countries to protect their forests and promote more sustainable patterns of land use.

The Government has established an independent taskforce, the Global Resource Initiative, to provide us with recommendations as to how we could support the efforts of producer countries to improve the sustainability of products and reduce deforestation. The taskforce recently published its final report that sets out an ambitious and strategic package of measures the Government could take to reduce the UK’s global environmental footprint, with a focus on forest risk commodities. We will be looking carefully at the report’s detailed recommendations and we will issue our formal response later this year.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 May 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43737 on Ministerial Responsibility, and with reference to the oral contribution of 6 May 2020 of the Leader of the House, Official Report, column 583 on Business Statement, on what date he plans to update the list of ministerial responsibilities published on GOV.UK, last updated in October 2019 and before the last ministerial reshuffle.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 02 June 2020

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 43737 on 11 May 2020.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Screening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test swabs have been sent for analysis overseas since the start of the outbreak of that disease.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 02 June 2020

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 May 2020
Home Office
Immigration Controls: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask Secretary of State for the Home Office, what border controls will be put in place to restrict transmission of covid-19 as other countries begin to ease lockdown measures.
A
Answered by: Chris Philp
Answered on: 26 May 2020

In order to keep overall levels of infection down, as the Government prepares for social contact to increase, a series of measures and restrictions will be introduced at the UK border. This will contribute to keeping the overall number of transmissions in the UK as low as possible.

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

Further details, and guidance on measures including screening, will be set out shortly, and the measures and list of exemptions will be kept under regular review.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 06 May 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Computer Software
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the protection of personal data within the coronavirus tracing app.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 18 May 2020

The app does not collect identifiable data from users. We have published a Data Protection Impact Assessment and Privacy Notice for the first phase of the app and will provide updates to these to keep app users fully informed if changes of the use of and access to data need to be made to continue to support the fight against COVID-19.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 April 2020
Department for Education
Students: Fees and Charges
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to rebate students on their university fees for the period of the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Michelle Donelan
Answered on: 13 May 2020

The government continues to work with the higher education (HE) sector to make sure that all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies to the best of their abilities.

Universities offering high-quality tuition online will continue to charge fees. Fee loans are paid directly to higher education providers at the start of the third term. We are working closely with sector representative bodies to understand the impact of COVID-19 and the immediate financial implications for students and providers.

We only expect full tuition fees to be charged if online courses are of good quality, fit for purpose and help students progress towards their qualification. If universities want to charge full fees, they will have to ensure that the quality is there. The government has made it clear that, if providers are unable to deliver adequate online teaching, then it would be unacceptable for students to be charged for any additional terms, which would effectively mean that they were being charged twice.

The government is also working with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, professional bodies and the Office for Students (OfS), the higher education regulator in England, to ensure that students continue to leave university with qualifications of value. The OfS has published guidance for registered providers about how it will approach the regulation of quality and standards during the COVID-19 outbreak. This guidance is clear that standards must be maintained (further details are available at the following link): https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/guidance-for-providers-about-quality-and-standards-during-coronavirus-pandemic/. Actions that providers are taking now may continue to be required in the 2020-21 academic year if there is prolonged disruption as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is important that students receive a good standard of education. Whether an individual student is entitled to a reduction of their fees will depend on specific contractual arrangements between the HE providers and the student.

If a student is concerned about their education, or about the steps that their provider has taken to respond to the situation, they should speak to their HE provider in the first instance. The government expects student complaints and appeals processes to be operated flexibly, accessibly, and sympathetically by institutions to resolve any concerns. Students who are not satisfied with their provider’s final response can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint if their institution is based in England or Wales.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Department for International Trade
BAE Systems: Inspections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department last used its powers under Article 31 of the Export Control Order 2008 to undertake an ad hoc inspection of BAE System’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia; and what the outcome was of that inspection.
A
Corrected answer by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Corrected on: 13 May 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 11 May 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences and not specific events such as regular freighter flights.

Their purpose is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences.

The frequency of inspections varies from six months to three years, taking into account the track record of compliance; types of licences utilised; knowledge and experience of the business in relation to export controls; and frequency of usage.

The BAE site at Warton was last inspected on 5 and 6 April 2017 and covered three separate BAE Systems companies. The outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences, rather than specific events such as regular freighter flights.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences. The frequency of inspections varies from six months to three years, taking into account the track record of compliance; types of licences utilised; knowledge and experience of the business in relation to export controls; and frequency of usage.

The BAE site at Warton was last inspected on 5th and 6th April 2017 and covered three separate BAE Systems companies. The outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive.

A
Answered by: Mr Ranil Jayawardena
Answered on: 11 May 2020

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences and not specific events such as regular freighter flights.

Their purpose is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences.

The frequency of inspections varies from six months to three years, taking into account the track record of compliance; types of licences utilised; knowledge and experience of the business in relation to export controls; and frequency of usage.

The BAE site at Warton was last inspected on 5 and 6 April 2017 and covered three separate BAE Systems companies. The outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive.

Inspections of records under section 31 are in relation to a company’s use of general licences, rather than specific events such as regular freighter flights.

The purpose of inspections is to get assurance that users of general licences meet the terms and conditions of their licences. The frequency of inspections varies from six months to three years, taking into account the track record of compliance; types of licences utilised; knowledge and experience of the business in relation to export controls; and frequency of usage.

The BAE site at Warton was last inspected on 5th and 6th April 2017 and covered three separate BAE Systems companies. The outcome of compliance inspections is commercially sensitive.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 May 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of suspending the under-occupancy charge during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 12 May 2020

The Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) policy has helped to contain growing housing support expenditure, encourage mobility within the social rented sector, strengthen work-incentives and make better use of available social housing. There are currently no plans to change this policy. It would not be practical to make such temporary adjustments to the size criteria, which require regulatory changes, to reflect self-isolation or shielding when the household, property and rental costs have not changed.

Previously, Housing Benefit claimants who live in the social rented sector generally had their rents met in full and their entitlement was not affected by whether or not they under occupied their homes. However, this was no longer considered sustainable and from April 2013 Housing Benefit for working-age tenants in the social rented sector has been restricted. These restrictions apply where people live in a property that is too large for their needs.

As with all spending decisions difficult choices have to be made about priorities and where to focus additional resources. Those unable to meet a shortfall in their rent can seek assistance via the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHPs) scheme. DHPs can be paid to those in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit who face a shortfall in meeting their rental housing costs.

In addition, we have just announced an extra £40 million for DHPs in 2020/21 in England and Wales.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 06 May 2020
Department for Education
Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether free school meal vouchers will continue to be offered throughout the (a) May half-term and (b) summer holidays.
A
Answered by: Vicky Ford
Answered on: 12 May 2020

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time. We currently have no plans to extend the scheme into future holiday periods.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 29 April 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure the maintenance of labour (a) supply and (b) standards in the farming industry during covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 11 May 2020

(Part A)

The ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak have meant that there will be a shortfall in the numbers of workers who usually travel to the UK from Europe to work during the harvest season, with the demand for workers peaking from late May through the summer.

Farming leaders have already kick-started a recruitment drive for work on farms, with thousands of British people already expressing an interest in picking up seasonal agricultural work over the coming weeks and months. With many British workers furloughed from their jobs, and students having to put their summer plans on hold, the Government is supporting industry efforts to help farmers bring in this year’s harvest, working to build on these numbers.

The majority of roles for the early part of the harvest season have already been filled. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will shortly be launching a public- facing campaign to highlight the roles available from late May onwards and to encourage people to apply. The Government has confirmed that those who have been furloughed from their jobs due to coronavirus, and who are contractually allowed to work for another employer, can take on this seasonal work.

A new government-industry digital hub for seasonal work information and job opportunities has been launched to provide guidance on getting into farm work and links to the available jobs and recruiters. The website can be found at pickforbritain.org.uk and will be updated regularly over the coming weeks to help match jobs to workers as the demand grows.

(Part B)

The UK is proud of its world-leading standards of food safety, environmental protection and animal health and welfare. We will not compromise our standards nor put the UK’s biosecurity at risk whatever the circumstances.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
RAF Akrotiri
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason BAE Systems’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia routinely goes via RAF Akrotiri; and what interaction personnel at RAF Akrotiri have with the aircraft, its passengers and its cargo.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

These BAE Systems operated flights provide logistics support for UK-supplied aircraft and systems operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, which play a key role in the defence and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These flights night-stop at RAF Akrotiri, both inbound and outbound from Saudi Arabia, for the wellbeing of the crew, to refuel and to assure the security of the aircraft and its cargo.

These flights do not carry passengers, nor is cargo loaded or off-loaded at RAF Akrotiri. During the present Covid-19 crisis the crews are provided with dedicated on-base accommodation, which allows them to be isolated fully from RAF Akrotiri personnel.

Grouped Questions: 43124 | 43203
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
BAE Systems: Freight
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what cargo on carried by BAE Systems’s weekly freighter flight from Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire to Ta’if in Saudi Arabia via RAF Akrotiri.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

These BAE Systems operated flights provide logistics support for UK-supplied aircraft and systems operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, which play a key role in the defence and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These flights night-stop at RAF Akrotiri, both inbound and outbound from Saudi Arabia, for the wellbeing of the crew, to refuel and to assure the security of the aircraft and its cargo.

These flights do not carry passengers, nor is cargo loaded or off-loaded at RAF Akrotiri. During the present Covid-19 crisis the crews are provided with dedicated on-base accommodation, which allows them to be isolated fully from RAF Akrotiri personnel.

Grouped Questions: 43123 | 43203
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
Iraq: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Royal Air Force’s airstrike against Daesh in an isolated location west of Tuz Khurma in Northern Iraq on 10 April 2020 was in response to an attack by Daesh on Hashd al-Shaabi fighters in the district of Tuz Khurma on that day, and whether Hashd al-Shaabi requested that air strike.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

The Royal Air Force airstrike on 10 April 2020 was not in response to an attack by Daesh on fighters from the Popular Mobilisation Forces, also known as Hashd al-Shaabi, and it was not in response to a request from that organisation.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
Oman: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has an agreement to provide pilots for (a) non-combat and (b) combat situations for the Typhoon aircraft purchased by the Royal Air Force of Oman from BAE Systems.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

The UK provides fewer than five RAF Typhoon pilots in role to serve on Loan Service. The Loan Service team is in place across the Sultan's Armed Forces to deliver advice, capability development and training directly to the Sultan's Armed Forces and is employed in a variety of roles to achieve this.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 04 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
Oman: Air Force
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many UK personnel serve with the Royal Air Force of Oman’s (a) No. 8 Squadron and (b) No. 6 Squadron; and what the (i) rank and (ii) task is of those personnel.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

Under the Loan Service agreement with Oman, the UK currently has fewer than five Loan Service personnel working with No. 8 and No. 6 Squadron. I am withholding the exact number of UK personnel to mitigate the risk of them being identified by the information provided. I am also withholding details relating to rank and role as disclosure would, or would likely, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another state.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 14 January 2014 to Question 182081, if he will list the current appointments of all British forces personnel to foreign armed forces and governments by rank and task.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Ministry of Defence
Armed Forces
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's definition is of UK personnel in each of the categories of (a) loan service personnel, (b) exchange officers, (c) liaison officers, (d) embeds and (e) secondees.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 11 May 2020

The definitions of these categories are as follows:

Loan Service. Loan Service is defined as being the loan of Service personnel from the United Kingdom Armed Forces to assist a Commonwealth or foreign country. Loan Service personnel are subject to United Kingdom Service regulations; they are administered and receive pay and allowances in the usual way and are consequently subject to United Kingdom income tax. They are not subject to Host Nation taxation.

Exchange Officers. Exchange officers are deployed into key posts globally. They may be deployed for Service-specific or joint operational reasons. They work for the HN, usually in exchange for a HN officer working in the UK. They create Defence Engagement effect by projecting a positive image of the UK, generating understanding of host nation tactics, procedures and capability, and symbolising the close cooperative relationship between services. Exchange officers provide an opportunity to assist UK efforts in other ways, such as by gaining insight into another nation's ways of thinking or working practices.

Liaison Officers. Defence deploys a wide range of liaison officers to foreign militaries and sometimes elsewhere within a foreign partner's security architecture. Liaison officers are specifically intended to facilitate information sharing and provide a means to deliver persistent influence on the HN. In general, liaison officers remain under the command and control of the sending nation.

Embedded Officers. The UK also has a significant number of embedded officers, mainly serving in US headquarters. Embedded officers create tailored DE effect, depending on their role and the agreement of the HN. In general, embedded officers come under the command and control of the HN.[1]

Secondee Service. Secondee Service places UK military personnel within a company, such as BAE Systems or NETMA. While such service is considered a tour of duty it is governed by bespoke TACOS for the duration of the secondment, agreed between the Company, the individual and the RAF. Seconded personnel temporarily leave the Air Force, are paid by the company but retain their right to promotion etc. Seconded service supports DE access and influence in a similar way to loan service.

[1] Embedded UK personnel operate as if they were the host nation's personnel under that nations' chain of command, but they remain subject to UK domestic, international and host nation law'.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 05 May 2020
Cabinet Office
Ministerial Responsibility
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish an update of the document entitled, Government ministers and responsibilities; and if he will make it his policy to publish that document in (a) CSV and (b) PDF formats.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 11 May 2020

Details of ministerial responsibilities can be found on GOV.UK. The List of Ministerial Responsibilities document was last updated in October 2019 and was made available in PDF and CSV formats. An update will be published in due course.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 April 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Universal Credit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of removing the £16,000 savings threshold for eligibility for universal credit.
A
Answered by: Will Quince
Answered on: 07 May 2020
Holding answer received on 05 May 2020

A key principle of UC is that it supports people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. While it is important to protect the incentive to save for claimants on low earnings, people with substantial capital can take responsibility for their own support. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to citizens who need it and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

If capital exceeds £16,000 there will be no entitlement to UC, unless the capital can be disregarded, for example personal injury compensation payments. Capital above £6,000 will reduce the amount of UC paid by £4.35 per month for every £250 of capital or part thereof.

If someone has money in their account that is to be used for business purposes, for example for paying tax, it will not be counted towards their capital, but they may be asked to prove that the money is for business purposes. People should make clear in their application the savings that are business assets, and note it in their online journal.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 May 2020
Department for Transport
Roads: Closures
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what powers local authorities have been granted to close roads to create more cycling and pedestrian space during the covid-19 outbreak; and for how road closures can be in place for.
A
Answered by: Rachel Maclean
Answered on: 06 May 2020

Local traffic authorities already have powers to close roads and to make changes to their use, including making space for cyclists and pedestrians, through the use of Traffic Orders. My Department has recently published guidance for authorities on how to deal with some practical difficulties with publicising and making orders during current restrictions, for example, publication in local newspapers when these may have either closed or moved online and posting site notices. This guidance has been circulated to local authorities already and will be kept under review. It is temporary and will be withdrawn when circumstances allow. It is available on our website at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-orders-advertising-during-coranavirus-covid-19

We will continue to consider other assistance and support that we can offer to authorities as part of our response to coronavirus and plans for restart and recovery.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 01 May 2020
Department for Education
Students: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the provision of laptops to vulnerable and disadvantaged young people during the covid-19 outbreak to university students.
A
Answered by: Michelle Donelan
Answered on: 06 May 2020

As my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Higher Education (HE) Providers take their responsibilities seriously and are best placed to identify the needs of their student body as well as how to develop the services needed to support it. When making changes to the delivery of their courses, providers need to consider how they support all students, particularly the most vulnerable, to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Where students do not have access to the internet, a computer at home, or cannot afford to purchase it, the expectation is that HE Providers will provide support through their own hardship funds.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students to enable providers to draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. As a result, providers will be able to use the funding, worth around £23 million per month for April and May, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 29 April 2020
Department for Education
Education: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to ensure that students receive all key stages of learning they may have missed during the covid-19 lockdown.
A
Answered by: Nick Gibb
Answered on: 05 May 2020

The Department is doing everything it can to ensure that schools have the guidance and support they need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on all students.

The Department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. We recognise that many schools and colleges have already shared resources for children who are at home, and we are grateful for this.

The Department has issued guidance for schools which signposts to an initial list of free online resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their resources available for free. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The Department has also issued information, guidance and support to parents and carers of children who are learning from home at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Leading state schools have worked together to open The Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize. Further information can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Department is also considering, with a range of partner organisations, how best to support all pupils, especially those who are disadvantaged, to make up for time spent out of school.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 March 2020
Ministry of Justice
Wills: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications of social distancing for the requirement in the Wills Act 1837 that a person who may be a vulnerable individual be in the physical presence of two independent witnesses when signing a will; and if he will enable (a) video conferencing and (b) privileged wills in those cases during the covid-19 outbreak.
A
Answered by: Alex Chalk
Answered on: 21 April 2020

The Government is currently reviewing the case for reform of the law on making wills given current circumstances.

The constraints of the Covid-19 situation must be balanced against the important safeguards in the law to protect elderly and vulnerable people in particular against undue influence and fraud. Having two independent witnesses provides safeguards to those making wills. Privileged wills are a long established convention restricted to people making wills when on active military service where the normal formalities cannot be observed, but which do not equate to the current civil circumstances. Other reform measures are being considered at present.

In the longer term, the Government will consider reforms to the law on wills arising from the forthcoming Law Commission report on wills, which will explore a range of issues reviewing the current law and the case for reform (including on the use of technology).

The Government is committed to considering further work on witnessing documents by video-conference generally, in the light of the recent Law Commission report on Electronic Execution of Documents, which will help to inform potential reforms to the law on wills in the future.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 23 March 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has (a) forwarded to the British Society for Immunology and (b) received evidence that people who have recovered from covid-19 have long-term immunity to it.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 21 April 2020

There is a general medical consensus, based on scientific knowledge of other coronavirus infections, that after recovery from COVID-19 infection, people will have effective immunity. However, until more people have had the virus and recovered, and until we have performed studies of the long-term antibody response, it is currently unclear for how long this immunity will last. We will continue to monitor the science and evidence closely.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 March 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Guyana: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of and (b) support he has offered to resolve the ongoing accusations of fraud during the recent presidential election in Guyana.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 13 March 2020

The UK is deeply concerned by events following the elections in Guyana on 2 March 2020, as set out in a statement by the Foreign Secretary on 10 March. We call upon the President to preserve the principle of free, fair and credible elections. Allegations of electoral fraud and premature declarations of victory prior to the completion of a credible process pose a grave threat to the democratic principles of Guyana.

We stand ready to offer assistance to ensure a credible election result is produced.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 March 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Guyana: Press Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to help ensure that freedom of the press is maintained in Guyana.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 13 March 2020

The British Government is fully committed to promoting freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Guyana. Indeed, Guyana has a variety of print and online media who express divergent views. We believe that media freedom is vital for healthy societies everywhere and that journalists ought to be able to investigate and report without undue interference. The UK and Guyana have a close dialogue on a number of bilateral and global issues of mutual interest, including on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. On 10 March, the Foreign Secretary released a public statement calling for the preservation of free, fair and credible elections, and offered assistance to ensure that a credible election outcome is produced.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Uighurs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the human rights implications of the ongoing imprisonment of Uighur Muslims in China.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 03 March 2020

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Uighurs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on ensuring that Uighur Muslims are allowed access to the same public facilities as non-Muslim Chinese people.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 03 March 2020

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Uighurs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made in his discussions with his Chinese counterpart on allowing Uighur Muslims aged under-18 the right to attend a mosque.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 03 March 2020

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Uighurs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the release of Uighur Muslims from training centres after they have been identified as non-threats by authorities.
A
Answered by: Nigel Adams
Answered on: 03 March 2020

We will continue to ensure that our human rights concerns are directly raised with Chinese authorities. We also regularly raise our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at the UN.

We are aware of credible reports of widespread cultural, religious, and economic discrimination against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. During China's last Universal Periodic Review, we called on China to halt the practice of detaining individuals who have not been lawfully charged, tried, and convicted for a criminal offence in extra-legal detention facilities and immediately release individuals detained under such circumstances. We also raised concerns about arbitrary detention in our 'Item 4' statement at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2019.

Most recently, the UK Ambassador to China raised our concerns with Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang on 24 December 2019. Further, On 29 October 2019 at UN Third Committee, UK read out a joint statement signed by 22 others drawing attention to the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang and calling on China to uphold its obligations to respect human rights. On 17 September 2019, at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, we reiterated calls for UN experts to be granted unfettered access to Xinjiang and raised our concerns on arbitrary detention.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Home Office
Uighurs: Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that Uighur Muslims are allowed to enter the UK if they possess a valid UK visa.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 03 March 2020

All UK visa applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with UK immigration rules and guidance with the onus on the applicant to demonstrate they satisfy the immigration rules.

A Uighur Muslim individual with a UK visa follows the same entry procedures as all other visa holders.

After obtaining a visa all individuals need to establish their eligibility for admission at the UK border. Nationals of non-EEA countries must seek Leave to Enter in accordance with Immigration Rules from a Border Force officer. Ordinarily passenger passports or national identity cards are checked electronically at the border, but there are also times when extra checks are conducted at the discretion of Border Forcer entry officers.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Indigenous Peoples
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the increased issuance of mining licences in Brazil on Brazil's indigenous people.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 02 March 2020

We are monitoring the situation. We regularly discuss issues affecting indigenous peoples with Brazilian authorities, and will continue to do so. The UK is committed to promoting and defending the human rights of indigenous communities in Brazil.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Prisons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Brazilian counterpart on the (a) overcrowding of, (b) understaffing at and (c) lack of resources available to prisoners in prison facilities in that country.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 02 March 2020

We are aware of significant concerns about prison conditions in Brazil. We have raised our concerns with the Brazilian authorities and will continue to do so.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Freedom of Expression
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he is making to his Brazilian counterpart on (a) freedom of expression and (b) freedom of the press in that country.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The British Government is fully committed to promoting freedom of expression and freedom of the press. We believe that media freedom is vital for healthy societies everywhere and that journalists ought to be able to investigate and report without undue interference. The UK and Brazil have a close dialogue on a number of bilateral and global issues of mutual interest, including on freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Saudi Arabia: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his Brazilian counterpart on the exports of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia by that country.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The UK signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) in 2008 and acts in full accordance with its obligations. As part of this, the UK regularly uses its interventions at the Convention's meetings to call on all States not party to the Convention to accede without delay. The UK and Brazil have a close dialogue on a range of global issues of mutual interest. The UK has raised the importance of Brazil's accession to the CCM with Brazilian authorities and funded projects in Brazil to strengthen the public debate around this issue.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking in response to the finding by the Office for Statistics Regulation published on 8 January 2020 that the National Rail Passenger Survey does not reflect passengers' experience of rail travel in the UK.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Grouped Questions: 19039 | 19042
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the finding by the Office for Statistics Regulation published on 8 January 2020 that there is a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse of the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) by using a journey-based approach, what steps his Department plans to take to review how the results of the NRPS are used in the (a) award and (b) review processes for rail franchising.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Grouped Questions: 19038 | 19042
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons some train operating companies are provided with the results of the National Rail Passenger Survey three weeks in advance.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

As set out in the Code of Practice for Statistics, a small number of individuals can be given access to official statistics before their public release; these are limited to those involved in the production of the statistics and the preparation of the release, and for quality assurance purposes.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons his Department has not implemented the proposal by Transport Focus for continuous rail passenger interviewing.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

Whilst Transport Focus provided the Department with a proposal for a move to continuous National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) fieldwork in 2017, the costs of the options provided were prohibitive at that time.

The rail industry does not rely solely on the NRPS and since 2017, the Department has been working with industry to develop a wider range of evidence to understand and improve rail performance, including more continuous measurement of passenger views and experience.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the Office for Statistics Regulation’s conclusion that Transport Focus should extend engagement on National Passenger Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) to a broader range of users to ensure that different user perspectives are fed into the future development of the NRPS statistics.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The Department welcomes the Office for Statistics Regulation report and will work with Transport Focus to help it meet the recommendations set out in the report.

Transport Focus has published its plan to address the OSR recommendations, available here: https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/action-plan-for-nrps/

Grouped Questions: 19038 | 19039
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rail Passenger Survey collects data on passenger support for the presence of on-train and station staff.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) collects information on passenger satisfaction with rail services, including satisfaction with various aspects of the service currently delivered by staff. The NRPS would not be the appropriate survey to ask about support for the presence of staff given it is focussed on specific journeys, rather than general attitudes to rail. However, this is an important area, and Transport Focus has itself carried out other research on this topic, for example, https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/passenger-attitudes-towards-rail-staff/.

The NRPS collects data on the experiences of disabled rail passengers via a special module of questions every Autumn wave. This data is available to view and download from the Transport Focus data hub on the Transport Focus website. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has been clear that he wants the railways to lead the way on accessible travel.

The NRPS doesn’t collect data on any rail non-users (people who do not currently travel by rail). The Department, however, is exploring the option of collecting experience and satisfaction data on rail non-users, including disabled rail non-users, as part of its wider programme of research on passenger experience.

Grouped Questions: 19044
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for Transport
Railways: Surveys
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that the National Rail Passenger Survey includes questions on the accessibility of railways for disabled people that (a) travel by rail and (b) do not currently travel by rail.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 02 March 2020

The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) collects information on passenger satisfaction with rail services, including satisfaction with various aspects of the service currently delivered by staff. The NRPS would not be the appropriate survey to ask about support for the presence of staff given it is focussed on specific journeys, rather than general attitudes to rail. However, this is an important area, and Transport Focus has itself carried out other research on this topic, for example, https://www.transportfocus.org.uk/research-publications/publications/passenger-attitudes-towards-rail-staff/.

The NRPS collects data on the experiences of disabled rail passengers via a special module of questions every Autumn wave. This data is available to view and download from the Transport Focus data hub on the Transport Focus website. My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has been clear that he wants the railways to lead the way on accessible travel.

The NRPS doesn’t collect data on any rail non-users (people who do not currently travel by rail). The Department, however, is exploring the option of collecting experience and satisfaction data on rail non-users, including disabled rail non-users, as part of its wider programme of research on passenger experience.

Grouped Questions: 19043
Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Rainforests
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Brazilian counterpart on the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 28 February 2020

The UK has been dedicated to addressing the issue of deforestation in Brazil for a long time. Since 2012, the UK has invested nearly £154 million in a number of International Climate Finance programmes in Brazil aimed at tackling deforestation, preventing forest fires, and implementing the Forest Code. The Prime Minister also raised the environment with President Bolsonaro during a phone call on 15 January. The UK will continue to monitor the situation in the Amazon closely and raise these critical issues in our ongoing dialogue with Brazil.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 24 February 2020
Ministry of Defence
Army: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the career destinations were of recruits enlisted at the Army Foundation College but not completing phase two training in each year since 2015.
A
Answered by: James Heappey
Answered on: 27 February 2020

Information is not held about the future career paths of those, including those enlisted at the Army Foundation College, who do not complete phase two training and so leave the Army.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 21 February 2020
Department for International Development
Brazil: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to support improved (a) healthcare and (b) delivery of healthcare services to indigenous women in Brazil.
A
Answered by: Wendy Morton
Answered on: 26 February 2020

The UK Prosperity Fund’s Global Better Health Programme aims to strengthen the health system in Brazil through technical collaboration. In particular, the programme focuses on addressing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer; and driving improvements in quality of care to reduce infection, injury or premature death. This will directly benefit women and poorer groups who are often particularly affected as a result of these health challenges. The programme in Brazil is currently in the inception stage, as part of which we will consider with our country partners the likely impact of the programme on different demographic groups such as indigenous women.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 21 February 2020
Home Office
Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the policy paper entitled The UK's points-based immigration system: policy statement, published on 19 February 2020, what the requirements will be for employers to become approved sponsors.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 26 February 2020

Requirements for employers to become approved sponsors can be found in the ‘Tiers 2 and 5: guidance for sponsors’ at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/sponsor-a-tier-2-or-5-worker-guidance-for-employers.

We keep this guidance under review and will make changes in due course to reflect the introduction of the new points-based immigration system, from January 2021.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tristan da Cunha: Lobsters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he plans to have with his EU counterparts to ensure that the gourmet lobster trade industry in Tristan da Cunha is not affected by EU tariffs imposed after the transition period.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 13 February 2020

The Government has always been clear that we are committed to engaging Overseas Territories as the UK exits the EU, to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly taken into account.

We are seeking a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the EU and want to have the greatest possible tariff- and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours, so that our companies, including those operating in the Tristan da Cunha lobster industry, have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets.

We also welcome the substantive input we have received from the Tristan da Cunha Government as the United Kingdom prepares for negotiations with the EU.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cayman Islands: Ports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to the Cayman Islands Government in relation to that Government's referendum on a new cruise port facility.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 13 February 2020

Port redevelopment is an area of devolved responsibility to the elected Government of the Cayman Islands. A Judicial Review on the Cayman Islands Referendum Law was heard on 22-23 January, with the judgment expected later this month. As this is a devolved matter and currently subject to Judicial Review it would not be appropriate for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to intervene. The United Kingdom Electoral Commission has provided advice to the Government of the Cayman Islands and the Governor's Office has previously arranged for observers from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to oversee the referendum.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cayman Islands: Natural Disasters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the UK has provided to the Cayman Islands to help (a) prevent significant damage from and (b) respond to (i) earthquakes and (ii) other future natural disasters.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 13 February 2020

The British Government works closely with its Overseas Territories, including the Cayman Islands, to help build local resilience to disasters. The Governor's Office and Hazard Management Cayman Islands jointly develop policy and deliver operational responses to disasters.

Recent initiatives include a Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded project to develop a more effective early warning system to provide timely information to the public during sudden onset disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The Governor's Office alongside the Ministry of Defence are also developing a new Defence Regiment in the Cayman Islands which will provide a step change in the support available to the civilian authorities following a disaster. In addition the United Kingdom is supporting projects on public information campaigns, training for first responders and the provision of new satellite emergency communications equipment. In 2019 the United Kingdom part funded the purchase and running costs of a new helicopter for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Air Operations Unit. This enables the authorities to provide effective damage assessments, search and rescue and medevac services in Cayman and other British Overseas Territories following disasters. The helicopter was used to provide emergency relief in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and for damage assessments following the earthquake which struck the Cayman Islands on 28 January. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, RFA Mounts Bay, has been deployed to the region for the past 3 years and has provided immediate humanitarian assistance to the three British Overseas Territories, Anguilla, the BVI and TCI which were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 as well as to the Bahamas in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in 2019. RFA Mounts Bay will be replaced in March 2020 by other Ministry of Defence naval vessel.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turks and Caicos Islands: National Security
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support he has offered to Turks and Caicos to help the development of a new national security strategy.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 13 February 2020

The United Kingdom played an instrumental role in supporting development of a new National Security Strategy in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), launched jointly by the Governor and Premier of TCI on 22 January. Alongside the strategy's launch, Sandhurst Military Academy ran a week-long national security training exercise, undertaken by senior officials across TCI government and regional partners.

A Security Advisor from the United Kingdom is currently seconded to TCI to coordinate work around national security; having led work to build on the initial steps taken by TCI's policing and Joint Law Enforcement Teams to develop the finalised National Security Strategy.

The Premier of TCI has expressed her thanks for the United Kingdom's support in implementing the National Security Strategy. As part of our ongoing commitment, the United Kingdom is also supporting the establishment of a defence force which will assist the maritime police to protect the Territory's borders.

While the United Kingdom retains reserve responsibilities for national security, this mutually supportive relationship will best serve the interests of the Overseas Territories.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 February 2020
Department for Transport
Bridges: Irish Sea
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to build a bridge between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
A
Answered by: Grant Shapps
Answered on: 13 February 2020

The previous Secretary of State met with DUP MP’s to discuss the proposals. Subsequently, officials provided advice to both the previous and current Secretary of State on the options available to facilitate a feasibility study.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Exports: Falkland Islands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he will take to ensure that the Falkland Islands continues to have tariff free exports to the EU after the transition period.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 12 February 2020

The Government has always been clear that we are committed to engaging Overseas Territories as the United Kingdom exits the EU, to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly taken into account.

We are seeking a bold and ambitious Free Trade Agreement with the EU and want to have the greatest possible tariff- and barrier-free trade with our European neighbours, so that British companies, including Falkland Islands companies, have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within European markets.

We also welcome the substantive input we have received from the Falkland Islands' Government as the United Kingdom prepares for negotiations with the EU.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cayman Islands: Financial Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he will take to ensure that the financial services sector in the Cayman Islands is not adversely affected by the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 12 February 2020

During the United Kingdom's EU membership, the Overseas Territories have accessed the EU market for services on a third country basis, meaning there is no direct impact of the United Kingdom's departure from the EU on the Cayman Islands' ability to access to the EU market for services.

The Government has always been clear that it will robustly represent the Overseas Territories' interests internationally and the Government is fully committed to engaging all the Overseas Territories as we exit the EU, to ensure that their interests and priorities are properly taken into account in United Kingdom-EU negotiations.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turks and Caicos Islands: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment has his Department has made of recent trends in the level of irregular migration into Turks and Caicos from Haiti.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 12 February 2020

Recent years have seen a rise in the numbers of people making the dangerous journey by sea from Haiti to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). The overloaded vessels - carrying at times over 200 people - attempt to arrive into the Islands clandestinely, often under the cover of darkness and over dangerous reefs. The newly launched National Security Strategy for TCI aims to deter and ultimately reduce the number of migrants attempting the journey, including by increasing TCI's capability to intercept boats at sea. Improved coordination and higher rate of interception, means that fewer vessels are now reaching TCI. Those arrested at sea, and brought to land, are repatriated by air to Haiti.

The United Kingdom and TCI Government are reviewing our ability to intercept vessels far earlier in their journey, and are working with international partners including the US Coastguard to achieve this. The National Security Strategy also focuses on tackling the criminal networks that exploit migrants making the journey.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Tristan Da Cunha: Fisheries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to help ensure that Tristan da Cunha’s fishing industry is adequately protected from increased restrictions over fishing areas.
A
Answered by: Christopher Pincher
Answered on: 11 February 2020

Under the Blue Belt programme, United Kingdom funding has been provided to support the Overseas Territories protect and manage their marine environments. The programme is currently on course to protect 4 million square kilometres of ocean around the British Overseas Territories. In delivering the Blue Belt initiative, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Marine Management Organisation(MMO) are working with the Government of Tristan da Cunha to ensure that the large scale Marine Protected Areas which have been designated, or are being developed, around the UKOTs are effectively managed, monitored and enforced. Traditional surveillance techniques, including sea and aerial patrols, are also being supplemented with trials of new techniques including satellite surveillance (radar and optical imagery); autonomous underwater vehicles; and unmanned aerial systems, to detect any illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Further funding was announced in August for FY 2020/21 to continue this important programme.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Kashmir: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the UN on sending UN delegates to Kashmir to assess the humanitarian and political situation in that region.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 10 February 2020

Kashmir was discussed in closed sessions of the UN Security Council in August 2019 and January 2020. We are monitoring the situation in Kashmir closely and the Foreign Secretary has discussed the situation there with his Indian and Pakistani counterparts. British High Commission officials visit the region periodically and meet with local authorities and others to discuss a range of issues.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 04 February 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Kashmir: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to organise mediations between the Kashmiri and Indian Governments.
A
Answered by: Mrs Heather Wheeler
Answered on: 10 February 2020

HMG's longstanding position is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Our emphasis is on encouraging the Governments of India and Pakistan to open channels of communication and engage in dialogue as a means to resolving differences. The pace and scope of any dialogue is for India and Pakistan to determine. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to act as a mediator.

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