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 June 2020
Cabinet Office
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.
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: 02 June 2020
Home Office
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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: Housing Occupancy
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.

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