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: 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.

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