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.

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