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 2017-19 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
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 28 June 2019
Department for International Trade
Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the cost to the public purse was (a) of his Department's legal team and (b) in legal fees to the appellant for his Department's defence of the 2017 High Court case on arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
A
Answered by: Graham Stuart
Answered on: 22 July 2019
Holding answer received on 05 July 2019

The cost to the public purse of (a) the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) legal team was £146,752.61, and (b) the cost to the public purse in legal fees to the appellant for this Department’s defence of the 2017 High Court case on arms sales to Saudi Arabia was £45,000. In addition, other money disbursed from the public purse for the purposes of this case was £138,292.14. This figure represents DIT legal costs to date associated with the Special Advocate representing the Appellant in closed proceedings in the Judicial Review.

The figures provided comprise net legal costs, including disbursement costs and these represent the legal cost to DIT. The legal costs provided here do not include figures spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence. There may also be further legal costs that have not yet been billed to the department.

Q
Asked by Toby Perkins
(Chesterfield)
Asked on: 12 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Public Sector: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect on public sector contracts at the (a) NHS, (b) Passport Office, (c) Department for Work and Pensions and (d) Metropolitan Police of redundancies at DXC Technology.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 22 July 2019

We regularly monitor the performance of all our strategic suppliers, including DXC Technology. The continued delivery of public services is our top priority.

We have met with DXC Technology to understand its plans and the impact they will have on Central Government contracts.

Individual contracting authorities are responsible for the performance of their contracts. We continue to support them in their engagements with DXC Technology to ensure the continuity of public services.

Q
(Coventry North East)
Asked on: 12 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sports: Coventry
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what funding his Department allocated to projects to support grassroots sports facilities in Coventry in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 22 July 2019

Sport and physical activity facilities in Coventry have benefited from over £1.2m Exchequer and Lottery funding through Sport England over the last five years. This is on top of Sport England’s total spend on community sport and physical activity in Coventry over the same period, more than £6.5m.

Q
(Feltham and Heston)
Asked on: 12 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Public Houses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the contribution of pubs to (a) local economies, (b) local employment and (c) the Industrial Strategy.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 22 July 2019

Pubs are a major part of the tourism and hospitality offer for the UK, with the tourism sector worth over £68bn to the UK and employing over 1.5m people directly.

The Industrial Strategy is building long-term strategic partnerships with businesses through Sector Deals between Government and industry, and most recently agreed a Tourism Sector Deal. This Deal recognises the significant contribution of pubs to local economies and the tourism sector; for example, 42% of international visits include at least one visit to a pub. The Government considers pubs to be a crucial element in the employment ecosystem of the Tourism Sector workforce, and has announced that the British Beer and Pub Association will be partnering with UKHospitality to manage a new Hospitality and Tourism Skills Board (under the Tourism Industry Council), and will carry out an annual workforce survey.

The British Beer and Pub Association also put forward a consultation response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

Q
Asked by Liz McInnes
(Heywood and Middleton)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Kashmir: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Kashmir.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 22 July 2019

​I refer the Honourable Member to the answers of 11 June 2019 (PQ 259251) and 17 June (PQ 263167).

Q
Asked by Hugh Gaffney
(Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Department for Education
Universities: Students
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the level of financial support available to university students.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 22 July 2019

Living costs support increased by 10.3% for students on the lowest incomes in the 2016-17 academic year compared to the previous system, with further inflationary increases for each year since then. The government has announced a 2.8% increase in maximum loans for living costs for the 2019-20 academic year starting in August.

An announcement on financial support for academic year 2020-21 will be made in due course.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he had made of the number of (a) male and (b) female perpetrators of domestic violence who have also been victims of domestic violence.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 104.7 KB)
Grouped Questions: 277309 | 277310
Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Coal: Imports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much coal was imported for use in (a) UK coal fired power stations (b) UK steel works and (c) other industrial processes in 2018.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 22 July 2019

BEIS does not hold data identifying the source of the coal supplied to each consumer.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Domestic Abuse: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the prevalence of domestic violence within (a) gay, (b) lesbian and (c) bisexual couple relationships.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 104.7 KB)
Grouped Questions: 277306 | 277310
Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 15 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Domestic Abuse
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the prevalence of partner domestic violence perpetrated by each sex by (a) ethnicity and (b) nationality.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

UKSA Response (PDF Document, 104.7 KB)
Grouped Questions: 277306 | 277309
Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 July 2019
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much and what proportion of UK Guarantees Scheme guarantees issued to date have been allocated to road projects in Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 22 July 2019

To date, no guarantees under the UK Guarantees Scheme have been issued to road projects in Northern Ireland. This information, alongside details of the UK Guarantees scheme, is publicly available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-guarantees-scheme. The UK Guarantees Scheme was established in 2012, with a capacity of up to £40 billion, to support private investment in UK infrastructure projects. As the scheme is demand-led, it only operates where needed and guarantees are not allocated by region. So far, the UK Guarantees Scheme has issued £1.8 billion of guarantees, supporting over £4 billion worth of investment.

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 July 2019
Treasury
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much funding was allocated to (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales from the National Productivity Investment Fund in (i) 2017-18, and (ii) 2018-19.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Government established the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to increase capital spending for areas critical for improving productivity: housing, transport, digital infrastructure and Research & Development (R&D).

Digital infrastructure and R&D spending are reserved so UK Government investment, including through the NPIF, covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The NPIF includes £425m in 2017-18 and £820m in 2018-19 on R&D funding, and £25m in 2017-18 and £150m in 2018-19 on digital infrastructure.

Housing and transport spending is devolved, and in these areas, the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government have received increases in their capital budgets as a result of applying the Barnett formula to changes in spending in England.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall South)
[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 July 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many planning applications on Green Belt land in (a) Walsall South constituency and (b) England have been referred to the National Planning Unit in each of the last 10 years.
A
Answered by: Kit Malthouse
Answered on: 22 July 2019

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer to question UIN 277187 on 18 July.

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
[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 July 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what progress he has made on ensuring reciprocal mobility agreements between the UK and the EU for people in the music industry that require short-term visas after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 22 July 2019

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK nationals undertaking paid work, including in the music industry, in the EU should check with the Embassy of the countries they plan to travel to for what kind of visa or permit, if any, they will need. The FCO provides advice on their country-specific travel pages online. Information about entry requirements for those intending to work or provide a service in an EU Member State is listed on our advice pages for UK businesses on gov.uk.

The Political Declaration agreed between the UK and the EU acknowledges the importance of mobility for cultural cooperation. The UK has proposed reciprocal mobility arrangements with the EU that support businesses to provide services and move their talented people. We also want to discuss how to facilitate the temporary mobility of self-employed professionals and employees providing services. The detail of our reciprocal mobility arrangements will be discussed in the next phase of negotiations.

Q
Asked by Frank Field
(Birkenhead)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of goods procured by the Government were manufactured in the UK in the last 12 months for which information is available.
A
Answered by: Oliver Dowden
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally.

Q
Asked by Jack Lopresti
(Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Department for International Trade
Overseas Trade: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what opportunities he has identified for further bilateral trade co-operation with Israel after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The UK and Israel signed a trade continuity agreement in February 2019. The agreement simplifies trade and allows businesses to trade as freely as they do now when the UK leaves the EU, without any additional barriers or tariffs.

Going forward post-Brexit, the British and Israeli governments have established a Working Group to work towards a smooth transition of our trading arrangements and to plot the course for the future trading relationship between the UK and Israel. Additionally, the UK will be hosting the inaugural UK-Israel Trade and Investment Conference in London this year. This event will showcase the close trading relationship between our two countries and look to the future on areas of opportunity for businesses.

Q
(Motherwell and Wishaw)
[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 July 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to limit job losses as a result of (a) further William Hill (b) other bookmakers branch closures.
A
Answered by: Mims Davies
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The government reduced the maximum stake on B2 gaming machines from £100 to £2, to help stop extreme losses by those who were least able to afford them. We engaged with the gambling industry to understand the potential impact on jobs, both as proposals were developed and following the announcement.

The government will engage with William Hill and other bookmakers, as well as the Association of British Bookmakers, to establish the level of employee support that may be required. Jobcentre Plus’s Rapid Response Service is also ready to support any worker who may be affected by job losses associated with this announcement.

Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)
[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 July 2019
Department for International Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether it is his Department's policy that food which meets the standards of the US Food and Drug Administration’s food defect levels handbook guidance will be saleable in the UK in the event of a free trade agreement with the US.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 22 July 2019

We do not wish to pre-empt discussions relating to a future UK-US trade deal, however the Government is proud of our high standards of food safety and these will not be watered down when we leave the EU. High standards and high quality are what our domestic and global customers demand, and that is what we will provide.

It is vital that we explore new trading opportunities, but these should not mean a dilution of the standards for which British food is world renowned.

Q
(Cambridge)
Asked on: 16 July 2019
Department for International Trade
Drugs: EU External Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the European Commission press release entitled EU-U.S. trade talks: milestone reached in mutual recognition on pharmaceuticals, dated 11 July 2019, whether the recently agreed mutual recognition agreement between the US and EU will continue to apply to manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in the UK in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 22 July 2019

All operational aspects of the EU-US mutual recognition agreement on conformity assessment (MRA) will continue to apply to the UK in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The MRA signed between the UK and the US in Washington DC on 14 February 2019 provides continuity of the EU-US MRA, including the annex on Good Manufacturing Practice for pharmaceuticals. It is ready to enter into force as soon as the EU-US MRA ceases to apply to the UK, whether in the event of a deal or no-deal scenario.

For further information, please see https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-us-mutual-recognition-agreement

Q
(East Londonderry)
[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 July 2019
Northern Ireland Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she plans to table legislative proposals to implement payments to victims of historical and institutional abuse in Northern Ireland.
A
Answered by: John Penrose
Answered on: 22 July 2019

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made it very clear that she is determined to see redress for victims of historical institutional abuse as soon as possible. The UK Government has made clear that legislation will be introduced at Westminster by the end of the year, should a restored NI Executive not be in place.

Currently, officials in the Northern Ireland Executive Office are working with the Northern Ireland Office of the Legislative Counsel to redraft the legislation for a redress scheme in line with the NI parties’ recommendations.

When the legislation has been revised and received, the Secretary of State will consider the best way forward and the next steps as a matter of urgency.

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