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.

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Q
Asked on: 24 October 2018
Cabinet Office
Cybercrime
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure there are consistent responses to cyber attacks across government departments.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 01 November 2018

The Cabinet Office published the HMG Minimum Cyber Security Standard in 2017, providing Departments with clear guidance on how they should plan for, and respond to, cyber incidents in a consistent manner. The Cabinet Office requires an annual update from Departments on how they meet the expectations as set out in the standard including a defined response plan to cyber security incidents.

Q
Asked on: 24 October 2018
Cabinet Office
Cybercrime
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role private sector organisations will have in the Government’s cyber security work.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 01 November 2018

The National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) seeks to ensure that the UK is the safest place to live and work online. As such, the Strategy sets out action aimed at all sectors of society. Partnership with private sector organisations of all sizes is critical to HM Government’s ability to deliver on the ambition of the NCSS.

HM Government provides support through the NCSS to stimulate the sector of specialist cyber security companies, working to create a domestic pipeline of development and investment in products and services that will make systems and infrastructure more resilient. Together with private sector manufacturers, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has recently published the Code of Practice for Consumer Internet of Things (IoT) Security to ensure that this emerging technology is secure by design. The private sector also contributes to the Government’s ambition of creating a sustainable pipeline of home grown cyber security professionals, playing a partnership role in programmes such as Cyber First and wider skills based initiatives.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) works directly with the private sector on the cyber threat and how to counter it, and companies act on advice from the NCSC to help them prepare for - and to respond and recover from – cyber incidents.

Q
Asked on: 24 October 2018
Cabinet Office
Cybercrime
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in response to the report by the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, Cyber Security Skills and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure (HL 172), published on 19 July.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 01 November 2018

The Government has submitted its response to the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy’s report on Cyber Security Skills and the UK’s Critical National Infrastructure and we look forward to its publication.

Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for International Trade
Kazakhstan: Foreign Relations
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the outcome of the UK–Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation meeting held in Astana on 8 October.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 29 October 2018

My Rt Hon Friend, the Minister of State for Trade Policy, attended the UK-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission. The IGC highlighted UK companies’ collaboration in the oil and gas sector and promoted opportunities for UK companies in the mining, agriculture, financial services and infrastructure sectors.

TheCityUK offered the Astana International Financial Centre expertise to develop its corporate governance, and training to develop its staff in the UK; Kazakhstan confirmed that Kazatomprom will be the first major state-owned company to be part privatised, with a dual listing on the London Stock Exchange and the new Astana exchange.

A Memorandum of Understanding between UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Kazakh Invest was signed, affirming UKEF appetite to support Kazakh projects and the ambition to increase procurement from the UK.

Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for International Trade
Financial Services: Kazakhstan
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional support they intend to offer the Astana International Financial Centre following the UK–Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation held in Astana on 8 October.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 29 October 2018

My Rt Hon Friend, the Minister of State for Trade Policy, attended the UK-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Commission in Astana where he held a bilateral meeting with Governor Kelimbetov of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC).

TheCityUK were in attendance and offered the AIFC assistance to develop its corporate governance, and training to build its capabilities; learning from UK financial expertise.

HMG in collaboration with City of London representatives are pleased to offer support to Kazatomprom, which will be the first major state-owned company to be part privatised, with a dual listing on the London Stock Exchange and the new Astana exchange; part of an ambitious privatisation programme set by Kazakhstan.

Q
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
International Science and Technology Centre and Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what relationship the UK will have with (1) the International Science and Technology Centre, and (2) the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 26 October 2018

The UK is currently funding one project with the International Science and Technology Centre which is due to conclude in March 2019, and is not currently working on any projects with the Science and Technology Centre in Ukraine.

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, we would consider whether to fund projects with these organisations on a case by case basis, depending on their importance for meeting our international non-proliferation and security objectives.

Q
Asked on: 01 October 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
British Nationals Abroad: EU Countries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Brexit negotiations will necessitate any UK citizens who do not reside in the UK, without property in the UK but with property in the EU, to relocate to the UK after Brexit; and if so, whether they have plans to recompense such citizens for any losses incurred as a result.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 18 October 2018

In December 2017, we reached a fair and reciprocal agreement with the EU on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, as set out in the draft legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The agreement confirms that any UK national resident in the EU by December 2020 will be able to stay and continue living their lives broadly as they do now in their current Member State of residence. This agreement provides UK nationals living in the EU more certainty about residence, healthcare, pensions and other benefits. We are currently implementing this agreement in the UK through the EU Settlement Scheme and are working with Member States to understand how they will do the same.

Should a UK national decide to return to the UK, details on access to services such as healthcare and social security in the UK can be found on gov.uk.

Q
Asked on: 10 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Drugs
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is provided to NHS Trusts about the use of medication not approved by NICE to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 17 October 2018

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing technology appraisal guidance for the National Health Service on the use of nusinersen (Spinraza) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

NHS England has published an Interim Policy Statement Urgent Clinical Commissioning Policy Statement: Nusinersen for genetically confirmed Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1 for eligible patients under the Expanded Access Programme (EAP) determining the circumstances in which patients will be supported to access nusinersen through the EAP scheme sponsored by Biogen, the manufacturer of nusinersen. A copy is attached. The policy statement enables patients with type 1 SMA to access nusinersen in advance of NICE’s guidance.

In the absence of final guidance from NICE, clinicians can apply to NHS England for funding in exceptional cases through the individual funding request process.

Grouped Questions: HL10601 | HL10602
Q
Asked on: 10 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Drugs
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of making financial resources available to patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to obtain medication not approved by NICE.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 17 October 2018

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing technology appraisal guidance for the National Health Service on the use of nusinersen (Spinraza) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

NHS England has published an Interim Policy Statement Urgent Clinical Commissioning Policy Statement: Nusinersen for genetically confirmed Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1 for eligible patients under the Expanded Access Programme (EAP) determining the circumstances in which patients will be supported to access nusinersen through the EAP scheme sponsored by Biogen, the manufacturer of nusinersen. A copy is attached. The policy statement enables patients with type 1 SMA to access nusinersen in advance of NICE’s guidance.

In the absence of final guidance from NICE, clinicians can apply to NHS England for funding in exceptional cases through the individual funding request process.

Grouped Questions: HL10600 | HL10602
Q
Asked on: 10 October 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Nusinersen
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance is provided by NHS Trusts about making the drug Spinraza available through the NHS to patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 17 October 2018

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing technology appraisal guidance for the National Health Service on the use of nusinersen (Spinraza) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

NHS England has published an Interim Policy Statement Urgent Clinical Commissioning Policy Statement: Nusinersen for genetically confirmed Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) type 1 for eligible patients under the Expanded Access Programme (EAP) determining the circumstances in which patients will be supported to access nusinersen through the EAP scheme sponsored by Biogen, the manufacturer of nusinersen. A copy is attached. The policy statement enables patients with type 1 SMA to access nusinersen in advance of NICE’s guidance.

In the absence of final guidance from NICE, clinicians can apply to NHS England for funding in exceptional cases through the individual funding request process.

Grouped Questions: HL10600 | HL10601
Q
Asked on: 12 September 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government where each of Her Majesty's Trade Commissioners are based; for which countries each has responsibility; what are the priority countries within each region; and what is the annual budget being applied to each region.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 September 2018

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised its overseas teams into nine regions, which are led by the nine HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs). This provides a highly engaged overseas leadership team to drive forward DIT’s future trade strategy and priorities overseas. The responsibilities of the HMTCs are:

  • To work with partners in DIT headquarters and overseas to develop a Regional Trade Plan encompassing export promotion, investment and trade policy.

  • To set a clear vision and provide direction to the Department’s operations in the region.

  • To take responsibility for the UK’s commercial relationship with all the markets in their region, working closely with Heads of Mission, DIT Heads of Trade, and a wide range of stakeholders.

HM Trade Commissioners are based in cities across the nine regions as follows:

  • New York (HMTC for North America)

  • Sao Paulo (HMTC for Latin America and Caribbean)

  • Johannesburg (HMTC for Africa)

  • Dubai (HMTC for Middle East)

  • Istanbul (HMTC for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network)

  • Mumbai (HMTC for South Asia)

  • Beijing (HMTC for China & Hong Kong)

  • Singapore (HMTC for Asia Pacific)

  • Milan (HMTC for Europe)

The budgets delegated at the start of 2018-19 to each HMTC are set below. Wider DIT budgets also support the delivery of HMTC objectives but are not set at a regional level:

HMTC region

Delegated budget

Africa

£3,685,152

Asia-Pacific

£9,780,451

China

£9,592,448

EECAN

£2,939,163

Europe

£16,050,951

Latin America & Caribbean

£7,438,225

Middle East

£5,126,912

North America

£10,009,920

South Asia

£4,073,335

The priorities and objectives for each HMTC are outlined in Regional Trade Plans (RTPs). These RTPs are currently in development.

Grouped Questions: HL10342 | HL10343
Q
Asked on: 12 September 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the specific responsibilities of Her Majesty's Trade Commissioners.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 September 2018

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised its overseas teams into nine regions, which are led by the nine HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs). This provides a highly engaged overseas leadership team to drive forward DIT’s future trade strategy and priorities overseas. The responsibilities of the HMTCs are:

  • To work with partners in DIT headquarters and overseas to develop a Regional Trade Plan encompassing export promotion, investment and trade policy.

  • To set a clear vision and provide direction to the Department’s operations in the region.

  • To take responsibility for the UK’s commercial relationship with all the markets in their region, working closely with Heads of Mission, DIT Heads of Trade, and a wide range of stakeholders.

HM Trade Commissioners are based in cities across the nine regions as follows:

  • New York (HMTC for North America)

  • Sao Paulo (HMTC for Latin America and Caribbean)

  • Johannesburg (HMTC for Africa)

  • Dubai (HMTC for Middle East)

  • Istanbul (HMTC for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network)

  • Mumbai (HMTC for South Asia)

  • Beijing (HMTC for China & Hong Kong)

  • Singapore (HMTC for Asia Pacific)

  • Milan (HMTC for Europe)

The budgets delegated at the start of 2018-19 to each HMTC are set below. Wider DIT budgets also support the delivery of HMTC objectives but are not set at a regional level:

HMTC region

Delegated budget

Africa

£3,685,152

Asia-Pacific

£9,780,451

China

£9,592,448

EECAN

£2,939,163

Europe

£16,050,951

Latin America & Caribbean

£7,438,225

Middle East

£5,126,912

North America

£10,009,920

South Asia

£4,073,335

The priorities and objectives for each HMTC are outlined in Regional Trade Plans (RTPs). These RTPs are currently in development.

Grouped Questions: HL10341 | HL10343
Q
Asked on: 12 September 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Promotion
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the regional strategy of each of Her Majesty's Trade Commissioners.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 20 September 2018

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has organised its overseas teams into nine regions, which are led by the nine HM Trade Commissioners (HMTCs). This provides a highly engaged overseas leadership team to drive forward DIT’s future trade strategy and priorities overseas. The responsibilities of the HMTCs are:

  • To work with partners in DIT headquarters and overseas to develop a Regional Trade Plan encompassing export promotion, investment and trade policy.

  • To set a clear vision and provide direction to the Department’s operations in the region.

  • To take responsibility for the UK’s commercial relationship with all the markets in their region, working closely with Heads of Mission, DIT Heads of Trade, and a wide range of stakeholders.

HM Trade Commissioners are based in cities across the nine regions as follows:

  • New York (HMTC for North America)

  • Sao Paulo (HMTC for Latin America and Caribbean)

  • Johannesburg (HMTC for Africa)

  • Dubai (HMTC for Middle East)

  • Istanbul (HMTC for Eastern Europe and Central Asia Network)

  • Mumbai (HMTC for South Asia)

  • Beijing (HMTC for China & Hong Kong)

  • Singapore (HMTC for Asia Pacific)

  • Milan (HMTC for Europe)

The budgets delegated at the start of 2018-19 to each HMTC are set below. Wider DIT budgets also support the delivery of HMTC objectives but are not set at a regional level:

HMTC region

Delegated budget

Africa

£3,685,152

Asia-Pacific

£9,780,451

China

£9,592,448

EECAN

£2,939,163

Europe

£16,050,951

Latin America & Caribbean

£7,438,225

Middle East

£5,126,912

North America

£10,009,920

South Asia

£4,073,335

The priorities and objectives for each HMTC are outlined in Regional Trade Plans (RTPs). These RTPs are currently in development.

Grouped Questions: HL10341 | HL10342
Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Immigration: EU Nationals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure the continuity of rights for all EU citizens after Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 22 August 2018

The Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and UK nationals living in the UK, is her first priority for negotiations.

We have reached an agreement with the EU on the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, as set out in the draft legal text of the Withdrawal Agreement. The agreement confirms that all EU citizens legally resident in the UK by December 2020 will be able to continue living their lives broadly as now.

The Home Office published a Statement of Intent on 21 June, providing further details about how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status. The process will be straightforward and streamlined and we will support applicants to get the right outcome.

We have published a White Paper on the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill which will implement the Withdrawal Agreement we reach with the EU in UK law. This sets out the detail on how the Bill will legislate for key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the agreement on citizens’ rights.

Q
Asked on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any British Overseas Territory has made representations to them regarding new UK legislation; if so, which Territory; and on what subject.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Corrected on: 08 August 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 02 August 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

Those Some Overseas Territories with financial centres, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat have expressed concern about new legislation on sanctions and anti-money laundering (the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act), which became law on 23 May 2018; in particular the requirement to establish a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies registered in each government's jurisdiction.

Seperately, the aforementioned Territories and Gibraltar have made representations over the potential use of an Order in Council as specified in the Act, believing this to be constitutional overreach by the UK.

The Prime Minister held a conference call with leaders of affected Territories on 24 May to discuss the issue and a further discussion was held at the Joint Ministerial Council in June. Shortly after the passage of this legislation I visited Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat, where I held discussions on this topic. Similarly, in late July I visited the British Virgin Islands and met with representatives of the financial services industry and government of BVI. The Government understands the strength of feeling on this issue and is committed to working collaboratively with affected Territories on implementation.

A
Answered on: 02 August 2018

Those Some Overseas Territories with financial centres, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat have expressed concern about new legislation on sanctions and anti-money laundering (the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act), which became law on 23 May 2018; in particular the requirement to establish a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies registered in each government's jurisdiction.

Seperately, the aforementioned Territories and Gibraltar have made representations over the potential use of an Order in Council as specified in the Act, believing this to be constitutional overreach by the UK.

The Prime Minister held a conference call with leaders of affected Territories on 24 May to discuss the issue and a further discussion was held at the Joint Ministerial Council in June. Shortly after the passage of this legislation I visited Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat, where I held discussions on this topic. Similarly, in late July I visited the British Virgin Islands and met with representatives of the financial services industry and government of BVI. The Government understands the strength of feeling on this issue and is committed to working collaboratively with affected Territories on implementation.

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Exports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which markets of interest to the UK’s private sector exporters are restricted by (1) a sanctions regime, or (2) the UK’s foreign policy which limits ministerial support for those exporters.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 08 August 2018

HMG actively promotes international trade within a rules based international order. Maintaining this sometimes requires the application of sanctions. The UK currently implements multilateral trade sanctions set by the UN, EU, and OSCE relating to:

Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burma, Central African Republic, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

These sanctions regimes contain measures which may restrict the activities of UK exporters.

There are no policy restrictions on Ministerial support for exporters to markets not otherwise subject to sanctions.

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current public consultation process for Free Trade Agreements; what criteria they will use to assess the merits of any such consultations; whether the Department for International Trade have the necessary expertise to evaluate the results of any such consultation; and, if that expertise is not available, whether they intend to outsource that evaluation.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 07 August 2018

As set out in the HM Government’s White Paper of 12 July 2018, the UK is preparing for an independent trade policy, including the ability to pursue an ambitious bilateral trade agenda following EU Exit on the 29th March 2019. This includes the possibility to negotiate trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand, and potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

On 20 July 2018, the Department for International Trade launched consultations related to these four potential future trade agreements.

The Department is committed to ensuring an inclusive and transparent trade policy and trade agreements that benefit the whole of the UK. It therefore continues to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, to draw on their knowledge and seek views to inform the Government’s approach to negotiations. The 14-week public consultation on these four potential future trade agreements is, as outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement “Launch of consultations on potential future free trade agreements” of 18 July 2018, an important element of that engagement.

The Department is putting in place the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that due consideration is given to responses, so that they effectively inform our overall approach to negotiations with partner countries. This includes securing appropriate analytical capability, as well as strengthening policy development capacity through recruitment, training and close cooperation with other Government Departments.

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Exports: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to inform exporters of the public and private sector financing services available to them; and if so, how.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 07 August 2018

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s award-winning Export Credit Agency (ECA),and was awarded ‘best ECA 2017’ by Global Trade Review and Euromoney’s Trade Finance. Over a five-year period UKEF has provided £12.3bn of support for UK exports, helping 191 companies sell to 75 overseas markets in the last year.

Information on the range of services provided by UKEF can be found on great.gov.uk. Additionally, UKEF is working to increase awareness of the services they offer to exporters. Initiatives include a new bank partnership model, allowing smaller companies to access UKEF finance directly from their high street bank; exporter fairs, connecting overseas buyers to UK exporters; and a multi-channel UKEF marketing campaign under the “GREAT” branding..

UKEF’s Export Finance Managers located across the country also provide information to exporters on public and private sector financing options.

In addition, the Department for International Trade will shortly be publishing an export strategy.

Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Home Office
Immigration
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK citizens not owning property in the UK will be required to satisfy immigration authorities of income and property in the UK when applying for either EU or non-EU spouses and close family members to enter and reside in the UK after Brexit.
Answered on: 06 August 2018

The Government is considering a range of options for the future immigration system. We will​ ​build​ ​a​ ​comprehensive​ ​picture​ ​of​ ​the​ ​needs​ ​and​ ​interests​ ​of​ ​all​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​UK, including​ ​different​ ​sectors,​ ​businesses​ ​and​ ​communities,​ ​and​ ​look​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​a system​ ​that​ ​works​ ​for​ ​all.​

We will make decisions on the future immigration system based on evidence and engagement. That is why we have asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU. When building the new system, various aspects including the creative sector will be taken into account, to ensure the future immigration system works for sectors.

We will set out proposals in the autumn.

Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Home Office
British Nationals Abroad: EU Countries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the numbers of UK citizens residing in other EU member states who do not own property in the UK.
Answered on: 06 August 2018

We do not hold this data.

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