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
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
GKN: Kings Norton
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he is planning to hold the meeting with GKN Aerospace and the hon. Member for Birmingham Northfield on the future of GKN Aerospace in Kings Norton.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 08 July 2019

We are currently working with both parties to find the earliest mutually convenient date and time for the meeting to take place.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Welfare: Sentencing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to increase the maximum sentence available under the Animal welfare (Service Animals) Act 2006.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 03 July 2019

I am pleased to say that the legislation needed to implement the increase in the maximum penalty for animal cruelty offences - the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill – had its First Reading in this House on 26 June. The Bill will increase the custodial penalty for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, as well as other animal cruelty offences, from 6 months’ imprisonment to 5 years’ imprisonment.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Department for Transport
Model Aircraft: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of (a) the threat to air safety posed by Control Line model aircraft and (b) the potential merits of exempting those model aircraft from mandatory registration under the 2019 Drone Registration Scheme.
A
Answered by: Michael Ellis
Answered on: 11 June 2019

The Department keeps all risks to aviation safety under constant review. With regards to the upcoming Unmanned Aircraft Operator Registration and Education Scheme, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has explored a range of options for model aircraft users. Exemption from the scheme is not a viable option as it would compromise the Government’s overarching objective to increase accountability and safety awareness for all unmanned aircraft users.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the bombings at (a) a Sanaa school on 7 April 2019, (b) a Save the Children-supported hospital on 26 March 2019 and (c) other bombings of civilian infrastructure in Yemen, what discussions he has had with his Saudi counterpart on the timeframe for the conclusion of the Saudi-led Coalition’s investigations into those incidents; and whether the results of those investigations will be made publicly available.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 28 May 2019

We are deeply concerned by reports of an alleged airstrike on a petrol station at a hospital facility on 26 March 2019. Our officials have been in contact with Save the Children, who fund the hospital, about this alleged incident and have raised this matter with the Saudi-led Coalition, who have announced an investigation.

We are also deeply concerned at reports of an explosion at a warehouse near two schools in Sa’wan on 7 April 2019. We have raised the incident with the Coalition who have announced an investigation in line with standard practices. We endorse the statement of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General of 9 April and continue to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to exercise restraint, comply fully with international humanitarian law and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 17 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he is taking to help ensure that deconflicted (a) hospitals and (b) schools in Yemen are protected from bombing.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 28 May 2019

We have been clear that all parties to the conflict in Yemen must comply with international humanitarian law. We continue to call on all parties to exercise restraint and implement the Stockholm Agreement without delay in order to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the implementation of the Stockholm agreement by all parties to the war in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 15 May 2019

The UK has played a central role in diplomatic efforts to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen. Most recently, the Foreign Secretary hosted the Yemen Quad in London on 26 April, bringing together representatives from the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where members discussed the next steps in the UN-led peace process and how best to support the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. We will continue discussions with partners on how the UN Security Council can support the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths on the political process and improving the humanitarian situation, central to which is the full implementation of agreements reached during the Stockholm talks. We welcome reports that Houthis forces have begun their withdrawal from the ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Issa and await independent verification of this by the UN.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 08 May 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Yemen: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will take steps to establish an independent investigation into the bombing of a de-conflicted hospital in Kitaf, Yemen on 26 March 2019.
A
Answered by: Dr Andrew Murrison
Answered on: 14 May 2019

We are deeply concerned of reports of an alleged airstrike on a petrol station at a hospital facility on 26 March 2019. UK officials have been in contact with Save the Children, who fund the hospital, about this alleged incident and have raised this matter with the Saudi-led Coalition, who have announced an investigation.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 April 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
GKN: Birmingham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the planned closure of the GKN Aerospace at Kings Norton, Birmingham on the local economy; and what discussions he has had with representatives of that company on that proposed closure.
A
Answered by: Andrew Stephenson
Answered on: 16 April 2019
Holding answer received on 11 April 2019

Following GKN’s notification to employees on 4 April about their intention to undertake a phased closure of their Kings Norton site in Birmingham by 2021, the Secretary of State spoke to Hans Buthker (CEO of GKN Aerospace) on 7 April. He explained that this proposal was the result of an internal strategic review by GKN to help the company secure long-term sustainability that will better position it for future growth.

Mr Buthker stressed GKN’s continued commitment to the UK, evidenced by the significant new investment the company is making including, as part of this proposal, at Luton and Portsmouth and in a Global Technology R&D Centre at Filton. This comes on top of GKN’s further announcement last week for £300 million in new investment to ramp up its activities in the fast-growing electric vehicle market.

This is a commercial decision for GKN Aerospace and not in contravention of the deed of covenant agreed between BEIS and Melrose. GKN Aerospace have confirmed the site will remain operational in a phased capacity until 2021, and all affected employees will be supported in seeking new employment within and outside of GKN Aerospace. GKN Aerospace announced they will be increasing overall investment in its other UK sites, with Luton and Portsmouth becoming technology centres of excellence. GKN Aerospace invested record levels into R&D in 2018, including a new world-class Global Technology Centre opening in Bristol in 2020, hosting 300 highly skilled engineers.

We appreciate this will be an unsettling time for the 172 employees at Kings Norton and will work closely with the company, and local partners, to make sure that they are supported throughout.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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 April 2019
Ministry of Defence
GKN: Birmingham
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the 2018 deed of covenant undertakings provided by Melrose Industries, whether he has plans to issue a note of concern in relation to the announcement by GKN Aerospace that it intends to close its Kings Norton plant.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 15 April 2019

As required by the undertakings provided last year, Melrose Industries have notified the Ministry of Defence (MOD) of their intention to relocate Defence work from GKN's Kings Norton site to other GKN sites. The MOD has discussed these proposals with Melrose and is confident that the important work that GKN does for Defence will continue. The MOD understands that there will be no overall reduction in GKN's defence capacity, as the defence work is being moved, not stopped. On that basis there are no plans to issue a note of concern.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 March 2019
Department for International Development
Gaza: Reconstruction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with the (a) UN, (b) Palestinian Authority and (c) Israeli Government on the (i) 2018 review of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism and (ii) implementation of the recommendations of that review.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 27 March 2019

The UK values the role of the United Nations (UN) in supporting Gaza’s reconstruction following widespread destruction in the 2014 conflict through the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM), which helps ensure that essential reconstruction materials reach civilians. Following the joint review of the GRM in 2018 the UN, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) began implementing the report’s recommendations in January this year. UK officials most recently discussed the review of the GRM and the implementation of its recommendations with the UN in January 2019.

The UK regularly raises movement and access restrictions in Gaza with both the Government of Israel and with the PA. DFID officials most recently raised the review of the GRM and the implementation of the review’s recommendations with the Israeli Government in February 2019. More broadly, restrictions in Gaza were most recently raised with the PA in January 2019. The UK will continue to call on the Israeli government to ease access restrictions further and for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to work together to ensure a durable solution for Gaza.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 20 March 2019
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Textbooks
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which international partners will take part in the review of books included in the Palestinian Authority's curriculum.
A
Answered by: Harriett Baldwin
Answered on: 26 March 2019

We cannot yet provide further public information on which international partners have joined the independent review. Our international partners are currently concluding their contracting with the service provider, and do not wish to publicise their involvement at this time. Work commissioned by the UK on the inception report has already begun; our timeline for the textbook review remains unchanged and we will publish findings by September 2019. We will inform interested parliamentarians of further details as soon as possible.

The UK government is deeply concerned about allegations of incitement in the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) new curriculum and it has been a priority for the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development to commission an independent, impartial and rigorous review of the PA’s textbooks. We are pleased that after calls by the UK government for international action, a group of international partners - including the UK - will lead a review into the books included in the PA’s pilot curriculum. The PA Minister for Education Sabri Saidam has confirmed that he will engage constructively with the findings of the review, and listen to recommendations.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 21 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Death
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made in ensuring Israel's investigations into deaths at the Gaza border in 2018 are (a) independent, (b) transparent, (c) balanced, (d) inclusive of international members and (e) published in a timely manner.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 26 March 2019

​The UK fully supports the need for an independent and transparent investigation which establishes the facts about the violence last year in Gaza. We have repeatedly called for such an investigation at the highest levels, as well as in multiple forums including in Parliament in an urgent question on 22 March, and at the UN Security Council. The Prime Minister and former Foreign Secretary raised the issue directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu, stressing the need for an independent investigation, and encouraging urgent action to improve the situation in Gaza. Earlier this week British Embassy officials raised Gaza with the Israeli authorities, highlighting the importance of proportionality, and raising concerns about the volume of live fire against unarmed women, children and medics. We welcome that the Israeli Military Advocate General has recently ordered five criminal investigations which relate to 11 separate instances of Palestinian fatalities during the Gaza border protests. These investigations are ongoing. We will continue to make clear to the Israeli authorities that it is vital their investigations are independent and transparent and that their findings are made public, and importantly, if wrongdoing is found, those that are responsible are held to account.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 20 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Territories: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had and on what dates with (a) the United Nations Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, (b) the Israeli Government, (c) the Palestinian Authority, and (d) partner countries on the Human Rights Council on the Commission of Inquiry (i) investigation and (ii) report into protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 March 2019

We regularly raise our concerns about the situation in Gaza with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, pressing them on the need for a long-term strategy to improve humanitarian and economic conditions, and reduce movement and access restrictions. I raised Gaza with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 30 January, and with the Palestinian Foreign Minister on 4 February. On 18 March, the EU gave an intervention on the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, in which we expressed our concern about the high number of Palestinians killed and injured and the use of excessive force including live fire, and condemned violence and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 20 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gaza: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, (a) what discussions he has had and (b) on what dates with the Israeli Government on Israeli investigations into deaths during protests on the Gaza border in 2018.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 25 March 2019

We regularly raise our concerns about the situation in Gaza with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, pressing them on the need for a long-term strategy to improve humanitarian and economic conditions, and reduce movement and access restrictions. I raised Gaza with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 30 January, and with the Palestinian Foreign Minister on 4 February. On 18 March, the EU gave an intervention on the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry, in which we expressed our concern about the high number of Palestinians killed and injured and the use of excessive force including live fire, and condemned violence and provocations against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 14 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Occupied Palestinian Territories: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's policy is on the vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council on the report and recommendations of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 March 2019

We do not disclose our voting intentions in advance. In May the UK abstained on the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a Commission of Inquiry on the basis that the substance of a resolution must be impartial and balanced. Whilst the UK fully supports the need for an independent and transparent investigation into events, it is regrettable the Commission of Inquiry Report does not look comprehensively at the actions of non-state actors such as Hamas. Nevertheless the UK has serious concerns about the manner in which the Israel Defense Forces police non-violent protests and the border areas, including the use of live ammunition.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 14 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
NHS: Drugs
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of the (a) availability of (i) Lossartin, (ii) Furosemide and (iii) Nicarindil and (b) prices beyond the NHS tariff that community pharmacies have been charged by the suppliers of those products since September 2018.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 19 February 2019

The Department is not aware of issues affecting the availability of losartan, furosemide or nicorandil tablets and can confirm that supplies of these three medicines are currently available. We are aware that there was a short-term supply issue affecting furosemide 20mg and 40mg towards the end of 2018 due to manufacturing delays, but this issue has now been resolved and supplies remain available.

When community pharmacies cannot purchase a medicine at or below the reimbursement price listed in the Drug Tariff, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (the representative body of pharmacies), drawing on reports they receive from pharmacy contractors, can request the Department to consider setting a concessionary price.

When considering whether to grant a concessionary price, the Department uses market data from suppliers, i.e. manufacturers and wholesalers on prices and stock levels intended for retail pharmacy businesses in England. If granted, a concessionary price applies only to prescriptions dispensed for the month for which it was granted.

From September 2018 onwards, the trends for these generic medicines that have been granted concessionary prices can be seen in the attached tables.

It should be noted that as concessionary prices for February are still in process, no prices have been published yet. More information on the list of concessionary prices granted for each month can be found at the following link:

https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pharmacies-gp-practices-and-appliance-contractors/drug-tariff/drug-tariff-updates

PQ221587 attached tables (Word Document, 14.56 KB)
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
[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: 11 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2019 to Question 216933, Trade Agreements: Israel, on which borders are the (a) pre-existing agreements and (b) Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel based.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The EU-Israel Trade Agreements apply to the State of Israel. The same position is being incorporated into the UK-Israel Agreement. The UK does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of the State of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Trade Agreements, nor by the UK-Israel Agreement.

The EU-Palestinian Authority Interim Agreement applies to the territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The same position is being incorporated into the UK-Palestinian Authority Interim Agreement, which is due to be signed in the coming weeks.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 06 February 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Strokes: Health Services
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding his Department has allocated to the development of a national stroke plan.
A
Answered by: Steve Brine
Answered on: 14 February 2019

Improving care for people who suffer stroke, and preventing strokes, are priorities for the National Health Service as set out in the recently published NHS Long Term Plan. Building on the learning and success of the previous National Stroke strategy, NHS England will work with partners across the system to lead a programme which will drive the next step change in the care stroke patients receive. As well as significant investment in early cardiovascular disease detection and prevention, this will include funding major increases in the number of patients benefitting from potentially life-changing treatment to dissolve or remove blood clots. Further investment in higher intensity models for stroke rehabilitation will ensure patients have the best chance of returning to employment or independence, experiencing reduced disability and improved support for cognitive and psychological need.

Further information on funding will be set out in the implementation framework for the Long Term Plan, due to be published in the spring.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Omar Shakir
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 January to Question 212311, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of the deportation by Israel of Human Rights Watch country director Omar Shakir on the effectiveness of work to defend human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and if he will again make representations on the case of Mr Shakir to the Israeli authorities.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The UK remains concerned about the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have a regular dialogue with the Government of Israel on the implementation of its obligations under international law. We regularly and robustly raise any concerns about Israeli actions and call upon Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations and to allow them to freely operate in Israel and OPTs.

Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jerusalem: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Israeli authorities on the forced eviction of 45 members of the Sabbagh family from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 14 February 2019

We continue to be gravely concerned by the impact of demolitions and evictions on ordinary Palestinians and the viability of a future Palestinian state. Our Ambassador to Israel raised our concerns about evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem with the Israeli authorities on 29 January. On 21 January, our Consul General in Jerusalem and other EU Heads of Mission visited the home of the Sabbagh family. In a follow-up statement, the EU repeated its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and related actions, including evictions and demolitions, and made clear how such measures were illegal under international law and continued to undermine the viability of a two-state solution. In her intervention at the United Nations Security Council’s open debate on the Middle East on 22 January, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN encouraged Israel not to enforce the eviction notice.

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