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
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Christianity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government in Turkey on ending the attacks on the Christian community in Syria.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 April 2018

​We are closely following developments in Afrin in north-western Syria, and the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are in regular contact with their Turkish counterparts. We have called for the protection of civilians. While recognising Turkey's legitimate interest in the security of its borders, it remains in our shared interest to focus on achieving a political settlement that ends the war in Syria, provides stability for all Syrians and the wider region, and secures the enduring defeat of Daesh. We have urged the Turkish government to use the current pause in operations to allow for delivery of humanitarian aid, in line with UNSCR 2401 and in accordance with applicable international law.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Uzbekistan: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterpart in Uzbekistan on freedom of religion.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 April 2018

​Our Embassy in Tashkent regularly raises human rights issues, including individual cases, with the Uzbek authorities, and plays an active and visible part in human rights activities in Uzbekistan. We welcome the Uzbek government's commitment to review legislation on the registration of religious organisations and to adopt an action plan to implement the UNSR's recommendations, following the visit of Dr Ahmad Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur (UNSR) on Freedom of Religion or Belief, to Uzbekistan in October last year.

Q
(Romford)
[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: 27 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Falkland Islands: Premier Oil
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the proposed environmental mitigation measures in the application from Premier Oil to develop the Sea Lion oil field in the Falkland Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 April 2018

Policy on hydrocarbons development in Falklands waters is a matter for the Falkland Islands Government.

Companies drilling in Falkland Islands waters are governed by the regulatory regime administered by the Falkland Islands Government. The Falkland Islands Government will therefore carry out an assessment of the adequacy of the environmental mitigation measures, once submitted by Premier Oil, on the Sea Lion oil field.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
[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: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Unmanned Air Vehicles
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the US administration on the maintenance of the presidential policy guidance on use of drone strikes issued under President Obama; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 April 2018

The British Government has not held any recent discussions with the US Government on the maintenance of the Presidential Policy Guidance on approving direct action against terrorist targets issued in 2013.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[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: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Election Observers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department is planning to send election observers to the upcoming Colombian election.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 April 2018

​Staff from our Embassy in Bogota took part in some monitoring during Congressional elections on 11 March, and will observe Presidential elections in May.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[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: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mexico: Election Observers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department is planning to send election observers to the upcoming Mexican election.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 April 2018

​​We are not sending a formal observers mission to Mexico for the elections. However, officials at our Embassy in Mexico City have attended briefings on the electoral process presented by the National Electoral Institute and by the Electoral Tribunal, and will also informally observe the elections as accredited visitors.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[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: 28 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Election Observers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department is planning to send election observers to the upcoming Brazilian election.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 April 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no plans to send observers to monitor the Brazilian election.

Q
Asked by Nick Herbert
(Arundel and South Downs)
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Chechnya: Homophobia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the progress Russia has made in its inquiry into homophobic persecution in Chechnya.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 April 2018

The UK remains deeply concerned by the ongoing persecution of members of the LGBT community in Chechnya. We and our partners will continue to urge Russia to follow through with their commitment to investigate these abuses and hold those responsible to account. We also call on Russia to uphold its international commitments and protect all its citizens from persecution.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 13 March 2018 to Question 131668, on Nuclear Weapons, when (a) Ministers and (b) seniors officials last raised nuclear and missile issues with members of the Russian Government; and what the outcome of those discussions was.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 April 2018

​The Government has had a number of exchanges with Russia on nuclear and missile issues over recent months. For instance, senior officials from the UK, US, Russia, China and France – the P5 – met in October 2017 as part of a continuing dialogue on strategic stability and nuclear doctrines.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Official Hospitality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much money his Department has spent on hospitality in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 April 2018

Our hospitality expenditure over the last 5 years is set out below. As the majority of our expenditure is overseas this is affected by variations in exchange rates.

2012-13£9,096,057.53
2013-14£9,010,820.18
2014-15£8,177,552.36
2015-16£7,984,424.09
2016-17£9,386,848.70
Q
Asked by Kate Hoey
(Vauxhall)
Asked on: 27 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Martin Selmayr
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what correspondence his Department had with the UK Commissioner to the EU on the appointment of Professor Dr Martin Selmayr as Secretary General of the European Commission prior to that appointment.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 April 2018

​There was no such correspondence.

Q
Asked by Nick Herbert
(Arundel and South Downs)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Balkans: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will include LGBT rights on the agenda of the forthcoming Western Balkans summit in London.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 29 March 2018

The Government is working closely with our European partners and with civil society on a Summit agenda for London that will help foster regional security, economic and political cooperation. The Summit Team have met LGBT activists from the region (organised by Stonewall) as part of our engagement with civil society on the Summit.

Q
(Tottenham)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the review of beneficial ownership information sharing arrangements with the Overseas Territories will be complete; and whether he plans to publish it.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 29 March 2018

The review of the implementation of the arrangements with the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies is almost completed and will be published in the near future.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: SCL Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department or its agencies has entered into contracts with SCL group.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 29 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and its agencies have not entered into any contracts with SCL group since 2009. The FCO held one contract with SCL group in 2008-2009.​

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: SCL Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether (a) his Department and (b) any of his Department's agencies entered into contracts with Strategic Communication Laboratories in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 29 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its agencies have not entered into any contracts with Strategic Communication Laboratories since 2010.​

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the UK is able to respond quickly to hurricanes affecting UK Overseas Territories.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 March 2018

​The Foreign Secretary continues to chair the Interministerial Group overseeing and coordinating the Government's response to hurricane recovery in the region. This Group is also directing broad cross-government preparations, focusing on improving individual Overseas Territory resilience, expanding regional capability, and better coordinating the UK's response in future.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Cambridge Analytica
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether (a) his Department and (b) any of its agencies has entered into contracts with Cambridge Analytica since 2012.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 March 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its agencies have not entered into any contracts with Cambridge Analytica since 2012.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which UK-supplied military-related equipment does the Government assess that Turkey is using in operations in Afrin.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 March 2018

​UK arms exports are subject to export controls. All decisions to approve export licences are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (Consolidated Criteria). Decisions are based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from our overseas network and military contacts. The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to consider the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We do not issue export licences where, for example, we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression or used aggressively against another country. We cannot categorically state that UK weapons are not in use in Turkish military operations in Afrin, but all decisions to approve export licenses will have been taken based on the Consolidated Criteria and according to the latest information available at that time. We keep our approach to all countries under continual review.

Q
(Kingston and Surbiton)
Asked on: 23 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials in his Department have held with representatives of (a) Cambridge Analytica, (b) SCL Group, (c) Global Science Research and (d) Alexander Nix.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 March 2018

I, the Foreign Secretary, and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials in London, Washington and New York met representatives, including Alexander Nix, from Cambridge Analytica, in 2016-17. This was part of the government’s work to better understand the 2016 US presidential election, the political environment that followed and to build relationships with the Trump Presidential campaign and transition team. This outreach was part of normal diplomatic business.

In addition the FCO has identified: one former project from 2008-2009 with Strategic Communications Laboratories Group Limited (SCL) involvement; that SCL attended a conference organised by the FCO at Wilton Park on ‘Diplomacy in the Information Age’ in February 2017; and an official dialled into a general briefing of the outcome of a SCL research study on counter extremism campaigns in March 2018. The FCO is not planning any further contact with that organisation or those linked to it.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 19 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Coal: Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, if the Government will include imports of coal from Russia in the list of sanctions against that country; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

EU sectoral sanctions, which have been in place since 2014, target parts of the Russian energy sector. Coal is not currently included under these sanctions. In response to the Salisbury incident, we continue to consider the full range of potential levers, both domestically and through international fora.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 20 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2018 to Question 131239, on Nuclear Disarmament, what the outcome was of the last P5 meeting involving representatives from capitals in 2017; which capitals sent representatives to that meeting; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​All the P5 sent representatives from capitals to the meeting in October 2017. There was a shared undertaking to continue the dialogue on strategic stability and nuclear doctrines, started in 2016.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
Asked on: 20 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of civilian deaths in Afrin resulting from Turkish military operations.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​We are closely following reporting on civilian casualties and alleged human rights abuses in the Turkish operation in Afrin, but have not been able to verify any of the figures quoted. In all our contact with Turkey we have urged them to avoid civilian casualties, maintain human rights and to ensure that humanitarian assistance can reach the area.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
Asked on: 20 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: International Law
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether there have been any recent potential breaches of international humanitarian law in Afrin; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​We have not seen any verifiable evidence of breaches of international humanitarian law. Any such allegations should be thoroughly investigated by the appropriate bodies. The Turkish Government has assured the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that it is working to minimise civilian casualties. Turkish forces are trained in the Law of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law, and we have discussed with Turkey the importance of pressing all actors in the Syrian conflict to comply fully with international conventions and norms. Alistair Burt, Minister for the Middle East reinforced these messages during his visit to Turkey on 21-23 March.

Q
Asked by Hilary Benn
(Leeds Central)
Asked on: 20 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether any British-supplied weapons have been used in the Turkish military operations in Afrin.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​UK arms exports are subject to export controls. All decisions to approve export licences are considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (Consolidated Criteria). Decisions are based on the most up-to-date information and analysis available, including reports from our overseas network and military contacts. The Consolidated Criteria provide a thorough risk assessment framework and require us to consider the impact of providing equipment and its capabilities. We do not issue export licences where, for example, we assess there is a clear risk that the goods might be used for internal repression or used aggressively against another country. We cannot categorically state that UK weapons are not in use in Turkish military operations in Afrin, but all decisions to approve export licenses will have been taken based on the Consolidated Criteria and according to the latest information available at that time. We keep our approach to all countries under continual review.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[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: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Facebook
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US administration on the role of (a) Cambridge Analytica, (b) Strategic Communications Laboratories, (c) Global Science Research and (d) Aleksandr Kogan obtaining personal data from Facebook.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​Neither the Foreign Secretary nor I have had discussions with the US Administration on these subjects.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[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: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Facebook
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will place in the Library the (a) minutes and (b) notes of meetings his Department has held with Facebook on the data on UK citizens held by that company .
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

Whilst the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has held meetings with Facebook regarding specific campaigns and initiatives, the FCO has not held discussions with them on the personal data of UK citizens.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[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: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether (a) Cambridge Analytica, (b) Global Science Research and (c) Strategic Communication Laboratories have obtained the personal data of staff in his Department.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has never provided any personal data on staff to Cambridge Analytica, Global Science Research or Strategic Communications Laboratory.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[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: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment the Government has made of the merits of Polish claims for war reparations from Germany.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

This is not a matter for the UK.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[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: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he will consider seeking reparations from Germany in respect of damage caused to UK cities during World War II.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​No. The issue of reparations was considered in detail immediately after World War II at the Paris Reparations Conference of 1945, with international agreement set down in the Final Act of the Conference, which came into force on 24 January 1946. Furthermore the Treaty on the Final Settlement with respect to Germany, signed by the British Government in 1990, renounced all claims the UK and other allied powers had in Germany, allowing Germany to become fully sovereign.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Cambridge Analytica​ and SCL Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has met with representatives of the SCL group or Cambridge Analytica; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​The Foreign Secretary and I met Alexander Nix, then CEO of Cambridge Analytica, in December 2016, to better understand the 2016 US presidential election, the political environment that followed and to build relationships with the Trump Presidential campaign. This outreach was part of normal diplomatic business.

Q
(Chipping Barnet)
[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: 22 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Malta: Nature Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in Malta on ensuring that the Maltese Government complies with its international obligations on the protection of birds.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

​The Government remains firmly opposed to the illegal hunting of wildlife, and supports the European Commission's efforts to ensure Member State compliance with EU Directive 2009/147/EC on the Conservation of Wild Birds. Our High Commission in Malta continues to monitor the situation.

Q
(Enfield, Southgate)
[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: 27 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Armed Conflict
Commons
What recent diplomatic steps he has taken to support a negotiated solution to the conflict in Cyprus.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 March 2018

We strongly support a settlement. We continue to judge that, with political will, a settlement remains within reach. We have encouraged the Cypriot communities to work towards a resumption of talks and stand ready to discuss how we can support progress.

Q
Asked by Paul Girvan
(South Antrim)
Asked on: 16 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jan Kuciak
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if will make representations to the UN on the murder of Jan Kuciak in Slovakia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 March 2018

​The UK condemns the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova; we have offered our condolences. We have offered assistance to the Slovak authorities in their investigation if required. The Slovak government have not asked the UK to make representations to the UN on Kuciak's murder. It would be unusual for the UK to make representations to the UN on the murder of a non-British national not on UK soil, especially if the government in question has not requested it.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Chemical Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether Novichok-5 was declared by the Russian Government to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 March 2018

Russia has denied having a Novichok programme. It has not declared Novichok agents or production facilities as required by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
[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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on not accrediting the new representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in the UN Office in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 March 2018

​​We welcome the appointment of Mr Alberto Brunori, who was announced as the new representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia on 21 March. We also thank the departing representative, Mr Todd Howland, for his leadership of the UN Office for Human Rights in Colombia since 2012. The office has played a vital role in supporting those working to improve human rights in Colombia. In December 2017, I was pleased to announce a package of support for Colombia’s peace process that included £400k in financial support for the UN Office for Human Rights.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
[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: 19 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Review Conference
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the UK was represented at the Informal Consultative Meeting of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty High-level Expert Preparatory Group on 15 and 16 February 2018; and what discussions were held at that meeting.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2018

​The UK was represented by our Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament at the Informal Consultative Meeting of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) High-level Expert Preparatory Group on 15 and 16 February 2018. This is one among a number of steps the UK has taken to facilitate the early start of negotiations, without preconditions, on a FMCT in the Conference on Disarmament. The consultative meeting ensured that all UN General Assembly member states and civil society had the opportunity to input their views on elements of a future FMCT.

Q
Asked by Robert Neill
(Bromley and Chislehurst)
[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: 19 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Romania: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of political interference in the (a) judiciary and (b) judicial system in Romania.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2018

Our Embassy in Bucharest monitors developments in Romania’s judiciary and judicial system, including by meeting regularly with Romanian Ministers, officials, members of the judicial and law enforcement institutions and civil society representatives. Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff use this information to update and provide advice to Ministers on this issue on an ongoing basis.

Q
Asked by Dan Carden
(Liverpool, Walton)
[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: 19 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he or his Department has made to Turkey's President Erdogan or his Government's representatives on military action in northern Syria.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2018

​We are closely following developments in Afrin in north-western Syria, and the Foreign Secretary, the Minister for the Middle East and I are in regular contact with our Turkish counterparts. We have called for de-escalation and the protection of civilians. While recognising Turkey's legitimate interest in the security of its borders, it remains in our shared interest to focus on achieving a political settlement that ends the war and suffering, provides stability for all Syrians and the wider region, and secures the enduring defeat of Daesh.

Q
(Sheffield Central)
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Azerbaijan: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his counterpart in the Azerbaijan Government on human rights in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 21 March 2018

​The Government monitors the human rights situation in Azerbaijan closely and regularly presses the government to meet its international obligations. I raised human rights with President Aliyev and Deputy Foreign Minister Khalafov during my visit to Azerbaijan in September. In recent months UK officials in Baku have raised concerns over a range of issues including the conviction of journalist Afghan Mukhtarli and pressure faced by Azerbaijan's human rights lawyers.

Q
(Tooting)
[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: 15 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Football: Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect UK fans planning to travel to Russia this year, ahead of the Football world cup.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is responsible for supporting all British nationals overseas and their safety and security is our primary objective. In June 2017, we launched our 'Be on the Ball' travel campaign page for the 2018 World Cup, in addition to our travel advice for Russia. We continue to update this with practical information for all fans travelling to Russia. FCO officials are working very closely with the Football Association, UK Police, Football Supporters Federation and local organisers who share our same objective.

Q
(Birmingham, Hall Green)
[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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March to Question 129926, what response the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas received from the Russian Ambassador to the UK on 27 February 2018 regarding the UK’s concerns about the ongoing targeting of civilians in eastern Ghouta; and whether the Government has made any further representations since that date.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

On 27 February, I met with the Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, stressing UK concern at the current situation in Syria, particularly the crisis in Eastern Ghouta. I urged Russia to use its influence to ensure the Syrian regime adhered to the ceasefire demanded by UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2401 to allow rapid, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access and non-conditional medical evacuations which are urgently needed. The Ambassador said that Russia would implement Resolution 2401. The Foreign Secretary also wrote to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov on 27 February regarding the crisis in Eastern Ghouta and urging Russia to uphold its commitments to ensure that UNSCR 2401 is implemented in full.

The UK has repeatedly urged Russia bilaterally and in other multilateral fora to use its influence to ensure that the Assad regime allows rapid, unimpeded and sustained UN-led humanitarian access to deliver urgently needed food and medical supplies to Eastern Ghouta, and adheres to the ceasefire demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 2401. The UK called for an urgent debate in the UN Human Rights Council on 2 March and proposed a resolution which the UN Human Rights Council adopted on 5 March calling for the full and immediate implementation of UNSCR 2401. In the UN Security Council, the UK most recently raised its concerns with Russia at the UN Secretary General's briefing to the Security Council on Resolution 2401 on 12 March.

Q
(Bristol East)
[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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Falkland Islands: Fossil Fuels
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, what the process is for approving licences for hydrocarbon activity in the Falklands; which bodies are consulted with for that process; and what (a) funding and (b) staff are allocated to undertake those assessments.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

​Oil exploration in the Falkland Islands is governed by the Falkland Islands Offshore Minerals Ordinance of 1994. Subject to this Ordinance, and with the consent of the Foreign Secretary, the British Government appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands may, on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, grant to any person a licence for the purposes of exploration or production in the controlled waters, or in the sea-bed or subsoil thereof, of the Falkland Islands. Any oil company can apply for a license by contacting the Falkland Islands Government's Department of Mineral Resources. The Director of Mineral Resources, in consultation with other Falkland Islands Government departments, will make the recommendation to the Governor of the Falkland Islands.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Chemical Weapons Convention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, to which chemical weapons treaties the UK is a signatory; and to which such treaties it is a joint signatory with Russia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

​The UK and the Russian Federation are both States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction) and the 1925 Geneva Protocol (Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare).

Q
Asked by Wayne David
(Caerphilly)
[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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Klara Kabilova
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Government of Kyrgyzstan on the case of Klara Kabilova, the chairwoman of Kyrgyzstan's Central Election Commission.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

​We are aware of reports concerning the citizenship and eligibility of Klara Kabilova to sit as an MP in Kyrgyzstan. We have not made representations about this specific case but our Embassy in Bishkek has regular meetings with the Kyrgyz government at all levels and routinely discusses issues of mutual interest, including progress on democratisation, fundamental values and human rights.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 07 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bermuda: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to promote education on LGBT+ rights in Bermuda.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 March 2018

The UK is committed to promoting and protecting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people and is working closely with all the Overseas Territories on these issues. The Foreign Secretary spoke to the Premier of Bermuda on 28 February 2018 and reiterated his belief that the strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those that are the most open and inclusive, and where the rights of all citizens are respected.

Q
Asked by Wes Streeting
(Ilford North)
[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: 13 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Uber
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much his Department spent on services provided by Uber in each of the last five years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 March 2018

The table below shows the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s global expenditure and number of transactions with Uber for each financial year. Data on card expenditure is held from 2015 onwards only.

Financial Year

Global expenditure with UBER

No. of transactions

2015-16

£67,314

7,639

2016-17

£123,808

14,518

2017-18

£163,122

19,887

Q
(Slough)
[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: 13 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Proof of Identity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on that government’s policies for the requirement to remove the turban for identification documents.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 March 2018

I have had no recent discussions with my French counterpart on this issue, which is a matter for the French government.

Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
[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: 13 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Public Expenditure
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 13 March 2018, Spring Statement, HCWS 540, if he will publish a list of where the £29.6 million allocated to his Department to realise the opportunities from EU exit will be spent.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been allocated £29.6m for essential EU exit preparations in 2018-19. This will allow us to strengthen our diplomatic network so it is better able to engage with our European partners in support of a successful EU Exit. We will also strengthen our bilateral relationships as we prepare to leave the EU, and will increase our staffing in London to work on a range of related issues. As with all Reserve funding, finalised allocations will be confirmed at Supplementary Estimates 2018-19 in early 2019.

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress the UN Security Council P5 process on non-proliferation and confidence-building measures on nuclear disarmament has made; and where and when the next P5 meeting on non-proliferation and confidence-building will take place.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 March 2018

The UK initiated the P5 process in 2009 to build mutual trust, understanding and transparency between the Nuclear Weapon States as these are essential prerequisites towards our shared goal of a world without nuclear weapons. Discussing divergent views is part of this process. The last P5 meeting involving representatives from capitals took place in October 2017 when the dialogue on strategic stability and nuclear doctrines, started in October 2016, continued. The P5 also meet at expert level in a number of different fora. The next P5 meeting should take place in the margins of the second Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in Geneva.

Q
(Wolverhampton South East)
Asked on: 05 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Genocide
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations (a) he, (b) his Ministers and (c) diplomats have made to the Polish Government on its Holocaust law.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

The Foreign Secretary discussed this issue with the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs on 15 February. Our British Embassy in Warsaw and officials in London have also discussed it with Polish Government officials.

Q
(Wolverhampton South East)
Asked on: 05 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Genocide
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans his Department has to raise with the Polish Government concerns about Poland's Holocaust law; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

The Foreign Secretary discussed this issue with the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs on 15 February. Our Embassy in Warsaw and officials in London have also discussed it with Polish Government officials.

Q
(Monmouth)
Asked on: 05 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UK Permanent Representation to the EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether staff based in UKRep Brussels were offered group therapy sessions by counsellors following the EU referendum result.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

No

Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 06 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Review Conference
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recommendations the UK will make to the second Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

The second of three Preparatory Committees for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2020 will take place in Geneva in April. At that meeting, we will continue to engage with a wide range of states on how we can tackle the challenges that we face on non-proliferation and disarmament, and on how to enable access to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. We will continue to press for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament and increased transparency and trust between Nuclear Weapons States in order to develop the global conditions in which nuclear armed states feel confident enough to relinquish their weapons. We continue to urge all states that have not yet done so, to join the NPT as non-Nuclear Weapons States.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Money Laundering and Sanctions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the timetable is for implementing the Government's new anti-money laundering and sanctions regime.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill will come into force on a day appointed by the Secretary of State, who may choose to commence different clauses on different days. This will ensure that there is no gap when the anti-money laundering and sanctions regimes in force now, under the EU, are transferred to the new UK framework. The exact timetable required will be dependent on the ongoing withdrawal negotiations with the EU.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has held discussions with his Russian counterpart on that country’s development of new nuclear weapons; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

Ministers and senior officials have raised nuclear and missile issues with members of the Russian government on a number of occasions. We regret President Putin's decision to develop these new systems rather than working towards strategic stability. We remain completely confident in NATO's ability to deter nuclear and missile threats from Russia.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps the Government has taken to encourage non-signatories to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2018

The UK remains committed to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. During the last 12 months we have continued to press those states who have not yet signed and ratified the Treaty to do so. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Asia made a statement promoting the universalisation and entry into force of the Treaty at the Conference on Facilitating the Entry Into Force on 20 September 2017. During the current 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, the UK made a statement and co-sponsored a resolution pursuing these goals for the Treaty. We also work through the EU to promote the Treaty, and the EU Council recently adopted the seventh Decision in its support on 26 February.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 01 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Football: Northern Ireland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has had discussions with Northern Ireland authorities on safety advice being provided to fans travelling to the 2018 World Cup Finals; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2018

I have had no discussion with the Northern Ireland authorities on this issue. The FCO is responsible for supporting all British nationals overseas. Our regularly updated travel advice and our "Be on the Ball" campaign contains advice for all fans travelling to Russia for the World Cup.

Q
Asked by Hugh Gaffney
(Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill)
Asked on: 01 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Jamaica: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the strength of the UK's relationship with Jamaica when the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 09 March 2018

The UK and Jamaica have a strong relationship. Our Governments cooperate effectively on prosperity, development, justice and law enforcement for the benefit of all our citizens. Our membership of the Commonwealth underpins our shared values. 800,000 people in the UK have Jamaican family connections and over 200,000 Britons visit Jamaica each year. The Government of the UK and its Caribbean trading partners have agreed that future trade arrangements after the UK leaves the EU, will take existing arrangements as the starting point. The UK-Caribbean Infrastructure Fund has allocated £53 million to support development in Jamaica.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Territorial Waters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the naval security situation in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 March 2018
Holding answer received on 06 March 2018

We are aware that Italian oil company ENI has been prevented from carrying out licensed drilling in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) following Navtex issued by Turkey warning of naval exercises in the same area. We support the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign right to exploit natural resources in its EEZ, and want to see exploration go ahead. We believe Cyprus’ hydrocarbons should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots, and urge all parties to look for ways by which the development of hydrocarbons can support the search for a settlement.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Territorial Waters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Turkey regarding Turkish Navy ships operating in proximity to the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 March 2018
Holding answer received on 06 March 2018

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has raised recent developments in Cyprus's maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with Turkey. We support the Republic of Cyprus' sovereign right to exploit natural resources in its EEZ, and want to see exploration go ahead. We believe Cyprus' hydrocarbons should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots, and urge all parties to look for ways by which the development of hydrocarbons can support the search for a settlement.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to his oral contribution of 20 February 2018, Official Report, column 5, what the criteria is for the appointment of the membership of the comité des sages.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 March 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 6 March to PQ 130582.

Q
Asked by Mike Kane
(Wythenshawe and Sale East)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Apprentices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many and what proportion of the staff employed by his Department are apprentices.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 March 2018

As of 31 January 2018, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) employed 73 apprentices, of whom 35 work for our Trading Fund, FCO Services. This is 1.35% of the total of FCO and FCO Services UK based staff worldwide, and 2% of our staff working in the UK. We plan to increase the number of apprentices in 2018.

Q
Asked by Ian Murray
(Edinburgh 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: 05 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Borders: Northern Ireland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he plans to publish in full his letter to the Prime Minister on the border in the island of Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 March 2018

The Government does not publish internal correspondence. The Prime Minister's latest speech on EU exit, at Mansion House on 2 March 2018, made clear the Government's commitment to no hard border in Ireland and to retaining the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sanctions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what methodologies in addition to the UN Inter-agency Standing Committee’s Sanctions Assessment Handbook his Department uses to assess the humanitarian effects of sanctions.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 08 March 2018

When considering the application of sanctions, the Government considers their humanitarian effects, both on the individuals and entities subject to sanctions, as well as on the general population if sanctions are broader. The Government follows a Smarter Sanctions policy which seeks to focus sanctions on those whose behaviour we are trying to change and reduce the risk of unintended consequences.

There are a range of tools and guidance available and we take a case-by-case approach to assessing the humanitarian effects of sanctions for each regime. UN sanctions regimes have panels of experts that produce reports covering the unintended consequences of sanctions regimes, including humanitarian impacts, amongst other things. At the EU, the humanitarian impact is also taken into account when sanctions are considered. We also work to ensure the design of each sanctions regulation takes into account of what exceptions or special licensing arrangements are appropriate for the type of sanctions regime, in line with the UK's foreign policy goals. We work closely with Government staff in country to ensure that humanitarian effects are minimised.

Q
(Hammersmith)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Nationals Abroad: Voting Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether UK embassies in EU 27 countries are making preparations to engage with British citizens overseas in the event that the Overseas Electors Bill is passed into law.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office stands ready to support the Electoral Commission in their statutory duty to promote electoral registration among British citizens overseas, including if the Overseas Electors Bill is passed into law.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Poland: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his counterpart in the Government of Poland on their Holocaust law.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018
​The Foreign Secretary discussed this issue with his counterpart, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, on 15 February 2018.
Q
(Torfaen)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whether the Government plans to attend the UN High-Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in May.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018

We do not believe the UN High Level Conference in May 2018 will lead to effective progress on nuclear disarmament. It will not address the serious threats to international peace and security posed by nuclear proliferation nor will it take account of the international security environment. We will consider our approach to the Conference closer to the time.

Q
(Torfaen)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, what steps the Government is taking to support gradual multilateral nuclear disarmament.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018

​I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 January to PQ 124479.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on future of the Minsk II agreement; what assessment he has made of the implications for UK foreign policy of the entry into force of the Ukrainian law on reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018
The UK has been clear that any solution to the conflict in the Donbas must be political not military and that the Minsk II Agreement provides a framework to resolve the conflict. Both sides need to be meeting their commitments under the Minsk agreements, but Russia remains fundamentally responsible for creating this conflict and continuing to maintain it through its political and material support for separatist forces. With respect to the recent law passed in Ukraine on Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories it is important to remember that Russia's territorial aggression in the Donbas and Crimea, and its broader efforts to undermine and destabilise Ukraine, represent a fundamental challenge to the rules-based international order and a threat to regional security. It is for the Ukrainian government to determine how it organises its response to this aggression.
Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking in support of the Minsk II agreement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018

​The UK continues to support the French and German-led diplomatic efforts towards securing the implementation by all parties of the Minsk Agreements, including through our major commitment as the second largest contingency of monitors to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. Key to implementing the Minsk II Agreement is Russia recognising that it has signed up to commitments including the removal of heavy weapons and its military personnel from Ukraine. We continue to call on Russia to abide by its obligations.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to encourage all parties to abide by the Minsk agreements.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018

​The UK has raised and will continue to raise with Ukraine and Russia the importance of abiding by the Minsk II agreement commitments that they have signed up to. Russia needs to take responsibility for the separatists it continues to arm and support and the UK expects Russia to use its significant influence over these groups to ensure they also abide by the Minsk II Agreement.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 28 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent enactment of the Donbass Reintegration law by the Ukrainian Parliament on the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2018

​The Donbas Reintegration law provides a mechanism for the Ukrainian Government to respond to the sustained military aggression by Russia and the separatists they support in their efforts to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. All sides need to abide by their Minsk II Agreement commitments and we are concerned by Russian statements attempting to distance themselves from their very clear obligations.

Q
(Portsmouth South)
Asked on: 26 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether it is the policy of the Government to support the twinning of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, and the capital cities of those British Overseas Territories.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 March 2018

The idea of twinning would be a matter for the Falkland Islands Government and the Government of Gibraltar to agree. The Government is committed to engaging with and supporting all of our Overseas Territories, including Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to his oral contribution of 20 February 2018, Official Report, column 5, when the committee of wise people to consider future UK-French collaboration will be established.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 March 2018

The committee of wise people will be established as soon as it is practical to do so, once the modalities for its membership and its terms of reference are agreed and established.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Air Space
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has recently received reports of Cypriot airspace being entered by Turkish aircraft.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 March 2018

​We are aware of the Republic of Cyprus's recent reports to the UN about Turkish violations of its airspace over the northern part of the island. In line with UN Security Council Resolution 550, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. The UK recognises only one Cypriot state – the Republic of Cyprus – and only one government as the sole legitimate government. We are aware of the Republic of Cyprus's recent reports to the UN about Turkish violations of its airspace over the northern part of the island. In line with UN Security Council Resolution 550, the UK does not recognise the self-declared "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" as an independent state. The UK recognises only one Cypriot state – the Republic of Cyprus – and only one government as the sole legitimate government.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the British Ambassador to NATO and (b) the Turkish Ambassador to NATO on the Turkish military operation in Afrin.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 March 2018

The Foreign Secretary has been in regular contact with his Turkish counterpart regarding the military operation in Afrin. We have been following the progress of the operation carefully, and have urged de-escalation and the protection of civilians, while recognising Turkey's legitimate security interests. Turkey has briefed NATO allies on the progress of the operation throughout.

Q
Asked by James Gray
(North Wiltshire)
[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: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the volume of UK citizens’ data held by companies (a) supplying cloud services to his Department and (b) contracted to deliver cloud services on behalf of his Department which is subject to information requests from US Government bodies.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not currently process any UK citizen data via cloud services. Any cloud services used in the future will meet the requirements of the new Data Protection Legislation expected in May 2018 and will follow Cabinet Office and Information Commissioner's Office guidance on the procurement of Cloud Services.

Q
Asked by Wes Streeting
(Ilford North)
[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: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Borders: Northern Ireland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he last visited the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not visited the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland since his appointment as Foreign Secretary. He has visited the border several times prior to becoming Foreign Secretary, both before and after the Belfast Agreement was agreed and implemented. He last visited Ireland on 16-17 November 2017.

Q
Asked by Joan Ryan
(Enfield North)
[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: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Turkish counterpart on the implementation of a ceasefire in the Afrin region as a result of UN Resolution 2401.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

​The Foreign Secretary has been in regular contact with his Turkish counterpart, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu, and has encouraged de-escalation in Afrin and the protection of civilians, while recognising Turkey's legitimate security interests. In line with UNSCR 2401, the UK urgently wants to see the safe, unimpeded and sustained delivery of humanitarian aid and services across the country, and medical evacuations of the critically sick and wounded, in accordance with applicable international law.

Q
Asked by Chi Onwurah
(Newcastle upon Tyne 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: 27 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Government of Turkey on military operations against the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

​We are closely following developments in Afrin in north-western Syria, and the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are in regular contact with their Turkish counterparts. We have called for de-escalation and the protection of civilians. While recognising Turkey's legitimate interest in the security of its borders, it remains in our shared interest to focus on achieving a political settlement that ends the war and suffering, provides stability for all Syrians and the wider region, and secures the enduring defeat of Daesh.

Q
(Coventry 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: 28 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Estonia: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he last met his counterpart in Estonia and what issues were discussed at that meeting.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The Foreign Secretary last met Foreign Minister Mikser for a formal bilateral meeting on 7/8 September in Tallinn. They also meet regularly in the margins of EU Council meetings, most recently at the informal Foreign Ministers meeting on 15 February.

Q
(Coventry 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: 28 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Latvia: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he last met his counterpart in Latvia and what issues were discussed at that meeting.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The Foreign Secretary last met Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs for a formal bilateral meeting on 9 February in London. They also meet regularly in the margins of EU Council meetings, most recently at the informal Foreign Ministers meeting on 15 February.

Q
Asked by John Woodcock
(Barrow and Furness)
[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: 28 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Chemical Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether chlorine gas is prohibited as a weapon under the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2018

The use of chlorine gas as a weapon is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has (a) been asked to provide, (b) offered and (c) provided any information to the Mueller inquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 March 2018

​The US and UK have a strong and close relationship. We cooperate with the US authorities when required to do so. The Mueller inquiry is a matter for the US judiciary. As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Private Finance Initiative
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of his Department's spend on day-to-day goods comprised fair trade products in each of the last eight years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 March 2018

​The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not centrally hold data on the proportion of expenditure on fair trade products.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, to which organisations his Department has outsourced functions since 2011.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has outsourced the service integration and management of its Global IT providers via BAE Systems since 2013.

More individual overseas posts might also have put local outsourcing arrangements in place, but we do not hold the data for this centrally, and it would incur disproportionate cost to provide an answer on that basis.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Trade Unions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what percentage of workers employed directly by his Department belonged to a trade union in each of the last five years for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 March 2018

​This information is not held by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Staff pay subscriptions themselves to their trade union.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Zero Hours Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many (a) full-time staff, (b) part-time staff, (c) temporary staff and (d) any other staff were employed directly by his Department on zero-hours contracts in each of the last eight years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 March 2018

Our centrally held records do not enable us to differentiate between staff on zero hours contracts and other fee paid officers where a fixed number of hours has been specified in their contracts. We are therefore unable to state how many staff were employed on zero hours contracts over the past eight years.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Flexible Working
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many and what percentage of employees in his Department worked (a) in departmental accommodation, (b) from home and (c) at any other location in the most recent 12-month period for which data is available.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 March 2018

We do not centrally hold details of the numbers of employees working from home or another remote location. Staff are able to agree flexible working arrangements with their line managers. To provide this would require us to gather information from individuals in the United Kingdom and across the world. The cost of doing this would be disproportionate and would exceed the appropriate limit.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office supports efficient flexible working for all its employees.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 21 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Overtime
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many hours of overtime have been worked by staff in his Department in each of the last 12 months.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 01 March 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office UK based staff claimed a total of 63,930 hours of overtime between 1 February 2017 and 31 January 2018 (staff may submit an overtime claim form up to three months from when the overtime was worked). The monthly breakdown is set out below:-

Month (Year)

Hours of Overtime

February (17)

4490

March (17)

4780

April (17)

5410

May (17)

4510

June (17)

5770

July (17)

4450

August (17)

4950

September (17)

3350

October (17)

8230

November (17)

8840

December (17)

6360

January (18)

2790

Overtime is claimed by officers when they have worked above their conditioned hours with pre authorised Line Manager/Budget Holder approval to claim overtime. Staff may take time off in lieu instead of payment for overtime - these hours are not processed through payroll. ​

The higher figures in October, November and December reflect increased claims due to crisis work (Monarch Airlines and Hurricanes).

Q
Asked by Anna McMorrin
(Cardiff North)
[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Defence Policy: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2018 to Question 128168, on EU Defence Policy: British Nationals Abroad, if he will list the Orders In Council made under s.4B(2) of the International Organisations Act 1968 in respect of each of the organisations named in that Answer.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 01 March 2018

With respect to the missions referred to in the response to PQ128168 (Naval Force for Somalia; Training Mission in Mali; Force Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Naval Force in the Mediterranean; Training Mission in Somalia; Monitoring Mission in Georgia; Advisory Mission in Ukraine; EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo; Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor's Office in the Netherlands; and the Capacity Building Mission in Mali), there have been no Orders in Council made under s.4B(2) of the International Organisations Act 1968.

Q
Asked by James Gray
(North Wiltshire)
[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Internet
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many and what proportion of his Department’s cloud-hosting contracts have been awarded to (a) hyperscale cloud providers and (b) UK SMEs; and what the value of those contracts was in each of the last three years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 01 March 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has placed one contract with UK Cloud Ltd, who are considered an SME. The FCO have zero Hyperscale contracts.

The FCO Overall expenditure the last three Financial years is as follows:

FY 14/15: £36,863

FY 15-16: £152,093

FY 16-17: £231,012

Q
(Glasgow South)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Manufacturing Industries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to assist the re-development of old manufacturing industries in UK overseas territories to ensure they become (a) self-sufficient and (b) environmentally friendly.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2018

​The inhabited Overseas Territories are self-governing with locally elected representatives who lead on matters related to economic, industrial and environmental policy amongst others and who decide on which sectors to prioritise for development. The UK Government fully supports Overseas Territory Governments in their efforts to deliver sustainable economic and environmental development. This support is provided through financial aid for the three Overseas Territories that are eligible to receive Official Development Assistance as well as programmes funded by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Global Britain Fund and the Darwin Plus grant scheme for which all Overseas Territories are eligible.

Q
(Arfon)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Welsh Language
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what translation arrangements his Department has put in place to enable efficient and accurate handling of Welsh language correspondence from (a) MPs and (b) the general public.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2018

The volume of untranslated Welsh language correspondence the Foreign and Commonwealth Office receives is very low. Accordingly we do not have set procedures in place, but instead seek advice from the Wales Office on a case by case basis.

Q
Asked by Eddie Hughes
(Walsall North)
Asked on: 20 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gibraltar: ICT
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions his Department have had with Gibraltar on their blockchain licensing regulations.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have not had discussions with the Government of Gibraltar on this particular issue. The Government of Gibraltar is responsible for the provision of legislation related to economic matters, including blockchain licensing regulations, to the extent they do not otherwise cross into matters falling within the Governor's special responsibilities.

Q
(Hyndburn)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ottawa Convention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the international community's commitment to the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2018

As one of its founding signatories, the UK strongly supports the international community's commitment to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (known as the Ottawa Convention). As well as working to meet our own convention-based commitments to clear our sovereign territory in the Falkland Islands of anti-personnel mines, the UK is committed to the global efforts to tackle the scourge of anti-personnel mines through our international mine action programmes. As a demonstration of the UK's commitment, the Secretary of State for the Department for International Development announced on 4 April 2017 that the UK would triple its spending on mine action in developing countries, taking UK expenditure to £100million over the three years to March 2020. The UK also regularly encourages states who have not signed the Convention to do so, most recently fully supporting Austria, as the outgoing President of the Convention, in urging all non-States Parties to join without delay, as well as encouraging signatory states to fulfil their obligations.

Q
(Ludlow)
Asked on: 19 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Caribbean: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions has he had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring continued humanitarian assistance to those Overseas Territories in the Caribbean which were damaged by hurricanes in 2017.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2018

The Prime Minister tasked the Foreign Secretary to establish and chair an Interministerial Group to oversee and coordinate the Government's response to hurricane recovery in the region. That group was last updated on recovery efforts at the beginning of this month and will next meet in March.

Q
Asked by Liz McInnes
(Heywood and Middleton)
[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: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Falkland Islands: Oil
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which (a) public and (b) private bodies are responsible for the (i) assessment and (ii) issuing of licenses for oil exploitation in the Falklands Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2018

Oil exploration in the Falkland Islands is governed by the Falkland Islands Offshore Minerals Ordinance of 1994. Subject to this Ordinance, and with the consent of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the British Government appointed Governor of the Falkland Islands may, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, grant to any person a licence for the purposes of exploration or production in the controlled waters, or in the sea-bed or subsoil thereof, of the Falkland Islands.

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: 22 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Recruitment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which external recruitment agencies are used by his Department's non-departmental public bodies.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has five Non-Departmental Public Bodies: the British Council, Marshal Aid Commemoration Commission, Wilton Park, Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the Great Britain China Centre. The external recruitment agencies used by them, or by the FCO on their behalf, are: Russell Reynolds Associates, Hays Specialist Recruitment, Pro Group, Rencai, DGH Recruitment Limited, La Fosse Associates, Interquest Group UK Limited, Whitehall Resources Limited, Sentinel IT LLP, The Audit & Risk Recruitment Company, Michael Page UK Ltd, Stop Gap Group Ltd, Elevate Recruitment, Morgan Law Partners LLP, Perrett Laver, Minerva, Neutral Vendor (Comensura), Women on Boards, NEDonBoard, Nurole Ltd, Accountancy Recruitment Worthing, Reed, Checkmate Resourcing, GCS Recruitment, Gatenby Sanderson, Badenoch and Clark, Mark Sattin, Huntress, Prospect-Us, Pulse, Business in the Community, Mentoring Foundation, The Women's Organisation, Board Ready, Business Disability Forum, Gay Business Association, Association of Disabled Professionals, Egon Zehnder.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[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 February 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of progress on the Cyprus peace talks; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2018

Since the 2017 Conference on Cyprus, the British Government has urged all parties to avoid words or actions that risk escalating tensions in the region or that could have a negative impact on the prospects for a Cyprus Settlement. We look forward to continuing to work with President Anastasiades following his re-election on 4 February, and with the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mr Akinci, in the search for an fair and sustainable settlement. It is now for the parties to decide the way forward. The Government will encourage them to work towards a resumption of talks in the coming months and stands ready to discuss how we can support progress. Reaching agreement on the remaining issues will require tough choices and compromises but with political will, we judge a settlement is within reach.

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