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
(Canterbury)
Asked on: 11 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: International Criminal Court
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his US counterpart urging him to (a) reassess his attitude towards the International Criminal Court and (b) recognise that the prosecution of war criminals is an important duty for all states.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The International Criminal Court has our full support in pursuing the mandate it was given under the Rome statute.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 11 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Sick Leave
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of days of sick leave taken by staff in his Department for mental health reasons in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 September 2018


The number of days of sick absence taken by staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for mental health reasons in each year since 2010 recorded on HR systems was as follows:

2010: 2,159
2011: 888
2012: 4,974
2013: 4,730
2014: 3,123
2015: 2,180:
2016: 4,772:
2017: 4,734
2018 (up until 30 June*): 1,764

* It is standard practice to report a year's worth of sickness absence data on a quarterly basis (in arrears). Our last quarterly reporting period was until June 2018.

The figures above relate to FCO UK-based staff only, and do not include local staff employed by missions overseas, for whom records are not held centrally.
"Mental health" includes any absence recorded in the categories of depression, mental illness and stress.

Q
(Sutton Coldfield)
Asked on: 11 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sanctions: Russia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the list of people sanctioned under the (a) Criminal Finances Act 2017 and (b) Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 will include (i) Aleksey Vasilyevich Anichin, former Deputy Interior Minister, (ii) Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin, former First Deputy Prosecutor General, (iii) Aleksey Droganov, Interior Ministry employee, (iv) Alexandra Viktorovna Gaus, prison doctor, (v) Stanislav Evgenievich Gordievsky, official, investigative committee, Interior Ministry, (vi) Victor Yakovlevich Grin, Deputy Prosecutor General, (vii) Pavel Karpov, investigator, Interior Ministry, (viii) Yelena Khimina, tax official, (ix) Vyacheslav Georgievich Khlebnikov, businessman, (x) Dmitry Vladislavovich Klyuev, owner, Universal Savings Bank, (xi) Dmitriy Komnov, head of the Butyrka Detention Centre, (xii) Dmitry Borisovch Kratov, former deputy head, Butyrka prison, (xiii) Andrei Alexandrovich Krechetov, investigator, Interior Ministry, (xiv) Aleksey Krivoruchko, judge, (xv) Artem Kuznetsov, officer, Interior Ministry, (xvi) Larisa Antolievna Litvinova, prison doctor, (xvii) Oleg Logunov, deputy head, Interior Ministry investigation committee, (xviii) Viktor Aleksandrovich Marklov, businessman, (xix) Andrey Pechegin, official responsible for oversight, Interior Ministry, (xx) Gennady Nikolaevich Plaksin, businessman, (xxi) Sergei Podoprigorov, judge, (xxii) Ivan Pavlovitch Prokopenko, prison officer, (xxiii) Oleg Silchenko, officer, Interior Ministry, (xxiv) Yelena Stashina, judge, (xxv) Vladlen Yurievich Stepanov, company director, (xxvi) Olga Stepanova, head of Moscow tax office No. 28, (xxvii) Fikret Tagiyev, head of the Matrosskaya Tishina Detention Centre, (xxviii) Dmitri Tolchinskiy, employee, Interior Ministry, (xxix) Svetlana Ukhnalyova, judge and (xxx) Natalya Vinogradova, officer, Interior Ministry.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 September 2018

The UK currently implements sanctions through the EU and will continue to do so until we leave. Although not yet commenced, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 will allow us to take a range of actions against those suspected of gross human rights violations, which include (but are not limited to) asset-freezes and travel bans.

We are currently in the process of establishing procedures and frameworks to adopt sanctions under the Act. While it is too early to make decisions about specific individual listings, the Prime Minister has made it clear that we are looking to carry over all EU sanctions in force at the time of our departure from the EU.

The names of individuals sanctioned by the UK under the Act, including those sanctioned because of gross human rights violations, will be published on the appropriate government website.

Q
(Derby North)
Asked on: 10 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Chemical Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement of 16 April 2018 on Syria, Official Report columns 39-44, what the evidential basis is for the assertion that Russia and Syria delayed the access of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to Douma.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 September 2018

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) notified Syria on 10 April of its intention to deploy its Fact-Finding Mission to Douma. The team arrived in Damascus on 14 April, following an invitation from Syria which was supported by Russia, but their deployment to Douma was delayed for a week until 21 April. The Director General of the OPCW reported that they had been prevented from deploying to Douma by Russia and Syria, who cited security concerns. Russia instead offered to bring witnesses to Damascus, but the OPCW rightly insisted on access to Douma itself, which was later granted.

Q
(Lewisham, Deptford)
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Public Appointments
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department holds information on the socio-economic background of people appointed to senior positions in his Department in the last five years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

The Civil Service is currently looking at the best way to start implementing the measures published earlier in June across Government Departments, to better understand the background of people appointed in senior positions.

The Government is committed to social mobility, and we are committed to creating an organisation in which everybody can thrive.

Q
(Hendon)
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Diplomatic Service: Political Activities
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what guidance ambassadors receive about engaging in political activities.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

Ambassadors are bound by the Diplomatic Service Code of Conduct which includes guidance on the professional standards expected of staff, including on political impartiality.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Peers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many members of the House of Lords hold (a) paid and (b) unpaid roles within (i) his Department and (ii) his Department's agencies.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

We do not hold a central record of all those who hold roles, either paid or unpaid, who are members of the House of Lords.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 05 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made on securing international support for Antarctic marine protection.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

Ocean protection issues have been a key point of discussion among Ministers at recent G7 and G20 meetings, as the UK continues to be a global leader in marine conservation. Within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the UK is working proactively to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around Antarctica. At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider the UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing MPAs in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. International consultations on these proposals are underway at official and technical levels.

Q
(Ellesmere Port and Neston)
Asked on: 06 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Mobile Phones
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish a list of the mobile phone applications developed by his Department and its agencies in the last three years; and what the cost to the public purse was of developing of each of those applications.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

This Department and its agencies have not developed any mobile phone applications in the last three years. The cost to the public purse is therefore nil.

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: 10 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Catalonia: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the President of the Government of Catalonia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

I have had no discussions with Joaquim Torra, the President of the regional Government of Catalonia. The situation in Catalonia is a matter for Spain and the position of the British Government on Catalonia is well known: we want to see the rule of law respected, the Spanish constitution upheld and Spanish unity maintained.​

Q
(East Londonderry)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Sanctions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the oral statement by the Prime Minister of 5 September 2018, Official Report columns 167-187, Salisbury Update, whether the Government plans to impose further sanctions on those representing Russian Government interests in the UK.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

The UK's Sanctions and Money Laundering Act ​has not yet commenced. The UK currently implements sanctions through the EU and has been at the forefront of EU sanctions on Russia, in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and destabilisation of Eastern Ukraine, since 2014. We welcome the fact that the EU's comprehensive package to tackle hybrid threats, endorsed at the June European Council, includes the creation of a new Chemical Weapons sanctions regime. We will continue to press for its speedy adoption. We will also push for new EU sanctions regimes against those responsible for cyber-attacks and gross human rights violations; as well as robustly enforcing the existing EU regime against Russia.

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: 10 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the 2018-19 Main Estimates, published in April 2018, how much funding his Department has allocated to prepare for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

The FCO has been allocated £29.6m by HM Treasury for essential EU Exit work in FY 18/19. In total, HMT has allocated over £1.5bn of additional funding to Government Departments for EU Exit work in FY 18/19. A full breakdown of this can be found in the Chief Secretary's Written Ministerial Statement, HCWS540. Allocated funds will be taken up by the FCO at Supplementary Estimates 2018-19.

Q
(Derby 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: 10 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Chemical Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government was aware that Barzeh had been found by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to be clear of chemical weapons six months before missile strikes were initiated against that location on 14 April 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 September 2018

Laboratory facilities at Barzeh form part of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), and were inspected by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in November 2017. The UK assesses that the SSRC, including the Barzeh facility, was a centre for the research and development of Syria's chemical and biological programme. The OPCW has stated that Syria's Declaration of its SSRC under the Chemical Weapons Convention remained incomplete, and continues to report that gaps, inconsistencies and discrepancies remain in Syria's account of its declaration under the Convention. The targets of missile strikes on 14 April were selected on the basis of rigorous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter further chemical weapons use by the regime.

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: 07 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Torture: Rendition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reasons the Government extended its deadline for announcing whether to launch an independent judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 September 2018

The Government is giving the necessary careful consideration to the need for an independent judge-led inquiry and will update the House after it returns in October.

Grouped Questions: 171734 | 171735 | 171736
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: 07 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Torture: Rendition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the Government plans to announce whether to launch an independent judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 September 2018

The Government is giving the necessary careful consideration to the need for an independent judge-led inquiry and will update the House after it returns in October.

Grouped Questions: 171733 | 171735 | 171736
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: 07 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Torture: Rendition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, who will take the final decision on launching an independent judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 September 2018

The Government is giving the necessary careful consideration to the need for an independent judge-led inquiry and will update the House after it returns in October.

Grouped Questions: 171733 | 171734 | 171736
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: 07 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Torture: Rendition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what factors the Government will take into account in its decision on whether to launch an independent judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 September 2018

The Government is giving the necessary careful consideration to the need for an independent judge-led inquiry and will update the House after it returns in October.

Grouped Questions: 171733 | 171734 | 171735
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: 07 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Torture: Rendition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers of his Department have had with international counterparts on whether to launch an independent judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 September 2018

There have been no discussions on the issue of a further independent judge-led inquiry between FCO Ministers and their international counterparts.

Q
Asked by Kate Osamor
(Edmonton)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has held discussions with his international counterparts on securing an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary since his appointment; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

​The UK is a leading advocate for marine protection across the Southern Ocean, having secured agreement for the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) within the international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The UK is a co-proponent for MPA proposals in the Weddell Sea and will be strongly advocating its adoption at the next CCAMLR meeting in October. There are ongoing international consultations underway at official and technical level to aid these negotiations and once the final proposal is submitted to CCAMLR this week, the UK, together with other EU Members, will consider the most appropriate level of lobbying required to achieve this aim.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the total cost to the public purse of his Department’s work preparing for the UK to leave the EU has been since 23 June 2016.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

HM Treasury has allocated over £2 billion of additional funding to departments and the Devolved Administrations for EU exit preparations so far. This breaks down as:

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of leaving the EU in accordance with (a) the proposals set out in the Government’s White Paper and (b) a no-deal scenario.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

In the Autumn Budget 2017, the Chancellor set aside £1.5 billion of additional funding for EU Exit preparations in 2019/20. Departments will be invited to bid for 2019/20 EU Exit preparation funding later in the year. Details of timings and process will be announced in due course.

Q
Asked by Jo Swinson
(East Dunbartonshire)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to improve the transparency of its Official Development Assistance after the publication of the Aid Transparency Index 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

​I refer the Hon. Member to answer of 11 July 2018 (PQ 160284).

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the cost to the public purse has been of his Department hiring additional staff to cover issues related to the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The FCO does not hold the information requested as costs are not accounted for in this way. Further information can be found in the FCO's Annual Report and Accounts. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/foreign-and-commonwealth-office-annual-report-and-accounts-2017-to-2018)

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many staff in his Department have been transferred to the Department for (a)Exiting the European Union and (b) International Trade as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

Since July 2016 the FCO has transffered 65 staff to DExEU and DIT.

Q
Asked by Damien Moore
(Southport)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Diplomatic Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve diplomatic relations with Turkey.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

We enjoy highly productive diplomatic relations with Turkey. British Ministers are in regular communication with their Turkish counterparts and our respective embassies are both very active. The Prime Minister is also closely engaged on UK/Turkey issues. In addition to welcoming President Erdoǧan to the UK during his visit in May 2018, the Prime Minister has spoken regularly to the President, most recently on 27 August.

Q
Asked by Paul Girvan
(South Antrim)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Belgium: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the flow of undocumented migrants through Belgian ports.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The Government is working closely with Belgian colleagues to prevent illegal migrants travelling, and to undermine the business model driving organised illegal immigration. Joint investigations and operational cooperation have seen a number of successes in disrupting organised crime groups. We are also working to tackle people smuggling through the People Smuggling Amplification Plan. We are cooperating with Belgian, French and Dutch law enforcement agencies to share information and build capacity as part of those efforts.

Q
(Barking)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to section 51 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, what steps he is taking to assist the governments of the Overseas Territories to introduce publicly accessible beneficial ownership registers.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The Government has assured the Overseas Territories of our commitment to working collaboratively with them on the introduction of publicly registers. Minister of State Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon has already proposed the establishment of a UK- Overseas Territories technical working group to meet early 2019 and will discuss more formally the implementation timetable and any initial requests for support at the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council later this year.

Q
(Barking)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to section 51 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, what discussions he has had with the governments of the Overseas Territories on support required to introduce publicly accessible beneficial ownership registers.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The Prime Minister and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister for the Commonwealth and UN, held a conference call with leaders of Overseas Territories with financial centres on 24 May to discuss the issue, and a further discussion was held at the Joint Ministerial Council in June. Shortly after the passage of this legislation Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon visited Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat, where he held discussions on this topic. Similarly, in late July, Lord Ahmad visited the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and met with representatives of the financial services industry and government of BVI. Montserrat and Gibraltar have already committed to establishing a public register of company beneficial ownership.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress he has made on securing international support for marine protection in the Antarctic.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The UK is a global leader on Antarctic marine protection issues, including within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider the UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. International consultations are underway at official and technical levels. The final proposal will be submitted to CCAMLR this week, we will then work with other EU Members to consider the most appropriate level of lobbying.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on marine conservation in the Antarctic.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

Ocean protection issues have been a key point of discussion among Ministers at recent G7 and G20 meetings, as the UK continues to be a global leader in marine conservation. Within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the UK is working proactively to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas around Antarctica. At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider the UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. International consultations on these proposals are underway at official and technical levels.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to secure international support for a marine protected area in the Weddell Sea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The UK is a leading advocate for marine protection across the Southern Ocean, having secured agreement for the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) within the international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The UK is a co-proponent for MPA proposals in the Weddell Sea and in East Antarctica, both of which will be presented to the next CCAMLR meeting in October for adoption. There are ongoing international consultations underway at official and technical level to aid adoption. The final proposal will be submitted to CCAMLR this week, we will then work with other EU Members to consider the most appropriate level of lobbying.

Q
Asked by John McNally
(Falkirk)
Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Seas and Oceans: Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to secure a global treaty to protect the high seas by 2020.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 September 2018

The FCO leads, with close cooperation from DEFRA, on the negotiations to develop an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ process). The first meeting of the UN Inter-governmental conference to develop the new international instrument started, on 4 September 2018 and the UK is represented by FCO and DEFRA officials. The Government fully supports the United Nations BBNJ process to develop an ambitious agreement which we would like to see concluded in 2020.

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: 04 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ilois: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of whether the £40 million fund for Chagossians has addressed the needs of those citizens residing in the UK.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 September 2018

In November 2016 the Government agreed to fund a package of approximately £40 million to improve the lives of Chagossians in the communities in which they now live. We are engaging with the UK Chagossian community to identify the constraints and barriers experienced by them to inform our ongoing assessment of needs. We will continue to work with Chagossian communities to identify and develop programmes which will make the biggest improvement in the life chances of Chagossians who need it most. Ministers remain committed to meeting the objectives of this package.

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 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Nicaraguan counterpart on human rights in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 September 2018

The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned about reported human rights abuses in Nicaragua. The UK's Permanent Representative to the UN, Karen Pierce, reiterated our concerns and called for the renewal of political dialogue in her public statement at the UN Security Council on 5 September, where the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister was in attendance.

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 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he had had with his Latin American counterparts on their response to Venezuelan refugees.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 September 2018

​We are deeply concerned by this crisis, which is self inflicted and has caused huge pressure on the region. I spoke on 6 September with the Peruvian Foreign Minister, Nestor Popolizio, to discuss the situation, to receive an update on the recent Andean Community (Peru, Colombia and Ecuador) meeting in Lima, and on the Ecuador-convened "regional technical meeting" on Venezuela that took place in Quito on 3-4 September to discuss the migration crisis. The Foreign Secretary also discussed the crisis with the Colombian Foreign Minister in New York on 24 August.

Q
(Glasgow Central)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps are being taken at international level to advocate for the protection of the Antarctic.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 September 2018

The United Kingdom is a leading voice in the Antarctic Treaty System. The UK wants to ensure that the Antarctic Treaty continues to be a respected and influential agreement. We play a highly active role in the annual meetings of the Consultative Parties, and in meetings of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). The UK has consistently lobbied for greater environmental protection of Antarctica and this year has seen UK led initiatives relating to tourism management, terrestrial protected areas and heritage conservation agreed by Treaty Parties. We will continue to press for the full implementation of the Treaty's Environmental Protocol which prohibits commercial mining and protects vulnerable areas, animals and plants.

Within CCAMLR the UK is committed to establishing a representative network of marine protected areas around Antarctica. The UK led the proposal for the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf Marine Protected Area (MPA), which was the first MPA agreed by CCAMLR in 2009. The UK also successfully led a proposal to protect marine areas newly exposed by ice shelf retreat or collapse, and after the massive iceberg broke off from the Larsen Ice Shelf last year, the UK secured protective measures for the area of sea exposed by the ice. The UK also strongly supported the designation of the Ross Sea region MPA, agreed in 2016 and is a co-proponent of the proposals to establish MPAs in the Weddell Sea and East Antarctica, which are under consideration at the 37th CCAMLR meeting in October 2018.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Government of Nicaragua on respect for religious freedom in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 September 2018

We do not consider freedom of religion an issue in Nicaragua at this time. The UK has made representations to the Nicaraguan government welcoming the mediation role of the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference in political dialogue, and condemned the violence in the country, particularly the excessive use of force by the authorities and pro-government armed groups.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Lugansk People's Republic law #211-II on the freedom of conscience and religious association.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 September 2018

We are deeply concerned by reports on the human rights situation in the self-proclaimed "Luhansk People's Republic" in non-government controlled eastern Ukraine, including infringements of freedom of religion and belief. It is essential that unhindered access is granted for international humanitarian organisations to the non-government controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. We continue to call on Russia to use its considerable influence over the separatists to ensure respect of international human rights and humanitarian law. The UK also continues to raise within multilateral forums the need for UN General Assembly resolutions on Ukraine and recommendations contained in the reports of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including the protection of freedom of religion and belief in Non-Government controlled eastern Ukraine, to be fully implemented.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the international community is taking to ensure that the freedom of religion or belief is protected in the Lugansk region of eastern Ukraine.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 September 2018

We continue to stress the need for all parties to fully implement the UN General Assembly resolutions on Ukraine and recommendations contained in the reports of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including the protection of freedom of religion and belief in non-government controlled eastern Ukraine. At the Human Rights Council in June, the UK and EU raised serious concerns about ongoing human rights violations in non-government controlled eastern Ukraine and Crimea. It is essential that independent investigations take place to deliver accountability for all such allegations. The UK also provides funding to the OHCHR in support of their work monitoring Human Rights violations.

Q
Asked by Dr David Drew
(Stroud)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 03 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Antarctic Ocean Commission on an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary in the Waddell Sea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 September 2018

The United Kingdom is a leading voice in the Antarctic Treaty System and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), the international bodies that oversee activities in Antarctica. The UK remains committed to establishing a representative network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around Antarctica, having led the agreement on the first MPA around South Orkneys Southern Shelf. The UK is a co-proponent for MPA proposals in the Weddell Sea and in East Antarctica, both of which will be presented to the next CCAMLR meeting in October for adoption.

Q
Asked by Chris Bryant
(Rhondda)
[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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on the killing of nine Colombian human rights defenders in the first week of June 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

We are concerned about reports of increasing violence against human rights defenders and social activists in Colombia. Illegal armed groups are responsible for the majority of these attacks. In response, I welcome the recent commitment by both President Santos and President-elect Duque to new special protective measures for social leaders, especially in rural areas.

Q
Asked by Chris Bryant
(Rhondda)
[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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to encourage the Government in Colombia to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to visit that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

We encourage the Colombian Government to invite the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to visit Colombia.

Q
Asked by Chris Bryant
(Rhondda)
[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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Colombia on the escalation of the humanitarian crisis in Chocó.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The British Embassy in Bogota has raised the situation in Choco with the Colombian authorities.

In September 2017, members of the British Embassy in Bogota accompanied a UK delegation including Baroness Coussins on a visit to Choco, organised by the NGO ABColombia.

The FCO worked closely with NGOs in preparation for Colombia's Universal Periodic Review at Geneva in May, raising concerns about violence against human rights defenders and conflict related sexual violence.

Q
Asked by Chris Bryant
(Rhondda)
[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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic (a) assistance and (b) support the Government has provided to the Government of Colombia to (a) tackle sexual violence being used by armed actors against the population in Chocó and (b) comply with the safeguards and commitments set out in the Ethnic Chapter in the Peace Accord.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

In Choco, programmes supported by our Embassy in Bogota have supported female human rights defenders to gain access to justice and women's rights. More widely in Colombia, for FY 2018/19 the Embassy has allocated over £400k from the Global Britain Fund to support the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in Colombia.

The UK supports the Ethnic Chapter of the peace deal, funding the creation – via the UN trust fund – of a body to monitor oversight of implementation of this specific chapter.

The UK has also financed a project implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to create regional groups from ethnic communities to design specific indicators that will help assess the implementation of this specific chapter.

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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Armed Conflict
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic support the UK Government has provided to the (a) Sisma Mujer and (b) Somos Defensores organisations in Colombia; and what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of those organisations on the (i) military and (ii) security threats made against those organisations.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

We are aware of the list of 'military targets' announced by the group that calls itself the Aguilas Negras 'Black Eagles'. As well as NGO's, the list also includes prominent politicians and human rights defenders. The British Embassy in Bogota will discuss any specific threats with our project partners.

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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Internally Displaced People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with counterparts at the 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of internally displaced people in Colombia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

Colombia's 52 year conflict has claimed over 8 million victims including more than 7 million displaced persons. In recent years, only the conflict in Syria has seen a larger number of IDPs caused by internal conflict.

Speaking times at the Human Rights Council are limited, so it is impossible to cover every country of concern in the UK intervention. On this occasion, the UK chose to prioritise raising Iraq, Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the situation for IDPs had deteriorated significantly during recent months.

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: 23 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support the Government provides for projects and programmes in the Orinoquia region of Colombia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The UK supports two programmes in the Orinoquia region of Colombia which are managed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The first programme, known as 'Ganaderia Colombiana Sostenible' aims to increase the sustainability of cattle ranching. It does this by working with small and medium sized farmers to restore degraded land by integrating cattle ranching with tree planting.

The second programme, called the 'BioCarbon Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes' aims to reduce emissions from the land sector through smarter land-use planning, policies, and practices. It works with a wide range of farming and forestry enterprises and community projects.

Q
Asked by Rebecca Pow
(Taunton Deane)
[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: 04 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nature Conservation: Seas and Oceans
Commons
What his policy is on global ocean conservation.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

A new International Ocean Strategy was announced in June this year. When published it will underpin the UK’s leading role on marine protection. It will also provide this Government with a blueprint for international action that will support the long-term prosperity of the UK and our long-term commitment to protect the health of the marine environment.

Grouped Questions: 906728
Q
Asked by Clive Efford
(Eltham)
[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: 04 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Peace Negotiations
Commons
What recent discussions he has had with his Colombian counterpart on the peace process in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

The Prime Minister confirmed the UK’s full support to the peace process during her phone call with the new Colombian President on 9 August. The Foreign Secretary and Foreign Minister Holmes also discussed UN Security Council support to peace in Colombia when they met in New York on 24 August.

Q
Asked by Scott Mann
(North Cornwall)
[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: 04 September 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nature Conservation: Seas and Oceans
Commons
What his policy is on global ocean conservation.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 September 2018

A new International Ocean Strategy was announced in June this year. When published it will underpin the UK’s leading role on marine protection. It will also provide this Government with a blueprint for international action that will support the long-term prosperity of the UK and our long-term commitment to protect the health of the marine environment.

Grouped Questions: 906723
Q
(Birmingham, Northfield)
Asked on: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of the creation of the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary for tackling (a) over-fishing, (b) plastic pollution and (c) climate change.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 July 2018

The UK is a global leader on Antarctic marine protection issues, including within the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). At its next meeting in October, CCAMLR will consider UK co-sponsored proposals for establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea. CCAMLR ensures that fish stocks in the Southern Ocean are sustainably managed, as well as having committed to the development of a network of MPAs. There is currently no commercial fishing activity in the Weddell Sea; only small-scale, fully monitored, research fishing activities. Ocean plastic pollution is a global problem which the UK Government is actively working to reduce. Plastic pollution is monitored at a number of stations around Antarctica and through dedicated surveys. Plastic pollution is mainly arriving in Antarctica from outside of the region. Nevertheless, in addition to strict marine pollution regulations around Antarctica, UK flagged fishing vessels operating within the CCAMLR Convention Area have implemented measures to reduce or eliminate plastic microbeads from waste water. While MPAs will not tackle global climate change, one of the objectives for the Weddell Sea MPA proposal is to establish scientific reference areas to monitor the effects of climate change and to study, in particular, representative, rare, unique and/or endemic examples of marine ecosystems, as well as biodiversity and habitats.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Human Rights and Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Colombian counterpart on freedom of religion and upholding human rights in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 July 2018

I am concerned by levels of violence against human rights defenders and community leaders, which includes some religious leaders. We believe religious leaders have been targeted for their role as community leaders, and not primarily because of their faith. Colombia is designated a Human Rights Priority Country by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Our concerns about human rights were published in the FCO’s annual human rights report on 16 July which can be viewed on the .Gov website. I have discussed the situation of human rights in Colombia with visiting Ministers and with the Colombian Ambassador. The UK also raised concerns about violence against human rights defenders and conflict related sexual violence during Colombia’s Universal Periodic Review at Geneva in May.

Q
Asked by Nia Griffith
(Llanelli)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Military Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 16 July 2018, Official Report, column 24, what support the Government is offering to the Government of Ukraine in relation to the situation in the Crimea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The UK is absolutely clear in its rejection of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. The British Government regularly highlights, publically and multilaterally, Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and human rights abuses towards those who oppose the illegal annexation. In public statements, including the UK statement at the recent UN Human Rights Council, our bilateral contacts with Russia and in multilateral fora - we have called on Russia to immediately release Ukrainian prisoners detained for politically motivated reasons. The EU has taken practical measures to reinforce its policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea, including on 18 June the EU renewed trade sanctions in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol for a further 12 months; and on 5 July economic sanctions were renewed for a further 6 months.

Q
(Motherwell and Wishaw)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Catalonia: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Spanish counterpart on an independence referendum for Catalonia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 July 2018
Holding answer received on 23 July 2018

The issue of Catalan independence is a matter for Spain.

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: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bridges: English Channel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the oral contribution of the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of 20 February 2018, Official Report, column 5, whether it is his Department's policy to explore the possibility of a new fixed link between Great Britain and France.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 July 2018
Holding answer received on 23 July 2018

This is a matter for the Department of Transport.

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: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 6 March 2018 and 8 March 2018 to Questions 130582 and 130801 on France: Foreign relations, what progress has been made in establishing the committee of wise people to explore future UK-French collaboration.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 July 2018
Holding answer received on 23 July 2018

I refer the Hon. Member to my response to PQ 130582; we continue productive discussions with our French colleagues on the terms of reference and membership of the Group and hope to hold its first meeting soon.

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: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will respond to Early Day Motion 1492, on human rights in Colombia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 July 2018

​Human rights defenders and social leaders play a vital role in promoting the rights of local communities and minority groups in Colombia, and in helping to realise the benefits of the historic peace agreement. I am concerned by reports of increasing violence and killings of human rights defenders and social leaders, something I have discussed with Colombian Ministers and the Colombian Ambassador. The FCO supports the important work of human rights defenders globally, including through our advocacy and project work.

Q
(Edinburgh 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: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent steps the Government has taken to promote UN efforts to resolve the political crisis in Nicaragua.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 July 2018

The UK has welcomed the Nicaraguan Government’s invitations to the UN and other investigatory bodies and has called for the authorities to allow them to carry out their work fully without hindrance. I am pleased the EU is ready to accompany and support the Dialogue and has reinforced its support to human rights organisations.

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: 19 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Krishna Maharaj
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions his Department has had with US officials on the status of British prisoner Kris Maharaj.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 24 July 2018

We continue to register our strong interest in Mr Maharaj's case with the US authorities, most recently with the filing of an amicus curiae brief. Mr Maharaj's discovery motions were denied by the Magistrate Judge on 30 April 2018. His legal team must now consider the options available to them. Consular staff last visited Mr Maharaj on 8 June 2018.

Q
Asked by Layla Moran
(Oxford West and Abingdon)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Official Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of hosting the visit of President Trump to the UK.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The visit of President Trump was a Guest of Government visit. As with all visits of this nature, costs will be published on the gov.uk website in due course. Policing costs will also be available from the Metropolitan Police.

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: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Haiti: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with Haiti officials on the political situation in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The UK, as a member of the UN Security Council, strongly condemned the recent violence in Haiti and called for all parties to remain calm and to exercise restraint. Following the resignation of the Prime Minister on 14 July, there is currently no government in Haiti. Our Ambassador will call on the new Foreign Minister, when he or she is appointed.

Q
(Glasgow South West)
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations were made to the Turkish Government on BBC reports that four HDP members were shot and killed in Suruc during an election campaign visit by AKP deputy Ibrahim Halil Yıldız on 14 June 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 July 2018

We are aware of the reports of violence in Suruc. In the lead up to the election we consistently raised with Turkish authorities our hopes for a peaceful and transparent election process.

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: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Violence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will respond to EDM 1494, Unrest and Violence in Nicaragua.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 July 2018

I was clear with the Nicaraguan Government, in a meeting of 3 July, that for stability to return the Government must take responsibility for ending the violence, and that inclusive dialogue promised by the authorities should proceed under peaceful conditions.

I have expressed deep concern about the excessive use of force by the Government, including the use of live ammunition, and the human rights abuses reported by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN. I welcome the Government's invitations to the IACHR, the UN, and the EU to support a resolution of the crisis and urge the authorities to allow them to carry out their work fully without hindrance.

Grouped Questions: 164466 | 164467
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: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK on the human rights situation in Nicaragua.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 July 2018

I was clear with the Nicaraguan Government, in a meeting of 3 July, that for stability to return the Government must take responsibility for ending the violence, and that inclusive dialogue promised by the authorities should proceed under peaceful conditions.

I have expressed deep concern about the excessive use of force by the Government, including the use of live ammunition, and the human rights abuses reported by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN. I welcome the Government's invitations to the IACHR, the UN, and the EU to support a resolution of the crisis and urge the authorities to allow them to carry out their work fully without hindrance.

Grouped Questions: 164465 | 164467
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: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Nicaragua on the (a) human rights situation and (b) political violence in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 July 2018

I was clear with the Nicaraguan Government, in a meeting of 3 July, that for stability to return the Government must take responsibility for ending the violence, and that inclusive dialogue promised by the authorities should proceed under peaceful conditions.

I have expressed deep concern about the excessive use of force by the Government, including the use of live ammunition, and the human rights abuses reported by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN. I welcome the Government's invitations to the IACHR, the UN, and the EU to support a resolution of the crisis and urge the authorities to allow them to carry out their work fully without hindrance.

Grouped Questions: 164465 | 164466
Q
Asked by Lady Hermon
(North Down)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle: Agriculture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made with his Irish counterparts on concluding an agreement on the management of agriculture activities in (a) Lough Foylet and (b) Carlingford Lough; what the remaining matters are to be resolved; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 July 2018

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs. British and Irish officials last met in October 2017 when a number of issues were discussed including the Loughs, and the management of aquaculture in them, and they have been in regular contact since.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union. Indeed, we have both publically stated on numerous occasions that the issue of the management of the Loughs is distinct from, and will not form part of, any Brexit negotiation.

Grouped Questions: 164299 | 164300
Q
Asked by Lady Hermon
(North Down)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle: Agriculture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many meetings he has held with his Irish counterparts to discuss a management agreement for agriculture activities for (a) Lough Foyle and (b) Carlingford Lough in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 July 2018

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs. British and Irish officials last met in October 2017 when a number of issues were discussed including the Loughs, and the management of aquaculture in them, and they have been in regular contact since.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union. Indeed, we have both publically stated on numerous occasions that the issue of the management of the Loughs is distinct from, and will not form part of, any Brexit negotiation.

Grouped Questions: 164298 | 164300
Q
Asked by Lady Hermon
(North Down)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 16 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle: Agriculture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether a management agreement with the Republic of Ireland on agriculture activities in relation to (a) Lough Foyle and (b) Carlingford Lough will be in place when the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 July 2018

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs. British and Irish officials last met in October 2017 when a number of issues were discussed including the Loughs, and the management of aquaculture in them, and they have been in regular contact since.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union. Indeed, we have both publically stated on numerous occasions that the issue of the management of the Loughs is distinct from, and will not form part of, any Brexit negotiation.

Grouped Questions: 164298 | 164299
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: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Ilois
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will deposit in the National Archives the Registers of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the Chagos Archipelago between 1884 and 1971.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 July 2018
Holding answer received on 16 July 2018

A collection of registers of Birth, Deaths and Marriages for the Chagos Archipelago between 1884 and 1971 is currently held in the FCO Archives. We will consider what future actions may be most suitable for these registers as part of our ongoing programme of records appraisal. This will include consideration of the status of the registers and where they will ultimately be deposited.

Q
(Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
[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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: State Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the cost to the public purse was of the visit to the UK of the President of the United States.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 July 2018

The visit by the President was a Guest of Government visit. As with all visits of this nature, the costs will be made publicly available and will be published on the gov.uk website in due course.

Q
(Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
[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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: State Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of the reception for the President of the United States at Blenheim Palace on 12 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 July 2018

The visit by the President was a Guest of Government visit. As with all visits of this nature, the costs will be made publicly available and will be published on the gov.uk website in due course. This will include the costs of the reception for the President at Blenheim Palace.​

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
Asked on: 10 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Companies: Ownership
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Crown Dependencies on setting up public registers of beneficial ownership on the basis of a voluntary agreement in the last two months.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not responsible for UK engagement with the Crown Dependencies regarding existing beneficial ownership arrangements, and has therefore not had any discussions with the Crown Dependencies on this issue.

The Ministry of Justice is the UK Government Department responsible for the UK's wider constitutional relationship with those jurisdictions.

Q
(Barking)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government plans to change the constitutional arrangements between the UK and the British Overseas Territories.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018
Holding answer received on 16 July 2018

As the 2012 White Paper lays out, we believe that the fundamental structure of our constitutional relationship is the right one. Should any Overseas Territory seek to change its constitution, we would consider it on a case by case basis.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Developing Countries: Sustainable Development
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of Official Development Assistance spending on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018

The UK helped secure the landmark Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we meet the United Nations' 0.7% gross national income target for Official Development Assistance (ODA). The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as a leading ODA-spending department, is helping to advance the SDGs globally by contributing to the objectives of the UK Aid Strategy, particularly in the areas of peace and security, governance and economic development, which underpin poverty reduction.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to improve the transparency of Official Development Assistance spent by his Department.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to meeting the target for Official Development Assistance (ODA) transparency laid down in the UK Aid Strategy and we routinely publish data on gov.uk. The FCO has brought in changes to the way we publish data, including upgrading computer systems, streamlining the data entry process and reviewing the level of detail we include in our data publications. Many of these changes are strategic and long term in nature, and are intended to facilitate much better data publishing by 2020. The FCO will continue to discuss the detailed findings with Publish What You Fund to identify further areas for improvement. We are confident that we will meet HMG’s transparency commitment by 2020 and are making sure that UK taxpayers’ money is spent well in ways that advance the UK Aid Strategy’s objectives.

Q
(Sheffield 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: 12 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report, Nicaragua: Shoot to kill: Nicaragua's strategy to repress protest, published by Amnesty International in May 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018

The May 2018 Amnesty International report on Nicaragua is alarming. We continue to follow developments closely, including through contacts with EU and US partners and local stakeholders in the country. We have expressed our deep concern about the violence to the Nicaraguan government and urged them to take responsibility for ending the repression against their own citizens.

We welcome the work of international institutions in Nicaragua, such as the UN and Organisation of American States (OAS) and I welcome the government's invitations to the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, the UN, and the EU to support the resolution of the crisis and urge the authorities to allow them to carry out their work fully without hindrance.

Q
Asked by Nick Herbert
(Arundel and South Downs)
Asked on: 12 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Turkish Government on the cancellation of Istanbul Pride.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018

In the run-up to the Istanbul Pride March planned for early July our missions in Turkey raised the issue with the Turkish authorities in both Ankara and Istanbul. We urged Turkey to allow the march to go ahead and were disappointed that the ban was maintained and I stated as such in public comments. We will continue to encourage Turkey to respect the rights of the LGBTI community.

Q
Asked by Nick Herbert
(Arundel and South Downs)
Asked on: 12 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to support LGBT Rights in Turkey.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 17 July 2018

We fully support the rights of LGBTI groups in Turkey. We regularly urge Turkey to work towards full protection of their fundamental rights, including with respect to freedom of expression and assembly, and will continue to do so. The British Embassy in Ankara provides project support to a number of Turkish civil society organisations working in the area of fundamental freedoms. In recent years this has included groups working on LGBTI issues.

Q
Asked by Tim Loughton
(East Worthing and Shoreham)
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Balkans: Conferences
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reason the Moldovan Head of Government was not invited to the Western Balkans Summit in London on 10 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 July 2018

The 10 July Western Balkans Summit in London was the fifth convened under the Berlin Process launched by Chancellor Merkel in 2014. The fourteen Berlin Process Leaders were invited to the Summit. Moldova is not a member of the Berlin Process so was not invited. Prime Minister Tsipras was invited to the Summit to brief, alongside Prime Minister Zaev, on the Name Issue agreement. Prime Minister Borissov was also invited given his hosting of the 17 May EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
Asked on: 10 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to support international mediation in Nicaragua.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 July 2018

I have been clear with the Nicaraguan government in a meeting of 3 July, that for stability to return the government must take responsibility for ending the violence and the inclusive dialogue promised by the authorities should proceed under peaceful conditions.

I have expressed deep concern about excessive use of force by the government including the use of live ammunition and human rights abuses reported by the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN. I welcome the government's invitations to the IACHR, the UN, and the EU to support resolution of the crisis.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
Asked on: 10 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Nicaraguan Government on recent developments in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 July 2018

​I have been clear with the Nicaraguan government in a meeting of 3 July, that for stability to return the government must take responsibility for ending the violence and the inclusive dialogue promised by the authorities should proceed under peaceful conditions.

I have expressed deep concern about excessive use of force by the government including the use of live ammunition and human rights abuses reported by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the UN. I welcome the government's invitations to the IACHR, the UN, and the EU to support resolution of the crisis.

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: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of UK citizens living in (a) Germany and (b) France.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 July 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office can not make an estimate of the number of UK residents in Germany or France. We are aware that other organisations, including the UN and the Office for National Statistics do make such estimates. We no longer ask British nationals overseas to register with the nearest Embassy or Consulate.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mexico: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations the Government has made to the Mexican Government on freedom of religion in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 July 2018

​I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave on 21 May 2018 (PQ144863).

Q
Asked by Lady Hermon
(North Down)
[N]
Close

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 11 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the oral contributions of the Prime Minister of 9 July 2018, on leaving the EU, Official Report, column 714, what progress has been made in stepping up preparations for a possible no deal with the EU on resolving the issue of the disputed jurisdiction of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 16 July 2018

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union.

Q
(Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
[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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: State Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish the list of invitees to the reception for the President of the United States at Blenheim Palace on 12 July 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 July 2018
Holding answer received on 18 July 2018

We do not publish the names of those on guest lists for state or guest of government visit banquets. This is primarily for reasons of data protection.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 04 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Columbia: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions has the Minister had with the Columbian Government on progress on the peace process in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 July 2018

The UK has assisted the peace process since 2012, contributing over £28m in Conflict Stability and Security Funding since 2015 and holding the pen in the UN Security Council. I have had numerous discussions with the Colombian Government during that time on progress, most recently with the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs on 21 June.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 04 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many research analysts were employed in his Department's Eastern Research Group in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 July 2018

The Government understands the importance of underpinning policy towards Russia with the necessary analytical capability, including that provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)'s Research Analysts (of which Eastern Research Group is an integral part). Research Analysts will continue, as at present, to act as the FCO's main link with external UK-based expertise on Russia, ensuring that policy-making is informed by a range of expert views on Russia from outside government.

Q
Asked by Lady Hermon
(North Down)
Asked on: 05 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Carlingford Lough and Lough Foyle: Territorial Waters
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will provide an update on the Government's policy on the territorial jurisdiction of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 July 2018

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in the Loughs is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs.

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: 09 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Diego Garcia: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2018 to Question 159643 on Diego Garcia, what assessment was made of the level of risk of explosives from US Navy ships in the anchorage at Diego Garcia in relation to his Department's Policy Review of Resettlement in BIOT by the Chagossians; and whether KPMG was made aware of the potential risks during that company's feasibility study.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 July 2018

The risk of explosives is regularly assessed by military personnel in line with standard operating procedure given the close proximity of the base and personnel in Diego Garcia. As a stakeholder in the FCO Policy Review of Chagossian resettlement in BIOT, into which the KPMG feasibility study fed, the MoD was consulted.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, following the publication of the 2018 Aid Transparency Index, what steps his Department is taking to improve the transparency of the Official Development Assistance for which it is responsible.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 July 2018

We are undertaking a review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) performance in the Aid Transparency Index. As part of this, the FCO is in discussion with 'Publish What You Fund', and other Whitehall Departments. These discussions, consultations with the aid transparency community experts and our ongoing programme of work towards the Government target to be “Good” or “Very Good” by 2020, have identified a number of areas for improvement in both our data production and programme documentation.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mediterranean Sea: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of migrants departing from the Libyan coast who have drowned in the last two months.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 July 2018

The British Government monitors closely the number of migrants who cross the Mediterranean to Europe, or attempt this dangerous crossing, including via the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy. The International Organisation for Migration's (IOM) publication 'Migration Flows to Europe – Quarterly Review, Q1 2018' states that there were 497 fatalities across the three Mediterranean routes (Central Route, Western Route from Morocco to Spain and Eastern Route from Turkey to Greece) from January to March 2018 compared with 803 for the same period last year. Despite this reduction, this shows the ongoing need to tackle the challenge of illegal migration and its consequences. The British Government will continue to engage proactively with the EU and internationally in pursuit of a whole of route approach to tacking this challenge.

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mediterranean Sea: Refugees
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) diplomatic support the Government is offering to humanitarian rescue missions offering help to migrants departing the Libyan coast.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 July 2018

​The British Government recognises the value of search and rescue operations undertaken by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Mediterranean but does not provide financial or diplomatic support. Since May 2015, UK naval and Border Force assets under EU Operation Sophia and Frontex operations have rescued over 31,000 people in the central Mediterranean and Aegean.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Global Britain Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the terms of reference are for the Global Britain Fund; and which projects have received funding from that fund.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s departmental policy programme budget is branded internally as the Global Britain Fund. The objectives and summaries of our foreign policy programmes are published on gov.uk.​

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Diplomatic Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on European relations with Russia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

​Russia will remain a major supplier of gas to Europe, whether or not Nord Stream 2 is built. However, the pipeline is controversial as it would give Russia greater dominance over the European energy market. We take seriously concerns raised by Ukraine and others. European energy issues are regularly discussed with partners, both in multilateral fora, such as the European Council, and in other bilateral dialogues. All new infrastructure developments should comply with EU internal market and competition rules and should not negatively impact security of supply. The EU's overall relations with Russia are determined by the Five Guiding Principles, as agreed in March 2016 and reconfirmed by Foreign Ministers at April's Foreign Affairs Council.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Global Britain Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the evaluation criteria are for measuring the effectiveness of projects funded by the Global Britain Fund.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) departmental policy programme budget is branded internally as the Global Britain Fund. Projects under this banner provide short-term support for small-scale tactical interventions to enable wider foreign policy objectives. Progress against FCO country or thematic strategies is evaluated at the mid and end of year points through the FCO’s internal business planning process. Performance of individual projects against their original objectives is reviewed annually and at a mid-year point. Additional information on the objectives of our foreign policy programmes is published on gov.uk. ​

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Council of Europe on the results of the recent Turkish elections.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

​We have regular discussions with our Council of Europe colleagues on a variety of subjects, including the current situation in Turkey. We will continue to work with the Council, including Turkey, to strengthen relations between Council members.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for human rights and the rule of law in Turkey of the re-election of President Erdogan.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

​Following the re-election of President Erdogan on 24 June, we continue to expect Turkey to ensure full adherence to its international human rights obligations and to the maintenance of the rule of law. We will continue to work in close partnership with Turkey, and to raise these important issues in our bilateral discussions.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkmenistan: Driving
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his counterpart in Turkmenistan on the ban on female drivers in that country; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

​The law in Turkmenistan does not prohibit women from driving. There have however been reports that women drivers are harassed, and allegations that it is difficult for women to obtain driving licences. Although it is difficult to verify these reports, our Embassy raised the issue with the Turkmen authorities in early July as part of a continuing dialogue on human rights. More widely, gender equality is a central theme of our work in Turkmenistan. The UK supports projects in Turkmenistan promoting the rights and empowerment of women, particularly in rural areas. We raise the rights of women in Turkmenistan through the EU also, including most recently at the EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue in Brussels on 21 June.

Q
(Bridgend)
Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to (a) Russia, (b) China, (c) Norway and (d) South Korea on establishing a Marine Protected Area in the Weddell Sea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

​The Weddell Sea Marine Protected Area proposal is currently being finalised by those European Union Member States who are also Members of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). International consultations are underway at official and technical levels with CCAMLR Members including those from Russia, China, Norway and the Republic of Korea. The final proposal will be submitted to CCAMLR in September, when we will work with other EU Members to consider the most appropriate level of lobbying to secure agreement for the proposal.

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: 04 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: State Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which locations President Trump will be visiting as part of his state visit.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018
Holding answer received on 09 July 2018

The President will visit Blenheim Palace, Winfield House, a Defence site, Chequers, Windsor Castle and Scotland as part of his working visit.

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