Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2017-19 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by 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, 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We do not publish the names of those on guest lists for state or guest of government visit banquets.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
(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
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: Overseas Aid
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: Overseas Aid
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.

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 (a) Ministers and (b) Parliamentarians are planned to have meetings with President Trump during the forthcoming visit to the UK.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018
Holding answer received on 09 July 2018

The main purpose of the working visit is for the President to hold official talks with the Prime Minister. A number of Cabinet Ministers will also be involved in programme elements. Details will be released in due course.

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: 04 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: State Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will ask the US Government to cover the cost to Thames Valley Police of policing any visit to Oxfordshire by the US President during his upcoming visit to the UK.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018
Holding answer received on 09 July 2018

This is a Guest of Government visit and as with all visits of this nature, associated costs will be published on the gov.uk website. We will of course work with the police to support the policing operation around President Trump's visit. We will consider any request for special grant funding we receive in line with our normal processes.

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: 05 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Serco
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many current contracts his Department has with Serco; and what the (a) value, (b) start date and (c) end date of each of those contracts is.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

The FCO has three current contracts with Serco Limited. Details of the contracts are in the table below.

Contract

Value

Start date

End date

1

£44,807

1 July 2018

29 July 2018

2

£19,090

10 May 2018

13 August 2018

3

No fixed value as it is based on the number/duration of calls. During FY 2018/19, the spend has been approx. £11,000 per month

1 March 2018

28 February 2021

Q
(North Durham)
[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 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Balkans: Conferences
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's preferred outcomes are for the Western Balkans Summit on 10 July.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 July 2018

This week's Western Balkans Summit will be a demonstration of the Government's longstanding commitment to the region and to European security. The Summit will focus on three areas:

First, regional security, where we hope to increase cooperation against common threats, including corruption and organised crime.

Second, economic stability, to improve the business environment, entrepreneurship, and digital skills.

Third, political cooperation, to help the region overcome legacy issues stemming from the conflicts of the 1990s.

Q
Asked by Laura Smith
(Crewe and Nantwich)
Asked on: 28 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterparts on the Antarctic Commission on the establishment of a marine protected area in the Weddell Sea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 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), and international consultations are underway at official and technical levels. The final proposal will be submitted to CCAMLR in September, when the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will seek support from his counterparts in other CCAMLR States, in support of other anticipated high level lobbying by the EU and other Member States.

Q
(Newcastle upon Tyne 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: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has taken steps to determine the reasons for his Department being ranked 40 of the 45 major aid donors in the Aid Transparency Index, published on 20 June 2018 by Publish What You Fund; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018
Holding answer received on 06 July 2018

As a major donor, the FCO has been included in the Aid Transparency Index since 2013. We were disappointed to receive a poor rating this year and are undertaking a review of FCO performance. In discussion with Publish What you Fund, and other Whitehall Departments, we have identified a number of areas for improvement including around the timeliness of publications and our programme documentation.

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: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Azerbaijan: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Azerbaijani Government on human rights abuses in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018

The Government raises human rights issues with Azerbaijan both bilaterally and multilaterally through the EU, OSCE (Organisation for Security Co-Operation in Europe) and the Council of Europe. The UK’s strong relationship with Azerbaijan facilitates this engagement and enables us to maintain a regular dialogue on human rights and other issues at the most senior levels. The Prime Minister recently raised human rights with President Aliyev in London on 26 April.

Q
Asked by Alex Sobel
(Leeds North West)
Asked on: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Rendition and Torture
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will commission an independent public inquiry into UK complicity in torture and rendition between 2003 and 2010.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer I gave on 2 July 2018, Official Report, House of Commons, volume 644, column 25.

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: 03 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 Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary for tackling climate change.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018
Holding answer received on 06 July 2018

The UK is a co-proponent for a proposal to designate a large-scale Marine Protected Area in the Weddell Sea, which will be submitted for consideration at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in October. While the Marine Protected Area will not tackle climate change, one of the objectives for the Weddell Sea Marine Protected Area proposal is to establish scientific reference areas to monitor the effects of climate change, fishing and other human activities and to study, in particular, representative, rare, unique and/or endemic examples of marine ecosystems, as well as biodiversity and habitats. The Foreign Secretary will engage with key CCAMLR members to seek their support for this proposal.

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: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will advocate the creation of the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary at an international level.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018
Holding answer received on 06 July 2018

The UK is already a leading advocate for the development and establishment of a network of Marine Protected Areas across the Southern Ocean. The UK secured agreement for the first Southern Ocean Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the South Orkney Islands Southern Shelf, which was designated by the international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) in 2009. We also strongly supported the Ross Sea region MPA, which was agreed in 2016. 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. Prior to this meeting, the Foreign Secretary will engage with key CCAMLR Members to seek their support. The UK is also playing a leading role in developing an MPA proposal for the Antarctic Peninsula.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2018 to Question 158199, on World War II: compensation, what estimate his Department made of the cost of answering that Question; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018

​It is not possible to estimate accurately the cost of answering this question due to the extensive searches that would be required to find the relevant information but I am confident that it would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2018 to Question 158199, on World War II: compensation, if he will set aside the advisory cost limit on answers to parliamentary questions and reply substantively to that Question.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018

​No.

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: 03 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mexico: Christianity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the Mexican Government on the protection of Mexican Christians from drug cartels and violence.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 July 2018

Organised crime affects vulnerable communities in Mexico, including indigenous populations and minority religious groups. Our work on this agenda in Mexico focuses on the underlying causes. To tackle impunity and corruption, we support the consolidation of Mexico's new justice and anti-corruption systems, as well as helping Mexico to develop a community policing model. Officials in the Embassy in Mexico City have regular contact with Civil Society Groups to help inform our understanding of the situation on the ground. Over the past four years, UK Ministers and officials at our Embassy in Mexico City have raised our human rights concerns with the Mexican Government.

Q
(Tooting)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 02 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Immigration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the US Administration on the US Government's family separation policy; and whether he plans to raise that issue with the US President during his upcoming visit to the UK.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 July 2018

The Prime Minister was clear that the separation of children from their parents at the border was disturbing and wrong. President Trump has now signed an Executive Order aimed at ending the separation policy.

Q
(Basingstoke)
[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: 29 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Belarus: LGBT People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to the Government of Belarus on the arrest and detention in prison of students in Minsk on 28 June 2018; what steps the Government is taking to promote the importance of equal rights for LGBT+ people internationally; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 July 2018

The UK is working through our Diplomatic Missions to monitor and raise human rights issues, including the promotion of LGBT+ rights, in host countries. The UK is also working with the UN, EU, OSCE, The Council of Europe and the Commonwealth to promote tolerance and non- discrimination against LGBT+ people. With regard to Belarus, our Embassy in Minsk is closely monitoring the situation of LGBT+ people, including this latest case of four Belarussian nationals arrested following a protest in support of LGBT+ rights outside the Belarus Ministry of Interior, and regularly raises this issue with the Belarusian authorities. The Embassy flew the Rainbow flag on 17 May to mark of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
Asked on: 25 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to seek to reform the Vienna Convention 1961.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

​Her Majesty's Government has no plans to seek to reform the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961.

Q
(Glasgow South West)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made representations to the Government of Turkey on the relocation to less accessible places of polling stations in predominantly Kurdish areas of Turkey; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

​In the run-up to the recent elections in Turkey we consistently encouraged the Turkish authorities to ensure that the process would be handled fairly, professionally and transparently. We note the concerns over mergers and relocations of polling stations expressed by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), following the ODIHR electoral monitoring mission, and urge Turkey to take these into consideration.

Q
(Glasgow South West)
Asked on: 26 June 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 extent to which the Turkish general election was conducted fairly, given that one of the candidates was compelled to conduct his campaign from prison.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

We actively supported the International Election Observation Mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We have noted the concerns set out in its preliminary conclusions, including regarding access to media, and we encourage Turkey to act on the monitoring mission’s findings. We have previously made clear the importance of ensuring any legal processes against politicians are fair, transparent and respectful of the rule of law.

Q
(Cardiff South and Penarth)
Asked on: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Import Duties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has summoned the US Ambassador to discuss the issue of US steel tariffs.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

There has been no such summons.

My Right Honourable Friends the Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, Secretary of State for International Trade and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have all raised US steel tariffs with the Administration, registering our disappointment and arguing that tariffs benefit no one in the long term. We will continue to work closely with the US and our EU partners to find a constructive resolution and to tackle the global challenge of steel overcapacity. We also continue to work with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on supporting industry through the product exemptions process which is being run by the US Department of Commerce.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 27 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the establishment of an international marine protected area in the Weddell Sea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

​Ocean protection issues have been a key point of discussion among Ministers at recent G7 and G20 meetings. 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), and international consultations are underway at official and technical levels. 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.

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 27 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Cypriot counterpart on peace talks and the reunification of Cyprus.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

As a strong supporter of a comprehensive and just Cyprus settlement based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, we regularly engage with the parties to the settlement talks at all levels. The Prime Minister discussed the issue with President Anastasiades in London on 17 April. I discussed the issue with Cypriot Foreign Minister Christodoulides on 20 April. The Foreign Secretary discussed settlement with Cypriot Foreign Minister Christodoulides on 7 March during his congratulatory call.

Q
Asked by Adam Holloway
(Gravesham)
Asked on: 27 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Romania: Administration of Justice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the European Court of Human Rights Case of Rezmive and Others v. Romania ECHR 137 (2017), what steps the Government is taking to encourage the Romanian Government to improve (a) prison and detention facilities attached to police stations and (b) such facilities holding British (i) citizens and (ii) residents.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

​Our Embassy in Bucharest and the Romanian Ministry of Justice are in regular contact about prison conditions in Romania. The UK and Romania have built a strong law enforcement relationship over the years through sustained engagement and cooperation. Embassy/Consular staff overseas are tasked to contact any new British National detainees as soon as possible after being informed about their arrest or detention in order to assess any potential assistance. Where there are concerns that British Nationals are not treated in line with internationally-accepted standards we will consider approaching local authorities. There are currently no British Nationals detained within the Romanian prison system.

Q
Asked by Adam Holloway
(Gravesham)
Asked on: 27 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Romania: Administration of Justice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Resolution on the intervention of the Romanian Intelligence Service in the Romanian Act of Justice, passed by the European Bars Federation on 19 May 2018, whether the Government has made an assessment of (a) the relationship that exists between the Romanian judiciary and intelligence service and (b) the effect of that relationship on British (i) citizens and (ii) residents in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

​The relationship between the Romanian judiciary and intelligence service is an internal matter for Romania. The Government does not comment on intelligence matters. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office engages regularly with the Romanian Government on justice issues.

Q
Asked by Helen Goodman
(Bishop Auckland)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 28 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Sandwich Islands: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the timetable is for completion of the review of the designation of the sea around the South Sandwich Islands; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 July 2018

​The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is undertaking the first 5 year review of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area. A review panel, comprising scientists, industry and environmental organisation representatives and independent members, are preparing a report, which will include advice and recommendations, which the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands expects to receive in final form by mid/late August.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 22 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made in establishing the largest marine sanctuaries in the southern oceans; and whether those marine sanctuaries remain one of the primary goals of his Department’s Blue Belt policy.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The UK is a leading advocate for marine protection across the Southern Ocean. The UK secured agreement for the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) designated by the international Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and we strongly supported the Ross Sea region MPA, which was agreed in 2016. 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. We are also playing a leading role in developing an MPA proposal for the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Blue Belt initiative is primarily focused on British waters around the UK Overseas Territories and we remain committed to protecting 4m square kilometres of UK waters by 2020. South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territory both fall within the CCAMLR Convention Area, and the UK therefore works within CCAMLR to underpin protection measures implemented within our own waters.

Q
(Ribble Valley)
Asked on: 22 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Trials: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has conducted of the ability of British citizens to receive a fair trial in (a) Poland, (b) Hungary, (c) Spain and (d) Italy.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

​Poland, Hungary, Spain and Italy are signatories to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), both of which guarantee the right to a fair trial.

Q
(Glasgow South 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: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department made to the Government of Turkey on ensuring that the election in that country was run fairly as a result of the remarks of President Erdogan reported on the BBC's Today programme of 18 June 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

​Prior to the elections, we had consistently encouraged Turkey to ensure that the process was carried out in a peaceful, democratic and transparent manner. The Prime Minister made this point when she met the Turkish President on 15 May. We are aware of the initial report of the OSCE electoral observation mission and encourage Turkey to engage with the OSCE in order to address the points raised.

Q
(Derbyshire Dales)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cuba: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to improve diplomatic ties with Cuba since the appointment of Miguel Diaz-Canel.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The transition to the first non-Castro President of Cuba in decades was an historic moment, which I welcomed publicly.

While it is still early in President Diaz-Canel's time in office, the UK has already begun to engage the new administration. The Head of Latin America Department visited Cuba shortly after President Diaz-Canel's appointment to attend Cuba's Tourism Fair, for which the UK was named 'Country of Honour', and for meetings with the Cuban Government and civil society. He was clear about the UK's desire to continue improving the relationship between the UK and Cuba.

We look forward to continuing our constructive engagement with President Diaz-Canel and his new ministerial team to promote trade and investment at the same time as maintaining a broad political dialogue, including on human rights and the need for reform.

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: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: UN Security Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government has been taking to fulfil the UK’s role as a penholder on Colombia in the UN Security Council.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

The UK has led work to deliver strong UN support to the peace process with the FARC over the past two years. This included drafting and leading negotiations on two resolutions (2261 & 2307 in 2016) to establish a UN Political Mission which played a key role in monitoring and verifying the ceasefire and overseeing the process of FARC demilitarisation. The UK also drafted and led negotiations on resolution 2366 (2017) which established a subsequent Political Mission to verify the FARC's reincorporation into civilian life; it was extended in October to monitor the three month ceasefire with the ELN. The UK will work closely with the new Colombian Government to ensure best possible UN support for the peace process.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 27 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2018 to Question 154658, on World War II: Compensation, for what reasons that information is not readily available.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

Discussions about war reparations took place over many years in a number of different fora. Relevant information is likely to be spread across different record collections. To find this information would require an extensive search and would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
(Bristol East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 27 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many full-time equivalent permanent staff in his Department are allocated to working on negotiations towards securing an agreement on the proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area in the Weddell Sea at the next annual meeting of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 02 July 2018

​Issues pertaining to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources are covered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Polar Regions Department, which currently has 6.5 full-time equivalent permanent staff. This team is also supported on the development of the Weddell Sea Marine Protection Area proposal by FCO Legal Advisers and scientific and technical experts from the British Antarctic Survey and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 21 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Sandwich Islands: Environmental Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to protect the natural environment in the South Sandwich Islands with a view to establishing a reserve around the islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 29 June 2018

The protection of the South Sandwich Islands is one of the key objectives of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area (MPA), which was designated in 2012. This sustainable-use MPA provides for a very small fishery of toothfish around the South Sandwich Islands, which is conducted in line with research protocols to support the scientific monitoring of the toothfish around the Territory.

There is also a notional catch allocation for krill, based on the scientific advice of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, but this has not been fished in over 25 years. The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is currently undertaking the first 5-year review of the MPA and will be considering scientifically-based recommendations on how to ensure the MPA continues to deliver its conservation objectives.

Q
Asked by Ben Bradley
(Mansfield)
Asked on: 21 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cyprus: Peace Negotiations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the re-unification of Cyprus.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 29 June 2018

As a strong supporter of a comprehensive and just Cyprus settlement based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, we regularly engage with the parties to the settlement talks at all levels. The Prime Minister discussed the issue with President Anastasiades in London on 17 April. I discussed the issue with Cypriot Foreign Minister Christodoulides on 20 April. The British Ambassador to Turkey discussed the issue with senior Turkish officials in mid-June. The Foreign Secretary last met with the parties at the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana, Switzerland on 27 June 2017.

Q
Asked by Ben Lake
(Ceredigion)
Asked on: 20 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the representatives of the US administration on that country's zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

​As the Prime Minister said on 20 June, the reports and pictures we have seen in the past couple of days are deeply disturbing and wrong. We do not apply similar measures here and will never do so. Later on 20 June, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at ending the separation policy.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 20 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of (a) which Islamist groups were involved in Turkey’s intervention in Afrin and (b) the level of collaboration between those groups and the Turkish armed forces.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

​The UK is not involved in the Turkish-led operation in Afrin and we cannot provide comprehensive information about it. We understand that a number of different Syrian armed groups were involved in the operation with Turkish support including air support and artillery strikes.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 20 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Iraq: Military Intervention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of (a) Turkey’s military role in northern Iraq; and whether Turkish armed forces have used British military equipment in northern Iraq in 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

We have been closely following Turkey's Operation Tigris Shield, announced in March in order to combat PKK fighters in the Turkey-Iraq border regions. The PKK remains a significant threat to Turkey and is an internationally proscribed terrorist organisation.

UK arms exports are subject to export controls. We have no specific information concerning whether UK-licensed items are in use in Turkish military operations in northern Iraq, but all decisions in respect of the original licences have been taken based on the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria and according to the latest information available. We keep our approach to all countries under continual review.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 20 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the main policy priority is for his Department for 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office published an updated Single Departmental Plan on 23 May 2018. This set out the Department's main policy objectives and how it will achieve them. Single Departmental Plans will be revised annually to reflect new priorities or changes in responsibilities.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 21 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Chechnya: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the authorities in Chechnya on (a) freedom of religion and (b) respect for human rights.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

​Both the Foreign Secretary and I raised our concerns about the human rights situation in Russia, with an emphasis on Chechnya, during our respective visits to Moscow in December. The government has not had any direct discussions with the Chechen authorities.

We provide financial and moral support to NGOs and civil society across Russia at a time when they are facing growing pressure. We currently provide funding to a number of NGOs working to counter violent extremism and promote human rights and the rule of law in North Caucasus. The Foreign Secretary received a briefing from these organisations as part of his visit to Moscow on 22 December.

Q
Asked by Kate Hollern
(Blackburn)
[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: 25 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Italy: Ethnic Groups
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Italian Government on concerns about its potential census of Roma people.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

The British Government is aware of reports of calls for a census of Roma people in Italy. The British Government opposes discrimination in all forms, as well as actions that might damage ethnic and community relations. The Rome people are one of the most disadvantaged minorities, and we support efforts at a European level to encourage Member States to take effective action to improve the situation of their Roma communities. We therefore urge all members of the international community to adhere to international law and human rights standards.

Q
Asked by Mark Tami
(Alyn and Deeside)
[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: 25 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Foreign Affairs Council
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when he withdrew from the European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on 25 June 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 June 2018

I attended the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 25 June. This meeting took place in Luxembourg. I made a Written Ministerial Statement about the meeting on 21 June (HCWS 785).

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands marine protected area is legally designated as a fully no-take area.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA, established to deliver defined conservation outcomes, covers 86% of the maritime zone. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 14% of the maritime zone.

There are a number of legal provisions in place for the effective management and conservation of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA including: no-take zones from the coast to 12 nautical miles around Shag Rocks and South Georgia and 3 nautical miles from the South Sandwich Islands coast covering 2%; an additional pelagic no-take zone extending 12 nautical miles South Sandwich Islands coast; total ban on commercial bottom trawling; depth restrictions on fishing for the Marine Stewardship Council certified toothfish fishery protecting 92% of the sea floor habitats; and prohibitions on krill fishing during the summer breeding period (1 November to 31 March).

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many kilometres of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands marine protected area are legally designated as fully no-take areas.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA, established to deliver defined conservation outcomes, covers 1.074 million km2. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 166,207 km2 of the maritime zone.

There are a number of legal provisions in place for the effective management and conservation of the South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA. There are approximately 20,500 km2 of full no-take zones; 18,000 km2 of additional pelagic no-take zones; prohibitions of long-line fishing across 989,000 km2; and a complete ban on commercial bottom trawling.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands marine protected area is permanently closed to krill fishing.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA, which covers 86% of the maritime zone, permits sustainable, highly precautionary fishing activities to take place. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 14% of the maritime zone.

There are permanent pelagic no-take zone around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, from the coast out to 12 nautical miles. Through the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, krill fishing is restricted around South Sandwich Islands to 15% of the scientifically determined total allowable catch for the region, deemed highly precautionary. In addition to these international measures domestic regulations also prohibit fishing during the breeding period of the krill-eating penguins, seals and other natural predators and natural exclusion by sea ice in winter further restricts human activity.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many kilometres of the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands marine protected area is permanently closed to krill fishing.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands sustainable use MPA, established to deliver defined conservation outcomes, covers 1.074 million km2. No commercial fishing licences are granted across the remaining 166,207 km2 of the maritime zone.

The permanent pelagic no-take zone extends 12 nautical miles around South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands covering 38,500 km2. In addition to the highly precautionary international regulations through the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, there are seasonal closures during the breeding period of the krill-eating penguins, seals and other natural predators (1 November to 31 March) across the entire 1.074 million km2 MPA and natural exclusion by sea ice in winter further restricts human activity.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Sandwich Islands: Fisheries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether any commercial fishing for krill has taken place within the South Sandwich Islands Exclusive Economic Zone in the last 25 years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands sustainable - use Marine Protected Area (MPA) Permits, highly precautionary fishing activity. No commercial fishing for Antarctic krill has been undertaken in the last 25 years.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Sandwich Islands: Biodiversity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of biodiversity in the South Sandwich Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The South Sandwich Islands are remote and as a consequence data-poor in comparison to other Subantarctic regions. There is also a very real threat to the ecology of the South Sandwich Islands from volcanism, with recent eruptions from the volcanoes on Zavodovski, Saunders and Bristol.

Recent scientific work indicates that unlike penguin colonies on the Antarctic Peninsula, the penguin colonies on the South Sandwich Islands are stable. To further enhance our understanding of the South Sandwich Islands, the UK's Blue Belt initiative has funded a scientific expedition to visit the South Sandwich Islands in late January 2019, allowing information to be collected on a variety of topics, including on krill and on the benthic communities that inhabit the seabed. UK scientists are also leading work within international scientific research programmes to improve our understanding of this and the wider Southern Ocean region.

Q
Asked by Angela Smith
(Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands: Fisheries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands' total annual revenues came from commercial fishing operations licensed to operate within the (a) South Georgia and (b) South Sandwich Islands Exclusive Economic Zone in the last three years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 June 2018

The financial accounts of Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands are freely available on their website.

For 2016, the latest year for which accounts have been published, the total annual revenue from the sale of commercial fishing activities in South Georgia was 73% of the (£5,586k) and for South Sandwich Islands 1.8% (£134K). These figures do not include associated economic activity such as harbour fees and non-revenue outcomes such as scientific research.

Q
Asked by Kate Hollern
(Blackburn)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the US administration on reuniting families separated as a result of that administration's policies on immigration.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 June 2018

​As the Prime Minister said on 20 June, the reports and pictures we have seen in the past couple of days are deeply disturbing and wrong. We do not apply similar measures here and will never do so. Later on 20 June, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at ending the separation policy.

Q
Asked by Diana Johnson
(Kingston upon Hull North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Human Rights
Commons
What recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation in Nicaragua.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 June 2018
The Government remains deeply concerned by the reported human rights abuses and excessive use of force by security services. We condemn violence against peaceful protesters, particularly the use of live ammunition. The Nicaraguan Government must respect human rights and take responsibility for ending the violence.
Q
(Brighton, Pavilion)
Asked on: 18 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Sanctions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government (a) supports and (b) is taking action to align UK sanctions policy with the EU sanctions policy in respect of the Russian Government’s annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol which was renewed on 18 June 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The UK fully supported the renewal of Crimea and Sevastopol economic sanctions, in line with its firm stance of non-recognition of Russian control of the peninsula. The UK currently implements sanctions through the EU, including those on Crimea, and has been at the forefront of sanctions against Russia since 2014. The UK remains fully committed to our obligations and commitments as an EU Member State.

Q
Asked by Jim Shannon
(Strangford)
Asked on: 18 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Currencies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has had discussions with the Turkish Government on the fall in the value of the Turkish lira.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​We have regular discussions with the Turkish government and the Central Bank of Turkey over economic and fiscal issues as part of our normal day to day diplomatic engagement. This includes fluctuations in currency values.

Q
Asked by Philip Davies
(Shipley)
Asked on: 18 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 May 2018 to Question 146171 on procurement, what the daily rate of pay is of each of those contractors who have been employed by his Department for five years or more.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The FCO has employed six contractors for five years or more. Some are paid hourly rates and not daily rates. On the basis that 7.5 hours is a work day, the daily rates for the six contractors range from £94.42 per day up to £353 per day.

Q
(Putney)
[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 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Visits Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans for overseas travel on departmental business on 25-28 June, 2018; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​It has been the policy of successive governments not to publicise itemised details of Ministers' forthcoming travel plans.

Q
(Birmingham, Hall Green)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make urgent representations to the US Administration on the separation of children from their parents in immigration detention in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​As the Prime Minister said on 20 June, the reports and pictures we have seen in the past couple of days are deeply disturbing and wrong. We do not apply similar measures here and will never do so. Later on 20 June, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at ending the separation policy.

Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress has been made on encouraging other members of the Antarctic Commission to accept an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary in the Weddell Sea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

The UK is a proactive member of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and is committed to establishing a representative network of marine protected areas around Antarctica. The UK is a co-proponent of the proposal to establish a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Weddell Sea, which was submitted by the European Union and its Member States to the annual meeting of the CCAMLR in 2016. UK scientists continue to lead on the development of the proposal, chairing an expert workshop earlier in the year. The finalised proposal will be tabled for adoption at the next annual CCAMLR meeting in October 2018. The UK will continue to work with other CCAMLR Members to secure agreement to the Weddell Sea MPA proposal, and further MPA proposals around East Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 19 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Official Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) protocols, (b) agreements and (c) understandings are in place on visits by Ministers of other countries to the UK for official purposes.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

There are no formal agreements in place. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has responsibility for organising inward visits by senior Ministers from other countries at the invitation of Her Majesty's Government. Visit programmes are discussed and agreed with the visiting delegation on a case-by-case basis.

Q
Asked by Thelma Walker
(Colne Valley)
[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 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with his US counterpart on the detention of unaccompanied children on the USA-Mexico border.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

As the Prime Minister said on 20 June, the reports and pictures we have seen in the past couple of days are deeply disturbing and wrong. We do not apply similar measures here and will never do so. Later on 20 June, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at ending the separation policy.

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: 20 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Undocumented Migrants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the US policy of separating families of arriving immigrants.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 June 2018

​As the Prime Minister said on 20 June, the reports and pictures we have seen in the past couple of days are deeply disturbing and wrong. We do not apply similar measures here and will never do so. Later on 20 June, President Trump signed an Executive Order aimed at ending the separation policy.

Q
Asked by Ronnie Cowan
(Inverclyde)
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Environment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government plans to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 June 2018

The UK is an active member of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) and 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, which was the first MPA agreed by CCAMLR in 2009. The UK also strongly supported the designation of the Ross Sea region MPA, agreed in 2016. The UK is a co-proponent of the proposals to establish MPAs in the Weddell Sea and East Antarctica, and will be strongly advocating their adoption at the 37th CCAMLR meeting in October 2018.

Q
Asked by Ann Clwyd
(Cynon Valley)
Asked on: 14 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in Colombia on the recent disappearance of four Afro-Colombian leaders from communities along the Naya River in Colombia and ongoing threats to and displacements of communities in that area.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 21 June 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office understands that 4 local leaders from communities along the Naya river were kidnapped, three in April and one in May. The criminal group responsible has reportedly issued a video claiming the victims have been killed.

I am 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. The Naya region has seen an increase in fighting in recent weeks between illegal armed groups, including dissident former members of the FARC. It is vital that the security and protection of civilians is ensured and the British Ambassador in Bogota raised these concerns with the Colombian Defence Minister on 11 May.

The UK also raised concerns about violence against human rights defenders during the Universal Periodic Review of Colombia's human rights on 10 May in Geneva. During the review, Colombia also accepted UK recommendations to improve protective measures for human rights defenders.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 18 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War II: Compensation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on the total amount of compensation paid by the German Government to the UK Government as reparations for World War II.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 21 June 2018

This information is not readily available and would incur disproportionate cost to retrieve.

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 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Ilois
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2018 to Question 14886, on participation of Chagossians in scientific and conservation work in the British Indian Ocean Territory, whether this was before or after the 2015 FCO consultation; and in which years the visits took place.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 21 June 2018

Seven people of Chagossian heritage visited the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), prior to the start of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s BIOT Resettlement Policy Review consultation in 2015. One of these people visited as part of a science expedition in 2012, the other six visited as part of the Connect Chagos project, one in 2012, one in 2013, one in 2014 and three in 2015. One further person of Chagossian heritage visited BIOT as part of the Connect Chagos project in 2016, after the consultation had ended.

Q
Asked by Jared O'Mara
(Sheffield, Hallam)
Asked on: 12 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has made to the Nicaraguan Government on recent protests in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 June 2018

The UK has been very clear with the Nicaraguan Government that they must take responsibility for ending the current violence and protecting human rights, particularly the rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

These messages have been delivered in two meetings between the Head of Latin America Department and the Presidential Advisor on International Relations, and in a public statement by the British Ambassador to Nicaragua on 5 June that was featured by the Nicaraguan press. We also raised our concerns at the Organisation of American States General Assembly on 5 June in Washington where the UK is a Permanent Observer.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and raise our concerns with the Nicaraguan Government at every opportunity.

Q
Asked by Royston Smith
(Southampton, Itchen)
Asked on: 11 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Germany: Thalidomide
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his German counterpart on compensation for Thalidomide victims from the German Government.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 June 2018

I have followed this issue closely and appreciate its importance. I have met representatives of the Thalidomide Trust on several occasions, most recently in November 2017. I subsequently raised Thalidomide with the then German Ambassador in January 2018.

The British Government has not been involved directly in talks with the German Government on compensation for British survivors of Thalidomide but wishes to assist where it can. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has helped the Trust make its own representations to the German Government and the Trust held meetings with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs in September and December 2017. FCO officials remain in close contact with the Thalidomide Trust and will continue to pursue discussions with the German Government in an effort to make progress on securing successful compensation for those eligible.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 13 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Uzbekistan: Religious Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Uzbekistan authorities on the respect of freedom of religion and respect for minorities in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 June 2018

​During Uzbekistan's Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council on 9 May we asked the government of Uzbekistan what action they were taking to address restrictions on religious groups other than officially sanctioned religions. We welcome the recent adoption by the Uzbek government of an action plan on freedom of religion or belief which includes measures to simplify registration procedures for religious groups and minorities and facilitate expression of religion or belief.

Q
Asked by Steve McCabe
(Birmingham, Selly Oak)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty Review Conference
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what actions the Government agreed to at the 2018 Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 June 2018

​No decisions were taken at this year’s Preparatory Comittee for the 2020 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The British Government remains committed to working with a wide range of states on how we can tackle the challenges that we face on non-proliferation and disarmament, and on how to enable access to the peaceful use of nuclear technology. We will continue to press for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament, and increased transparency and trust between Nuclear Weapons States in order to develop global conditions in which nuclear armed states feel confident enough to relinquish their weapons. In particular, the British Government will continue its leading role in resolving the considerable technical and procedural challenges involved in nuclear disarmament verification.

Q
Asked by Rushanara Ali
(Bethnal Green and Bow)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary of HMRC of 23 May and 5 June 2018 to the Treasury Committee, whether he had seen prior to the publication of the estimated figures of £17 billion to £20 billion for the cost of the maximum facilitation model in a letter to that Committee on 5 June 2018 (a) submissions and (b) briefing papers on those figures; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of those estimates.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 June 2018

The analysis to support the estimated £17-20 billion figure was published in a letter by the Chief Executive of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to the Treasury Select Committee on 5 June, 2018.

The Government is considering two approaches to a future customs relationship with the EU: a 'new customs partnership' and a 'highly streamlined customs arrangement'. Ongoing analysis continues to support the development of both models.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 01 June 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Ilois
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many Chagossians have been invited to participate in scientific expeditions to the Chagos Archipelago in 2018 to date.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 June 2018

Although we encourage scientific expeditions to include participants of Chagossian heritage, no Chagossians have been invited to participate in scientific expeditions to the British Indian Ocean Territory in 2018 to date.

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