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.

Show
by:
Find by:
Close

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.
Showing 1-100 out of 1310
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
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: 20 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Foreign Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Italian counterpart on that country's potential involvement with China's Belt and Road Initiative.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 March 2019

​The UK Government has discussed Italy’s potential involvement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative at official level with Italian counterparts. As part of our future relationship, the UK is committed to working closely with Italy and other international partners on China.

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: 20 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Kazakhstan: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with the Government of Kazakhstan on the recent political transition in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 March 2019

​President Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned as President of Kazakhstan on 19 March. The Speaker of the Upper House, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, was sworn in as his successor the following day, in accordance with the constitution. The Foreign Secretary has not yet had the opportunity to discuss the change in leadership with the Government of Kazakhstan. However, I have been in contact with Kazakhstan's Ambassador in London, who emphasised that we will see continuity in the partnership between our two countries. I will be discussing this development further with him this week. The Government remains committed to maintaining and developing a strong relationship with Kazakhstan, which plays an important strategic role in Central Asia.

Q
Asked by Clive Efford
(Eltham)
Asked on: 18 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Administration of Justice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to make representations to his counterpart in Colombia on approving the statutory law that will give the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in that country the provisions it needs to guarantee truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition in accordance with the 2016 peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the revolutionary armed forces of Colombia - people's army; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2019

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace continues to function under currently existing legal provisions despite the recent objections of President Duque to certain articles of the law. However, we remain concerned that a delay in finalising the legal underpinning of the transitional justice system risks undermining its authority and reducing cooperation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Our Ambassador in Bogota informed President Duque of Colombia of the UK position on the Special Jurisdiction for Peace on 11 March during a briefing for the international community. He emphasised the importance of finalising the legal underpinning for the transitional justice system as quickly as possible to mitigate the risk of undermining its authority and reducing cooperation with the FARC. The UK permanent representative to the UN met Colombian Foreign Minister Holmes Trujillo on 15 March to reiterate the importance of a speedy process the positive signal that accelerating the implementation of the Peace Agreement would send.

Q
Asked by Clive Efford
(Eltham)
Asked on: 18 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Colombia: Administration of Justice
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if we will make representations to the Government of Colombia on ensuring that the Special Jurisdiction for Peace is consolidated in law in that country in accordance with the terms of the 2016 peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the revolutionary armed forces of Colombia - people's army; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2019

The Special Jurisdiction for Peace continues to function under currently existing legal provisions despite the recent objections of President Duque to certain articles of the law. However, we remain concerned that a delay in finalising the legal underpinning of the transitional justice system risks undermining its authority and reducing cooperation of theRevolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Our Ambassador in Bogota informed President Duque of Colombia of the UK position on the Special Jurisdiction for Peace on 11 March during a briefing for the international community. He emphasised the importance of finalising the legal underpinning for the transitional justice system as quickly as possible to mitigate the risk of undermining its authority and reducing cooperation with the FARC. The UK permanent representative to the UN met Colombian Foreign Minister Holmes Trujillo on 15 March to reiterate the importance of a speedy process and the positive signal that accelerating the implementation of the Peace Agreement would send.

Q
Asked by Neil O'Brien
(Harborough)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 19 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Treaties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will list the treaties from which the UK has unilaterally withdrawn since 1 January 1988.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2019

​The UK has unilaterally withdrawn from 52 treaties since 1 January 1988. All of these have been multilateral treaties.

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: 19 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Chechnya: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Russian counterpart on human rights in Chechnya; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2019

We are deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Chechnya, and have raised this in several public statements, as well as bilaterally with Russia. The UK, joined by 31 other countries, delivered a statement to the UN Human Rights Council on the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya on 18 March. I also raised this issue directly with my Russian counterpart, First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov, in the margins of the Munich Security Conference in February. On 19 March, the Foreign Secretary publicly called for the release of Chechen human rights activist Oyub Titiev, following his sentencing to four years in prison. In November 2018, the UK was one of 16 countries to invoke the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Moscow Mechanism to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Chechnya. We will continue to urge Russia to follow the recommendations outlined in the report of the Moscow Mechanism.

Q
Asked by Tulip Siddiq
(Hampstead and Kilburn)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 19 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Chevening
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many times he has used Chevening House for (a) Departmental and (b) personal uses since he took office; and what the duration was of each of those occasions.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2019

Chevening House is not funded by the Government and is the responsibility of its trustees. The Prime Minister decides who occupies the building. It is currently shared by the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and the Secretary of State for International Trade.

Since taking office, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has used Chevening House for departmental use once. The Secretary of State is a protected person, therefore for security reasons we do not disclose his whereabouts during his personal time.

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: 19 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Guyana: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Guyana on the need to call elections within the constitutional time limit following the loss of a no confidence vote in December 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 March 2019

Guyana's Court of Appeal is expected to rule on this matter shortly. The UK Government continues to encourage both parties to work together to reach a resolution which meets Guyana's constitutional provisions. The British High Commissioner to Guyana has on several occasions stressed the importance of respecting the Constitution, most recently during a speech at the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 18 March.

Q
Asked by Mike Kane
(Wythenshawe and Sale East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 15 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ilois: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 March 2019 to Question 230807 on Ilois Finance, how many visits £312,899.37 has financed, and how many Chagossians have to date (a) expressed interest but not yet participated and (b) participated in those visits from (i) Seychelles, (ii) Mauritius, (iii) the UK and (iv) other countries.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 March 2019

76 Chagossians have participated in five Heritage Visits to date which have been funded by the Support Package. This breaks down by country:

Seychelles: 7
Mauritius: 18
UK: 51
Other countries: 0

There have been 156 initial expressions of interest who have not participated in a Heritage Visit. Not all went onto complete questionnaires, and of those who did, not all met the requirements to participate in a Heritage Visit.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what instructions he has issued to the Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 25 February 2019.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

No instructions have been issued. The UK Government is considering the details of the Advisory Opinion carefully.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what ordinances the Commissioner for the British Indian Ocean Territory has issued in 2019; and what additional legislative proposals are planned following the February 2019 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

The Commissioner has issued no Ordinances in 2019 and currently has no plans for any additional legislation following the February 2019 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Mauritius
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to have discussions with his counterpart in Mauritius before a decision is made on scientific work in the (a) Chagos Islands and (c) exclusive economic zone declared by Mauritius around those islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

The UK consistently reiterates its willingness to discuss scientific work in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) with Mauritius. The BIOT Marine Protected Area (MPA) is highly valued by scientists from many countries who consider it a global reference site for marine conservation in an ocean which is heavily overfished. Ministers are committed to further consultation with Mauritius about the establishment of the MPA in order to have due regard to its rights and interests, as directed by the Arbitral Tribunal of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Implementation of the Tribunal’s Award started with a series of bilateral talks, the latest of which took place in August 2016.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Visits Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the (a) British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner and (b) his staff have to visit the Chagos Archipelago in 2019.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

Two officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and an official from the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) Administration have already visited BIOT this year. There are tentative plans for the British Indian Ocean Territory Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to visit BIOT in May and for other FCO and BIOT Administration officials to visit during the course of the year.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Land
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made any disposals of land under section 14 of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

The Commissioner has made no disposal of land under section 14 of the British Indian Ocean Territory Constitution Order 2004.

Q
Asked by Alan Brown
(Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Land
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what criteria he has to assess before making a decision on the disposal of land under section 14 of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

Before making a decision on the disposal of land under section 14 of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 20014, the Commissioner would be obliged to:

  • Consider and comply with any law for the time being in force in the Territory. This would include the Acquisition of Land for Public Purposes Ordinance 1983, which confirms and declares that all land in the Territory is Crown Land. Before any disposition of land could lawfully be made, this Ordinance would require amendment or repeal. Such amendment or repeal would be subject to the disallowance procedure provided by section 11 of the Order;
  • Confirm and comply with any instructions provided by a Secretary of State; and
  • Ensure that any disposition of land could otherwise lawfully be granted in accordance with the Order.
Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Defence
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government plans to use the Outer Islands of the Chagos Archipelago for defence purposes.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

The British Indian Ocean Territory contributes significantly to regional and global security, principally through the joint UK-US defence facility on Diego Garcia. The whole of the Territory is available for defence purposes, including the outer islands.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 12 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
North Korea: Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking with his counterpart in the US Administration on the denuclearisation of North Korea.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

​I refer my Right Honourable Friend to the answer given by my Right Honourable Friend the Minister for Asia and the Pacific to the Right Honourable Member for Islington South and Finsbury on 11 March 2019, UIN 228597.

Q
(Twickenham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent conversations he has had with his French counterpart on that country's visa plans for UK business travellers.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

​As this is a matter for the Home Secretary, I have not discussed this with my French colleagues.

Grouped Questions: 232507
Q
(Twickenham)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
France: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on plans that country has for a centralised biometric database when processing UK business travellers.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

​As this is a matter for the Home Secretary, I have not discussed this with my French colleagues.

Grouped Questions: 232506
Q
(Redditch)
Asked on: 15 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish the legal position on Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 March 2019

In the event of an unforeseen and fundamental change in circumstances, international law accepts that a state can withdraw from or terminate a treaty. This principle of customary law is reflected in Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
[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 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Private Education
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many children had their private school fees paid by his Department at (a) schools in the UK and (b) schools overseas in the most recent year for which figures are available.
A
Corrected answer by: Sir Alan Duncan
Corrected on: 18 March 2019
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 03 December 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

In Financial Year 2016/2017, the FCO funded the private school fees for the following number of children:

(a) At schools in the UK: 541 393

(b) At schools overseas: 1074

A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 03 December 2018

In Financial Year 2016/2017, the FCO funded the private school fees for the following number of children:

(a) At schools in the UK: 541 393

(b) At schools overseas: 1074

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the effect on security and democracy of the appointment of unelected governors who are members of the AKP in towns and cities in Turkey with predominant Kurdish populations.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 March 2019

​The decision to temporarily appoint state trustees in local municipalities is a decision for the Turkish Government. Nevertheless, we expect Turkey to undertake any legal processes against locally elected representatives fairly, transparently and with full respect for the rule of law. It is important for Turkish democracy, as it would be for any country, that the results of upcoming local elections accurately reflect the wishes of the Turkish people.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 08 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure a free and fair election in Turkey.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 March 2019

We have consistently encouraged Turkey to invite international election monitors to the forthcoming local elections. We are pleased that a delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe has been invited to do so. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have engaged with the head of the delegation in advance of his visit. We will continue to urge Turkey to act upon the recommendations made by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe following the Presidential elections in June 2018, and will consider any further recommendations the Council of Europe may produce following the local elections.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 06 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Diplomatic Service
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, where the funding will come from for the proposed expansion of the UK’s diplomatic network; over what period that expansion will take place; and whether that funding will be taken from elsewhere in his departmental budget.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

The funding for the expansion of the diplomatic network is coming from £90 million of additional resource over two years agreed by the Treasury to support the Government’s Global Britain ambitions. The expansion is planned to cover a period beginning in 2018 and ending in 2020. This funding will not be taken from elsewhere in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s budget. Expansion beyond March 2020 is subject to the forthcoming spending review.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 06 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Oyub Titiev
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Russian counterpart on the continued detention of Oyub Titiev.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

We remain concerned by the continued detention of Oyub Titiev, Head of the Chechnya division of Non-Governmental organisation Memorial. The UK most recently raised this issue in January 2019, when we joined other EU member states in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in calling for Mr Titiev’s immediate release. In November 2018, the UK was one of 16 participating States to invoke the OSCE Moscow Mechanism to investigate human rights abuses in Chechnya. We continue to prioritise the promotion and protection of human rights in Russia, and will continue to make our concerns clear in bilateral interactions at all levels, where appropriate.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 06 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: State Visits
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will guarantee that President Bolsonaro of Brazil will not be accorded the honour of a state visit to the UK during his term in office because of his record of hate speech against members of the LGBT community.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

There are currently no plans for a State Visit by President Bolsonaro. The UK is a strong champion of LGBT rights and our view on LGBT phobia is clear. We continue to work closely with Brazil, making clear where we disagree.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 06 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cuba: Equal Rights Coalition
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he will formally invite Cuba to join the Equal Rights Coalition during the Government’s term as co-chair of the coalition, in light of the recent progress the Cuban Government has made on LGBT rights.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

The UK is looking forward to taking over as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition (ERC) in June, partnering with Argentina, and to helping shape the ERC's work to advance global LGBT equality. We will celebrate advancements in the rights of LGBT people around the world, including in Cuba where the newly adopted constitution includes protection against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and which allows for a future debate and potentially legislation legalising same sex marriage. We are committed to the expansion of the current 40 strong ERC membership and will consider plans for new members when we take over as co-chair from Canada.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 06 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the safety of (a) British embassy staff and (b) other British nationals resident in Venezuela.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

We regularly review the safety of British Embassy staff and embassy contingency plans. This planning enables the embassy to respond to situations such as the recent blackout in Venezuela. I have been in direct communication personally with our Ambassador.

We maintain contact with British Nationals in Venezuela through a Consular Warden network and by ensuring that information is disseminated via the embassy's website. We also ensure that Travel Advice is regularly reviewed, most recently on 8 March, and published on the GOV.UK website.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cuba: Marriage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Cuban counterpart on the legalisation of same-sex marriage in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

During the Cuban President's visit to the UK in November 2018, I discussed the matter directly with the Cuban Foreign Minister. The UK continues to raise the issue of the rights of the LGBT population with the Cuban government both as part of its bilateral dialogue and through the EU Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement.

Q
Asked by Peter Dowd
(Bootle)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Public Consultation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many consultations by his Department (a) are open, (b) are closed awaiting a Government response and (c) have been initiated since 2016.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

All public government consultations are uploaded onto GOV.UK where they can be filtered by department, status and date. The Foreign Office has published four documents since 2016. For all of these the consultation processes have been concluded. These were: (a) Public consultation on the United Kingdom's future legal framework for imposing and implementing sanctions (2 August 2017) (published jointly with HMT and DIT); (b) Consultation on the UK's Foreign Travel Advice service (25 April 2017); (c) Defence and security innovation: proposed accelerator (11 August 2016) (published jointly with DfT, Home Office, MOD, Dstl, CDE and BEIS); and (d) BIOT Resettlement Policy Review consultation (21 January 2016). There are no consultations pending.

Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with his Ukrainian counterparts on potential foreign interference in that country's forthcoming presidential election.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 March 2019

The UK remains concerned over persistent attempts by Russia to undermine political stability in Ukraine, including through disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks. The Foreign Secretary and I continue to discuss these issues with international partners, including our Ukrainian counterparts. UK officials also continue to work closely with the Ukrainian Government to help strengthen Ukraine's resilience against Russia's actions. We are providing substantial assistance to strengthen Ukraine's democracy and institutions, including countering potential outside interference in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Q
Asked by Mike Kane
(Wythenshawe and Sale East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ilois: Finance
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 October 2018 to Question 170339 on Ilois Finance, how much of the £40 million fund for Chagossians has been allocated to date; to whom that funding has been allocated; and for what purposes that money has been allocated.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 March 2019

​£312,899.37 of the £40 million fund has been spent to date, largely on implementing an expanded programme of Heritage Visits for Chagossians to the British Indian Ocean Territory. Officials are continuing work to identify areas for broader support package funding. The bulk of the funding will be allocated once we have a clear assessment of need, and an agreed mechanism for effectively and fairly disbursing funds in collaboration with the Chagossian communities in the UK, Seychelles and Mauritius.

Q
Asked by Mike Kane
(Wythenshawe and Sale East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Environment Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Chagos Conservation Trust has returned any unspent funds that were provided by his Department for the purposes of the Chagossian Outreach Programme; and how much in total (a) was and (b) remains to be provided for that programme.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 March 2019

The Chagos Environmental Outreach Project (later named Connect Chagos) ran from March 2012 to December 2015. In total just over £330,000 was provided by the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration to the Chagos Conservation Trust and Zoological Society for London for the delivery of the programme. At the end of the programme, an underspend of £16,745 was reported. The British Indian Ocean Territory Administration is in discussions with the Chagos Conservation Trust about options for the use of this underspend. No additional funding remains to be provided.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 05 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Military Intervention
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 possibility of military intervention in Venezuela by outside forces.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2019

​We discuss a wide range of issues with the US, including Venezuela, and it was a key focus when the Foreign Secretary visited Washington in January. Those discussions have not touched on possible military intervention.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 05 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Slovenia: Foreign Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has plans to issue a formal apology to the Government of Slovenia for describing that country as a former Soviet vassal state.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2019

​The Foreign Secretary’s point was that Slovenia has carved an impressive path since independence, that we are proud to work together as partners, and we look forward to continuing that partnership post Brexit. He had a positive meeting with President Pahor on 27 February, during his recent visit to the UK, covering this as well other topics, including Brexit, bilateral links and our future relationship.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 08 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Malta: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the validity of the findings of the Council of Europe Venice Commission Opinion on Constitutional Arrangements and Separation of Powers and the Independence of the Judiciary and Law Enforcement in Malta.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2019

​I welcome the Government of Malta's engagement with rapporteurs from the Council of Europe's Venice Commission who visited Malta in November 2018, and Malta's acceptance of the Commission's findings. We encourage Prime Minister Muscat's Government to draw on the Venice Commission's offer of advice and expertise, as Europe's chief advisory body on constitutional law, to implement their recommendations. The UK stands ready to assist Malta to advance its law reform agenda in any way we can.

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

Named Day

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

Asked on: 08 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Official Hospitality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 7 February 2019 to Question 215122 on Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Official Hospitality, for what purpose his Department organised the (a) Patient Safety Conference Reception and the (b) St David's Day Reception.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 13 March 2019

Government Hospitality organised the Patient Safety Conference reception, hosted by the Secretary of State for Health on behalf of the Department of Health who also paid for the event. Similarly, Protocol Directorate was engaged to organise the St David's Day reception hosted by the First Minister on behalf of the Welsh Government, who also paid for the reception.

Q
(East Devon)
Asked on: 04 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Honours
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) steps his Department has taken, (b) guidance his Department has issued and (c) discussions his Department has had in the last 12 months on the rules and regulations surrounding the award of honours by British overseas territories.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2019

​Nominations for citizens of the British Overseas Territories (BOTs) are submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Royal, Ceremonial and Honours Unit for consideration on the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Honours List. The rules and regulations are the same for nominations from the Overseas Territories as they are for all other honours nominations and there has been no new guidance or discussions about honours for the Overseas Territories in the last year.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 04 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UK Relations with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic status the European Union will have to the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2019

​Once the UK leaves the EU, the rules governing the EU's representation in the UK, and the UK's representation in the EU, will be based on those governing the UK's and the EU's relationship with third countries. In relation to the EU's status in the UK, it is normal for the EU to conclude an agreement with a third country to underpin its status in that country. It will be important to have in place a framework that allows for the smooth conduct of relations.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Daphne Caruana Galizia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government of Malta on establishing a public inquiry to determine what the Maltese authorities (a) knew and (b) ought to have known of the real and immediate risk to the life of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2019

​I share the right honourable member's concern to see justice in the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The decision to establish a public inquiry is, nevertheless, a matter for the Maltese Government, who have said that a parliamentary inquiry could take place once the ongoing judicial process has been concluded. The UK is committed to the defence of the freedom of expression and the Foreign Secretary has launched a Media Freedom campaign on this very issue, and is keen to work with all international partners to support the safety and protection of journalists worldwide.

Q
(Edinburgh East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Germany: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterpart in the German Government on reports of UK residents who allegedly collaborated with the Nazi regime during the second world war receiving pensions under the war victims' legislation of that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2019

None. Pension payments made by the German government are a matter for them.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Guided Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to NATO on the Turkish Government's procurement of the Russian S-400 Missile Defence System.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2019

​We have raised our concerns with the NATO Secretary General and discussed this issue with a number of Allies. The Secretary General has made clear that while defence equipment procurement decisions are for nations, it is very important that our respective systems are interoperable. We share this view.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 07 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Guided Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Turkish Government on their purchase of the Russian S-400 Missile Defence System.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 12 March 2019

​We have repeatedly raised our concerns about the proposed Turkish purchase of S-400 missiles, at Ministerial and official level. Turkey is a valued NATO ally, on the front line of some of the UK and the Alliance's most difficult security challenges. Defence equipment procurement decisions are for nations, but all NATO allies have committed to reducing their dependence on Russian-sourced legacy military equipment. The proposed purchase would pose real challenges for the interoperability of NATO systems.

Q
Asked by Fiona Bruce
(Congleton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 05 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Human Rights and Journalism
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Russian government to end impunity and conduct prompt and effective investigations into all threats and incidents of violence against human rights defenders and journalists.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 March 2019

We continue to call on Russia to respect freedom of speech and expression, which are enshrined in the Russian constitution. This includes releasing those who are imprisoned for their journalism. We remain deeply concerned by the state of impunity for perpetrators of attacks on journalists in Russia.​

Q
Asked by Fiona Bruce
(Congleton)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 05 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Press Freedom
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will raise press freedom in all bilateral discussions with Russia and call for the (a) immediate and unconditional release of all journalists and bloggers jailed and (b) an end to violence against journalists in Russia.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 March 2019

Impunity for attacks on journalists and human rights defenders in Russia remains deeply concerning. We continue to urge the Russian authorities to fully investigate these cases, and ensure the safety of all human rights activists and journalists.

Q
Asked by Kevin Brennan
(Cardiff 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: 05 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abdullah Öcalan
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Turkish counterpart on the detention of Abdullah Ocalan.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 11 March 2019

British Embassy officials discussed the imprisonment of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan with Turkish officials in mid-January. They also covered the hunger strikes in support of Abdullah Öcalan by Kurdish prisoners, including Leyla Guven MP. We are pleased to note that she was recently released from prison. We expect the Turkish authorities to ensure that prisoners' human rights are observed, including access to medical treatment.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 27 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gibraltar
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of granting representation in the House of Commons to representatives of Gibraltar.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2019

The Government of Gibraltar has not made any representations to Her Majesty's Government to propose representation in the House of Commons. We believe the fundamentals of our constitutional relationship are right but we are open to dialogue on any proposals put forward by the Government of Gibraltar.

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: 04 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
North Korea: USA
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 recent summit between the leaders of the US and North Korea in Vietnam.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2019

We work closely with the US on a wide range of issues, including the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Foreign Secretary discussed a range of issues with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier this week, including the DPRK summit.

Q
(Mid Sussex)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 04 March 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: INF Treaty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the weaponry owned by Russia is that has resulted in that country being in violation of its INF Treaty obligations; and what the location is of that weaponry.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 07 March 2019

​On 4 December 2018, NATO Allies declared that Russia has developed and fielded the 9M729 missile system, violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and posing significant risks to Euro-Atlantic security. We fully support the assessment that Russia's covert testing, production and fielding of this ground-launched cruise missile system is a material breach of the INF Treaty.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 27 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the Government's policy is on UK nationals running for office in the Overseas Territories.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 March 2019

Local governments of Overseas Territories (OTs) set their own rules on who can vote or can hold office in the OTs. In their report entitled "Global Britain and the British Overseas Territories: Resetting the relationship", the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) recommended that we initiate a consultation with the elected governments of the OTs to agree a plan to ensure that there is a pathway for all resident UK and British Overseas Territory citizens to be able to vote and hold elected office in territory. We will be considering this and its other recommendations and responding to the FAC in due course.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 27 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether it remains Government policy to relinquish control of the Chagos Islands after they are no longer required for defence purposes.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 06 March 2019

We reiterate our longstanding commitment to cede sovereignty when we no longer need the territory for defence purposes.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 19 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cybercrime: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to enhance co-operation with the US on cybersecurity after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 05 March 2019

The UK already has a strong and deep partnership with the United States on cyber security. Our cooperation covers the full range of cyber security issues, including joint action to expose irresponsible state behaviour in cyberspace which we have jointly attributed over the past year. We also work closely in a range of international forums such as the G7, G20, NATO and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and this will be particularly important in the lead up to the United Nation’s discussions surrounding responsible state behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security. In addition to this strong partnership, the UK is strengthening its bilateral relationship with a number of European partners which is designed to ensure the UK remains a thought leader on cyber security issues.

Q
(Islington South and Finsbury)
Asked on: 22 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
World War I and World War II: Veterans
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department holds information on war service gratuity payments made at the end of the First and Second World Wars to service personnel drawn from the British dominions and colonies.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 March 2019

Following searches, no information relating to war service gratuity payments made to service personnel drawn from the British dominions and colonies at the end of the First and Second World Wars can be found.

Publicly available files held at The National Archives that originated from a number of government departments (including the Treasury, War Office, Foreign and Colonial Offices) contain potentially relevant information about First and Second World War service gratuity payments.

Q
Asked by Patrick Grady
(Glasgow North)
Asked on: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Third Sector
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on civil society organisations in Nicaragua of the closure of the Information Center and Advisory Services in that country; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 March 2019

We strongly condemn the persecution of human rights organisations in Nicaragua, including the steps taken by the authorities to revoke the legal status of human rights Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The UK regularly raises our concerns with the Nicaraguan Government. During meetings on 5-7 and 25 February, our Ambassador urged the Nicaraguan Government to reinstate NGO registration and to allow international bodies, such as the UN and the Organization of American States, back to continue their vital work.

Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Saudi Arabia: Arms Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with his counterpart in the German Government on the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 04 March 2019

The United Kingdom and Germany have a close relationship which allows us to have continual discussions on a broad range of matters at all levels. The Foreign Secretary discussed, amongst other issues, arms sales to Saudi Arabia with his German counterpart, Foreign Minister Maas, on 1 and 20 February. He has also written to Mr Maas on this issue. All UK export licence applications for Saudi Arabia are assessed rigorously against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing criteria.

Q
Asked by Ann Clwyd
(Cynon Valley)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Dams
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether it is his Department's policy to support the creation of an international independent body to oversee dams holding mining waste as a result of the collapse of the Corrego do Feijao and Samarco dams in Brazil.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 01 March 2019

The dam collapse is now the subject of investigation by the Brazilian authorities. As the Prime Minister stated to the House on 30 January, we are in touch with the local authorities and stand ready to provide whatever support we can. The UK Government works internationally with governments and business to ensure the highest environmental, safety and labour standards.

Q
(Sevenoaks)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Transport
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with counterparts in the EU to support improvements to the (a) road, (b) rail and (c) ports infrastructure in south eastern Ukraine.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 01 March 2019

FCO Ministers have discussed support for south eastern Ukraine with EU counterparts on a number of occasions. I did so most recently at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 18 February. My officials have also discussed the provision of such support with the European External Action Service and European Commission in Brussels, and with the EU Delegation in Kyiv. In January, the EU led a scoping visit to south eastern Ukraine, including the city of Mariupol, to assess what further actions might be required, including to improve infrastructure. As part of on-going donor coordination efforts, UK officials frequently discuss with other international donors and the Ukrainian government how best to support Ukraine's infrastructure needs.

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: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Governments of (a) Colombia and (b) Brazil on the political instability in Venezuela; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2019

​I discussed Venezuela with the Colombian Foreign Minister on two occasions: in New York at the UN Security Council on 26 January, and in Ottawa at the Lima Group meeting on 4 February. I also discussed Venezuela with the Brazilian Foreign Minister at the same Ottawa Lima Group meeting.

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: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nicaragua: Demonstrations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Government of Nicaragua on the repression and criminalisation of social protest in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2019

​We remain deeply concerned about reports of human rights violations in Nicaragua and are alarmed by the use of terrorism charges to criminalise protests. Our Ambassador to Nicaragua raised these issues with the Nicaraguan Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs during a visit to Managua between 5 and 7 February, and separately in a meeting of 25 February in San Jose, Costa Rica.

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: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the 25 February 2019 ICJ ruling on Chagos Islands sovereignty.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2019

On 25 February the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. An Advisory Opinion is not a judgment. We are considering the detail carefully, including consulting cross-Whitehall and with our overseas posts. The defence facilities on the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) help to protect people here in Britain and around the world from terrorist threats, organised crime and piracy. The UK has a longstanding commitment to cede sovereignty over BIOT when we no longer need the territory to help keep us and others safe.

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: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the UK ambassador to the UN on the 25 February 2019 ICJ ruling on the sovereignty of the Chagos Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2019

On 25 February the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. An Advisory Opinion is not a judgment. We are considering the detail carefully, including consulting cross-Whitehall and with our overseas posts. The defence facilities on the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) help to protect people here in Britain and around the world from terrorist threats, organised crime and piracy. The UK has a longstanding commitment to cede sovereignty over BIOT when we no longer need the territory to help keep us and others safe

Q
(Hornsey and Wood Green)
Asked on: 25 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Indian Ocean Territory: Sovereignty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the Government plans to respond to the International Court of Justice ruling on the sovereignty of the Chagos Islands; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 28 February 2019

On 25 February the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued an Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965. An Advisory Opinion is not a judgment. We are considering the detail carefully, including consulting cross-Whitehall and with our overseas posts. The defence facilities on the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) help to protect people here in Britain and around the world from terrorist threats, organised crime and piracy. The UK has a longstanding commitment to cede sovereignty over BIOT when we no longer need the territory to help keep us and others safe.

Q
Asked by Julian Sturdy
(York Outer)
Asked on: 19 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Antarctic: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he will take to advance proposals to create an Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary in the Weddell Sea, following the failure to reach an agreement on such proposals at the meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources in autumn 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2019

The UK remains engaged with a range of developments to help secure early adoption of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Weddell Sea. British scientists are participating in scientific expeditions to the Weddell Sea during this Antarctic season, and in a series of international scientific workshops and meetings, to further develop the scientific case for the MPA proposal. The UK is also continuing to engage with counterparts from other Member States in the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to find a way to move forward on this, and other outstanding, MPA proposals.

Q
(Sevenoaks)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what financial assistance the Government plans to allocate to Ukraine in each of the next three years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2019

The UK is a major donor to Ukraine. In 2019/20 the British Government will provide more than £35 million in support for Ukraine, which includes assistance to combat corruption and support reform as well as vital humanitarian support and peacebuilding activities. The allocations are made on an annual funding cycle.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Elections
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has plans to support the imposition of independent electoral observers in the upcoming Turkish Parliamentary elections.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2019

​We have urged Turkey to invite election monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe to observe the upcoming local elections, and to act upon the recommendations made by those bodies following the Presidential elections in June 2018.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 20 February 2019
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 potential for (a) electoral fraud and (b) the violation of opposition parties by the authorities in Turkey during the upcoming parliamentary elections in that country; and if he will discuss those electoral issues with his counterpart in Turkey.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 27 February 2019

​We have urged Turkey to act upon the recommendations made by Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe following the Presidential elections in June 2018, so that this can be applied to the forthcoming local elections. We have consistently encouraged the Turkish authorities to ensure that the electoral process is conducted fairly, professionally and transparently. It is important for Turkish democracy that the local elections accurately reflect the wishes of the Turkish people.

Q
Asked by Andrew Lewer
(Northampton South)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Money Laundering
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government is taking steps to identify (a) individuals and (b) institutions in the UK which have (i) facilitated and (ii) benefited from the movement of stolen and laundered Venezuelan funds through the UK; and which partners the Government is working with to (A) identify and (B) freeze all monies and assets in the UK that are Maduro regime pending transfer of those monies to the control of the government of interim President Juan Guaido.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

The EU agreed targeted sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, against 18 individuals with senior positions in the Maduro regime. The UK is discussing with EU partners the possibility of increasing the number of individuals subject to sanctions.

In addition, the Government is currently considering what further bilateral measures might be implemented to increase pressure on the Maduro regime.

Q
(Brighton, Kemptown)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Central European University
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Hungarian Government and (b) his counterparts in the EU on the future of the Central European University in Budapest.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

The Foreign Secretary has not discussed this matter with his Hungarian or EU counterparts. However, both the former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, and our Embassy in Budapest have discussed it with the Hungarian Government. If and when we have concerns, we raise them privately with our Hungarian counterparts, as you do with friends and allies.

Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Three Seas Initiative
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department plans to provide to the Three Seas Initiative.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

We support initiatives to strengthen and diversify the European energy market and welcome the efforts of the participants in the Three Seas Initiative to promote cooperation and development across the region. We have strong relationships with the participating countries and will continue to discuss opportunities for mutual cooperation with them, particularly on issues of such strategic importance, including through the Three Seas Initiative.

Grouped Questions: 222709 | 222710 | 222711 | 222712
Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Three Seas Initiative
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to hold discussions with the Three Seas Initiative to explore future avenues for mutual cooperation.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

We support initiatives to strengthen and diversify the European energy market and welcome the efforts of the participants in the Three Seas Initiative to promote cooperation and development across the region. We have strong relationships with the participating countries and will continue to discuss opportunities for mutual cooperation with them, particularly on issues of such strategic importance, including through the Three Seas Initiative.

Grouped Questions: 222708 | 222710 | 222711 | 222712
Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Three Seas Initiative
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 UK becoming an observer to the Three Seas Initiative.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

We support initiatives to strengthen and diversify the European energy market and welcome the efforts of the participants in the Three Seas Initiative to promote cooperation and development across the region. We have strong relationships with the participating countries and will continue to discuss opportunities for mutual cooperation with them, particularly on issues of such strategic importance, including through the Three Seas Initiative.

Grouped Questions: 222708 | 222709 | 222711 | 222712
Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Three Seas Initiative
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to support enhancing the diversity of energy supply in Europe through the Three Seas Initiative.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

We support initiatives to strengthen and diversify the European energy market and welcome the efforts of the participants in the Three Seas Initiative to promote cooperation and development across the region. We have strong relationships with the participating countries and will continue to discuss opportunities for mutual cooperation with them, particularly on issues of such strategic importance, including through the Three Seas Initiative.

Grouped Questions: 222708 | 222709 | 222710 | 222712
Q
(Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Asked on: 18 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Three Seas Initiative
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential of the Three Seas Initiative to enhance regional cooperation and development.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

We support initiatives to strengthen and diversify the European energy market and welcome the efforts of the participants in the Three Seas Initiative to promote cooperation and development across the region. We have strong relationships with the participating countries and will continue to discuss opportunities for mutual cooperation with them, particularly on issues of such strategic importance, including through the Three Seas Initiative.

Grouped Questions: 222708 | 222709 | 222710 | 222711
Q
(Oxford 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: 21 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Procurement
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many suppliers have been excluded from bidding for contracts as a result of not complying with the criteria set out in the guidance entitled, Procurement policy note 03/14: promoting tax compliance, in each year since 2014.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

Authority to enter into contracts is devolved to directorates and departments within the FCO in London as well as the global network of overseas missions. Relevant data to answer this question is not held centrally and could not be collated without disproportionate cost.

Q
(Derby North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Abdullah Öcalan
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Turkish counterpart on ending the isolation of Abdullah Ocalan in line with International and Turkish domestic law and bring an end to hunger strikes in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

British Embassy officials discussed the imprisonment of Abdullah Öcalan with Turkish officials in mid-January. They also covered the hunger strikes in support of Abdullah Öcalan by Kurdish prisoners, including Leyla Guven MP. We are pleased to note that she was recently released from prison. We expect the Turkish authorities to ensure that prisoners' human rights are observed, including access to medical treatment.

Q
(North West Leicestershire)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 26 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Presidents
Commons
What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the status of the presidency in Venezuela.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

On 24 January, the Foreign Secretary discussed Venezuela with Vice-President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington, and further discussed Venezuela at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Bucharest on 30 January.

On 26 January, I represented the UK at the UN Security Council where I discussed Venezuela with European and regional counterparts. On 4 Feburary, I went to Ottawa for the meeting of Lima Group countries, where I discussed Venezuela with regional and Foreign Ministers.

Q
Asked by Andrew Lewer
(Northampton 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: 26 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Venezuela: Presidents
Commons
What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the status of the presidency in Venezuela.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 February 2019

On 24 January, the Foreign Secretary discussed Venezuela with Vice-President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo in Washington, and further discussed Venezuela at a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Bucharest on 30 January.

On 26 January, I represented the UK at the UN Security Council where I discussed Venezuela with European and regional counterparts. On 4 Feburary, I went to Ottawa for the meeting of Lima Group countries, where I discussed Venezuela with regional Foreign Ministers.

Q
(Ribble Valley)
Asked on: 15 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Consultants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much his Department spent on external consultants in (a) 2017 and (b) 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 February 2019

Details of the FCO’s spending on Consultancy for each financial year is published in the FCO Annual Report and Accounts, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications.

Consultants provide expert advice relating to strategy, structure, management or operations of the FCO, when in-house skills are not available.

Q
(Haltemprice and Howden)
Asked on: 15 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Diplomatic Relations
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to expand the UK’s diplomatic network after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 February 2019

The Foreign Secretary announced on 31 October 2018 the biggest strengthening of the diplomatic network in a generation. We will open 14 new and upgraded Posts, including nine Commonwealth Posts, and we are creating around 1,000 new staff positions, to be in place by the end of 2020.

Q
Asked by Mike Kane
(Wythenshawe and Sale East)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 19 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Apprentices
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proportion of the staff employed by his Department are apprentices.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 February 2019

As of 31 January 2019, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) employed 99 apprentices, of whom 57 work for our Trading Fund, FCO Services. This is 1.69 per cent (an increase of 0.34 per cent from January 2018) of the total of FCO and FCO Services UK-based staff worldwide, and 2.59 per cent (an increase of 0.59 per cent from January 2018) of our staff working in the UK. We expect a further 22 staff to enrol on an apprenticeship by 31 March 2019.

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: 20 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Brazil: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in Brazil on the future (a) human rights and (b) welfare of indigenous groups in that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 25 February 2019

​I met Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo on 4 February and we discussed a range of topics. Our Embassy in Brasilia frequently engages with the Brazilian Government on human rights matters, including issues affecting indigenous peoples. The UK is proud to defend its values and will not shy away from expressing where we disagree. The UK's view is clear: human rights must be respected.

Q
(Coventry South)
Asked on: 13 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Staff: British Nationality
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of British civil servants who (a) have been based in Brussels in each year since 2010 and (b) will remain based in Brussels after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 February 2019

The UK has three diplomatic Missions in Brussels: the bilateral Embassy to Belgium; the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union (UKRep); and the UK Delegation to NATO. All employ British civil servants, alongside locally recruited staff. The civil servants normally serve fixed tour lengths of between 1-4 years. In addition, there are British civil servants working in Brussels at the Scottish Government EU Office, the Welsh Government EU Office, for Border Force at Gare du Midi Eurostar, and on secondment to the EU Institutions, NATO and the World Customs Organisation.

The table below provides the number of FCO UK-based staff in Brussels each year since 2013. These statistics do not include locally recruited staff, staff in Brussels funded by other Government Departments, nor the Scottish or Welsh Governments. Up until 1st April 2015, Department of Trade staff (former UKTI) were included in FCO staff headcount. We are unable to provide headcount information prior to 2013 as the FCO revised its approach to recording staff headcount in December 2012, adopting a new methodology in line with Office for National Statistics guidelines.

Reference Month

FCO UK-based staff in Brussels

January 2019

c.150

March 2018

c.120

March 2017

c.100

March 2016

c.100

March 2015

c.100

March 2014

c.100

March 2013

c.100

After the UK leaves the EU, the UK will retain its three diplomatic Missions in Brussels, although UKRep will become a third country Mission to the EU. We expect their overall headcount to increase marginally. This reflects both our desire for a future close relationship with the EU and our increased focus on the bilateral relationship with Belgium when we are no longer an EU Member State.

We do not expect to have any secondees in the EU Institutions immediately after the UK leaves the EU but, in line with the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and UK, we will seek to agree arrangements for the secondment of experts where appropriate and in our mutual interest. In January 2010 the UK had 92 seconded national experts to the EU; we currently have 36 in Brussels, plus a further 10 who are taking part in the National Experts in Professional Training programme. There are also currently 7 British civil servants seconded to NATO and one to the World Customs Organisation (WCO), all based in Brussels.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 14 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Public Records
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many records his Department holds that have reached the time limit for their transfer to the National Archives but have not been transferred.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 22 February 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not able to calculate the number of records it holds which are dated 31 December 1994 or earlier without incurring disproportionate cost. However, the FCO does publish information about its archive holdings and record release programme at www.gov.uk/archive-records. This includes an inventory with estimates of FCO archive holdings at file (rather than record) level as well the date ranges of our archive record collections. An updated version of the FCO archive inventory will be published this year.

The FCO is committed to compliance with the Public Records Act. Any files which have passed their review date and which are still held by the FCO are retained in compliance with the Act under a legal instrument.

Q
Asked by Nigel Dodds
(Belfast North)
Asked on: 14 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Macedonia: NATO
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts on the proposed accession of North Macedonia to NATO.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 21 February 2019

The UK was delighted to sign North Macedonia's NATO Accession Protocol on 6 February. This is an important step towards strengthening Euro-Atlantic security and we look forward to welcoming North Macedonia as a full member of the North Atlantic alliance soon. I regularly discuss (now) North Macedonia, including NATO membership, with my counterparts, most recently at the Munich Security Conference last weekend, where I was also able personally to congratulate North Macedonia's Prime Minister Zaev.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 14 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Daphne Caruana Galizia
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Prime Minister raised the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia at her meeting with Prime Minister Muscat of Malta on 11 February 2019.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 21 February 2019

The UK Government has closely followed the case of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia since the assassination on 16 October 2017. I raised the matter with the Maltese Foreign Minister, Carmelo Abela in April last year and the Home Secretary sought an update on the progress of the criminal investigation from the Maltese Interior Minister during a meeting held in London last November. As the judicial process runs its course, our High Commission in Valletta remains in close touch with the Maltese authorities and stands ready to consider any request for assistance.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 12 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ascension Island: Marine Protected Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to allocate adequate funding to enable Ascension Island to be established as a marine protected area.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 February 2019

The Government committed £1.2 million of funding to Ascension to undertake the scientific research to underpin their designation of a Marine Protected Area. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to work closely with our delivery partners to prepare the case for ongoing long-term support to those Territories who have participated in the Blue Belt programme, including Ascension.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 13 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: INF Treaty
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 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty since the US has suspended its obligations to that treaty.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 February 2019

We have been discussing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the US for a number of years as part of our continuous dialogue on security issues. The US also initiated a series of meetings on INF with close Allies in 2017 and 2018, during which we discussed the US approach and exchanged detailed information on the Russian violation and how we might best achieve our shared policy objectives.

We support the US decision to suspend its participation in the INF Treaty and start the treaty's formal withdrawal process. A situation whereby the US was fully abiding by the INF Treaty and Russia was not, was not sustainable. Following the US announcement, NATO issued a statement declaring full support for US action and urging Russia to use the six month withdrawal period to return to full and verifiable compliance to preserve the INF Treaty.

Q
(Kensington)
Asked on: 13 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: INF Treaty
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Russian Government on the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty since the US suspended its obligations to that treaty.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 February 2019

NATO Allies first expressed concerns about Russian non-compliance with its INF Treaty obligations in 2014. In the last two years, there has been an intensification of Allied activity to encourage Russia to return to compliance.

We have not discussed INF directly with Russia since the US, and subsequently Russia, suspended their participation in the Treaty. However, we and our Allies stated our shared concerns during the NATO-Russia Council in late January.

Q
(Exeter)
Asked on: 13 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has plans to seek continued UK participation in the Common Foreign and Security Policy after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 February 2019

The UK’s departure from the EU will enable us to achieve a fully independent foreign policy, not constrained by the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. The Political Declaration sets out our intentions – not to participate in the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy - but to develop an ambitious future partnership that will enable the UK, the EU and our European allies to cooperate closely on foreign and security policy issues, where in our mutual interest.

Q
(Exeter)
Asked on: 13 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of the UK's potential ability to influence European foreign policy after the UK has left the EU and no longer attends meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 February 2019

UK and EU partners will continue to face the same threats and share the same priorities. The UK will leave the formal structures of EU Common Foreign and Security Policy, including meetings of the Foreign Affairs Council, but the Political Declaration sets out a new model of cooperation that will enable us to continue to cooperate closely on foreign and security policy issues, where in our mutual interest. This will provide mutual influence between independent actors. We hear repeatedly from our EU partners that they want to cooperate closely with us, a desire shared by this Government. We will continue to do this bilaterally, as well as through European and international fora, and multilateral bodies, during and after the Implementation Period.

Q
(Exeter)
Asked on: 13 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sanctions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the extent of potential UK influence on EU sanctions policy after the UK has left the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 20 February 2019

UK and EU partners will continue to face the same threats, for which sanctions will remain a valuable and effective tool. The UK is a global leader on sanctions and has always played a leading role in the proposal, design and negotiation of EU sanctions. The Political Declaration, setting out the long-term vision for our partnership, envisages continued close UK-EU consultation and cooperation on the development of sanctions where appropriate, while enabling both to pursue independent sanctions policies. During and after the Implementation Period, we will maintain close cooperation and work closely with the EU and EU Member States, in order to ensure that sanctions are designed and implemented effectively. Under the planned Exit arrangements, the UK will be able to impose sanctions using the powers provided by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

Q
(Cleethorpes)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Macedonia: NATO
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the UK will ratify the Republic of North Macedonia's accession to NATO; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 February 2019

We welcome the signature of the NATO Accession Protocol for Macedonia, which took place on 6 February in Brussels. We will shortly be taking forward the procedure for UK ratification. This will involve laying the Accession Protocol before Parliament for 21 sitting days' scrutiny under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. Once this process is complete, and provided there are no objections, the UK can proceed to the next stage by depositing its instrument of ratification. I will make a formal written statement to Parliament regarding the new constitutional name - the Republic of North Macedonia.

Q
Asked by Jon Trickett
(Hemsworth)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Consultants
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the value of contracts held by his Department with (a) Deloitte, (b) Slaughter and May and (c) Mott MacDonald is in the last two years.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 February 2019

Authority to enter into contracts is devolved to directorates and departments within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as well as the global network of overseas missions. To provide the requested data would incur disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 11 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which EU agencies his Department plans to seek continued membership of after the UK has left the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 February 2019

During the Implementation Period, the terms of the UK's participation in EU agencies and bodies will be as set out in Article 128 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Following our exit from the European Union, we are committed to maintaining a close and collaborative relationship with the EU. Our future partnership is a matter for the next phase of negotiations and we look forward to constructive discussions with the EU.

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: 14 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Ukraine: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the current levels of political stability in Ukraine; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 February 2019

The UK remains concerned over persistent attempts by Russia to undermine political stability in Ukraine. Russia's malign intent is evident in their support for separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, the detention and mistreatment of civilians in Crimea, the recent firing on Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea and their growing economic stranglehold on the Ukrainian ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk. This is reinforced by Russian disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks designed to create a false narrative of Ukraine as a failing state.

The reality is that Ukraine has made enormous progress towards realising its potential as a fully democratic, modern and prosperous state. The UK is providing substantial assistance to strengthen Ukraine's democracy and institutions as part of its reform programme. This includes specific support to help Ukraine counter potential outside interference in presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019. The best answer to malign Russian activity remains a well-functioning, democratic and stable Ukraine.

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: 14 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Italy: Asylum
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with his (a) Italian counterpart and (b) EU counterparts on the Italian government's asylum policy.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 February 2019

As part of our bilateral relationship with Italy we regularly discuss asylum policy at Ministerial and official level. The UK Government continues to discuss the issue of asylum with the EU.

Q
(Hyndburn)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 14 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Cuba: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what advice his Department has given to HRH the Prince of Wales on raising human rights abuses in Cuba with representatives of the Cuban Government on his forthcoming visit to that country.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 19 February 2019

The UK government regularly raises human rights issues as part of our dialogue with the Cuban government. We believe the best way to encourage progress on human rights in Cuba is through dialogue and practical diplomacy, which is best enabled through engagement. This is reflected in our policy of engagement with Cuba, in which TRHs' trip will play an important role.

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: 12 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Visas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the (a) direct and (b) indirect effect on the ability of British citizens of Somali heritage to obtain a US visa of the US Executive Order 13769.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 18 February 2019

At the time of the US Executive Order, the Government sought an assurance from the US Government that the order would not affect British passport holders. We are pleased this assurance was achieved. US immigration policy more broadly is a matter for the US Government, just as immigration policy here is set by our Government. Our travel advice sets out our understanding of entry requirements currently in place.

Q
Asked by Gareth Thomas
(Harrow West)
Asked on: 07 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many officials from his Department have been seconded from their primary role to make preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a deal; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 15 February 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has created approximately 550 EU Exit roles in the UK and overseas to work on a range of issues including Deal and No Deal scenarios and EU Exit planning. We have used these roles to strengthen our diplomatic network in the UK and across Europe so that we are better able to represent and promote British interests and engage with our European partners in support of a successful EU Exit. In addition, other staff are also engaged on EU Exit planning as part of their wider responsibilities. The FCO continues to keep its EU Exit staffing levels under constant review to ensure that they are appropriate to deliver the Government's objectives.

Q
(Newport 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: 11 February 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Turkey: Kurds
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Turkish counterparts on the detention and imprisonment of Kurdish politicians.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 14 February 2019

​We have raised the detention of People's Democratic Party (HDP) Members of Parliament, most recently in January regarding the case of Ms Leyla Guven MP. We regularly discuss these issues with the HDP itself. We expect Turkey, as a modern democracy, to undertake legal processes against MPs fairly, transparently and with full respect for the rule of law. We will continue to monitor both the imprisionment of HDP MPs, and the wider Kurdish issue closely.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-100 out of 1310
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100