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 2019 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Treasury
Money Laundering
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on preventing banks in the UK being used as depositories in the laundering of state funds from other nations.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 14 January 2020

HM Treasury is responsible for the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (‘the Regulations’). The Regulations set out the high-level requirements on regulated firms to combat money laundering and ensure that key professionals identify their customers and understand the purpose behind transactions, including the source of funds. The Regulations are designed to combat illicit finance, while minimising the burden on legitimate customers.

The Regulations require firms in scope of the regulations to have in place appropriate risk-management systems and procedures to determine whether a customer (or their beneficial owner) is a Politically Exposed Person (PEP), family member of a PEP or close associate of a PEP.

PEPs are individuals entrusted with a prominent public function. This definition includes but is not limited to heads of state, heads of government, ministers and deputy or assistant ministers, members of parliament or of similar legislative bodies.

PEPs can pose a high money laundering risk because they may be able to abuse their position for private gain. Not all PEPs, however, pose the same money laundering risk; there is a hierarchy depending on country of origin and rank, from middle tier officials to individuals with significant or absolute control over the levers, patronage and resources in a given area. For example, the Financial Conduct Authority’s guidance states that UK PEPs should be considered as lower risk.

Where a firm has identified that a customer (or their beneficial owner) is a PEP, family member or close associate of a PEP, it must conduct an appropriate range of Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) measures. When carrying out EDD on PEPs, firms must take adequate measures to establish the source of wealth and source of funds which are involved in the proposed transaction or business relationship, get approval from senior management to establish or continue a relationship with that person and carry out enhanced monitoring of the business relationship.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to vary the EU Settlement Scheme to guarantee EU citizens' right to remain in the UK.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 14 January 2020

The EU Settlement Scheme already provides resident EU citizens with the UK immigration status they will need to continue living here after the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020. The status granted under the scheme will guarantee them the same rights to work, study and access benefits and services as they have now.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: Windrush Generation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications there have been to the Windrush Scheme; what proportion of those applications resulted in documentation being supplied free of charge; and how many people have received British citizenship free of charge under the Windrush Scheme.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 14 January 2020

The Home Secretary provides the Home Affairs Select Committee with updates on the work of the department in connection with Windrush. This includes information on decisions made by the Taskforce under the Windrush Scheme. The correspondence can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/correspondence-on-the-work-of-the-home-office-windrush

The published Windrush guidance confirms what documentation is provided to the applicant dependent on the individual’s circumstances, and that there is no charge for an application under the Windrush Scheme. The guidance can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/807384/windrush-scheme-v3.0-ext.pdf

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Freedom of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the Answer of 3 September 2019 to Question 286275 on Scotland Office: Freedom of Information, if he will take steps to ensure that all future responses to Freedom of Information requests are published.
A
Answered by: Mr Alister Jack
Answered on: 14 January 2020

There is no obligation to publish responses to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Where requests relate to matters of wider public interest we consider publishing the responses on a case by case basis.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Freedom of Information
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2018 to Question 136969 on Scotland Office: Freedom of Information, if he will publish his Department's review of its practices on publication of Freedom of Information responses.
A
Answered by: Mr Alister Jack
Answered on: 14 January 2020

In 2018, the Office considered carefully whether or not it should retrospectively seek to publish online all of the responses to FOI requests since August 2014. We concluded that we did not have the resources to do so, and that the benefit to the public would not be proportionate to the cost.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Social Media
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much his Department spent on social media advertising in each month since June 2019; and on which platforms that money was spent.
A
Answered by: Mr Alister Jack
Answered on: 14 January 2020

The Department spent the following on social media advertising since June 2019:

2019-2020

Twitter

Facebook & Instagram

Total Expenditure

June

£1,861.02

£1,777.52

£3,638.54

July

£747.30

£807.06

£1,554.36

August

£239.60

£1,340.96

£1,580.56

September

£768.74

£595.78

£1,364.52

October

£ -

£1,924.11

£1,924.11

November

£ -

£1,307.89

£1,307.89

December

£ -

£ -

£0.00

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Scotland Office
Scotland Officers: Information Officers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, with reference to the Answer of 14 March 2019 to Question 230101 and the Answer of 3 September 2019 to Question 286276, for what reasons the cost of his Department's communications team rose from £108,439 in 2010-11 to £819,640.02 in 2018-19.
A
Answered by: Mr Alister Jack
Answered on: 14 January 2020

The Office is resourced to deliver all of the communications functions and activities expected and required of a Government Department in its own right and on behalf of the UK Government in Scotland. The number of staff in communications reflects this requirement.

As well as frontline communications functions, such as media handling, the Government Communications Service Modern Communications Operating Model requires UK Government communications divisions to deliver the following functions: campaigns, digital, internal communications, strategic communications and external affairs - such as organising ministerial visits, events, committee meetings and stakeholder engagement activities.

The number of staff working at the Office is recorded in the Annual Report and Accounts, which are available online at gov.uk/scotland.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 January 2020
Scotland Office
Scotland Office: Travel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what the travel costs for his Department have been in each quarter since January 2018 by (a) mode of travel and use by (i) Ministers and (ii) officials.
A
Answered by: Mr Alister Jack
Answered on: 14 January 2020

The costs incurred in each quarter for travel by Ministers and officials in the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland is enclosed.

Table - PQ 415 (Word Document, 30.44 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 19 December 2019
Cabinet Office
Brexit: : Publicity
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Answer of 1 November 2019 to Question 7172, if he will publish the evaluations for the Get ready for Brexit campaign made under the Government Communication Service Evaluation Framework.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 13 January 2020

Further to my answer of 1 November 2019 to Question 7172, any such publication would be released on GOV.UK.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 December 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agricultural Products: UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 19 December 2017 to Question 118358 on Agricultural Products: UK Trade With EU, what progress her Department has made on developing the UK’s system for the management of agri-food imports and exports with EU countries.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 January 2020

The UK Government is committed to ensuring UK businesses can continue to trade with our EU partners as easily as possible after Brexit, while continuing to protect the UK’s high level of biosecurity.

Defra has built and tested a new import notification system and is in the final testing phase of a new online system for processing Export Health Certificates. Both of these could be used after the implementation period, if required, to ensure trade continues.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 December 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agricultural Products: UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 13 December 2017 to Question 118331, what progress has been made on getting the best possible deal that allows the UK to continue to have tariff-free and frictionless access for goods and services into the European market.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 January 2020

The principles underpinning any future trade deal with the EU were set out in the Political Declaration which accompanied the Withdrawal Agreement. We would expect formal discussions on the Political Declaration to commence after we leave the EU at the end of this month.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 December 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Potatoes: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans her Department has to support seed potato exporters in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 January 2020

Both the UK and the EU have committed in the Political Declaration to reaching an agreement on our future relationship by the end of 2020. Defra will continue to work closely with seed potato businesses as the Withdrawal Agreement is signed and discussions on the future relationship start.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
[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 December 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animals: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 4 October 2019 to Question 290388, what replies have been received from those third countries on UK plans for the continued use of existing Export Health Certificates once the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 January 2020

Since the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) wrote to third countries on 21 December 2018, we have continued to work with third countries to ensure that the UK’s Export Health Certificates (EHCs) remain when the UK leaves the EU.

93 countries have responded and no notifications have been received from third countries stating the UK’s EHCs will be not be accepted.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 19 December 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Fisheries: Navy
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 2 October 2019 to Question 290370 on Fisheries: Navy, how many additional frontline warranted officers have been recruited, (b) by how much has aerial surveillance been increased, (c) how many extra sea patrol vessels are now available and (d) what the baseline figure was in each case.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 January 2020

In England, the Marine Management Organisation has increased the number of frontline warranted officers by 50% (35 people) for 2019/2020. A framework is in place to increase aerial surveillance by a maximum of two surveillance aircrafts as risk and intelligence demands. Two additional commercial vessels have been chartered to enable an increase in routine sea-based inspections to supplement provision from the Royal Navy Fisheries Protection Squadron. A framework of agreements has been put in place with other Government departments and relevant agencies which enables provision for up to 22 further vessels to be activated, should the operational situation demand it.

As fisheries management is a devolved matter, it is for the devolved administrations to decide on appropriate levels of fisheries control and enforcement provision in their waters. However, we continue to work closely with the devolved administrations to ensure a coordinated approach to fisheries control and enforcement across UK waters.

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