Written questions and answers

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

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

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

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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
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department of Health
Department of Health: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by his Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 08 December 2017

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, HM Treasury is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 2018/19 and 2019/20 – so that departments and the devolved administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit. We are currently working with HM Treasury and Department for Exiting the European Union to establish what we need to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied – HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018/19 allocations in early 2018. Funding requirements for 2019/20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date. Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by his Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 08 December 2017

As announced at the Autumn Budget 2017, HM Treasury is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 - so that Departments and the Devolved Administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit.

We are currently working with HM Treasury and the Department for Exiting the EU to establish what we need to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied - HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018-19 allocations in early 2018. Funding requirements for 2019-20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date.

Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
HM Treasury
Treasury: Brexit
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs) over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 08 December 2017

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, HMT is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 18/19 and 19/20 – so that departments and the Devolved Administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit. HMT is working to understand what each department needs to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied – HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018/19 allocations in early 2018. Departments’ funding requirements for 19/20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date. Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Transport
Department for Transport: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by his Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr John Hayes
Answered on: 08 December 2017

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, HMT is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 18/19 and 19/20 – so that departments and the Devolved Administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit. We are currently working with HMT and DExEU to establish what we need to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied – HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018/19 allocations in early 2018. Funding requirements for 19/20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date. Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Communities and Local Government
Non-domestic Rates: Greater London
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of raising the business rate thresholds for small firms located in London.
A
Answered by: Mr Marcus Jones
Answered on: 07 December 2017

From April 2017 the Government increased the threshold for small business rate relief from £6,000 to £12,000. As a result over 600,000 small businesses pay no rates at all. The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier has also increased to £51,000, taking 275,000 smaller properties out of the higher rate.

The Government launched a further package of support for businesses following the revaluation, including over £120 million of support for businesses in London.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by his Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 07 December 2017

Like all departments, Defra is planning for a number of scenarios to make sure we are ready to leave the EU. Over £250m of additional funding has already been approved across a number of departments in 2017/18 to prepare for Brexit. Defra has received additional funding this year, and has reprioritised to meet new pressures arising from Brexit preparations. The additional funding received from the Reserve for 2017/18 will be set out at Supplementary Estimates. The costs of preparing to leave the EU in 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years will be affected by negotiations over the coming months and will be agreed with HM Treasury in early 2018.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for International Development
Department for International Development: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent estimate she has made of the additional funding required by her Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 07 December 2017

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, HMT is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 18/19 and 19/20 so that departments and the Devolved Administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit. We are currently working with HMT and DExEU to establish what we need to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied.

HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018/19 allocations in early 2018. Funding requirements for 19/20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date. Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent estimate she has made of the additional funding required by her Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Matt Hancock
Answered on: 07 December 2017

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, HMT is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 18/19 and 19/20 – so that departments and the Devolved Administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit. We are currently working with HMT and DExEU to establish what we need to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied – HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018/19 allocations in early 2018. Funding requirements for 19/20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date. Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Work and Pensions
Department for Work and Pensions: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by his Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Damian Hinds
Answered on: 07 December 2017

Like all departments, the Department for Work and Pensions is planning for a number of EU Exit scenarios. Over £250m of additional funding has been approved across a number of departments in 2017/18 to prepare for Brexit. We have reprioritised during this financial year as necessary, whilst the costs of EU Exit in future years will be affected by negotiations over the coming months.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed that the government will guarantee European Union funding for all structural and investment fund projects signed before the Autumn Statement 2016, and those signed after that date but before we leave the European Union so long as they are good value for money and in line with domestic strategic priorities, even when these projects continue after we have left.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 29 November 2017
Department for Transport
Railway Stations: Access
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to deliver all deferred Access for All projects by the end of 2020.
A
Answered by: Paul Maynard
Answered on: 06 December 2017

We are committed to continuing to invest in the accessibility of the railway, which is why the Government’s Statement of Funds Available for Control Period 6 (2019-2024) published on 12 October, includes funding to continue to take forward the enhancements that were deferred from Control Period 5, as well as for continued investment in the accessibility of the railway. Network Rail are continuing to develop the deferred projects and construction will be completed as soon as possible.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the additional funding required by his Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 06 December 2017

As announced at Autumn Budget 2017, HM Treasury (HMT) is making £3 billion of additional funding available over the next two years - £1.5 billion in both 18/19 and 19/20 – so that departments and the Devolved Administrations can continue to prepare effectively for Brexit. We are currently working with HMT and the Department for Exiting the European Union to establish what we need to prepare effectively, and what additional funding should be supplied – HM Treasury will aim to agree 2018/19 allocations in early 2018.

Funding requirements for 19/20 will be affected by progress in negotiations with the EU and will therefore be decided at a later date. Additional funding received from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 30 November 2017
Home Office
Home Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the additional funding required by her Department over the next two years to prepare effectively for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Brandon Lewis
Answered on: 04 December 2017

We have agreed with HMT additional funding of £60m to support Brexit planning and implementation work in 2017/18. Future years requirements are still under discussion with HMT and announcements will be made in due course.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 22 November 2017
HM Treasury
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 22 of Autumn Budget 2017, how the £3 billion set aside to prepare for the UK leaving the EU will be allocated across (a) government departments and (b) public authorities.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 30 November 2017

The additional funding from the Reserve in 18/19 and 19/20 is being set aside to ensure funding is available as required. HMT will work with departments and DExEU over the coming weeks to refine estimates of departmental requirements and will allocate 18/19 funding in early 2018. Departmental allocations for 2019-20 will be agreed later in 2018-19. Departmental allocations from the Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates in the relevant year as is usual.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 22 November 2017
HM Treasury
Brexit
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 22 of Autumn Budget 2017, how the £700 million already allocated to prepare for the UK leaving the EU has been allocated across (a) government departments and (b) public authorities.
A
Answered by: Elizabeth Truss
Answered on: 30 November 2017

The £700m of additional funding already allocated includes £412m of additional funding that DIT, FCO and DExEU received over the parliament that was set out at Autumn Statement 2016. In addition, the Treasury has also allocated £250m from the Reserve to a number of departments in 17/18. Departmental allocations from the 17/18 Reserve will be set out at Supplementary Estimates, in the usual way.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 19 October 2017
HM Treasury
UK Trade with EU
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department's paper, The long-term economic impact of EU membership and the alternatives, published on 18 April 2016, still represents his Department's best assessment of the long-term economic impact of some of the potential trading models available to the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 27 October 2017

Government has undertaken a significant amount of work to assess the economic impacts of leaving the EU. This is part of our continued programme of rigorous and extensive analytical work on a range of scenarios on a sector by sector basis.

The Prime Minister has ‎made clear however that the UK aims to agree an ambitious and comprehensive economic partnership with the EU that is of far greater scope and ambition than any existing free trade agreement.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 12 October 2017
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Manufactured Goods: Import Duties
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on UK manufacturing of the UK unilaterally removing all import tariffs after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Claire Perry
Answered on: 24 October 2017

The Government is working to deliver the best international trading framework for the UK. We are working with other Departments to assess the full range of options for a future tariff regime that will best serve the interests of UK consumers, businesses and farmers. The evidence available will be considered carefully before a final decision is made.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 11 October 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate he has made of how many Syrians have been disappeared by the Assad regime; and what proportion of those people are children.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 19 October 2017

Due to the Asad regime's refusal to allow impartial monitoring of its detention centres, it is not possible to give an exact figure for the number of people who have been disappeared. Human rights groups estimate that tens, possibly hundreds, of thousands of men, women, and children have been forcibly disappeared in Syria since the war began – the vast majority of them at the hands of the regime. The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria has documented the regime's use of 'massive and systematised' violence against political detainees, and stated that the regime's use of disappearance, torture, rape and sexual violence amount to crimes against humanity.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 10 October 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Syria: Human Rights and War Crimes
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that members of the Assad regime who have committed war crimes and human rights abuses are held to account.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 18 October 2017

The UK is committed to ensuring that those responsible for violations of international law and human rights abuses in Syria are held to account. We have been at the forefront of international action. The UK co-sponsored a United Nations General Assembly resolution establishing a new International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to support the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the most serious crimes. The UK strongly supports the work of the UN Commission of Inquiry whose reports have shone a light on the most serious human rights violations in the Syrian conflict. In partnership with other donor countries, we are funding the collection of documentary evidence for use in any legal procedures in the future. All available evidence shows the Asad regime's responsibilty for the great majority of offences.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 12 October 2017
HM Treasury
Economic Situation
Commons
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has reviewed the economic modelling that underpinned his Department's paper, The long-term economic impact of EU membership and the alternatives, published on 18 April 2016; and what the conclusions were of that review.
A
Answered by: Stephen Barclay
Answered on: 18 October 2017

The Government has undertaken a significant amount of work to assess the economic impacts of leaving the EU. This is part of our continued programme of analytical work on a range of scenarios on a sector by sector basis.

We are seeking the best deal possible and the work being done reflects this.

Q
(Greenwich and Woolwich)
Asked on: 10 October 2017
Department for International Development
Syria: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what humanitarian support her Department is providing to civilians in Idlib in northern Syria.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 17 October 2017

DFID funds the UN and NGOs to provide humanitarian support in Idlib, including food, clean water, sanitation, healthcare, shelter and education. Also, through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, we help deliver key services and access to education and jobs. Between January and June 2017, our support in Idlib governorate provided 550,000 people with access to clean drinking water, immunised 362,000 children under five, and helped 254,000 children access education.

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