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 1-20 out of 102337
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all answers
Print selected
Q
Asked by Scott Mann
(North Cornwall)
Asked on: 11 April 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: China
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will make an assessment of whether the UK would have to have a trade deal with China in the event it joined NAFTA.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 25 April 2019

The UK does not comment on the content of agreements signed by other countries, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is the agreement from the renegotiated NAFTA.

The UK is committed to strengthening our trade relationships with all countries, including the US, Mexico, Canada and China.

Q
Asked by Ruth Smeeth
(Stoke-on-Trent North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 April 2019
Department for International Trade
Ceramics: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations he has made to the US to oppose retaliatory duties of up to 100 per cent against British ceramic products.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 25 April 2019

The UK is working closely with the EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes. Through the EU, we are challenging in the WTO the US’s claim that it is entitled to impose retaliatory tariffs on the UK. However, it would not be appropriate for the UK to make representations to the US on specific products whilst we are contesting the right of the US to impose any tariffs at all.

We are clear that a tariff war would not be in the interests of UK, EU or US industry. We agree with EU and others that we do not want to see the disputes escalate further. The UK will continue to work closely with the EU on next steps.

Grouped Questions: 244168
Q
Asked by Ruth Smeeth
(Stoke-on-Trent North)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 April 2019
Department for International Trade
Ceramics: USA
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the British ceramic industry of US trade action against EU products.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 25 April 2019

The UK is working closely with the EU and European partners to support a negotiated settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes. Through the EU, we are challenging in the WTO the US’s claim that it is entitled to impose retaliatory tariffs on the UK. However, it would not be appropriate for the UK to make representations to the US on specific products whilst we are contesting the right of the US to impose any tariffs at all.

We are clear that a tariff war would not be in the interests of UK, EU or US industry. We agree with EU and others that we do not want to see the disputes escalate further. The UK will continue to work closely with the EU on next steps.

Grouped Questions: 244167
Q
Asked by Paul Farrelly
(Newcastle-under-Lyme)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 18 April 2019
Treasury
House Insurance
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the 10 April 2019 Insurance Age article entitled Citizens Advice slams home insurers in dual pricing report, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of the finding that home insurance companies make over half of their profits from people defined by the regulator as potentially vulnerable.
A
Answered by: John Glen
Answered on: 25 April 2019

The Government is focussed on ensuring that the insurance industry functions well for everyone.

To that end, Government welcomed the launch of the FCA’s General Insurance Pricing Practices Market Study in October 2019. The Market Study is investigating consumer outcomes from insurers’ pricing practices; it is looking specifically at the potential harm suffered by the vulnerable long-standing customers that Citizens Advice refers to in its press release of 10 April 2019. As a part of the Market Study the FCA will consider all potential remedies that may be required to make the market work well for consumers.

The FCA is empowered to address misconduct, and where this has occurred it can undertake investigations and impose financial penalties or order firms to cease certain activities.

The Government is monitoring the outcome of this Market Study and is prepared to ask the FCA to take further action if required.

Q
Asked by Valerie Vaz
(Walsall 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: 18 April 2019
Department for International Trade
Department for International Trade: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether his Department has deprioritised any Statutory Instruments in relation to the UK leaving the EU; and if he will publish the criteria his Department uses to deprioritise those Instruments.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 25 April 2019

Our objective has always been to have a functioning statute book in place by Exit Day and to ensure that the most critical secondary legislation was made by this point.

Each SI was carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.

The considerations and assessments made have meant that the Government has been able to lay the critical secondary legislation required before we exit the EU.

The laying of EU Exit SIs allows Parliament to fulfil its essential scrutiny role. The exact nature of this scrutiny, and the steps required before an SI completes its passage, is dependent on the type of SI. The Government remains confident of passing the necessary legislation required to ensure a functioning statute book by exit day.

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: 18 April 2019
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Quantum Technology
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has developed a strategy for the development of new quantum technologies.
A
Answered by: Chris Skidmore
Answered on: 25 April 2019

As part of the UK Industrial Strategy, government will be refreshing the 2015 national strategy for quantum technologies in collaboration with National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP) partners.

This will follow a refresh of the programme’s governance arrangements, in response to the scale of private investment anticipated under phase 2 of the 10-year NQTP.

In Autumn Statement 2013, the UK government announced an investment of £270m over five years into the first phase of the NQTP, intended to move quantum technology out of laboratories and into the marketplace, to boost British business and make a real difference to everyday lives.

The national strategy itself was drawn up in 2015 by the Quantum Technologies Strategic Advisory Board (QT SAB). It was published by Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and its recommendations are delivered mainly through the work of the NQTP. In 2018, the UK government committed a further £315m (subject to business case approval) towards the second phase – due to start in 2019.

The strategy aims to create a coherent government, industry and academic community that will give the UK a world-leading position in the emerging multi-billion-pound quantum technology markets, delivering transformational improvements across areas as diverse as sensing, imaging, computing and communications, and substantially enhancing the value of some of the biggest UK-based industries such as finance, defence, aerospace, energy and telecommunications.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Home Office
Home Office: Contracts
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether gagging clauses have been used in contracts drawn up between his Department and any charities, voluntary sector organisations, social enterprises or companies with the intention of stopping any criticism of Ministers of his Department.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 24 April 2019

There are no gagging clauses within Home Office contracts or Grant agreements specifically to stop criticism of Home Office Ministers.

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

Named Day

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

Asked on: 31 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Meat: Overseas Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether all current trade agreements that include the export of meat specify that animals have be stunned before slaughter; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 24 April 2019

Through membership of the EU, the UK currently participates in around 40 free trade agreements. These do not specify that animals have to be stunned before slaughter.

However, all slaughter of animals for export from the UK – whether stun or non-stun – must strictly comply with EU and the UK regulations on animal welfare at the time of killing and additional welfare at slaughter rules apply to animals subject to non-stun slaughter.

Q
Asked by Louise Haigh
(Sheffield, Heeley)
[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 February 2019
Home Office
Early Intervention Youth Fund
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will list the (a) unsuccessful bids and (b) cost of those bids to the Home Office Early Intervention Youth Fund.
A
Answered by: Victoria Atkins
Answered on: 24 April 2019

We received 111 bids to the Early Intervention Youth Fund. The Early Intervention Youth Fund of £22 million is already supporting 29 projects in England and Wales. Over £17 million has already been allocated to projects delivering interventions to young people at risk of criminal involvement, gang exploitation and county lines.

I can confirm that there were 82 bids that did not receive funding in November 2018 which totalled nearly £26million over the two financial years (2018/19 and 2019/20).

Q
(Glasgow 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: 02 April 2019
Cabinet Office
Vote Leave: Election Offences
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the recent report of the Electoral Commission into the activities of Vote Leave, whether the Government has plans to set up a judge-led public inquiry to investigate the alleged fraud committed by Vote Leave during the EU referendum 2016.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 24 April 2019

There are no plans to establish a public inquiry. The independent Electoral Commission is responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. It regulates the spending of, and donations and loans, to political parties and other campaigners.

It is not acceptable for any organisation to breach electoral procedures – and it is regrettable that fines have been levied on multiple groups on both sides of the referendum campaigns. Pro-Remain groups outspent pro-Leave groups by £4 million in the referendum campaign.

With 17.4 million votes to leave the European Union, more people voted for Brexit than have ever voted for anything else in the United Kingdom. Almost three quarters of the electorate took part in the referendum. The result was a bigger popular vote than won by any government in history. The will of the British people must be respected and delivered. The public delivered a clear verdict and that is what the Government is implementing.

Asked on: 02 April 2019
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 1 April (HL14872), whether they will now answer the question originally asked, namely, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 21 March (HL14601), whether, under the proposed deal, the UK can decide unilaterally to leave the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The UK took the unilateral decision to leave the EU when it triggered Article 50 TEU. The proposed deal, when ratified, will see us leave the EU, taking full control of our money, borders and laws.

Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department for Transport
Railways: Capital Investment
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 April (HL14685), of the £48 billion committed to investment in the rail network during Control Period 6, how much is for new (1) infrastructure, and (2) rolling stock; and what is the planned investment in HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail during the same period.
A
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The £48bn Control Period 6 funding settlement for the railway that Government announced in 2017 makes provision for the operation, maintenance and renewal of rail infrastructure between 2019 and 2024. It includes a £10.4bn provision for infrastructure enhancement projects. This is on top of new rolling stock, which is procured via separate arrangements.

High Speed 2 (HS2) has a long-term funding envelope of £55.7bn (2015 prices). It is this government’s largest capital programme and the benefits are largely for the North.

The Government has committed £52m to continue to develop Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) this year. Decisions on future investment will be considered in the Spending Review. We are working with Transport for the North on their plans for NPR. The full benefits of NPR can only be achieved by integrating it with HS2 and given the status of the projects NPR needs HS2 to be built first.

Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Primodos
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the accusations made by Professor Carl Heneghan of the University of Oxford and reported by Sky News on 5 April that a study on Primodos overseen by the Medical and Healthcare products Regulation Agency failed to properly assess the risks of that drug; and that meta-analysis results were left out of the final report.
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The review of Hormone Pregnancy Tests undertaken by the Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group (EWG) was comprehensive, scientifically robust and independent. All evidence considered by the EWG has been published online.

The EWG examined a large number of studies, including all those in Professor Heneghan’s published meta-analysis, and for scientific reasons considered that meta-analysis was not an appropriate way to analyse the data. The rationale of the EWG is clearly documented in the minutes of the meetings and in the final report, both of which have been available online since November 2017.

The terms of reference of the EWG did not include investigation of any historical regulatory failings. The Government awaits the outcome of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review led by Baroness Cumberlege, which is expected to examine the procedures followed in the case of Primodos and to make recommendations.

Grouped Questions: HL15087
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Primodos
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of reports by Sky News on 5 April that UK regulators in the 1970s destroyed evidence that suggested an association between the use of Primodos and birth defects.
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The review of Hormone Pregnancy Tests undertaken by the Commission on Human Medicines Expert Working Group (EWG) was comprehensive, scientifically robust and independent. All evidence considered by the EWG has been published online.

The EWG examined a large number of studies, including all those in Professor Heneghan’s published meta-analysis, and for scientific reasons considered that meta-analysis was not an appropriate way to analyse the data. The rationale of the EWG is clearly documented in the minutes of the meetings and in the final report, both of which have been available online since November 2017.

The terms of reference of the EWG did not include investigation of any historical regulatory failings. The Government awaits the outcome of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review led by Baroness Cumberlege, which is expected to examine the procedures followed in the case of Primodos and to make recommendations.

Grouped Questions: HL15086
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Home Office
Immigration Controls
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what restrictions are in place to prevent people who incite hatred against minority groups from travelling to the UK; and what plans they have, if any, to introduce new restrictions.
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The Home Secretary has the power to exclude from the UK individuals who engage in unacceptable behaviour, including those who express or encourage views which may foster hatred and lead to inter-community violence in the UK.


The Immigration Rules also provide for the refusal of entry clearance or leave to enter at the border if someone’s character, conduct or associations mean it is undesirable to grant them entry to the United Kingdom.


There are no plans to introduce further powers to prevent people who incite hatred against minority groups from travelling to the UK.

Q
Asked by Lord Birt
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Home Office
Organised Crime: Rural Areas
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 21 January (HL12535), what assessment they have made of the key trends in organised acquisitive crime in rural areas, in terms of (1) the volume, and (2) the different categories of such crime.
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) continues to show that, for those crimes covered by the CSEW, people in rural areas are less likely to be the victims of crime than those in urban areas. Property crime tables published by the Office for National Statistics on 28 February this year show that, according to CSEW interviews in the year to March 2018, people living in rural areas were less likely to be the victims of: bicycle theft, domestic burglary, other household theft, robbery, personal theft and vehicle-related theft.

Details can be found at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/focusonpropertycrimeappendixtables

Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Skin Diseases: Diagnosis
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve GPs' diagnostic skills for skin conditions.
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The Royal College of General Practitioners’ curriculum includes a module on the care of people with skin problems. This sets out the knowledge and skills a general practitioner should have in the diagnosis and management of skin conditions relevant to their role as generalist, community-based doctors, including the diagnostic investigations, such as blood and immunological testing to needed to support a diagnosis.

Once fully qualified, clinicians are responsible for ensuring their own clinical knowledge remains up-to-date and for identifying learning needs as part of their continuing professional development. This activity should include taking account of new research and developments in guidance, such as that produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). NICE has published a clinical guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of number of common skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. The guidance is routinely reviewed to ensure it reflects the latest available, including around diagnostic approaches.

The British Association of Dermatologists also continues to produce a range toolkits and guidance for health professionals.

Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Dermatology: Training
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with Health Education England on increasing the number of training places for dermatology students.
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The number of medical specialty training places that are available each year in England is set by Health Education England (HEE) and is based on their assessment of service gaps and predicted workforce needs.

There are programmes of work underway as part of the development of a workforce implementation plan, which the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has commissioned Baroness Dido Harding, Chair of NHS Improvement, working closely with Sir David Behan, Chair of Health Education England, to oversee. These programmes will consider detailed proposals to grow the workforce, including consideration of additional staff in speciality fields, build a supportive working culture in the NHS and ensure first rate leadership for National Health Service staff. Baroness Harding will present initial recommendations to the Department in spring 2019.

The Department has not held specific discussions with HEE on increasing the number of training places for dermatology students. There has been a 100% fill rate in dermatology training in England for the past six years.

Dermatologist education and training and recruitment in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland is a matter for the devolved administrations.

Q
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animal Products: Imports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of animal hunting trophies entering the UK each year.
A
Answered on: 24 April 2019

Details of the import permits issued by the Animal and Plant Health Agency are available through the CITES Trade Database. In 2017, 57 import permits were issued for game hunting trophies. We do not hold data for species that are not CITES listed as an import permit in that case is not required.

Q
Asked on: 08 April 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Foxes
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of foxes killed each year in the UK, broken down by means of killing; and what advice they have provided, if any, on the disposal or sale of fox carcasses and skins.
A
Answered on: 24 April 2019

The Government’s policy is that individuals should be free to manage wildlife within the law. The decision on whether or not to control foxes lies with the owner or occupier of the property where the problem occurs.

As a result, the Government does not collect data on the number of foxes killed or how they are killed. However, in 2000 the Burns Report estimated that 400,000 foxes die each year in Britain – on roads, shot or through natural causes.

The Government would always encourage those considering taking management action to try preventative strategies to deter foxes. However, we recognise it may be necessary to cull individual animals who are causing persistent problems. Natural England provides detailed advice on the humane and legal management of foxes to help owners and occupiers protect their property from damage.

Expand all answers
Print selected
Showing 1-20 out of 102337
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100