Written questions and answers

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

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

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

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by John Redwood
(Wokingham)
Asked on: 18 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Festivals and Special Occasions
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to celebrate UK independence day on 31 October 2019.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 24 July 2019

Plans for any ceremonial or official events to mark the formal exit of the UK from the EU will be kept under review by the Cabinet Office and Department for Exiting the European Union.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Huawei: 5G
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2019 to Question 276281 on Huawei: 5G, if he will meet with operators to raise cybersecurity CNI standards.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 23 July 2019

As stated in my answer to Question 276281 of 16 July, regular meetings take place between telecommunications operators and HM Government officials from the National Cyber Security Centre, Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Q
Asked by Simon Hart
(Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
[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 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Emergencies: Planning
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what civil contingency plans are in place in the event that the UK does not leave the EU; and if he will publish those plans.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 23 July 2019

The UK Government has a responsibility to plan for, respond to and recover from a wide variety of challenges and events. As such Government departments work with partners in the public and private sectors to develop and test contingency plans for such challenges.

It is the Government’s policy to leave the EU with a deal. As a responsible Government we have been planning, and continue to prepare for all eventualities associated with the UK leaving the EU. This includes managing the impacts of a no deal Brexit if they arise.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
[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 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Members: Correspondence
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether there is a protocol in place to inform Members when Departments change (a) correspondence, (b) secretarial and (c) ministerial e-mail addresses.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 23 July 2019

It is the responsibility of every Department to inform Members of changes to correspondence, secretarial or ministerial e-mail addresses.

Contact details for each Department are made available on GOV.UK.

The List of Ministerial Responsibilities also contains Department's contact email addresses. An update to the document is expected in the summer.

Q
Asked by Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 10 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Referendums: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what preparations his Department has made for holding a second referendum on UK membership of the European Union.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 17 July 2019

The Government has not made preparations to hold a second referendum.

Q
Asked by Dan Jarvis
(Barnsley Central)
Asked on: 11 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Conflict, Stability and Security Fund
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May 2019 to Question 249954, if the Government will publish the recommendations of the Joint Funds Unit audit of Overseas Security and Justice Assistance; what steps have been taken in response to the recommendations of that audit; who was responsible for conducting that audit; and what the cost was to the public purse of that audit.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 17 July 2019

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office lead HMG policy on the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) Guidance. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) takes its responsibility to do no harm seriously. At the direction of the Joint Funds Unit (JFU), the Stabilisation Unit (SU) commissioned Palladium, a SU provider, to undertake an audit of OSJAs across CSSF programmes, at a cost of £31,801.64.

The audit showed that the majority of programme teams have a good understanding of the human rights risks their programmes are operating in, and a realistic view of the extent to which risks can be mitigated. The audit’s findings also highlighted areas where the process could be improved.

In response to the audit’s recommendations, the JFU is updating CSSF programmatic guidance and the Stabilisation Unit is also updating its core security and justice training for HMG staff to align with the revised guidance.

As the Government stated in its response to Question 249954, there are no plans to publish the OSJA audit.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 11 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Huawei: 5G
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2019 to Question 272302 on Huawei: 5G, whether he has met with the operators that are known not to follow Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre advice and guidance.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 16 July 2019

Regular meetings take place between telecommunications operators and HM Government officials from the National Cyber Security Centre, Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.


The National Cyber Security Centre engage with every operator who uses the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre to manage cyber security risks within their networks. Other operators may use the guidance that is publicly available on the NCSC website, which we cannot track, or advice from other relevant bodies such as Ofcom, the regulator.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[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: 10 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Cybercrime: Departmental Coordination
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Minister or official is responsible for ensuring cross-governmental compliance with the Minimum Cyber Security Standard.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 15 July 2019

I am accountable to Parliament for the National Cyber Security Strategy and the accompanying investment programme. I am also the lead Minister for the cyber resilience of the government sector.

The Government Chief Security Officer (GCSO) leads the Government Security Function, which seeks to build the capacity and capabilities of security professionals across UK government departments, covering physical, human and information security.

The GCSO is also Director General of the Government Security Group within the Cabinet Office, which is responsible for the oversight, coordination and delivery of protective security capabilities within all central government departments, their agencies and arms-length bodies.

The responsibility for security, including risk management and policy implementation, sits with the Accounting Officer and the executive board of each department.

Q
(South Northamptonshire)
[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 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Early Years Ministerial Group On Family Support
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government is making on implementing the recommendations of the cross-Whitehall Inter-Ministerial Group on Early Years Family Support.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 11 July 2019

I pay tribute to my Right Honourable Friend’s role in establishing and chairing the Early Years Family Support Ministerial Group which has been considering how the Government can improve the coordination and cost-effectiveness of early years (conception to age two) family support and identify gaps in available provision. The group has made recommendations to relevant Secretaries of State which they are now considering.

Q
Asked by Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on his Department's preparations for the UK leaving the EU without an agreement.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The UK Government has been working directly with the Welsh Government, and the other Devolved Administrations, at Ministerial and official level to minimise disruption in the event we leave the EU without a deal. The Welsh Government last attended the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) on 28 June 2019.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 02 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what preparations his Department is making for the UK leaving the EU without an agreement; and how much funding has been allocated to those preparations.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 09 July 2019

As a responsible Government, we have been preparing to minimise any disruption in the event of no deal for nearly three years. The Government is putting in place a range of mitigations for such a scenario. The Cabinet Office is playing its part by, amongst other things, putting in place arrangements to deploy expertise to departments.

The Cabinet Office has allocated £58.8m in 2019/20 for EU Exit activity. The costs for each scenario cannot be readily separated, given the significant overlap in plans in many cases.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 02 July 2019
Cabinet Office
Huawei: 5G
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 2 July 2019 to Question 270401, whether the number of operators who use Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre advice is collated and monitored centrally.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 08 July 2019

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) engages with every operator who uses the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) to manage cyber security risks within
their networks. The number of operators that use HCSEC is recorded centrally but for commercial reasons we will not release the number or the names of operators. All of the
significant commercial networks in the UK who use Huawei have access to and work with the HCSEC. It is the responsibility of operators to ensure the security and resilience of
their networks. Other operators may use the guidance that is publicly available on the NCSC website, which we cannot track, or advice from other relevant bodies such as Ofcom, the regulator.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 27 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Huawei: 5G
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2019 to Question 260726 on Huawei: 5G, if he will publish the number of operators on the National Cyber Security Centre list that (a) do and (b) do not utilise Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre advice and guidance.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 02 July 2019

Owing to commercial sensitivities the names and number of operators who use HCSEC advice cannot be published. All of the significant commercial networks in the UK who use Huawei have access to and work with the HCSEC.

Q
(Belfast 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 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) meetings, (b) correspondence and (c) other communication occurred between former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Baron Saville of Newdigate (i) before, (ii) during and (iii) after the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 27 June 2019

Information about correspondence and other communication between Mr Blair (as Prime Minister) and Lord Saville (as Head of the Inquiry) is not readily available. The information is contained in paper records of the Inquiry for a 12-year period and records of the Prime Minister's Office covering a 10-year period. For this reason an answer could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 21 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Huawei: 5G
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 17 June 2019 to Question 263239 on Huawei: 5G and with reference to the blog post of 22 February 2019 written by the technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre, how many companies do not actively use Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre advice and guidance.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 26 June 2019

Significant and impactful commercial networks in the UK have access to the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre. The remaining, mostly smaller operators are able to refer to the annual report from the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board. It is the responsibility of operators to ensure the security and resilience of their networks.

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: 20 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Serious Youth Violence Ministerial Taskforce
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on how many occasions the Ministerial taskforce on knife crime has met.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 25 June 2019

The Prime Minister announced that she was setting up a new Ministerial Taskforce at her Serious Youth Violence Summit in April 2019, and the first meeting took place on 8 May 2019. The Ministerial Taskforce coordinates Government activity and ensures all departments are playing their part in reducing serious violence.

Q
Asked by Emma Reynolds
(Wolverhampton North 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 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Civil Servants
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil servants are working on contingency planning in the event that the UK leaves the EU on 31 October 2019 without a negotiated deal; which Departments those civil servants are employed by; how many have been seconded to work on contingency planning in Departments which are not their principal employer; and how many civil servants were working on such plans in each month since January 2019.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 24 June 2019

Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally.

Q
Asked by Ian Murray
(Edinburgh South)
Asked on: 14 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Rendition and Torture
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including in the Consolidated Guidance on rendition and torture the removal of persons to other countries without judicial supervision for purposes such as interrogation or detention.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 20 June 2019

Sir Adrian Fulford, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, has submitted a proposed
revised version of the Consolidated Guidance to the Government for consideration

The Government is looking carefully at his proposals and will respond in due course.

Q
Asked by Norman Lamb
(North Norfolk)
Asked on: 12 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Cabinet Office: Chief Scientific Advisers
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings he held with the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser between 1 March 2019 and 31 May 2019.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 19 June 2019

I refer the Right Honourable Member to my answer given to Question 198752 on 7 January.

Q
Asked by Jo Platt
(Leigh)
[N]
Close

Named Day

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

Asked on: 13 June 2019
Cabinet Office
Huawei: 5G
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 13 June 2019 to Question 261279 on Huawei: 5G, what recent assessment he has made of the merits of assessing 5G equipment for resilience and reliability prior to deployment.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 19 June 2019

5G standards are still being ratified and the hardware and software that implements them is still being updated often during early commercial service. As a result, there are limited benefits in testing 5G equipment pre-deployment due to those changes and updates. The National Cyber Security Centre is focusing on those deployments and software releases in the UK which are most important.

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