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 Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Wales Office
Agriculture: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions his Department has had with the Welsh Government on the potential effect on the farming industry in Wales of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 September 2019

My officials and I have regular discussions with the Welsh Government on a range of issues including EU Exit.

On 30 July in the first few days of the new Prime Minister being appointed, he and I met with the First Minister in Cardiff where amongst other topics we discussed support for farmers in Wales.

Q
Asked by Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Wales Office
Agriculture: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the farming industry in Wales of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 September 2019

We remain focused on ensuring our smooth and orderly withdrawal from the EU with a deal as soon as possible. However, as a responsible Government we have been preparing to minimise any disruption in the event of a no-deal.

I regularly meet with the Farmers’ Union of Wales, NFU Cymru and the CLA Cymru to discuss EU Exit and the impact on the agriculture sector.

We have made it clear that we will support vulnerable sectors, such as our sheep farmers, through government intervention in the event of a ‘no-deal’, should this be necessary. We will be monitoring the sectors which may be exposed to short-term difficulties as a result of EU Exit closely to identify early signs of market disturbance allowing us to react swiftly.

Q
(Bristol West)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what meetings his Department has had with Bristol City Council to discuss preparations for the UK leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Government has had extensive engagement with all local authorities, including Bristol City Council, as they continue to prepare for leaving the European Union on 31st October, with or without a deal. We continue to ensure that councils have the necessary information to prepare effectively, and continue to provide opportunities for specific local issues to be raised and addressed.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 02 September 2019
Wales Office
M4: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions his Department is holding with the Welsh Government on the proposed M4 relief road.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 September 2019

I and my officials meet regularly with our counterparts in the Welsh Government to discuss roads which are a matter devolved to the Welsh Government. I am deeply disappointed by the First Minister’s decision, particularly as the UK Government had already enabled the Welsh Government to borrow the money needed to fund this vital road and we confirmed we would review increasing that amount even further had it been needed.

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: 03 September 2019
Wales Office
UK Shared Prosperity Fund: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether the Shared Prosperity Fund will be open to Welsh applications by 31 October 2019.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 September 2019

The Prime Minister announced in his speech on 27 July that the Government will bring forward plans on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We will consult on the design of the fund and welcome input from across the UK.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will invest in the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern Industrial Strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity, especially in those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

In the meantime, stakeholders can continue to invest with confidence and certainty. The Government has guaranteed that if we leave the EU without a deal, we will continue to fund all European and Structural Investment Funds projects that would have been funded by the EU under the 2014-2020 programme period.

Q
Asked by Jo Stevens
(Cardiff Central)
Asked on: 25 July 2019
Wales Office
Sheep Meat: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will estimate the gross value in pounds sterling of Welsh lamb exports to the EU in 2017 based on trade with the EU under WTO Most Favoured Nation terms.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 03 September 2019

The UK Government’s preferred position is to leave the EU with a deal that works for all parts of the UK, at which point the WTO MFN terms would not apply. It should be noted that data for lamb exports is not published at a regional level.

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: 08 July 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will place in the Library a list of all (a) estimates, (b) reviews and (c) briefings his Department has (i) prepared or conducted and (ii) contributed to in relation to the effect on Wales of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 11 July 2019

EU Exit is an all-of-government operation, and the Government wants to see the UK leave the EU with a deal.

However, the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has done detailed work with departments, including the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales on preparing for a No-Deal scenario.

DExEU has already published detailed analysis of the effect of leaving the EU without a deal on gov.uk:

ttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/760484/28_November_EU_Exit_-_Long-term_economic_analysis__1_.pdf

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: 08 July 2019
Wales Office
Wylfa Power Station
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent progress the Government has made on the future of the proposed Wylfa Newydd power plant.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 11 July 2019

Wylfa Newydd remains a suitable site for nuclear new build in the future. The site is still owned by Hitachi, and the UK Government remains in discussions with them regarding its future.

We are committed to creating a broad-based resilient economy through our modern Industrial Strategy and will continue to work with the Welsh Government and local partners to ensure that North Wales prospers.

The Government remains committed to the nuclear sector, giving the go ahead to the first new nuclear power station in a generation at Hinkley Point C and investing £200m through our landmark Nuclear Sector Deal, which was signed in North Wales.

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Iron and Steel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether officials in his Department have had discussions with officials in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the UK Steel Charter.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 July 2019

We have regular discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on steel, including procurement. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has asked all Government departments to consider guidance on steel procurement and to notify of any upcoming opportunities for industry.

More broadly, the UK Government is committed to supporting the steel sector to realise the broader commercial opportunities that are open to it, which could be worth an additional £3.8 billion a year by 2030.

Q
Asked by Nic Dakin
(Scunthorpe)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Iron and Steel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will make it his Department's policy to sign up to the UK Steel Charter.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The steel sector is hugely important to both the UK and Welsh economies, employing over 30,000 people across Great Britain, with around 9,000 of these employees based in Wales. While my Department typically does not directly buy or procure any steel, I am very supportive of the objectives of the charter.

Q
Asked by Ruth Jones
(Newport West)
Asked on: 01 July 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, 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: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 08 July 2019

I engage frequently with Welsh Government Ministers on a range of issues including EU exit and No-Deal preparedness.

Furthermore, the First Minister of Wales as well as the First Minister of Scotland has been invited by the Prime Minister to attend relevant meetings of a Cabinet sub-committee that brings together work on preparations for the UK’s exit from the EU, spanning both deal and no-deal outcomes. In addition to this officials engage regularly with their counterparts in the Welsh Government to discuss preparations for no-deal.

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: 26 June 2019
Wales Office
Public Expenditure: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, with reference to the funding package announced for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, what assessment he has made of the Barnett consequential for Wales.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 01 July 2019

The UK Government contribution to the 2022 Commonwealth Games budget is subject to the Barnett Formula which HM Treasury will apply in the normal way at the Spending Review, as set out in the Statement of Funding Policy.

Q
(Romford)
Asked on: 20 June 2019
Wales Office
Agriculture: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps he will take to support the farming sector in Wales after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 28 June 2019

The UK Government is committed to ensure that farmers in Wales and across the UK are supported as we leave the UK. That is why we have pledged to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support for the duration of this Parliament, providing much needed certainty to the agricultural sector across the UK including Wales.

Q
Asked by Chris Ruane
(Vale of Clwyd)
Asked on: 12 June 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Statistics
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, on how many occasions his Department has received representations from the UK Statistics Authority on his Department's presentation and use of statistics in each year since 2010.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 17 June 2019

Details on the UK Statistics Authority’s interventions are published in the correspondence, publications, and issues log sections of their website since 2010.

The Authority’s Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) also carry out regular assessments and systemic reviews, details of which can also be found on the Authority’s website.

In September 2018, the Authority published the first annual summary of its interventions for the financial year 2017/18. The report for 2018/19 will be published in the autumn.

Q
Asked by Norman Lamb
(North Norfolk)
Asked on: 13 June 2019
Wales Office
Wales Office: Chief Scientific Adviser
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many meetings he has held with his Department’s Chief Scientific Adviser between 1 March 2019 and 31 May 2019.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 17 June 2019

None. The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales does not have a Chief Scientific Adviser.

Q
(Wantage)
[R]
Close

Registered Interest

Indicates that a relevant interest has been declared.

Asked on: 04 June 2019
Wales Office
Radio Frequencies: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what start-up funding the Government has allocated to new National Spectrum Centre in Aberystwyth to (a) enable UK wireless technology innovation and (b) create highly skilled job opportunities in Wales.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 12 June 2019

The UK Government has put research and innovation at the heart of its Industrial Strategy, setting an ambition for the UK to become the most innovative country in the world and increase its total R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

The new National Spectrum Centre in Aberystwyth will be a part of this ecosystem of innovation across the UK and will have opportunities to access funds dedicated to supporting research in areas that are vital to our future economy. I visited Aberystwyth in September to discuss this project with key stakeholders and was hugely impressed with its ambitions.

Q
(Ludlow)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Wales Office
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether he has taken steps to enable English local authorities to claim back funding for childcare places for children living in England who access free childcare in Wales; and if he will make a statement .
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 11 June 2019

Local authorities have a statutory duty to secure free early education in their area for children who are eligible. Education and the entitlement to free childcare for pre-school children in Wales is devolved to the National Assembly for Wales, and I will be raising this issue with the Welsh Government Minister for Health and Social Services.

Q
(Ludlow)
Asked on: 03 June 2019
Wales Office
Children: Day Care
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what estimate he has made of the number of children living in (a) Wales accessing free childcare entitlement in England and (b) England accessing free childcare entitlement in Wales.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 11 June 2019

As of January 2018, there were an estimated 495 children resident in Wales accessing free childcare entitlements of up to 15 hours a week in England. The provision of free childcare entitlements in Wales is devolved to the National Assembly for Wales, and as such the UK Government does not hold this information.

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: 22 May 2019
Wales Office
Economic Situation: Wales
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether his Department has (a) prepared, (b) commissioned, (c) collaborated on and (d) awareness of any quantitative future projections that show that any form of leaving the EU will be directly beneficial either in terms of improving (i) GVA in Wales, (ii) Welsh GDP growth, (iii) direct foreign investment in Wales and (iv) the quantity or value of Welsh goods and services that are exported from the Welsh economy.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 05 June 2019

In November last year, the UK Government published economic analysis of EU exit under different scenarios, bringing together evidence from across government. This analysis found that under the modelled White Paper scenario there may be a very small effect on the economy over a long period of time, with Welsh GVA estimated to be 0.1% lower compared to today’s arrangements.

This estimate does not include impact of domestic policies such as our Modern Industrial Strategy and the opportunities arising from additional regulatory flexibility, and these domestic policies can drive growth and productivity in Wales going forwards.

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: 14 May 2019
Wales Office
Poverty: Disability
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, on what dates (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have met with counterparts in the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss poverty rates for disabled people in Wales in each of the last two years; and what the outcomes were of those meetings.
A
Answered by: Alun Cairns
Answered on: 20 May 2019

Wales Office Ministers and I meet regularly with colleagues from the Department for Work and Pensions on an array of issues including those facing disabled people in Wales.

The percentage of working age adults in Wales who live in a household where there was someone with a disability that were in relative poverty has fallen 3 percentage points when compared with two years earlier.

We are committed to supporting disabled people across the UK, and under this Government around 1 million disabled households will gain on average around £100 more per month on Universal Credit than on legacy benefits.

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