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
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 09 May 2018
Department for Transport
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many cases are awaiting a decision of the Medical Committee at the DVLA; and what the average waiting time is for resolution of those enquiries.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 14 May 2018

The length of time taken to deal with an application depends on the medical condition and whether further information is required from medical professionals, such as a driver’s GP. In the financial year 2017/18, it took an average of 32 days to make a decision on a medical case, down from 37 days in the previous financial year.

The DVLA has made major improvements in the length of time taken to deal with medical cases. In the last year, additional doctors have been recruited, taking the number employed from 22 to 35. In addition, ten nurses and additional casework staff have also been recruited to deal with the complex medical casework.

In the last year the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) dealt with over 750,000 medical cases. It is not possible to provide the number of cases requiring medical investigation, with more than 14,000 cases being received each week.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 14 May 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Bahrain: Capital Punishment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Bahraini counterpart on the continued use of the death penalty in that country.
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 23 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN High-level Conference On Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to attend the UN General Assembly conference on nuclear disarmament from 14 to 16 May.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 01 May 2018

​I refer the Honourable member to my answer of 26 April (PQ 136468).

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 23 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Human Rights: Business
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support human rights groups working on business and human rights.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 30 April 2018

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports human rights groups working on business and human rights through diplomacy, communications and project work. We have supported several non-governmental organisations working in this field, with funding from the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy. In financial year 2017/18 we supported the Institute for Human Rights and Business and Huridocs (this work continues). Our network of posts has also worked on business and human rights, including a project with Marks and Spencer in India.

As set out in our National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, the UK Government is committed to the full implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The FCO encourages other countries to follow our example in implementing National Action Plans.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 23 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Andy Hall
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations he made to his counterpart in the Thai Government on the imposition of a 10 million Baht fine on Andy Hall for damages to Natural Fruit Co Ltd. following his civil defamation conviction.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 30 April 2018

​I am aware of the civil court order issued on 26 March by Prakhanong Court, calling for Mr Andy Hall to pay 10 million Thai baht in damages to Natural Fruit. We have not raised this court order with the Thai authorities as legal proceedings are ongoing.

We remain in contact with Mr Hall, and have taken action to support him and the important issues he works on, including by raising these with the Thai authorities. We will continue to do so. The UK government supports the right of human rights defenders to carry out their work without fear of harassment or reprisals. We also support full implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Life Environment Fund: British Overseas Territories
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of the UK Overseas Territories being able to access the EU’s LIFE fund for larger scale environmental projects.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 27 April 2018

The Overseas Territories can currently access the EU LIFE programme according to the LIFE regulation 2014-2020 so no such assessment has been made.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 20 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
Trident Submarines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate his Department has made of the cost of the trim and compensation system for the Dreadnought programme; and whether that estimate is an increase on previously made estimates.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 27 April 2018

Costs of individual systems on Dreadnought are managed within the programme's overall £31 billion budget, which is funded by Defence. I am withholding details of the cost of this system as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial discussions and interests.

Grouped Questions: 136897
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 20 April 2018
Ministry of Defence
Trident Submarines
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, from which budgets the cost of the Dreadnought programme’s trim and compensation system will be funded.
A
Answered by: Guto Bebb
Answered on: 27 April 2018

Costs of individual systems on Dreadnought are managed within the programme's overall £31 billion budget, which is funded by Defence. I am withholding details of the cost of this system as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial discussions and interests.

Grouped Questions: 136896
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Biodiversity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on replacing the EU's financing instrument for biodiversity, BEST, for the UK Overseas Territories.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​Discussions concerning a possible replacement for BEST funding, involving the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HM Treasury, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department for Exiting the European Union, are scheduled to take place later this month. Following this, there will be an opportunity for further discussions on this issue to take place at a Ministerial level.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Biodiversity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the effect on UK Overseas Territories’ biodiversity of EU BEST funding not being replaced after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​The Government is committed to involving all the UK Overseas Territories in our EU exit planning and to ensuring that their interests are taken into account fully and consistently. We are currently working collaboratively to determine the effect of EU exit on the Overseas Territories in a range of scenarios, and to develop a range of contingency measures. This work includes the question of access to, or possible replacements for, funding instruments such as EU LIFE and BEST. Although definitive decisions on access to or replacements for these funding mechanisms have not yet been taken, the UK Government takes seriously its joint responsibility with the Overseas Territory Governments to safeguard the rich and varied natural environments of the Overseas Territories, which will remain a steadfast priority as we leave the EU.

Grouped Questions: 136462
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories: Biodiversity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what contingency plans the Government has made to secure funding for the UK Overseas Territories for environmental projects in the event that EU funding instruments like LIFE and BEST are not replaced.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​The Government is committed to involving all the UK Overseas Territories in our EU exit planning and to ensuring that their interests are taken into account fully and consistently. We are currently working collaboratively to determine the effect of EU exit on the Overseas Territories in a range of scenarios, and to develop a range of contingency measures. This work includes the question of access to, or possible replacements for, funding instruments such as EU LIFE and BEST. Although definitive decisions on access to or replacements for these funding mechanisms have not yet been taken, the UK Government takes seriously its joint responsibility with the Overseas Territory Governments to safeguard the rich and varied natural environments of the Overseas Territories, which will remain a steadfast priority as we leave the EU.

Grouped Questions: 136461
Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Falkland Islands: Pollution
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the role of the Government would be in the event of a large-scale category three oil spill in the Falklands Islands.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

All hydrocarbon activities on the continental shelf of the Falkland Islands are regulated by Falkland Islands legislation, in strict accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Falkland Islands Government is responsible for the development of mineral resources in the Falkland Islands and would be responsible in the event of a large-scale category three oil spill. As with all Overseas Territories the UK Government is committed to assist the Falkland Islands in the event of a major disaster.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Falkland Islands: Environmental Impact Assessment
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which government departments and agencies submitted a formal response to the March 2018 Environmental Impact Statement consultation run by the Falkland Islands Government for the Sea Lion oil field.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​Policy on hydrocarbons development in Falklands waters is a matter for the Falkland Islands Government. All formal responses to the March 2018 Environmental Impact Statement consultation are therefore being managed by the Falkland Islands Government.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN High-level Conference On Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what proposals the Government's representative will be taking to the organisational meeting of the UN high-level international conference on 10 May 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​It remains unclear whether the organisational meeting of the UN high-level international conference will in fact take place as planned on 10 May. If the UK does attend, we will promote the step-by-step, consensus-based approach to multilateral disarmament.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Middle East: Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made with international counterparts on the development of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone in the Middle East; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

The UK recognises its responsibilities under the goals of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East. We remain prepared to support and facilitate renewed regional dialogue with and among all states of the region on arrangements for a conference. We encourage all States of the Region to offer concrete ideas on how to move forward to engage in a structured dialogue that is inclusive, balanced, consensus-based, and results-oriented, with a view to overcoming the current differences on the way towards the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
UN High-level Conference On Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government will be represented at the UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament in May 2018.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​It remains hard to say at this stage whether the UN High Level Conference will lead to effective progress on nuclear disarmament. We are therefore planning to send a representative to attend the Organisational meeting of this Conference, with the aim of establishing a clearer view about the High Level Conference's aims and objectives. However the organisational meeting has been postponed once and it remains unclear if it, or the conference itself, will in fact take place in May.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nuclear Disarmament
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness of the global risks of nuclear weapons and the need for nuclear disarmament.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​The UK has a strong record on reduction of nuclear weapons. The UK remains committed to the long term goal of a world without nuclear weapons. We firmly believe the best way to achieve this goal is through gradual multilateral disarmament negotiated using a step-by-step approach and within the framework of the Non Proliferation Treaty. We continue to campaign for the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test ban Treaty; and to press for successful negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament. The UK will attend the next Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in April 2018 where we will use that forum to engage with a wide range of states on how we can together tackle the challenges that we face on non-proliferation and disarmament.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 18 April 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Treaty On the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has had any recent discussions with his international counterparts on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 26 April 2018

​The UK is committed to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. The treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons risks weakening the consensus around the near-universal NPT, which has played an unparalleled role in curtailing the nuclear arms race. The UK will attend the next Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in April 2018 where we will use that forum to engage with a wide range of states on how we can together tackle the challenges that we face on non-proliferation and disarmament. The Minister for Asia and the Pacific also raised the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons when addressing the UN Security Council on 18 January 2018.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 13 April 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Risk Management
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether a formal risk register has been completed for the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Mr Steve Baker
Answered on: 19 April 2018

Each department is responsible for assessing and managing risk to their specific policy areas and delivery; a risk register is one of the tools available in the wider risk management process.

This Department has taken a number of steps to ensure it has strong risk and programme management foundations in place and will continue to assess and manage these as appropriate. As such, risk registers are part of the management process used in order to take opportunities and ensure we can achieve our operational and policy objectives.

More information about our risk management approach can be found at page 21 of the Department Annual Report and Accounts 2016-17, which is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/655232/DExEU_ARA_v5.0_amended_version_14.08.17__1_.pdf.

Q
(North East Fife)
Asked on: 22 March 2018
Department for Education
Department for Education: Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has met with representatives of the SCL group or Cambridge Analytica; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Anne Milton
Answered on: 03 April 2018

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has not met with representatives of the Strategic Communication Laboratories group or Cambridge Analytica.


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