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
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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: 15 July 2019
Treasury
VAT
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has undertaken a recent assessment of the potential effects on businesses in the UK of leaving the EU VAT area.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 18 July 2019

Leaving the EU without a negotiated settlement is not the Government’s preferred outcome, but it is essential that the UK is prepared for all possible eventualities on customs, VAT and excise arrangements.

As part of the no deal preparations, HMRC have published guidance and technical notices for businesses and their advisors on customs, excise and VAT, as well as a collection of letters and guides.

HMRC have published a collection of impact assessments on GOV.UK which are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/customs-vat-and-excise-regulations-leaving-the-eu-with-no-deal#impact-assessments

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 July 2019
Department for Education
Pupils: Sanitary Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 1 July 2019 to Question 269008 on Pupils: Sanitary Protection, what criteria his Department uses to assess the environmental friendliness of those products.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 08 July 2019

As noted in the answer to question 269008, the Invitation to Tender for the Period Products scheme in England has set out that environmentally friendly sanitary pads should be provided as a minimum and that the provision of further sustainable products is encouraged.

When determining whether period products are environmentally friendly, consideration will be given to the extent to which the materials used in the products are sustainable, whether the products are biodegradable and whether the products are reusable.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Education
Pupils: Sanitary Protection
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy for his Department to procure only plastic free period products for schools.
A
Answered by: Nadhim Zahawi
Answered on: 01 July 2019

The department is committed to encouraging the use of sustainable products where possible. The Invitation to Tender for the Period Products scheme in England has set out that the provision must include environmentally friendly sanitary pads as a minimum requirement. In addition, bidders are encouraged to provide further sustainable products and consider the environment in packaging, delivery and other ways over and above the products themselves.

We are committed to keeping this subject under review and we will continue to seek opportunities to encourage the use of sustainable products as the scheme develops, for example through guidance to schools and 16-19 institutions. In addition we will actively monitor product take up through the course of the contract.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 24 June 2019
Ministry of Defence
VJ Day: Anniversaries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans the Government has made to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day in 2020.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 27 June 2019

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 10 June 2019 to Question 259289 to the hon. Member for Bristol West (Thangam Debbonaire).

VJ Day: Anniversaries (Word Document, 30.55 KB)
Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 07 June 2019
Treasury
National Insurance: Young People
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what reports he has received on young people not receiving their national insurance number on time; and what the reason is for delays in sending out national insurance numbers.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 17 June 2019

HMRC automatically issues letters to children advising them of their National Insurance number (NINo) as they approach their 16th birthday. Following a change in the way in which HMRC identifies these children, there was a delay in the issue of some NINo letters. Individuals with concerns can contact HMRC’s helpline on 0300 200 3500.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 May 2019
Department for Transport
Cycleways and Pedestrian Areas: Horses
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing horses to use pedestrian and cycle paths as shared paths.
A
Answered by: Jesse Norman
Answered on: 23 May 2019

Shared use routes are designed to accommodate the movement of pedestrians and cyclists. Signs are prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 to indicate a route shared by horses as well, and it is for local traffic authorities to determine for themselves if this is desirable or practical, taking into account the possible impacts on each road user group.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 May 2019
Ministry of Defence
NATO: Joint Exercises
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which Minister in her Department authorised UK participation in Exercise Joint Warrior; and what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of participation in that exercise.
A
Answered by: Mark Lancaster
Answered on: 16 May 2019

Joint Warrior is a longstanding exercise, directly supporting force capability and generation, and is a core Defence activity. As such, individual exercises do not require Ministerial approval and are not separately costed.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 30 April 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5G: Rural Areas
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with Ofcom on helping to ensure that the next auction of 5G spectrum promotes coverage of rural communities which might sit beyond mobile operators' roll-out plans.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 08 May 2019

Ministers and officials have regular discussions with Ofcom on a range of subjects.

We welcome the proposals for coverage obligations within Ofcom’s latest consultation on the auction of 700 MHz and 3.6-3.8 GHz spectrum and remain committed to working with Ofcom and the mobile industry to ensure that the manifesto commitment to provide 95% geographic mobile coverage across the UK is met.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 April 2019
Home Office
Migrant Workers: Health Professions
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the immigration system enables the movement of highly-skilled individuals into the NHS and those working in cancer research after the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 12 April 2019

In December 2018, the Government set out its proposals in “the UK’s future Skills-based Immigration System” White Paper. The White Paper proposals include a new route for skilled workers which will be open to anyone at RQF level 3 and above, irrespective of where they are applying from. This route will not be capped allowing all of those who meet our requirements to come to the UK.


The White Paper also includes a transitional route for temporary workers which will be open to anyone from qualifying countries, wishing to fill posi-tions at any skill level, for up to 12 months. We do not intend to impose a cap on the number of people wishing to use the route.


The White Paper is the start of a new conversation and we have launched a year-long engagement programme to take the views of a range of stake-holders across the UK, including the health and social care sector.


We are determined to ensure that the future immigration system is efficient and able to respond to users’ needs.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 04 April 2019
Ministry of Justice
Justice and Security Act 2013
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2018 to Question 152051, and with reference to the fifth annual Report to Parliament on the use of closed material procedures published in December 2018, what steps he has taken to establish the review of the operation of sections 6 to 11 of the Justice and Security Act 2013; and when that review is scheduled to begin.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 11 April 2019

A reviewer has not been appointed yet. Discussions between officials are ongoing and an announcement will be made in due course.

Grouped Questions: 240977 | 240978
Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 04 April 2019
Ministry of Justice
Justice and Security Act 2013
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2018 to Question 152051, and with reference to the December 2018 publication of the fifth annual Report to Parliament on the use of closed material procedures, when he plans to announce the review of the operation of sections 6 to 11 of the Justice and Security Act 2013.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 11 April 2019

A reviewer has not been appointed yet. Discussions between officials are ongoing and an announcement will be made in due course.

Grouped Questions: 240976 | 240978
Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 04 April 2019
Ministry of Justice
Justice and Security Act 2013
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2018 to Question 152051, how he plans to determine the terms of reference for the review of the operation of sections 6 to 11 of the Justice and Security Act 2013; and whether he will consult civil society and the legal profession on the nature and scope of that review.
A
Answered by: Lucy Frazer
Answered on: 11 April 2019

A reviewer has not been appointed yet. Discussions between officials are ongoing and an announcement will be made in due course.

Grouped Questions: 240976 | 240977
Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 March 2019
Department for International Development
Yemen: Humanitarian Aid
Commons
What recent assessment she has made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
A
Answered by: Alistair Burt
Answered on: 20 March 2019

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 80% of the population requiring humanitarian assistance. The UK will provide £200 million of support for the coming financial year. This will feed more than a million Yemenis each month over the year, treat 30,000 children for malnutrition and provide 2 million people with improved water supply and basic sanitation.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
Asked on: 01 March 2019
Home Office
Home Office: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to improve the transparency of his Department’s aid budget.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 11 March 2019

The Government transparency target set out in the 2015 Aid Strategy commits all Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending departments to achieve ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ in the International Aid Transparency Index (IATI) by 2020. The Home Office is working to improve the transparency of our its aid projects and achieve at least a ‘Good’ rating’ on the Aid Transparency Index by 2020. This will involve publishing detailed information on Home Office ODA projects, whilst safeguarding UK national security obligations, and individual’s’ personal information.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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: 01 March 2019
Home Office
Home Office: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Development on improving the transparency and effectiveness of his Department’s aid programmes.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 06 March 2019

The Home Office is committed to improving the transparency and effectiveness of its Official Development Assistance (ODA) programmes and works closely with the Department for International Development (DfID) on best practice for aid transparency.

From later this year the aid transparency advocacy organisation ‘Publish What You Fund’ will begin a review of all Government Departments ’ spending ODA, The Home Office will continue to work closely with DfID to act on the findings of this review.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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: 12 February 2019
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Mobile Phones: Foreign Companies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential risk to national security of state-owned mobile network providers operating in UK markets.
A
Answered by: Margot James
Answered on: 18 February 2019

The security of our telecoms is of paramount importance and Government will take appropriate action to address any national security risk arising in the telecoms sector.

There are currently no state-owned mobile network providers in the UK market.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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: 05 February 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Israel
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the agreement in principle with the Government of Israel to roll over the EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement, what specific territory that agreement applies to.
A
Answered by: George Hollingbery
Answered on: 08 February 2019

The UK and Israel have a strong and important trading relationship. However, we do not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), including the settlements, as part of Israel. The OPTs are not covered by the current EU-Israel Association Agreement, nor by the Continuity Agreement agreed in principle between the UK and Israel.

We are also working to finalise the transition of the current EU Interim Association Agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

We have committed to informing Parliament as soon as agreements are signed with partner countries. The agreement will be laid in Parliament and we will be publishing a full report on trade agreements, once they are signed.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 January 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Fisheries
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that fishing limits are set in line with scientific recommendations.
A
Answered by: George Eustice
Answered on: 28 January 2019

Scientific advice received from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) about the condition of fish stocks underpins the process of negotiating sustainable total allowable catches (TACs). The UK position is developed under the principle that all proposals must be scientifically justified in light of ICES advice, and deliver UK objectives for sustainable fisheries.

We also draw on bespoke scientific advice when developing specific management measures. For example scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) evaluated a proposed package of technical measures for a previously overexploited Nephrops stock in the Farn Deeps, and advised how the package might reduce fishing mortality. Following the introduction of measures informed by this scientific advice, the stock is now being fished within maximum sustainable yield levels.

The UK has always been a strong advocate for MSY both in international agreements and in negotiations over catch limits for stocks that we have an interest in. We remain therefore committed to continuing to work under the principle of MSY and restore stocks to healthy conditions as quickly as possible, including taking a precautionary approach where necessary. This commitment is confirmed by the Fisheries Bill.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 January 2019
Cabinet Office
Investigatory Powers Commissioner: Annual Reports
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the 2017 Annual Report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner has been submitted to the Prime Minister.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 24 January 2019

The Prime Minister has seen the 2017 Annual Report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, and has agreed that it will be published in due course.

Q
(Orkney and Shetland)
[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 January 2019
Cabinet Office
Investigatory Powers Commissioner: Annual Reports
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Prime Minister plans to publish the 2017 Annual Report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner.
A
Answered by: Mr David Lidington
Answered on: 24 January 2019

The Prime Minister has seen the 2017 Annual Report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, and has agreed that it will be published in due course.

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