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
(Swansea West)
[N]
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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 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the Hong Kong Government's ban on the Hong Kong Special Administration Region National Party with the human rights guarantees contained in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.
Q
(Swansea West)
[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 April 2018
Department for International Trade
UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 28 March 2018 to Question 133617 on UK Trade With EU, how many of the third countries have (a) agreed to continue their obligations mutatis mutandis and (b) proposed changes to their agreements which would take effect at any later date.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 18 April 2018

The Government's priority is securing continuity for our existing international agreements, including EU trade agreements, as we leave the EU.

The agreement reached between the UK and the EU at the March European Council sets out that the UK is to be treated as a Member State for the purposes of its international agreements during the Implementation Period.

We are also engaging with partner countries on individual trade agreements, which will come into force following the Implementation Period and will lay the foundations for deeper future relationships. None of the over 70 nations with which we have held discussions have any interest in disrupting trade flows, or erecting barriers where none currently exist.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hong Kong: Politics and Government
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the compatibility with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of proposed National Security Legislation in Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 29 March 2018

Currently there is no proposed national security legislation in Hong Kong. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has not set a timeline for the introduction of any legislation that would be required to enact Article 23, nor published any draft bills. We have been consistently clear in our position that, if the Hong Kong Government should seek to introduce legislation in this area, it will be important that there is dialogue between all parties; and that any legislation does not undermine the basic rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Department for International Trade
Department for International Trade: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade pursuant to the Answer of 31 January 2018 to Question 12507 on Department for International trade: staff, if his Department will publish data on the (a) qualifications that staff of his Department hold at Grade 7 or above, (b) number of years' experience in each area of responsibility each member of staff had prior to taking up their post within his Department and (c) length of time each member of staff has been in post.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 28 March 2018

The Department for International Trade plans to publish its organisational chart in May 2018, in accordance with the guidelines set by the Cabinet Office for the transparency agenda. Data on the qualifications, experience, and post length will not be published as part of this, and DIT has no further plans to publish this data.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Department for International Trade
UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 31 January 2018 to Question 125208 on UK trade with the EU and with reference to each agreement mentioned at the URL provided in that Answer, how many (a) staff and (b) non-staff are involved in (a) replicating the agreement and (b) involved in a negotiating role with third countries; what level of experience is required for staff involved in such negotiations; and how many similar negotiations those staff have previously participated in.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 28 March 2018

The task of ensuring continuity of EU trade agreements, is a cross-government project, drawing from resource in the Department for International Trade's 500-strong Trade Policy Group (TPG), and working closely with expertise in a range of sectors from other government departments.

TPG has staff with international negotiating experience in a wide range of international organisations, including EU institutions. Over 115 TPG staff have worked on, or represented, UK interests in bilateral and multilateral free trade arrangements, including at the WTO.

Q
(Swansea West)
Asked on: 21 March 2018
Department for International Trade
UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 31 January 2018 to Question 125208 on UK trade with the EU, whether any third countries have made any proposals for commitments that could result in a material difference from those in the agreement that is being replicated.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 28 March 2018

Our partners understand that providing continuity in our existing trading arrangements is a technical exercise and that we are currently limited in what we can negotiate due to our continuing EU membership, and that timescales make renegotiation difficult.

Partners, as the UK, wish to ensure that their businesses and consumers don't lose market access as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hong Kong: Overseas Trade
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect the proposed Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 legislation on British businesses operating in Hong Kong.
A
Answered by: Mark Field
Answered on: 28 March 2018

​Any enactment of Article 23 legislation is for the Hong Kong Government to decide, in consultation with the people of Hong Kong.

Should the Hong Kong Government seek to introduce a bill, the FCO regards it as important that there is dialogue between all parties; and that any legislation does not undermine the basic rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. The rule of law and independence of the judiciary is the foundation on which Hong Kong's success and prosperity is built. Despite challenges, Hong Kong's rule of law remains robust and the judiciary remains in high esteem. Confidence in rule of law is essential for 'One Country, Two Systems' and for Hong Kong's reputation as a global centre for business.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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 March 2018
Department for International Trade
UK Trade With EU
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that legal mechanisms are in place to ensure that third countries, with whom the UK has a trading arrangement through EU membership, will continue to provide the same terms of trade during the implementation period; and whether the UK will be able to retaliate to changes such as increased tariffs on British goods during transition if the UK is part of the Customs Union.
A
Answered by: Greg Hands
Answered on: 27 March 2018
Holding answer received on 26 March 2018

The agreement reached between the EU and the UK, on the terms of the implementation period sets out that the UK is to be treated as a Member State, for the purposes of international agreements during the Implementation Period.

The agreed Implementation Period will give businesses and citizens certainty, that common rules will remain in place until the end of the period, meaning businesses will be able to trade on the same terms and have the same protections as now, up until the end of 2020.

Q
(Swansea West)
[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: 29 August 2017
Department for Exiting the European Union
Companies: Registration
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on (a) the total number and (b) trends in the number of UK companies choosing to register in Ireland as a result of the UK's decision to leave the EU; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 07 September 2017

The Government is monitoring a wide range of economic indicators, including trends in company incorporation. There has been no significant change in those trends since the EU referendum. Statistics published by the Irish Companies Registration Office show that new company registrations in Ireland were around 22,000 in the year to August 2017, very similar to the rate before the referendum.

The UK’s decision to leave the EU means there will be a period of adjustment, but the UK economy is resilient. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in four decades and the employment rate has never been higher. Businesses have continued to show their confidence in the UK, with major investments announced by GlaxoSmithKline, Google and Apple, among others.

Indeed, only last week Aston Martin announced a £500m trade and investment deal between the United Kingdom and Japan which will, amongst other things, benefit its plant in St Athan in Vale of Glamorgan.

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