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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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 Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Facebook: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the Facebook advertisement entitled The Brexit Deal explained does not appear in Facebook Ad Library as a political advertisement.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 11 December 2018

The format of the advert was a video and it started before Facebook's new transparency rules came into effect on the 29 November. The advert finished on the 30 November, while Facebook was still rolling out the ads library to advertisers across the UK, therefore it wasn't placed in the library.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 04 December 2018
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Staff
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 12 May 2014 to Question 188387, on Nuclear Reactors, how many nuclear-qualified and experienced personnel have been required by his Department in each of the last three years; and how many such posts were vacant at each location on the most recent date for which figures are available.
A
Answered by: Stuart Andrew
Answered on: 11 December 2018

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 29 November 2018, to Question 194787.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 06 December 2018
Department for Work and Pensions
Christmas Bonus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the trend in the number of benefit recipients receiving the Christmas bonus in each year since 2010; and what estimate her Department has made of the number of benefit recipients eligible to receive the Christmas bonus in the next three years.
A
Answered by: Guy Opperman
Answered on: 11 December 2018

The number of benefit recipients receiving the Christmas bonus in previous years and forecasts for future years can be found in table 1c of the “Outturn and forecast: Autumn Budget 2018” publication.

This information is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-2018

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 29 November 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Free Movement of People
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2018 to Question 121082, what recent progress his Department has made on securing the right of onward movement for UK nationals with status in an EU Member State.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The UK pushed strongly for the inclusion of onward movement rights during the first phase of negotiations on citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement, but the EU was not ready to include them.

We recognise that onward movement opportunities are an important issue for UK nationals in the EU, and we remain committed to raising this issue during detailed discussion on our future relationship.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 29 November 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Trade: Northern Ireland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, further to the Answer of 26 June 2017 to Question 162, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Withdrawal Agreement in achieving the Government's aim of a seamless and frictionless border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
A
Answered by: Mr Robin Walker
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The Northern Ireland Protocol guarantees that even in the event that the UK’s future relationship with the EU is not in place by the end of the implementation period, there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland and no splitting of the UK’s customs territory. In so doing, the agreement preserves the economic and constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom, upholds the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, and ensures people and businesses that rely on an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland can continue living their lives and operating as they do now.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 29 November 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 28 June 2017 to Question 250, if he will publish the agreements which will require replacement as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU.
A
Answered by: Chris Heaton-Harris
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The EU Treaties Office Database lists Treaties relating to our EU membership: http://ec.europa.eu/world/agreements/default.home.do. Not all of these treaties require action when we leave the EU.

We are committed to maintaining the relationships and cooperation we currently enjoy with third countries and international organisations as we exit the EU. This is why we have agreed with the EU that during the implementation period, the UK is to be treated as a Member State for the purposes of its international agreements. We are also working with international partners to put in place successor agreements that replicate the effects of existing agreements as far as possible and which will come into force following the implementation period.

We will continue to keep Parliament updated on the progress of delivering continuity of our international agreements as we prepare to leave the EU.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 30 November 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Countries: British Nationals Abroad
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK citizens currently resident elsewhere in the EU his Department expects to return to the UK as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
A
Answered by: Sir Alan Duncan
Answered on: 10 December 2018

The Withdrawal Agreement, and the detailed political declaration on the terms of our future relationship, include protection for the rights of citizens, including UK citizens currently living in the EU. There should therefore be no need for UK citizens to return as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 29 December 2018
Home Office
Administration of Justice: International Cooperation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on international co-operation on policing and justice of the UK leaving the EU .
A
Answered by: Mr Nick Hurd
Answered on: 07 December 2018

The government has published its assessment of the Future Security Part-nership (FSP) between the UK and the EU - ‘EU exit: an assessment of the security partnership’. It compares cooperation envisaged under the future UK-EU security partnership, as set out in the Political Declaration, with a no deal scenario.

This publication can be found on Gov.uk

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/759760/28_November_EU_Exit_-_Assessment_of_the_security_partnership__2_.pdf

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 29 November 2018
Home Office
UK Border Force
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to change the operation of the Border Force when the UK leaves the EU.
A
Answered by: Caroline Nokes
Answered on: 07 December 2018


While we cannot comment on detailed planning, Government departments are working together across a range of complex issues to develop our future approach at the border.

These options will be kept under review in light of negotiations with the EU. We will always ensure we have the resources and workforce we need to keep the border secure.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 29 November 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Animals: Exports
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made on changing the Export Health Certificate system from a manual system to an e-certification system.
A
Answered by: David Rutley
Answered on: 07 December 2018

Defra are committed to making our services as easy as possible for our customers. As of December, Exporters and Official Veterinarians are able to download any current Export Health Certificate (EHC) online. In parallel, we are developing a new system for EHCs that is designed to allow the integration of e-certification in the future.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 03 December 2018
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Coastal Erosion and Floods
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the 25 Year Environment Plan, published in January 2018, how he plans to measure progress against the 25-year environment plan target of making sure everyone is able to access the information they need to assess any risks to their lives and livelihoods, health and prosperity posed by flooding and coastal erosion.
A
Answered by: Dr Thérèse Coffey
Answered on: 07 December 2018

This reply relates to England only.

The Environment Agency’s long term flood risk assessment for England allows people to look up their postcode to understand the likelihood that their home or property might flood, the possible causes of flooding, and where to find advice on managing flood risk. This is available at the Flood Warning Information Service page of Gov.uk, https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/long-term-flood-risk.

To help people take action and to prepare for the risk of flooding the Environment Agency provides free flood warnings across England for flooding from rivers, the sea and groundwater. Over 1.4 million people are registered to this service which sends a message directly by voice message, text, or email when a flood warning is issued. Anyone can sign up by visiting the Environment Agency’s website, or by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188. There is also a three-point flood plan which advises people on what to do when they receive a flood warning at https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/what-to-do-in-a-flood.

Further information on flood risk, current flood warnings, and river and sea levels can be found on the Environment Agency’s website.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2018
Home Office
Immigrants: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is his policy to allow third-party payment of the fees for applications for settled status for EU citizens.
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 07 December 2018
Cabinet Office
Migrant Workers: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate he has made of the number of non-UK EU citizens working in health and social care in the UK.
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Facebook: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much money from the public purse was spent (a) producing and (b) promoting the Facebook advertisement entitled The Brexit Deal explained.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 06 December 2018

The video cost £21,168.72 to produce. The Cabinet Office has spent £90,000 promoting the video on Facebook.

Total annual government communications spend is circa £300m. This activity represents 0.03% of total spend for the year.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Facebook: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what other platforms the Facebook advertisement entitled The Brexit Deal explained was run.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 06 December 2018

The video also ran on Twitter.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Cabinet Office
Facebook: Advertising
Commons
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what audience targeting filters were used for the Facebook advertisement entitled The Brexit Deal explained.
A
Answered by: Chloe Smith
Answered on: 06 December 2018

The video was targeted to all adults aged 18-65.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Scotland Office
Equal Pay: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much money from the public purse was spent (a) producing and (b) promoting the Facebook advertisement entitled Closing the Gender Pay Gap.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 06 December 2018

This video was produced as one of a video series. The approximate cost of production for this individual video was not more than £1,000.

The amount spent on promoting it to date on Facebook has been £311.46.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Scotland Office
Equal Pay: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what audience targeting filters were used for the Facebook advertisement entitled Closing the Gender Pay Gap.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 06 December 2018

This post was promoted to women in Scotland aged 18-65+.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Scotland Office
Equal Pay: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, for what reason the Facebook advertisement entitled Closing the Gender Pay Gap does not appear in Facebook Ad Library as a political advertisement.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 06 December 2018

All the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland’s Facebook posts are made publicly available to general audiences in Scotland.

The Office will comply fully with Facebook’s new Political Content Authorisation requirements.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 November 2018
Scotland Office
Equal Pay: Scotland
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, on what other platforms the Facebook advertisement entitled Closing the Gender Pay Gap was run.
A
Answered by: David Mundell
Answered on: 06 December 2018

This promotion also included Instagram placements.

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