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 2019-21 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: 30 June 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the distribution of Government funding to support innovation in research-intensive businesses during and after the covid-19 outbreak, what proportion of the £750million grant package will be allocated to businesses (a) not in receipt of Innovate UK grants and (b) in receipt of Innovate UK grants.
A
Corrected answer by: Amanda Solloway
Corrected on: 31 July 2020
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 06 July 2020.
The correct answer should have been:

On 20th April, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £1.25 billion coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in the UK. This included £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms which will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

The Government has since confirmed that up to £500 million of this is for existing customers including £200 million of accelerated payments and up to £300 million for continuity grants and loans. £20 million of the remainder has been used to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the Innovate UK call for business led innovation in response to the crisis which was open to new customers. Over 800 companies have been successful in this competition. Innovate UK has also allocated up to £39 million to increase the business advisory support services available new and existing high-growth potential SMEs.

The final part of this package was announced on the 27th June. The £191 million Sustainable Innovation Fund is open to new customers to help cutting-edge companies of all sizes recover, grow, and drive a re-building economy as well as support new green innovations, unleashing the sustainable industries of the future along the way.

Beyond the Fast-Response competition, it is currently too early to state the number of businesses that have accessed this funding

A
Answered by: Amanda Solloway
Answered on: 06 July 2020

On 20th April, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £1.25 billion coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in the UK. This included £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms which will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

The Government has since confirmed that up to £500 million of this is for existing customers including £200 million of accelerated payments and up to £300 million for continuity grants and loans. £20 million of the remainder has been used to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the Innovate UK call for business led innovation in response to the crisis which was open to new customers. Over 800 companies have been successful in this competition. Innovate UK has also allocated up to £39 million to increase the business advisory support services available new and existing high-growth potential SMEs.

The final part of this package was announced on the 27th June. The £191 million Sustainable Innovation Fund is open to new customers to help cutting-edge companies of all sizes recover, grow, and drive a re-building economy as well as support new green innovations, unleashing the sustainable industries of the future along the way.

Beyond the Fast-Response competition, it is currently too early to state the number of businesses that have accessed this funding

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 22 July 2020
Department for Work and Pensions
Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how she plans to support claimants with long-term symptoms from contracting covid-19.
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 66895 on Business: Research, what proportion of the £750 million of targeted support for R&D intensive firms he plans to allocate as (a) grants and (b) loans.
A
Answered by: Amanda Solloway
Answered on: 17 July 2020

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing £750 million of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms.

The package consists of:

  • Up to £210 million of this funding will constitute new loans for organisations with existing Innovate UK awards that find themselves facing a funding shortage due to COVID-19
  • £200 million of accelerated grant and loan payments for existing customers
  • Up to £90 million in grants to be paid up front for existing customers that are facing a funding gap due to COVID-19
  • £20 million in grants to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the Innovate UK call for business-led innovation in response to global disruption due to the pandemic
  • Up to £191 million in grants through the Sustainable Innovation Fund.
  • £39 million for additional support for businesses over a 12 month period through the EEN Business Advisory Service

The exact allocation between grants and loans will depend on need.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 08 July 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Business: Research
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 66895 on Business: Research, how he plans to allocate the £20 million of funding to double the number of businesses receiving funding through the Innovate UK call for business led innovation.
A
Answered by: Amanda Solloway
Answered on: 17 July 2020

The Innovate UK call for business-led innovation in response to global disruption due to the pandemic was originally launched as a £20 million competition awarding grants of up to £50,000 to technology and research-focussed businesses. Due to the record breaking level of interest from across the UK, it was announced on the 20th May that over 800 companies that applied to this would share grant funding of £40 million, double the amount first planned for this competition. The additional money was allocated according to the existing terms and reference of the competition, eligibility requirements and conditions can be found on the UK Research and Innovation and GOV.UK website.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 16 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of applications by non UK national EU citizens for settled status were submitted through her Department's app.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 01 July 2020

We are not able to provide a precise figure because our app statistics include transactions for applications which have been started, but not yet submitted. However, we estimate over 3.2 million applicants have used the EU Exit: ID Document check app to scan their Passport as part of their application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 21 January 2020
Home Office
Immigration: EU Nationals
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 January 2020 to Question 900237 on Immigration: EU Nationals, what her timescale is for the publication of the guidance on what will constitute reasonable grounds for missing the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme.
A
Answered by: Kevin Foster
Answered on: 01 July 2020

The Government has made clear, where a person eligible for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme has reasonable grounds for missing the
application deadline of 30 June 2021, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

We have not published a list of reasonable grounds for missing the deadline as it is a year away and the focus should be on encouraging people to apply. We will however publish clear guidance for caseworkers in due course to ensure consistency of approach.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 09 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Environmental Stewardship Scheme: Coronavirus
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons it was necessary to offer Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship claimants bridging loans for the 2019 claim year.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 17 June 2020

On 28 April the Government announced that, in England, in recognition of the disruption to cash flow for rural businesses caused by coronavirus, eligible farmers and land managers would be offered bridging payments (interest-free loans) for 75% of the current estimated value for unpaid 2019 revenue claims on their stewardship agreements.

More than 3,800 bridging payments, worth around £43 million, were made to farmers and land managers by the end of May.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 09 June 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Agriculture: Subsidies
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of pillar 2 payments he plans to have made by the end of June 2020.
A
Answered by: Victoria Prentis
Answered on: 17 June 2020

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

The Rural Payments Agency has continued to improve its payment performance and as of the 8 June 2020 has issued around £233 million 2019 Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship and legacy Woodland Grant payments to eligible farmers, land managers, foresters and rural businesses in England. We expect to issue a further £19 million by the end of June 2020.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 February 2020
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Listed Buildings
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) names and (b) locations are of the non-inhabited listed buildings on his Department's estate.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Quin
Answered on: 09 March 2020

A list of names and locations of the non-inhabited listed buildings on the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) estate will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list consists of 463 sites that are located on the MOD's estate.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

Ministry of Defence's Estate (Excel SpreadSheet, 50 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 February 2020
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Empty Property
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list his Department's unused properties in Scotland; and what plans he has for each of those properties.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Quin
Answered on: 09 March 2020

As of 2 March 2020, there are 863 unused Ministry of Defence (MOD) properties in Scotland. These properties are Service Family Accommodation (SFA) and a complete list by county can be found below:

Aberdeenshire

4

Angus

27

Argyll and Bute

133

Ayrshire

7

Dumbarton

4

Edinburgh

159

Fife

206

Inverness-shire

29

Isle of Benbecula

6

Midlothian

23

Moray

234

North Lanarkshire

3

Perth

1

Renfrewshire

21

Stirling

6

The Department needs to maintain a management margin of 10% vacant properties at each location so that there are sufficient homes of the appropriate size to accommodate Service Personnel when required. Although currently above this level at 27%, the Department has a plan to reduce these as part of the work to achieve a 10% management margin by Autumn 2021.

MOD continues to maintain vacant properties in Scotland at minimum Decent Homes Standard to allow their allocation to Service families, while looking for opportunities to better utilise or further rationalise the SFA estate.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 February 2020
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Wetlands
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) location and (b) condition is of Ramsar sites in his Department's (i) ownership and (ii) control.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Quin
Answered on: 09 March 2020

A list of the location of Ramsar sites within the Defence estate will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list includes land that is either freehold, leasehold or a combination of both.

All sites on the list are deemed to be in Ministry of Defence (MOD) control by virtue of being Defence establishments.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

No information is held with regards to the condition of Ramsar sites with MOD ownership or control.

Ministry of Defence's Estate (Excel SpreadSheet, 52.64 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 February 2020
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Nature Conservation
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will list the (a) sites and areas of special scientific interest, (b) special protection areas and (c) special areas of conservation under his Department's (i) ownership and (ii) control.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Quin
Answered on: 09 March 2020

A list of the Sites and Areas of Special Scientific Interest; Special Protection Areas and Special Areas for Conservation within the Defence estate will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list includes land that is either freehold, leasehold or a combination of both.

All sites on the list are deemed to be in Ministry of Defence control by virtue of being Defence establishments.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

Ministry of Defence's Estate (Excel SpreadSheet, 52.64 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 28 February 2020
Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence: Cultural Heritage
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the (a) names and (b) locations are of the (i) listed buildings and (ii) scheduled monuments under his Department's (A) ownership and (B) control.
A
Answered by: Jeremy Quin
Answered on: 09 March 2020

A list of names and locations of the listed buildings and scheduled monuments under his Department's ownership and control will be placed in the Library of the House.

The list includes 778 scheduled monuments and 851 listed buildings that are located on the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) estate.

All sites on the list are deemed to be in MOD control by virtue of being Defence establishments.

The list is limited to the UK estate.

Ministry of Defence's Estate (Excel SpreadSheet, 346 KB)
Ministry of Defence's Estate (Excel SpreadSheet, 346 KB)
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 25 February 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Climate Change Convention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress the UK and China have made in bilateral discussions on the UNFCCC COP26; and what steps he is taking to encourage other countries to improve their ambitions at that COP.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 04 March 2020

The Prime Minister spoke to President Xi of China on the 18th Feb and agreed to work closely together on the issue of climate change ahead of COP26 in Glasgow and the Convention on Biological Diversity Summit in China.

As part of our incoming COP Presidency, in partnership with Italy, we are encouraging all countries to submit increased Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long term net zero strategies ahead of COP26 which represent their highest possible ambition. The UK will play its part and come forward with an enhanced NDC well ahead of COP26 in November.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 25 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
UN Convention on Biological Diversity
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to encourage other countries to improve their ambitions at the forthcoming Conventional on Biological Diversity COP.
A
Answered by: Rebecca Pow
Answered on: 04 March 2020

At the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15, to be held in Kunming, China in October 2020, the 196 Parties to the CBD are set to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

The UK is seeking an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to spur global action, recognising the transformative change needed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The Government wants to see new targets agreed that are ambitious, implementable and measurable.

We are proactively engaging in the CBD process in the lead up to CBD COP15. UK officials are currently attending the second CBD Open Ended Working Group in Rome where negotiations on the proposed post-2020 framework are beginning. The UK is holding an extensive program of meetings with member countries to form ongoing working partnerships, to secure agreement for an ambitious post-2020 framework.

Outside of the formal CBD process ministers, officials and our diplomatic network will continue to press to raise ambition and secure ambitious outcomes and delivery, notably with China as the host of CBD COP15.

We are focusing, among other topics, on the contribution of nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation and on effective and supportive communications to spur global ambition in the time leading to CBD COP15. The UK is also leading the Global Ocean Alliance in support of a new global target of protecting at least 30% of the global ocean within Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

The UK-led Global Ocean Alliance is currently made up of 12 countries (Belgium, Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Palau, Portugal, Seychelles, Sweden, Vanuatu) and we are proactively lobbying many more countries to join.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 25 February 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Climate Change Convention
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to improve the UK's ambitions for the UNFCCC COP26.
A
Answered by: Kwasi Kwarteng
Answered on: 02 March 2020

COP26 is the most important Climate Conference since Paris in 2015 and delivering success at COP26 is a top priority for the Government. We are determined to use the COP26 Conference in November to demonstrate that the zero carbon economy is the growth story of the future. We must show that this transition is irreversible and accelerating; and that it will be fair and inclusive.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 25 February 2020
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements: Biodiversity and Climate Change
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to incorporate into her trade negotiations the UK's priorities on promoting nature-based solutions at the UNFCC COP26 and the Convention on Biological Diversity COP.
A
Answered by: Conor Burns
Answered on: 02 March 2020

We’re clear that more trade doesn’t have to come at the expense of the environment. We are exploring all options in the design of future trade and investment agreements, including possible environmental provisions.

We are committed to upholding the UK’s high environmental standards and will consider the full range of mechanisms available to us.

The Department is considering ways to maximise trade and investment opportunities in clean growth sectors during, and in the run up to, COP26.

The UK is also seeking an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework to spur global action, recognising the important role of nature-based solutions.

Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Blood: Contamination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to provide resources to ensure that the palliative care of victims of the contaminated blood transfusions involves medical experts in the diseases contracted by those victims as a result of the contaminated transfusions.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 27 February 2020

Since 1988, successive Governments have voluntarily provided ex-gratia financial and non-financial support for people affected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through historic treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

In 2017, country specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These four schemes are devolved, and each nation has made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments to improve parity of support across the United Kingdom.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any on compensation and other support.

Grouped Questions: 15029
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Blood: Contamination
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to extend the compensation scheme for carers of victims of contaminated blood transfusions beyond widows and partners.
A
Answered by: Ms Nadine Dorries
Answered on: 27 February 2020

Since 1988, successive Governments have voluntarily provided ex-gratia financial and non-financial support for people affected by HIV and/or hepatitis C through historic treatment with National Health Service-supplied blood or blood products in the 1970s and 80s.

In 2017, country specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These four schemes are devolved, and each nation has made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments to improve parity of support across the United Kingdom.

We will consider any recommendations when the Infected Blood Inquiry reports, including any on compensation and other support.

Grouped Questions: 15028
Q
Asked by Deidre Brock
(Edinburgh North and Leith)
Asked on: 12 February 2020
Treasury
Blood: Contamination
Commons
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what funding is available through the Scottish Government for victims of contaminated blood.
A
Answered by: Steve Barclay
Answered on: 24 February 2020

Following UK government decisions at Spending Round 2019, the Scottish Government benefited from an increase of over £1.3 billion in the Barnett-based block grant, which will therefore increase to £34.5 billion in 2020-21. This is the biggest day-to-day funding settlement for Scotland in a decade.

It is for the Scottish Government to allocate this funding across their devolved responsibilities, including to victims of contaminated blood if they so choose.

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