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 on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any British Overseas Territory has made representations to them regarding new UK legislation; if so, which Territory; and on what subject.
A
Corrected answer by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Corrected on: 08 August 2018
An error has been identified in the written answer given on 02 August 2018.
The correct answer should have been:

Those Some Overseas Territories with financial centres, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat have expressed concern about new legislation on sanctions and anti-money laundering (the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act), which became law on 23 May 2018; in particular the requirement to establish a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies registered in each government's jurisdiction.

Seperately, the aforementioned Territories and Gibraltar have made representations over the potential use of an Order in Council as specified in the Act, believing this to be constitutional overreach by the UK.

The Prime Minister held a conference call with leaders of affected Territories on 24 May to discuss the issue and a further discussion was held at the Joint Ministerial Council in June. Shortly after the passage of this legislation I visited Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat, where I held discussions on this topic. Similarly, in late July I visited the British Virgin Islands and met with representatives of the financial services industry and government of BVI. The Government understands the strength of feeling on this issue and is committed to working collaboratively with affected Territories on implementation.

A
Answered on: 02 August 2018

Those Some Overseas Territories with financial centres, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat have expressed concern about new legislation on sanctions and anti-money laundering (the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act), which became law on 23 May 2018; in particular the requirement to establish a publicly accessible register of the beneficial ownership of companies registered in each government's jurisdiction.

Seperately, the aforementioned Territories and Gibraltar have made representations over the potential use of an Order in Council as specified in the Act, believing this to be constitutional overreach by the UK.

The Prime Minister held a conference call with leaders of affected Territories on 24 May to discuss the issue and a further discussion was held at the Joint Ministerial Council in June. Shortly after the passage of this legislation I visited Anguilla, the Cayman Islands and Montserrat, where I held discussions on this topic. Similarly, in late July I visited the British Virgin Islands and met with representatives of the financial services industry and government of BVI. The Government understands the strength of feeling on this issue and is committed to working collaboratively with affected Territories on implementation.

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Exports
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government which markets of interest to the UK’s private sector exporters are restricted by (1) a sanctions regime, or (2) the UK’s foreign policy which limits ministerial support for those exporters.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 08 August 2018

HMG actively promotes international trade within a rules based international order. Maintaining this sometimes requires the application of sanctions. The UK currently implements multilateral trade sanctions set by the UN, EU, and OSCE relating to:

Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burma, Central African Republic, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

These sanctions regimes contain measures which may restrict the activities of UK exporters.

There are no policy restrictions on Ministerial support for exporters to markets not otherwise subject to sanctions.

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current public consultation process for Free Trade Agreements; what criteria they will use to assess the merits of any such consultations; whether the Department for International Trade have the necessary expertise to evaluate the results of any such consultation; and, if that expertise is not available, whether they intend to outsource that evaluation.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 07 August 2018

As set out in the HM Government’s White Paper of 12 July 2018, the UK is preparing for an independent trade policy, including the ability to pursue an ambitious bilateral trade agenda following EU Exit on the 29th March 2019. This includes the possibility to negotiate trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand, and potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

On 20 July 2018, the Department for International Trade launched consultations related to these four potential future trade agreements.

The Department is committed to ensuring an inclusive and transparent trade policy and trade agreements that benefit the whole of the UK. It therefore continues to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, to draw on their knowledge and seek views to inform the Government’s approach to negotiations. The 14-week public consultation on these four potential future trade agreements is, as outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement “Launch of consultations on potential future free trade agreements” of 18 July 2018, an important element of that engagement.

The Department is putting in place the appropriate mechanisms to ensure that due consideration is given to responses, so that they effectively inform our overall approach to negotiations with partner countries. This includes securing appropriate analytical capability, as well as strengthening policy development capacity through recruitment, training and close cooperation with other Government Departments.

Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for International Trade
Exports: Finance
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to inform exporters of the public and private sector financing services available to them; and if so, how.
A
Answered by: Baroness Fairhead
Answered on: 07 August 2018

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is the UK’s award-winning Export Credit Agency (ECA),and was awarded ‘best ECA 2017’ by Global Trade Review and Euromoney’s Trade Finance. Over a five-year period UKEF has provided £12.3bn of support for UK exports, helping 191 companies sell to 75 overseas markets in the last year.

Information on the range of services provided by UKEF can be found on great.gov.uk. Additionally, UKEF is working to increase awareness of the services they offer to exporters. Initiatives include a new bank partnership model, allowing smaller companies to access UKEF finance directly from their high street bank; exporter fairs, connecting overseas buyers to UK exporters; and a multi-channel UKEF marketing campaign under the “GREAT” branding..

UKEF’s Export Finance Managers located across the country also provide information to exporters on public and private sector financing options.

In addition, the Department for International Trade will shortly be publishing an export strategy.

Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Home Office
Immigration
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK citizens not owning property in the UK will be required to satisfy immigration authorities of income and property in the UK when applying for either EU or non-EU spouses and close family members to enter and reside in the UK after Brexit.
Answered on: 06 August 2018

The Government is considering a range of options for the future immigration system. We will​ ​build​ ​a​ ​comprehensive​ ​picture​ ​of​ ​the​ ​needs​ ​and​ ​interests​ ​of​ ​all​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​the​ ​UK, including​ ​different​ ​sectors,​ ​businesses​ ​and​ ​communities,​ ​and​ ​look​ ​to​ ​develop​ ​a system​ ​that​ ​works​ ​for​ ​all.​

We will make decisions on the future immigration system based on evidence and engagement. That is why we have asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to advise on the economic and social impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU. When building the new system, various aspects including the creative sector will be taken into account, to ensure the future immigration system works for sectors.

We will set out proposals in the autumn.

Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Home Office
British Nationals Abroad: EU Countries
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the numbers of UK citizens residing in other EU member states who do not own property in the UK.
Answered on: 06 August 2018

We do not hold this data.

Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Home Office
Visas
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times in each of the last five years have immigration officers refused permission for a short-term visitor visa on the grounds that they have not been satisfied that the applicant intends to leave the UK at the end of the period being applied for, without giving the applicant the opportunity to provide additional information.
Answered on: 06 August 2018

Border Force does not hold the data in the requested format. Published data on refusals can be found at :

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2018/list-of-tables#visas

Table vi_01_q: Entry clearance visa applications and resolution by category

Resolved

of which

Quarter

Applicant type

Category

Applications

Granted

%

Refused

%

Withdrawn

Lapsed

2017 Q1

Main applicant

Visitors

466,782

440,069

382,392

87%

56,934

13%

734

9

2017 Q1

Dependant

Visitors

41,900

39,630

35,018

88%

4,519

11%

93

0

2017 Q2

Main applicant

Visitors

722,866

694,142

621,701

90%

70,927

10%

1,498

16

2017 Q2

Dependant

Visitors

122,499

112,339

104,414

93%

7,702

7%

220

3

2017 Q3

Main applicant

Visitors

535,737

580,486

510,720

88%

67,906

12%

1,848

12

2017 Q3

Dependant

Visitors

44,330

59,635

53,532

90%

5,967

10%

136

0

2017 Q4

Main applicant

Visitors

417,610

421,871

359,120

85%

61,777

15%

970

4

2017 Q4

Dependant

Visitors

34,005

34,154

29,480

86%

4,569

13%

103

2

2017

2,382,326

2,096,377

88%

280,301

12%

5,602

46

Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Cabinet Office
Public Sector: Procurement
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Tenders Electronic Daily only contains public sector tenders from within the EU; and if so, on what website or websites UK public sector tenders will be published after Brexit; and from what date will this take effect.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 06 August 2018

The awarding authorities that are eligible to publish notices on Tenders Electronic Daily can be found at the following link: https://simap.ted.europa.eu/european-public-procurement

The future options for our procurement policies are being considered very carefully, but until that process is complete it would be premature to comment on the publication of UK tenders once we leave the European Union.

Government Response to PACAC (PDF Document, 150.62 KB)
Q
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Treasury
Financial Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to advance the UK’s position as an international financial centre.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 02 August 2018

The UK is home to the world’s preeminent financial centre and the government is committed to maintaining and enhancing this position. In addition to our natural advantages, such as a central time zone and the English language, we have strengths across all the major sectors – banking, asset management, and insurance – alongside a globally respected regulatory system, and world-class legal and professional services.

As the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out in his Mansion House speech in June, the government has a long-term vision for the future of UK financial services, based on ensuring the continued innovation, resilience, and openness of the sector. This includes strengthening the UK’s already world-leading positions in the markets of the future, whether in Fintech, green and sustainable finance, or rupee and renminbi products.

Q
Asked on: 17 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Gibraltar: Spain
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the new government of Spain regarding Gibraltar.
A
Answered on: 01 August 2018

The UK continues to engage constructively with the Government of Gibraltar and our European partners, including Spain, to address the practical implications arising from our EU exit. We are confident all sides are committed to finding a mutually agreeable resolution benefitting everyone living and working in the region.

The UK stands by its assurances to Gibraltar never to enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another State against their freely and democratically expressed wishes. Furthermore the UK has given an assurance that it will not enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content. This is the so called “double lock” guarantee”.

Q
Asked on: 18 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
British Overseas Territories
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any proposals from the governments of any of the British Overseas Territories to alter the status of those Territories' relationships with the United Kingdom.
A
Answered on: 31 July 2018

As I have stated previously, and as set out in the 2012 White Paper, we believe that the fundamental structure of our constitutional relationship with the Overseas Territories is the right one. However, we are happy to consider any proposals on changes to constitutions put forward by any of the Overseas Territories. Officials are currently reviewing two such proposals.

Q
Asked on: 20 July 2018
Department for Transport
Driving: Licensing
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many UK citizens resident in other EU member states, having exchanged their UK driving licences for licences in those states, will need to exchange their current licences for UK licences after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU; and whether those licences will be issued on the same conditions as their original UK licence.
A
Answered by: Baroness Sugg
Answered on: 26 July 2018

We do not hold comprehensive data on the number of UK licence holders who exchange their licences for EU licences. The treatment of driving licences is part of wider negotiations and will depend on the outcome of the final deal between UK and the EU.

UK citizens who are already resident in another EU member state, can exercise their current right to exchange their UK driving licence for one of the state where they are resident. If they remain resident in the EU after exit, there should be no requirement for the licence holder to then re-exchange their EU licence back to a UK licence.

If the licence holder moves back to the UK from the EU and becomes resident, they will be able to re-obtain a UK licence with the same categories, on the basis that they passed their driving test in the UK.

Q
Asked on: 12 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
China: Trade
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their strategy towards China’s belt and road initiative; and how that initiative affects UK interests.
A
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The British Government welcomes the opportunities presented by the Belt and Road Initiative; if implemented well, we believe it will have a significant impact on economic development in the Asia and Pacific region. During the Prime Minister’s visit to China in January, the UK and China agreed to work together to identify how best we can cooperate on the Initiative and ensure it meets international standards. We are currently taking forward the practical cooperation agreed at the UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue in December 2017. Sir Douglas Flint, former Chair of HSBC, has been appointed the UK Financial and Professional Services Envoy for the Belt and Road. In addition, we are working with China to jointly identify infrastructure projects.

It is in everyone’s interests to ensure that the Initiative adheres to international standards and best practice, including to encourage responsible investment and sustainable development, in order to be a success in driving global growth and enhancing development outcomes.

Q
Asked on: 12 July 2018
Treasury
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what involvement the UK has with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
A
Answered by: Lord Bates
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The UK became a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2015, with a 3.18% shareholding, representing a capital contribution of $3.05 billion (of which 20% will be paid-in over five years, and 80% is callable).

The Chancellor of the Exchequer represents the UK at the AIIB Board of Governors. The UK also holds one of the 12 seats on the AIIB Board of Directors, representing the Wider Europe Constituency (Denmark, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK).

The UK is an active and committed shareholder of the Bank, in pursuit of the UK’s objectives of supporting economic growth in Asia, deepening economic ties globally, supporting the development of international financial institutions, and creating opportunities for British businesses.

Q
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Chemical Weapons
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had any communication with the government of Russia, its agencies or any intermediaries on the issues arising from events in Salisbury and Amesbury; and if not, why not.
A
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The Prime Minister's statement in the House of Commons on 12 March set out the questions the former Foreign Secretary asked of the Russian Government when he summoned the Russian Ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier that day. We still await a reply.

Grouped Questions: HL9361
Q
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Russia: Chemical Weapons
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what specific questions they intend to put to the government of Russia or its agencies that would give possible insight into the events in Salisbury and Amesbury; and whether they intend to request assistance from that government.
A
Answered on: 23 July 2018

The Prime Minister's statement in the House of Commons on 12 March set out the questions the former Foreign Secretary asked of the Russian Government when he summoned the Russian Ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office earlier that day. We still await a reply.

Grouped Questions: HL9360
Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Immigration: EU Nationals
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure the continuity of rights for all EU citizens after Brexit.
Q
Asked on: 23 July 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
British Nationals Abroad
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether current Brexit negotiations will necessitate some UK citizens who do not reside in the UK, without property in the UK but in the European Union, to relocate to the UK after Brexit; and if so, whether they have plans to recompense those citizens.
 
Withdrawn
Q
Asked on: 09 July 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sanctions
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any online resources exist that give current and complete lists of goods, individuals or entities on sanctions lists worldwide.
A
Answered on: 19 July 2018

​The publication of lists of goods, individuals or entities on sanctions lists is the responsibility of those individual countries and multilateral institutions which impose and implement sanctions. I am not aware of the existence of a single global list. The UK currently imposes multilateral sanctions through the European Union, which publishes information on its website. The UK publishes details of UN and EU sanctions that it implements on the GOV.UK website.

Q
Asked on: 05 July 2018
Cabinet Office
Government: Migrant Workers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many non-UK citizens work in central government; and what estimate they have made of how many non-UK citizens work in local government.
A
Answered by: Lord Young of Cookham
Answered on: 18 July 2018

All Civil Service organisations must comply with the Civil Service Nationality Rules which govern the eligibility of individuals to be employed in the Civil Service on the grounds of nationality. The Civil Service does not collate or hold central information on the nationality of civil servants.

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