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 Baroness Quin
Asked on: 06 September 2019
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
USA: Diplomatic Service
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the inquiry into the leaking of confidential messages from Sir Kim Darroch will conclude.
A
Answered on: 09 September 2019

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 25 June 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Plastics: Labelling
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration, if any, they have given to introducing legislation to require wet wipes and similar products to list the proportion of plastics in their composition.
A
Answered on: 09 July 2019

The Government recognises the importance of introducing requirements to inform and influence consumers on the appropriate use and disposal of products containing plastic. The Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018 makes commitments to develop mandatory labelling requirements and this work is underway. This includes wet wipes.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 24 June 2019
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Housing: Solar Power
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent consideration they have given to making it a requirement that all new homes be fitted with solar panels.
Answered on: 04 July 2019

The Building Regulations set minimum energy performance standards for new homes and non-domestic buildings. They are deliberately couched in performance terms and do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used. For example, many roofs are not suitable for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels because of roof design, age, strength, or building orientation. It would therefore be implausible for a blanket requirement to deploy solar PV on every roof.

We are, however, planning to consult later this year on an uplift to the Building Regulations energy efficiency standards where there are safe, practical, cost-effective, and affordable opportunities to do so.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 14 May 2019
Department for International Trade
Trade Agreements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government with which countries, in order of priority, they wish to conclude trade deals post-Brexit; and what estimate they have made, if any, of the likely timescale of concluding such deals.
Answered on: 21 May 2019

Our priority is to be in a position to begin formal negotiations with key partners after we leave the EU, and to then make progress towards substantive agreements, so long as such agreements work for the whole of the UK. We have completed public consultations on potential future free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and on the UK’s potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). We plan to publish Government responses for each of the four consultations before any formal negotiations begin.

Trade agreements vary in shape, scope and form, and there is no “average” timeframe for completion. For example, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada took seven years to negotiate, the China-Switzerland FTA took two, but the USA-Jordan FTA negotiations only four months. The Government is clear that its objective is to negotiate the best possible FTAs for the whole of the UK, in the interests of business and consumers.

While we are looking to forge new agreements, the Government is also seeking continuity for our existing EU trade agreements as we leave the EU. A list of all signed trade continuity agreements is available on the GOV.UK website.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 31 January 2019
Ministry of Justice
Civil Proceedings: Judgements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the Bar Council, (2) the Law Society, and (3) other interested organisations about the impact of Brexit on the cross-border enforcement of civil judgments.
A
Answered by: Lord Keen of Elie
Answered on: 14 February 2019

The Government has engaged regularly with the Law Society, the Bar Council and other interested representatives of the legal profession since the referendum about the impact of Brexit on all aspects of civil judicial cooperation, including the cross-border enforceability of judgments. This has included regular Ministerial meetings and senior official conversations and attending a variety of roundtables and events.

In addition, the Department asked the sector to lead a dedicated group, the Brexit Law Committee, to provide a forum through which the Government and the legal and business sectors could discuss legal and commercial issues arising out of EU exit. This Committee includes representatives of both the Law Society and the Bar Council, and representatives from other legal organisations, and business groups.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 27 November 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements they have made with the EU for the European Health Insurance Card to continue to be used by British citizens when travelling within the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 05 December 2018

The current structure of European Union rules and regulations will apply during the implementation period, and this includes cover under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme.

With regard to EHIC cover under the Withdrawal Agreement, where the United Kingdom, or an EU 27 Member State, is responsible for the healthcare of those within scope of the social security coordination part of the Withdrawal Agreement, such individuals will be entitled to EHIC cover for as long as they remain in scope. We have also agreed to protect the rights of individuals who are in a cross-border situation at the end of the implementation period, and entitled to an EHIC, to continue to benefit from that scheme for as long as that cross-border situation in the State they are in continues.

In the White Paper of July 2018, The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, the UK Government has stated that it is seeking agreement on reciprocal healthcare including continued participation in the EHIC scheme.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Insurance Companies
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have received from the insurance industry about their proposals for the services sector outlined in The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union (Cm 9593), published in July.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 22 August 2018

Ministers and officials from my Department and across Government continue to engage broadly across all sectors - including the services industry - and across the UK to hear the business’ priorities and issues relating to our exit.

Representatives from services, including insurance, and other industries met with the Secretary of State and all the ministers in my Department to discuss the proposals made in the White Paper at Chevening House on 20 July.

The proposals outlined in the White Paper set out an ambitious and credible proposition for a close future relationship on financial services with the EU. This would provide stable and predictable access to each other’s markets, while recognising that the UK and the EU will exercise autonomy over regulatory decisions through domestic equivalence processes, and protect financial stability.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 24 July 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Financial Services
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with representatives of (1) the City of London Corporation, and (2) the City of London financial services sector about the proposals for the financial services sector in The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union (Cm9593), published in July.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 22 August 2018

Ministers and officials from my Department and across Government continue to engage broadly across all sectors - including the financial services sector - and across the UK to hear the business’ priorities and issues relating to our exit.

The Secretary of State and all the ministers in my Department met with business leaders from across the economy to discuss the White Paper at Chevening House on 20 July. This included a deep dive session on financial services with major firms and financial institutions, which included discussions on the proposed new economic and regulatory arrangement.

In addition, ministers and officials in the Treasury continue to engage closely with firms across the Financial Services sector on the White Paper and wider EU exit issues.

The proposals outlined in the White Paper set out an ambitious and credible proposition for a close future relationship on financial services with the EU. This would provide stable and predictable access to each other’s markets, while recognising that the UK and the EU will exercise autonomy over regulatory decisions through domestic equivalence processes, and protect financial stability.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 16 July 2018
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
International Broadcasting
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Commercial Broadcasters Association to ensure that international broadcasters and TV channels based in the UK will be able to continue to broadcast after Brexit as at present.
A
Answered by: Lord Ashton of Hyde
Answered on: 25 July 2018

The government has been engaging extensively with the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA) and its members to discuss the impact of Brexit on international broadcasters based in the UK.

Over the past year, DCMS has hosted a number of ministerial roundtables on the topic of Brexit, attended by the COBA members. Ministers and officials have also held regular bilateral meetings with financial and policy teams from a variety of international broadcasting firms regarding the implications of our exit from the EU for these companies. COBA has been instrumental for enhancing the government’s understanding of sector’s priorities and concerns relating to EU Exit.

As set out by the recently published Brexit White paper, the UK is seeking the best possible arrangement for broadcasting that will work for the broadcasting sector, and we are committed to continue working with COBA members to understand their needs and concerns.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 28 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Competition and Markets Authority
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for providing extra resources to the Competition and Markets Authority as a result of the UK no longer being a member of the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 11 July 2018

At the Autumn Budget 2017, my rt. hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer committed £3 billion over the next two financial years to helping departments, including the CMA, and the devolved administrations to prepare for our exit from the EU. As part of the Spring Statement 2018, my rt. hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced that the CMA has been allocated an additional £23.6m in 2018-2019 to prepare for EU exit.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 28 June 2018
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Competition
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to ensure UK participation in the European competition network after Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord Henley
Answered on: 10 July 2018

The Government intends to ensure that UK competition authorities, such as the Competition and Markets Authority, can cooperate effectively and coordinate closely their activity with the European Commission and the competition authorities of EU Member States. This will be subject to negotiations with the EU and could be achieved through an agreed form of UK participation in the European competition network or through another mechanism.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 24 May 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to ensure that UK citizens can participate in the European Health Card scheme (1) during, and (2) after, the transition period following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 04 June 2018

We have agreed reciprocal healthcare arrangements for the purposes of the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union. The current structure of EU rules and regulations will apply until the end of the implementation period, including the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme.

Individuals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will be entitled to reciprocal healthcare cover on the terms laid out under that deal.

Reciprocal healthcare rights for individuals not in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will be a matter for further negotiation with the EU. We have been clear that we want all current and future United Kingdom EHIC holders to benefit from EHIC rights, subject to a reciprocal deal.

At every step of the negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.

Grouped Questions: HL8230
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 24 May 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have discussed the subject of the UK's future participation in the European Health Insurance Card scheme in their Brexit negotiations with the European Commission.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 04 June 2018

We have agreed reciprocal healthcare arrangements for the purposes of the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union. The current structure of EU rules and regulations will apply until the end of the implementation period, including the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme.

Individuals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will be entitled to reciprocal healthcare cover on the terms laid out under that deal.

Reciprocal healthcare rights for individuals not in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will be a matter for further negotiation with the EU. We have been clear that we want all current and future United Kingdom EHIC holders to benefit from EHIC rights, subject to a reciprocal deal.

At every step of the negotiations we will work to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.

Grouped Questions: HL8229
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 23 April 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: Reciprocal Arrangements
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possible increases in travel insurance for UK citizens if the UK were no longer to be part of the European Health Insurance Card scheme after Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 08 May 2018

The Department has not made a formal assessment of the possible increases in travel insurance for United Kingdom citizens if the UK were no longer to be part of the European Health Insurance Card scheme after Brexit.

However, the Department engages regularly with the Association of British Insurers and industry to discuss matters relating to reciprocal healthcare and this will continue.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what institutional mechanisms for future involvement in EU foreign policy cooperation they envisage for the UK after Brexit.
A
Answered on: 10 April 2018

On leaving the EU, the UK will pursue an independent foreign policy. The future security partnership with the EU should respect both the EU's decision-making autonomy and the UK's sovereignty, and enable us to combine our efforts to the greatest effect where this is in our shared interest. We aim to be able to consult regularly with the EU, deliver operationally through EU mechanisms where this is in our shared interest, and work together on developing defence, cyber and space capabilities.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 26 March 2018
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government in which areas of foreign policy cooperation with the EU they hope to continue participating after Brexit.
A
Answered on: 10 April 2018

We intend to work closely on all existing areas of co-operation.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit: Gibraltar
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what mechanisms they have established to facilitate regular consultation with the government and people of Gibraltar in relation to Brexit negotiations.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The UK Government is clear that we will fully involve Gibraltar as we leave the EU, to ensure their interests are properly taken into account. We have established the quarterly Joint Ministerial Council (Gibraltar EU Negotiations) to deliver on this commitment. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Robin Walker MP chaired the sixth meeting of the JMC (GEN) on 8 March, with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and the Minister for Europe alongside the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Attorney General of Gibraltar. This is underpinned by extensive official-level engagement, including through working groups on key priorities such as financial services.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit: Gibraltar
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they are giving to the economy of Gibraltar in negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The UK Government is working closely with the Government of Gibraltar to agree Gibraltar’s particular priorities in EU exit. Through this work, we know that Gibraltar also values its strong trade with the UK, particularly in financial services and online gambling. We are discussing all these issues with the Government of Gibraltar through the Joint Ministerial Council (Gibraltar EU Negotiations). Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Robin Walker MP chaired the most recent meeting of the JMC (GEN) on 8 March where we agreed a series of measures, including on the economy, detailed in my Written Ministerial Statement of 15 March.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 13 March 2018
Department for Exiting the European Union
Brexit: Gibraltar
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assurances they have given to the government of Gibraltar regarding Gibraltar’s access to the EU Single Market for services after Brexit.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 19 March 2018

The Government has been clear that we are leaving the Single Market when we leave the EU. We are discussing this matter with the Government of Gibraltar through the Joint Ministerial Council (Gibraltar EU Negotiations) chaired by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Robin Walker MP. We are fully involving Gibraltar as we leave the EU, to ensure their interests are properly taken into account.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 27 February 2018
Department of Health and Social Care
Vitamin D
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of proposals to restrict access to prescription-based vitamin D maintenance, whether they will undertake a study into how such proposals might affect at-risk groups, as set out in NICE Guidelines 56-2, and in particular those in the at-risk groups on low or fixed incomes.
A
Answered by: Lord O'Shaughnessy
Answered on: 12 March 2018

NHS England undertook a study into how the proposals in the consultation Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: A Consultation on guidance for CCGs might affect at-risk groups by accompanying the consultation with a full Equality and Health Inequalities Impact Assessment. The Impact Assessment, Equality and Health Inequalities – Full Analysis Form – Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care sets out how the proposals may affect groups protected by the Equality Act 2010 and those people on low income and ethnic minorities, including those at-risk groups, as set out in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. Copies of the consultation and Impact Assessment are attached.

In the summer months most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from sunlight on the skin. It is also found in some foods – oily fish, red meat, liver, egg yolks and fortified foods – such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals.

The Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances states that vitamins and minerals should be prescribed only in the management of actual or potential vitamin or mineral deficiency, and are not to be prescribed as dietary supplements. We understand that NHS England’s current consultation is in line with this. Prescribing vitamin D for maintenance would be classed as a treatment for prevention or as a dietary supplement.

Equality Impact Assessment (PDF Document, 932.6 KB)
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