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 Baroness Quin
Asked on: 02 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what plans they have to introduce regional strategies to address COVID-19 death and infection rates. [T]
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 22 June 2020

We are currently considering a range of options for addressing future phases of the COVID-19, including the implementation of tailoring containment measures to the regional and local level. As recently announced, each local authority will be given funding to develop local outbreak control plans, working with the local National Health Service, Public Health England and other stakeholders.

Any decisions on how to approach the mid- to long-term strategy to address the pandemic will be led by the science, build on the Government’s test and trace strategy, and be supported by the new Joint Biosecurity Centre.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 08 June 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Coronavirus: Disease Control
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when, and for what reason, they decided to merge the North East region and the Yorkshire and Humberside region in their statistics on the incidence of COVID-19 and that virus's reinfection rates. [T]
Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 18 May 2020
Home Office
NHS: Migrant Workers
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to waive the cost requirement for the renewal of visas for those working in NHS hospitals in any capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. [T]
Answered on: 26 May 2020

The Government has announced we will extend the visas for a range of healthcare professionals working for the NHS and independent health and care providers, where their current visa expires between 31 March and 1 October. This offer also applies to their families. The 12-month extension is automatic and free of charge and those benefitting will not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

This is part of a wider Government approach to supporting the health and care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to keep all of our policies under review.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 28 April 2020
Department for Transport
Freight: UK Relations with EU
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had, and plan to have, with (1) The Road Haulage Association, and (2) The Freight Transport Association, about the negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
A
Answered on: 13 May 2020

The Department engages with the FTA and RHA regularly on issues related to the UK’s departure from the EU, preparations for the end of the Transition Period and the progress of the ongoing negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 21 April 2020
Department of Health and Social Care
Hospital Beds
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the British Medical Association and (2) other health sector representatives about the availability of hospital beds for patients needing urgent treatment for something other than COVID-19.
A
Answered by: Lord Bethell
Answered on: 01 May 2020

The Department regularly engages with the British Medical Association and other health sector representatives such as National Health Service trade unions, including through the Social Partnership Forum (SPF). SPF meetings are now exclusively focused on COVID-19 workforce issues.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 12 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Creative Europe
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the UK’s creative industries about continued UK participation in the EU Creative Europe programme.
A
Answered by: Baroness Barran
Answered on: 25 March 2020

The government has made the decision not to seek participation in Creative Europe in the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Prior to this decision, Ministers and officials engaged with relevant parts of industry and government-funded screen bodies including the British Film Institute.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 12 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Broadcasting: EU Law
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of continued adherence in the UK to the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive.
A
Answered by: Baroness Barran
Answered on: 25 March 2020

Implementation of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) is required as part of the United Kingdom’s Withdrawal Agreement. Under the terms of this agreement, the UK will implement EU law adopted while it was a Member State where the implementation date falls within the transition period. After the transition period, the transposed measures in the Directive will become retained EU law and continue to apply to citizens and companies in the UK. Furthermore, the government has made a statutory instrument, the Broadcasting (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, to correct deficiencies in broadcasting legislation as a result of leaving the EU and ensure that Ofcom continues to have effective oversight of broadcasting in the UK.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 12 March 2020
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Copyright: EU Law
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy regarding UK implementation of the 2019 Copyright Directive.
A
Answered by: Lord Callanan
Answered on: 24 March 2020

The deadline for implementing the EU Copyright Directive is 7 June 2021. The United Kingdom left the European Union on the 31 January and the transition period will end on 31 December 2020. Therefore, the United Kingdom will not be required to implement the Directive, and the Government has no plans to do so.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 12 March 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Arts
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many firms in the creative industry sector formerly based in the UK have relocated to the EU in (1) 2016–18, (2) 2019, and (3) since 31 January 2020.
A
Answered by: Baroness Barran
Answered on: 19 March 2020

DCMS does not track this information.

Beyond the transition period, the UK has set out its proposals to the EU in a range of areas, making clear that we want a Canada-style relationship, based on a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement supplemented by other international agreements.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 11 February 2020
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 20 January (HL273), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, on what dates HS2 is expected to reach (1) Newcastle, and (2) Edinburgh.
A
Answered on: 25 February 2020

Currently, HS2 services to Newcastle and Edinburgh will start between 2036 and 2040. However, as recommended by the Oakervee review, government will work with the National Infrastructure Commission to develop an integrated plan for rail investment in the North and Midlands. This will look at HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and our multi-billion-pound rail investment programme – to assess whether can deliver these projects faster, cheaper, and with greater benefits and fewer impacts for the North and Midlands.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sewage: Waste Disposal
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration, if any, they gave to the provision of financial help to those on low incomes when introducing the 2015 rules following their consultation Reform of the Regulatory System to Control Small Sewage Discharges from Septic Tanks and Small Sewage Treatment Plants in England.
Answered on: 19 February 2020

A Regulatory Impact Assessment was carried out at the time that the 2015 rules were introduced. While no financial help is available for upgrading or replacing small sewage discharges regulated under General Binding Rules, the Environment Agency will agree a reasonable timescale with the owner where it identifies that improvements are required.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sewage: Waste Disposal
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration, if any, they gave to providing financial help to householders when introducing the 2015 rules following their consultation on Reform of the Regulatory System to Control Small Sewage Discharges from Septic Tanks and Small Sewage Treatment Plants in England where the discharge facilities were situated within a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Answered on: 19 February 2020

A Regulatory Impact Assessment was carried out at the time that the 2015 rules were introduced. While no financial help is available for upgrading or replacing small sewage discharges regulated under General Binding Rules, the Environment Agency will agree a reasonable timescale with the owner where it identifies that improvements are required.

With specific regard to any discharge facilities situated within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, additional regulatory requirements only arise as a direct consequence of that if the discharge in question was first made on or after 1 January 2015.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sewage: Waste Disposal
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what information they currently hold about the number of people on low incomes who are affected by the 2015 rules following their consultation on Reform of the Regulatory System to Control Small Sewage Discharges from Septic Tanks and Small Sewage Treatment Plants in England.
Answered on: 19 February 2020

Neither the Environment Agency nor Defra holds any information regarding the number of people on low incomes who rely on non-mains sewerage systems.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 05 February 2020
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Internet: Safety
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made a study of the effectiveness of legislation in force in (1) France, and (2) Germany, to protect consumers from online harms.
A
Answered by: Baroness Barran
Answered on: 17 February 2020

Ministers and officials meet with their international counterparts, including the French and German governments, on a range of issues, including work to tackle online harms.

Many of the UK’s international partners are developing new regulatory approaches to tackle online harms. As set out in the Online Harms White Paper, the Government will continue to share experiences and work with partners internationally as we develop our own approach.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 09 January 2020
Department for Transport
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect HS2 to extend to (1) Newcastle, and (2) Edinburgh.
A
Answered on: 20 January 2020

As currently planned, HS2 trains will run directly to Newcastle via a connection to the East Coast Mainline. HS2 Services are currently planned to run directly to Edinburgh via a connection to the West Coast Mainline, which is dependent on the completion of Phase 2b. Proposed services will offer reduced journey times with London.

In August 2019, the Prime Minister asked Douglas Oakervee to chair an independent review of HS2 to provide advice on how and whether to proceed. The Government will set out the next steps for High Speed 2 in due course.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 07 January 2020
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent representations they have made about the continuing imprisonment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
A
Answered on: 17 January 2020

​The Foreign Secretary raised his concerns about dual national detentions with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif on 6 January. The Prime Minister raised his concerns with Iranian President Rouhani on 9 January. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa called for their release in his call with Deputy Foreign Minister Araghchi on 12 January. We remain extremely concerned about the welfare of all British-Iranian dual nationals detained in Iran, including Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe. We have made clear to Iran that we expect them to ensure she is treated humanely and in line with international standards. We continue to request immediate consular access.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 09 January 2020
Cabinet Office
Subversion: Russia
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the report from the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament on Russian influence in UK politics will be published.
A
Answered by: Earl Howe
Answered on: 16 January 2020

In line with his responsibilities in the Justice and Security Act 2013, the Prime Minister carefully considered and approved the report, and is content that its publication would not prejudice the functions of those bodies that safeguard our national security.

We acknowledge the public’s interest in the publication of the report; however the report itself is the property of the independent ISC. As such it is not for the Government to publish it; it is for the ISC to lay it before Parliament. Once a new Committee has been established, it will be up to them to choose when they wish to publish it. The process to establish a new Committee has already begun.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 19 December 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Health Services: British Nationals Abroad
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to ensure continued access for British citizens to health services in the EU after Brexit, including continued access to the benefits of the European Health Insurance Card.
Answered on: 07 January 2020

The agreement we have reached with the European Union is that until 31 December 2020 there will be no changes to reciprocal healthcare access for pensioners, workers, students, tourists and other visitors, the European Health Insurance Card scheme, or planned treatment.

People who have settled in the EU or United Kingdom before 31 December 2020, will continue to have life-long reciprocal healthcare rights provided they remain covered under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. This means existing healthcare arrangements will not change for those UK nationals who are resident in the EU and EU citizens in the UK before 31 December 2020, for as long as they are living in that country and covered by the agreement.

We want to continue discussing the future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the EU as part of the future relationship discussions.

Q
Asked by Baroness Quin
Asked on: 19 December 2019
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Pet Travel Scheme
Lords
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to ensure continued access for British citizens to the EU pet passport scheme after Brexit.
A
Answered on: 07 January 2020

The non-commercial movement of cats, dogs and ferrets is covered by the EU Pet Travel Scheme which has three categorisations of third country: unlisted, Part 1 listed and Part 2 listed. Third countries can apply to the European Commission to be listed under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

The UK submitted its application to allow the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations to the European Commission in January 2019. Should the UK become a Part 1 listed country, there would be little change to the current arrangements, with only minor changes needed for documentation and, in most cases, no change for owners from what they currently need to do in terms of their animal’s health preparation. It is now for the Commission to consider our application for listed status.

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