Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

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Department for Education
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Disadvantaged children in education

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi) has made the following written ministerial statement.

Education should give every child, no matter their background, the opportunity to reach their full potential. To this end, we are announcing the conclusion of the Children in Need review, delivering the Government’s Manifesto commitment to better understand how we can improve the educational outcomes of children who have needed a social worker.

Through our reforms to social care and across Government, we are already taking action to improve safety and stability for these children: strengthening families and tackling domestic abuse, poor mental health and substance misuse, which are prevalent drivers of need. Through our action to drive up the quality of services in local authorities and to develop a highly capable, skilled social work workforce, we have seen the number of local authorities judged inadequate decline by around a quarter since 2017 – providing consistently better services for thousands of children and families across the country.

We have also delivered significant work to raise the educational attainment of our most disadvantaged children. This includes the Timpson Review of School Exclusions, reforms to alternative provision, delivering on the 2014 SEND reforms, and ensuring a system of advocacy and support for Looked After Children.

Children in Need are those who need a social worker for help or protection, including children on a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan, Looked After Children, and disabled children. The Children in Need Review set out to assess the educational outcomes of this group of children and what actions and interventions are needed to improve them. As part of the review we have developed new data and analysis, conducted a broad programme of qualitative evidence-gathering, including a Call for Evidence and literature review, and engaged with practitioners working in education and social care, as well as children and young people with experience of being supported by social care.

The review has evidenced, for the first time, the prevalence of children who have needed a social worker currently or previously, and the extent of these children’s lasting poor educational outcomes. We now know that 1.6 million children have needed a social worker at some point, equivalent to 1 in 10 last year. This group do significantly worse than others at all stages of education. Of young people who needed a social worker in their GCSE year, by age 21, half had still not achieved Level 2 qualifications (which include GCSEs) compared to 12% of those not in need.

The review has developed four priority areas for action, and identified where we can start work immediately. These are: promoting visibility and recognition, not only for the purposes of safeguarding but in education; keeping children in school, making sure education is a protective factor against abuse, neglect and exploitation; raising aspiration to believe that more is possible of this group of children; and finally, supporting schools to support children themselves – recognising the consequences of childhood adversity on attendance, learning, behaviour and mental health.

The immediate action we will take includes:

  • Clarifying and strengthening our expectations around information sharing between and within schools and social care;
  • Continuing to improve our national data on this group;
  • Improving clarity, timeliness and transparency around in-year admissions;
  • Developing much-needed new research on tackling absence;
  • Consulting on strengthening the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead in schools, and exploring whether there is a case for extending and adapting the scope of Virtual School Heads;
  • Building on reforms to mental health support, by identifying and sharing best practice around responding to the lasting impacts of childhood adversity;
  • Working with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to analyse which interventions, trialled by the Education Endowment Foundation, are most effective for children with a social worker.

This action aims to ensure that every child can benefit from their education, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to fulfil their potential, and the resilience they need for future success. However, it is only a start. To support families and communities, the whole of Government will continue to work together in preventing and tackling the causes of need, from the early years through to adolescence.

The report ‘Help, Protection, Education: concluding the Children in Need review’ has been published alongside a companion data and analysis document on Gov.uk. I will place a copy of the documents published in the House Libraries.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1635
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Disadvantaged children in education

Education should give every child, no matter their background, the opportunity to reach their full potential. To this end, we are announcing the conclusion of the Children in Need review, delivering the Government’s Manifesto commitment to better understand how we can improve the educational outcomes of children who have needed a social worker.

Through our reforms to social care and across Government, we are already taking action to improve safety and stability for these children: strengthening families and tackling domestic abuse, poor mental health and substance misuse, which are prevalent drivers of need. Through our action to drive up the quality of services in local authorities and to develop a highly capable, skilled social work workforce, we have seen the number of local authorities judged inadequate decline by around a quarter since 2017 – providing consistently better services for thousands of children and families across the country.

We have also delivered significant work to raise the educational attainment of our most disadvantaged children. This includes the Timpson Review of School Exclusions, reforms to alternative provision, delivering on the 2014 SEND reforms, and ensuring a system of advocacy and support for Looked After Children.

Children in Need are those who need a social worker for help or protection, including children on a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan, Looked After Children, and disabled children. The Children in Need Review set out to assess the educational outcomes of this group of children and what actions and interventions are needed to improve them. As part of the review we have developed new data and analysis, conducted a broad programme of qualitative evidence-gathering, including a Call for Evidence and literature review, and engaged with practitioners working in education and social care, as well as children and young people with experience of being supported by social care.

The review has evidenced, for the first time, the prevalence of children who have needed a social worker currently or previously, and the extent of these children’s lasting poor educational outcomes. We now know that 1.6 million children have needed a social worker at some point, equivalent to 1 in 10 last year. This group do significantly worse than others at all stages of education. Of young people who needed a social worker in their GCSE year, by age 21, half had still not achieved Level 2 qualifications (which include GCSEs) compared to 12% of those not in need.

The review has developed four priority areas for action, and identified where we can start work immediately. These are: promoting visibility and recognition, not only for the purposes of safeguarding but in education; keeping children in school, making sure education is a protective factor against abuse, neglect and exploitation; raising aspiration to believe that more is possible of this group of children; and finally, supporting schools to support children themselves – recognising the consequences of childhood adversity on attendance, learning, behaviour and mental health.

The immediate action we will take includes:

  • Clarifying and strengthening our expectations around information sharing between and within schools and social care;
  • Continuing to improve our national data on this group;
  • Improving clarity, timeliness and transparency around in-year admissions;
  • Developing much-needed new research on tackling absence;
  • Consulting on strengthening the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead in schools, and exploring whether there is a case for extending and adapting the scope of Virtual School Heads;
  • Building on reforms to mental health support, by identifying and sharing best practice around responding to the lasting impacts of childhood adversity;
  • Working with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care to analyse which interventions, trialled by the Education Endowment Foundation, are most effective for children with a social worker.

This action aims to ensure that every child can benefit from their education, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to fulfil their potential, and the resilience they need for future success. However, it is only a start. To support families and communities, the whole of Government will continue to work together in preventing and tackling the causes of need, from the early years through to adolescence.

The report ‘Help, Protection, Education: concluding the Children in Need review’ has been published alongside a companion data and analysis document on Gov.uk. I will place a copy of the documents published in the House Libraries.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1597
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

General Affairs Council, June 2019

My Right Honourable friend Stephen Barclay, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I will attend the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 18 June 2019 to represent the UK. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full Member State and continue to act in good faith.

The provisional agenda includes:

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

Ministers and the Commission will discuss progress on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations. The intention is for Member States to reach an agreement on the negotiations in autumn 2019.

Preparation of the European Council on 20-21 June 2019: Conclusions and European Council follow-up

The Council will discuss preparations for the June European Council. The agenda includes: adoption of the 2019-2024 Strategic Agenda for the European Union; MFF; Climate Change; the European Semester; and the disinformation and elections report prepared by the Romanian Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Ministers will also discuss progress in implementing previous European Council conclusions.

Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process

Enlargement is the process whereby European countries are able to join the European Union. Ministers will discuss and adopt conclusions on the 2019 enlargement package which was presented by the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and other EU institutions on 29 May.

European Semester - Horizontal report on Country Specific Recommendations

The European Semester provides a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU. Ministers will discuss the Commission’s horizontal report on the macro-economic position of the EU, which draws on country specific recommendations. The report will be passed to European Council ahead of its meeting on 20 and 21 June.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Inheritance Tax relief on Kindertransport Compensation Payments

My honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Jesse Norman) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government is proud to continue to support victims of Nazi persecution. Earlier this year, the German Government set up a compensation scheme for Jewish individuals who were transported from Germany on the Kindertransport. Under the previous rules, these payments would be treated as part of the individual’s estate and liable to Inheritance Tax. The Government will legislate in Finance Bill 2019-20 so that compensation payments made as part of this scheme will not be subject to Inheritance Tax considerations.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1634
WS
Treasury
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Jesse Norman (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Inheritance Tax relief on Kindertransport Compensation Payments

The Government is proud to continue to support victims of Nazi persecution. Earlier this year, the German Government set up a compensation scheme for Jewish individuals who were transported from Germany on the Kindertransport. Under the previous rules, these payments would be treated as part of the individual’s estate and liable to Inheritance Tax. The Government will legislate in Finance Bill 2019-20 so that compensation payments made as part of this scheme will not be subject to Inheritance Tax considerations.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1595
WS
Home Office
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Government response to consultation on fees for Home Office firearms licences

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service (Nick Hurd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Today, I am publishing the Government response to the consultation we launched in January 2017 on new fees for applications for firearms licences administered by the Home Office and the Scottish Government. These licences are:

• licences to possess firearms that are prohibited under Section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. Such licences are issued to, for example, dealers or manufacturers of prohibited firearms and are distinct from police-issued certificates for civilian firearms, shotguns, and those issued to registered firearms dealers who deal in civilian firearms and shotguns;

• licences for museums that hold firearms as part of their collections; and

• licences for approved target shooting clubs.

The Government introduced measures, through the Policing and Crime Act 2017, to enable new fees for these licences to be set on a cost recovery basis, through secondary legislation. The fees will apply in England, Wales and Scotland.

I am very grateful to those who responded to the consultation. We received almost 5,000 responses.

The Home Office has reviewed the levels of fees set out in the consultation document, and we discussed our proposals with representatives of fee payers. The levels of fees now set out in the Government response are significantly lower than those originally proposed, due to both revised estimates of Home Office costs and a fresh look at the costs that it is appropriate to recover through the new fees.

An important issue raised by fee-payers’ representatives was the potential impact of the proposed fees on museums with firearms collections. Given that the museums involved are publicly funded and act in the public interest, the Government has decided to maintain the current museum firearms licence fee level of £200 for the grant and renewal of these licences. This is set out in more detail in the Impact Assessment accompanying the consultation response. The Government response and the Impact Assessment will be published on gov.uk, and I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

The new fees will be introduced by statutory instrument as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1630
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Lords Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice)
Lords

The importance of strengthening female offenders’ family and other relationships to prevent reoffending and reduce intergenerational crime

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, (Edward Argar) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

"Today, I am publishing the Farmer Review, which was commissioned as part of our Female Offender Strategy in June 2018.

This work builds on Lord Farmer’s 2017 review of family ties for male prisoners, which concluded that good relationships are vital to reducing reoffending. For women, relationships are the most significant factor to impact directly on the likelihood of reoffending. More so than men, women in the justice system are in relationships that are abusive and/or criminogenic, and therefore supporting female offenders to strengthen and develop relationships is not straight forward.

We also know that women are more likely to be primary carers than men when entering the criminal justice system. Whereas children of male prisoners will often remain at home with their mother, children frequently have to leave their home when mothers go into custody. This tells us that incarceration of women disproportionately impacts families and children, and could increase the risk of intergenerational offending.

This is why I am immensely grateful to Lord Farmer for undertaking this important review. Building on his original review, this review looks at his earlier recommendations through the lens of the needs of female offenders, including the distinct complexities in their relationships.

The Farmer Review for Women investigates how supporting female offenders to engage with their families can lower recidivism, aid rehabilitation and assist in addressing the issues of intergenerational crime. It does this by looking across the whole system – not just within prison – following the vision of our strategy to support women and improve outcomes for them at all points of the justice system.

The review finds that there is a lack of information on the personal circumstances of women, including of dependent children, which poses a fundamental barrier to supporting women to maintain those relationships. It draws practical proposals to help women communicate better with their family and dependents when at court and in custody, as well as proposing how prisons can better facilitate more frequent, safe, and private family visits.

In line with our strategy, the review represents a preference for women to be managed, and to manage their own relationships safely in the community, where possible.

The review can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/farmer-review-for-women

I am pleased to welcome this report and to share with you my commitment to take forward this important area of work. We will look closely at the findings and recommendations from Lord Farmer’s review for Women and how we can best give effect to these in both the short and longer term.

In doing so, my department will build on the good work we have been taking forward following Lord Farmer’s original review. My officials will also work closely with other agencies, partners and Government departments to ensure the importance of strengthening family and relational ties for female offenders and their children is reflected across the criminal justice system."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1631
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Business update

My Rt hon friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Greg Clark) has today made the following statement:

Our competition, legal and regulatory frameworks are fundamental to our future economic success. We have a reputation for a world-leading competition framework and independent economic regulators with duties to protect the interests of consumers. However, where markets are not working for consumers, we will ensure that they are treated fairly. Today I published the Government’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) loyalty penalty report. It is my intention that the UK’s competition and markets regime is firmly focused on delivering improved outcomes for consumers. That means ensuring that significant sources of consumer detriment, such as the loyalty penalty, are tackled quickly and effectively.

Following concerns raised by Citizens Advice in a ‘super-complaint’, the CMA uncovered harmful business practices by firms, which exploit consumer loyalty. The CMA investigation looked at the five markets highlighted by the super-complaint – cash savings, mortgages, household insurance, mobile and broadband – and found that there is a total loyalty penalty of around £4 billion a year in these markets. It also found that vulnerable people, including the elderly and those on a low income, may be more at risk of paying the loyalty penalty.

Our response to the CMA’s loyalty penalty investigation sends a strong signal that poor practices by suppliers will not be tolerated and sets out the following:

  • our intention to establish an administrative model of consumer enforcement for the CMA and to consult on how to do this as part of the forthcoming Consumer White Paper
  • that the CMA and the economic regulators must do more to stop business practices that lead to the loyalty penalty, and that we are prepared to legislate to give our enforcers new tools to do so where necessary
  • that targeted price interventions, where proportionate, should be considered by regulators to tackle the loyalty penalty. Although pricing interventions should be a matter of last resort, it is vital that all potential interventions are considered to protect those who are most vulnerable
  • reiterates the commitments we set out in our Smart Data Review, including creating an ‘Open Communications’ initiative and establishing a Vulnerable Consumer Challenge.

This builds on our Consumer Green Paper, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, published in April 2018, which tackles areas where markets are not working for consumers and businesses. We believe that all of these measures will help create the conditions for more effective competition and improve day to day outcomes for consumers.

I will place a copy of our letter to the CMA in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1629
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

BILATERAL VOTING RIGHTS

Today, I can confirm that the Government has reached a bilateral agreement with Luxembourg that will secure the rights of UK nationals living in Luxembourg, and Luxembourgish citizens living in the UK, to stand and vote in local elections in both a deal and no deal scenario. This agreement builds on our close ties and reinforces our commitment to the future relationship between our two nations.

Citizens have always been our priority in the negotiations for our departure from the EU, as has protecting the interests of British expats. The UK pushed hard in negotiations to protect the right to stand and vote in local elections for UK nationals living in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK, but these rights were not included in the Withdrawal Agreement. Instead, we have been pursuing bilateral arrangements with individual Member States to secure these rights. Throughout this process we have been clear that allowing EU citizens to vote in local elections in the UK should be considered alongside the rights and interests of UK nationals and it has been our priority to secure these reciprocally.

We have now reached agreements with Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg and we are continuing our discussions with other Member States.

UK nationals will be able to continue to vote, and in some cases stand, in elections in Member States where their domestic legislation allows this and they meet the requirements set out, for example on length of residency. This includes: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.

I will be depositing a copy of the latest agreement in the libraries of both Houses.

WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Stephen Barclay (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

BILATERAL VOTING RIGHTS

Today, I can confirm that the Government has reached a bilateral agreement with Luxembourg that will secure the rights of UK nationals living in Luxembourg, and Luxembourgish citizens living in the UK, to stand and vote in local elections in both a deal and no deal scenario. This agreement builds on our close ties and reinforces our commitment to the future relationship between our two nations.

Citizens have always been our priority in the negotiations for our departure from the EU, as has protecting the interests of British expats. The UK pushed hard in negotiations to protect the right to stand and vote in local elections for UK nationals living in the EU, and EU citizens in the UK, but these rights were not included in the Withdrawal Agreement. Instead, we have been pursuing bilateral arrangements with individual Member States to secure these rights. Throughout this process we have been clear that allowing EU citizens to vote in local elections in the UK should be considered alongside the rights and interests of UK nationals and it has been our priority to secure these reciprocally.

We have now reached agreements with Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg and we are continuing our discussions with other Member States.

UK nationals will be able to continue to vote, and in some cases stand, in elections in Member States where their domestic legislation allows this and they meet the requirements set out, for example on length of residency. This includes: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.

I will be depositing a copy of the latest agreement in the libraries of both Houses.

WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Stephen Barclay (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

General Affairs Council, June 2019

I will attend the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 18 June 2019 to represent the UK. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full Member State and continue to act in good faith.

The provisional agenda includes:

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

Ministers and the Commission will discuss progress on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations. The intention is for Member States to reach an agreement on the negotiations in autumn 2019.

Preparation of the European Council on 20-21 June 2019: Conclusions and European Council follow-up

The Council will discuss preparations for the June European Council. The agenda includes: adoption of the 2019-2024 Strategic Agenda for the European Union; MFF; Climate Change; the European Semester; and the disinformation and elections report prepared by the Romanian Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Ministers will also discuss progress in implementing previous European Council conclusions.

Enlargement and Stabilisation and Association Process

Enlargement is the process whereby European countries are able to join the European Union. Ministers will discuss and adopt conclusions on the 2019 enlargement package which was presented by the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and other EU institutions on 29 May.

European Semester - Horizontal report on Country Specific Recommendations

The European Semester provides a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU. Ministers will discuss the Commission’s horizontal report on the macro-economic position of the EU, which draws on country specific recommendations. The report will be passed to European Council ahead of its meeting on 20 and 21 June.

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Edward Argar (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

The importance of strengthening female offenders’ family and other relationships to prevent reoffending and reduce intergenerational crime

Today, I am publishing the Farmer Review, which was commissioned as part of our Female Offender Strategy in June 2018.

This work builds on Lord Farmer’s 2017 review of family ties for male prisoners, which concluded that good relationships are vital to reducing reoffending. For women, relationships are the most significant factor to impact directly on the likelihood of reoffending. More so than men, women in the justice system are in relationships that are abusive and/or criminogenic, and therefore supporting female offenders to strengthen and develop relationships is not straight forward.

We also know that women are more likely to be primary carers than men when entering the criminal justice system. Whereas children of male prisoners will often remain at home with their mother, children frequently have to leave their home when mothers go into custody. This tells us that incarceration of women disproportionately impacts families and children, and could increase the risk of intergenerational offending.

This is why I am immensely grateful to Lord Farmer for undertaking this important review. Building on his original review, this review looks at his earlier recommendations through the lens of the needs of female offenders, including the distinct complexities in their relationships.

The Farmer Review for Women investigates how supporting female offenders to engage with their families can lower recidivism, aid rehabilitation and assist in addressing the issues of intergenerational crime. It does this by looking across the whole system – not just within prison – following the vision of our strategy to support women and improve outcomes for them at all points of the justice system.

The review finds that there is a lack of information on the personal circumstances of women, including of dependent children, which poses a fundamental barrier to supporting women to maintain those relationships. It draws practical proposals to help women communicate better with their family and dependents when at court and in custody, as well as proposing how prisons can better facilitate more frequent, safe, and private family visits.

In line with our strategy, the review represents a preference for women to be managed, and to manage their own relationships safely in the community, where possible.

The review can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/farmer-review-for-women

I am pleased to welcome this report and to share with you my commitment to take forward this important area of work. We will look closely at the findings and recommendations from Lord Farmer’s review for Women and how we can best give effect to these in both the short and longer term.

In doing so, my department will build on the good work we have been taking forward following Lord Farmer’s original review. My officials will also work closely with other agencies, partners and Government departments to ensure the importance of strengthening family and relational ties for female offenders and their children is reflected across the criminal justice system.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1593
WS
Home Office
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service)
Commons

Government response to consultation on fees for Home Office firearms licences

Today, I am publishing the Government response to the consultation we launched in January 2017 on new fees for applications for firearms licences administered by the Home Office and the Scottish Government. These licences are:

• licences to possess firearms that are prohibited under Section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968. Such licences are issued to, for example, dealers or manufacturers of prohibited firearms and are distinct from police-issued certificates for civilian firearms, shotguns, and those issued to registered firearms dealers who deal in civilian firearms and shotguns;

• licences for museums that hold firearms as part of their collections; and

• licences for approved target shooting clubs.

The Government introduced measures, through the Policing and Crime Act 2017, to enable new fees for these licences to be set on a cost recovery basis, through secondary legislation. The fees will apply in England, Wales and Scotland.

I am very grateful to those who responded to the consultation. We received almost 5,000 responses.

The Home Office has reviewed the levels of fees set out in the consultation document, and we discussed our proposals with representatives of fee payers. The levels of fees now set out in the Government response are significantly lower than those originally proposed, due to both revised estimates of Home Office costs and a fresh look at the costs that it is appropriate to recover through the new fees.

An important issue raised by fee-payers’ representatives was the potential impact of the proposed fees on museums with firearms collections. Given that the museums involved are publicly funded and act in the public interest, the Government has decided to maintain the current museum firearms licence fee level of £200 for the grant and renewal of these licences. This is set out in more detail in the Impact Assessment accompanying the consultation response. The Government response and the Impact Assessment will be published on gov.uk, and I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

The new fees will be introduced by statutory instrument as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1594
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 18 June 2019
Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy )
Commons

Business update

Our competition, legal and regulatory frameworks are fundamental to our future economic success. We have a reputation for a world-leading competition framework and independent economic regulators with duties to protect the interests of consumers. However, where markets are not working for consumers, we will ensure that they are treated fairly. Today I published the Government’s response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) loyalty penalty report. It is my intention that the UK’s competition and markets regime is firmly focused on delivering improved outcomes for consumers. That means ensuring that significant sources of consumer detriment, such as the loyalty penalty, are tackled quickly and effectively.

Following concerns raised by Citizens Advice in a ‘super-complaint’, the CMA uncovered harmful business practices by firms, which exploit consumer loyalty. The CMA investigation looked at the five markets highlighted by the super-complaint – cash savings, mortgages, household insurance, mobile and broadband – and found that there is a total loyalty penalty of around £4 billion a year in these markets. It also found that vulnerable people, including the elderly and those on a low income, may be more at risk of paying the loyalty penalty.

Our response to the CMA’s loyalty penalty investigation sends a strong signal that poor practices by suppliers will not be tolerated and sets out the following:

  • our intention to establish an administrative model of consumer enforcement for the CMA and to consult on how to do this as part of the forthcoming Consumer White Paper
  • that the CMA and the economic regulators must do more to stop business practices that lead to the loyalty penalty, and that we are prepared to legislate to give our enforcers new tools to do so where necessary
  • that targeted price interventions, where proportionate, should be considered by regulators to tackle the loyalty penalty. Although pricing interventions should be a matter of last resort, it is vital that all potential interventions are considered to protect those who are most vulnerable
  • reiterates the commitments we set out in our Smart Data Review, including creating an ‘Open Communications’ initiative and establishing a Vulnerable Consumer Challenge.

This builds on our Consumer Green Paper, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, published in April 2018, which tackles areas where markets are not working for consumers and businesses. We believe that all of these measures will help create the conditions for more effective competition and improve day to day outcomes for consumers.

I will place a copy of our letter to the CMA in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1592
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 June 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Contingent liability for indemnifying the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service (Nick Hurd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

My rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House of Commons a Departmental Minute giving notice of a contingent liability for the issuing of an indemnity with respect to the work of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP).

The Panel was established by the then Home Secretary in May 2013 to shine a light on the 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, the background to the murder and the subsequent handling of the case.

The proposed indemnity will cover current and former members of the DMIP and any individual engaged at any time to provide assistance to the Panel against any civil liability for any act done or omission made in good faith in the execution of his or her duties, or in the purported execution of his or her duties. This indemnity applies only to acts done or omissions made during the course of the Panel’s work, from its establishment on 10 May 2013 until its final report is submitted to the Home Secretary.

The indemnity is subject to the proviso that any liability which is to any extent met by insurers on the beneficiary of this indemnity, or for which reimbursement is made to any extent by such insurers, shall in that event and to that extent no longer be the subject of the indemnity and (if previously met or reimbursed by the Government) shall to that extent be refunded by the beneficiary to the Government.

Her Majesty’s Treasury has approved the contingent liability in principle. The National Audit Office has been consulted on the proposal.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1628
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 June 2019
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service)
Commons

Contingent liability for indemnifying the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel

My rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House of Commons a Departmental Minute giving notice of a contingent liability for the issuing of an indemnity with respect to the work of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel (DMIP).

The Panel was established by the then Home Secretary in May 2013 to shine a light on the 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, the background to the murder and the subsequent handling of the case.

The proposed indemnity will cover current and former members of the DMIP and any individual engaged at any time to provide assistance to the Panel against any civil liability for any act done or omission made in good faith in the execution of his or her duties, or in the purported execution of his or her duties. This indemnity applies only to acts done or omissions made during the course of the Panel’s work, from its establishment on 10 May 2013 until its final report is submitted to the Home Secretary.

The indemnity is subject to the proviso that any liability which is to any extent met by insurers on the beneficiary of this indemnity, or for which reimbursement is made to any extent by such insurers, shall in that event and to that extent no longer be the subject of the indemnity and (if previously met or reimbursed by the Government) shall to that extent be refunded by the beneficiary to the Government.

Her Majesty’s Treasury has approved the contingent liability in principle. The National Audit Office has been consulted on the proposal.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1590
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 June 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Immigration

My rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sajid Javid) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The UK is today reaffirming its ongoing commitment to supporting refugees, and to working with partners to find a longer-term approach to refugee protection – an approach that restores dignity and offers refugees a viable future.

The UK has a long history of supporting refugees in need of protection. Our schemes have provided safe and legal routes for tens of thousands of people to start new lives in the UK. In every year since 2016 the UK resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU member state. These remarkable achievements have been made possible through the tireless commitment of individuals, community and faith groups, local authorities, the devolved administrations, NGOs and our international partners - I am grateful to all of them for their on-going support.

The global humanitarian need continues to grow with over 68.5 million people around the world forced from their homes and nearly 25.4 million refugees fleeing persecution; whether due to conflict, religious belief, sexuality or any reason under the Refugee Convention. Over half of those refugees are children and for some, resettlement to places like the UK is the only durable solution.

With our commitments under the Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme and Gateway Protection Programme coming to an end during 2020, it is right to provide certainty to our partners on the future of the UK’s refugee resettlement offer. That is why today I want to confirm the UK’s ongoing commitment to resettlement and set out our plans for after 2020.

Once we have delivered our current commitments we will consolidate our biggest resettlement schemes into a new global resettlement scheme. Our priority will be to continue to identify and resettle the most vulnerable refugees, identified and referred by UNHCR. Under the global resettlement scheme, we will broaden our geographical focus beyond the Middle East and North Africa region and be better placed to swiftly respond to international crises in coordination with global partners.

In the first year of operation of the new scheme, the UK will aim to resettle in the region of 5000 of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. We will continue to purposefully target those greatest in need of assistance, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk. A new process for emergency resettlement will also be developed, allowing the UK to respond quickly to instances of heightened protection need, providing a faster route to protection where lives are at risk. Building on the experience of delivering the current schemes and the significant contribution of our community sponsors a key part of our resettlement offer will be that those resettled through our community sponsorship and Mandate routes will be in addition to our yearly, global commitment

We will continue to work in partnership with local authorities. Recognising that their continued support will be fundamental to achieving our ambitions, we will ensure they continue to be well-funded, supporting them to provide resettled refugees with the best possible support upon arrival. We will also continue our strong engagement with civil society as we move forward.

We will continue to support the long-term integration of refugees, empowering them to fulfil their potential and contribute positively to their new communities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1627
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 June 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Immigration

The UK is today reaffirming its ongoing commitment to supporting refugees, and to working with partners to find a longer-term approach to refugee protection – an approach that restores dignity and offers refugees a viable future.

The UK has a long history of supporting refugees in need of protection. Our schemes have provided safe and legal routes for tens of thousands of people to start new lives in the UK. In every year since 2016 the UK resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU member state. These remarkable achievements have been made possible through the tireless commitment of individuals, community and faith groups, local authorities, the devolved administrations, NGOs and our international partners - I am grateful to all of them for their on-going support.

The global humanitarian need continues to grow with over 68.5 million people around the world forced from their homes and nearly 25.4 million refugees fleeing persecution; whether due to conflict, religious belief, sexuality or any reason under the Refugee Convention. Over half of those refugees are children and for some, resettlement to places like the UK is the only durable solution.

With our commitments under the Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme and Gateway Protection Programme coming to an end during 2020, it is right to provide certainty to our partners on the future of the UK’s refugee resettlement offer. That is why today I want to confirm the UK’s ongoing commitment to resettlement and set out our plans for after 2020.

Once we have delivered our current commitments we will consolidate our biggest resettlement schemes into a new global resettlement scheme. Our priority will be to continue to identify and resettle the most vulnerable refugees, identified and referred by UNHCR. Under the global resettlement scheme, we will broaden our geographical focus beyond the Middle East and North Africa region and be better placed to swiftly respond to international crises in coordination with global partners.

In the first year of operation of the new scheme, the UK will aim to resettle in the region of 5000 of the world’s most vulnerable refugees. We will continue to purposefully target those greatest in need of assistance, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk. A new process for emergency resettlement will also be developed, allowing the UK to respond quickly to instances of heightened protection need, providing a faster route to protection where lives are at risk. Building on the experience of delivering the current schemes and the significant contribution of our community sponsors a key part of our resettlement offer will be that those resettled through our community sponsorship and Mandate routes will be in addition to our yearly, global commitment

We will continue to work in partnership with local authorities. Recognising that their continued support will be fundamental to achieving our ambitions, we will ensure they continue to be well-funded, supporting them to provide resettled refugees with the best possible support upon arrival. We will also continue our strong engagement with civil society as we move forward.

We will continue to support the long-term integration of refugees, empowering them to fulfil their potential and contribute positively to their new communities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1589
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 13 June 2019
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice and Home Affairs post-Council statement

The final Justice and Home Affairs Council of the Romanian EU Presidency recently took place in Luxembourg. I attended on 6th June for Justice Day, and Sir Tim Barrow, Permanent Representative of the UK to the EU, and Chris Jones, Director of the Europe Directorate at the Home Office, attended on Interior Day on 7th June.

Justice Day began with a discussion on the Regulation on the Assignment of Claims, which has far-reaching implications for financial markets, including the ability of small businesses to access credit. It was agreed that work in this area will need to continue under the Finnish Presidency. The Council then discussed digitalisation of judicial cooperation, where the Presidency considered the UK’s position that a thorough cost benefit analysis was needed before proceeding, along with plenty of time for Member States to implement this measure effectively. In general, however, Member States supported a mandatory and de-centralised approach to digitalisation in the interests of speed and efficiency of justice systems.

Ministers then discussed the future direction of substantive criminal law co-operation. Member States were clear that implementation of existing criminal law measures should be prioritised before considering new legislation and a thorough analysis of the benefits of these measures would be needed before further harmonisation. Nonetheless, momentum began to form around the harmonisation of criminal law on environmental crime, identity theft, and manipulation of elections.

After a working lunch discussing the use of judicial training to foster mutual trust, there was a policy debate on mutual recognition in criminal matters. Discussions focused on facilitating the practical application of existing legal instruments, including by means of judicial training, rather than on new legislative proposals. The Commission stressed the importance of fundamental rights, and an independent judiciary to enable mutual recognition tools, like the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), to operate. The UK underlined our commitment to continued co-operation in this field and several Members States supported the idea of common guidelines on this. Some advocated EU legislation on the transfer of criminal proceedings to close loopholes, particularly where suspected criminals cannot (for whatever reason) be surrendered under the EAW.

The Council then adopted mandates for negotiations with the United States, and in the Council of Europe (Budapest Convention), on cross-border access to e-evidence. The Commission noted its intention to insist that the United States agree to an EU wide approach which would apply to all Member States without discrimination, including at the EU-US Ministerial meeting in Bucharest later this month. Formal negotiations will not begin until finalisation of internal EU legislation on e-evidence. The UK has not opted into either the internal EU legislation on e-evidence, or the mandates for negotiations with the US, and in the Council of Europe, and will not be bound by those mandates.

Council adopted Conclusions which encourage Eurojust and the networks established in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters to further develop the coordination and synergies between them. The UK supported these Conclusions as we support the work of Eurojust, and agrees that better coordination between networks hosted by Eurojust would be helpful for criminal justice cooperation.

The Council also adopted Conclusions on the retention of data for the purpose of fighting crime, which proposed further exploration of options for lawful regimes in Member States. The UK believes the appropriate retention of telecommunications data for law enforcement purposes is an important element of an effective law enforcement system and supported these Conclusions. The Commission provided an update on the planned preparatory steps to make the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) operational by the end of 2020. The UK has not opted into EPPO.

The Council adopted an Implementing Decision confirming that the UK could connect to the Prüm automated system for exchanging DNA data between law enforcement authorities in EU Member States.

Interior Day began with a discussion on the future of EU law enforcement. Ministers agreed that further co-operation on approaches to law enforcement would make for more effective cross-border law enforcement. The Council supported effective implementation of existing legislation, especially interoperability of databases, and recognised the need to address the impacts of technological advancements on law enforcement, supporting Europol’s role in pooling expertise and providing technological and analytical support. The UK Permanent Representative to the EU intervened to support this work and welcome the intent to work together, co-ordinate methods and approaches and support the proposal for a Europol innovation hub. In this context, the UK intervention additionally highlighted UK work to tackle online harms through the UK White Paper.

Under AOB, the Council CT Co-ordinator (Gilles de Kerchove) presented on the implications on law enforcement of the move to 5G. The CT Co-ordinator focused on the need for the EU to influence 5G standards, to ensure a dialogue with service providers on this issue, and to consider EU legislation to avoid fragmentation of Member State approaches. The Commissioner for the Security Union (Sir Julian King) noted the Commission’s intent to develop an EU risk assessment and toolbox of options to mitigate risks by the end of 2019.

The Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Group, a non-EU grouping of European States intelligence agencies, attended to update the JHA Council on the general terrorist threat and the challenges and opportunities from new tools and technologies. The CTG Chair also updated on discussions on co-operation with Europol on strategic and technical issues, noting that operational intelligence work remained the sole responsibility of Member States.

Over lunch and in the afternoon session, Ministers discussed migration, with a focus on issues of solidarity and redistribution of migrants. Member States remain split on the EU’s approach to these issues. The UK intervention focused on our extensive support upstream which ranges from tackling organised immigration crime and the use of strategic communications to building partnerships and capability with source and transit countries to jointly address the drivers of migration.

The Council agreed a partial General Approach on the draft Directive on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (recast), with the exception of Article 22 on the Border procedure and the related recitals. The UK has not opted into this measure.

The Council also agreed partial General Approaches on draft regulations establishing the Integrated Border Management fund, establishing the Asylum and Migration Fund, and establishing the Internal Security Fund. These are subject to wider negotiations on the overall Multi-Annual Financial Framework. The UK will not participate in any of these funds.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1588
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 13 June 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Justice and Home Affairs post-Council statement

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (David Gauke) has made the following Written Statement.

"The final Justice and Home Affairs Council of the Romanian EU Presidency recently took place in Luxembourg. I attended on 6th June for Justice Day, and Sir Tim Barrow, Permanent Representative of the UK to the EU, and Chris Jones, Director of the Europe Directorate at the Home Office, attended on Interior Day on 7th June.

Justice Day began with a discussion on the Regulation on the Assignment of Claims, which has far-reaching implications for financial markets, including the ability of small businesses to access credit. It was agreed that work in this area will need to continue under the Finnish Presidency. The Council then discussed digitalisation of judicial cooperation, where the Presidency considered the UK’s position that a thorough cost benefit analysis was needed before proceeding, along with plenty of time for Member States to implement this measure effectively. In general, however, Member States supported a mandatory and de-centralised approach to digitalisation in the interests of speed and efficiency of justice systems.

Ministers then discussed the future direction of substantive criminal law co-operation. Member States were clear that implementation of existing criminal law measures should be prioritised before considering new legislation and a thorough analysis of the benefits of these measures would be needed before further harmonisation. Nonetheless, momentum began to form around the harmonisation of criminal law on environmental crime, identity theft, and manipulation of elections.

After a working lunch discussing the use of judicial training to foster mutual trust, there was a policy debate on mutual recognition in criminal matters. Discussions focused on facilitating the practical application of existing legal instruments, including by means of judicial training, rather than on new legislative proposals. The Commission stressed the importance of fundamental rights, and an independent judiciary to enable mutual recognition tools, like the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), to operate. The UK underlined our commitment to continued co-operation in this field and several Members States supported the idea of common guidelines on this. Some advocated EU legislation on the transfer of criminal proceedings to close loopholes, particularly where suspected criminals cannot (for whatever reason) be surrendered under the EAW.

The Council then adopted mandates for negotiations with the United States, and in the Council of Europe (Budapest Convention), on cross-border access to e-evidence. The Commission noted its intention to insist that the United States agree to an EU wide approach which would apply to all Member States without discrimination, including at the EU-US Ministerial meeting in Bucharest later this month. Formal negotiations will not begin until finalisation of internal EU legislation on e-evidence. The UK has not opted into either the internal EU legislation on e-evidence, or the mandates for negotiations with the US, and in the Council of Europe, and will not be bound by those mandates.

Council adopted Conclusions which encourage Eurojust and the networks established in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters to further develop the coordination and synergies between them. The UK supported these Conclusions as we support the work of Eurojust, and agrees that better coordination between networks hosted by Eurojust would be helpful for criminal justice cooperation.

The Council also adopted Conclusions on the retention of data for the purpose of fighting crime, which proposed further exploration of options for lawful regimes in Member States. The UK believes the appropriate retention of telecommunications data for law enforcement purposes is an important element of an effective law enforcement system and supported these Conclusions. The Commission provided an update on the planned preparatory steps to make the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) operational by the end of 2020. The UK has not opted into EPPO.

The Council adopted an Implementing Decision confirming that the UK could connect to the Prüm automated system for exchanging DNA data between law enforcement authorities in EU Member States.

Interior Day began with a discussion on the future of EU law enforcement. Ministers agreed that further co-operation on approaches to law enforcement would make for more effective cross-border law enforcement. The Council supported effective implementation of existing legislation, especially interoperability of databases, and recognised the need to address the impacts of technological advancements on law enforcement, supporting Europol’s role in pooling expertise and providing technological and analytical support. The UK Permanent Representative to the EU intervened to support this work and welcome the intent to work together, co-ordinate methods and approaches and support the proposal for a Europol innovation hub. In this context, the UK intervention additionally highlighted UK work to tackle online harms through the UK White Paper.

Under AOB, the Council CT Co-ordinator (Gilles de Kerchove) presented on the implications on law enforcement of the move to 5G. The CT Co-ordinator focused on the need for the EU to influence 5G standards, to ensure a dialogue with service providers on this issue, and to consider EU legislation to avoid fragmentation of Member State approaches. The Commissioner for the Security Union (Sir Julian King) noted the Commission’s intent to develop an EU risk assessment and toolbox of options to mitigate risks by the end of 2019.

The Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Group, a non-EU grouping of European States intelligence agencies, attended to update the JHA Council on the general terrorist threat and the challenges and opportunities from new tools and technologies. The CTG Chair also updated on discussions on co-operation with Europol on strategic and technical issues, noting that operational intelligence work remained the sole responsibility of Member States.

Over lunch and in the afternoon session, Ministers discussed migration, with a focus on issues of solidarity and redistribution of migrants. Member States remain split on the EU’s approach to these issues. The UK intervention focused on our extensive support upstream which ranges from tackling organised immigration crime and the use of strategic communications to building partnerships and capability with source and transit countries to jointly address the drivers of migration.

The Council agreed a partial General Approach on the draft Directive on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (recast), with the exception of Article 22 on the Border procedure and the related recitals. The UK has not opted into this measure.

The Council also agreed partial General Approaches on draft regulations establishing the Integrated Border Management fund, establishing the Asylum and Migration Fund, and establishing the Internal Security Fund. These are subject to wider negotiations on the overall Multi-Annual Financial Framework. The UK will not participate in any of these funds."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1626
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