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 International Trade
Made on: 13 May 2020
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (Secretary of State for Department of International Trade)
Commons

The UK’s approach to Negotiations with Japan

Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. The Government is doing all it can to protect business from the worst effects of coronavirus in the immediate term. We must take steps to support our economy, reduce impacts and provide opportunities for the future economic recovery.

More trade is essential if the UK is to overcome the unprecedented economic challenge posed by coronavirus. It can give us security at home and opportunities abroad – opening new markets for business, bringing investment, better jobs, higher wages and lower prices just as we need them most. At a time when protectionist barriers are on the rise, all countries need to work together to ensure long-term prosperity and international trade is central to this cooperation.

That is why we will use our voice as a new independent trading nation to champion free trade, fight protectionism and remove barriers at every opportunity. The Government’s ambition is to secure free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries covering 80% of UK trade within the next three years, to become a truly Global Britain.

An enhanced FTA with Japan, the 3rd largest economy in the world in 2018, represents significant opportunities throughout the economy, from agriculture to digital. It will also help us increase the resilience of our supply chains and the security of our whole economy as we diversify our trade.

A deal with Japan will be a driving force to maximise the UK’s advantage in the opportunities Asia Pacific affords. These bilateral negotiations are a logical first step to joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), given that Japan is CPTPP’s largest economy.

Japan is a developed economy with high standards and we are major investors in each other’s economies. Trade with Japan is integral to UK jobs and businesses. In 2018, around 9,500 VAT registered businesses exported £6bn worth of goods to Japan, employing 2.4 million people. Around 6,700 VAT registered business, employing 2.5 million people, imported £10bn worth of goods from Japan.

An enhanced FTA with Japan is therefore expected to deliver a significant and sustained long term boost to every region in the UK. Our analysis shows that in the long run, the UK economy could benefit from a £1.5 billion boost, as the trade deal could increase trade flows between both countries by £15.2 billion. UK workers’ wages could increase by £800 million in the long run as a result of the deal.

Total annual tariff reductions on goods imports from Japan could be worth up to around £275 million per year in the long run. Some 59% of all Japanese goods imported into the UK and 44% of all UK goods exported into Japan are used in supply chains (average 2016-2018). So as well as reducing the price of consumer goods, lower tariffs could also cut the costs of domestic production in both countries.

Removing trade barriers with Japan could deliver huge gains, both for the 8,000 UK Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the UK already exporting goods with Japan as well as those making plans to enter the Japanese market. For example, total annual tariff reductions on goods exports to Japan could be worth around £33 million per year in the long run.

The deal will also provide cutting edge provisions on digital trade that maximise opportunities for trade across all sectors of the economy, providing trust and stability for UK businesses, entrepreneurs and exporters. Such provisions will reduce trade barriers and make it easier for the SMEs already exporting goods to Japan. UK businesses will have the opportunity to lead on innovation, supporting the development of important emerging technologies, such as quantum computing. E-commerce and the creative industries will also benefit from the free flow of data and strong copyright provisions.

That is why today, the Department for International Trade is publishing a comprehensive document setting out the UK’s strategic approach to an enhanced FTA between the UK and Japan. We will be placing copies in the House libraries. The document is set out in three parts:

  • The Government’s negotiating objectives for an enhanced FTA with Japan, using the existing EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement as a basis.
  • The Government response to the Call for Input on trade negotiations with Japan, providing an overview of the responses received and setting out how these have fed into our policy development.
  • A Scoping Assessment providing a preliminary assessment of the potential long-term economic impacts of an enhanced FTA between the UK and Japan.

The objectives published today are informed by our Call for Input, which ran for six weeks between 20 September and 4 November 2019 and gave businesses, interest groups and members of the public the opportunity to highlight their priorities for a potential future agreement with Japan.

A deal with Japan will help us to deliver opportunity and unleash the potential of every part of our United Kingdom. Analysis in the Scoping Assessment shows a UK-Japan enhanced FTA could have a positive impact on every UK nation and region in the long run, with Scotland, the East Midlands and London expected to benefit the most.

We are engaging with the devolved administrations, crown dependencies and overseas territories to ensure that we develop an enhanced FTA that works for the whole of the UK.

Our negotiating objectives clearly set out our priorities for an ambitious and comprehensive agreement, which will build on our existing EPA to strengthen the economic relationship with one of our largest bilateral trading partners.

The Government is committed to transparency and we will continue to ensure that parliamentarians, UK citizens and businesses have access to the information they need on our trade negotiations.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS233
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Transport Update

My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Grant Shapps), has made the following Ministerial Statement.

This statement concerns the application for the A38 Derby Junctions Development Consent Order made by Highways England under the Planning Act 2008, which had been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 23 April 2019.

Under section 98(1) of the Planning Act 2008 the Examining Authority appointed to examine the application must complete its examination within six months. Under section 98(4) the Examining Authority must submit its recommendation report to the Secretary of State within three months of its completion of the examination. The examination began on 8 October 2019 and was due to close on 8 April 2020. The recommendation report would need to be sent to the Secretary of State on or before 8 July 2020.

Under section 107(1) of the Act, following receipt of the Examining Authority’s recommendation report, the Secretary of State must decide whether to grant development consent. A decision in this case would therefore be made on or before 8 October 2020.

Sub-sections 98(4) and 107(3) of the Act give the relevant Secretary of State power to set new deadlines in respect of the above which are later than the statutory maxima. For this application, the relevant Secretary of State is the Secretary of State for Transport. In exercising this power, the Secretary of State for Transport must, amongst other things, make a statement to Parliament announcing the new deadlines.

The deadline for the completion of the examination is to be extended to 8 September 2020 (an extension of five months) to enable examination hearings postponed in the light of Government advice concerning coronavirus (COVID-19) to be rescheduled and held in a virtual forum. Consequently, the deadline for the Examining Authority to submit its recommendation report to the Secretary of State for Transport is amended to 8 December 2020 and the deadline for the Secretary of State for Transport to take his decision is amended to 8 March 2021.

The decision to extend an examination under the Planning Act 2008 regime is not taken lightly and reflects the exceptional public health circumstances the country finds itself in.

The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant development consent.






This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS226
WS
Treasury
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (Minister of State)
Lords

Economy Update

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Rishi Sunak) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government’s economic plan is one of the most comprehensive in the world.

We have provided:

  • Billions of pounds of grants and loans for businesses
  • Tens of billions of pounds of deferred taxes
  • Income protection for millions of the self-employed
  • And a strengthened safety net to protect millions of the most vulnerable people.

These schemes speak to my and this Conservative government’s values. We believe in the dignity of work. And we are doing everything we can to protect people currently unable to work.

Yesterday, my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister set out our plan for the next phase of the public health response. Today I can confirm the next stage of our Jobs Retention Scheme.

The scheme has been a world-leading economic intervention, supporting livelihoods and protecting futures. 7.5 million jobs have been furloughed – jobs we could have lost if we had not acted. Nearly a million businesses who could have closed shop for good. And as we reopen the economy we will need to support people back to work. We will do so in a measured way.

I can announce the job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October. By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses.

Until the end of July, there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October the scheme will continue, for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time. And to change their incentives, we will ask employers to start sharing, with government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.

Full details will follow by the end of May, but I want to assure people today of one thing that won’t change: Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same overall level of support as they do now, at 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500. I’m extending this scheme because I won’t give up on the people who rely on it.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS229
WS
Treasury
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (Minister of State)
Lords

IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Rishi Sunak) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government have today augmented the UK’s 2010 agreement to lend to the International Monetary Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust by a total of 2 billion Special Drawing Rights (approximately £2.2 billion) to support economic recovery and response to COVID-19 in the most vulnerable countries. This takes the total UK agreement to up to 4 billion Special Drawing Rights (approximately £4.4 billion). A copy of the agreement will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS228
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Baroness Goldie (Minister of State, Ministry of Defecne)
Lords

Service Complaints Ombudsman’s Annual Report 2019

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans (Johnny Mercer MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to lay before Parliament today the Service Complaints Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2019 on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Service complaints system.

This report is published by Nicola Williams – her last as Ombudsman - and covers the fourth year of operation of the reformed Service complaints system and the work of her office in 2019.

The findings of the Report and the new recommendations made will now be considered fully by MOD, and a formal response to the Ombudsman will follow once that work is complete.


WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Johnny Mercer (The Minister for Defence People and Veterans )
Commons

Service Complaints Ombudsman’s Annual Report 2019

I am pleased to lay before Parliament today the Service Complaints Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2019 on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Service complaints system.

This report is published by Nicola Williams – her last as Ombudsman - and covers the fourth year of operation of the reformed Service complaints system and the work of her office in 2019.

The findings of the Report and the new recommendations made will now be considered fully by MOD, and a formal response to the Ombudsman will follow once that work is complete.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Rishi Sunak (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

Economy Update

The Government’s economic plan is one of the most comprehensive in the world.

We have provided:

  • Billions of pounds of grants and loans for businesses
  • Tens of billions of pounds of deferred taxes
  • Income protection for millions of the self-employed
  • And a strengthened safety net to protect millions of the most vulnerable people.

These schemes speak to my and this Conservative government’s values. We believe in the dignity of work. And we are doing everything we can to protect people currently unable to work.

Yesterday, my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister set out our plan for the next phase of the public health response. Today I can confirm the next stage of our Jobs Retention Scheme.

The scheme has been a world-leading economic intervention, supporting livelihoods and protecting futures. 7.5 million jobs have been furloughed – jobs we could have lost if we had not acted. Nearly a million businesses who could have closed shop for good. And as we reopen the economy we will need to support people back to work. We will do so in a measured way.

I can announce the job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October. By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses.

Until the end of July, there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October the scheme will continue, for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work. Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time. And to change their incentives, we will ask employers to start sharing, with government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.

Full details will follow by the end of May, but I want to assure people today of one thing that won’t change: Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same overall level of support as they do now, at 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500. I’m extending this scheme because I won’t give up on the people who rely on it.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS226
WS
Treasury
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Rishi Sunak (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust

The Government have today augmented the UK’s 2010 agreement to lend to the International Monetary Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust by a total of 2 billion Special Drawing Rights (approximately £2.2 billion) to support economic recovery and response to COVID-19 in the most vulnerable countries. This takes the total UK agreement to up to 4 billion Special Drawing Rights (approximately £4.4 billion). A copy of the agreement will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS225
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Donation of £1 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation

My Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Dominic Raab), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

It is the normal practice when a government department proposes to make a gift of a value exceeding £300,000, for the department concerned to present to the House of Commons a minute giving particulars of the gift and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the gift until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 27 January 2020 made a formal joint announcement of a donation by the UK Government of £1 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. This donation reflects HMG’s strong commitment to Holocaust remembrance in this the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The donation will be funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government at a cost of £500,000 each. This is a gift donation with no preconditions attached. There is however a precedent for this donation. In 2011 the then Foreign Secretary and then Communities Secretary announced a £2.15 million donation to the Foundation over three years. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation was founded in 2009 and collects funding for the preservation and maintenance of the grounds and remnants of the former Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau concentration camps, which are supervised by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, Poland. The proposed donation has a symbolic value; moreover, preserving Auschwitz-Birkenau contributes to the continuation of Holocaust education. Several thousand UK citizens visit Auschwitz-Birkenau each year and it provides a lasting memorial to the dangers of antisemitism, extremism and racism in general.

The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle. If, during the period of fourteen parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this minute was laid before the House of Commons, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or a Motion relating to the minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS227
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility )
Lords

Business Finance Update

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Alok Sharma) has today made the following statement:

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention the details of the new Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS).

The Bounce Back Loans Scheme was launched on 4 May, and is facilitated by the Government-owned British Business Bank and delivered through its delivery partners. Lenders offer term loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 to support small businesses that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme is available on a temporary basis for an initial period of six months and can be extended as required. The key parameters of the scheme are as follows:

  • BBLS will provide term loans only for a term of six years, with businesses able to access loans equivalent to 25 per cent of their turnover from £2,000 up to a maximum loan size of £50,000. The interest rate will be standardised across all lenders and fixed at 2.5 per cent. There will be no fees for borrowers to access the scheme.

  • The percentage of net (post-recovery) losses for each loan that is guaranteed by the Government will be 100 per cent, with no cap on gross Government liability at the level of the lender’s whole BBLS portfolio. Personal guarantees are not permitted, although some personal assets could be claimed as part of recovery from sole traders. Sole traders’ principal private residence and vehicle may never be claimed as part of recovery.

  • A Government grant (‘the business interruption payment’) will be provided for the benefit of businesses, equal to the interest incurred on the facility for the first twelve months. Businesses will not be required to make any repayments on capital during the first twelve months of the facility.

The Government will be subject to a new contingent liability as a result of the Bounce Back Loans Scheme, and I will be laying a Departmental Minute today containing a description of the liability undertaken.

For more information on this and other support for business, please go to https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Dominic Raab (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Donation of £1 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation

It is the normal practice when a government department proposes to make a gift of a value exceeding £300,000, for the department concerned to present to the House of Commons a minute giving particulars of the gift and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the gift until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 27 January 2020 made a formal joint announcement of a donation by the UK Government of £1 million to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. This donation reflects HMG’s strong commitment to Holocaust remembrance in this the 75th anniversary year of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The donation will be funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government at a cost of £500,000 each. This is a gift donation with no preconditions attached. There is however a precedent for this donation. In 2011 the then Foreign Secretary and then Communities Secretary announced a £2.15 million donation to the Foundation over three years. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation was founded in 2009 and collects funding for the preservation and maintenance of the grounds and remnants of the former Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau concentration camps, which are supervised by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, Poland. The proposed donation has a symbolic value; moreover, preserving Auschwitz-Birkenau contributes to the continuation of Holocaust education. Several thousand UK citizens visit Auschwitz-Birkenau each year and it provides a lasting memorial to the dangers of antisemitism, extremism and racism in general.

The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle. If, during the period of fourteen parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this minute was laid before the House of Commons, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or a Motion relating to the minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS223
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 12 May 2020
Made by: Grant Shapps (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Transport Update

This statement concerns the application for the A38 Derby Junctions Development Consent Order made by Highways England under the Planning Act 2008, which had been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 23 April 2019.

Under section 98(1) of the Planning Act 2008 the Examining Authority appointed to examine the application must complete its examination within six months. Under section 98(4) the Examining Authority must submit its recommendation report to the Secretary of State within three months of its completion of the examination. The examination began on 8 October 2019 and was due to close on 8 April 2020. The recommendation report would need to be sent to the Secretary of State on or before 8 July 2020.

Under section 107(1) of the Act, following receipt of the Examining Authority’s recommendation report, the Secretary of State must decide whether to grant development consent. A decision in this case would therefore be made on or before 8 October 2020.

Sub-sections 98(4) and 107(3) of the Act give the relevant Secretary of State power to set new deadlines in respect of the above which are later than the statutory maxima. For this application, the relevant Secretary of State is the Secretary of State for Transport. In exercising this power, the Secretary of State for Transport must, amongst other things, make a statement to Parliament announcing the new deadlines.

The deadline for the completion of the examination is to be extended to 8 September 2020 (an extension of five months) to enable examination hearings postponed in the light of Government advice concerning coronavirus (COVID-19) to be rescheduled and held in a virtual forum. Consequently, the deadline for the Examining Authority to submit its recommendation report to the Secretary of State for Transport is amended to 8 December 2020 and the deadline for the Secretary of State for Transport to take his decision is amended to 8 March 2021.

The decision to extend an examination under the Planning Act 2008 regime is not taken lightly and reflects the exceptional public health circumstances the country finds itself in.

The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant development consent.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS227
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 May 2020
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Business Update

The government today published new guidance to help UK employers get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.

The new guidance covers eight workplace settings from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways and sets out practical steps for businesses.

The government has consulted approximately 250 stakeholders in preparing the guidance. It has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to develop best practice on the safest ways of working across the economy, providing people with the confidence they need to return to work.

The guidance applies to businesses currently open. This also includes guidance for shops which we believe may be in a position to begin a phased reopening at the earliest from the 1 June. Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening to give those businesses time to plan. The Government will also shortly set up taskforces to work with these sectors to develop safe ways for them to open at the earliest point at which it is safe to do so, as well as pilot re-openings to test businesses’ ability to adopt the guidelines.

As part of today’s announcement, the government has made available up to an extra £14 million for the HSE, equivalent to an increase of 10% of their budget, for extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment if needed.

The guidance is available at gov.uk/workingsafely.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 May 2020
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Business Finance Update

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention the details of the new Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS).

The Bounce Back Loans Scheme was launched on 4 May, and is facilitated by the Government-owned British Business Bank and delivered through its delivery partners. Lenders offer term loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 to support small businesses that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The scheme is available on a temporary basis for an initial period of six months and can be extended as required. The key parameters of the scheme are as follows:

  • BBLS will provide term loans only for a term of six years, with businesses able to access loans equivalent to 25 per cent of their turnover from £2,000 up to a maximum loan size of £50,000. The interest rate will be standardised across all lenders and fixed at 2.5 per cent. There will be no fees for borrowers to access the scheme.

  • The percentage of net (post-recovery) losses for each loan that is guaranteed by the Government will be 100 per cent, with no cap on gross Government liability at the level of the lender’s whole BBLS portfolio. Personal guarantees are not permitted, although some personal assets could be claimed as part of recovery from sole traders. Sole traders’ principal private residence and vehicle may never be claimed as part of recovery.

  • A Government grant (‘the business interruption payment’) will be provided for the benefit of businesses, equal to the interest incurred on the facility for the first twelve months. Businesses will not be required to make any repayments on capital during the first twelve months of the facility.

The Government will be subject to a new contingent liability as a result of the Bounce Back Loans Scheme, and I will be laying a Departmental Minute today containing a description of the liability undertaken.

For more information on this and other support for business, please go to https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 May 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Business Update

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Alok Sharma) has today made the following statement:The government today published new guidance to help UK employers get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating as safely as possible.

The new guidance covers eight workplace settings from outdoor environments and construction sites to factories and takeaways and sets out practical steps for businesses.

The government has consulted approximately 250 stakeholders in preparing the guidance. It has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to develop best practice on the safest ways of working across the economy, providing people with the confidence they need to return to work.

The guidance applies to businesses currently open. This also includes guidance for shops which we believe may be in a position to begin a phased reopening at the earliest from the 1 June. Guidance for other sectors that are not currently open will be developed and published ahead of those establishments opening to give those businesses time to plan. The Government will also shortly set up taskforces to work with these sectors to develop safe ways for them to open at the earliest point at which it is safe to do so, as well as pilot re-openings to test businesses’ ability to adopt the guidelines.

As part of today’s announcement, the government has made available up to an extra £14 million for the HSE, equivalent to an increase of 10% of their budget, for extra call centre employees, inspectors and equipment if needed.

The guidance is available at gov.uk/workingsafely.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 05 May 2020
Made by: Lord Bethell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Innovation)
Lords

Covid-19 Update

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matt Hancock) has made the following written statement:

Yesterday we launched the NHS Covid-19 app (“the app”) for initial rollout on the Isle of Wight over the next two weeks.

This is the first phase in the development and roll out of a national ‘test and trace’ programme which will bring together the app, expanded web and phone-based contact tracing, and swab testing for those with potential Covid-19 symptoms. This is a vital part of our plans as we move towards the second phase in our battle against Covid-19.

The app has been built by a team including world-leading doctors, scientists and tech experts. If someone installs the app, it will start logging the distance between their phone and other phones nearby that also have the app installed. If a person becomes unwell with symptoms of Covid-19, they can report this through the app, which will then anonymously alert other app users that they have come into significant contact with over the previous few days and provide appropriate advice. The app, which takes full consideration of privacy and security, has already been tested in closed conditions at an RAF base.

This initial rollout will provide valuable insights into how the public respond to and use the app and how we can improve it further. There will be no changes to social distancing measures during this initial rollout phase.

Using the app is voluntary but the more residents who download the app, the more informed our national response will be. The Isle of Wight is leading the way for the UK, for which we thank them.

The more rapidly we can identify people at risk of infection and provide them with advice on what action they should take, the more effectively we can reduce the spread of the virus. The test and trace programme will play an increasingly important part in our wider strategy to save lives and protect the health and care system.

Further details of the national roll out will be available soon.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS222
WS
Home Office
Made on: 05 May 2020
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Publication of the 2nd Annual Report of the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group

Today I am pleased to announce the publication of the 2nd annual report of the Biometrics and Forensic Ethics Group. The Group provides Ministers with independent advice on matters relating to data ethics and ethical issues in forensic science and biometrics.

I would like to thank the Group for their strategic advice concerning the use and retention of biometric identifiers and for their advice on the development and testing of new biometric technologies.

The group have made four recommendations covering; the testing and use of Live Facial Recognition technologies by police forces; the design and implementation of Data Privacy Impact Assessments with the Home Office; and the use of familial DNA analysis results in assessing the value of genetic genealogy techniques for law enforcement.

In addition, the group continue to recommend a review of biometric retention and deletion schedules, particularly regarding custody images.

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group annual report can be viewed on the website of the Group at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/biometrics-and-forensics-ethics-group and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS223
WS
Home Office
Made on: 05 May 2020
Made by: Kit Malthouse (The Minister of State for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service)
Commons

Publication of the 2nd Annual Report of the Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group

My Noble Friend the Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Williams of Trafford) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Today I am pleased to announce the publication of the 2nd annual report of the Biometrics and Forensic Ethics Group. The Group provides Ministers with independent advice on matters relating to data ethics and ethical issues in forensic science and biometrics.

I would like to thank the Group for their strategic advice concerning the use and retention of biometric identifiers and for their advice on the development and testing of new biometric technologies.

The group have made four recommendations covering; the testing and use of Live Facial Recognition technologies by police forces; the design and implementation of Data Privacy Impact Assessments with the Home Office; and the use of familial DNA analysis results in assessing the value of genetic genealogy techniques for law enforcement.

In addition, the group continue to recommend a review of biometric retention and deletion schedules, particularly regarding custody images.

The Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group annual report can be viewed on the website of the Group at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/biometrics-and-forensics-ethics-group and a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS219
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Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 05 May 2020
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

Covid-19 Update

Yesterday we launched the NHS Covid-19 app (“the app”) for initial rollout on the Isle of Wight over the next two weeks.

This is the first phase in the development and roll out of a national ‘test and trace’ programme which will bring together the app, expanded web and phone-based contact tracing, and swab testing for those with potential Covid-19 symptoms. This is a vital part of our plans as we move towards the second phase in our battle against Covid-19.

The app has been built by a team including world-leading doctors, scientists and tech experts. If someone installs the app, it will start logging the distance between their phone and other phones nearby that also have the app installed. If a person becomes unwell with symptoms of Covid-19, they can report this through the app, which will then anonymously alert other app users that they have come into significant contact with over the previous few days and provide appropriate advice. The app, which takes full consideration of privacy and security, has already been tested in closed conditions at an RAF base.

This initial rollout will provide valuable insights into how the public respond to and use the app and how we can improve it further. There will be no changes to social distancing measures during this initial rollout phase.

Using the app is voluntary but the more residents who download the app, the more informed our national response will be. The Isle of Wight is leading the way for the UK, for which we thank them.

The more rapidly we can identify people at risk of infection and provide them with advice on what action they should take, the more effectively we can reduce the spread of the virus. The test and trace programme will play an increasingly important part in our wider strategy to save lives and protect the health and care system.

Further details of the national roll out will be available soon.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS220
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Department for Education
Made on: 04 May 2020
Made by: Baroness Berridge (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Contingencies Fund Advance

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for School Standards (Nick Gibb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) intends to redeploy some employed staff and allocate some contracted inspectors to support government departments, their agencies, local authorities and the education and care sectors (including schools, further education colleges, nurseries and children’s homes) during the period in which routine inspection has temporarily paused as a consequence of Covid-19.

The Government supports this approach, and the Secretary of State for Education has assigned an additional function to HM Chief Inspector for this purpose, under section 118(4) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. A copy of the Secretary of State’s letter to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector confirming this additional function will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Ofsted requires an advance to support the redeployment until the 2020-21 ambit is agreed through the passage of the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Act 2020 in July.

Parliamentary approval for resources of £32,000,000 for this new expenditure will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £32,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund

As Ofsted is a non-ministerial department, I am making this statement on behalf of its Accounting Officer, to ensure that Parliament is informed of this advance from the Contingencies Fund in the normal way.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS221
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