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 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 15 November 2018
Made by: George Eustice (The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food )
Commons

November Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place on 19 November in Brussels.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for fisheries will be a Council Regulation fixing the fishing opportunities for certain deep-sea fish stocks for 2019 and 2020, for which the Commission is seeking political agreement.

The primary focus for agriculture will be a policy discussion on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020. Council will discuss two regulations during this item: the first on financing, management, and monitoring of the CAP, and the second on common market organisation (CMO) of agricultural products.

The Commission will then provide an update on the situation in EU agricultural markets. There will also be an exchange of views on Task Force Rural Africa (TFRA) and on current challenges in the field of plant protection.

There is currently one item scheduled under ‘any other business’:

- information from the Commission on the implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 15 November 2018
Made by: Sir Alan Duncan (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Foreign Affairs Council - 19 November 2018

I will attend the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 19 November. It will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini and will take place in Brussels.

The FAC will discuss current affairs, Central Asia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Yemen.

Foreign Affairs Council

Central Asia

Ministers will discuss the EU’s role in Central Asia ahead of the EU-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 23 November that HRVP Mogherini and Foreign Ministers from the five Central Asian States will attend. The significance of the region has grown as Russia seeks to reassert its influence with countries to its south and as China continues to expand its westward trade routes. There are positive regional dynamics with better cooperation between states, as well as engagement with Afghanistan. The UK supports the EU expanding its activity across the Central Asian region.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ministers will discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) following the elections on 7 October. The UK will work with partners to promote a balanced and constructive European approach to BiH, focusing on the urgent needs for government formation and socio-economic and other reforms for the benefit of all BiH citizens.

Ukraine

Ministers will discuss the recent spate of restrictive actions taken by Russia in the Azov Sea towards shipping using Ukrainian ports, and the so-called “elections” in the “Luhansk People’s Republic” and “Donetsk People’s Republic” held on 11 November in violation of the Minsk Agreements. The UK supports the need to take firm action on Russian aggression, bringing Russia to account for its failure to fulfil Minsk Agreement obligations, and to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Our long-term vision for Ukraine is for a stable, resilient country that is a net contributor to European security, capable of defending its sovereignty, managing crises and resolving conflict peacefully and with the internal capacity to meet the needs of its citizens. Both Presidential and Parliamentary elections will be held in 2019, so it is vital Ukraine preserves the progress on reforms, particularly tackling corruption and promoting greater accountability and transparency.

Yemen

Ministers will discuss the situation on Yemen and how best to support the UN Special Envoy to make progress towards a sustainable political settlement that will underpin a long-term solution in Yemen. We will encourage all EU partners to support the UN Special Envoy’s proposals for de-escalation and confidence-building measures including the talks that he will convene in Stockholm at the end of November.

Council Conclusions

The Council is expected to adopt Conclusions on Security and Defence, Afghanistan, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), the Civilian Compact, Pakistan, Water Diplomacy, Sudan and Ethiopia.

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Attorney General
Made on: 15 November 2018
Made by: Mr Geoffrey Cox (Attorney General)
Commons

Review of the efficiency and effectiveness of disclosure in the criminal justice system

Today, carrying forward the work of my predecessor, I have published the results of the Government’s Review of the efficiency and effectiveness of disclosure in the criminal justice system. This has been laid before Parliament as a Command Paper (Cm 9735), and copies are available in the Vote Office and on gov.uk.

The disclosure of unused material in criminal cases, under the statutory framework of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, is a central pillar of the right to a fair trial and a fundamental part of our criminal justice system in England and Wales. My review of disclosure builds on the operational response by the police and Crown Prosecution Service to the challenges of disclosure under the National Disclosure Improvement Plan. The review sets out the next phase of reforms to deliver sustainable change for the long term.

The review identifies the following cross-system themes and makes recommendations for improvement in respect of each of them:

  1. Primary legislation continues to provide an appropriate disclosure regime, but in practice the system is not working as effectively or efficiently as it should;
  2. Practical reinforcement of the duty to make reasonable lines of inquiry and apply the disclosure test correctly;
  3. Pursuing a fair investigation and considering disclosure obligations from the outset, rather than as an afterthought;
  4. Proportionate “frontloading” of disclosure preparation and performance;
  5. Early and meaningful engagement with disclosure issues by the defence and the judiciary;
  6. Harnessing Technology;
  7. Data and Management Information;
  8. Continuous, sustained oversight and improvement.

These themes reflect the systemic nature of the management of disclosure and the importance of everyone involved – including the police, prosecutors and the defence community – playing their part effectively.

Cases that are stopped and convictions that are quashed because of serious deficiencies in disclosure are neither fair to the complainant nor the defendant and they undermine public confidence in the administration of criminal justice. However, while there have been too many cases where disclosure failures have occurred; it is not a problem in all cases. Victims should not be afraid to come forward and we must not undermine the progress made in encouraging people to report offences.

In order to ensure the Review’s recommendations are followed through, implementation and oversight will happen under the aegis of the Criminal Justice Board.

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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 14 November 2018
Made by: Jeremy Wright (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

DCMS Policy Update

The Government is today announcing that the implementation of changes to reduce the stakes of B2 Gaming Machines from £100 to £2 will take place in April 2019. This will be done through a Statutory Instrument, laid before the House this week.

Following the consultation on Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility measures, the Government decided to cut the maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2 to help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

After a thorough consultation with interested parties, including charities, campaigners and the gambling industry, across government we reached a decision to make this significant change in October 2019.

The Government has been clear that protecting vulnerable people is the prime concern, but that as a responsible government it is also right to take the needs of those employed by the gambling industry into account and provide time for an orderly transition.

Parliament has, however, been clear that they want this change to be made sooner. The Government has listened and will now implement the reduction in April 2019.

In order to cover the negative impact on the public finances, and to protect vital public services, this change is being linked to an increase in Remote Gaming Duty, paid by online gaming operators. The Finance Bill will also be amended so that the increase to Remote Gaming Duty comes into effect in April 2019.

The Government will expect the gambling industry to work with it to reduce the effect of any impact on jobs and to support employees that may be affected by this expedited timeline. The cross-government group that has been set up is ready to assist.

Finally, the Government will continue to take action to protect vulnerable people, including strengthening protections around gaming machines, online gambling, gambling advertising and treatment for problem gambling.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1053
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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 14 November 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Change to Fixed Odds Betting Terminal stake implementation date

“My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright QC, has made the following Statement.

The Government is today announcing that the implementation of changes to reduce the stakes of B2 Gaming Machines from £100 to £2 will take place in April 2019. This will be done through a Statutory Instrument, laid before the House this week.

Following the consultation on Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility measures, the Government decided to cut the maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals to £2 to help stop extreme losses by those who can least afford it and protect the most vulnerable in our society.

After a thorough consultation with interested parties, including charities, campaigners and the gambling industry, across government we reached a decision to make this significant change in October 2019.

The Government has been clear that protecting vulnerable people is the prime concern, but that as a responsible government it is also right to take the needs of those employed by the gambling industry into account and provide time for an orderly transition.

Parliament has, however, been clear that they want this change to be made sooner. The Government has listened and will now implement the reduction in April 2019.

In order to cover the negative impact on the public finances, and to protect vital public services, this change is being linked to an increase in Remote Gaming Duty, paid by online gaming operators. The Finance Bill will also be amended so that the increase to Remote Gaming Duty comes into effect in April 2019.

The Government will expect the gambling industry to work with it to reduce the effect of any impact on jobs and to support employees that may be affected by this expedited timeline. The cross-government group that has been set up is ready to assist.

Finally, the Government will continue to take action to protect vulnerable people, including strengthening protections around gaming machines, online gambling, gambling advertising and treatment for problem gambling.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1082
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Treasury
Made on: 14 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 6 November 2018

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

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 06 November 2018. The UK was represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council discussed the following:

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) dialogue

EU Finance Ministers were joined by representatives of the EFTA countries and held an exchange of views on the opportunities and challenges of FinTech to the financial sector and economic growth.

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 05 November meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU. The Council also held an exchange of views on the Annual Report of the European Fiscal Board.

Digital Services Tax

The Council held an exchange of views on the state of play of the negotiations on the Digital Services Tax Directive.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report

The President of the Court of Auditors presented the Auditors’ report on the implementation of the budget of the European Union for the 2017 financial year.

EU Statistical Package

The Council adopted Council Conclusions on the autumn EU statistical package.

Conclusions on Climate Finance

The Council adopted Council Conclusions on climate finance as part of the annual process in the run up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties in Poland on 02-14 Dec.

Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings in Indonesia

The Austrian Presidency and the Commission presented the main outcomes of the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings between 11 and 12 October in Bali, Indonesia.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1081
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Treasury
Made on: 14 November 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 6 November 2018

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 06 November 2018. The UK was represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council discussed the following:

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) dialogue

EU Finance Ministers were joined by representatives of the EFTA countries and held an exchange of views on the opportunities and challenges of FinTech to the financial sector and economic growth.

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 05 November meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU. The Council also held an exchange of views on the Annual Report of the European Fiscal Board.

Digital Services Tax

The Council held an exchange of views on the state of play of the negotiations on the Digital Services Tax Directive.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report

The President of the Court of Auditors presented the Auditors’ report on the implementation of the budget of the European Union for the 2017 financial year.

EU Statistical Package

The Council adopted Council Conclusions on the autumn EU statistical package.

Conclusions on Climate Finance

The Council adopted Council Conclusions on climate finance as part of the annual process in the run up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties in Poland on 02-14 Dec.

Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings in Indonesia

The Austrian Presidency and the Commission presented the main outcomes of the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings between 11 and 12 October in Bali, Indonesia.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1052
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 14 November 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Strategy For Our Veterans

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Gavin Williamson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Following the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, the time is right to review how we continue to support and empower veterans in the future. Veterans are an asset to our nation and demonstrate some of the best qualities in our society: responsibility, duty and hard work. We are proud of the care, support and respect our society gives to veterans and have a long history of supporting those who step up to serve their country.

We want to make sure we continue to support veterans and want to do more. By 2028 we will do more to ensure that each veteran is valued, contributing and supported. Today we publish the Strategy for our Veterans (Cm 9726) and supporting UK Government Consultation Paper (Cm 9727) that outlines what we aim to do and consults on how we will achieve it. This strategy is part of the Armed Forces Covenant, introduced in 2011 to ensure all Service personnel, military families and veterans are treated fairly in accessing public and commercial services. Through the Covenant, we have radically improved the support we give to veterans across Government, in terms of priority healthcare pathways, access to housing, employment support, and more.

The cross-Government Strategy for our Veterans is a remarkable joint statement of strategic intent for UK and devolved Governments. It is the first time Governments across the UK have clearly stated collective tangible outcomes for veterans’ services, and indeed the first time that all four nations of the UK have come together on such a far-reaching topic. It sets a vision and principles for support to veterans, as well as tangible outcomes in a variety of areas. The vision and principles are enduring and extend beyond the horizon of the strategy. Together, they state the long-term goal against which we will organise services for veterans throughout the UK. To deliver the vision and principles we have set outcomes for a number of cross-cutting factors and themes that will give us tangible aspiration to measure success. There are five cross-cutting factors that provide a backdrop to the overall system of veterans’ service provision as well as six identified themes. For each of the cross-cutting factors and themes there is an outcome for 2028 towards which all UK nations will work to deliver.

Today we also publish the complementary UK Government Consultation Paper that seeks the public’s view on how to build upon existing services. We would like comments from any public organisation that provides a service for veterans, from charities in the Armed Forces sector and other sectors who assist veterans, from private sector companies, and of course from veterans themselves. This consultation is UK-wide, although the Scottish Government and Welsh Government will consult separately on devolved matters.

The Strategy for our Veterans and accompanying UK Government Consultation Paper will be debated in the House of Commons and House of Lords on 15 November 2018.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 14 November 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson ( The Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Strategy For Our Veterans

Following the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, the time is right to review how we continue to support and empower veterans in the future. Veterans are an asset to our nation and demonstrate some of the best qualities in our society: responsibility, duty and hard work. We are proud of the care, support and respect our society gives to veterans and have a long history of supporting those who step up to serve their country.

We want to make sure we continue to support veterans and want to do more. By 2028 we will do more to ensure that each veteran is valued, contributing and supported. Today we publish the Strategy for our Veterans (Cm 9726) and supporting UK Government Consultation Paper (Cm 9727) that outlines what we aim to do and consults on how we will achieve it. This strategy is part of the Armed Forces Covenant, introduced in 2011 to ensure all Service personnel, military families and veterans are treated fairly in accessing public and commercial services. Through the Covenant, we have radically improved the support we give to veterans across Government, in terms of priority healthcare pathways, access to housing, employment support, and more.

The cross-Government Strategy for our Veterans is a remarkable joint statement of strategic intent for UK and devolved Governments. It is the first time Governments across the UK have clearly stated collective tangible outcomes for veterans’ services, and indeed the first time that all four nations of the UK have come together on such a far-reaching topic. It sets a vision and principles for support to veterans, as well as tangible outcomes in a variety of areas. The vision and principles are enduring and extend beyond the horizon of the strategy. Together, they state the long-term goal against which we will organise services for veterans throughout the UK. To deliver the vision and principles we have set outcomes for a number of cross-cutting factors and themes that will give us tangible aspiration to measure success. There are five cross-cutting factors that provide a backdrop to the overall system of veterans’ service provision as well as six identified themes. For each of the cross-cutting factors and themes there is an outcome for 2028 towards which all UK nations will work to deliver.

Today we also publish the complementary UK Government Consultation Paper that seeks the public’s view on how to build upon existing services. We would like comments from any public organisation that provides a service for veterans, from charities in the Armed Forces sector and other sectors who assist veterans, from private sector companies, and of course from veterans themselves. This consultation is UK-wide, although the Scottish Government and Welsh Government will consult separately on devolved matters.

The Strategy for our Veterans and accompanying UK Government Consultation Paper will be debated in the House of Commons and House of Lords on 15 November 2018.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local government

My Rt. Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire), has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In May, I appointed Commissioners to undertake the strategic finance and governance functions in Northamptonshire County Council as a result of the findings of the Best Value Inspection published in March this year.

In October, Ofsted conducted a two-day visit to look at children’s services in the Council, and have published their findings today. Children’s services in Northamptonshire were rated ‘requires improvement’ overall by Ofsted at their last inspection in 2016, but have deteriorated significantly since then. There are particular concerns about the relatively high number of unallocated and unassessed cases, and a social care workforce that is highly dependent on agency staff. The letter from Ofsted states “when children in Northamptonshire are referred to children’s social care, they are not consistently or effectively assessed, supported or protected.” A copy of this letter is available in the House library.

The Commissioners have also written to me and the Education Secretary to highlight their concerns about children’s services, recommending that an additional Commissioner is appointed to strengthen the Government intervention in this area.

Having carefully considered the evidence and having spoken to the Commissioners, my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I agree that we should act swiftly to strengthen the focus on children in the current intervention, by appointing an additional Commissioner to the existing Commissioner team. Keeping vulnerable children safe is one of the most important duties local authorities carry out and any deterioration in the performance of Northamptonshire children’s services cannot continue.

The Secretary of State for Education has therefore announced that he is minded to appoint a Children’s Services Commissioner for Northamptonshire under the powers granted to him by Parliament under section 497A (4B) of the Education Act 1996. This will help to stabilise and improve the service so each and every child receives the protection they deserve. The Commissioner would also help the authority decide how best to deliver children’s services after the potential local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire. The Secretary of State for Education and I will receive regular progress reports from our Commissioner team.

The Secretary of State for Education sees Malcolm Newsam CBE as a very strong candidate for the role of Children’s Services Commissioner. Mr Newsam is an experienced director of children’s services. He has worked in a number of local authorities, including as Children Services Commissioner in Sandwell, and previously as an Executive Commissioner for children’s services in Rotherham, working closely with other Government Commissioners as part of a wider Government intervention.

Additional children’s services capacity has also been brought in through the Department for Education’s Partners in Practice programme, with Lincolnshire County Council providing practical support and improvement advice.

The Secretary of State for Education will consider any representations on his proposal, which are made in the next week by Northamptonshire County Council, before deciding whether or not to appoint a Children’s Services Commissioner.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1079
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local government

In May, I appointed Commissioners to undertake the strategic finance and governance functions in Northamptonshire County Council as a result of the findings of the Best Value Inspection published in March this year.

In October, Ofsted conducted a two-day visit to look at children’s services in the Council, and have published their findings today. Children’s services in Northamptonshire were rated ‘requires improvement’ overall by Ofsted at their last inspection in 2016, but have deteriorated significantly since then. There are particular concerns about the relatively high number of unallocated and unassessed cases, and a social care workforce that is highly dependent on agency staff. The letter from Ofsted states “when children in Northamptonshire are referred to children’s social care, they are not consistently or effectively assessed, supported or protected.” A copy of this letter is available in the House library.

The Commissioners have also written to me and the Education Secretary to highlight their concerns about children’s services, recommending that an additional Commissioner is appointed to strengthen the Government intervention in this area.

Having carefully considered the evidence and having spoken to the Commissioners, my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I agree that we should act swiftly to strengthen the focus on children in the current intervention, by appointing an additional Commissioner to the existing Commissioner team. Keeping vulnerable children safe is one of the most important duties local authorities carry out and any deterioration in the performance of Northamptonshire children’s services cannot continue.

The Secretary of State for Education has therefore announced that he is minded to appoint a Children’s Services Commissioner for Northamptonshire under the powers granted to him by Parliament under section 497A (4B) of the Education Act 1996. This will help to stabilise and improve the service so each and every child receives the protection they deserve. The Commissioner would also help the authority decide how best to deliver children’s services after the potential local government reorganisation in Northamptonshire. The Secretary of State for Education and I will receive regular progress reports from our Commissioner team.

The Secretary of State for Education sees Malcolm Newsam CBE as a very strong candidate for the role of Children’s Services Commissioner. Mr Newsam is an experienced director of children’s services. He has worked in a number of local authorities, including as Children Services Commissioner in Sandwell, and previously as an Executive Commissioner for children’s services in Rotherham, working closely with other Government Commissioners as part of a wider Government intervention.

Additional children’s services capacity has also been brought in through the Department for Education’s Partners in Practice programme, with Lincolnshire County Council providing practical support and improvement advice.

The Secretary of State for Education will consider any representations on his proposal, which are made in the next week by Northamptonshire County Council, before deciding whether or not to appoint a Children’s Services Commissioner.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1050
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement: I have today laid before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 June 2018 to 25 September 2018’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The report will be made available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the first reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European (Withdrawal) Act.
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity)
Lords

Bovine TB Strategy Review

My Hon. Friend Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice) has today made the following statement:

I am pleased to report that a review of the Government’s 25 Year Bovine TB Strategy, led by Sir Charles Godfray, has been published today. The Government welcomes the report and I extend my thanks to Sir Charles and his team for their hard work.

The report, which was commissioned by the Secretary of State in February 2018, aims to explore different approaches to disease control to inform future policy and maintain progress towards our target of achieving Officially TB Free status by 2038.

As a Government we are committed to eradicating bovine TB and have always been clear that there is no single measure for tackling this disease. That is why we have pursued a range of interventions, including cattle movement controls, vaccination, and controlled culling in certain areas.

Sir Charles’ report is an important contribution that will inform next steps and help us to take the Strategy to the next phase. The Government will consider its recommendations carefully. A formal response will be published in due course.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office and)
Commons

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

I have today laid before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 June 2018 to 25 September 2018’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The report will be made available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the first reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European (Withdrawal) Act.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 13 November 2018
Made by: George Eustice (Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food )
Commons

Bovine TB Strategy Review

I am pleased to report that a review of the Government’s 25 Year Bovine TB Strategy, led by Sir Charles Godfray, has been published today. The Government welcomes the report and I extend my thanks to Sir Charles and his team for their hard work.

The report, which was commissioned by the Secretary of State in February 2018, aims to explore different approaches to disease control to inform future policy and maintain progress towards our target of achieving Officially TB Free status by 2038.

As a Government we are committed to eradicating bovine TB and have always been clear that there is no single measure for tackling this disease. That is why we have pursued a range of interventions, including cattle movement controls, vaccination, and controlled culling in certain areas.

Sir Charles’ report is an important contribution that will inform next steps and help us to take the Strategy to the next phase. The Government will consider its recommendations carefully. A formal response will be published in due course.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 12 November 2018
Made by: Caroline Dinenage (Minister of State for Care)
Commons

Wales-England Cross-Border Healthcare – New Statement of Values and Principles

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords) (Lord O'Shaughnessy) has made the following written statement:

Whilst delivery of healthcare across the border between England and Wales is collaborative and high-quality, the Government is aware of the problems that a significant number of patients living along the Welsh-English border have faced for a number of years in accessing healthcare in accordance with their rights under the NHS Constitution. We are pleased that a new Statement of Values and Principles, co-produced by NHS England, Welsh Government and the local-system is now ready for publication.

The new Statement will replace the existing cross-border protocol, which was established in 2005 and revised in 2013 and agreed between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Welsh Government with input from the system. This protocol outlined the process for residents living along the Welsh-English border in accessing healthcare and which bodies were legally and financially responsible for these patients. Soon after the publication it was realised that the protocol did not comply with English law in that it did not safeguard the Constitutional rights of English residents living along the border and registered with Welsh GPs; those residents were unable to exercise their rights to English standards in terms of waiting times for treatment and choice of secondary care provider. Since then, extensive work has been conducted on both sides of the border to ensure this is possible.

NHS England and the Welsh Government working with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Local Health Boards (LHBs) have developed the new Statement to replace the existing protocol and to address the issues that have arisen from it. The new Statement allows patients to exercise their rights under the NHS Constitution by being referred to a provider under contract with NHS England or to elect to receive treatment in Wales, waiving those rights and accepting Welsh standards.

The Government is pleased that the process for producing the new Statement has been collaborative across the border and has involved affected stakeholders to ensure it is acceptable and appropriate. We note the diligence by which constituency MPs, especially Mark Harper, have sought a solution and also commend the work by Action4OurCare to reach a way forward. We hope this Statement of Values and Principles provides a long-term resolution.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1047
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 12 November 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords))
Lords

Wales-England Cross-Border Healthcare – New Statement of Values and Principles

Whilst delivery of healthcare across the border between England and Wales is collaborative and high-quality, the Government is aware of the problems that a significant number of patients living along the Welsh-English border have faced for a number of years in accessing healthcare in accordance with their rights under the NHS Constitution. We are pleased that a new Statement of Values and Principles, co-produced by NHS England, Welsh Government and the local-system is now ready for publication.

The new Statement will replace the existing cross-border protocol, which was established in 2005 and revised in 2013 and agreed between the Department of Health and Social Care and the Welsh Government with input from the system. This protocol outlined the process for residents living along the Welsh-English border in accessing healthcare and which bodies were legally and financially responsible for these patients. Soon after the publication it was realised that the protocol did not comply with English law in that it did not safeguard the Constitutional rights of English residents living along the border and registered with Welsh GPs; those residents were unable to exercise their rights to English standards in terms of waiting times for treatment and choice of secondary care provider. Since then, extensive work has been conducted on both sides of the border to ensure this is possible.

NHS England and the Welsh Government working with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Local Health Boards (LHBs) have developed the new Statement to replace the existing protocol and to address the issues that have arisen from it. The new Statement allows patients to exercise their rights under the NHS Constitution by being referred to a provider under contract with NHS England or to elect to receive treatment in Wales, waiving those rights and accepting Welsh standards.

The Government is pleased that the process for producing the new Statement has been collaborative across the border and has involved affected stakeholders to ensure it is acceptable and appropriate. We note the diligence by which constituency MPs, especially Mark Harper, have sought a solution and also commend the work by Action4OurCare to reach a way forward. We hope this Statement of Values and Principles provides a long-term resolution.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1076
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Delivering Collective Defined Contribution Pension Schemes

My honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion (Guy Opperman MP) has made the following Written Statement.

Today the Government is publishing the consultation paper on Collective Defined Contribution Schemes. This sets out our vision for this new form of occupational pension scheme. We will be seeking stakeholder views on how we can best implement such schemes. CDC schemes will offer a new option for employers looking to help their employees save for retirement. A copy of this document will be placed in the library.

The UK has a world-class occupational pension system – but there are always opportunities for further innovation where this can benefit savers and businesses alike. The Work and Pensions Select Committee recently published a report calling for the adoption of CDC schemes in the UK; the Government welcomed this report and is grateful to the Committee for their support and advice. It is important to be clear that CDC schemes are not a panacea, and that members could see their pension incomes fluctuate. However, as the Work and Pensions Select Committee so clearly recognised, a robustly designed and appropriately regulated CDC regime can offer positive outcomes for both employers and pension savers. The Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union are already working closely together to establish a CDC scheme, which the Government sees as an encouraging sign of the consensus in this area.

Saving for retirement is an extremely important part of people’s financial planning, representing their hopes for the future. Throughout the last decade, the Government has therefore worked closely with the pensions, financial services and consumer community to strengthen the UK’s pension savings culture. Together we have transformed the pensions landscape, delivering social change on an unprecedented scale. The establishment of CDC pension schemes is a key strand of this work.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1075
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Guy Opperman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion)
Commons

Delivering Collective Defined Contribution Pension Schemes

Today the Government is publishing the consultation paper on Collective Defined Contribution Schemes. This sets out our vision for this new form of occupational pension scheme. We will be seeking stakeholder views on how we can best implement such schemes. CDC schemes will offer a new option for employers looking to help their employees save for retirement. A copy of this document will be placed in the library.

The UK has a world-class occupational pension system – but there are always opportunities for further innovation where this can benefit savers and businesses alike. The Work and Pensions Select Committee recently published a report calling for the adoption of CDC schemes in the UK; the Government welcomed this report and is grateful to the Committee for their support and advice. It is important to be clear that CDC schemes are not a panacea, and that members could see their pension incomes fluctuate. However, as the Work and Pensions Select Committee so clearly recognised, a robustly designed and appropriately regulated CDC regime can offer positive outcomes for both employers and pension savers. The Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union are already working closely together to establish a CDC scheme, which the Government sees as an encouraging sign of the consensus in this area.

Saving for retirement is an extremely important part of people’s financial planning, representing their hopes for the future. Throughout the last decade, the Government has therefore worked closely with the pensions, financial services and consumer community to strengthen the UK’s pension savings culture. Together we have transformed the pensions landscape, delivering social change on an unprecedented scale. The establishment of CDC pension schemes is a key strand of this work.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1046
WS
Treasury
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

The Double Taxation Convention between the United Kingdom And Austria

My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mel Stride) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A Double Taxation Convention with Austria was signed on 23 October 2018. The text of the Convention is available on HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the Gov.uk website and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1073
WS
Treasury
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 6 November 2018

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

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 06 November 2018. The UK will be represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council will discuss the following:

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) dialogue

EU Finance Ministers will be joined by representatives of the EFTA countries to exchange views on the opportunities and challenges of FinTech to the financial sector and economic growth.

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 05 November meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU. The Council will also exchange views on the Annual Report of the European Fiscal Board.

Digital Services Tax

The Council will exchange views regarding the state of play of the negotiations on the Digital Services Tax Directive.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report

The President of the Court of Auditors will present the Auditors’ report on the implementation of the budget of the European Union for the 2017 financial year.

EU Statistical Package

The Council will be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the autumn EU statistical package and to review progress achieved, providing guidance for further work in this area.

Conclusions on Climate Finance

The Council will be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on climate finance as part of the annual process in the run up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) in Poland on 02-14 Dec.

Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings in Indonesia

The Austrian Presidency and the Commission will present the main outcomes of the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings between 11 and 12 October in Bali, Indonesia

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1074
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

Inspection of the Royal Navy Police by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

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

I wish to inform the House and that I am laying before the House today the second report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) Inspection of the Royal Navy Police (RNP).

The Armed Forces Act 2011 places a duty on HMICFRS to inspect and report to the Ministry of Defence on the independence and effectiveness of investigations carried out by each Service police force, and this is HMICFRS second statutory inspection report on the RNP.

I consider this report to be a very positive endorsement of the RNP providing assurance from an independent civilian authority that the RNP's Police Performance Inspections (PPI) provide the assurance required that the activity of RNP units meet legal and professional standards. No recommendations were made and only four areas for improvement were identified. The Royal Navy accepts the report's findings and through the implementation of a revised PPI process, it is considered that all four areas of improvement have now been addressed.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1072
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Bellwin Scheme for the February 2018 explosion and fire in Leicester

My Hon Friend, the Minister for Local Government (Rishi Sunak) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 25 February 2018, there was a major explosion and fire in Hinckley Road, Leicester which resulted in the tragic loss of 5 lives. I am satisfied that financial assistance under the Bellwin scheme is justified to cover eligible costs incurred by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Authority in dealing with this emergency.

A scheme will therefore be established under section 155 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Grant will be paid to the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Authority to cover 100 per cent of their eligible costs incurred above a threshold.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1070
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

EU Transport Council

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

I attended the informal meeting of members of the Transport and Environment Councils in Graz, Austria on 29th and 30th October.

The programme for the Informal meetings included separate sessions for Transport and Environment Ministers and a joint session for both Ministers entitled “Starting a new Era; Clean, safe and affordable mobility for Europe”.

On 29th October, Transport Ministers were invited to discuss the Commission’s proposal on ‘Discontinuing seasonal changes of time (summer time)’. My Noble Friend, The Rt Hon Lord Henley, (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) represented the UK at this session and explained that the UK Government does not support the proposed directive. He also noted the Commission had fallen short on the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as has been highlighted by the decision of the House of Lords to issue a reasoned opinion. (The House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has subsequently recommended that the House of Commons also issue a reasoned opinion on this matter.)

There was broad consensus in Council that the timetable proposed by the Commission was too short and thus there was widespread support for the Presidency’s intention to provide for an extension. A small minority of Member States were notably critical of the proposal while the majority welcomed the initiative, albeit noting its deficiencies. Several Member States advocated the need to coordinate across borders in order to know the final time zone arrangements before taking the decision to abolish daylight saving.

Environment Ministers were then invited to discuss ‘The Future of European Environmental Policy’. The Secretary of State for the Environment was represented by officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Ministers broadly agreed on the need for an eighth Environment Action Programme (EAP) with a consensus that it should take full account of climate change given the Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Global Warming of 1.5 Celsius published last month.

At the joint session for Transport & Environment Ministers on 30th October, interventions were wide-ranging with common themes being the need to move towards zero emissions vehicles and enabling people to choose sustainable ways to travel. These themes were reflected in the Presidency’s “Graz Declaration” published after the meeting. For the UK, I stressed the importance of ambition to accelerate the development and introduction of zero emission vehicles, recalling that the Prime Minister had hosted the world’s first zero emission vehicle summit in Birmingham recently.

The subject for the afternoon session was road safety. Transport Ministers shared experiences with progress to date in reducing casualties and their perception of the challenges in making more progress. In my intervention I noted that human error was a factor in over 85% of road accidents, and that connected and automated vehicles offered opportunities to make our roads safer.

In the margins I met with a number of EU Transport Ministers to discuss current EU transport business and how relationships will evolve as the UK leaves the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1069
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State, Department for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

General Affairs Council, November 2018

I will attend the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 12 November 2018 to represent the UK. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full member.

The provisional agenda includes:

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

Ministers will discuss progress on the Multiannual Financial Framework proposals with the Presidency.

Preparation of the European Council on 13-14 December 2018

The Council will discuss the draft agenda for the December European Council.

European Semester 2019 - Roadmap

The Austrian Presidency and the incoming Romanian Presidency will present the timetable for the 2019 European Semester, which will provide a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU.

Legislative programming - Commission’s Work Programme 2019

The Commission will set out the legislative and other initiatives that it intends to present to the Council and European Parliament during 2019.

Subsidiarity Package

The Commission will present its subsidiarity package which was published on 23 October. In those areas which do not form part of the EU’s exclusive competence, the principle of subsidiarity means that action should only be taken at EU level when the desired objectives cannot be effectively achieved by action taken at national or regional level.

Annual Rule of Law dialogue

An annual rule of law dialogue has formed part of the GAC agenda since 2014. The Presidency has invited Ministers to consider the topic of ‘Trust in Public Institutions’ for this year’s dialogue.

Rule of law in Poland - Article 7(1) TEU Reasoned Proposal

The Commission will provide Ministers with an update on the rule of law in Poland.

Values of the Union - Hungary / Article 7(1) TEU Reasoned Proposal

Ministers will discuss the Article 7(1) procedure in relation to Hungary.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 6 November 2018

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 06 November 2018. The UK will be represented by Mark Bowman (Director General, International Finance, HM Treasury). The Council will discuss the following:

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) dialogue

EU Finance Ministers will be joined by representatives of the EFTA countries to exchange views on the opportunities and challenges of FinTech to the financial sector and economic growth.

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 05 November meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU. The Council will also exchange views on the Annual Report of the European Fiscal Board.

Digital Services Tax

The Council will exchange views regarding the state of play of the negotiations on the Digital Services Tax Directive.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report

The President of the Court of Auditors will present the Auditors’ report on the implementation of the budget of the European Union for the 2017 financial year.

EU Statistical Package

The Council will be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the autumn EU statistical package and to review progress achieved, providing guidance for further work in this area.

Conclusions on Climate Finance

The Council will be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on climate finance as part of the annual process in the run up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP) in Poland on 02-14 Dec.

Follow-up to the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings in Indonesia

The Austrian Presidency and the Commission will present the main outcomes of the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and of the IMF Annual Meetings between 11 and 12 October in Bali, Indonesia

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1044
WS
Treasury
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

The Double Taxation Convention between the United Kingdom And Austria

A Double Taxation Convention with Austria was signed on 23 October 2018. The text of the Convention is available on HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the Gov.uk website and will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1045
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

Pre-Council: EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) 9 November 2018

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Trade Policy (George Hollingbery MP) has today made the following statement:

The EU Trade Foreign Affairs Council will take place in Brussels on 9 November 2018. I will represent the UK.

The substantive items on 9 November will be:

Legislative items: information from the Presidency about the Regulation on Foreign Direct Investment Screening; information from The Presidency about the Regulation on implementing horizontal bilateral safeguards in certain agreements.

Non-legislative items: the state of play of World Trade Organization modernisation, and an update on the state of play of the ongoing EU trade negotiations. The Commission will also present a report on the implementation of Free Trade Agreements.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords))
Lords

Health and social care provider update

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Care (Caroline Dinenage) has made the following written statement:

Yesterday, in line with duties set out in the 2014 Care Act the Care Quality Commission notified 84 Local Authorities that they were issuing a Stage 6 notification for the homecare provider, Allied Healthcare.

I would like to update the House on why the Care Quality Commission has taken this action now, and steps being taken to assure people with care and support needs being met by Allied Healthcare that they should not suffer a gap in their care service – even if their care is funded privately.

A Stage 6 notification is intended to be an early warning to local authorities that CQC consider that the business failure of a provider in their area is likely and this could lead to services ceasing for people who receive care from that provider.

The Care Quality Commission has not taken this decision lightly. They have continued to monitor the financial sustainability of Allied Healthcare since it secured a Company Voluntary Arrangement in May. It has been speaking with Allied Heathcare’s senior management team on a regular basis to seek assurances about the company’s performance and the sustainability of its future finances. The company has not been able to provide the necessary assurances beyond 30th November 2018 and the Care Quality Commission has taken this prudent action in order to give local authorities the time to prepare their contingency plans to ensure continuity of care, in the event that it is required.

Allied Healthcare can take action to reassure the Care Quality Commission of its financial position beyond 30 November 2018, in which case the Care Quality Commission would revise their position accordingly. The Care Quality Commission is clear that there is no current service disruption. Allied Healthcare remain responsible for these services and their staff.

The law was changed in 2014 giving the Care Quality Commission a new responsibility to monitor the financial sustainability of the largest and most difficult to replace care providers across the country. It means the CQC can notify local authorities of the likelihood of service disruption caused by service failure earlier so that they have more time to prepare their plans to protect individuals.

Local authorities have a statutory duty under their section 48(2) Care Act to meet the needs of individuals temporarily if their care provider is no longer able to carry on. Business failure is a normal part of a functioning market and local authorities have appropriate plans in place to minimise disruption of services. The Care Quality Commission has provided local authorities with time to begin their preparations. This will include working with Allied Healthcare to ensure the local authority is given an up to date list of all people the company is providing care for, whether this is state or privately funded. Local authorities will be reviewing contingency plans and speaking to other providers to ensure continuity of care.

The Care Quality Commission and my Department are closely monitoring the situation. They are also working closely with the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and NHS England to ensure that local authorities are supported in their contingency planning to ensure individuals’ care and support needs continue to be met.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1071
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Mr Tobias Ellwood (Minister of State (Ministry of Defence))
Commons

Inspection of the Royal Navy Police by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

I wish to inform the House and that I am laying before the House today the second report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Service (HMICFRS) Inspection of the Royal Navy Police (RNP).

The Armed Forces Act 2011 places a duty on HMICFRS to inspect and report to the Ministry of Defence on the independence and effectiveness of investigations carried out by each Service police force, and this is HMICFRS second statutory inspection report on the RNP.

I consider this report to be a very positive endorsement of the RNP providing assurance from an independent civilian authority that the RNP's Police Performance Inspections (PPI) provide the assurance required that the activity of RNP units meet legal and professional standards. No recommendations were made and only four areas for improvement were identified. The Royal Navy accepts the report's findings and through the implementation of a revised PPI process, it is considered that all four areas of improvement have now been addressed.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1043
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Caroline Dinenage (Minister of State for Care)
Commons

Health and social care provider update

Yesterday, in line with duties set out in the 2014 Care Act the Care Quality Commission notified 84 Local Authorities that they were issuing a Stage 6 notification for the homecare provider, Allied Healthcare.

I would like to update the House on why the Care Quality Commission has taken this action now, and steps being taken to assure people with care and support needs being met by Allied Healthcare that they should not suffer a gap in their care service – even if their care is funded privately.

A Stage 6 notification is intended to be an early warning to local authorities that CQC consider that the business failure of a provider in their area is likely and this could lead to services ceasing for people who receive care from that provider.

The Care Quality Commission has not taken this decision lightly. They have continued to monitor the financial sustainability of Allied Healthcare since it secured a Company Voluntary Arrangement in May. It has been speaking with Allied Heathcare’s senior management team on a regular basis to seek assurances about the company’s performance and the sustainability of its future finances. The company has not been able to provide the necessary assurances beyond 30th November 2018 and the Care Quality Commission has taken this prudent action in order to give local authorities the time to prepare their contingency plans to ensure continuity of care, in the event that it is required.

Allied Healthcare can take action to reassure the Care Quality Commission of its financial position beyond 30 November 2018, in which case the Care Quality Commission would revise their position accordingly. The Care Quality Commission is clear that there is no current service disruption. Allied Healthcare remain responsible for these services and their staff.

The law was changed in 2014 giving the Care Quality Commission a new responsibility to monitor the financial sustainability of the largest and most difficult to replace care providers across the country. It means the CQC can notify local authorities of the likelihood of service disruption caused by service failure earlier so that they have more time to prepare their plans to protect individuals.

Local authorities have a statutory duty under their section 48(2) Care Act to meet the needs of individuals temporarily if their care provider is no longer able to carry on. Business failure is a normal part of a functioning market and local authorities have appropriate plans in place to minimise disruption of services. The Care Quality Commission has provided local authorities with time to begin their preparations. This will include working with Allied Healthcare to ensure the local authority is given an up to date list of all people the company is providing care for, whether this is state or privately funded. Local authorities will be reviewing contingency plans and speaking to other providers to ensure continuity of care.

The Care Quality Commission and my Department are closely monitoring the situation. They are also working closely with the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and NHS England to ensure that local authorities are supported in their contingency planning to ensure individuals’ care and support needs continue to be met.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1037
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Rishi Sunak (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Local Government )
Commons

Bellwin Scheme for the February 2018 explosion and fire in Leicester

On 25 February 2018, there was a major explosion and fire in Hinckley Road, Leicester which resulted in the tragic loss of 5 lives. I am satisfied that financial assistance under the Bellwin scheme is justified to cover eligible costs incurred by Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Authority in dealing with this emergency.

A scheme will therefore be established under section 155 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Grant will be paid to the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Authority to cover 100 per cent of their eligible costs incurred above a threshold.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1042
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

EU Transport Council

I attended the informal meeting of members of the Transport and Environment Councils in Graz, Austria on 29th and 30th October.

The programme for the Informal meetings included separate sessions for Transport and Environment Ministers and a joint session for both Ministers entitled “Starting a new Era; Clean, safe and affordable mobility for Europe”.

On 29th October, Transport Ministers were invited to discuss the Commission’s proposal on ‘Discontinuing seasonal changes of time (summer time)’. My Noble Friend, The Rt Hon Lord Henley, (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) represented the UK at this session and explained that the UK Government does not support the proposed directive. He also noted the Commission had fallen short on the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality as has been highlighted by the decision of the House of Lords to issue a reasoned opinion. (The House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee has subsequently recommended that the House of Commons also issue a reasoned opinion on this matter.)

There was broad consensus in Council that the timetable proposed by the Commission was too short and thus there was widespread support for the Presidency’s intention to provide for an extension. A small minority of Member States were notably critical of the proposal while the majority welcomed the initiative, albeit noting its deficiencies. Several Member States advocated the need to coordinate across borders in order to know the final time zone arrangements before taking the decision to abolish daylight saving.

Environment Ministers were then invited to discuss ‘The Future of European Environmental Policy’. The Secretary of State for the Environment was represented by officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Ministers broadly agreed on the need for an eighth Environment Action Programme (EAP) with a consensus that it should take full account of climate change given the Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Global Warming of 1.5 Celsius published last month.

At the joint session for Transport & Environment Ministers on 30th October, interventions were wide-ranging with common themes being the need to move towards zero emissions vehicles and enabling people to choose sustainable ways to travel. These themes were reflected in the Presidency’s “Graz Declaration” published after the meeting. For the UK, I stressed the importance of ambition to accelerate the development and introduction of zero emission vehicles, recalling that the Prime Minister had hosted the world’s first zero emission vehicle summit in Birmingham recently.

The subject for the afternoon session was road safety. Transport Ministers shared experiences with progress to date in reducing casualties and their perception of the challenges in making more progress. In my intervention I noted that human error was a factor in over 85% of road accidents, and that connected and automated vehicles offered opportunities to make our roads safer.

In the margins I met with a number of EU Transport Ministers to discuss current EU transport business and how relationships will evolve as the UK leaves the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1041
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: Mr Robin Walker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

General Affairs Council, November 2018

Lord Callanan, Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I will attend the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 12 November 2018 to represent the UK. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full member.

The provisional agenda includes:

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

Ministers will discuss progress on the Multiannual Financial Framework proposals with the Presidency.

Preparation of the European Council on 13-14 December 2018

The Council will discuss the draft agenda for the December European Council.

European Semester 2019 - Roadmap

The Austrian Presidency and the incoming Romanian Presidency will present the timetable for the 2019 European Semester, which will provide a framework for the coordination of economic policies across the EU.

Legislative programming - Commission’s Work Programme 2019

The Commission will set out the legislative and other initiatives that it intends to present to the Council and European Parliament during 2019.

Subsidiarity Package

The Commission will present its subsidiarity package which was published on 23 October. In those areas which do not form part of the EU’s exclusive competence, the principle of subsidiarity means that action should only be taken at EU level when the desired objectives cannot be effectively achieved by action taken at national or regional level.

Annual Rule of Law dialogue

An annual rule of law dialogue has formed part of the GAC agenda since 2014. The Presidency has invited Ministers to consider the topic of ‘Trust in Public Institutions’ for this year’s dialogue.

Rule of law in Poland - Article 7(1) TEU Reasoned Proposal

The Commission will provide Ministers with an update on the rule of law in Poland.

Values of the Union - Hungary / Article 7(1) TEU Reasoned Proposal

Ministers will discuss the Article 7(1) procedure in relation to Hungary.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 06 November 2018
Made by: George Hollingbery (Minister of State for Trade Policy)
Commons

Pre-Council: EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) 9 November 2018

The EU Trade Foreign Affairs Council will take place in Brussels on 9 November 2018. I will represent the UK.

The substantive items on 9 November will be:

Legislative items: information from the Presidency about the Regulation on Foreign Direct Investment Screening; information from The Presidency about the Regulation on implementing horizontal bilateral safeguards in certain agreements.

Non-legislative items: the state of play of World Trade Organization modernisation, and an update on the state of play of the ongoing EU trade negotiations. The Commission will also present a report on the implementation of Free Trade Agreements.

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Justice Spokesperson)
Lords

Justice Update

My honourable friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice, Lucy Frazer, has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I have today laid before Parliament new legislation to implement a new, banded structure of fees for a grant of representation, commonly known as a grant of probate.

Fees are an essential element of funding an effective, modern courts and tribunals service, thereby ensuring and protecting access to justice. The Government is investing £1 billion to modernise and upgrade the courts system so that it works even better for everyone, including victims, witnesses, litigants, judges and legal professionals. This includes introducing changes to our Probate Service, who offer an important service to those who are bereaved. The reform of the service allows people to apply for a grant of probate online, access assisted digital support for those who many not necessarily have the skills or access to engage digitally and empowers individuals to make applications themselves instead of needing to instruct and pay for solicitors. This aims to reduce the burden on applicants, by providing a more efficient and simpler application process.

But such a courts system is simply not possible without proper funding. Since the previous Government set out its intentions to introduce a banded fee structure for grants of probate in February 2017, a number of concerns were raised. We have listened to these very carefully, and under today’s proposal we have revised fees so they will never be more than 0.5% of the value of the estate. Moreover, by raising the estate value threshold from £5,000 to £50,000, we will be lifting around 25,000 estates annually out of fees altogether. For those who do pay, around 80% of estates will pay £750 or less, and all income raised will be spent on running the courts and tribunal service.

It has long been the case that the users of our courts make a contribution to its costs, and we believe this remains both relevant and reasonable – minimising the burden on other taxpayers. Crucially, by asking those who use the courts to pay more, where they can afford to do so, we are able to fund areas where we charge no fees to vulnerable victims and users, including for example domestic violence and non-molestation orders, and for cases before the First-tier Tribunal concerning mental health.

This new banded fee model represents a fair and more progressive way to pay for probate services compared to the current flat fee and reflects our commitment to protecting access to justice by ensuring we have a properly funded and resourced courts system. We are also confident these fees will never be unaffordable. The cost of the fee is recoverable from the estate and executors have several options to fund it. Moreover, the Lord Chancellor retains a power to remit a fee if he considers there are exceptional circumstances.

We will also publish a guidance document before the Statutory Instrument comes into force, entitled Guidance on Ways to Pay for Probate Fees. This will benefit from external stakeholder input, and will help applicants to choose the option to pay which most suits their circumstances, providing reassurance at a difficult time.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1066
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Lucy Frazer (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice )
Commons

Justice Update

I have today laid before Parliament new legislation to implement a new, banded structure of fees for a grant of representation, commonly known as a grant of probate.

Fees are an essential element of funding an effective, modern courts and tribunals service, thereby ensuring and protecting access to justice. The Government is investing £1 billion to modernise and upgrade the courts system so that it works even better for everyone, including victims, witnesses, litigants, judges and legal professionals. This includes introducing changes to our Probate Service, who offer an important service to those who are bereaved. The reform of the service allows people to apply for a grant of probate online, access assisted digital support for those who many not necessarily have the skills or access to engage digitally and empowers individuals to make applications themselves instead of needing to instruct and pay for solicitors. This aims to reduce the burden on applicants, by providing a more efficient and simpler application process.

But such a courts system is simply not possible without proper funding. Since the previous Government set out its intentions to introduce a banded fee structure for grants of probate in February 2017, a number of concerns were raised. We have listened to these very carefully, and under today’s proposal we have revised fees so they will never be more than 0.5% of the value of the estate. Moreover, by raising the estate value threshold from £5,000 to £50,000, we will be lifting around 25,000 estates annually out of fees altogether. For those who do pay, around 80% of estates will pay £750 or less, and all income raised will be spent on running the courts and tribunal service.

It has long been the case that the users of our courts make a contribution to its costs, and we believe this remains both relevant and reasonable – minimising the burden on other taxpayers. Crucially, by asking those who use the courts to pay more, where they can afford to do so, we are able to fund areas where we charge no fees to vulnerable victims and users, including for example domestic violence and non-molestation orders, and for cases before the First-tier Tribunal concerning mental health.

This new banded fee model represents a fair and more progressive way to pay for probate services compared to the current flat fee and reflects our commitment to protecting access to justice by ensuring we have a properly funded and resourced courts system. We are also confident these fees will never be unaffordable. The cost of the fee is recoverable from the estate and executors have several options to fund it. Moreover, the Lord Chancellor retains a power to remit a fee if he considers there are exceptional circumstances.

We will also publish a guidance document before the Statutory Instrument comes into force, entitled Guidance on Ways to Pay for Probate Fees. This will benefit from external stakeholder input, and will help applicants to choose the option to pay which most suits their circumstances, providing reassurance at a difficult time.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1036
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Commonwealth Recruitment ino the Armed Forces

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Armed Forces (Mark Lancaster) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Citizens from the Commonwealth have a long tradition of serving with distinction in the Armed Forces. In light of changes to the size of our Armed Forces a five-year UK residency criterion for Commonwealth citizens wishing to join the Armed Forces was re-imposed in 2013. A limited waiver to this requirement was introduced in May 2016 to recruit up to 200 Commonwealth personnel per annum to fill skill shortage posts. We have now decided to remove the five-year UK residency criterion for Commonwealth citizens and increase recruitment to 1350 across the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Applications will be accepted from all Commonwealth countries, although in order to mitigate the risks associated with unaccompanied minors travelling to the UK without the guarantee of a job, we will not be accepting applications from those under 18. Applicants from Commonwealth countries will need to meet all necessary recruitment criteria for the Service and role they wish to join. Security standards, which will be assessed on a case by case basis, and may differ from the current UK security requirements. In 2009[1] a 15 percent limit on foreign and Commonwealth nationals in a number of areas of the Army (the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), the Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) and the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC)) was established as a necessary and proportionate requirement to sustain operational effectiveness. As we now intend to increase the numbers of Commonwealth citizens joining across the full spread of Army roles, we have concluded that it is appropriate to both limit the overall numbers recruited, and to replicate the 15 per cent limit across all Cap Badges. The requirement for individuals to have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) to join the Reserves has not been changed. This will not affect personnel from the Republic of Ireland, or those in the Brigade of Gurkhas. This policy will be kept under review.

1 Written Ministerial Statement “Army Nationality Policy” dated 2 February 2009

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Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health (Lords))
Lords

Government vision on prevention

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has made the following written statement:

Today I am placing before the House the Government’s prevention vision, Prevention is Better than Cure.

This document sets out a cross-Government vision for stopping health problems from arising in the first place and, when they do, supporting people to manage them as effectively as possible. Our mission is to improve healthy life expectancy, so that, by 2035, we are enjoying at least five extra years of healthy, independent life, whilst closing the gap between the richest and poorest. When it comes to prevention, we all have a role to play: individuals, families, communities, employers, charities, the NHS, social care, and local and national government. Only by working together can we make this vision a reality.

I am placing a copy of the prevention vision in the libraries of both Houses

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1063
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Refuel of HMS Victorious

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Gavin Williamson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 6 March 2014, the then Secretary of State for Defence announced the decision to refuel HMS Vanguard and, pending an assessment, to keep the option open to refuel for HMS Victorious in 2018. This was a prudent precaution following the discovery in 2012 of a microscopic breach in the cladding around one of the fuel cells in the prototype reactor plant at our Shore Test Facility at Dounreay in Scotland. Having conducted an evidence based assessment it has been determined that it is not necessary to refuel HMS Victorious.

The safety of the United Kingdom’s submarine force remains our highest priority. We continue to work closely with the independent regulators to ensure the safety of operations both alongside and at sea.

Our submarine-based deterrent has been safely operating, for over 50 years and studies have demonstrated that no alternative system is as capable, resilient or cost effective as the current deterrent on continuous patrol.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Lords

Defence Equipment Plan

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement (Stuart Andrew) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to place in the Library of the House this year’s financial summary of the Defence Equipment Plan. This is the seventh consecutive annual publication of the equipment plan summary, and presents our plans to deliver the equipment needed by our Armed Forces to defend the country and keep our people safe. The Government is committed to meeting the NATO target to spend 2% of GDP on defence and at least 20% of that spending on equipment. This report sets out our plans to spend £186 billion on equipment in the 10-years from 2018/19.

We have substantially revised the content of this report to make it more transparent and accessible. For the first time, we have set out the strategic context for the Equipment Plan and presented in detail the Department’s assessment of the affordability of the Plan. The NAO has assessed our plans and we are grateful to them for their report which is also published today.

In 2017/18 the Department achieved several notable milestones in procurement and support of equipment and successfully delivered the plan within budget. Looking ahead, there are significant financial pressures we must manage in the Equipment Plan. Our central estimate for the cost of the Equipment Plan at April 2018 exceeded the allocated budget by an average of 3.7% over the 10-years from 2018/19. The shortfall is greatest in the four years from 2018/19. This forecast will vary as risks and opportunities materialise and project plans mature or are changed through management action.

The Department secured £1 billion additional funding in the Autumn budget, which will help reduce the risk to affordability until 2020 and allow the Department to continue delivering existing plans for Joint Force 2025 and to modernise some key capability areas.

We are also taking steps to improve management of the Plan and enable longer term affordability. The Modernising Defence Programme was launched to further strengthen and modernise UK defence and the Armed Forces and put UK defence onto an enduringly affordable footing for the future. This work involves rigorously pursuing productivity and efficiency gains as well as prioritising capabilities to meet the changing threat environment. It will reshape the content of the Equipment Plan and improve the way in which it is managed. We will report on the implications for the Equipment Plan in subsequent financial summary reports.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence )
Commons

Refuel of HMS Victorious

On 6 March 2014, the then Secretary of State for Defence announced the decision to refuel HMS Vanguard and, pending an assessment, to keep the option open to refuel for HMS Victorious in 2018. This was a prudent precaution following the discovery in 2012 of a microscopic breach in the cladding around one of the fuel cells in the prototype reactor plant at our Shore Test Facility at Dounreay in Scotland. Having conducted an evidence based assessment it has been determined that it is not necessary to refuel HMS Victorious.

The safety of the United Kingdom’s submarine force remains our highest priority. We continue to work closely with the independent regulators to ensure the safety of operations both alongside and at sea.

Our submarine-based deterrent has been safely operating, for over 50 years and studies have demonstrated that no alternative system is as capable, resilient or cost effective as the current deterrent on continuous patrol.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Statement on uploading the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Alistair Burt), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

The UK is committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We believe the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) remains the best way of achieving that goal. It is a critical agreement that makes the world a safer place. The United Kingdom, and our European partners, continue to work with the remaining parties to the deal to maintain it. We expect Iran to meet its nuclear commitments as set out in the agreement in full.

In May of this year, President Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States of America from the JCPoA. In consequence, today US sanctions on Iran will be re-imposed, including on Iran’s oil and gas exporting capability. We have been clear with the US administration about our determination to preserve the JCPoA, and the fact that this is driven by our national security interests.

As a party to the JCPoA, we remain committed to ensuring that Iran receives the sanctions relief to which it is entitled. This includes taking steps to enable firms wishing to engage in legitimate trade with Iran to do so. We are working with our partners France and Germany, fellow parties to the JCPoA, to develop a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to enable continued sanctions relief to reach Iran, and allow for European exporters and importers to trade in compliance with EU and UN sanctions.

In parallel to our work with partners to maintain the JCPoA, we continue to take steps with our partners against the IRGC’s destabilising behaviour across the region and to hold Iran to account on human rights, including its treatment of British-Iranians detained in Iran.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1061
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Tailored Review of the Great Britain China Centre

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mark Field), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

I am announcing today the start of a Tailored Review of the Great Britain China Centre (GBCC). The GBCC is a Non Departmental Public Body of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Its principal activity is to encourage mutual knowledge and understanding through the promotion of closer cultural, professional, economic, educational, legal, judicial and other contacts between Britain and China.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the FCO, the GBCC is required to undergo a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The principle aims of Tailored Reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and are properly accountable for what they do.

The Review will provide a robust scrutiny of and assurance on the continuing need for the GBCC – both its function and its form. If the review finds the GBCC should be retained in its current form and status, the review will then consider GBCC’s capacity for delivering on its core mandate more effectively and efficiently. It will also assess the control and governance arrangements that are in place to ensure that GBCC and the FCO are complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

The review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: ‘Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’. The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on gov.uk.

In conducting the Tailored Review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders across the UK and overseas, including staff, management and the Board of the GBCC. These consultations will include participating and sponsor organisations of GBCC projects and events and partners from across UK Government, foreign governments, academics and civil society.

Both Houses will be informed of the outcome of the review when it is completed and copies of the report of the review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1059
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Tailored Review of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mark Field), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

I am announcing today the start of a Tailored Review of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission (MACC). Established by an Act of Parliament in 1953, in commemoration of the assistance received by the United Kingdom from the United States under the Marshall Plan, the MACC administers the British Marshall scholarships.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the MACC is required to undergo a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The principal aims of Tailored Reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and properly accountable for what they do.

The Review will provide a robust scrutiny of, and assurance on, the continuing need for the MACC – both its function and its form. It will then assess the governance and control arrangements in place to ensure they are compliant with the recognised principles of good corporate governance and delivering good value for money. The Review will look both at the current performance of the MACC and at how it is able to respond and adapt to those factors which are most likely to affect its position as a prestigious scholarship provider and effective public diplomacy tool for the UK.

A Challenge Group, comprising senior FCO and Cabinet Office officials, will have regular oversight of the interim findings, to ensure the Review is robust and rigorous.
The Review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: ‘Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-reviews-of-public-bodies-guidance The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on gov.uk.

In conducting this Tailored Review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders in the UK and US, including across UK Government, Devolved Administrations, partner academic institutions, current scholars, alumni, the MACC’s volunteer Commissioners and recruitment panels, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, who provide administration for the programme.

I shall inform the House of the outcome of the Review when it is completed and copies of the report of the Review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1060
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Stuart Andrew (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Commons

Defence Equipment Plan

I am pleased to place in the Library of the House this year’s financial summary of the Defence Equipment Plan. This is the seventh consecutive annual publication of the equipment plan summary, and presents our plans to deliver the equipment needed by our Armed Forces to defend the country and keep our people safe. The Government is committed to meeting the NATO target to spend 2% of GDP on defence and at least 20% of that spending on equipment. This report sets out our plans to spend £186 billion on equipment in the 10-years from 2018/19.

We have substantially revised the content of this report to make it more transparent and accessible. For the first time, we have set out the strategic context for the Equipment Plan and presented in detail the Department’s assessment of the affordability of the Plan. The NAO has assessed our plans and we are grateful to them for their report which is also published today.

In 2017/18 the Department achieved several notable milestones in procurement and support of equipment and successfully delivered the plan within budget. Looking ahead, there are significant financial pressures we must manage in the Equipment Plan. Our central estimate for the cost of the Equipment Plan at April 2018 exceeded the allocated budget by an average of 3.7% over the 10-years from 2018/19. The shortfall is greatest in the four years from 2018/19. This forecast will vary as risks and opportunities materialise and project plans mature or are changed through management action.

The Department secured £1 billion additional funding in the Autumn budget, which will help reduce the risk to affordability until 2020 and allow the Department to continue delivering existing plans for Joint Force 2025 and to modernise some key capability areas.

We are also taking steps to improve management of the Plan and enable longer term affordability. The Modernising Defence Programme was launched to further strengthen and modernise UK defence and the Armed Forces and put UK defence onto an enduringly affordable footing for the future. This work involves rigorously pursuing productivity and efficiency gains as well as prioritising capabilities to meet the changing threat environment. It will reshape the content of the Equipment Plan and improve the way in which it is managed. We will report on the implications for the Equipment Plan in subsequent financial summary reports.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care )
Commons

Government vision on prevention

Today I am placing before the House the Government’s prevention vision, Prevention is Better than Cure.

This document sets out a cross-Government vision for stopping health problems from arising in the first place and, when they do, supporting people to manage them as effectively as possible. Our mission is to improve healthy life expectancy, so that, by 2035, we are enjoying at least five extra years of healthy, independent life, whilst closing the gap between the richest and poorest. When it comes to prevention, we all have a role to play: individuals, families, communities, employers, charities, the NHS, social care, and local and national government. Only by working together can we make this vision a reality.

I am placing a copy of the prevention vision in the libraries of both Houses

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1034
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Mark Lancaster (Minister of State ( Ministry of Defence))
Commons

Commonwealth Recruitment into the Armed Forces

Citizens from the Commonwealth have a long tradition of serving with distinction in the Armed Forces. In light of changes to the size of our Armed Forces a five-year UK residency criterion for Commonwealth citizens wishing to join the Armed Forces was re-imposed in 2013. A limited waiver to this requirement was introduced in May 2016 to recruit up to 200 Commonwealth personnel per annum to fill skill shortage posts. We have now decided to remove the five-year UK residency criterion for Commonwealth citizens and increase recruitment to 1,350 across the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Applications will be accepted from all Commonwealth countries, although in order to mitigate the risks associated with unaccompanied minors travelling to the UK without the guarantee of a job, we will not be accepting applications from those under 18. Applicants from Commonwealth countries will need to meet all necessary recruitment criteria for the Service and role they wish to join. Security standards, which will be assessed on a case by case basis, and may differ from the current UK security requirements. In 2009[1] a 15 percent limit on foreign and Commonwealth nationals in a number of areas of the Army (the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), the Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) and the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC)) was established as a necessary and proportionate requirement to sustain operational effectiveness. As we now intend to increase the numbers of Commonwealth citizens joining across the full spread of Army roles, we have concluded that it is appropriate to both limit the overall numbers recruited, and to replicate the 15 per cent limit across all Cap Badges. The requirement for individuals to have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE) to join the Reserves has not been changed. This will not affect personnel from the Republic of Ireland, or those in the Brigade of Gurkhas. This policy will be kept under review.

[1] Written Ministerial Statement “Army Nationality Policy” dated 2 February 2009

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Alistair Burt (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Statement on uploading the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

The UK is committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We believe the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) remains the best way of achieving that goal. It is a critical agreement that makes the world a safer place. The United Kingdom, and our European partners, continue to work with the remaining parties to the deal to maintain it. We expect Iran to meet its nuclear commitments as set out in the agreement in full.

In May of this year, President Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States of America from the JCPoA. In consequence, today US sanctions on Iran will be re-imposed, including on Iran’s oil and gas exporting capability. We have been clear with the US administration about our determination to preserve the JCPoA, and the fact that this is driven by our national security interests.

As a party to the JCPoA, we remain committed to ensuring that Iran receives the sanctions relief to which it is entitled. This includes taking steps to enable firms wishing to engage in legitimate trade with Iran to do so. We are working with our partners France and Germany, fellow parties to the JCPoA, to develop a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to enable continued sanctions relief to reach Iran, and allow for European exporters and importers to trade in compliance with EU and UN sanctions.

In parallel to our work with partners to maintain the JCPoA, we continue to take steps with our partners against the IRGC’s destabilising behaviour across the region and to hold Iran to account on human rights, including its treatment of British-Iranians detained in Iran.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1031
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Mark Field (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Tailored Review of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission

I am announcing today the start of a Tailored Review of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission (MACC). Established by an Act of Parliament in 1953, in commemoration of the assistance received by the United Kingdom from the United States under the Marshall Plan, the MACC administers the British Marshall scholarships.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the MACC is required to undergo a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The principal aims of Tailored Reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and properly accountable for what they do.

The Review will provide a robust scrutiny of, and assurance on, the continuing need for the MACC – both its function and its form. It will then assess the governance and control arrangements in place to ensure they are compliant with the recognised principles of good corporate governance and delivering good value for money. The Review will look both at the current performance of the MACC and at how it is able to respond and adapt to those factors which are most likely to affect its position as a prestigious scholarship provider and effective public diplomacy tool for the UK.

A Challenge Group, comprising senior FCO and Cabinet Office officials, will have regular oversight of the interim findings, to ensure the Review is robust and rigorous.
The Review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: ‘Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-reviews-of-public-bodies-guidance The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on gov.uk.

In conducting this Tailored Review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders in the UK and US, including across UK Government, Devolved Administrations, partner academic institutions, current scholars, alumni, the MACC’s volunteer Commissioners and recruitment panels, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, who provide administration for the programme.

I shall inform the House of the outcome of the Review when it is completed and copies of the report of the Review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1029
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 05 November 2018
Made by: Mark Field (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Tailored Review of the Great Britain China Centre

I am announcing today the start of a Tailored Review of the Great Britain China Centre (GBCC). The GBCC is a Non Departmental Public Body of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Its principal activity is to encourage mutual knowledge and understanding through the promotion of closer cultural, professional, economic, educational, legal, judicial and other contacts between Britain and China.

As a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the FCO, the GBCC is required to undergo a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The principle aims of Tailored Reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and are properly accountable for what they do.

The Review will provide a robust scrutiny of and assurance on the continuing need for the GBCC – both its function and its form. If the review finds the GBCC should be retained in its current form and status, the review will then consider GBCC’s capacity for delivering on its core mandate more effectively and efficiently. It will also assess the control and governance arrangements that are in place to ensure that GBCC and the FCO are complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

The review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: ‘Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’. The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on gov.uk.

In conducting the Tailored Review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders across the UK and overseas, including staff, management and the Board of the GBCC. These consultations will include participating and sponsor organisations of GBCC projects and events and partners from across UK Government, foreign governments, academics and civil society.

Both Houses will be informed of the outcome of the review when it is completed and copies of the report of the review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1030
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local Government Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire), has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In the written statement of 12 March 2018, (HCWS535), my Rt Hon. Friend, the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid), told the House that there was consensus amongst the five Buckinghamshire councils that local government across the county should be reorganised, and that two alternative approaches for doing this were being proposed. He announced that he was minded to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, the locally-led proposal for replacing the current structures with a single new unitary council, and that he was not minded to implement the locally-led proposal for two new unitary councils for the same area. There followed a period for representations.

Since then I have received over 3,000 representations, which I have carefully considered along with all other relevant information available to me. I am clear that there is broad consent for change in Buckinghamshire. A survey, conducted by Opinion Research Services of a representative sample of residents, found that 75 per cent agreed with the principle of reorganisation in Buckinghamshire, and overall 87 per cent of the representations made to me supported change. Both proposals made it clear that retaining the status quo is not an option.

Having assessed both proposals against the criteria that we announced to the House on 28 February 2017 (PQ 65271), I have concluded that whilst both proposals meet the criterion for a “good deal of local support”, only the proposal for a single unitary council satisfies the criteria for “improving local government” and for “being a credible geography” and that in any event the proposal for a single unitary council is better able to meet the criteria overall.

The Government’s policy – as explained to the House by Ministers on 22 May 2018 (Hansard, Col. 336WH) is that we will not seek to impose top-down solutions on local government; where there is a desire and a thrust for more change and innovation we will look to support those involved, according to the criteria we have laid out. Given the desire and thrust for change and innovation in Buckinghamshire, that the five councils agree that the current structures are not sustainable, and that the locally-led proposal for a single unitary is the only proposal that meets the three criteria, I am persuaded that the right course of action is to establish a new single unitary district council for Buckinghamshire.

Accordingly, I am today announcing that I have decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, the locally-led proposal to replace the existing five councils across Buckinghamshire – the two tier structure of Buckinghamshire County Council and the district councils of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe – by one new single unitary district council, and that I have decided not to implement the proposal for two new unitary councils.

Whilst I am clear that the single unitary proposal fully meets the three criteria, I recognise that some have questioned whether such a structure might weaken local democratic engagement at the most local level. To help reassure any who might be concerned on this, I intend to speak with the five councils to determine whether I should modify the proposal before implementing it, in relation to councillor numbers, perhaps providing for three-member electoral wards. I will also expect the new unitary council, and in the meantime the existing councils, to engage with their local communities about the appropriate arrangements for civic representation for towns and parishes. I similarly expect the councils to promote and help support the development of neighbourhood plans, as I consider these can be key building blocks for the successful implementation of change in Buckinghamshire that residents deserve.

In March, the then Secretary of State was clear that, in relation to establishing a single council, further steps were needed to secure local consent amongst the local partners. Further steps have been taken, with Ministers having meetings with council leaders. The great majority of local partners do support the proposal for a single unitary council including the police, the ambulance service, CCG, NHS Trust, Independent Chair of the Adult Safeguarding Board, Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, and Bucks Business First. In addition to enjoying a good deal of local support, I am satisfied that the proposal meets the requirement for local consent set out in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decision. My intention is that if Parliament approves this legislation the new council will be established on 1 April 2020 with the first elections to the council held on 7 May 2020. I intend to explore with the district councils whether they would like me to make and lay before Parliament an Order to delay for one year the May 2019 local elections in Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe, so as to avoid councillors being elected for only one year if Parliament approves the legislation establishing the new council.

From March 2019 the sunset clause means that the consent provisions in the process we are currently using for reorganisations fall away. In future, any proposal considered under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act process will require unanimous consent from all councils. Alternatively, I may issue a formal invitation for proposals, and the specific circumstances in which I would do so will be set out in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1058
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local Government Update

In the written statement of 12 March 2018, (HCWS535), my Rt Hon. Friend, the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid), told the House that there was consensus amongst the five Buckinghamshire councils that local government across the county should be reorganised, and that two alternative approaches for doing this were being proposed. He announced that he was minded to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, the locally-led proposal for replacing the current structures with a single new unitary council, and that he was not minded to implement the locally-led proposal for two new unitary councils for the same area. There followed a period for representations.

Since then I have received over 3,000 representations, which I have carefully considered along with all other relevant information available to me. I am clear that there is broad consent for change in Buckinghamshire. A survey, conducted by Opinion Research Services of a representative sample of residents, found that 75 per cent agreed with the principle of reorganisation in Buckinghamshire, and overall 87 per cent of the representations made to me supported change. Both proposals made it clear that retaining the status quo is not an option.

Having assessed both proposals against the criteria that we announced to the House on 28 February 2017 (PQ 65271), I have concluded that whilst both proposals meet the criterion for a “good deal of local support”, only the proposal for a single unitary council satisfies the criteria for “improving local government” and for “being a credible geography” and that in any event the proposal for a single unitary council is better able to meet the criteria overall.

The Government’s policy – as explained to the House by Ministers on 22 May 2018 (Hansard, Col. 336WH) is that we will not seek to impose top-down solutions on local government; where there is a desire and a thrust for more change and innovation we will look to support those involved, according to the criteria we have laid out. Given the desire and thrust for change and innovation in Buckinghamshire, that the five councils agree that the current structures are not sustainable, and that the locally-led proposal for a single unitary is the only proposal that meets the three criteria, I am persuaded that the right course of action is to establish a new single unitary district council for Buckinghamshire.

Accordingly, I am today announcing that I have decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, the locally-led proposal to replace the existing five councils across Buckinghamshire – the two tier structure of Buckinghamshire County Council and the district councils of Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe – by one new single unitary district council, and that I have decided not to implement the proposal for two new unitary councils.

Whilst I am clear that the single unitary proposal fully meets the three criteria, I recognise that some have questioned whether such a structure might weaken local democratic engagement at the most local level. To help reassure any who might be concerned on this, I intend to speak with the five councils to determine whether I should modify the proposal before implementing it, in relation to councillor numbers, perhaps providing for three-member electoral wards. I will also expect the new unitary council, and in the meantime the existing councils, to engage with their local communities about the appropriate arrangements for civic representation for towns and parishes. I similarly expect the councils to promote and help support the development of neighbourhood plans, as I consider these can be key building blocks for the successful implementation of change in Buckinghamshire that residents deserve.

In March, the then Secretary of State was clear that, in relation to establishing a single council, further steps were needed to secure local consent amongst the local partners. Further steps have been taken, with Ministers having meetings with council leaders. The great majority of local partners do support the proposal for a single unitary council including the police, the ambulance service, CCG, NHS Trust, Independent Chair of the Adult Safeguarding Board, Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, and Bucks Business First. In addition to enjoying a good deal of local support, I am satisfied that the proposal meets the requirement for local consent set out in the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decision. My intention is that if Parliament approves this legislation the new council will be established on 1 April 2020 with the first elections to the council held on 7 May 2020. I intend to explore with the district councils whether they would like me to make and lay before Parliament an Order to delay for one year the May 2019 local elections in Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe, so as to avoid councillors being elected for only one year if Parliament approves the legislation establishing the new council.

From March 2019 the sunset clause means that the consent provisions in the process we are currently using for reorganisations fall away. In future, any proposal considered under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act process will require unanimous consent from all councils. Alternatively, I may issue a formal invitation for proposals, and the specific circumstances in which I would do so will be set out in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1028
WS
Treasury
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

Capital payment to an International Financial Institution - Contingent Liability

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that HM Treasury intends – subject to the standard procedure for notification to Parliament of the assumption of contingent liabilities as described below – to make the government’s fourth and fifth annual capital contributions of US$122,180,000 (approx. £95.3m[1]) to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at year end 2018 and year end 2019. This is in line with the authority provided by this House under the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Initial Capital Contribution) Order 2015. Parliamentary approval for these payments will be sought in Supplementary Estimates for HM Treasury.

The UK’s overall capital contribution will total US$3,054,700,000 (approx. £2.4bn), of which five payments together will make up the 20% “paid-in” capital contribution requiring a cash transfer. The other 80%, US$2,443,800,000 (approx. £1.9bn), is “callable capital” – the AIIB has the right to call for payment for these shares if there is a crisis affecting the bank’s assets or liabilities.

The payment of the fourth and fifth instalments of the capital contribution will therefore incur additional contingent liabilities in line with the amount of callable capital paid. As such, the UK will increase its current contingent liability by US$488,760,000 (approx. £381m) to a cumulative total contingent liability of US$1,955,040,000 (approx. £1.5bn) after the fourth payment, and by a final US$488,760,000 to reach the total of US$2,443,800,000. This will complete the UK’s purchase of AIIB shares.

Although the AIIB has the right to call for payment of this callable capital incurred when the initial capital instalment was paid, no such instance has occurred in any multilateral development bank in the past. If the liability were to be called, provision for any payment would be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

As is usual, a Departmental Minute has been laid before Parliament to give at least 14 sitting days’ notice of the intent to incur a contingent liability.

[1] Exchange rate as of 29 October 2018

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1027
WS
Treasury
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Capital payment to an International Financial Institution - Contingent Liability

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

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that HM Treasury intends – subject to the standard procedure for notification to Parliament of the assumption of contingent liabilities as described below – to make the government’s fourth and fifth annual capital contributions of US$122,180,000 (approx. £95.3m[1]) to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at year end 2018 and year end 2019. This is in line with the authority provided by this House under the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Initial Capital Contribution) Order 2015. Parliamentary approval for these payments will be sought in Supplementary Estimates for HM Treasury.

The UK’s overall capital contribution will total US$3,054,700,000 (approx. £2.4bn), of which five payments together will make up the 20% “paid-in” capital contribution requiring a cash transfer. The other 80%, US$2,443,800,000 (approx. £1.9bn), is “callable capital” – the AIIB has the right to call for payment for these shares if there is a crisis affecting the bank’s assets or liabilities.

The payment of the fourth and fifth instalments of the capital contribution will therefore incur additional contingent liabilities in line with the amount of callable capital paid. As such, the UK will increase its current contingent liability by US$488,760,000 (approx. £381m) to a cumulative total contingent liability of US$1,955,040,000 (approx. £1.5bn) after the fourth payment, and by a final US$488,760,000 to reach the total of US$2,443,800,000. This will complete the UK’s purchase of AIIB shares.

Although the AIIB has the right to call for payment of this callable capital incurred when the initial capital instalment was paid, no such instance has occurred in any multilateral development bank in the past. If the liability were to be called, provision for any payment would be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

As is usual, a Departmental Minute has been laid before Parliament to give at least 14 sitting days’ notice of the intent to incur a contingent liability.

[1] Exchange rate as of 29 October 2018

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1057
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

Outcomes from the 67th meeting of the International Whaling Commission

My Hon Friend Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice) has today made the following statement:

I was unable to attend this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC67) on the 10-14 September 2018 in Brazil due to pressing commitments in relation to the UK’s exit from the EU. However, a strong UK delegation was present.

This meeting was particularly challenging, with a number of complex and controversial proposals tabled. These included a significant challenge to the long-standing moratorium on commercial whaling. However, I am happy to report that all UK objectives for this meeting were achieved and the strong global protection in place for cetaceans was maintained.

As always, the UK delegation worked tirelessly behind the scenes, supporting the EU Presidency, analysing proposals, brokering compromises, and influencing crucial decisions, all with the aim of securing improvements to the conservation and welfare of cetaceans.

The UK also ensured its long standing opposition to commercial whaling and whaling under Special Permit (scientific whaling) was made clear at every appropriate opportunity. As always, there was the need for careful diplomacy, with the UK working hard to ensure dialogue remained constructive and respectful despite the fundamental differences in views.

Of particular importance at this meeting was resisting the proposal by Japan to restructure the organisation to allow for the resumption of commercial whaling. This complex proposal sought to create a new Whaling Committee within the IWC to oversee a return to commercial whaling on abundant whale populations and relax the voting rules for amending the Convention’s Schedule (which contains the provision establishing the moratorium) from a three-quarter to a simple majority. The UK worked extremely hard on defending against this proposal, leading the coordination with likeminded countries to ensure a coherent and well aligned strategy. I was therefore extremely relieved to see that the proposal failed to secure sufficient support and that the critical commercial whaling moratorium remains in place. The UK will now use the intersessional period to reach out to countries on both sides of the debate to ensure that constructive engagement within the IWC is maintained.

I am pleased to also report that a number of other important agreements were reached. In particular with regards Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW) which was a challenging but important proposal and one that the UK had been engaging closely on for several months prior to the meeting. The proposal sought to renew, and in some cases increase, quotas for indigenous communities reliant on whales for subsistence purposes. In addition, it also introduced expanded carryover provisions to allow greater flexibility for hunters and a mechanism to automatically renew quotas without the need for the IWC to discuss and agree providing the scientific advice was favourable and there were no substantive changes to the hunt or subsistence need. After a series of complex negotiations within which the UK was centrally placed, an eventual compromise was reached. A compromise that protects indigenous communities’ access to food, reducing the stress and uncertainty associated with returning to the IWC every six years to request food for their families. But crucially balancing this by ensuring the IWC maintains its important oversight role and protecting its decision making power in the event that the status quo situation of the hunts changes. I am extremely pleased by this landmark decision for the IWC which clearly demonstrates the maturity and functioning nature of the organisation.

I was also encouraged to see a number of important decisions taken on tackling important threats to cetaceans. In particular the passing by consensus of Resolutions on underwater noise and ghost gear. The Florianopolis Declaration also passed following a vote, delivering a clear statement from anti-whaling nations on their vision for the future of the IWC; one that is rooted in conservation without the need for commercial or scientific whaling.

Important progress was also made on further modernisation of the organisation through institutional and governance improvements. An intersessional process was established to bring forward recommendations and develop a programme of work in time for the next biennial meeting in 2020. The working group tasked with delivering this will be chaired by the USA, with the UK taking on an important role as Vice Chair.

I was pleased to see how the discussions on Special Permits progressed following the report of the intersessional working group established by Resolution at the previous biennial meeting. The UK participated in this group, expertly chaired by Australia, which delivered for the first time a clear and concise summary of the advice of the Scientific Committee and proposed conclusions for the IWC to adopt. Despite disagreements from pro-whaling nations, the IWC meeting report will reflect these conclusions as representing the view of the Commission, with a statement opposing from those that disagreed. This represents a good outcome and for the first time provides significant clarity of position for the IWC on this matter.

Once again I am pleased to report that the UK, in line with the agreed position of EU Member States, voted in favour of establishing a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. Unfortunately the proposal failed to gain the three-quarters majority required for adoption. I expect this proposal to be re-tabled at the next meeting in 2020, which, in the absence of any other offer, will be hosted by Slovenia.

Finally, I was pleased that UK led work to develop a tool to assess the welfare implications of non-hunting threats to cetacean welfare and efforts to further strengthen the conservation work of the IWC received endorsement. We will continue working closely with NGOs and academia to maintain momentum and continue to deliver improved conservation and welfare outcomes for cetaceans.

In conclusion, despite the significant challenges faced at this meeting, this can be viewed as a success. We now turn our attention to the intersessional period and, following our successful nomination to the IWC Bureau, begin building for the 2020 meeting. Integral to this will be our continued close working with civil society in delivering our shared goal of improving the conservation and welfare of cetaceans globally.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

October Agriculture and Fisheries Council

My Hon. Friend Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice) has today made the following statement:

Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Luxembourg on 15 October. The UK was represented by Katrina Williams, Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, and Rory O’Donnell, Agriculture Counsellor.

The main focus of the Council for fisheries was a Regulation on fixing the fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2019, for which a political agreement was sought. Additional scientific advice for 2019 was presented and the deal received unanimous support from member states.

There was also an exchange of views on the EU-Norway annual consultation for 2019. The Commission highlighted the 2019 deadline for full implementation of the EU Landing Obligations and the 2020 deadline for all EU stocks to be fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield. The UK mentioned the importance of maximising inward trades of fish species to help mitigate potential ‘choke’ problems in the North Sea in 2019.

During an exchange of views on the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), some member states supported a move within ICCAT to progress the Bluefin tuna recovery plan into a management plan. Commissioner Vella agreed with greater participation of small scale fishers but made it clear that the existing controls should remain in place.

For agriculture, the main item that was discussed was the progress report on the Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans. Member states supported the new delivery model in principle but discussed making some of the requirements optional. In response, the Commission pointed out the importance of ensuring a level playing field.

The Commission debriefed Council on the G20 Agricultural Ministerial meeting that took place in July, highlighting that the conclusions reflected the EU’s position.

The Presidency updated Council on the outcome of the informal process to identify a single EU candidate for the next Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

A number of items were discussed under ‘any other business’:

- The Italian delegation raised an item about the state of the European sugar market

- The Spanish delegation informed Council of the upcoming electoral round for the Director-General of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV)

- The Commission gave an update on the state of play with African Swine Fever (ASF). An informal ministerial meeting on ASF will be held in the margins of the AgriFish Council on 19 December

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

October EU Environment Council

My Rt hon friend the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth (Claire Perry) has today made the following statement:

I attended the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg on 9 October. Dr Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, and Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, also attended.

I wish to update the House on the matters discussed.

Regulation on CO2 standards for cars and vans

The main outcome of Council was reaching an agreed position (“General Approach”) on the regulation on emissions standards for new cars and vans, as part of which the European Commission had proposed a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030. Council began with a full roundtable where Ministers set out their respective positions. The UK intervened calling for greater ambition in 2030 and stressing the importance of getting the package right as a whole. Following debate the Presidency presented a revised proposal and called for an informal vote for agreement. Agreement was not reached in that round so a further Presidency proposal was presented; the key elements included a higher level of ambition of a 35% reduction by 2030, strengthened incentives for zero and low emission vehicles, a strengthened review clause and a continuation of the niche derogation for smaller car manufacturers to 2030. This was sufficient for Council to achieve a General Approach although a number of Member States could not support the text or abstained. Trilogue discussions have already commenced.

Adoption of conclusions on the preparations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Katowice, Poland, 2-14 December 2018)

The Council adopted conclusions on the EU’s priorities and approach for the negotiations at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The conclusions focus on: the urgency of climate action, especially in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) special report, Global Warming of 1.5°C, published on 8th October 2018; completion of the COP21 Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), which constitutes the implementing rules underpinning the Agreement; and the Talanoa Dialogue, the facilitative process culminating at COP24 for taking stock of collective progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

The UK intervened to underline the stark and sobering messages of the IPCC report, that current global efforts are insufficient, and that COP24 is crucial to making the Paris Agreement a reality. The UK highlighted the action the UK is taking to address climate change, including hosting Green Great Britain Week, promoted greater climate ambition and the EU updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by 2020, and signalled the importance of continued collaboration on climate change. The UK also supported the inclusion of at least one net zero 2050 scenario in the EU’s Long-term Strategy on emissions reductions and the need for common time frames for submission of NDCs to the UNFCCC.

The conclusions highlighted the EU’s ambitious climate and energy policy framework to 2030 and acknowledged that recent increases to the EU’s 2030 renewable and energy efficiency targets will have an impact on the EU’s level of achievement. Ministers expressed that they looked forward to the European Commission’s proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the objectives and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, underlining that the Strategy should include a 1.5°C scenario and at least one pathway towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050. The conclusions stressed that the EU is ready to communicate or update its NDC by 2020 and recalled the importance of striving towards common time frames for all UNFCCC Parties’ NDCs.

Conclusions on the Convention on Biological Diversity (Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17-29 November 2018)

Council adopted Conclusions on the Convention on Biological Diversity ahead of the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties in November. Member States stressed the need to prioritise action on biodiversity as well as climate. Minister Coffey called for 30% of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, highlighted the UK’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, and stressed the importance of taking action on mangroves. Minister Coffey also argued that a holistic approach was required in order to overcome climate change and other environmental challenges going forward, including biodiversity.

Regulation on CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles

The Council held a policy debate on CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles, with the Presidency seeking views on the level of ambition and incentives for low and zero emission vehicles. Council was broadly supportive of the proposals, with some pushing for more ambition and others indicating they thought the Commission’s proposal struck the right balance. The UK indicated its support for high ambition to help meet our clean growth and climate change ambitions.

AOB Items

  1. Directive on single-use plastics

All Member States, including the UK, strongly welcomed the thrust of the proposal, but views were mixed on scope and targets. The UK, alongside other Member States, stressed the need for Extended Producer Responsibility requirements to be sufficiently flexible. Minister Coffey also highlighted the importance of taking into account the context in which products were used, for example in a medical setting, and emphasised that any fishing gear regulations needed to be implementable.

  1. Reports on main recent international meetings

The Presidency and Commission updated Council on two recent international meetings:

  1. 67th Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC 67) (Florianopolis, Brazil, 10-14 September 2018

  2. United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (New York, 9-18 July 2018)

  1. Berlin Declaration on nanomaterials

Minister Coffey welcomed the information from the German delegation, and noted that the UK is fully engaged, and working with the Malta Initiative, The Working Party for Manufactured Goods at the OECD, and with other Member States to develop test guidelines for nanomaterials, through research and expert input. Minister Coffey also stated that the UK is leading a series of Horizon 2020 projects which are positively inputting into the Malta Initiate, with other Member States.

  1. Earth Innovation Forum conference and the second Joint Preparatory Retreat of the Bureaux of the UN Environment Assembly and of the Committee of Permanent Representatives

Estonia updated the Council on their preparations for the UN Environment Assembly 4 (UNEA-4), which will take place in Nairobi next year. These preparations included holding a high-level "Earth Innovation Forum" in Tallinn on 5 September.

  1. EU measures to tackle air pollution related to the import of used cars

The Council noted the Bulgarian, Polish and Slovakian proposal to restrict Member States from exporting highly polluting second hand cars to other Member States. Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Cyprus and Romania supported this proposal.

  1. The Clean Air Programme – to protect health, climate and environment – for co-financing of new heat sources and thermal modernisation of single-family buildings in Poland

Poland updated the Council on their Clean Air Programme.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1054
WS
Home Office
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Tackling Serious and Organised Crime

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

My first priority as Home Secretary is to keep the public safe. Today I have published a new, revised and updated, Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. The strategy has been laid before Parliament as Command Paper (Cm 9718), and copies are available in the Vote Office and on gov.uk.

Serious and organised crime affects more UK citizens, more often, than any other national security threat. Its perpetrators ruthlessly target the most vulnerable, ruining lives and blighting communities. Their activities cost us at least £37 billion each year and have a corrosive impact on our public services, communities, reputation and way of life.

Since the previous strategy was published in 2013, we have made significant progress in creating the powers, partnerships and law enforcement structures we need to respond to the threat. The law enforcement community, and the National Crime Agency in particular, has an impressive, and sustained track record of pursuing serious and organised criminals and bringing them to justice. But the threat we face has grown increasingly complex over the past five years. Criminals and networks are quick to exploit the rate of technological change and globalisation, whether it is grooming children online, using malware to steal personal data or moving illegal goods, people and money across borders. They have learnt to become more adaptable and resilient. Our response must continue to adapt to new challenges.

The revised strategy follows a comprehensive cross-government review, led by the Home Office. It sets out the government’s new approach to prevent serious and organised crime, build our defences against it, track down the perpetrators, from child sex offenders to corrupt elites, and bring them to justice. We will allow no safe space for these people, their networks or their illicit money in our society.
Our new approach will be to target the highest harm networks and the most dangerous and determined criminals exploiting vulnerable people, using all the powers and levers available to the state to deny them access to money, assets and infrastructure. But we will not achieve our aim through disruption alone. We will also work with the public, businesses and communities to help stop them from being targeted by criminals and support those who are; and we will intervene early with those at risk of being drawn into criminality.

We will invest at least £48 million in 2019/20 in law enforcement capabilities to strengthen efforts to tackle illicit finance, which will enhance our overall response to serious and organised crime, including additional investment in the multi-agency National Economic Crime Centre. We will pilot new approaches to preventing people engaging in serious and organised crime and build community resilience against it. We will establish a new national tasking framework for law enforcement. We will improve engagement with the private sector, particularly the information and communications technology industry. We will also expand our overseas capabilities, including establishing a new network of overseas policy specialists.

The new strategy will align our efforts to tackle serious and organised crime as one cohesive system. We will equip the whole of government, the private sector, communities and individual citizens to play their part in a single collective endeavour.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1053
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: George Eustice (The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food )
Commons

October Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Luxembourg on 15 October. The UK was represented by Katrina Williams, Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, and Rory O’Donnell, Agriculture Counsellor.

The main focus of the Council for fisheries was a Regulation on fixing the fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2019, for which a political agreement was sought. Additional scientific advice for 2019 was presented and the deal received unanimous support from member states.

There was also an exchange of views on the EU-Norway annual consultation for 2019. The Commission highlighted the 2019 deadline for full implementation of the EU Landing Obligations and the 2020 deadline for all EU stocks to be fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield. The UK mentioned the importance of maximising inward trades of fish species to help mitigate potential ‘choke’ problems in the North Sea in 2019.

During an exchange of views on the annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), some member states supported a move within ICCAT to progress the Bluefin tuna recovery plan into a management plan. Commissioner Vella agreed with greater participation of small scale fishers but made it clear that the existing controls should remain in place.

For agriculture, the main item that was discussed was the progress report on the Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans. Member states supported the new delivery model in principle but discussed making some of the requirements optional. In response, the Commission pointed out the importance of ensuring a level playing field.

The Commission debriefed Council on the G20 Agricultural Ministerial meeting that took place in July, highlighting that the conclusions reflected the EU’s position.

The Presidency updated Council on the outcome of the informal process to identify a single EU candidate for the next Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

A number of items were discussed under ‘any other business’:

- The Italian delegation raised an item about the state of the European sugar market

- The Spanish delegation informed Council of the upcoming electoral round for the Director-General of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV)

- The Commission gave an update on the state of play with African Swine Fever (ASF). An informal ministerial meeting on ASF will be held in the margins of the AgriFish Council on 19 December.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: George Eustice (The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food )
Commons

Outcomes from the 67th meeting of the International Whaling Commission

I was unable to attend this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC67) on the 10-14 September 2018 in Brazil due to pressing commitments in relation to the UK’s exit from the EU. However, a strong UK delegation was present.

This meeting was particularly challenging, with a number of complex and controversial proposals tabled. These included a significant challenge to the long-standing moratorium on commercial whaling. However, I am happy to report that all UK objectives for this meeting were achieved and the strong global protection in place for cetaceans was maintained.

As always, the UK delegation worked tirelessly behind the scenes, supporting the EU Presidency, analysing proposals, brokering compromises, and influencing crucial decisions, all with the aim of securing improvements to the conservation and welfare of cetaceans.

The UK also ensured its long standing opposition to commercial whaling and whaling under Special Permit (scientific whaling) was made clear at every appropriate opportunity. As always, there was the need for careful diplomacy, with the UK working hard to ensure dialogue remained constructive and respectful despite the fundamental differences in views.

Of particular importance at this meeting was resisting the proposal by Japan to restructure the organisation to allow for the resumption of commercial whaling. This complex proposal sought to create a new Whaling Committee within the IWC to oversee a return to commercial whaling on abundant whale populations and relax the voting rules for amending the Convention’s Schedule (which contains the provision establishing the moratorium) from a three-quarter to a simple majority. The UK worked extremely hard on defending against this proposal, leading the coordination with likeminded countries to ensure a coherent and well aligned strategy. I was therefore extremely relieved to see that the proposal failed to secure sufficient support and that the critical commercial whaling moratorium remains in place. The UK will now use the intersessional period to reach out to countries on both sides of the debate to ensure that constructive engagement within the IWC is maintained.

I am pleased to also report that a number of other important agreements were reached. In particular with regards Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW) which was a challenging but important proposal and one that the UK had been engaging closely on for several months prior to the meeting. The proposal sought to renew, and in some cases increase, quotas for indigenous communities reliant on whales for subsistence purposes. In addition, it also introduced expanded carryover provisions to allow greater flexibility for hunters and a mechanism to automatically renew quotas without the need for the IWC to discuss and agree providing the scientific advice was favourable and there were no substantive changes to the hunt or subsistence need. After a series of complex negotiations within which the UK was centrally placed, an eventual compromise was reached. A compromise that protects indigenous communities’ access to food, reducing the stress and uncertainty associated with returning to the IWC every six years to request food for their families. But crucially balancing this by ensuring the IWC maintains its important oversight role and protecting its decision making power in the event that the status quo situation of the hunts changes. I am extremely pleased by this landmark decision for the IWC which clearly demonstrates the maturity and functioning nature of the organisation.

I was also encouraged to see a number of important decisions taken on tackling important threats to cetaceans. In particular the passing by consensus of Resolutions on underwater noise and ghost gear. The Florianopolis Declaration also passed following a vote, delivering a clear statement from anti-whaling nations on their vision for the future of the IWC; one that is rooted in conservation without the need for commercial or scientific whaling.

Important progress was also made on further modernisation of the organisation through institutional and governance improvements. An intersessional process was established to bring forward recommendations and develop a programme of work in time for the next biennial meeting in 2020. The working group tasked with delivering this will be chaired by the USA, with the UK taking on an important role as Vice Chair.

I was pleased to see how the discussions on Special Permits progressed following the report of the intersessional working group established by Resolution at the previous biennial meeting. The UK participated in this group, expertly chaired by Australia, which delivered for the first time a clear and concise summary of the advice of the Scientific Committee and proposed conclusions for the IWC to adopt. Despite disagreements from pro-whaling nations, the IWC meeting report will reflect these conclusions as representing the view of the Commission, with a statement opposing from those that disagreed. This represents a good outcome and for the first time provides significant clarity of position for the IWC on this matter.

Once again I am pleased to report that the UK, in line with the agreed position of EU Member States, voted in favour of establishing a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. Unfortunately the proposal failed to gain the three-quarters majority required for adoption. I expect this proposal to be re-tabled at the next meeting in 2020, which, in the absence of any other offer, will be hosted by Slovenia.

Finally, I was pleased that UK led work to develop a tool to assess the welfare implications of non-hunting threats to cetacean welfare and efforts to further strengthen the conservation work of the IWC received endorsement. We will continue working closely with NGOs and academia to maintain momentum and continue to deliver improved conservation and welfare outcomes for cetaceans.

In conclusion, despite the significant challenges faced at this meeting, this can be viewed as a success. We now turn our attention to the intersessional period and, following our successful nomination to the IWC Bureau, begin building for the 2020 meeting. Integral to this will be our continued close working with civil society in delivering our shared goal of improving the conservation and welfare of cetaceans globally.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Claire Perry (Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth)
Commons

October EU Environment Council

I attended the EU Environment Council in Luxembourg on 9 October. Dr Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, and Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, also attended.

I wish to update the House on the matters discussed.

Regulation on CO2 standards for cars and vans

The main outcome of Council was reaching an agreed position (“General Approach”) on the regulation on emissions standards for new cars and vans, as part of which the European Commission had proposed a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030. Council began with a full roundtable where Ministers set out their respective positions. The UK intervened calling for greater ambition in 2030 and stressing the importance of getting the package right as a whole. Following debate the Presidency presented a revised proposal and called for an informal vote for agreement. Agreement was not reached in that round so a further Presidency proposal was presented; the key elements included a higher level of ambition of a 35% reduction by 2030, strengthened incentives for zero and low emission vehicles, a strengthened review clause and a continuation of the niche derogation for smaller car manufacturers to 2030. This was sufficient for Council to achieve a General Approach although a number of Member States could not support the text or abstained. Trilogue discussions have already commenced.

Adoption of conclusions on the preparations for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Katowice, Poland, 2-14 December 2018)

The Council adopted conclusions on the EU’s priorities and approach for the negotiations at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The conclusions focus on: the urgency of climate action, especially in light of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC’s) special report, Global Warming of 1.5°C, published on 8th October 2018; completion of the COP21 Paris Agreement Work Programme (PAWP), which constitutes the implementing rules underpinning the Agreement; and the Talanoa Dialogue, the facilitative process culminating at COP24 for taking stock of collective progress towards the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

The UK intervened to underline the stark and sobering messages of the IPCC report, that current global efforts are insufficient, and that COP24 is crucial to making the Paris Agreement a reality. The UK highlighted the action the UK is taking to address climate change, including hosting Green Great Britain Week, promoted greater climate ambition and the EU updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by 2020, and signalled the importance of continued collaboration on climate change. The UK also supported the inclusion of at least one net zero 2050 scenario in the EU’s Long-term Strategy on emissions reductions and the need for common time frames for submission of NDCs to the UNFCCC.

The conclusions highlighted the EU’s ambitious climate and energy policy framework to 2030 and acknowledged that recent increases to the EU’s 2030 renewable and energy efficiency targets will have an impact on the EU’s level of achievement. Ministers expressed that they looked forward to the European Commission’s proposal for a Strategy for long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the objectives and long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, underlining that the Strategy should include a 1.5°C scenario and at least one pathway towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the EU by 2050. The conclusions stressed that the EU is ready to communicate or update its NDC by 2020 and recalled the importance of striving towards common time frames for all UNFCCC Parties’ NDCs.

Conclusions on the Convention on Biological Diversity (Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17-29 November 2018)

Council adopted Conclusions on the Convention on Biological Diversity ahead of the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties in November. Member States stressed the need to prioritise action on biodiversity as well as climate. Minister Coffey called for 30% of the world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, highlighted the UK’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, and stressed the importance of taking action on mangroves. Minister Coffey also argued that a holistic approach was required in order to overcome climate change and other environmental challenges going forward, including biodiversity.

Regulation on CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles

The Council held a policy debate on CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles, with the Presidency seeking views on the level of ambition and incentives for low and zero emission vehicles. Council was broadly supportive of the proposals, with some pushing for more ambition and others indicating they thought the Commission’s proposal struck the right balance. The UK indicated its support for high ambition to help meet our clean growth and climate change ambitions.

AOB Items

  1. Directive on single-use plastics

All Member States, including the UK, strongly welcomed the thrust of the proposal, but views were mixed on scope and targets. The UK, alongside other Member States, stressed the need for Extended Producer Responsibility requirements to be sufficiently flexible. Minister Coffey also highlighted the importance of taking into account the context in which products were used, for example in a medical setting, and emphasised that any fishing gear regulations needed to be implementable.

  1. Reports on main recent international meetings

The Presidency and Commission updated Council on two recent international meetings:

  1. 67th Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC 67) (Florianopolis, Brazil, 10-14 September 2018

  2. United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (New York, 9-18 July 2018)

  1. Berlin Declaration on nanomaterials

Minister Coffey welcomed the information from the German delegation, and noted that the UK is fully engaged, and working with the Malta Initiative, The Working Party for Manufactured Goods at the OECD, and with other Member States to develop test guidelines for nanomaterials, through research and expert input. Minister Coffey also stated that the UK is leading a series of Horizon 2020 projects which are positively inputting into the Malta Initiate, with other Member States.

  1. Earth Innovation Forum conference and the second Joint Preparatory Retreat of the Bureaux of the UN Environment Assembly and of the Committee of Permanent Representatives

Estonia updated the Council on their preparations for the UN Environment Assembly 4 (UNEA-4), which will take place in Nairobi next year. These preparations included holding a high-level "Earth Innovation Forum" in Tallinn on 5 September.

  1. EU measures to tackle air pollution related to the import of used cars

The Council noted the Bulgarian, Polish and Slovakian proposal to restrict Member States from exporting highly polluting second hand cars to other Member States. Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Cyprus and Romania supported this proposal.

  1. The Clean Air Programme – to protect health, climate and environment – for co-financing of new heat sources and thermal modernisation of single-family buildings in Poland

Poland updated the Council on their Clean Air Programme.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1024
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Home Office
Made on: 01 November 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Tackling Serious and Organised Crime

My first priority as Home Secretary is to keep the public safe. Today I have published a new, revised and updated, Serious and Organised Crime Strategy. The strategy has been laid before Parliament as Command Paper (Cm 9718), and copies are available in the Vote Office and on gov.uk.

Serious and organised crime affects more UK citizens, more often, than any other national security threat. Its perpetrators ruthlessly target the most vulnerable, ruining lives and blighting communities. Their activities cost us at least £37 billion each year and have a corrosive impact on our public services, communities, reputation and way of life.

Since the previous strategy was published in 2013, we have made significant progress in creating the powers, partnerships and law enforcement structures we need to respond to the threat. The law enforcement community, and the National Crime Agency in particular, has an impressive, and sustained track record of pursuing serious and organised criminals and bringing them to justice. But the threat we face has grown increasingly complex over the past five years. Criminals and networks are quick to exploit the rate of technological change and globalisation, whether it is grooming children online, using malware to steal personal data or moving illegal goods, people and money across borders. They have learnt to become more adaptable and resilient. Our response must continue to adapt to new challenges.

The revised strategy follows a comprehensive cross-government review, led by the Home Office. It sets out the government’s new approach to prevent serious and organised crime, build our defences against it, track down the perpetrators, from child sex offenders to corrupt elites, and bring them to justice. We will allow no safe space for these people, their networks or their illicit money in our society.
Our new approach will be to target the highest harm networks and the most dangerous and determined criminals exploiting vulnerable people, using all the powers and levers available to the state to deny them access to money, assets and infrastructure. But we will not achieve our aim through disruption alone. We will also work with the public, businesses and communities to help stop them from being targeted by criminals and support those who are; and we will intervene early with those at risk of being drawn into criminality.

We will invest at least £48 million in 2019/20 in law enforcement capabilities to strengthen efforts to tackle illicit finance, which will enhance our overall response to serious and organised crime, including additional investment in the multi-agency National Economic Crime Centre. We will pilot new approaches to preventing people engaging in serious and organised crime and build community resilience against it. We will establish a new national tasking framework for law enforcement. We will improve engagement with the private sector, particularly the information and communications technology industry. We will also expand our overseas capabilities, including establishing a new network of overseas policy specialists.

The new strategy will align our efforts to tackle serious and organised crime as one cohesive system. We will equip the whole of government, the private sector, communities and individual citizens to play their part in a single collective endeavour.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1023
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 31 October 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson )
Lords

Secure Schools

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

"Today, I am publishing guidance on ‘How to Apply to Run a Secure School’ launching the provider selection process for the first school. This follows our acceptance of, and commitment to delivering Charlie Taylor’s Secure Schools proposal in December 2016 and the Secretary of State’s announcement on 2 October 2018 of the site for the first Secure School.

In the Government response to Charlie Taylor’s review, we committed to tackling violence and improve outcomes for children in custody. By creating the first Secure School, we are taking a major step towards delivering a truly reformed youth custodial estate that is fit-for-purpose, characterised by the principles set out in the Taylor Review. That is:

  • child-focused providers
  • strong leaders with freedom and autonomy
  • a specialised workforce offering bespoke provision for individual children that has education, health, care and physical activity at its heart.

Secure Schools will be run by Academy Trusts, not-for-profit organisations that are limited by guarantee. With Secure Schools, we want to place education and health at the heart of youth custody and create a therapeutic environment for the children in our care. It is imperative that the successful provider is driven to work with children in crisis.

We have worked in partnership with the Departments for Education and Health and Social Care, as well as NHS England, to achieve a truly cross-governmental commitment and approach to reforming youth justice. We have also engaged wholeheartedly with a wide range of stakeholders, and this has enabled us to benefit from insightful feedback from experts across the youth justice and education sectors. This means we can confidently say that the Secure Schools model is shaped by best practice and what we know really works.

We know that children in custody display a wide range of complex needs, so it is crucial that we provide the right type of education, support and care to address those needs. By empowering Secure School providers to make key decisions, like being able to set and adapt the curriculum and timetable to provide meaningful activities, we can offer a bespoke service that best meets each child’s individual needs.

Giving providers the autonomy necessary to deliver services in an innovative way is a key part of the Secure Schools vision, but they will also be subject to a high level of accountability to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place. We are working closely with Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to establish the inspection regime for Secure Schools, and this will be supplemented by monthly independent visitor reviews and independent oversight from organisations such as the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

We agree with the importance that David Lammy’s Review on ‘The Treatment of, and Outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System’ places on addressing disproportionality in the youth justice system. With Charlie Taylor’s vision of seeing the child first and the offender second, we want Secure Schools to enable all students, including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, to have trust in the system and be able to access the meaningful support they need to make sure their offending does not continue into adulthood.

The decision has been taken to close Medway and reopen it as a Secure School. Delivering the first Secure School at this site will provide a fresh start for youth custodial provision in the South East and ensure that provision remains in place in this crucial area of demand. The closure will enable us to set up the first school as quickly and cost effectively as possibly, and it is a first step towards our future vision for youth custody. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of staff whose work over the last two years has resulted in improvements for people living and working at Medway. These were recognised in a recent Ofsted report, which praised the care and consideration given by staff to improving Medway."

Secure School Academy Trusts will be funded in line with the terms set out in a funding agreement. They must adhere to this agreement and to the Academies Financial Handbook. Academies are also subject to Company Law which requires that they have clear published frameworks for accountability. They are also subject to a system of independent audit of their accounts however Secure Schools will be subject to greater financial oversight.

The ‘How To Apply Guidance’ is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/secure-schools-how-to-apply

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1052
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 31 October 2018
Made by: Edward Argar (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Secure Schools

Today, I am publishing guidance on ‘How to Apply to Run a Secure School’ launching the provider selection process for the first school. This follows our acceptance of, and commitment to delivering Charlie Taylor’s Secure Schools proposal in December 2016 and the Secretary of State’s announcement on 2 October 2018 of the site for the first Secure School.

In the Government response to Charlie Taylor’s review, we committed to tackling violence and improve outcomes for children in custody. By creating the first Secure School, we are taking a major step towards delivering a truly reformed youth custodial estate that is fit-for-purpose, characterised by the principles set out in the Taylor Review. That is:

  • child-focused providers
  • strong leaders with freedom and autonomy
  • a specialised workforce offering bespoke provision for individual children that has education, health, care and physical activity at its heart.

Secure Schools will be run by Academy Trusts, not-for-profit organisations that are limited by guarantee. With Secure Schools, we want to place education and health at the heart of youth custody and create a therapeutic environment for the children in our care. It is imperative that the successful provider is driven to work with children in crisis.

We have worked in partnership with the Departments for Education and Health and Social Care, as well as NHS England, to achieve a truly cross-governmental commitment and approach to reforming youth justice. We have also engaged wholeheartedly with a wide range of stakeholders, and this has enabled us to benefit from insightful feedback from experts across the youth justice and education sectors. This means we can confidently say that the Secure Schools model is shaped by best practice and what we know really works.

We know that children in custody display a wide range of complex needs, so it is crucial that we provide the right type of education, support and care to address those needs. By empowering Secure School providers to make key decisions, like being able to set and adapt the curriculum and timetable to provide meaningful activities, we can offer a bespoke service that best meets each child’s individual needs.

Giving providers the autonomy necessary to deliver services in an innovative way is a key part of the Secure Schools vision, but they will also be subject to a high level of accountability to ensure appropriate safeguards are in place. We are working closely with Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission to establish the inspection regime for Secure Schools, and this will be supplemented by monthly independent visitor reviews and independent oversight from organisations such as the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.

We agree with the importance that David Lammy’s Review on ‘The Treatment of, and Outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System’ places on addressing disproportionality in the youth justice system. With Charlie Taylor’s vision of seeing the child first and the offender second, we want Secure Schools to enable all students, including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, to have trust in the system and be able to access the meaningful support they need to make sure their offending does not continue into adulthood.

The decision has been taken to close Medway and reopen it as a Secure School. Delivering the first Secure School at this site will provide a fresh start for youth custodial provision in the South East and ensure that provision remains in place in this crucial area of demand. The closure will enable us to set up the first school as quickly and cost effectively as possibly, and it is a first step towards our future vision for youth custody. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of staff whose work over the last two years has resulted in improvements for people living and working at Medway. These were recognised in a recent Ofsted report, which praised the care and consideration given by staff to improving Medway.

Secure School Academy Trusts will be funded in line with the terms set out in a funding agreement. They must adhere to this agreement and to the Academies Financial Handbook. Academies are also subject to Company Law which requires that they have clear published frameworks for accountability. They are also subject to a system of independent audit of their accounts however Secure Schools will be subject to greater financial oversight.

The ‘How To Apply Guidance’ is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/secure-schools-how-to-apply

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1022
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 31 October 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Planning Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing,Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire), has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government remains fully committed to making planning decisions faster and fairer for all those affected by new development, and to ensure that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them.

Today I have published a consultation on whether applicants should be required to conduct pre-application consultation with the local community prior to submitting a planning application for shale gas development. The consultation will also seek views on the process of community consultation that should be required, and what stages of shale gas development should be covered by the consultation.

The Government recognises that early engagement with local authorities on shale gas applications, including capitalising on formal pre-application discussions, is critical in building confidence in decision making, securing support for development proposals, and setting realistic timeframes for decisions. Requiring applicants to conduct community pre-application consultation prior to undertaking shale gas development could further strengthen the role local people play in the planning process.

This consultation is open for 10 weeks until 7 January 2019. I will inform the House of the outcome of the consultation as appropriate.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1051
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 31 October 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Planning Update

The Government remains fully committed to making planning decisions faster and fairer for all those affected by new development, and to ensure that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them.

Today I have published a consultation on whether applicants should be required to conduct pre-application consultation with the local community prior to submitting a planning application for shale gas development. The consultation will also seek views on the process of community consultation that should be required, and what stages of shale gas development should be covered by the consultation.

The Government recognises that early engagement with local authorities on shale gas applications, including capitalising on formal pre-application discussions, is critical in building confidence in decision making, securing support for development proposals, and setting realistic timeframes for decisions. Requiring applicants to conduct community pre-application consultation prior to undertaking shale gas development could further strengthen the role local people play in the planning process.

This consultation is open for 10 weeks until 7 January 2019. I will inform the House of the outcome of the consultation as appropriate.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1021
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Home Office
Made on: 31 October 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (01 June 2018 to 31 August 2018)

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

Section 19(1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (the Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of his TPIM powers under the Act during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

TPIM notices in force (as of 31 August 2018) - 6
TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 31 August 2018) - 6
TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period) - 0
TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period) - 1
TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period) - 0
Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the reporting period) - 3
Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during the reporting period) - 2
The number of current subjects relocated under TPIM legislation (as of 31 August 2018) - 4


The TPIM Review Group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The second quarter TRG meetings took place on 6, 7, 11, 22 and 25 June 2018 and 3 and 5 July 2018. The most recent TRG meetings took place on 12, 14, 18, 25 and 27 September 2018. The next round of TRGs will take place during December 2018.

Three individuals have been charged with breach of a TPIM notice. Their criminal trials have yet to be heard.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1050
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Home Office
Made on: 31 October 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (01 June 2018 to 31 August 2018)

Section 19(1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (the Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of his TPIM powers under the Act during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

TPIM notices in force (as of 31 August 2018) - 6
TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 31 August 2018) - 6
TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period) - 0
TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period) - 1
TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period) - 0
Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the reporting period) - 3
Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during the reporting period) - 2
The number of current subjects relocated under TPIM legislation (as of 31 August 2018) - 4


The TPIM Review Group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The second quarter TRG meetings took place on 6, 7, 11, 22 and 25 June 2018 and 3 and 5 July 2018. The most recent TRG meetings took place on 12, 14, 18, 25 and 27 September 2018. The next round of TRGs will take place during December 2018.

Three individuals have been charged with breach of a TPIM notice. Their criminal trials have yet to be heard.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1020
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Treasury
Made on: 30 October 2018
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Banking Act 2009 reporting

The Treasury has laid before the House of Commons a report required under section 231 of the Banking Act 2009 covering the period from 1 October 2017 to 31 March 2018. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1019
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Treasury
Made on: 30 October 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Banking Act 2009 reporting

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Treasury has laid before the House of Commons a report required under section 231 of the Banking Act 2009 covering the period from 1 October 2017 to 31 March 2018. Copies of the document are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1049
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Home Office
Made on: 30 October 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) – 2018 Report on Progress

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability (Victoria Atkins) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I have today laid before Parliament and published the second annual report on progress toward ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the “Istanbul Convention”). The UK signed the Istanbul Convention in 2012 to reaffirm the UK’s strong commitment to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and this Government remains fully committed to ratifying the Convention.
The report is structured in line with the Istanbul Convention’s key objectives and sets out the steps taken by the Government and the Devolved Administrations toward ratification of Convention, and measures taken forward since the 2017 Report on Progress.

We are continuing to step up our efforts to combat VAWG. We will refresh the cross-Government VAWG Strategy later this session to ensure that we are doing all that we can to tackle those crimes that disproportionately affect women. The refresh will reaffirm the Government’s commitment to addressing VAWG in all its forms, capture new programmes of work, including the forthcoming draft Domestic Abuse Bill, and provide an update on the delivery of existing actions.

In most respects the UK already complies with or goes further than the Convention requires. As the 2017 Report on Progress set out, since signing the Convention in 2012 we have strengthened the law, introduced new protective tools, and issued a range of guidance and support for frontline professionals. But we know there is more to do. That is why in March this year, we launched our ‘transforming the response to domestic abuse’ consultation on what more we can do to protect and support victims, recognise the life-long impact domestic abuse can have on children and make sure agencies effectively respond to domestic abuse. As part of this, we have consulted widely with partners on the legislative and non-legislative steps we can take to ensure victims are afforded the greatest possible protection.

We will be publishing a Government response and a landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill in due course. The draft Bill will include the provisions on extra-territorial jurisdiction over the specific offences necessarily for compliance with the Convention in England and Wales.

The publication of this report fulfils the requirement of section 2 of the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017. I will be updating Parliament on progress in due course.

Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office and it will be published on the Government’s website at GOV.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1048
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Home Office
Made on: 30 October 2018
Made by: Victoria Atkins (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability)
Commons

Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) – 2018 Report on Progress

I have today laid before Parliament and published the second annual report on progress toward ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the “Istanbul Convention”). The UK signed the Istanbul Convention in 2012 to reaffirm the UK’s strong commitment to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and this Government remains fully committed to ratifying the Convention.
The report is structured in line with the Istanbul Convention’s key objectives and sets out the steps taken by the Government and the Devolved Administrations toward ratification of Convention, and measures taken forward since the 2017 Report on Progress.

We are continuing to step up our efforts to combat VAWG. We will refresh the cross-Government VAWG Strategy later this session to ensure that we are doing all that we can to tackle those crimes that disproportionately affect women. The refresh will reaffirm the Government’s commitment to addressing VAWG in all its forms, capture new programmes of work, including the forthcoming draft Domestic Abuse Bill, and provide an update on the delivery of existing actions.

In most respects the UK already complies with or goes further than the Convention requires. As the 2017 Report on Progress set out, since signing the Convention in 2012 we have strengthened the law, introduced new protective tools, and issued a range of guidance and support for frontline professionals. But we know there is more to do. That is why in March this year, we launched our ‘transforming the response to domestic abuse’ consultation on what more we can do to protect and support victims, recognise the life-long impact domestic abuse can have on children and make sure agencies effectively respond to domestic abuse. As part of this, we have consulted widely with partners on the legislative and non-legislative steps we can take to ensure victims are afforded the greatest possible protection.

We will be publishing a Government response and a landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill in due course. The draft Bill will include the provisions on extra-territorial jurisdiction over the specific offences necessarily for compliance with the Convention in England and Wales.

The publication of this report fulfils the requirement of section 2 of the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017. I will be updating Parliament on progress in due course.

Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office and it will be published on the Government’s website at GOV.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1018
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 29 October 2018
Made by: Kelly Tolhurst (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility)
Commons

Business update

I am writing to inform the House that the Government is pleased to accept all the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for the new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, which will come into force in April 2019.

The Low Pay Commission is an internationally renowned independent and expert body which conducts extensive analysis and stakeholder research to make its recommendations.

The Low Pay Commission has recommended that:

  • The National Living Wage (for workers aged 25 and over) should increase from £7.83 to £8.21;

  • The rate for 21 to 24-year-olds should increase from £7.38 to £7.70;

  • The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds should increase from £5.90 to £6.15;​

  • The rate for 16 to 17-year-olds should increase from £4.20 to £4.35; and

  • The apprentice rate (for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship) should increase from £3.70 to £3.90 .

  • The Low Pay Commission has also recommended that the accommodation offset increases from the current rate of £7.00 to £7.55 from 1 April 2019.

    We welcome the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation of an increase to the National Living Wage rate such that it remains on path to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020 subject to sustained economic growth.

    The new National Living Wage rate of £8.21 will be the highest ever UK minimum wage and benefit around 2.4 million workers.[1] From April 2019, a full-time minimum wage worker will see their earnings increase by over £2,750 over the course of the year, compared to when the NLW was introduced in in April 2016.

    The Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for the National Minimum Wage youth rates are well ahead of forecast inflation.

    These increases are due to come into effect from April 2019, subject to parliamentary approval. The Government intends to lay implementing regulations before Parliament in due course.

    A copy of the response will be available from the BEIS website at www.beis.gov.uk

[1] Details to be provided in the Low Pay Commission’s upcoming 2018 report

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1016
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Lord Speaker
Made on: 29 October 2018
Made by: Lord Fowler (The Lord Speaker)
Lords

Parliamentary privilege

I would like to make a short statement about parliamentary privilege in the light of representations I have received. A robust and healthy democracy such as ours rests upon a number of common and shared features. Two of the most important are the freedom for members of the legislature to speak freely, without repercussion and respect by the legislature for the independence of the courts and the rule of law. As we know, this is not the case everywhere in the world. The relationship between these two should not be one of conflict but one of mutual respect. As parliamentarians we should be keen to respect the proper business of the courts, just as we expect the courts to respect the authority of Parliament. In particular, we should be careful that in exercising our undoubted right to free speech in Parliament we do not set ourselves in conflict with the courts or seek to supplant them.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 29 October 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Business update

My hon Friend,the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility (Kelly Tolhurst) has today made the following statement:

I am writing to inform the House that the Government is pleased to accept all the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for the new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates, which will come into force in April 2019.

The Low Pay Commission is an internationally renowned independent and expert body which conducts extensive analysis and stakeholder research to make its recommendations.

The Low Pay Commission has recommended that:

  • The National Living Wage (for workers aged 25 and over) should increase from £7.83 to £8.21;

  • The rate for 21 to 24-year-olds should increase from £7.38 to £7.70;

  • The rate for 18 to 20-year-olds should increase from £5.90 to £6.15;​

  • The rate for 16 to 17-year-olds should increase from £4.20 to £4.35; and

  • The apprentice rate (for apprentices aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship) should increase from £3.70 to £3.90 .

  • The Low Pay Commission has also recommended that the accommodation offset increases from the current rate of £7.00 to £7.55 from 1 April 2019.

    We welcome the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation of an increase to the National Living Wage rate such that it remains on path to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020 subject to sustained economic growth.

    The new National Living Wage rate of £8.21 will be the highest ever UK minimum wage and benefit around 2.4 million workers.[1] From April 2019, a full-time minimum wage worker will see their earnings increase by over £2,750 over the course of the year, compared to when the NLW was introduced in in April 2016.

    The Low Pay Commission’s recommendations for the National Minimum Wage youth rates are well ahead of forecast inflation.

    These increases are due to come into effect from April 2019, subject to parliamentary approval. The Government intends to lay implementing regulations before Parliament in due course.

    A copy of the response will be available from the BEIS website at www.beis.gov.uk

[1] Details to be provided in the Low Pay Commission’s upcoming 2018 report

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1047
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 26 October 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

Trade Remedies Authority

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade (Dr Liam Fox MP) has today made the following statement.

This Government is committed to establishing the new UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which will be responsible for providing a safety net to domestic industries after the UK has left the EU.

We have made significant progress so far. The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act 2018, which sets out the trade remedies framework that the TRA will be responsible for delivering, received Royal Assent on 13 September 2018. In parallel, we are in the process of establishing the TRA as a non-departmental public body through the Trade Bill.

The UK is a strong supporter of free trade. But this does not mean trade without rules. Trade remedy measures support free trade by ensuring it is also based on rules, in accordance with the UK’s international obligations to the World Trade Organisation and our traditions.

We cannot risk leaving UK industry unprotected against these unfair trading practices. That is why it is in our national interest to ensure the TRA is established and appropriately staffed in case we do not negotiate a deal prior to the UK’s departure from the European Union.

I hope all opposition parties in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords will give support to the Trade Bill to ensure that no UK industries, or parts of the UK, are at risk of being left unprotected. On 29 March 2018, the Department secured a technical Ministerial Direction to authorise spending on the implementation of the TRA prior to Royal Assent for the Trade Bill, in line with the guidance issued by the Permanent Secretaries of HM Treasury and the Department for Exiting the European Union as well as the Written Ministerial Statement from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in October 2017.

We have been focused on ensuring that the TRA has the right leadership in place from the start. That is why I am pleased to announce that Sir David Wright, the UK’s former ambassador to both the Republic of Korea and Japan, has been appointed to DIT as TRA Chair Designate. Sir David presents an outstanding profile in international and bilateral trade policy, having served as the first Chief Executive of British Trade International, which later became UK Trade and Investment. He also served as Vice-Chairman of Barclays Capital from 2003 to 2010, and then subsequently as Vice-Chairman of Barclays PLC until his final role as Senior Advisor from 2016 to 2018. Today he is Global Advisor of SMFG, Chairman of Skarbek and Chairman of TheCityUK’s Japan Market Advisory Group.. I am confident that Sir David’s unique experience in international trade, diplomacy and non-executive roles make him the ideal candidate.

Sir David will initially be appointed to DIT as TRA Chair Designate until the Trade Bill receives Royal Assent and the TRA is legally established – which is, of course, subject to the will of Parliament. Once this has taken place, it is my intention that Sir David be formally appointed as TRA Chair. The total length of Sir David’s term – across both roles – will be three years.

I can also announce that Claire Bassett has been recruited to DIT as TRA Chief Executive Designate. Claire offers extensive public body leadership experience, having most recently served as Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission. Prior to that, she has been Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Once the TRA has been legally established, the TRA Chair will be responsible for making a final decision on the appointment of a TRA Chief Executive, subject to my approval. This is consistent with the appointment powers set out in the Trade Bill.

I am also pleased to say that the future TRA’s wider senior leadership team has also now been recruited to DIT – including its Chief Economist, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Joint Chief Investigators. It is our intention that they will be transferred to the TRA once it has been legally established.

Sir David, Claire and the senior leadership team will join the Department’s ‘shadow’ TRA function in its Reading office premises in Northgate House, in the near future. Located in the heart of Reading, Northgate House offers excellent transport links and will enable the TRA to serve the whole of the UK effectively. Reading has one of the highest concentrations of relevant skills in the country and this is in addition to having access to Reading’s university and leading businesses. By securing these office premises now, we have ensured that future TRA staff have a location in which to be properly trained in preparation for the UK’s exit from the EU and the TRA being legally established through Royal Assent of the Trade Bill.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 26 October 2018
Made by: Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade)
Commons

Trade Remedies Authority

This Government is committed to establishing the new UK Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which will be responsible for providing a safety net to domestic industries after the UK has left the EU.

We have made significant progress so far. The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act 2018, which sets out the trade remedies framework that the TRA will be responsible for delivering, received Royal Assent on 13 September 2018. In parallel, we are in the process of establishing the TRA as a non-departmental public body through the Trade Bill.

The UK is a strong supporter of free trade. But this does not mean trade without rules. Trade remedy measures support free trade by ensuring it is also based on rules, in accordance with the UK’s international obligations to the World Trade Organisation and our traditions.

We cannot risk leaving UK industry unprotected against these unfair trading practices. That is why it is in our national interest to ensure the TRA is established and appropriately staffed in case we do not negotiate a deal prior to the UK’s departure from the European Union.

I hope all opposition parties in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords will give support to the Trade Bill to ensure that no UK industries, or parts of the UK, are at risk of being left unprotected. On 29 March 2018, the Department secured a technical Ministerial Direction to authorise spending on the implementation of the TRA prior to Royal Assent for the Trade Bill, in line with the guidance issued by the Permanent Secretaries of HM Treasury and the Department for Exiting the European Union as well as the Written Ministerial Statement from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury in October 2017.

We have been focused on ensuring that the TRA has the right leadership in place from the start. That is why I am pleased to announce that Sir David Wright, the UK’s former ambassador to both the Republic of Korea and Japan, has been appointed to DIT as TRA Chair Designate. Sir David presents an outstanding profile in international and bilateral trade policy, having served as the first Chief Executive of British Trade International, which later became UK Trade and Investment. He also served as Vice-Chairman of Barclays Capital from 2003 to 2010, and then subsequently as Vice-Chairman of Barclays PLC until his final role as Senior Advisor from 2016 to 2018. Today he is Global Advisor of SMFG, Chairman of Skarbek and Chairman of TheCityUK’s Japan Market Advisory Group.. I am confident that Sir David’s unique experience in international trade, diplomacy and non-executive roles make him the ideal candidate.

Sir David will initially be appointed to DIT as TRA Chair Designate until the Trade Bill receives Royal Assent and the TRA is legally established – which is, of course, subject to the will of Parliament. Once this has taken place, it is my intention that Sir David be formally appointed as TRA Chair. The total length of Sir David’s term – across both roles – will be three years.

I can also announce that Claire Bassett has been recruited to DIT as TRA Chief Executive Designate. Claire offers extensive public body leadership experience, having most recently served as Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission. Prior to that, she has been Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales and the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Once the TRA has been legally established, the TRA Chair will be responsible for making a final decision on the appointment of a TRA Chief Executive, subject to my approval. This is consistent with the appointment powers set out in the Trade Bill.

I am also pleased to say that the future TRA’s wider senior leadership team has also now been recruited to DIT – including its Chief Economist, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Joint Chief Investigators. It is our intention that they will be transferred to the TRA once it has been legally established.

Sir David, Claire and the senior leadership team will join the Department’s ‘shadow’ TRA function in its Reading office premises in Northgate House, in the near future. Located in the heart of Reading, Northgate House offers excellent transport links and will enable the TRA to serve the whole of the UK effectively. Reading has one of the highest concentrations of relevant skills in the country and this is in addition to having access to Reading’s university and leading businesses. By securing these office premises now, we have ensured that future TRA staff have a location in which to be properly trained in preparation for the UK’s exit from the EU and the TRA being legally established through Royal Assent of the Trade Bill.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 26 October 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Crossrail Update

My Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Transport (Jo Johnson) has made the following Ministerial Statement:

On 31 August 2018, Crossrail Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Transport for London (TfL), announced a delay to the planned opening of the Elizabeth line.

Discussions between TfL and Government are underway as to how any additional funding will be provided, with London - as the primary beneficiary of Crossrail – bearing any additional costs via a financing arrangement.

TfL and the Department for Transport have commissioned an independent review of Crossrail’s governance and a separate review on Crossrail’s finance and commercial position.

Today, as an interim measure, we are announcing that £350m of short term repayable financing will be made available to the Mayor for the year 2018/19. This will ensure that full momentum is maintained behind Crossrail.

This project is already delivering benefits for the whole of the UK through its cross-country supply chain and its UK built train fleet. When open, Crossrail will be transformative and carry up to 200 million passengers a year, delivering £42 billion of investment into the UK economy.

A further update will be provided once the discussions on the financing arrangements have concluded.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1043
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 26 October 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Housing update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire), has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today publishing a consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance. This consultation proposes changes to the standard method for calculating local housing need, to ensure consistency with the objective of delivering 300,000 homes per year, on average by the mid-2020s whilst providing the clarity that communities need. The consultation also proposes clarifications of national planning policy on housing land supply, the definition of deliverable sites and appropriate assessment for habitats sites.

Our reforms are enabling local planning authorities to plan for the right homes in the right places, in a way that is open, transparent and sustainable for local communities. A key part of this is a standard method for assessing housing need. This has been introduced to ensure a consistent starting point when understanding how many homes are needed in each local area.

Recent changes to one of the statistical datasets the standard method relies on has led to confusion and uncertainty in some areas about how many homes are needed. This consultation therefore proposes changes to the standard method to ensure consistency with the objective of building more homes, whilst ensuring local authorities have the clarity they need to produce local plans.

This consultation is open until 7 December, and I will inform the House of the outcome of the consultation as appropriate.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1044
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 26 October 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Justice update

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

"The Supplement to the Fortieth Annual Report on Senior Salaries 2018 is published today. The supplement follows the Senior Salaries Review Body’s (SSRB) Annual and Major Reviews of judicial pay. Copies are available from the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. I am grateful to the chairman and members of the Review Body for their work in undertaking these reviews.

The Government values the vital role played by the judiciary. Our judges are the envy of the world. They deservedly have the very highest reputation for integrity and independence. They deliver justice every day in courts and tribunals across the land without fear or favour, and in doing so uphold the rule of law on which our society is founded. Beyond that fundamental role, the quality and dependability of our judiciary is a critical part of making the UK an attractive place to settle disputes, and English law a pre-eminent choice for contracts.

I am pleased therefore to confirm today that members of the judiciary will receive a pay increase of 2% in 2018/19, which is the biggest pay rise for judges in nearly 10 years. This award will be backdated to April 2018.

In reaching our final position for the 2018/19 pay award, the Government has had to balance the need for affordability for the tax payer and future sustainability of public services whilst ensuring that pay awards are fair and consistent across the public sector. Therefore, the Government has not accepted in full the SSRB’s recommended increase of 2.5%.

The SSRB has also, at the Government’s request, conducted a Major Review of the judicial salary structure. This is a comprehensive assessment of the appropriate structure and levels of judicial pay for the future, taking into account the need to recruit and retain judicial office holders of the highest calibre.

In its Major Review report, which I am also publishing today, the SSRB highlight evidence of a growing recruitment problem at certain key levels within the judiciary – notably at High Court and Circuit Bench level. The SSRB conclude that these problems are principally occurring because the reward package has become much less attractive to potential applicants, and highlight in particular the impact of recent pensions changes on judicial reward.

The SSRB have made a series of recommendations, including that varying levels of pay increase are made across different salary groups, with the biggest increases recommended for those judges in salary groups where there is evidence of a recruitment problem and who are in the new Judicial Pension Scheme 2015.

The Government takes very seriously the threat that being unable to fill key judicial posts represents to the proper functioning of justice and the UK’s wider prosperity. We are now carefully considering what changes might be made to the judicial remuneration package to address the particular issues highlighted by the SSRB’s Major Review.

The Government will also be considering the SSRB’s recommendations on changes to the current judicial salary structure and their proposals for new pay supplements for those judges who undertake extra leadership responsibilities. I can also confirm that the Government will honour its commitment to maintain the recruitment and retention allowance currently paid to eligible High Court Judges until it has responded to the Major Review.

This Government remains committed to ensuring our courts and tribunals system is as efficient as possible. Through our Reform Programme we have already taken important steps towards enabling judges to make the best possible use of their time, and I will continue to work towards this objective in partnership with the Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals.

I will make a further statement to the House when I am in a position to set out in full the Government’s response to the Major Review."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1045
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 26 October 2018
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice update

The Supplement to the Fortieth Annual Report on Senior Salaries 2018 is published today. The supplement follows the Senior Salaries Review Body’s (SSRB) Annual and Major Reviews of judicial pay. Copies are available from the Vote Office and