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:

Show
Find by:
Close

WSID

Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-100 out of 1536
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all statements
Print selected
WS
Home Office
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Summary of Consultation Responses on Offensive and Dangerous Weapons

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

On 14 October 2017 the Government published a public consultation paper on proposals for new legislative measures on offensive and dangerous weapons.

The proposals included making it a criminal offence for knives purchased online to be delivered to a residential address, making it a criminal offence to possess certain offensive weapons in private and extending the offence of possessing a knife or offensive weapon on school premises to a wider range of educational institutions. Other legislative proposals included amending the offences of threatening with an article with a blade or point or an offensive weapon and updating the definition of a flick knife. The consultation also sought views on making it a criminal offence to sell products containing certain corrosive substances to those under the age of 18 and to possess corrosive substances in a public place, and prohibiting certain large calibre rifles and rapid firing rifles under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968.

The consultation closed on 9 December and I am today publishing a summary of the responses that the consultation received. A copy of the summary will be placed in the House Library and will be available on the Gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS780
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Gosport Investigation - Publication of Report

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

Today the report of the Gosport Independent Panel on events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital from the late 1980s to 2001 has been published.

This report follows four years of work by Bishop James Jones and his Panel. The Bishop has adopted a strong commitment to a ‘families first’ approach to public disclosure, which means that the process of public disclosure began earlier today with the families themselves.

The report provides a comprehensive account of events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital from the late 1980s to 2001. It has drawn on previous reviews but also on important new material unearthed by the Panel.

Given the gravity of issues and the content and scale of the report, we will need to consider its findings with great care and thoroughness across Government in the coming weeks.

All relevant agencies and Departments both nationally and locally, including the Home Office and Ministry of Justice are also giving the report urgent and thorough attention. Once that work is done, the relevant agencies will decide what steps to take next.

Copies of the report have been laid before the House and are available from the Vote Office and at: https://www.gosportpanel.independent.gov.uk/panel-report/

An oral statement will be delivered to both Houses later today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS777
WS
Home Office
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Summary of Consultation Responses on Offensive and Dangerous Weapons

On 14 October 2017 the Government published a public consultation paper on proposals for new legislative measures on offensive and dangerous weapons.

The proposals included making it a criminal offence for knives purchased online to be delivered to a residential address, making it a criminal offence to possess certain offensive weapons in private and extending the offence of possessing a knife or offensive weapon on school premises to a wider range of educational institutions. Other legislative proposals included amending the offences of threatening with an article with a blade or point or an offensive weapon and updating the definition of a flick knife. The consultation also sought views on making it a criminal offence to sell products containing certain corrosive substances to those under the age of 18 and to possess corrosive substances in a public place, and prohibiting certain large calibre rifles and rapid firing rifles under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968.

The consultation closed on 9 December and I am today publishing a summary of the responses that the consultation received. A copy of the summary will be placed in the House Library and will be available on the Gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS756
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Ministry of Justice Spokesperson)
Lords

Media matters

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Rt Hon Matthew Hancock) has made the following Written Statement:

On the 1 May 2018, I informed the House that I had issued a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN) in respect of the acquisition by Trinity Mirror plc (now known as Reach Plc) of certain publishing assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited.

The PIIN triggered the requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to report to me on jurisdictional and competition matters, and for Ofcom to report on the following two media public interest considerations:

  • Firstly, the need for, to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable, a sufficient plurality of views in newspapers in each market for newspapers in the United Kingdom or a part of the United Kingdom; and
  • Secondly, the need for free expression of opinion in newspapers.

I received the CMA and Ofcom reports on Thursday 31 May and have today published these on the gov.uk website.

I accept the CMA’s findings that whilst it is, or may be, the case that a relevant merger situation has been created, the merger does not give rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition in any market.

I have also accepted Ofcom’s conclusions that the merger does not raise concerns in relation to plurality of views, nor does it raise concerns in relation to free expression of opinion in newspapers.

In light of this, and having considered representations submitted by interested parties in response to the PIIN, I have written to the parties today confirming my decision not to refer the merger for a Phase 2 investigation.

I have also notified the CMA, in accordance with section 56(1) of the Enterprise Act 2002, to now deal with the matter from a competition perspective.

The role of the Secretary of State in this process is quasi-judicial and procedures are in place to ensure that I act independently and have followed a process which is fair and impartial.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Post-Council for Transport, Telecoms and Energy

My Honourable Friend the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Margot James) has made the following Statement:

The Transport, Telecoms and Energy Council (TTE) took place in Luxembourg. Lord Ashton of Hyde represented the UK at the Telecoms session of the Council, on 8 June.

Member States (MS) were asked to vote on a General Approach (GA) on the Cybersecurity Act Regulation. The UK voted in favour of this GA, after having received waivers from the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) & European Union Committee (EUC).

This Council went on to hold a progress report/policy debate on the proposed Regulation concerning ePrivacy, in which the Presidency urged MS to help drive progress on the ePrivacy regulation.

The Austrian delegation then set out its work programme as the incoming Presidency for the second half of 2018. As part of its commitment to completing various Digital Single Market (DSM) initiatives, the Austrian delegation highlighted the importance of continued work on the ePrivacy Regulation and made clear its ambition to achieve a GA on .eu Top Level Domain name during the course of its Presidency. The Austrian delegation also noted that the next TTE Telecoms Council would be held on 4 December 2018.

This session of the Council went on to engage in a policy debate on the Directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI).

The Presidency then provided information on the Directive on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC); the Regulation on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC); and the Regulation on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the EU.

To conclude this session of the Council, the Commission provided information on the state of play of the DSM.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))
Lords

Business Impact Target

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

This statement sets the Government’s Business Impact Target in respect of the economic impact on business of regulation which comes into or ceases to be in force for this Parliament, along with related matters as required under section 21 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (“the Act”).

It is important to recognise that the Government is setting an ambitious target. The Government is committed to providing legal certainty and a stable environment for business by incorporating all EU law into UK law, as well as taking necessary action in areas such as product safety, plastics and corporate governance. Consequently, the Government will continue to monitor regulatory impacts rigorously, whilst placing the importance of regulating to tackle these nationally important issues above a strict adherence to the target.

Business Impact Target[1]

The Government’s target is for a saving of £9 billion to business and voluntary or community bodies from qualifying measures that come into force or cease to be in force during this Parliament.

Interim Target[2]

The interim target covers the savings to be achieved from qualifying measures that come into force or cease to be in force in the first three years of this Parliament. The Government’s interim target is a saving of £4.5 billion.

Measurement of the Business Impact Target[3]

The impact of each qualifying measure will be assessed on the basis of its Equivalent Annual Net Direct Cost to Business (EANDCB) measured in 2016 prices and with a 2017 present value base year. As in the previous Parliament, the contribution to the Business Impact Target will be the sum of the EANDCB over the first five years for which the measure will be in force, or the sum of the EANDCB over the full lifetime of the measure for measures that are, or will be, in force for less than five years.

Qualifying Regulatory Provisions[4]

Under the Act, the measures that are in scope for the Business Impact Target are described as “regulatory provisions”. That includes both legislation and the activities of Ministers and listed regulators. The Government must designate the categories of regulatory provisions that are to be scored against the target (“qualifying regulatory provisions”). Qualifying regulatory provisions are regulatory provisions that do not fall within any of the exclusions set out below:

a) Regulatory provisions that have been certified by departments or regulators as falling under the de minimis rule, namely those that have an EANDCB of less than ± £5 million;

b) Regulatory provisions that implement new or changed obligations from European Union Regulations, Decisions and Directives, and other international commitments and obligations, except in cases of gold-plating. This includes measures incorporating EU law into domestic law under the EU Withdrawal Bill and legislation made for the purpose of implementing the EU Withdrawal Agreement, including implementation of new EU law during the implementation period.

c) Regulatory provisions that have been certified by departments or regulators as dealing with deficiencies in retained EU Law (under the EU Withdrawal Bill and other legislation);

d) Regulatory provisions that are intended to deliver – or to replicate – better competition-based outcomes in markets characterised by market power;

e) Regulatory provisions relating to systemic financial risk;

f) Regulatory provisions relating to civil emergencies;

g) Regulatory provisions concerning fines and penalties, and redress and restitution;

h) Regulatory provisions that implement changes to the classification and scheduling of drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 where these follow the recommendations of the relevant independent advisory body;

i) Regulatory provisions that have been certified by departments or regulators as relating to the safety of tenants, residents and occupants in buildings that stem from, or relate to, Government’s response to the Grenfell tragedy, reviews, inquiries or working groups;

j) Regulator casework including specific investigation and enforcement activity, individual licence decisions, and individual advice;

k) Education, communications activities, and promotional campaigns by regulators, including media campaigns, posters, factsheets, bulletins, letters, websites, and information / advice helplines;

l) Policy development by regulators, including formal and informal consultations, policy reviews, and ad hoc information requests;

m) Changes to the organisation and management of regulators, except for those resulting from legislative changes or another policy change that is a Qualifying Regulatory Provision;

[1] As required under section 21(1)(a) of the Act.

[2] As required under section 21(2) of the Act.

[3] As required under section 21(3)(b) of the Act.

[4] As required under section 21(3)(a) of the Act.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS776
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Media matters

On the 1 May 2018, I informed the House that I had issued a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN) in respect of the acquisition by Trinity Mirror plc (now known as Reach Plc) of certain publishing assets of Northern & Shell Media Group Limited.

The PIIN triggered the requirement for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to report to me on jurisdictional and competition matters, and for Ofcom to report on the following two media public interest considerations:

  • Firstly, the need for, to the extent that it is reasonable and practicable, a sufficient plurality of views in newspapers in each market for newspapers in the United Kingdom or a part of the United Kingdom; and
  • Secondly, the need for free expression of opinion in newspapers.

I received the CMA and Ofcom reports on Thursday 31 May and have today published these on the gov.uk website.

I accept the CMA’s findings that whilst it is, or may be, the case that a relevant merger situation has been created, the merger does not give rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition in any market.

I have also accepted Ofcom’s conclusions that the merger does not raise concerns in relation to plurality of views, nor does it raise concerns in relation to free expression of opinion in newspapers.

In light of this, and having considered representations submitted by interested parties in response to the PIIN, I have written to the parties today confirming my decision not to refer the merger for a Phase 2 investigation.

I have also notified the CMA, in accordance with section 56(1) of the Enterprise Act 2002, to now deal with the matter from a competition perspective.

The role of the Secretary of State in this process is quasi-judicial and procedures are in place to ensure that I act independently and have followed a process which is fair and impartial.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Margot James (Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Post-Council for Transport, Telecoms and Energy

The Transport, Telecoms and Energy Council (TTE) took place in Luxembourg. Lord Ashton of Hyde represented the UK at the Telecoms session of the Council, on 8 June.

Member States (MS) were asked to vote on a General Approach (GA) on the Cybersecurity Act Regulation. The UK voted in favour of this GA, after having received waivers from the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) & European Union Committee (EUC).

This Council went on to hold a progress report/policy debate on the proposed Regulation concerning ePrivacy, in which the Presidency urged MS to help drive progress on the ePrivacy regulation.

The Austrian delegation then set out its work programme as the incoming Presidency for the second half of 2018. As part of its commitment to completing various Digital Single Market (DSM) initiatives, the Austrian delegation highlighted the importance of continued work on the ePrivacy Regulation and made clear its ambition to achieve a GA on .eu Top Level Domain name during the course of its Presidency. The Austrian delegation also noted that the next TTE Telecoms Council would be held on 4 December 2018.

This session of the Council went on to engage in a policy debate on the Directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI).

The Presidency then provided information on the Directive on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC); the Regulation on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC); and the Regulation on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the EU.

To conclude this session of the Council, the Commission provided information on the state of play of the DSM.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

Gosport Investigation - Publication of Report

Today the report of the Gosport Independent Panel on events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital from the late 1980s to 2001 has been published.

This report follows four years of work by Bishop James Jones and his Panel. The Bishop has adopted a strong commitment to a ‘families first’ approach to public disclosure, which means that the process of public disclosure began earlier today with the families themselves.

The report provides a comprehensive account of events at Gosport War Memorial Hospital from the late 1980s to 2001. It has drawn on previous reviews but also on important new material unearthed by the Panel.

Given the gravity of issues and the content and scale of the report, we will need to consider its findings with great care and thoroughness across Government in the coming weeks.

All relevant agencies and Departments both nationally and locally, including the Home Office and Ministry of Justice are also giving the report urgent and thorough attention. Once that work is done, the relevant agencies will decide what steps to take next.

Copies of the report have been laid before the House and are available from the Vote Office and at: https://www.gosportpanel.independent.gov.uk/panel-report/

An oral statement will be delivered to both Houses later today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS755
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 20 June 2018
Made by: Andrew Griffiths (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility)
Commons

Business Impact Target

This statement sets the Government’s Business Impact Target in respect of the economic impact on business of regulation which comes into or ceases to be in force for this Parliament, along with related matters as required under section 21 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (“the Act”).

It is important to recognise that the Government is setting an ambitious target. The Government is committed to providing legal certainty and a stable environment for business by incorporating all EU law into UK law, as well as taking necessary action in areas such as product safety, plastics and corporate governance. Consequently, the Government will continue to monitor regulatory impacts rigorously, whilst placing the importance of regulating to tackle these nationally important issues above a strict adherence to the target.

Business Impact Target[1]

The Government’s target is for a saving of £9 billion to business and voluntary or community bodies from qualifying measures that come into force or cease to be in force during this Parliament.

Interim Target[2]

The interim target covers the savings to be achieved from qualifying measures that come into force or cease to be in force in the first three years of this Parliament. The Government’s interim target is a saving of £4.5 billion.

Measurement of the Business Impact Target[3]

The impact of each qualifying measure will be assessed on the basis of its Equivalent Annual Net Direct Cost to Business (EANDCB) measured in 2016 prices and with a 2017 present value base year. As in the previous Parliament, the contribution to the Business Impact Target will be the sum of the EANDCB over the first five years for which the measure will be in force, or the sum of the EANDCB over the full lifetime of the measure for measures that are, or will be, in force for less than five years.

Qualifying Regulatory Provisions[4]

Under the Act, the measures that are in scope for the Business Impact Target are described as “regulatory provisions”. That includes both legislation and the activities of Ministers and listed regulators. The Government must designate the categories of regulatory provisions that are to be scored against the target (“qualifying regulatory provisions”). Qualifying regulatory provisions are regulatory provisions that do not fall within any of the exclusions set out below:

a) Regulatory provisions that have been certified by departments or regulators as falling under the de minimis rule, namely those that have an EANDCB of less than ± £5 million;

b) Regulatory provisions that implement new or changed obligations from European Union Regulations, Decisions and Directives, and other international commitments and obligations, except in cases of gold-plating. This includes measures incorporating EU law into domestic law under the EU Withdrawal Bill and legislation made for the purpose of implementing the EU Withdrawal Agreement, including implementation of new EU law during the implementation period.

c) Regulatory provisions that have been certified by departments or regulators as dealing with deficiencies in retained EU Law (under the EU Withdrawal Bill and other legislation);

d) Regulatory provisions that are intended to deliver – or to replicate – better competition-based outcomes in markets characterised by market power

e) Regulatory provisions relating to systemic financial risk;

f) Regulatory provisions relating to civil emergencies;

g) Regulatory provisions concerning fines and penalties, and redress and restitution;

h) Regulatory provisions that implement changes to the classification and scheduling of drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 where these follow the recommendations of the relevant independent advisory body;

i) Regulatory provisions that have been certified by departments or regulators as relating to the safety of tenants, residents and occupants in buildings that stem from, or relate to, Government’s response to the Grenfell tragedy, reviews, inquiries or working groups;

j) Regulator casework including specific investigation and enforcement activity, individual licence decisions, and individual advice;

k) Education, communications activities, and promotional campaigns by regulators, including media campaigns, posters, factsheets, bulletins, letters, websites, and information / advice helplines;

l) Policy development by regulators, including formal and informal consultations, policy reviews, and ad hoc information requests;

m) Changes to the organisation and management of regulators, except for those resulting from legislative changes or another policy change that is a Qualifying Regulatory Provision;

[1] As required under section 21(1)(a) of the Act.

[2] As required under section 21(2) of the Act.

[3] As required under section 21(3)(b) of the Act.

[4] As required under section 21(3)(a) of the Act.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS752
WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (The Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Appointment to the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

My Rt Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made the following statement to the House of Commons:

The Hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) has been appointed as a full member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of the Rt. Hon. Member for Birmingham Hodge Hill (Liam Byrne).

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Ministry of Justice Spokesperson)
Lords

Media matters

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Rt Hon Matthew Hancock) has made the following Written Statement:

On 5 June I made a statement to the House in which I set out my decision in relation to the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky.

I announced that having considered the CMA’s report, I agreed with their findings on the public interest grounds and their finding that undertakings to divest Sky News to Disney or to an alternative suitable buyer could potentially remedy the adverse plurality public interest concerns identified.

I also noted that there remained a number of issues with the undertakings that had been offered and that these would require discussions between my officials and the parties in order to reach agreement on an acceptable form of the remedy.

Following the successful conclusion of these discussions and the resolution of these issues, I am today publishing updated undertakings offered by 21CF along with new undertakings offered by Disney for the divestment of Sky News to Disney.

These undertakings are offered on improved terms and will include:

  • a commitment from Disney to operate and maintain a Sky News branded news service for 15 years rather than 10 years
  • a restriction on Disney from selling Sky News for 15 years without the consent of the Secretary of State
  • an extension of the funding commitment from 21st Century Fox from 10 years to 15 years
  • an increase in the total funds available to Sky News, to at least £100m per year, with operating costs protected in real terms
  • a formal commitment from Disney to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News

In my view, these revised undertakings meet the criteria that I set out to the House on 5 June and will help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term; is able to operate as a major UK-based news provider; and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence.

Under the legislation, I am required to consult formally for 15 days on the undertakings, which I propose to accept. Views as to whether these proposals are sufficient to remedy the adverse plurality public interest concerns raised by this merger are sought by 5pm on Wednesday 4 July 2018. The consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sky-fox-merger-proposed-undertakings-by-21st-century-fox-inc-and-the-walt-disney-company

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Media matters

On 5 June I made a statement to the House in which I set out my decision in relation to the proposed merger between 21st Century Fox and Sky.

I announced that having considered the CMA’s report, I agreed with their findings on the public interest grounds and their finding that undertakings to divest Sky News to Disney or to an alternative suitable buyer could potentially remedy the adverse plurality public interest concerns identified.

I also noted that there remained a number of issues with the undertakings that had been offered and that these would require discussions between my officials and the parties in order to reach agreement on an acceptable form of the remedy.

Following the successful conclusion of these discussions and the resolution of these issues, I am today publishing updated undertakings offered by 21CF along with new undertakings offered by Disney for the divestment of Sky News to Disney.

These undertakings are offered on improved terms and will include:

  • a commitment from Disney to operate and maintain a Sky News branded news service for 15 years rather than 10 years
  • a restriction on Disney from selling Sky News for 15 years without the consent of the Secretary of State
  • an extension of the funding commitment from 21st Century Fox from 10 years to 15 years
  • an increase in the total funds available to Sky News, to at least £100m per year, with operating costs protected in real terms; and
  • a formal commitment from Disney to preserve the editorial independence of Sky News

In my view, these revised undertakings meet the criteria that I set out to the House on 5 June and will help to ensure that Sky News remains financially viable over the long term; is able to operate as a major UK-based news provider; and is able to take its editorial decisions independently, free from any potential outside influence.

Under the legislation, I am required to consult formally for 15 days on the undertakings, which I propose to accept. Views as to whether these proposals are sufficient to remedy the adverse plurality public interest concerns raised by this merger are sought by 5pm on Wednesday 4 July 2018. The consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sky-fox-merger-proposed-undertakings-by-21st-century-fox-inc-and-the-walt-disney-company

WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Appointment to the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

The Hon. Member for Edinburgh South (Ian Murray) has been appointed as a full member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of the Rt. Hon. Member for Birmingham Hodge Hill (Liam Byrne).

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

FCO Services

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

FCO Services operates as a trading fund of the FCO. I have set it the following performance targets for 2018-2019:

1. A return on capital employed of at least 3.5% (statutory commitment)
2. An in-year surplus before financing and dividend costs
3. A productivity ratio of at least 80%, measuring actual billable hours vs. available billable hours
4. A customer satisfaction result of at least 80%
5. A Your Say score for “Employee Engagement” measuring above 58%
6. A Your Say score for “My Manager”, measuring above 62%

FCO Services will report to Parliament on its success against these targets through its Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-2019.

FCO Services is a Trading Fund of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It provides a range of integrated, secure services worldwide to the FCO and other UK Government departments, supporting the delivery of government agendas. Services include protective security, estates and construction, cloud computing, communications and monitoring, logistics, translation and interpreting. This is combined with a portfolio of global maintenance work. FCO Services also manages the UK National Authority for Counter Eavesdropping (UK NACE), helping protect UK assets from physical, electronic and cyber-attack.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS773
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict and as the Prime Minister's Special Representative on this issue, I wish to inform the House of the next steps for the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) ahead of a UK-hosted international meeting in November 2019.

Four years on from the UK hosted Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in June 2014, the scale of these crimes remains truly appalling. UK leadership since then has secured the international political attention that preventing sexual violence in conflict rightly deserves. Our collaboration with partners is essential to ensure this remains the case. Recent examples include a joint visit I made with UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Pramila Patten to Iraq in February to shine a spotlight on the need for accountability for survivors of sexual violence and an end to the stigma they face. During a visit to Mosul, I saw for myself the awful devastation Daesh has had on people’s lives and livelihoods, especially for women and girls, including through sexual slavery and forced marriage.

Our political drive has also been backed up by wide-ranging practical support, through ground-breaking work such as the development of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict. Its second iteration, launched last year, is now being used by the International Criminal Court, the UN and in countries as diverse as Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Burma, DRC, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Since 2012, £44m of UK funding has been allocated to support over 70 projects in 26 countries to provide capacity building on advocacy, protection, survivor support, evidence gathering, judicial reform, prosecution and reparations work. We have also seen our Team of PSVI Experts deployed more than 90 times to provide support and training on a range of issues from documenting crimes to rehabilitating survivors. We know this support and assistance has had real impact and is delivering real change on the ground.

Implementing and galvanising effective action to bring perpetrators to account, to tackle stigma and to prevent sexual violence in conflict remains a high priority for the UK. We will continue to use our influence to rally sustained international action and push this issue up the global agenda.

Therefore, the UK will host an international meeting on PSVI in 2019, marking five years since the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. This meeting will seek to achieve a number of outcomes. These include progress on accountability and tackling the culture of impunity; addressing sensitive issues such as support for children born of rape and male, LGBT and disabled survivors; the role of media organisations and faith leaders in tackling survivor stigma; and, working with armed forces to prevent conflict-related sexual violence.

To deliver on this ambition, the UK will work to strengthen both our bilateral and multilateral levels with international partners to secure commitments and make progress on this agenda between now and November 2019. This will include an event at the UN General Assembly in September and a PSVI film festival this November. We have already engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including PSVI champion and focus countries and fellow Commonwealth Member States. International organisations remain key partners, such as the office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Pramila Patten; UNFPA; OHCHR and the ICRC. We will uphold the spirit of PSVI and reach out to British and global civil society, parliamentarians and the public. Staying true to the Principles for Global Action on tackling stigma, we will place survivors at the heart of our collective work.

In 2014, we told the world that it was Time To Act, now is the time to deliver upon that pledge.

I will keep the House informed of progress on this work.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS772
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Mark Field (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs )
Commons

FCO Services

FCO Services operates as a trading fund of the FCO. I have set it the following performance targets for 2018-2019:

1. A return on capital employed of at least 3.5% (statutory commitment)
2. An in-year surplus before financing and dividend costs
3. A productivity ratio of at least 80%, measuring actual billable hours vs. available billable hours
4. A customer satisfaction result of at least 80%
5. A Your Say score for “Employee Engagement” measuring above 58%
6. A Your Say score for “My Manager”, measuring above 62%

FCO Services will report to Parliament on its success against these targets through its Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-2019.

FCO Services is a Trading Fund of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It provides a range of integrated, secure services worldwide to the FCO and other UK Government departments, supporting the delivery of government agendas. Services include protective security, estates and construction, cloud computing, communications and monitoring, logistics, translation and interpreting. This is combined with a portfolio of global maintenance work. FCO Services also manages the UK National Authority for Counter Eavesdropping (UK NACE), helping protect UK assets from physical, electronic and cyber-attack.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS749
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 June 2018
Made by: Boris Johnson (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict

My Noble Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict and as the Prime Minister's Special Representative on this issue, I wish to inform the House of the next steps for the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) ahead of a UK-hosted international meeting in November 2019.

Four years on from the UK hosted Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in June 2014, the scale of these crimes remains truly appalling. UK leadership since then has secured the international political attention that preventing sexual violence in conflict rightly deserves. Our collaboration with partners is essential to ensure this remains the case. Recent examples include a joint visit I made with UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General Pramila Patten to Iraq in February to shine a spotlight on the need for accountability for survivors of sexual violence and an end to the stigma they face. During a visit to Mosul, I saw for myself the awful devastation Daesh has had on people’s lives and livelihoods, especially for women and girls, including through sexual slavery and forced marriage.

Our political drive has also been backed up by wide-ranging practical support, through ground-breaking work such as the development of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict. Its second iteration, launched last year, is now being used by the International Criminal Court, the UN and in countries as diverse as Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Burma, DRC, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Uganda. Since 2012, £44m of UK funding has been allocated to support over 70 projects in 26 countries to provide capacity building on advocacy, protection, survivor support, evidence gathering, judicial reform, prosecution and reparations work. We have also seen our Team of PSVI Experts deployed more than 90 times to provide support and training on a range of issues from documenting crimes to rehabilitating survivors. We know this support and assistance has had real impact and is delivering real change on the ground.

Implementing and galvanising effective action to bring perpetrators to account, to tackle stigma and to prevent sexual violence in conflict remains a high priority for the UK. We will continue to use our influence to rally sustained international action and push this issue up the global agenda.

Therefore, the UK will host an international meeting on PSVI in 2019, marking five years since the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. This meeting will seek to achieve a number of outcomes. These include progress on accountability and tackling the culture of impunity; addressing sensitive issues such as support for children born of rape and male, LGBT and disabled survivors; the role of media organisations and faith leaders in tackling survivor stigma; and, working with armed forces to prevent conflict-related sexual violence.

To deliver on this ambition, the UK will work to strengthen both our bilateral and multilateral levels with international partners to secure commitments and make progress on this agenda between now and November 2019. This will include an event at the UN General Assembly in September and a PSVI film festival this November. We have already engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including PSVI champion and focus countries and fellow Commonwealth Member States. International organisations remain key partners, such as the office of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Pramila Patten; UNFPA; OHCHR and the ICRC. We will uphold the spirit of PSVI and reach out to British and global civil society, parliamentarians and the public. Staying true to the Principles for Global Action on tackling stigma, we will place survivors at the heart of our collective work.

In 2014, we told the world that it was Time To Act, now is the time to deliver upon that pledge.

I will keep the House informed of progress on this work.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS748
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 June 2018
Made by: Alok Sharma (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), 21 June 2018, Luxembourg

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) will take place on 21 June 2018 in Luxembourg.

The Council will first be invited to agree a general approach on directives on work life balance for parents and carers, and transparent and predictable working conditions. The Presidency will also pursue a general approach on the revision of regulations governing the coordination of EU social security systems.

The Council will then receive progress reports on a proposal to create a European Labour Authority, and a directive related to equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Under non-legislative items, there will first be a policy debate on the European Semester. As part of this agenda item, the Council will be asked to approve Draft Council Recommendations on the National Reform Programmes 2018 of each Member State; endorse the opinions of the Employment Committee (EMCO) and the Social Protection Committee (SPC) on the 2018 Country-specific Recommendations (CSRs) and the implementation of the 2017 CSRs; and adopt a proposal on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States.

Following this, the Council will be asked to adopt a number of draft council conclusions on the future of work, early childhood development and free frameworks.

Under any other business, the Commission will provide information on plans for a new European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) programme and an update on recent international developments in the field of social policy. To close the meeting the Austrian delegation will outline the work programme of the incoming Presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS747
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Agenda of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), 21 June 2018, Luxembourg

My honourable Friend the Minister of State for Employment (Alok Sharma MP) has made the following Written Statement.

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) will take place on 21 June 2018 in Luxembourg.

The Council will first be invited to agree a general approach on directives on work life balance for parents and carers, and transparent and predictable working conditions. The Presidency will also pursue a general approach on the revision of regulations governing the coordination of EU social security systems.

The Council will then receive progress reports on a proposal to create a European Labour Authority, and a directive related to equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Under non-legislative items, there will first be a policy debate on the European Semester. As part of this agenda item, the Council will be asked to approve Draft Council Recommendations on the National Reform Programmes 2018 of each Member State; endorse the opinions of the Employment Committee (EMCO) and the Social Protection Committee (SPC) on the 2018 Country-specific Recommendations (CSRs) and the implementation of the 2017 CSRs; and adopt a proposal on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States.

Following this, the Council will be asked to adopt a number of draft council conclusions on the future of work, early childhood development and free frameworks.

Under any other business, the Commission will provide information on plans for a new European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) programme and an update on recent international developments in the field of social policy. To close the meeting the Austrian delegation will outline the work programme of the incoming Presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS771
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 18 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

EU ENERGY COUNCIL 11 JUNE 2018

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

The Energy Council took place on 11 June in Luxembourg. The UK was represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative, UKREP.

The Council adopted a General Approach on the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. There were no formal objections to the text but a number of Member States, including the UK, expressed the view that the role of the Director of the Agency should not be weakened.

The Presidency updated Council on progress on the Renewables Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and Energy Union Governance Regulation, on all of which it hoped to reach deals with the European Parliament by the end of its Presidency. Some Member States called for higher ambition on the level of the 2030 EU targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Others indicated that they would consider raising the targets beyond the existing Council position but only in exchange for remaining very close to the Council position on other, sector-specific measures within the Directives. Other Member States expressed reluctance to move above the original Council agreed position of 27% on renewables and 30% on energy efficiency. The UK stressed that it was highly ambitious on climate mitigation but thought it essential Member States be given enough flexibility to deliver this cost-effectively. The Presidency concluded that the Council had taken note of the state of play.

The Commission provided Council with an update on its activities in relation to external energy policy, focusing on its discussions with Iran. Some Member States, including the UK, expressed their desire to see quicker progress on the Gas Directive and to start discussions at the political level, though others disagreed.

The Council concluded after the Austrian delegation presented the priorities for their forthcoming Presidency. These would include progressing negotiations with the Parliament on the remaining parts of the clean energy package, a focus on innovative energy technologies, and their plans to bring together international organisations to strengthen dialogue on energy security.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS769
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 18 June 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence)
Lords

Contingent Liability

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has received approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) to recognise a new Contingent Liability which will come into force following the award of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project contract.

The Defence Fire and Rescue Project contract will provide significantly improved safety for the MOD and its firefighters through investment in modern firefighting vehicles and improved fire risk management systems. It will also deliver significant financial savings which can be reinvested in Defence. The selected bidder for this contract is Capita Business Services.

The contract duration is 12 years. The Contingent Liability will commence on contract award and reach a maximum value of £37 million in Financial Year 2020-21 and will reduce thereafter as the contract progresses until it ceases in Financial Year 2025-26. It reflects a commercial arrangement that represents optimum value for money to the Department.

It is usual to allow a period of 14 Sitting Days prior to accepting a Contingent Liability, to provide Members of Parliament an opportunity to raise any objections.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 18 June 2018
Made by: Mr Tobias Ellwood (The Minister of State for Defence)
Commons

Contingent Liability

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State in the House of Lords (The Rt Hon The Earl Howe PC) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has received approval from Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) to recognise a new Contingent Liability which will come into force following the award of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project contract.

The Defence Fire and Rescue Project contract will provide significantly improved safety for the MOD and its firefighters through investment in modern firefighting vehicles and improved fire risk management systems. It will also deliver significant financial savings which can be reinvested in Defence. The selected bidder for this contract is Capita Business Services.

The contract duration is 12 years. The Contingent Liability will commence on contract award and reach a maximum value of £37 million in Financial Year 2020-21 and will reduce thereafter as the contract progresses until it ceases in Financial Year 2025-26. It reflects a commercial arrangement that represents optimum value for money to the Department.

It is usual to allow a period of 14 Sitting Days prior to accepting a Contingent Liability, to provide Members of Parliament an opportunity to raise any objections.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 18 June 2018
Made by: Claire Perry (Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth)
Commons

EU ENERGY COUNCIL 11 JUNE 2018

The Energy Council took place on 11 June in Luxembourg. The UK was represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative, UKREP.

The Council adopted a General Approach on the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. There were no formal objections to the text but a number of Member States, including the UK, expressed the view that the role of the Director of the Agency should not be weakened.

The Presidency updated Council on progress on the Renewables Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and Energy Union Governance Regulation, on all of which it hoped to reach deals with the European Parliament by the end of its Presidency. Some Member States called for higher ambition on the level of the 2030 EU targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Others indicated that they would consider raising the targets beyond the existing Council position but only in exchange for remaining very close to the Council position on other, sector-specific measures within the Directives. Other Member States expressed reluctance to move above the original Council agreed position of 27% on renewables and 30% on energy efficiency. The UK stressed that it was highly ambitious on climate mitigation but thought it essential Member States be given enough flexibility to deliver this cost-effectively. The Presidency concluded that the Council had taken note of the state of play.

The Commission provided Council with an update on its activities in relation to external energy policy, focusing on its discussions with Iran. Some Member States, including the UK, expressed their desire to see quicker progress on the Gas Directive and to start discussions at the political level, though others disagreed.

The Council concluded after the Austrian delegation presented the priorities for their forthcoming Presidency. These would include progressing negotiations with the Parliament on the remaining parts of the clean energy package, a focus on innovative energy technologies, and their plans to bring together international organisations to strengthen dialogue on energy security.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS746
WS
Home Office
Made on: 15 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (Minister of State (Home Office))
Lords

Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Immigration (Caroline Nokes) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

My rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules.

The changes include exempting doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 (General) limit, recognising the important contribution that overseas health professionals make to our NHS. This is in response to the particular shortages and pressures facing the NHS at the current time, as well as the fact that the limit has been oversubscribed in each month since December 2017. The change will mean that health sector employers will be able to sponsor doctors and nurses without putting pressure on the limit, freeing up places within the limit for other key roles which contribute to the UK economy and other public services. The changes will be kept under review.

The Government will also ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the composition of the Shortage Occupation List.

Building on the changes announced by the Chancellor in the autumn, which were implemented in January of this year, further improvements are being made to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route. These changes include widening the scope of the creative element of the route to include leading fashion designers, and improved provisions for applicants in film and television.

Appendix H is being updated to include a number of visa national countries, which will allow a greater number of students to benefit from a streamlined application process by reducing documentary requirements. This change demonstrates the continued focus on improving the UK’s offer to international students.

Today also sees the introduction of a new rule for those transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (section 67 leave), who do not qualify for Refugee or humanitarian protection leave under the existing Rules. In keeping with our commitments in the legislation, and in line with those granted Refugee or humanitarian protection leave, individuals who qualify for section 67 leave will have the right to study, work, access public funds and healthcare and apply for indefinite leave to remain without paying a fee after five years.

New settlement provisions are being created to put beyond doubt that Afghan nationals who worked with our Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and subsequently relocated to the UK with their families, will be able to apply for permanent residence here. As announced on 4 May, these applications will also be free of charge. Afghan locally engaged staff worked in dangerous and challenging situations, regularly putting their lives at risk and we would not have been able to carry out our work there without them. The new dedicated settlement rules make clear our commitment to honour their service and ensure they can continue to build their lives here. The changes also implement plans to extend the ex-gratia redundancy scheme by six years to recognise and honour the service of those made redundant before 19 December 2012, as announced by the Defence Secretary on 11 June.

As announced in March, a new route to settlement for Turkish business people and their families who are in the UK under the European Communities Association Agreement is also being created. Eligibility is being extended for this route to Turkish workers and their families who are also here under the Association Agreement.

Changes are being made to provisions to allow holders of an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) to present their EVW in a digital format. The changes will also establish a wider set of permissible errors that will overlook specific, minor discrepancies in the biographic details of an EVW, without compromising on the security of the EVW system.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS768
WS
Home Office
Made on: 15 June 2018
Made by: Caroline Nokes (The Minister for Immigration)
Commons

Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

My rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules.

The changes include exempting doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 (General) limit, recognising the important contribution that overseas health professionals make to our NHS. This is in response to the particular shortages and pressures facing the NHS at the current time, as well as the fact that the limit has been oversubscribed in each month since December 2017. The change will mean that health sector employers will be able to sponsor doctors and nurses without putting pressure on the limit, freeing up places within the limit for other key roles which contribute to the UK economy and other public services. The changes will be kept under review.

The Government will also ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the composition of the Shortage Occupation List.

Building on the changes announced by the Chancellor in the autumn, which were implemented in January of this year, further improvements are being made to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route. These changes include widening the scope of the creative element of the route to include leading fashion designers, and improved provisions for applicants in film and television.

Appendix H is being updated to include a number of visa national countries, which will allow a greater number of students to benefit from a streamlined application process by reducing documentary requirements. This change demonstrates the continued focus on improving the UK’s offer to international students.

Today also sees the introduction of a new rule for those transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (section 67 leave), who do not qualify for Refugee or humanitarian protection leave under the existing Rules. In keeping with our commitments in the legislation, and in line with those granted Refugee or humanitarian protection leave, individuals who qualify for section 67 leave will have the right to study, work, access public funds and healthcare and apply for indefinite leave to remain without paying a fee after five years.

New settlement provisions are being created to put beyond doubt that Afghan nationals who worked with our Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and subsequently relocated to the UK with their families, will be able to apply for permanent residence here. As announced on 4 May, these applications will also be free of charge. Afghan locally engaged staff worked in dangerous and challenging situations, regularly putting their lives at risk and we would not have been able to carry out our work there without them. The new dedicated settlement rules make clear our commitment to honour their service and ensure they can continue to build their lives here. The changes also implement plans to extend the ex-gratia redundancy scheme by six years to recognise and honour the service of those made redundant before 19 December 2012, as announced by the Defence Secretary on 11 June.

As announced in March, a new route to settlement for Turkish business people and their families who are in the UK under the European Communities Association Agreement is also being created. Eligibility is being extended for this route to Turkish workers and their families who are also here under the Association Agreement.

Changes are being made to provisions to allow holders of an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) to present their EVW in a digital format. The changes will also establish a wider set of permissible errors that will overlook specific, minor discrepancies in the biographic details of an EVW, without compromising on the security of the EVW system.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS744
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 15 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Personal Independence Payments

My Right Honourable Friend The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (The Rt. Hon.Esther McVey MP) has made the following Written Statement.

Last week I came to the House to answer an Urgent Question regarding two PIP appeals to the Upper Tribunal (known as AN and JM) that I had withdrawn. I was unable to comment on a related case that was pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal (known as LB) as it concerned ongoing litigation, and I committed to updating the House at the earliest opportunity on this case when I was able to do so.

I carefully considered this appeal and have decided to not continue with it in order to provide certainty to the claimant involved. The March 2017 amending regulations (Regulations 2(2) and (3) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017) clarified the Department’s position on PIP Daily Living Activity 3 (managing a therapy or monitoring a health condition) and therefore further litigation is unnecessary.

On Wednesday 13th June I received confirmation that the Court of Appeal had consented to my Department’s application to withdraw the appeal in the LB case, and I am pleased to confirm the claimant will be receiving arrears of benefit as soon as possible.

My Department has now begun work to apply the law as stated by the Upper Tribunal in LB and will take all steps necessary to implement it in the best interests of all affected claimants for the period 28 November 2016 (the date of the Upper Tribunal decision in LB) to 16 March 2017 (when the amendment to activity 3 came into force). This work will include a review exercise later in the year. We expect that around 1,000 claimants will be affected.

I am absolutely committed to ensuring that disabled people and people with health conditions get the right support they need. PIP is a modern, personalised benefit that assesses claimants on needs, not conditions. It continues to be a better benefit than its predecessor DLA for claimants with chronic conditions. This Government is spending over £50bn a year supporting people with disabilities and health conditions – this is higher than ever before.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS767
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 15 June 2018
Made by: Esther McVey (The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions)
Commons

Personal Independence Payments

Last week I came to the House to answer an Urgent Question regarding two PIP appeals to the Upper Tribunal (known as AN and JM) that I had withdrawn. I was unable to comment on a related case that was pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal (known as LB) as it concerned ongoing litigation, and I committed to updating the House at the earliest opportunity on this case when I was able to do so.

I carefully considered this appeal and have decided to not continue with it in order to provide certainty to the claimant involved. The March 2017 amending regulations (Regulations 2(2) and (3) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017) clarified the Department’s position on PIP Daily Living Activity 3 (managing a therapy or monitoring a health condition) and therefore further litigation is unnecessary.

On Wednesday 13th June I received confirmation that the Court of Appeal had consented to my Department’s application to withdraw the appeal in the LB case, and I am pleased to confirm the claimant will be receiving arrears of benefit as soon as possible.

My Department has now begun work to apply the law as stated by the Upper Tribunal in LB and will take all steps necessary to implement it in the best interests of all affected claimants for the period 28 November 2016 (the date of the Upper Tribunal decision in LB) to 16 March 2017 (when the amendment to activity 3 came into force). This work will include a review exercise later in the year. We expect that around 1,000 claimants will be affected.

I am absolutely committed to ensuring that disabled people and people with health conditions get the right support they need. PIP is a modern, personalised benefit that assesses claimants on needs, not conditions. It continues to be a better benefit than its predecessor DLA for claimants with chronic conditions. This Government is spending over £50bn a year supporting people with disabilities and health conditions – this is higher than ever before.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS743
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 14 June 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 only formal Transport Council under the Bulgarian Presidency (the Presidency) in Luxembourg on Thursday 7th June.

The Council reached a General Approach on a proposal to revise the current Regulation on safeguarding connectivity and competition in international air transport, which is intended to provide protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices in the supply of air services from non-EU countries. During the discussion, I emphasised the importance of connectivity, consumer choice and avoiding market distortions.

Following this, the Council adopted the Presidency’s proposal for a General Approach on the Directive on port reception facilities. I supported the aim to further protect the marine environment against illegal discharges of waste from ships and to ensure the efficiency of maritime operation in ports, and recognised that concerns raised by the UK had been addressed.

Next, the Presidency presented a Progress Report on the revised rail passengers’ rights and obligations Regulation, which was noted by the Council.

Following this, the Council considered a number of files in Phase One of the Mobility Package (published in May 2017). Firstly, the Presidency concluded that the Council had reached a General Approach on the compromise proposal on the revised European electronic road tolling services (“EETS”) Directive, on which I voiced my support. Next, when considering the proposed Directive on hired goods vehicles, the Presidency observed it did not have sufficient support for a General Approach and concluded that the Council was unable to adopt the proposal. In the discussion, I noted that the UK supported the General Approach, but acknowledged that other Member States wanted further discussion.

Over lunch, Ministers discussed the financing of infrastructure projects in the EU and connectivity in the Western Balkans.

Following this, the Presidency presented Progress Reports on the remaining elements of Phase One of the Mobility Package, covering proposals designed to improve the clarity and enforcement of the EU road transport market (the 'market pillar'), and proposals on the application of social legislation in road transport (the 'social pillar'). I outlined the outstanding areas of concern for the UK and committed to working constructively toward a General Approach and deal moving forward.

Next, the Presidency presented two Progress Reports on proposals from Phase Two of the Mobility Package (published November 2017). The Presidency provided updates on the proposal to amend the current combined transport Directive, which aims to encourage and facilitate modal shift away from the roads and onto alternative means of transport, and to reduce congestion, and the clean and energy-efficient vehicles Directive.

Under Any Other Business, several items were discussed. Notably, Commissioner Bulc presented the third and final Mobility Package proposals, which focused on safety and technology in transport. Commissioner Bulc also presented an action plan on military mobility; in reply to Luxembourg, she confirmed that a range of actions were being pursued under the EU cycling strategy and, in reply to Finland, set out plans for an upcoming public consultation on summertime arrangements. Furthermore, Sweden noted the 18-19 June summit on connected and autonomous vehicles in Gothenburg; and Austria presented transport plans for its incoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Regarding bilateral engagement, I met with Commissioner Bulc and my ministerial counterparts from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Malta, Poland and Romania.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS765
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 14 June 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

June 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 will take place on 18 June in Luxembourg.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for fisheries will be a presentation by the European Commission on the state of play of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and consultation on the fishing opportunities for 2019.

Council will exchange views on a Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, followed by an exchange of views concerning a Regulation amending Council Regulations as regards fisheries control.

The primary focus for agriculture will be an exchange of views on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020. Council will discuss three regulations during this item: a Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans; a Regulation on Financing, management and monitoring of the CAP; and a Regulation on common market organisation of agricultural products.

The Commission will also provide an update on the situation in EU agricultural markets.

There are currently six items scheduled under ‘Any other business’:

- protection of honeybees and other pollinators

- memorandum on the CAP in the context of the next MFF

- decreasing availability of water for agriculture in Cyprus

- disposal of skimmed milk powder stocks

- situation in the pig meat market

- joint declaration of the ministers of agriculture of 11 Member States (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) on the Vision of the Central Eastern European Initiative for Knowledge-based Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry in the Bio-economy ‘BIOEAST’.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 14 June 2018
Made by: Jesse Norman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill: Updated analysis of amendments made in the House of Lords for the purposes of English Votes for English Laws.

I am today placing in the Library of the House the Department’s analysis on the application of Standing Order 83L in respect of the amendments tabled during the progress through the House of Lords for the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 14 June 2018
Made by: Chris Grayling (The Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

EU Transport Council

I attended the only formal Transport Council under the Bulgarian Presidency (the Presidency) in Luxembourg on Thursday 7th June.

The Council reached a General Approach on a proposal to revise the current Regulation on safeguarding connectivity and competition in international air transport, which is intended to provide protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices in the supply of air services from non-EU countries. During the discussion, I emphasised the importance of connectivity, consumer choice and avoiding market distortions.

Following this, the Council adopted the Presidency’s proposal for a General Approach on the Directive on port reception facilities. I supported the aim to further protect the marine environment against illegal discharges of waste from ships and to ensure the efficiency of maritime operation in ports, and recognised that concerns raised by the UK had been addressed.

Next, the Presidency presented a Progress Report on the revised rail passengers’ rights and obligations Regulation, which was noted by the Council.

Following this, the Council considered a number of files in Phase One of the Mobility Package (published in May 2017). Firstly, the Presidency concluded that the Council had reached a General Approach on the compromise proposal on the revised European electronic road tolling services (“EETS”) Directive, on which I voiced my support. Next, when considering the proposed Directive on hired goods vehicles, the Presidency observed it did not have sufficient support for a General Approach and concluded that the Council was unable to adopt the proposal. In the discussion, I noted that the UK supported the General Approach, but acknowledged that other Member States wanted further discussion.

Over lunch, Ministers discussed the financing of infrastructure projects in the EU and connectivity in the Western Balkans.

Following this, the Presidency presented Progress Reports on the remaining elements of Phase One of the Mobility Package, covering proposals designed to improve the clarity and enforcement of the EU road transport market (the 'market pillar'), and proposals on the application of social legislation in road transport (the 'social pillar'). I outlined the outstanding areas of concern for the UK and committed to working constructively toward a General Approach and deal moving forward.

Next, the Presidency presented two Progress Reports on proposals from Phase Two of the Mobility Package (published November 2017). The Presidency provided updates on the proposal to amend the current combined transport Directive, which aims to encourage and facilitate modal shift away from the roads and onto alternative means of transport, and to reduce congestion, and the clean and energy-efficient vehicles Directive.

Under Any Other Business, several items were discussed. Notably, Commissioner Bulc presented the third and final Mobility Package proposals, which focused on safety and technology in transport. Commissioner Bulc also presented an action plan on military mobility; in reply to Luxembourg, she confirmed that a range of actions were being pursued under the EU cycling strategy and, in reply to Finland, set out plans for an upcoming public consultation on summertime arrangements. Furthermore, Sweden noted the 18-19 June summit on connected and autonomous vehicles in Gothenburg; and Austria presented transport plans for its incoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Regarding bilateral engagement, I met with Commissioner Bulc and my ministerial counterparts from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Malta, Poland and Romania.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS742
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 14 June 2018
Made by: George Eustice (The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food )
Commons

June Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place on 18 June in Luxembourg.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for fisheries will be a presentation by the European Commission on the state of play of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and consultation on the fishing opportunities for 2019.

Council will exchange views on a Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, followed by an exchange of views concerning a Regulation amending Council Regulations as regards fisheries control.

The primary focus for agriculture will be an exchange of views on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020. Council will discuss three regulations during this item: a Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans; a Regulation on Financing, management and monitoring of the CAP; and a Regulation on common market organisation of agricultural products.

The Commission will also provide an update on the situation in EU agricultural markets.

There are currently six items scheduled under ‘Any other business’:

- protection of honeybees and other pollinators

- memorandum on the CAP in the context of the next MFF

- decreasing availability of water for agriculture in Cyprus

- disposal of skimmed milk powder stocks

- situation in the pig meat market

- joint declaration of the ministers of agriculture of 11 Member States (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) on the Vision of the Central Eastern European Initiative for Knowledge-based Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry in the Bio-economy ‘BIOEAST’.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Road Safety - Recent Progress and Future Work

My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Jesse Norman), has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but every road death is an unnecessary tragedy. That is why the last Government set out an ambitious range of further measures to enhance the safety of UK road users in its 2015 Road Safety Statement.

Today I am publishing a progress report on the delivery of the planned actions from that Statement. We have made some good headway: 15 of the 23 short term actions have been delivered including three where our original objectives have been exceeded. Penalties for using mobile phones when driving have been significantly increased, we have exceeded our commitments to funding police forces in England and Wales to build drug-driving enforcement capability, and most recently new legislation came into force on 4 June allowing learners to drive on motorways when accompanied by an instructor in a dual control car. I am placing a copy of the progress report in the Libraries of both Houses.

This is good progress. But it is only part of a wider picture.

First, I am pleased today to announce the successful bids for the Safer Roads Fund, which we made available to enable Local Authorities to improve the 50 most dangerous stretches of ‘A’ roads in England. We are investing £100m to tackle these dangerous roads. This sum fully funds all bids from the Local Authorities concerned. The additional £75m initially allocated for the work has not been required, but we will continue to look closely at further scope for capital improvements to improve road safety.

I am placing a copy of the list of successful Local Authorities and the sections of roads to be improved in the Libraries of both Houses and all Local Authorities have been notified directly today. A report on the lessons learned from the bidding process is also being published today, to aid knowledge sharing and capacity building amongst Local Authorities. . I have made this report available in the Libraries of both Houses as well.

Secondly, last week the Prime Minister also announced two important and path-breaking road safety projects: a £350,000 innovation competition to provide police forces with the next generation of mobile breathalyser equipment, enabling swifter and more timely read-outs on drink-driving tests; and a£480,000 partnership between police forces and the RAC Foundation to trial an innovative approach to road collision investigation, carrying out more in-depth, qualitative analysis of the underlying causes of road safety incidents.

This package of measures underlines the Government’s recognition of the importance of road safety. But, thirdly, we intend to go further still, and I have asked the Department to develop a refreshed Road Safety Statement and a two year action plan to address four priority user groups - Young people, Rural road users, Motorcyclists and Older vulnerable users. The first three of these groups are continually overrepresented in our road casualty statistics, while we have data to confirm that the safety of older road users is a growing concern. Our goal is for everyone to continue to enjoy the mobility that driving offers, but to do so safely. The development of this refreshed Road Safety Statement will also take account of the early lessons from the new road collision investigation pilots.

It is important to say that the Department cannot and does not seek to achieve all these actions in isolation. We remain grateful for the constructive and expert support of key partners, including motoring groups such as the AA, RAC and the RAC Foundation; road safety campaigners including PACTS, Road Safety Foundation, Brake, Road Safety Trust, and RoSPA; local authorities and the Police, as well as colleagues in other Government Departments and Devolved Administrations. Officials will work with these organisations, and with colleagues at DVSA, DVLA and Highways England to deliver this new package of road safety measures.

Evalution report (PDF Document, 1.42 MB)
Road Safety Statement (PDF Document, 431.93 KB)
Safer Roads (PDF Document, 147.73 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS761
WS
Home Office
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Fire Reform

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

I am pleased to announce that I have approved the proposal from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for North Yorkshire (Julia Mulligan), to take on governance of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

I have carefully considered the proposal, taking into account representations made by the public, police and fire personnel, and relevant local authorities in response to the PCC’s local consultation. I have had regard to an Independent Assessment of the PCC’s proposal, carried out by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA) and today publish this, in the interests of transparency. A copy of the Independent Assessment will be placed in the House Library and published on Gov.UK shortly.

Having had regard to this material, I am of the view that a transfer of fire governance to the PCC is in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, and that there is no adverse effect on public safety.

My officials will now prepare the necessary statutory instrument to give effect to this proposal in the coming months.

As a directly accountable leader overseeing both fire and policing, the PCC can increase efficiency and effectiveness, maximise available resources and improve the service delivered to the public. I look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to North Yorkshire.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS762
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

EU Exit

My Rt. Hon. Friend, David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

Today we are publishing two documents produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

These cover:

  • Data
  • Transport

These will be available on GOV.UK today and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS746
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

EU Exit, 13 June 2018

My Rt. Hon Friend, David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

Today we are publishing two documents produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

These cover:

  • Civil Judicial Cooperation

  • Company Law (Accounting and Audits)

These will be available on GOV.UK and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS763
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Mr David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union )
Commons

EU Exit, 13 June 2018

Today we are publishing two documents produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

These cover:

  • Civil Judicial Cooperation

  • Company Law (Accounting and Audits)

These will be available on GOV.UK and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS737
WS
Home Office
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department )
Commons

Fire Reform

I am pleased to announce that I have approved the proposal from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for North Yorkshire (Julia Mulligan), to take on governance of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

I have carefully considered the proposal, taking into account representations made by the public, police and fire personnel, and relevant local authorities in response to the PCC’s local consultation. I have had regard to an Independent Assessment of the PCC’s proposal, carried out by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA) and today publish this, in the interests of transparency. A copy of the Independent Assessment will be placed in the House Library and published on Gov.UK shortly.

Having had regard to this material, I am of the view that a transfer of fire governance to the PCC is in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, and that there is no adverse effect on public safety.

My officials will now prepare the necessary statutory instrument to give effect to this proposal in the coming months.

As a directly accountable leader overseeing both fire and policing, the PCC can increase efficiency and effectiveness, maximise available resources and improve the service delivered to the public. I look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to North Yorkshire.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS739
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Jesse Norman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Road Safety - Recent Progress and Future Work

The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but every road death is an unnecessary tragedy. That is why the last Government set out an ambitious range of further measures to enhance the safety of UK road users in its 2015 Road Safety Statement.

Today I am publishing a progress report on the delivery of the planned actions from that Statement. We have made some good headway: 15 of the 23 short term actions have been delivered including three where our original objectives have been exceeded. Penalties for using mobile phones when driving have been significantly increased, we have exceeded our commitments to funding police forces in England and Wales to build drug-driving enforcement capability, and most recently new legislation came into force on 4 June allowing learners to drive on motorways when accompanied by an instructor in a dual control car. I am placing a copy of the progress report in the Libraries of both Houses.

This is good progress. But it is only part of a wider picture.

First, I am pleased today to announce the successful bids for the Safer Roads Fund, which we made available to enable Local Authorities to improve the 50 most dangerous stretches of ‘A’ roads in England. We are investing £100m to tackle these dangerous roads. This sum fully funds all bids from the Local Authorities concerned. The additional £75m initially allocated for the work has not been required, but we will continue to look closely at further scope for capital improvements to improve road safety.

I am placing a copy of the list of successful Local Authorities and the sections of roads to be improved in the Libraries of both Houses and all Local Authorities have been notified directly today. A report on the lessons learned from the bidding process is also being published today, to aid knowledge sharing and capacity building amongst Local Authorities. . I have made this report available in the Libraries of both Houses as well.

Secondly, last week the Prime Minister also announced two important and path-breaking road safety projects: a £350,000 innovation competition to provide police forces with the next generation of mobile breathalyser equipment, enabling swifter and more timely read-outs on drink-driving tests; and a£480,000 partnership between police forces and the RAC Foundation to trial an innovative approach to road collision investigation, carrying out more in-depth, qualitative analysis of the underlying causes of road safety incidents.

This package of measures underlines the Government’s recognition of the importance of road safety. But, thirdly, we intend to go further still, and I have asked the Department to develop a refreshed Road Safety Statement and a two year action plan to address four priority user groups - Young people, Rural road users, Motorcyclists and Older vulnerable users. The first three of these groups are continually overrepresented in our road casualty statistics, while we have data to confirm that the safety of older road users is a growing concern. Our goal is for everyone to continue to enjoy the mobility that driving offers, but to do so safely. The development of this refreshed Road Safety Statement will also take account of the early lessons from the new road collision investigation pilots.

It is important to say that the Department cannot and does not seek to achieve all these actions in isolation. We remain grateful for the constructive and expert support of key partners, including motoring groups such as the AA, RAC and the RAC Foundation; road safety campaigners including PACTS, Road Safety Foundation, Brake, Road Safety Trust, and RoSPA; local authorities and the Police, as well as colleagues in other Government Departments and Devolved Administrations. Officials will work with these organisations, and with colleagues at DVSA, DVLA and Highways England to deliver this new package of road safety measures.

Evalution report (PDF Document, 1.42 MB)
Road Safety Statement (PDF Document, 431.93 KB)
Safer Roads (PDF Document, 147.73 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS740
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson )
Lords

Justice & Home Affairs post-Council statement

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

"The Justice and Home Affairs Council took place in Luxembourg on 4 and 5 June 2018. The UK was represented by a senior official from the Ministry of Justice on Justice Day (4 June). The Home Secretary represented the UK on Interior Day (5 June).

Justice Day began with a discussion on the Contract Law- Sales of Goods Directive. The UK supported the Presidency’s approach of a single set of rules in this measure for all goods (including those with embedded digital content), and on guarantee periods, but expressed concern on the potential for full harmonisation of remedies. A more general concern was expressed around the room, including by the UK, about the impact of the remedies provisions on consumer protections set out in national laws. Work will continue at technical level in line with the Digital Content Directive, taking this concern into account.

The Presidency secured a partial general approach on the Insolvency Directive provisions covering the discharge of debts for honest entrepreneurs, training for judges and practitioners and data collection, in line with UK views.

There was a discussion around certain policy questions on Brussels IIa, with broad support for circulation of provisional measures in relation to child abduction cases, as well as the need for consent in relation to the placement of children in foster or institutional care in another Member State. On the recognition and enforcement of judgments, Member States were divided on whether (and how) to treat cases involving children differently, with the Presidency concluding that further work would be required at technical level.

There was a report on the preparatory steps needed to be taken to ensure that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) becomes operational in 2020. The UK will not participate in the EPPO.

Member States discussed the misuse of user data and the protection of democracy in relation to Facebook. The UK provided an update on the ICO’s (Information Commissioner’s Office’s) investigation. The Commission noted the importance of fully implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and welcomed the cooperation between the UK and Ireland on the Cambridge Analytica case.

Judicial training and the role of the European Judicial Training Network was discussed over lunch. There was broad support for more money for the network in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

The incoming Austrian Presidency provided an update on their programme. They will aim to achieve a general approach in a number of dossiers: insolvency, e-evidence, sale of goods, service of documents and taking of evidence; political consensus on Brussels IIa; and the adoption of the confiscation, Eurojust and ECRIS TCN (European Criminal Records Information System – Third Country Nationals) measures. The July Informal JHA Council will also include a discussion on mutual trust and mutual recognition, and developing ECJ jurisprudence (in particular the Irish references on UK and Polish European Arrest Warrants (EAWs)).

In a joint session of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers there was a policy debate on the draft EU legislation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence. Ministers agreed on the need to explore further whether to include live intercept and direct access in the scope of the legislation. The Council also reaffirmed widespread support among Member States for a common EU approach towards the negotiation of an executive agreement with international partners, and concluded that the Commission should submit recommendations for negotiating mandates before the summer. The UK has a JHA opt-in decision to take on this Regulation by 22 August.

Ministers adopted Council Conclusions on support for victims of terrorism. A new Coordination Centre for Victims of Terrorism will bring together expertise and facilitate coordination.

Interior Day began with a discussion on progress made on negotiations on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Of the measures that make up CEAS, the UK has only opted in to the recast of the Eurodac Regulation. Member States remained split on the inclusion of a mandatory redistribution mechanism in the recast Dublin Regulation. The June European Council will aim to reach agreement as a priority.

There was a policy debate on the Regulation amending the Schengen Visa Code. The UK does not participate in the border and immigration aspects of the Schengen Acquis so this legislation has no impact upon the UK.

Over lunch, Ministers exchanged views on the current developments on the migration situation at the Eastern, Central and Western Mediterranean migration routes. The UK reinforced our commitment to the EU-Turkey Statement and called for focus on breaking the people smugglers’ business model and encouraged more action on strategic communications. The Council agreed the immediate and short-term measures proposed by the Presidency.

Ministers then exchanged views on enhancing cooperation between counterterrorism authorities. The Council endorsed the importance of the Counter Terrorism Group’s work and endorsed the call for heightened cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement communities.

On internal security, the Council signalled continued support for the multidisciplinary approach of the EU Policy Cycle to counter organised and serious international crime.

Finally, there was a discussion on co-operation between Common Security and Defence Policy operations and EU JHA agencies. The Council was updated on the establishment of the new ‘Crime Information Cell’ in the EUNAVFORMED Operation Sophia."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS760
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence)
Lords

Contingent Liabilities

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement (Guto Bebb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is retrospectively notifying Parliament about contingent liabilities not previously disclosed, due to procedural errors. HMT recognise the urgency for these contingent liabilities to be laid before Parliament and have approved them in principle. Final approval is expected pending the outcome of a wider Departmental review, as part of the Balance Sheet Review, being conducted by Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The Minute describes the contingent liabilities that the MOD holds against three Air Command contracts, two Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and one Navy Command contract. It is usual to allow a period of 14 Sitting Days prior to accepting a contingent liability, to provide hon. Members an opportunity to raise any objections. Regrettably, this was not done ahead of contract award in these cases and I sincerely apologise for our failure to do so. The purpose of the Minute is to regularise the position with Parliament. The contracts remain fully enforceable and the associated contingent liabilities will be reported in the 2017-18 MOD Annual Report and Accounts.

Failure to notify these contingent liabilities prior to the award of the associated contracts has been reported to the Public Accounts Committee. The Department has noted the Committee’s concerns about this situation and fully accepts the need to follow the correct approvals and reporting procedures. Air Command, DIO and Navy Command have put in place a series of measures to address this issue including staff briefing, mandated training, improving the clarity of internal guidance and procedures and additional controls in the approvals process, to ensure compliance.

If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

If, following the laying of the Departmental Minute, a Member signifies an objection by writing to me, I undertake to examine the objection and respond to the member concerned.

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice & Home Affairs post-Council statement

The Justice and Home Affairs Council took place in Luxembourg on 4 and 5 June 2018. The UK was represented by a senior official from the Ministry of Justice on Justice Day (4 June). The Home Secretary represented the UK on Interior Day (5 June).

Justice Day began with a discussion on the Contract Law- Sales of Goods Directive. The UK supported the Presidency’s approach of a single set of rules in this measure for all goods (including those with embedded digital content), and on guarantee periods, but expressed concern on the potential for full harmonisation of remedies. A more general concern was expressed around the room, including by the UK, about the impact of the remedies provisions on consumer protections set out in national laws. Work will continue at technical level in line with the Digital Content Directive, taking this concern into account.

The Presidency secured a partial general approach on the Insolvency Directive provisions covering the discharge of debts for honest entrepreneurs, training for judges and practitioners and data collection, in line with UK views.

There was a discussion around certain policy questions on Brussels IIa, with broad support for circulation of provisional measures in relation to child abduction cases, as well as the need for consent in relation to the placement of children in foster or institutional care in another Member State. On the recognition and enforcement of judgments, Member States were divided on whether (and how) to treat cases involving children differently, with the Presidency concluding that further work would be required at technical level.

There was a report on the preparatory steps needed to be taken to ensure that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) becomes operational in 2020. The UK will not participate in the EPPO.

Member States discussed the misuse of user data and the protection of democracy in relation to Facebook. The UK provided an update on the ICO’s (Information Commissioner’s Office’s) investigation. The Commission noted the importance of fully implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and welcomed the cooperation between the UK and Ireland on the Cambridge Analytica case.

Judicial training and the role of the European Judicial Training Network was discussed over lunch. There was broad support for more money for the network in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

The incoming Austrian Presidency provided an update on their programme. They will aim to achieve a general approach in a number of dossiers: insolvency, e-evidence, sale of goods, service of documents and taking of evidence; political consensus on Brussels IIa; and the adoption of the confiscation, Eurojust and ECRIS TCN (European Criminal Records Information System – Third Country Nationals) measures. The July Informal JHA Council will also include a discussion on mutual trust and mutual recognition, and developing ECJ jurisprudence (in particular the Irish references on UK and Polish European Arrest Warrants (EAWs)).

In a joint session of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers there was a policy debate on the draft EU legislation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence. Ministers agreed on the need to explore further whether to include live intercept and direct access in the scope of the legislation. The Council also reaffirmed widespread support among Member States for a common EU approach towards the negotiation of an executive agreement with international partners, and concluded that the Commission should submit recommendations for negotiating mandates before the summer. The UK has a JHA opt-in decision to take on this Regulation by 22 August.

Ministers adopted Council Conclusions on support for victims of terrorism. A new Coordination Centre for Victims of Terrorism will bring together expertise and facilitate coordination.

Interior Day began with a discussion on progress made on negotiations on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Of the measures that make up CEAS, the UK has only opted in to the recast of the Eurodac Regulation. Member States remained split on the inclusion of a mandatory redistribution mechanism in the recast Dublin Regulation. The June European Council will aim to reach agreement as a priority.

There was a policy debate on the Regulation amending the Schengen Visa Code. The UK does not participate in the border and immigration aspects of the Schengen Acquis so this legislation has no impact upon the UK.

Over lunch, Ministers exchanged views on the current developments on the migration situation at the Eastern, Central and Western Mediterranean migration routes. The UK reinforced our commitment to the EU-Turkey Statement and called for focus on breaking the people smugglers’ business model and encouraged more action on strategic communications. The Council agreed the immediate and short-term measures proposed by the Presidency.

Ministers then exchanged views on enhancing cooperation between counterterrorism authorities. The Council endorsed the importance of the Counter Terrorism Group’s work and endorsed the call for heightened cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement communities.

On internal security, the Council signalled continued support for the multidisciplinary approach of the EU Policy Cycle to counter organised and serious international crime.

Finally, there was a discussion on co-operation between Common Security and Defence Policy operations and EU JHA agencies. The Council was updated on the establishment of the new ‘Crime Information Cell’ in the EUNAVFORMED Operation Sophia.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS736
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

Multi-Agency Flood Plan Review Report

My Right Hon Friend the Secretary of State (Michael Gove) has today made the following statement.

On 3 November 2017 I announced that Defra and the Environment Agency would be undertaking a review of multi-agency flood plans produced by local resilience forums (LRFs) in England, as part of the government’s ongoing work to address flood risk (Written Statement - HCWS221). The remit of the review was to look at the effectiveness and consistency of current flood plans, to identify good practice and provide advice on how it can be spread, to help make sure we have the best plans in place across the country. The review was led and overseen by Major General (retd) Tim Cross, as an independent external reviewer.

I am very pleased today to be publishing General Cross’ review. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to General Cross for conducting such careful, insightful analysis and so quickly. The review report includes twelve recommendations which General Cross developed in light of his discussions and evidence gathering with LRFs and specialists across the country and he has brought to the fore important issues that need to be addressed.

I will now consider the report’s recommendations in detail, in consultation with other Departments, and will publish a Government response later in the year.

I have arranged for a copy of the report to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Guto Bebb (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Contingent Liabilities

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is retrospectively notifying Parliament about contingent liabilities not previously disclosed, due to procedural errors. HMT recognise the urgency for these contingent liabilities to be laid before Parliament and have approved them in principle. Final approval is expected pending the outcome of a wider Departmental review, as part of the Balance Sheet Review, being conducted by Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The Minute describes the contingent liabilities that the MOD holds against three Air Command contracts, two Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and one Navy Command contract. It is usual to allow a period of 14 Sitting Days prior to accepting a contingent liability, to provide hon. Members an opportunity to raise any objections. Regrettably, this was not done ahead of contract award in these cases and I sincerely apologise for our failure to do so. The purpose of the Minute is to regularise the position with Parliament. The contracts remain fully enforceable and the associated contingent liabilities will be reported in the 2017-18 MOD Annual Report and Accounts.

Failure to notify these contingent liabilities prior to the award of the associated contracts has been reported to the Public Accounts Committee. The Department has noted the Committee’s concerns about this situation and fully accepts the need to follow the correct approvals and reporting procedures. Air Command, DIO and Navy Command have put in place a series of measures to address this issue including staff briefing, mandated training, improving the clarity of internal guidance and procedures and additional controls in the approvals process, to ensure compliance.

If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

If, following the laying of the Departmental Minute, a Member signifies an objection by writing to me, I undertake to examine the objection and respond to the member concerned.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Michael Gove (The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs )
Commons

Multi-Agency Flood Plan Review Report

On 3 November 2017 I announced that Defra and the Environment Agency would be undertaking a review of multi-agency flood plans produced by local resilience forums (LRFs) in England, as part of the government’s ongoing work to address flood risk (Written Statement - HCWS221). The remit of the review was to look at the effectiveness and consistency of current flood plans, to identify good practice and provide advice on how it can be spread, to help make sure we have the best plans in place across the country. The review was led and overseen by Major General (retd) Tim Cross, as an independent external reviewer.

I am very pleased today to be publishing General Cross’ review. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to General Cross for conducting such careful, insightful analysis and so quickly. The review report includes twelve recommendations which General Cross developed in light of his discussions and evidence gathering with LRFs and specialists across the country and he has brought to the fore important issues that need to be addressed.

I will now consider the report’s recommendations in detail, in consultation with other Departments, and will publish a Government response later in the year.

I have arranged for a copy of the report to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Professor Sir Norman Williams' review into gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare

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

On 6 February 2018 I informed the House that I had asked Professor Sir Norman Williams to carry out a rapid policy review of gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare settings. This review was prompted by concerns among healthcare professionals that errors could result in prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter, even in the face of broader organisation and system failings. In particular, there was concern that this fear had had a negative impact on reflection and learning by healthcare professionals, which is vital to improving patient care.

My Department is today publishing the report of Sir Norman’s rapid policy review and a copy is attached.

Any investigation of a healthcare professional for suspected gross negligence manslaughter begins with the death of a patient. A life needlessly cut short and a family grieving. Sir Norman and his Panel have heard from such families. Their experiences were vital in informing this review and I would particularly like to thank them for their courage in providing evidence to the review.

The report finds that prosecutions and convictions of healthcare professionals for gross negligence manslaughter are rare. It also finds that the legal test for the offence is set at an appropriately high level. This should reassure healthcare professionals that only where conduct is ‘truly, exceptionally bad’ and in consideration of ‘all the circumstances’ will the bar for gross negligence manslaughter be met.

However in order to provide greater consistency the report makes recommendations to improve the investigation of allegations of gross negligence manslaughter involving healthcare professionals. These include:

  • developing an agreed understanding of gross negligence manslaughter that reflects the most recent case law;
  • improvements to the way that healthcare professionals provide expert advice and evidence; and
  • improvements to local investigations into unexpected deaths in healthcare to provide a full understanding of the cause of death, ensuring improvements are made to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents.

The report also considers the impact of criminal and regulatory investigations on the willingness of healthcare professionals to reflect on their practice. It finds that reflective material is rarely sought in such investigations. Nonetheless, in order to provide clear assurance to professionals, the report recommends that those regulators that have a power to require information from registrants when investigating their fitness to practise should have this power removed in respect of reflective material.

Finally the report looks at the regulation of healthcare professionals. It makes a number of recommendations for further work to understand inconsistencies in the way that different regulators carry out their fitness to practise functions. It also finds that the General Medical Council’s right to appeal decisions of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has resulted in a lack of confidence in their regulator as well as having an unanticipated impact on the willingness of doctors, especially trainees, to reflect fully on their practice. Since the PSA has a near identical right of appeal to Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service decisions, it is clear that there would be no gap in the law where regulatory action is being taken as a result of a serious criminal conviction, and the report recommends that the GMC’s right of appeal should be removed.

These recommendations aim to support a just and learning culture in healthcare, where professionals are able to raise concerns and reflect openly on their mistakes but where those who are responsible for providing unacceptable standards of care are held to account. This will support improvements in patient safety.

I thank Sir Norman and his panel for their work in delivering this important report. I accept the recommendations in full.

Professor Sir Norman Williams' review (PDF Document, 781.52 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS751
WS
Treasury
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Draft legislation for Finance (No.3) Bill

The government will introduce Finance (No.3) Bill following the Budget in the autumn.

In line with the approach to tax policy making set out in the government’s documents ‘Tax Policy Making: a new approach’, published in 2010, and ‘The new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process’, published in 2017, the government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the legislation is laid before Parliament.

The government will publish draft clauses for Finance (No.3) Bill on Friday 6 July 2018, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes, responses to consultations and other supporting documents. All publications will be available on the gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS732
WS
Treasury
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Draft legislation for Finance (No.3) Bill

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

The government will introduce Finance (No.3) Bill following the Budget in the autumn.

In line with the approach to tax policy making set out in the government’s documents ‘Tax Policy Making: a new approach’, published in 2010, and ‘The new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process’, published in 2017, the government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the legislation is laid before Parliament.

The government will publish draft clauses for Finance (No.3) Bill on Friday 6 July 2018, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes, responses to consultations and other supporting documents. All publications will be available on the gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS757
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport )
Lords

Notification of a Contingent Liability

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

I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing three contingent liabilities relating to a tripartite deal between Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), First Greater Western Limited (FGW) and the Department for Transport.

Unfortunately, due to the urgent need to finalise the deal and the confidential commercial nature of the negotiations it was not possible to notify Parliament of the particulars of the liability and allow the required 14 days’ notice prior to the liabilities going live. A delay would have resulted in higher HS2 costs and an increased scheduling risk impacting on the December 2026 opening date for Phase 1.

The main element of the deal is a service agreement between FGW, HAL and Heathrow Airport Operating Company (HEOC) for the continuation of non-stop rail services between Paddington and Heathrow Airport. Under this agreement FGW will assume operation of Heathrow Express services. Although this is an agreement between private sector companies, there are significant benefits to the Department, in particular, savings generated from not building a replacement depot for Heathrow Express rolling stock at Langley (the land on which the current depot is situated at Old Oak Common is needed by HS2 for the construction of the high speed railway).

In order to conclude the deal, and secure departmental/HS2 benefits, the Department needed to offer indemnities in relation to three risks that the parties were unwilling or unable to assume or manage. The financial exposure is not high – a conservative estimate is c£12m. But they are unusual and outside the Department’s normal course of business.

The three contingent liabilities are: first, indemnifying FGW against the cost of any delay to delivery of new rolling stock required to operate Heathrow Express services. The department’s exposure is estimated to be £2.25m; second, indemnifying FGW against the cost of any redundancies following the transfer of staff, mainly drivers, from HAL to FGW. The cost is estimated to be c£3.2m; third, an indemnity against contagion from a wider industrial relations dispute – nationwide or franchise wide. The exposure is estimated to be £6.8m.

The Treasury approved these liabilities before they were activated. However, if any Member of Parliament has concerns, he/she may write to me within the next 14 parliamentary sitting days. I will be happy to examine their concerns and provide a response.

Contingent Liability (Word Document, 15.23 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS748
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Post-Council WMS: Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Rt Hon Matthew Hancock) has made the following Written Statement:

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council took place in Brussels on 22 and 23 May 2018. Lord Ashton of Hyde represented the UK at the Youth session of this Council on 22 May. The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Katrina Williams, represented the UK on 23 May for the meetings on Culture & Audiovisual and Sport.

Youth

This session of the Council began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the role of young people in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe. The Council adopted Council conclusions on the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union.

A policy debate was then held on the future priorities for EU Youth policy.

In addition, there was information from the Commission on European Youth Together, followed by information from the Belgian and French delegations on the Franco-Belgian declaration of Ministers responsible for youth on the prevention of violent radicalisation.

Culture/Audiovisual

This meeting began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the need to bring cultural heritage to the fore across policies in the EU.

There was also a policy debate on the long term vision for the contribution of culture to the EU after 2020, in particular looking forward to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).

Additionally, there was a public deliberation of current legislative proposals. For this, the Council first welcomed information from the German delegation on the Directive amending Directive (2006/112/EC) as regards rates of value added tax - actively engaging in negotiations from a cultural policy perspective. In extension to this, information was provided by the French delegation on the regulation on the import of cultural goods. No legislative decisions were made in these debates, so there are no implications for the parliamentary scrutiny reservation.

Information was provided by the Lithuanian and Luxembourg delegations, on their respective hosting of the European Capitals of Culture 2022.

Sport

The sport session of EYCS began with the adoption of Council conclusions on promoting the common values of the EU through Sport. This was followed by a policy debate on the commercialisation of elite sports and the sustainability of the European Model of Sport.

The EU Member States represented in the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board presented information on the Foundation Board meeting held on 16-17 May. The French delegation presented information on the informal meeting of the EU Minister for Sport (held in Paris on 31 May 2018), where there was the signing of a declaration for a Europe of Sport looking to the horizon of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other

The Austrian delegation set out their work programmes as the incoming Presidency, for the second half of 2018. They highlighted a number of priorities for their Presidency. These priorities included a focus on the work plan for culture 2018+, the successor programme to the Creative Europe programme and enhancing the principle of subsidiarity.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Rough Sleeping

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

I am today announcing the allocation of a targeted £30m Rough Sleeping Initiative fund to support those sleeping rough and those at risk of sleeping rough in 83 local authorities with the highest numbers of rough sleepers.

On 30 March 2018 we announced a new, cross-Whitehall, multidisciplinary Rough Sleeping Initiative. A £30m fund, targeted at areas with the highest levels of rough sleeping, was part of that package to support the work of the Rough Sleeping Initiative team.

Over the last few months our team of expert practitioners have worked closely with local authorities and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to identify service gaps and create tailored packages to tackle rough sleeping in their area this year. Together they have coproduced bespoke plans to tackle rough sleeping based on local government and the third sector knowledge of what works.

This represents a first significant step in our plans to reduce rough sleeping. It will be followed by a cross-Government strategy, published in July, which will set out how we intend to meet the manifesto commitment of halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027.

This funding will provide for over 500 new staff focused on rough sleeping. This will include more outreach workers to engage with people on the streets, specialist mental health and substance misuse workers and dedicated co-ordinators to drive efforts to reduce rough sleeping in their areas. It will also provide for over 1700 new bedspaces including both emergency and settled accommodation.

The new Rough Sleeping Initiative team will work closely with local areas to implement the plans and to monitor their progress.

In recognition of the expertise needed to deliver reductions in rough sleeping immediately, Jeremy Swain, currently Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Thames Reach, has been brought in to lead the Rough Sleeping Initiative. Jeremy is an outstanding candidate for this position, and he brings with him 30 years of invaluable front-line experience. He will be in post by early July.

A full list of the individual amounts allocated to the 83 local authorities and the GLA has been published on GOV.UK. Further funding for 2019-20 will be announced shortly.

I am confident this package will achieve substantial results in these areas of high need. It will also build upon the work we have already undertaken in order to meet out manifesto commitment. This work includes, piloting the internationally proven Housing First approach in three major regions of England, allocating over £1.2 billion in order to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including more upfront funding so local authorities can proactively tackle homelessness pressures in their areas, and also the recent changes made under the Homelessness Reduction Act which means that more people will get the help they need and at an earlier stage - preventing a homelessness crisis from occurring in the first place.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS754
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Post-Council WMS: Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council took place in Brussels on 22 and 23 May 2018. Lord Ashton of Hyde represented the UK at the Youth session of this Council on 22 May. The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Katrina Williams, represented the UK on 23 May for the meetings on Culture & Audiovisual and Sport.

Youth

This session of the Council began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the role of young people in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe. The Council adopted Council conclusions on the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union.

A policy debate was then held on the future priorities for EU Youth policy.

In addition, there was information from the Commission on European Youth Together, followed by information from the Belgian and French delegations on the Franco-Belgian declaration of Ministers responsible for youth on the prevention of violent radicalisation.

Culture/Audiovisual

This meeting began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the need to bring cultural heritage to the fore across policies in the EU.

There was also a policy debate on the long term vision for the contribution of culture to the EU after 2020, in particular looking forward to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).

Additionally, there was a public deliberation of current legislative proposals. For this, the Council first welcomed information from the German delegation on the Directive amending Directive (2006/112/EC) as regards rates of value added tax - actively engaging in negotiations from a cultural policy perspective. In extension to this, information was provided by the French delegation on the regulation on the import of cultural goods. No legislative decisions were made in these debates, so there are no implications for the parliamentary scrutiny reservation.

Information was provided by the Lithuanian and Luxembourg delegations, on their respective hosting of the European Capitals of Culture 2022.

Sport

The sport session of EYCS began with the adoption of Council conclusions on promoting the common values of the EU through Sport. This was followed by a policy debate on the commercialisation of elite sports and the sustainability of the European Model of Sport.

The EU Member States represented in the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board presented information on the Foundation Board meeting held on 16-17 May. The French delegation presented information on the informal meeting of the EU Minister for Sport (held in Paris on 31 May 2018), where there was the signing of a declaration for a Europe of Sport looking to the horizon of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other

The Austrian delegation set out their work programmes as the incoming Presidency, for the second half of 2018. They highlighted a number of priorities for their Presidency. These priorities included a focus on the work plan for culture 2018+, the successor programme to the Creative Europe programme and enhancing the principle of subsidiarity.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 25 May 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 25 May 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 24 May meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

Banking Package

The Council agreed a General Approach to the Banking Risk Reduction Package including proposals for legislative amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and Directive (CRD), Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR), and the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD).

Strengthening Administrative Cooperation

The Council discussed measures to strengthen administrative cooperation in the area of VAT, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

General Reverse Charge Mechanism

The Council discussed proposals to allow Member States to apply a temporary VAT General Reverse Charge Mechanism, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

E-Publications

The Council discussed proposals to allow Member States to apply reduced rates of VAT on e-publications, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

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

European Semester

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the In-Depth Reviews of macroeconomic imbalances in Member States as part of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure, and the implementation of 2017 Country-Specific Recommendations as assessed in the Commission’s Country Reports, published on 07 March.

2018 Ageing Report

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the 2018 Ageing Report on age-related spending and the sustainability of public finances.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS753
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Caroline Dinenage (Minister of State for Care)
Commons

Introduction of Medical Examiners and Reforms to Death certification in England and Wales

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

Between March and June 2016 the Government consulted on a package of reforms to the death certification process and the introduction of medical examiners. The reforms aim to improve engagement with the bereaved in the process of death certification and offer them an opportunity to raise any concerns, as well as improving the quality and accuracy of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death. Safeguards will be enhanced in the process to enable medical examiners to report matters of a clinical governance nature to support local learning and changes to practice and procedures.

As part of the drive to further improve patient safety, I have today published the Government’s response to consultation on the introduction of medical examiners and the reforms of death certification in England and Wales and a copy is attached. This sets out the Government’s intention to introduce a system of medical examiners in England. The Welsh Government consulted separately in Wales.

Medical examiners are a key element of the death certification reforms, which, once in place, will deliver a more comprehensive system of assurances for all non-coronial deaths regardless of whether the deceased is buried or cremated. Medical examiners will be employed in the NHS system, ensuring lines of accountability are separate from NHS acute trusts but allowing for access to information in the sensitive and urgent timescales to register a death.

The response to the consultation demonstrates that there is widespread support for the aims of the reforms and for the introduction of medical examiners, but there were concerns about some aspects of the proposals. In particular concerns were raised about how the proposed model, based in local authorities, would work in practice and about the timeframes for implementing the system. Feedback on a proposed funding model was also received.

Since the Government consulted on the package of Death Certification Reforms, events have moved on. New information about how a medical examiner system could be introduced has been generated by the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) medical examiner pilot sites, early adopters of the medical examiner system, as well as from the Learning from Deaths initiative.

There will be two stages to funding the ME system to enable its introduction while legislation is in progress. Initially, medical examiners will be funded through the existing fee for completing medical cremation forms, in combination with central government funding for medical examiner work not covered by those fees. Following this interim period and when Parliamentary time allows for the system to move to a statutory footing, the funding of the system will need to be revisited. The existing medical cremation forms and fees payable associated with those forms will continue to apply for the interim period.

The Government has proposed that all child deaths (up to age 18) be exempt from the cost associated with the Medical Examiner system. This aligns with the broader purpose of the Government’s recent announcement about steps to ensure that no bereaved family will have to pay for the essential costs of burying or cremating their child.

Response to consultation (PDF Document, 260.07 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS725
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Competitiveness Council 28-29 May 2018

The Competitiveness Council (Internal Market and Industry) took place on 28 May in Brussels. I represented the UK.

The standing ‘competitiveness check-up’ debate focused on the linkages between internal market integration and competitiveness in the EU. The Commission argued that its analysis showed that the Single Market generates significant economic benefits across a range of sectors. The UK underlined its continuing interest in the success of the Single Market, calling for continued progress, particularly on services, and for the EU to be a force for open international trade. Other Member States picked up similar themes as well as other issues including access to finance.

The Council agreed a General Approach on the revision of the Mutual Recognition Regulation, which aims to improve the functioning of the mutual recognition principle for non-harmonised products in the Single Market. Member States were unanimous in their support for the Presidency’s compromise text and praised the balance struck between the need to support businesses trading across the EU while allowing Member States to protect their legitimate public interests.

The Commission presented its new proposal on platform to business relations, which it believed was a balanced attempt to improve transparency and predictability for users without creating undue burdens on platforms or stifling innovation. The UK responded positively but emphasised the benefits of platforms to businesses, particularly SMEs, and underlined the need to consult businesses. Other Member States generally welcomed the Commission’s approach, but the debate displayed the tension between those that have legislated in this area and those who want to avoid fragmentation in the Single Market as a result of differing national legislation. Some hinted at their preference for further regulatory measures.

The Presidency provided an update on progress in negotiations on the copyright package. Member States also responded to the UK’s ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.

The Commission presented its latest package of Digital Single Market proposals, which focus on the improved use of data at EU level as a tool to drive innovation.

Ministers discussed the opportunities and challenges of Artificial Intelligence, including the role of public and private investment, the impact on labour markets, and ethical and legal questions.

The Commission provided information on its ‘New Deal for Consumers’ proposal, confirming its ambitious timetable for adoption by May 2019. Some Member States raised the dual quality of products as a key concern.

The Commission also presented its Company Law package and a proposal amending the Supplementary Protection Certificates Regulation for the export of medicinal products.

The Presidency also provided updates on work in the area of tourism and within the SOLVIT network; the Austrian delegation presented its priorities as incoming Presidency.

The Competitiveness Council continued on 29 May covering research, innovation and space. Sam Gyimah MP (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation)represented the UK.

The Council held a policy debate on the future of European space policy. The UK emphasised the global nature of the space sector and the long heritage of technical excellence and research within the European Space Agency. The UK also outlined the case for continued full involvement in EU space programmes such as Galileo and Copernicus.

The Council continued with a discussion on the Progress Report on the Regulation on establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. The UK assured the EU of our commitment to continuing collaboration in science and innovation and highlighted the importance of a continued focus of wider programmes on excellence. Following the discussion, the Council held a plenary session providing an update on the progress of the regulation.

The following sessions adopted two Council Conclusions: the first on accelerating knowledge circulation in the European Union and the second on the European Open Science Cloud.

The Council then agreed a General Approach on the Regulation on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2019-2020) complementing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Ministers agreed to the approach set out by the Commission.

The Council held a policy debate on research and innovation within the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The UK noted the value to the EU of the UK's strength in research and innovation both in terms of results and of expertise in supporting research and innovation as well as emphasising the UK’s continuing desire to engage in European collaborative research and innovation programmes.

The Commission provided information on the outcome of the Presidency event dedicated to space (Sofia, 17-19 April 2018). The Council concluded with Austria’s presentation of its incoming Presidency work programme.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS752
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

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

I am pleased to announce that my Department will today publish an impact assessment for the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). I have separately written to the Scrutiny Committees in both Houses of Parliament such that they can consider this evidence as part of their important scrutiny of this Agreement. A copy of this impact assessment will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The European Union and Japan concluded negotiations on this Agreement in December 2017, and have announced their intention to sign this Agreement at an EU-Japan Summit in July, subject to approval by EU Member States in the Council of the European Union.

This Agreement will promote bilateral trade and economic growth between the EU and Japan by eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and investing.

The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade agenda including the free trade agreements it is putting in place and to date has strongly supported the EU-Japan EPA negotiations.

The Prime Minister and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in August 2017 to ‘work quickly to establish a new economic partnership between Japan and the UK based on the final terms of the EPA’ as the UK leaves the EU. The UK-Japan Trade and Investment Working Group, established last year by the Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Prosperity Cooperation, is tasked to deliver on this commitment and met for the second time in May.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS747
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Introduction of Medical Examiners and Reforms to Death certification in England and Wales

Between March and June 2016 the Government consulted on a package of reforms to the death certification process and the introduction of medical examiners. The reforms aim to improve engagement with the bereaved in the process of death certification and offer them an opportunity to raise any concerns, as well as improving the quality and accuracy of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death. Safeguards will be enhanced in the process to enable medical examiners to report matters of a clinical governance nature to support local learning and changes to practice and procedures.

As part of the drive to further improve patient safety, I have today published the Government’s response to consultation on the introduction of medical examiners and the reforms of death certification in England and Wales and a copy is attached. This sets out the Government’s intention to introduce a system of medical examiners in England. The Welsh Government consulted separately in Wales.

Medical examiners are a key element of the death certification reforms, which, once in place, will deliver a more comprehensive system of assurances for all non-coronial deaths regardless of whether the deceased is buried or cremated. Medical examiners will be employed in the NHS system, ensuring lines of accountability are separate from NHS acute trusts but allowing for access to information in the sensitive and urgent timescales to register a death.

The response to the consultation demonstrates that there is widespread support for the aims of the reforms and for the introduction of medical examiners, but there were concerns about some aspects of the proposals. In particular concerns were raised about how the proposed model, based in local authorities, would work in practice and about the timeframes for implementing the system. Feedback on a proposed funding model was also received.

Since the Government consulted on the package of Death Certification Reforms, events have moved on. New information about how a medical examiner system could be introduced has been generated by the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) medical examiner pilot sites, early adopters of the medical examiner system, as well as from the Learning from Deaths initiative.

There will be two stages to funding the ME system to enable its introduction while legislation is in progress. Initially, medical examiners will be funded through the existing fee for completing medical cremation forms, in combination with central government funding for medical examiner work not covered by those fees. Following this interim period and when Parliamentary time allows for the system to move to a statutory footing, the funding of the system will need to be revisited. The existing medical cremation forms and fees payable associated with those forms will continue to apply for the interim period.

The Government has proposed that all child deaths (up to age 18) be exempt from the cost associated with the Medical Examiner system. This aligns with the broader purpose of the Government’s recent announcement about steps to ensure that no bereaved family will have to pay for the essential costs of burying or cremating their child.

Response to consultation (PDF Document, 260.07 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS755
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (MInister of State For Defence)
Lords

Call-Out Order in Support of the United Kingdom’s Contribution to the EU-Led Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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

A new order has been made under section 56(1B) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable Reservists to be called into permanent service in support of the United Kingdom’s contribution to the EU-led mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the request of DSACEUR, the Operational Commander, the UK has agreed to generate an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force to enhance his situational awareness in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the period of the general election in October 2018. This capability will operate in parallel with and within the existing EUFOR framework to provide command and control for UK forces.

The planned uplift is consistent with Her Majesty’s Government’s objective of having a greater ambition for engagement with the Western Balkans and sends the clear message of UK commitment to European security despite Brexit.

Some of the specialist skills needed to meet this requirement are held within the Army Reserve. UK forces will deploy for a period of six months with a planned deployment in mid-August 2018. The number of reservists anticipated to deploy as specialists or in support of regular units is estimated at up to eight personnel.

The order took effect from the beginning of 30 May 2018 and shall cease to have effect at the end of 29 May 2019.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Energy Council, 11th June

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

The Energy Council will take place on 11 June in Luxembourg.

The Council will discuss the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) with the Presidency hoping to reach a general approach.

Under AOB, the Presidency will provide an update on the current state of play in the negotiation of the Regulation on Governance of the Energy Union, the Directive on Renewable Energy and the Directive on Energy Efficiency. The Commission will then provide information on recent developments in the field of external energy relations. Finally, the Austrian delegation will provide information on the work programme for their forthcoming Presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS749
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Rough Sleeping

I am today announcing the allocation of a targeted £30m Rough Sleeping Initiative fund to support those sleeping rough and those at risk of sleeping rough in 83 local authorities with the highest numbers of rough sleepers.

On 30 March 2018 we announced a new, cross-Whitehall, multidisciplinary Rough Sleeping Initiative. A £30m fund, targeted at areas with the highest levels of rough sleeping, was part of that package to support the work of the Rough Sleeping Initiative team.

Over the last few months our team of expert practitioners have worked closely with local authorities and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to identify service gaps and create tailored packages to tackle rough sleeping in their area this year. Together they have coproduced bespoke plans to tackle rough sleeping based on local government and the third sector knowledge of what works.

This represents a first significant step in our plans to reduce rough sleeping. It will be followed by a cross-Government strategy, published in July, which will set out how we intend to meet the manifesto commitment of halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027.

This funding will provide for over 500 new staff focused on rough sleeping. This will include more outreach workers to engage with people on the streets, specialist mental health and substance misuse workers and dedicated co-ordinators to drive efforts to reduce rough sleeping in their areas. It will also provide for over 1700 new bedspaces including both emergency and settled accommodation.

The new Rough Sleeping Initiative team will work closely with local areas to implement the plans and to monitor their progress.

In recognition of the expertise needed to deliver reductions in rough sleeping immediately, Jeremy Swain, currently Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Thames Reach, has been brought in to lead the Rough Sleeping Initiative. Jeremy is an outstanding candidate for this position, and he brings with him 30 years of invaluable front-line experience. He will be in post by early July.

A full list of the individual amounts allocated to the 83 local authorities and the GLA has been published on GOV.UK. Further funding for 2019-20 will be announced shortly.

I am confident this package will achieve substantial results in these areas of high need. It will also build upon the work we have already undertaken in order to meet out manifesto commitment. This work includes, piloting the internationally proven Housing First approach in three major regions of England, allocating over £1.2 billion in order to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including more upfront funding so local authorities can proactively tackle homelessness pressures in their areas, and also the recent changes made under the Homelessness Reduction Act which means that more people will get the help they need and at an earlier stage - preventing a homelessness crisis from occurring in the first place.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS729
WS
Treasury
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 25 May 2018

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 25 May 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 24 May meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

Banking Package

The Council agreed a General Approach to the Banking Risk Reduction Package including proposals for legislative amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and Directive (CRD), Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR), and the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD).

Strengthening Administrative Cooperation

The Council discussed measures to strengthen administrative cooperation in the area of VAT, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

General Reverse Charge Mechanism

The Council discussed proposals to allow Member States to apply a temporary VAT General Reverse Charge Mechanism, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

E-Publications

The Council discussed proposals to allow Member States to apply reduced rates of VAT on e-publications, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

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

European Semester

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the In-Depth Reviews of macroeconomic imbalances in Member States as part of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure, and the implementation of 2017 Country-Specific Recommendations as assessed in the Commission’s Country Reports, published on 07 March.

2018 Ageing Report

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the 2018 Ageing Report on age-related spending and the sustainability of public finances.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS728
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Mr Sam Gyimah (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation)
Commons

Competitiveness Council 28-29 May 2018

The Competitiveness Council (Internal Market and Industry) took place on 28 May in Brussels. Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) represented the UK.

The standing ‘competitiveness check-up’ debate focused on the linkages between internal market integration and competitiveness in the EU. The Commission argued that its analysis showed that the Single Market generates significant economic benefits across a range of sectors. The UK underlined its continuing interest in the success of the Single Market, calling for continued progress, particularly on services, and for the EU to be a force for open international trade. Other Member States picked up similar themes as well as other issues including access to finance.

The Council agreed a General Approach on the revision of the Mutual Recognition Regulation, which aims to improve the functioning of the mutual recognition principle for non-harmonised products in the Single Market. Member States were unanimous in their support for the Presidency’s compromise text and praised the balance struck between the need to support businesses trading across the EU while allowing Member States to protect their legitimate public interests.

The Commission presented its new proposal on platform to business relations, which it believed was a balanced attempt to improve transparency and predictability for users without creating undue burdens on platforms or stifling innovation. The UK responded positively but emphasised the benefits of platforms to businesses, particularly SMEs, and underlined the need to consult businesses. Other Member States generally welcomed the Commission’s approach, but the debate displayed the tension between those that have legislated in this area and those who want to avoid fragmentation in the Single Market as a result of differing national legislation. Some hinted at their preference for further regulatory measures.

The Presidency provided an update on progress in negotiations on the copyright package. Member States also responded to the UK’s ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.

The Commission presented its latest package of Digital Single Market proposals, which focus on the improved use of data at EU level as a tool to drive innovation.

Ministers discussed the opportunities and challenges of Artificial Intelligence, including the role of public and private investment, the impact on labour markets, and ethical and legal questions.

The Commission provided information on its ‘New Deal for Consumers’ proposal, confirming its ambitious timetable for adoption by May 2019. Some Member States raised the dual quality of products as a key concern.

The Commission also presented its Company Law package and a proposal amending the Supplementary Protection Certificates Regulation for the export of medicinal products.

The Presidency also provided updates on work in the area of tourism and within the SOLVIT network; the Austrian delegation presented its priorities as incoming Presidency.

The Competitiveness Council continued on 29 May covering research, innovation and space. I represented the UK.

The Council held a policy debate on the future of European space policy. The UK emphasised the global nature of the space sector and the long heritage of technical excellence and research within the European Space Agency. The UK also outlined the case for continued full involvement in EU space programmes such as Galileo and Copernicus.

The Council continued with a discussion on the Progress Report on the Regulation on establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. The UK assured the EU of our commitment to continuing collaboration in science and innovation and highlighted the importance of a continued focus of wider programmes on excellence. Following the discussion, the Council held a plenary session providing an update on the progress of the regulation.

The following sessions adopted two Council Conclusions: the first on accelerating knowledge circulation in the European Union and the second on the European Open Science Cloud.

The Council then agreed a General Approach on the Regulation on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2019-2020) complementing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Ministers agreed to the approach set out by the Commission.

The Council held a policy debate on research and innovation within the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The UK noted the value to the EU of the UK's strength in research and innovation both in terms of results and of expertise in supporting research and innovation as well as emphasising the UK’s continuing desire to engage in European collaborative research and innovation programmes.

The Commission provided information on the outcome of the Presidency event dedicated to space (Sofia, 17-19 April 2018). The Council concluded with Austria’s presentation of its incoming Presidency work programme.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS727
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

Professor Sir Norman Williams' review into gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare

On 6 February 2018 I informed the House that I had asked Professor Sir Norman Williams to carry out a rapid policy review of gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare settings. This review was prompted by concerns among healthcare professionals that errors could result in prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter, even in the face of broader organisation and system failings. In particular, there was concern that this fear had had a negative impact on reflection and learning by healthcare professionals, which is vital to improving patient care.

My Department is today publishing the report of Sir Norman’s rapid policy review and a copy is attached.

Any investigation of a healthcare professional for suspected gross negligence manslaughter begins with the death of a patient. A life needlessly cut short and a family grieving. Sir Norman and his Panel have heard from such families. Their experiences were vital in informing this review and I would particularly like to thank them for their courage in providing evidence to the review.

The report finds that prosecutions and convictions of healthcare professionals for gross negligence manslaughter are rare. It also finds that the legal test for the offence is set at an appropriately high level. This should reassure healthcare professionals that only where conduct is ‘truly, exceptionally bad’ and in consideration of ‘all the circumstances’ will the bar for gross negligence manslaughter be met.

However in order to provide greater consistency the report makes recommendations to improve the investigation of allegations of gross negligence manslaughter involving healthcare professionals. These include:

  • developing an agreed understanding of gross negligence manslaughter that reflects the most recent case law;
  • improvements to the way that healthcare professionals provide expert advice and evidence; and
  • improvements to local investigations into unexpected deaths in healthcare to provide a full understanding of the cause of death, ensuring improvements are made to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents.

The report also considers the impact of criminal and regulatory investigations on the willingness of healthcare professionals to reflect on their practice. It finds that reflective material is rarely sought in such investigations. Nonetheless, in order to provide clear assurance to professionals, the report recommends that those regulators that have a power to require information from registrants when investigating their fitness to practise should have this power removed in respect of reflective material.

Finally the report looks at the regulation of healthcare professionals. It makes a number of recommendations for further work to understand inconsistencies in the way that different regulators carry out their fitness to practise functions. It also finds that the General Medical Council’s right to appeal decisions of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has resulted in a lack of confidence in their regulator as well as having an unanticipated impact on the willingness of doctors, especially trainees, to reflect fully on their practice. Since the PSA has a near identical right of appeal to Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service decisions, it is clear that there would be no gap in the law where regulatory action is being taken as a result of a serious criminal conviction, and the report recommends that the GMC’s right of appeal should be removed.

These recommendations aim to support a just and learning culture in healthcare, where professionals are able to raise concerns and reflect openly on their mistakes but where those who are responsible for providing unacceptable standards of care are held to account. This will support improvements in patient safety.

I thank Sir Norman and his panel for their work in delivering this important report. I accept the recommendations in full

Professor Sir Norman Williams' review (PDF Document, 781.52 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS733
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Call-Out Order in Support of the United Kingdom’s Contribution to the EU-Led Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

A new order has been made under section 56(1B) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable Reservists to be called into permanent service in support of the United Kingdom’s contribution to the EU-led mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At the request of DSACEUR, the Operational Commander, the UK has agreed to generate an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force to enhance his situational awareness in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the period of the general election in October 2018. This capability will operate in parallel with and within the existing EUFOR framework to provide command and control for UK forces.

The planned uplift is consistent with Her Majesty’s Government’s objective of having a greater ambition for engagement with the Western Balkans and sends the clear message of UK commitment to European security despite Brexit.

Some of the specialist skills needed to meet this requirement are held within the Army Reserve. UK forces will deploy for a period of six months with a planned deployment in mid-August 2018. The number of reservists anticipated to deploy as specialists or in support of regular units is estimated at up to eight personnel.

The order took effect from the beginning of 30 May 2018 and shall cease to have effect at the end of 29 May 2019.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Claire Perry (Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth )
Commons

Energy Council, 11th June

The Energy Council will take place on 11 June in Luxembourg.

The Council will discuss the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) with the Presidency hoping to reach a general approach.

Under AOB, the Presidency will provide an update on the current state of play in the negotiation of the Regulation on Governance of the Energy Union, the Directive on Renewable Energy and the Directive on Energy Efficiency. The Commission will then provide information on recent developments in the field of external energy relations. Finally, the Austrian delegation will provide information on the work programme for their forthcoming Presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS723
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Notification of a Contingent Liability

I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing three contingent liabilities relating to a tripartite deal between Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), First Greater Western Limited (FGW) and the Department for Transport.

Unfortunately, due to the urgent need to finalise the deal and the confidential commercial nature of the negotiations it was not possible to notify Parliament of the particulars of the liability and allow the required 14 days’ notice prior to the liabilities going live. A delay would have resulted in higher HS2 costs and an increased scheduling risk impacting on the December 2026 opening date for Phase 1.

The main element of the deal is a service agreement between FGW, HAL and Heathrow Airport Operating Company (HEOC) for the continuation of non-stop rail services between Paddington and Heathrow Airport. Under this agreement FGW will assume operation of Heathrow Express services. Although this is an agreement between private sector companies, there are significant benefits to the Department, in particular, savings generated from not building a replacement depot for Heathrow Express rolling stock at Langley (the land on which the current depot is situated at Old Oak Common is needed by HS2 for the construction of the high speed railway).

In order to conclude the deal, and secure departmental/HS2 benefits, the Department needed to offer indemnities in relation to three risks that the parties were unwilling or unable to assume or manage. The financial exposure is not high – a conservative estimate is c£12m. But they are unusual and outside the Department’s normal course of business.

The three contingent liabilities are: first, indemnifying FGW against the cost of any delay to delivery of new rolling stock required to operate Heathrow Express services. The department’s exposure is estimated to be £2.25m; second, indemnifying FGW against the cost of any redundancies following the transfer of staff, mainly drivers, from HAL to FGW. The cost is estimated to be c£3.2m; third, an indemnity against contagion from a wider industrial relations dispute – nationwide or franchise wide. The exposure is estimated to be £6.8m.

The Treasury approved these liabilities before they were activated. However, if any Member of Parliament has concerns, he/she may write to me within the next 14 parliamentary sitting days. I will be happy to examine their concerns and provide a response.

Contingent Liability (Word Document, 15.23 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS731
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State for Department of International Trade and President of the Board of Trade)
Commons

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

I am pleased to announce that my Department will today publish an impact assessment for the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). I have separately written to the Scrutiny Committees in both Houses of Parliament such that they can consider this evidence as part of their important scrutiny of this Agreement. A copy of this impact assessment will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The European Union and Japan concluded negotiations on this Agreement in December 2017, and have announced their intention to sign this Agreement at an EU-Japan Summit in July, subject to approval by EU Member States in the Council of the European Union.

This Agreement will promote bilateral trade and economic growth between the EU and Japan by eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and investing.

The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade agenda including the free trade agreements it is putting in place and to date has strongly supported the EU-Japan EPA negotiations.

The Prime Minister and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in August 2017 to ‘work quickly to establish a new economic partnership between Japan and the UK based on the final terms of the EPA’ as the UK leaves the EU. The UK-Japan Trade and Investment Working Group, established last year by the Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Prosperity Cooperation, is tasked to deliver on this commitment and met for the second time in May.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS726
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Northern Ireland

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today we are publishing a document produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

This covers:

Temporary customs arrangement between the UK and the EU

These will be available on GOV.UK today and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

East Midlands Invitation to Tender

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

I am pleased to inform the House that this morning the Department for Transport published the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the East Midlands rail franchise and the consultation document for the Cross Country franchise signalling the start of a 12 week public consultation.

East Midlands Rail Franchise

The ITT for the East Midlands franchise sets out an exciting future that will deliver a brand-new fleet of trains, more seats for passengers, reduced peak journey times between Nottingham, Sheffield and London and a dedicated, high quality, express service between Corby and London. These improvements will mean more comfortable journeys for both long distance and commuting passengers at the busiest times of the day.

We have listened to what improvements passengers want to see and will be requiring the next operator to deliver a wide range of improvements across the network including improved compensation for delays, smart ticketing, high quality Wi-Fi connection, more frequent and increased capacity on local services and services that start earlier and finish later.

As the Secretary of State set out in the Government’s Strategic Vision for Rail in November 2017, we are now fixing the operational divide between track and train so that both Network Rail and train companies share one imperative: putting the passenger first. Better performance and reliability on the East Midlands franchise will be delivered through a new collaborative partnership between the next operator and Network Rail.

Cross Country Rail Franchise

The current Cross Country franchise, operated by Arriva Cross Country is due to end late 2019 (though it can be extended by up to a year). I am therefore pleased to launch today a public consultation which will run for 12 weeks and will help to inform and develop the franchise specification for inclusion in the ITT. We will encourage responses to the consultation through: meetings around the network with formal stakeholders; promoting it directly to passengers on Cross Country trains; and one or more webinars to reach out to people across this extensive franchise.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS740
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Universal Credit

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (The Rt. Hon.Esther McVey MP) has made the following Written Statement.

Today we publish a summary of the Universal Credit Full Business Case, signed off by HM Treasury, which shows that when fully rolled out, Universal Credit is forecast to incentivise 200,000 more people to take employment than would have under the previous system and deliver £8bn of benefits to the UK economy per year.

Universal Credit is the biggest change of the welfare system since it was created. It is a modern, flexible, personalised benefit reflecting the rapidly changing world of work.

It has brought together the six main benefits, including tax credits, providing support in and out of work and assisting career progression. The Government has used a ‘test and learn’ approach as it rolls out across the country.

The Government has already made a commitment that anyone who is moved to Universal Credit without a change of circumstance will not lose out in cash terms. Transitional protection will be provided to eligible claimants to safeguard their existing benefit entitlement until their circumstances change.

Today I am announcing four additions to these rules to ensure that Universal Credit supports people into work, protects vulnerable claimants and is targeted at those who need it.

In order to support the transition for those individuals who live alone with substantial care needs and receive the Severe Disability Premium, we are changing the system so that these claimants will not be moved to Universal Credit until they qualify for transitional protection. In addition, we will provide both an on-going payment to claimants who have already lost this Premium as a consequence of moving to Universal Credit and an additional payment to cover the period since they moved.

Second, we will increase the incentives for parents to take short-term or temporary work and increase their earnings by ensuring that the award of, or increase in, support for childcare costs will not erode transitional protection.

Third, we propose to re-award claimants’ transitional protection that has ceased owing to short-term increases in earnings within an assessment period, if they make a new claim to UC within three months of when they received the additional payment.

Finally, individuals with capital in excess of £16,000 are not eligible for Universal Credit. However, for Tax Credit claimants in this situation, we will now disregard any capital in excess of £16,000 for 12 months from the point at which they are moved to Universal Credit. Normal benefit rules apply after this time in order to strike the right balance between keeping incentives for saving and asking people to support themselves.

The process of migrating claimants on legacy benefits will begin in July 2019 as previously announced. In order to make the changes to the system it will be necessary to extend the completion of UC to March 2023. As throughout UC roll out, we will keep the exact timetable under review to do what is sensible from a delivery and fiscal perspective.

These changes will form part of the Universal Credit Managed Migration and Transitional Protection Regulations which we intend to bring forward in the Autumn.

This Government is committed to delivering a welfare system that supports claimants and is fair to taxpayers.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS745
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Transport, Telecoms and Energy Council

My Honourable Friend the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Margot James) has made the following Statement:

The Transport, Telecoms and Energy Council (TTE) will take place in Luxembourg. Lord Ashton of Hyde will represent the UK at the Telecoms session of the Council on 8 June.

This Council will begin with a progress report/policy debate on the proposed regulation concerning ePrivacy.

This meeting of the Council will then ask Member States to vote on a General Approach (GA) on the Cybersecurity Act Regulation. DCMS has deposited clearance/waiver requests with the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) & European Union Committee (EUC) and will hope to support this GA at Council.

This session of the Council will also hold a policy debate on the directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI).

Also tabled for this session is information from the Presidency on the directive on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) [Recast], and the regulation on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

In addition, information will be provided from the Commission on the state of play of the Digital Single Market (DSM).

To conclude this session of the Council, there will be information from the Austrian delegation, setting out their work programme as the incoming Presidency for the second half of 2018.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Security Industry Authority Review

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

I am pleased to announce that the Review of the Security Industry Authority is today being published on www.gov.uk. This is part of a programme of regular reviews of public bodies to provide assurance and challenge for good governance and efficiency. A copy of the Review will also be placed in the House Library.

I welcome publication of the Review of the Security Industry Authority. The Government is committed to ensuring the integrity of the private security industry. I am pleased the Review concludes that regulation of the industry remains relevant and that the Security Industry Authority has performed its role to a satisfactory standard.

The Review makes a number of recommendations about the future of the regulatory regime. These require further consideration and analysis, in particular of the balance between improving public protection and the need to support and not overburden the private security industry, including the smaller organisations.

The Home Office will support the Security Industry Authority as it works to continue to improve its performance and risk based approach and to realise efficiencies, with the aim of achieving regulatory best practice and showing leadership in taking the industry forward.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS742
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) 22 May 2018

My Rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Trade Policy (Greg Hands) has today made the following statement:

The EU Foreign Affairs Informal Council (Trade) took place in Brussels on 22nd May 2018. I represented the UK at the meeting. A summary of the discussions follows:

Commissioner Malmström provided an update on her latest contact with Wilbur Ross on US tariffs on steel imports. A further temporary exemption was not expected. I supported the outcome of the Leaders’ discussion the previous week and emphasised active UK engagement with the US in support of the EU position.

Ministers adopted the conclusions on the negotiation and conclusion of EU trade agreements. These follow the CJEU decision on competence boundaries in May 2017. They note the Commission’s proposal to pursue EU-only trade agreements, with the option of separate mixed investment protection agreements, and assert the role of the Council in deciding on a case by case basis whether to open negotiations in this manner (or to split existing agreements which are yet to be signed). The Conclusions make clear that investment protection agreements and Association Agreements containing provisions of shared competence will remain mixed agreements and will continue to require ratification at the national level. Amongst other things, the Council Conclusions also state that Member State parliaments, civil society and other interested stakeholders should be kept duly informed from the beginning of the trade agreement negotiation process, and that Member States should continue to involve their parliaments in-line with their respective national procedures.

Ministers thanked the Commission for its work on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement along with the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). Commissioner Malmström confirmed the IPA would not be provisionally applied, coming into force only when all Member States had ratified.

Ministers adopted mandates for negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, which would be launched during Commissioner Malmström’s visit to the region in June.

Commissioner Malmström debriefed Ministers on her recent engagement in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ministers agreed that the EU should continue engaging with the US and discussed the extent to which significant WTO reforms should be considered. I cautioned against portraying the WTO as being in “crisis” and urged maximising the opportunities including the “Joint Statement Initiative” on e-commerce and encouraged further consideration of WTO reform.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS741
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Mr David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union )
Commons

EU Exit

Today we are publishing two documents produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

These cover:

  • Data
  • Transport

These will be available on GOV.UK today and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS738
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Esther McVey (The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions)
Commons

Universal Credit

Today we publish a summary of the Universal Credit Full Business Case, signed off by HM Treasury, which shows that when fully rolled out, Universal Credit is forecast to incentivise 200,000 more people to take employment than would have under the previous system and deliver £8bn of benefits to the UK economy per year.

Universal Credit is the biggest change of the welfare system since it was created. It is a modern, flexible, personalised benefit reflecting the rapidly changing world of work.

It has brought together the six main benefits, including tax credits, providing support in and out of work and assisting career progression. The Government has used a ‘test and learn’ approach as it rolls out across the country.

The Government has already made a commitment that anyone who is moved to Universal Credit without a change of circumstance will not lose out in cash terms. Transitional protection will be provided to eligible claimants to safeguard their existing benefit entitlement until their circumstances change.

Today I am announcing four additions to these rules to ensure that Universal Credit supports people into work, protects vulnerable claimants and is targeted at those who need it.

In order to support the transition for those individuals who live alone with substantial care needs and receive the Severe Disability Premium, we are changing the system so that these claimants will not be moved to Universal Credit until they qualify for transitional protection. In addition, we will provide both an on-going payment to claimants who have already lost this Premium as a consequence of moving to Universal Credit and an additional payment to cover the period since they moved.

Second, we will increase the incentives for parents to take short-term or temporary work and increase their earnings by ensuring that the award of, or increase in, support for childcare costs will not erode transitional protection.

Third, we propose to re-award claimants’ transitional protection that has ceased owing to short-term increases in earnings within an assessment period, if they make a new claim to UC within three months of when they received the additional payment.

Finally, individuals with capital in excess of £16,000 are not eligible for Universal Credit. However, for Tax Credit claimants in this situation, we will now disregard any capital in excess of £16,000 for 12 months from the point at which they are moved to Universal Credit. Normal benefit rules apply after this time in order to strike the right balance between keeping incentives for saving and asking people to support themselves.

The process of migrating claimants on legacy benefits will begin in July 2019 as previously announced. In order to make the changes to the system it will be necessary to extend the completion of UC to March 2023. As throughout UC roll out, we will keep the exact timetable under review to do what is sensible from a delivery and fiscal perspective.

These changes will form part of the Universal Credit Managed Migration and Transitional Protection Regulations which we intend to bring forward in the Autumn.

This Government is committed to delivering a welfare system that supports claimants and is fair to taxpayers.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS720
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Northern Ireland

Today we are publishing a document produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

This covers:

Temporary customs arrangement between the UK and the EU

These will be available on GOV.UK today and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Margot James (Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Transport, Telecoms and Energy Council

The Transport, Telecoms and Energy Council (TTE) will take place in Luxembourg. Lord Ashton of Hyde will represent the UK at the Telecoms session of the Council on 8 June.

This Council will begin with a progress report/policy debate on the proposed regulation concerning ePrivacy.

This meeting of the Council will then ask Member States to vote on a General Approach (GA) on the Cybersecurity Act Regulation. DCMS has deposited clearance/waiver requests with the European Scrutiny Committee (ESC) & European Union Committee (EUC) and will hope to support this GA at Council.

This session of the Council will also hold a policy debate on the directive on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI).

Also tabled for this session is information from the Presidency on the directive on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) [Recast], and the regulation on the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC).

In addition, information will be provided from the Commission on the state of play of the Digital Single Market (DSM).

To conclude this session of the Council, there will be information from the Austrian delegation, setting out their work programme as the incoming Presidency for the second half of 2018.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service )
Commons

Security Industry Authority Review

I am pleased to announce that the Review of the Security Industry Authority is today being published on www.gov.uk. This is part of a programme of regular reviews of public bodies to provide assurance and challenge for good governance and efficiency. A copy of the Review will also be placed in the House Library.

I welcome publication of the Review of the Security Industry Authority. The Government is committed to ensuring the integrity of the private security industry. I am pleased the Review concludes that regulation of the industry remains relevant and that the Security Industry Authority has performed its role to a satisfactory standard.

The Review makes a number of recommendations about the future of the regulatory regime. These require further consideration and analysis, in particular of the balance between improving public protection and the need to support and not overburden the private security industry, including the smaller organisations.

The Home Office will support the Security Industry Authority as it works to continue to improve its performance and risk based approach and to realise efficiencies, with the aim of achieving regulatory best practice and showing leadership in taking the industry forward.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS718
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Greg Hands (Minister of State for Trade Policy)
Commons

EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) 22 May 2018

The EU Foreign Affairs Informal Council (Trade) took place in Brussels on 22nd May 2018. I represented the UK at the meeting. A summary of the discussions follows:

Commissioner Malmström provided an update on her latest contact with Wilbur Ross on US tariffs on steel imports. A further temporary exemption was not expected. I supported the outcome of the Leaders’ discussion the previous week and emphasised active UK engagement with the US in support of the EU position.

Ministers adopted the conclusions on the negotiation and conclusion of EU trade agreements. These follow the CJEU decision on competence boundaries in May 2017. They note the Commission’s proposal to pursue EU-only trade agreements, with the option of separate mixed investment protection agreements, and assert the role of the Council in deciding on a case by case basis whether to open negotiations in this manner (or to split existing agreements which are yet to be signed). The Conclusions make clear that investment protection agreements and Association Agreements containing provisions of shared competence will remain mixed agreements and will continue to require ratification at the national level. Amongst other things, the Council Conclusions also state that Member State parliaments, civil society and other interested stakeholders should be kept duly informed from the beginning of the trade agreement negotiation process, and that Member States should continue to involve their parliaments in-line with their respective national procedures.

Ministers thanked the Commission for its work on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement along with the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). Commissioner Malmström confirmed the IPA would not be provisionally applied, coming into force only when all Member States had ratified.

Ministers adopted mandates for negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, which would be launched during Commissioner Malmström’s visit to the region in June.

Commissioner Malmström debriefed Ministers on her recent engagement in the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ministers agreed that the EU should continue engaging with the US and discussed the extent to which significant WTO reforms should be considered. I cautioned against portraying the WTO as being in “crisis” and urged maximising the opportunities including the “Joint Statement Initiative” on e-commerce and encouraged further consideration of WTO reform.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS717
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 07 June 2018
Made by: Joseph Johnson (Minister of State for Transport)
Commons

East Midlands Invitation to Tender

I am pleased to inform the House that this morning the Department for Transport published the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the East Midlands rail franchise and the consultation document for the Cross Country franchise signalling the start of a 12 week public consultation.

East Midlands Rail Franchise

The ITT for the East Midlands franchise sets out an exciting future that will deliver a brand-new fleet of trains, more seats for passengers, reduced peak journey times between Nottingham, Sheffield and London and a dedicated, high quality, express service between Corby and London. These improvements will mean more comfortable journeys for both long distance and commuting passengers at the busiest times of the day.

We have listened to what improvements passengers want to see and will be requiring the next operator to deliver a wide range of improvements across the network including improved compensation for delays, smart ticketing, high quality Wi-Fi connection, more frequent and increased capacity on local services and services that start earlier and finish later.

As the Secretary of State set out in the Government’s Strategic Vision for Rail in November 2017, we are now fixing the operational divide between track and train so that both Network Rail and train companies share one imperative: putting the passenger first. Better performance and reliability on the East Midlands franchise will be delivered through a new collaborative partnership between the next operator and Network Rail.

Cross Country Rail Franchise

The current Cross Country franchise, operated by Arriva Cross Country is due to end late 2019 (though it can be extended by up to a year). I am therefore pleased to launch today a public consultation which will run for 12 weeks and will help to inform and develop the franchise specification for inclusion in the ITT. We will encourage responses to the consultation through: meetings around the network with formal stakeholders; promoting it directly to passengers on Cross Country trains; and one or more webinars to reach out to people across this extensive franchise.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS721
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 06 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council – 28 May 2018

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

I attended the Foreign Affairs Council on 28 May. The Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Foreign Affairs Council

Current affairs

The HRVP updated Ministers on EU activity on DPRK, Yemen, the Somalia Partnership Forum with Sweden on 25-26 June and the recent AU-EU College meeting. Ministers were briefed on the outcome of the MH17 investigation.

Iran

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) discussed Iran. Ministers underlined the importance of preserving the JCPoA and welcomed the steps already taken by the European Commission to protect European companies that have engaged with Iran following the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions. The FAC commended all efforts, notably those of the HRVP and the E3 Foreign Ministers (France, Germany and the UK) to ensure that Iran continues implementing the Agreement. Ministers also discussed the EU's concerns around Iran's ballistic missiles programme, its role in regional conflicts, and the human rights situation. Ministers stressed the need to continue engaging with the US, a long-standing partner and ally, on all issues, including Iran.

Venezuela

Ministers exchanged views on Venezuela, following the recent elections and adopted conclusions setting out the EU’s concerns.

Gaza

Over lunch, Ministers discussed the situation in Gaza and the US Embassy in Israel's move to Jerusalem. Ministers agreed on the need to act immediately to avoid further loss of life, including by improving humanitarian access. They also stressed the importance of a political process, and re-confirmed the united EU position on the need to find a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Council discussed the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Ministers stressed the importance of a credible, legitimate, consensual and inclusive electoral process leading to elections in December 2018. Ministers agreed that a smooth handover of power was crucial and cooperation with the region was critical. Ministers also expressed their concern over the dire humanitarian situation, in the light of the recent Ebola outbreak.

Post Cotonou agreement

Ministers reviewed work on the Council decision authorising the Commission to open negotiations on the future partnership between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries (post-Cotonou Agreement). The Council asked EU Ambassadors to continue work on finalising and adopting the negotiating mandate under the leadership of the Bulgarian Presidency.

Chemical Weapons

Under any other business, Ministers were updated on the International Partnership Against Impunity for the Use of Chemical Weapons meeting in Paris. Ministers supported the UK proposal for an extraordinary meeting of the Conference of State Parties.

Members agreed a number of measures without discussion:

- The Council approved an extension of EU restrictive measures against the Syrian Regime until 1 June 2019;
- The Council adopted conclusions on enhanced EU security cooperation in and with Asia;
- The Council adopted conclusions on strengthening civilian Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP);
- The Council adopted the EU’s annual report on human rights and democracy 2017 and the European Court of Auditors report on election observation missions;
- The Council agreed to opening a European Union delegation to Panama;
- The Council adopted conclusions on an EU position on combating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW).

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS738
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 06 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Notification of a Contingent Liability

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

I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing a contingent liability relating to a blight agreement between me, as Secretary of State for Transport, and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL).

If the proposed Airports National Policy Statement is designated, land in the location identified as potentially suitable for the development of the Northwest Runway scheme becomes blighted. Owners of qualifying land (predominately owner-occupiers of private housing) within that location would be able to serve a blight notice on the Secretary of State, which if valid would, in effect, both authorise and oblige the Secretary of State to purchase the land.

In order to avoid my department having to cover the cost of blight claims I, as Secretary of State, have entered into an agreement with HAL under which HAL assume the financial liability for successful claims. In the event the proposed NPS is designated, the cost of meeting blight claims will need to be met by my department if the agreement were for some reason ineffective to transfer liability.

The maximum estimated contingent liability for the blight claims is £160 million, though actual gross liability is likely to be much lower, c. £5 million to £20 million, as most owners of qualifying property are thought likely to wait for the more generous offer of 125% from HAL, available following the granting of any development consent.

The Treasury approved this liability and the chairs of the Public Accounts Committee and the Transport Committee were notified of this contingent liability by letter of 16th May due to the confidential nature of the contingent liability at that time. A period of fourteen sitting days beginning on 21st May has been provided for issues or objections to be raised, and final approval to proceed with incurring the liability will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS739
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 06 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (The 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 will attend the only formal Transport Council under the Bulgarian Presidency (the Presidency) taking place in Luxembourg on Thursday 7th June.

The Council is expected to reach a General Approach on a proposal to revise the current Regulation on safeguarding connectivity and competition in international air transport, which is intended to provide protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices in the supply of air services from non-EU countries. The Government places great importance on effective competition and liberalisation as a key enabler of international connectivity and considers that the proposed General Approach is satisfactory.

Following this, the Council will be considering a General Approach on a proposed Directive on port reception facilities. The proposal aims to achieve a higher level of protection of the marine environment by reducing waste discharges at sea, as well as improved efficiency of maritime operations in port by reducing the administrative burden and by updating the regulatory framework. In negotiations, the UK has been generally supportive of the aims of the proposal but required clarification and consideration of the impacts to ensure that the final Directive does not disproportionality impose additional or unnecessary burdens. We have also been successful in securing compromise and flexibility within the proposal, to ensure that the improvements to the Directive do not unduly burden small ports and small ships.

Next, the Council will consider a number of files in Phase One of the Mobility Package (published in May 2017). Firstly, the Presidency will give a Progress Report focusing on proposals designed to improve the clarity and enforcement of the EU road transport market (the 'market pillar'), and proposals on the application of social legislation in road transport (the 'social pillar').

The Council is expected to reach General Approaches on two of the proposals in the Package. The first of these is a proposal to revise the current Directive on the European electronic road tolling service ('EETS'). The UK views the proposals for a revised EETS Directive favourably. The proposal contains provisions that will assist the enforcement of toll and road user charge collection. The second is a proposal on goods vehicles hired without drivers, which is intended to make it easier for undertakings to hire vehicles registered in a Member State other than that where the undertaking is established. This is not a matter with significant practical implications for the UK given the relative rarity of operators hiring goods vehicles in this way in the UK. We are content for both of these General Approaches to be agreed.

Following this, the Presidency has prepared two Progress Reports on proposals from Phase Two of the Mobility Package (published November 2017). The Presidency will provide an update on the state of play thus far on proposals to amend the current Directive on combined transport, which aims to encourage and facilitate modal shift away from the roads and onto alternative means of transport and reduce congestion, and the proposal to broaden the scope of the current Directive on clean and energy-efficient vehicles, where the UK is leading the transition to cleaner road transport.

Next, there will be a progress report on the proposed revision to the Regulation on rail passengers’ rights and obligations. The UK shares the Commission’s objective of strengthening the rights of rail passengers. We therefore support in principle the proposal’s aim of standardising and improving passenger rights, including by improving access for people with disabilities or reduced mobility.

Under Any Other Business, the Commission will present Phase Three of the Mobility Package (published May 2018), followed by information on the action plan for military mobility, and an update on the implementation of the EU cycling strategy. The delegations from Sweden and Greece will then provide information on automated and connected driving and functioning of the fair competition framework in the aviation sector within the EU, respecitvely. The Comission will then provide information on the state of play for EU summer-time arrangements, and finally, the Austrian delegation will present the transport work programme of their forthcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS737
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 06 June 2018
Made by: Chris Grayling (The Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Notification of a Contingent Liability

I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing a contingent liability relating to a blight agreement between me, as Secretary of State for Transport, and Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL).

If the proposed Airports National Policy Statement is designated, land in the location identified as potentially suitable for the development of the Northwest Runway scheme becomes blighted. Owners of qualifying land (predominately owner-occupiers of private housing) within that location would be able to serve a blight notice on the Secretary of State, which if valid would, in effect, both authorise and oblige the Secretary of State to purchase the land.

In order to avoid my department having to cover the cost of blight claims I, as Secretary of State, have entered into an agreement with HAL under which HAL assume the financial liability for successful claims. In the event the proposed NPS is designated, the cost of meeting blight claims will need to be met by my department if the agreement were for some reason ineffective to transfer liability.

The maximum estimated contingent liability for the blight claims is £160 million, though actual gross liability is likely to be much lower, c. £5 million to £20 million, as most owners of qualifying property are thought likely to wait for the more generous offer of 125% from HAL, available following the granting of any development consent.

The Treasury approved this liability and the chairs of the Public Accounts Committee and the Transport Committee were notified of this contingent liability by letter of 16th May due to the confidential nature of the