Written statements

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

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

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

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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
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