Written statements

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

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

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

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 15 May 2019
Made by: Andrew Stephenson (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Business and Industry)
Commons

Energy Policy

Government’s preparations for the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom mean that the UK now has all the necessary measures in place to ensure that the UK nuclear industry can continue to operate with certainty in all situations.

On 22 February the UK and Japan signed an Exchange of Notes confirming how the terms of our existing 1998 Nuclear Cooperation Agreement will operate in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom.

The Nuclear Safeguards (Fissionable Material and Relevant International Agreements) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and the Nuclear Safeguards (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and the Shipments of Radioactive Substances (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 have been made. This means that Government has put in place all legislation needed ahead of the UK leaving Euratom to ensure that it can now operate as an independent and responsible nuclear state, and that civil nuclear trade can continue.

Government has also published further guidance to industry on no deal arrangements in relation to the Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, and the Shipments of Radioactive Substances (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Today I will be depositing a report in the libraries of both Houses that sets out further details on the overall progress on the Government’s implementation of its Euratom Exit strategy, including EU negotiations, domestic operational readiness, legislation and international agreements. The report covers the three-month reporting period from 26th December to 26th March and is the third statutory report under Section 3(4) of the Nuclear Safeguards Act 2018. The next report on Euratom Exit progress is due to be deposited in July 2019.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1519
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 14 May 2019
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local Government Update

On 29 November 2018 I told the House that I was launching a statutory consultation on the proposal for reorganising local government in Northamptonshire which I had received from seven of the area’s eight principal councils. The councils had submitted this proposal in response to the invitation issued on 27 March 2018 following the recommendations in the independent inspection report on Northamptonshire County Council.

This locally-led proposal is to replace the existing eight councils across Northamptonshire (the County Council and seven district councils) with two new unitary councils - one for North Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Kettering, Corby, East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough, and the other for West Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire. The proposal envisaged the new councils being fully operational from 1 April 2020.

The statutory consultation closed on 25 January and invited views from councils concerned, other public sector providers and representatives of business and the voluntary sector and welcomed views from any interested persons.

I have received a total of 386 responses. The district and county councils – except for Corby Borough Council – and councillors and public service providers including the Police and Crime Commissioner and health partners, generally supported the proposal. Responses from businesses, members of the public, parish councils and community organisations were more mixed.

This consultation supplements the consultation exercise undertaken on behalf of the Northamptonshire councils by the independent Opinion Research Services. This exercise included face to face workshops, a representative telephone survey of Northamptonshire residents and an open questionnaire.

90% of respondents to the telephone survey agreed that there was a need to make changes to Northamptonshire local government and 74% agreed with the unitary proposal. 83% of the over 6000 individuals who responded to the open questionnaire agreed that there was a need for change, with 67% agreeing that a number of unitary councils should be introduced and 44% supporting the proposal for two unitary councils.

I have now carefully considered the councils’ proposal, along with the results of the consultation exercises, a report by the Northamptonshire Children’s Commissioner, submitted to my Rt. Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Education and me, on how best to ensure continued improvement of the fragile children’s social care service in Northamptonshire in the context of reorganisation, and all other relevant information and material available to me. I have concluded that the proposal meets our publicly stated criteria for local government reorganisation. That is if implemented I am satisfied that the proposal would improve local government and service delivery in the area, has a good deal of local support and the area of each new unitary represents a credible local geography.

This is on the basis that there is a Children’s Trust covering the whole of Northamptonshire, which with my support, my Rt Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Education is minded to establish, as recommended by the Children’s Commissioner, if the unitary proposal is to be implemented. With such an arrangement children’s social care would not be disaggregated with the Trust discharging functions on behalf of both councils. My Rt. Honourable Friend will be publishing the Commissioner’s report today. It is also on the basis that work continues to be taken forward in Northamptonshire to do more to integrate adult social care and health services.

I have therefore decided, subject to the issuing of statutory directions requiring the establishment of a Children’s Trust and to Parliamentary approval of the secondary legislation, to use my powers under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 to implement the proposal. These powers enable me to implement a unitary proposal with or without modification and in this case, having carefully considered all the material available to me, I have decided to make one modification to the proposal.

This is to extend the period for fully implementing the new arrangements so that the new councils are operational from 1 April 2021. Whilst I recognise that a delay in implementation will mean potential savings estimated in the proposal will not be realised for another year, I am clear that the extended implementation period means we can be confident that there will be a safe and effective transition to all the new service delivery arrangements across the whole of the area, including for those crucial services supporting the most vulnerable. Throughout this extended period my Commissioners will be able to continue to support the County Council.

To support the transition, I have decided to establish shadow authorities. I envisage the May 2020 local elections in Northamptonshire will be elections to those shadow authorities rather than to district councils, with the district elections currently due on that date being cancelled. In line with the approach in the proposal for elections to the new unitary councils, I also envisage the elections to the shadow authorities are held on the basis of 3 member wards resulting in the North Northamptonshire Council having 78 members and West Northamptonshire Council having 93 members. Those so elected would be members of the new councils when these go live in April 2021. Elections to parish councils will proceed as scheduled in May 2020. I intend to confirm these electoral arrangements shortly after hearing any views the district and county councils may have on this.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decisions. Establishing these new unitary councils will be a significant step towards ensuring the people and businesses across Northamptonshire can in future have the sustainable high-quality local services they deserve. I welcome the commitment of all the existing councils and their partners to drive forward this process of establishing new councils and transforming local service delivery. I am confident this will continue.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1518
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 14 May 2019
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local Government Update

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.

On 29 November 2018 I told the House that I was launching a statutory consultation on the proposal for reorganising local government in Northamptonshire which I had received from seven of the area’s eight principal councils. The councils had submitted this proposal in response to the invitation issued on 27 March 2018 following the recommendations in the independent inspection report on Northamptonshire County Council.

This locally-led proposal is to replace the existing eight councils across Northamptonshire (the County Council and seven district councils) with two new unitary councils - one for North Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Kettering, Corby, East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough, and the other for West Northamptonshire covering the existing districts of Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire. The proposal envisaged the new councils being fully operational from 1 April 2020.

The statutory consultation closed on 25 January and invited views from councils concerned, other public sector providers and representatives of business and the voluntary sector and welcomed views from any interested persons.

I have received a total of 386 responses. The district and county councils – except for Corby Borough Council – and councillors and public service providers including the Police and Crime Commissioner and health partners, generally supported the proposal. Responses from businesses, members of the public, parish councils and community organisations were more mixed.

This consultation supplements the consultation exercise undertaken on behalf of the Northamptonshire councils by the independent Opinion Research Services. This exercise included face to face workshops, a representative telephone survey of Northamptonshire residents and an open questionnaire.

90% of respondents to the telephone survey agreed that there was a need to make changes to Northamptonshire local government and 74% agreed with the unitary proposal. 83% of the over 6000 individuals who responded to the open questionnaire agreed that there was a need for change, with 67% agreeing that a number of unitary councils should be introduced and 44% supporting the proposal for two unitary councils.

I have now carefully considered the councils’ proposal, along with the results of the consultation exercises, a report by the Northamptonshire Children’s Commissioner, submitted to my Rt. Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Education and me, on how best to ensure continued improvement of the fragile children’s social care service in Northamptonshire in the context of reorganisation, and all other relevant information and material available to me. I have concluded that the proposal meets our publicly stated criteria for local government reorganisation. That is if implemented I am satisfied that the proposal would improve local government and service delivery in the area, has a good deal of local support and the area of each new unitary represents a credible local geography.

This is on the basis that there is a Children’s Trust covering the whole of Northamptonshire, which with my support, my Rt Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Education is minded to establish, as recommended by the Children’s Commissioner, if the unitary proposal is to be implemented. With such an arrangement children’s social care would not be disaggregated with the Trust discharging functions on behalf of both councils. My Rt. Honourable Friend will be publishing the Commissioner’s report today. It is also on the basis that work continues to be taken forward in Northamptonshire to do more to integrate adult social care and health services.

I have therefore decided, subject to the issuing of statutory directions requiring the establishment of a Children’s Trust and to Parliamentary approval of the secondary legislation, to use my powers under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 to implement the proposal. These powers enable me to implement a unitary proposal with or without modification and in this case, having carefully considered all the material available to me, I have decided to make one modification to the proposal.

This is to extend the period for fully implementing the new arrangements so that the new councils are operational from 1 April 2021. Whilst I recognise that a delay in implementation will mean potential savings estimated in the proposal will not be realised for another year, I am clear that the extended implementation period means we can be confident that there will be a safe and effective transition to all the new service delivery arrangements across the whole of the area, including for those crucial services supporting the most vulnerable. Throughout this extended period my Commissioners will be able to continue to support the County Council.

To support the transition, I have decided to establish shadow authorities. I envisage the May 2020 local elections in Northamptonshire will be elections to those shadow authorities rather than to district councils, with the district elections currently due on that date being cancelled. In line with the approach in the proposal for elections to the new unitary councils, I also envisage the elections to the shadow authorities are held on the basis of 3 member wards resulting in the North Northamptonshire Council having 78 members and West Northamptonshire Council having 93 members. Those so elected would be members of the new councils when these go live in April 2021. Elections to parish councils will proceed as scheduled in May 2020. I intend to confirm these electoral arrangements shortly after hearing any views the district and county councils may have on this.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decisions. Establishing these new unitary councils will be a significant step towards ensuring the people and businesses across Northamptonshire can in future have the sustainable high-quality local services they deserve. I welcome the commitment of all the existing councils and their partners to drive forward this process of establishing new councils and transforming local service delivery. I am confident this will continue.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1556
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 14 May 2019
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity)
Lords

May Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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

Agriculture and Fisheries Council takes place in Brussels on 14 May.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for agriculture will be on the Post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package. Ministers will exchange views on the new delivery model in the Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans.

Member States will also exchange views on the agricultural aspects of the Commission’s communication titled ‘Clean Planet for all: strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy’.

The Commission will then provide an update on the performance of EU agricultural trade after which Ministers will hold an exchange of views.

There are currently three items scheduled for discussion under ‘any other business’:

  • Information from the Netherlands delegation on the judgement of the Court of Justice on organisms obtained by mutagenesis (case C-528/16).

  • Information from the Spanish and French delegations on the Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

  • Information by the Belgian delegation on the situation in the fruit sector for apples and pears.
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 14 May 2019
Made by: Mr Robert Goodwill (Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
Commons

May Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council takes place in Brussels on 14 May.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for agriculture will be on the Post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package. Ministers will exchange views on the new delivery model in the Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans.

Member States will also exchange views on the agricultural aspects of the Commission’s communication titled ‘Clean Planet for all: strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy’.

The Commission will then provide an update on the performance of EU agricultural trade after which Ministers will hold an exchange of views.

There are currently three items scheduled for discussion under ‘any other business’:

  • Information from the Netherlands delegation on the judgement of the Court of Justice on organisms obtained by mutagenesis (case C-528/16).

  • Information from the Spanish and French delegations on the Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

  • Information by the Belgian delegation on the situation in the fruit sector for apples and pears.
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 13 May 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Publication of the response to the ‘Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate’ consultation and the Court & Tribunal Design Guide

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

"On the 10th May I published the response to the ‘Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate’ consultation. It sets out how decisions regarding the future of the estate should be made and makes clear that people will continue to be able to access court and tribunals while providing value for money for the taxpayer and ensuring long-term efficiency.

The consultation published in January 2018, has been developed to complement HMCTS’ £1bn Reform Programme, which is bringing new technology and modern ways of working to the justice system, making it more accessible for everyone. It received 249 responses and as a result, the response published today, strengthens and updates the principles underpinning future decisions relating to changes to our estate. It ensures that:

  • When visits to courts are necessary, travel times and ease of transport will continue to be prioritised – with added support for vulnerable users
  • Court and tribunal buildings will be fit for purpose and can be maintained at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer
  • Specialist front-of-house staff will be at courts to support the public and legal professionals, and will be trained in new technologies
  • The estate is aligned with the Reform Programme

The provision for hearings in physical court rooms will remain essential for the fair, just and proportionate delivery of justice. Yet we anticipate that fewer interactions with the court and tribunals system will happen in this way. Any future changes to the court estate which result in the relocation of a service from a local area will be consulted on publicly before a decision is made, using the criteria set out in the Fit for the Future principles.

We expect the modernisation being delivered by the Reform Programme to provide additional routes to justice and as a result lead to a reduction in the use of our court and tribunal buildings. These modern channels will be additional to, rather than substitutions for, existing routes. We make a commitment that we will not act on assumptions by proposing to close courts unless we have sound evidence that the reforms are actually reducing the use of those buildings.

Naturally, with an estate of this size there may be changes in demand for reasons other than uptake of digital services, and in those circumstances, it may be sensible to close or merge courts. Furthermore, this consultation has no effect on previously announced closures which will go ahead as planned.

Our response to the consultation addresses several concerns which we have committed to improving. One is that journeys to and from court should be reasonable and, for the overwhelming majority of users, this would be one that allowed them to leave home no earlier than 7.30am, attend their hearing and return home by 7.30pm the same day by public transport. We also set out how we will measure this commitment and what other factors we will consider – for example the circumstances of users including those that are vulnerable.

The consultation was broadly positive about proposals regarding the design of our court and tribunal buildings and reinforced the need for the security of those who use and work in our courts and tribunals to be paramount and for ensuring suitable facilities for vulnerable users. This is reflected in the new Court and Tribunal Design Guide published today.

Our revised principles will strengthen and guide our analysis and assessment when we consider future changes. It will better align the management of our estate to the wider modernisation of our services and will make sure the court and tribunal estate remains fit for the 21st century.

Court and Tribunal Design Guide

Alongside Fit for the Future, HMCTS has also published a new Court and Tribunal Design Guide. This has been developed after engaging with user groups, to make sure the guide improves the experience for court and tribunal users, while providing value for the taxpayer.

It provides the standards for refurbishment and redevelopment of existing and future court and tribunal buildings. It aims to enable optimum use of facilities and improve user experience and, along with the key elements of safety and security, sets out five principles that must be incorporated into any building design. These principles define that court and tribunal buildings must be appropriate, effective, accessible, flexible and sustainable.

The guide was developed through extensive engagement with court and tribunal users to ensure standards and designs meet their needs. The ‘Fit for the Future’ consultation sought views on the proposed principles and approach to improving the design of court and tribunal buildings and a total of 181 responses were received.

The guide will be used by HMCTS to help inform current and future building and refurbishment work undertaken across the court and tribunal estate. As lessons are learned and HMCTS reform initiatives develop, the Design Guide will be updated.

A copy of the consultation response has been placed in the libraries of both Houses."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1554
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 13 May 2019
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Publication of the response to the ‘Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate’ consultation and the Court & Tribunal Design Guide

On the 10th May I published the response to the ‘Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate’ consultation. It sets out how decisions regarding the future of the estate should be made and makes clear that people will continue to be able to access court and tribunals while providing value for money for the taxpayer and ensuring long-term efficiency.

The consultation published in January 2018, has been developed to complement HMCTS’ £1bn Reform Programme, which is bringing new technology and modern ways of working to the justice system, making it more accessible for everyone. It received 249 responses and as a result, the response published today, strengthens and updates the principles underpinning future decisions relating to changes to our estate. It ensures that:

  • When visits to courts are necessary, travel times and ease of transport will continue to be prioritised – with added support for vulnerable users
  • Court and tribunal buildings will be fit for purpose and can be maintained at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer
  • Specialist front-of-house staff will be at courts to support the public and legal professionals, and will be trained in new technologies
  • The estate is aligned with the Reform Programme

The provision for hearings in physical court rooms will remain essential for the fair, just and proportionate delivery of justice. Yet we anticipate that fewer interactions with the court and tribunals system will happen in this way. Any future changes to the court estate which result in the relocation of a service from a local area will be consulted on publicly before a decision is made, using the criteria set out in the Fit for the Future principles.

We expect the modernisation being delivered by the Reform Programme to provide additional routes to justice and as a result lead to a reduction in the use of our court and tribunal buildings. These modern channels will be additional to, rather than substitutions for, existing routes. We make a commitment that we will not act on assumptions by proposing to close courts unless we have sound evidence that the reforms are actually reducing the use of those buildings.

Naturally, with an estate of this size there may be changes in demand for reasons other than uptake of digital services, and in those circumstances, it may be sensible to close or merge courts. Furthermore, this consultation has no effect on previously announced closures which will go ahead as planned.

Our response to the consultation addresses several concerns which we have committed to improving. One is that journeys to and from court should be reasonable and, for the overwhelming majority of users, this would be one that allowed them to leave home no earlier than 7.30am, attend their hearing and return home by 7.30pm the same day by public transport. We also set out how we will measure this commitment and what other factors we will consider – for example the circumstances of users including those that are vulnerable.

The consultation was broadly positive about proposals regarding the design of our court and tribunal buildings and reinforced the need for the security of those who use and work in our courts and tribunals to be paramount and for ensuring suitable facilities for vulnerable users. This is reflected in the new Court and Tribunal Design Guide published today.

Our revised principles will strengthen and guide our analysis and assessment when we consider future changes. It will better align the management of our estate to the wider modernisation of our services and will make sure the court and tribunal estate remains fit for the 21st century.

Court and Tribunal Design Guide

Alongside Fit for the Future, HMCTS has also published a new Court and Tribunal Design Guide. This has been developed after engaging with user groups, to make sure the guide improves the experience for court and tribunal users, while providing value for the taxpayer.

It provides the standards for refurbishment and redevelopment of existing and future court and tribunal buildings. It aims to enable optimum use of facilities and improve user experience and, along with the key elements of safety and security, sets out five principles that must be incorporated into any building design. These principles define that court and tribunal buildings must be appropriate, effective, accessible, flexible and sustainable.

The guide was developed through extensive engagement with court and tribunal users to ensure standards and designs meet their needs. The ‘Fit for the Future’ consultation sought views on the proposed principles and approach to improving the design of court and tribunal buildings and a total of 181 responses were received.

The guide will be used by HMCTS to help inform current and future building and refurbishment work undertaken across the court and tribunal estate. As lessons are learned and HMCTS reform initiatives develop, the Design Guide will be updated.

A copy of the consultation response has been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1516
WS
Treasury
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Contingent Liability Notification

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

I can today confirm that I have laid a Treasury Minute, informing the House of the contingent liability that HM Treasury has assumed in relation to the transfer of sponsorship of the Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) employer defined benefit pension scheme and the NRAM employer defined benefit pension scheme (the “Schemes”) from B&B and NRAM, respectively, to UK Asset Resolution Limited (UKAR).

UKAR and the trustees of each Scheme (the “Trustees”) have agreed that the sponsorship of both Schemes should be transferred from B&B and NRAM to UKAR.

The contingent liability takes the form of a credit support deed (a “CSD”), entered into by HM Treasury and UKAR in respect of each of the Schemes, which will provide comfort to the Trustees that, in the event UKAR is unable to meet any payment obligation in respect of one or more of the Schemes, HM Treasury will provide UKAR with sufficient funds to meet such payment obligation. The remote maximum contingent liability possible under the CSDs together is estimated at c.£1.4 billion, based on the current mortality assumptions and discounted defined benefit obligations of the Schemes. This would only crystallise in the highly remote circumstances where the value of assets in both Schemes fell to zero and HM Treasury became liable for all liabilities under each Scheme. Given that the majority of assets in the Schemes are held in gilts and the expectation that each Scheme will be in surplus at the time of transfer, this scenario is considered highly unlikely.

As the Schemes will be in surplus at the time of transfer, UKAR is not expected to make any additional payments to either Scheme until at least the next triennial valuations in three years’ time. In the light of this and the fact that UKAR will be funded via the usual Supply procedure, HM Treasury considers it unlikely that the CSD will be called upon.

The CSD will remain in place for as long as UKAR remains the sponsor of the Schemes. It should be noted that HM Treasury, as the ultimate owner of B&B and NRAM, already has indirect exposure to this risk. An existing guarantee given by HM Treasury to the B&B Pension Scheme Trustees will remain in place following the transfer of the B&B Pension Scheme to UKAR.

The transfer of sponsorship will not affect members’ benefits, there will be no impact on members’ accrued rights, and the relevant Trustee Board of each Scheme will remain unchanged following the transfer of sponsorship to UKAR.

I will update the House of any further changes as necessary.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1553
WS
Treasury
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Contingent Liability Notification

I can today confirm that I have laid a Treasury Minute, informing the House of the contingent liability that HM Treasury has assumed in relation to the transfer of sponsorship of the Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) employer defined benefit pension scheme and the NRAM employer defined benefit pension scheme (the “Schemes”) from B&B and NRAM, respectively, to UK Asset Resolution Limited (UKAR).

UKAR and the trustees of each Scheme (the “Trustees”) have agreed that the sponsorship of both Schemes should be transferred from B&B and NRAM to UKAR.

The contingent liability takes the form of a credit support deed (a “CSD”), entered into by HM Treasury and UKAR in respect of each of the Schemes, which will provide comfort to the Trustees that, in the event UKAR is unable to meet any payment obligation in respect of one or more of the Schemes, HM Treasury will provide UKAR with sufficient funds to meet such payment obligation. The remote maximum contingent liability possible under the CSDs together is estimated at c.£1.4 billion, based on the current mortality assumptions and discounted defined benefit obligations of the Schemes. This would only crystallise in the highly remote circumstances where the value of assets in both Schemes fell to zero and HM Treasury became liable for all liabilities under each Scheme. Given that the majority of assets in the Schemes are held in gilts and the expectation that each Scheme will be in surplus at the time of transfer, this scenario is considered highly unlikely.

As the Schemes will be in surplus at the time of transfer, UKAR is not expected to make any additional payments to either Scheme until at least the next triennial valuations in three years’ time. In the light of this and the fact that UKAR will be funded via the usual Supply procedure, HM Treasury considers it unlikely that the CSD will be called upon.

The CSD will remain in place for as long as UKAR remains the sponsor of the Schemes. It should be noted that HM Treasury, as the ultimate owner of B&B and NRAM, already has indirect exposure to this risk. An existing guarantee given by HM Treasury to the B&B Pension Scheme Trustees will remain in place following the transfer of the B&B Pension Scheme to UKAR.

The transfer of sponsorship will not affect members’ benefits, there will be no impact on members’ accrued rights, and the relevant Trustee Board of each Scheme will remain unchanged following the transfer of sponsorship to UKAR.

I will update the House of any further changes as necessary.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1515
WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal & Leader of the House of Lords)
Lords

House of Lords Ministers

The Government is announcing today a change in the arrangements for Ministerial pay for Ministers in the House of Lords, and associated Lords officeholders.

Salaries to which Ministers are entitled increase each April in line with legislation in the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975. This increase is linked to the average increase in the three Senior Civil Service pay band mid-points.

Notwithstanding, in 2010 under the Coalition Government, Government Ministers’ pay was cut by 5 per cent in cash terms and frozen for the remainder of the parliamentary term. This ‘freeze’ has continued under the subsequent Conservative Government. In practice, all Ministers have been asked to waive the increases, which would otherwise have been applied in recognition of the wider pay restraints that have been in place in the public sector. We are grateful to all those who have honoured this approach in recent years. This represents a reduction in Lords Ministerial salaries by 16.4 per cent in real terms since 2010.

However, as a result, this has resulted in a disparity between the treatment of Lords Ministers and Commons Ministers. Commons Ministers have the MP element of their salary uprated each year by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) recommendation, which is set in line with ONS statistics for the yearly increase in average public sector earnings. By contrast, Lords Ministers are only entitled to a Lords Office Holder allowance (if based outside of Greater London) which is not subject to an annual increase and Lords Ministers based inside of Greater London, can only claim a significantly reduced allowance for their duties. By comparison, a Secretary of State in the Commons would receive an overall rise of 1.4 per cent this year to their total salary. There is also a disparity between paid Lords Ministers, and members of the Lords (including unpaid Ministers) who claim allowances.

On her appointment, the Prime Minister made clear that she wanted to retain the waivers for Ministerial pay. After careful consideration, however, she has decided to amend the arrangements for Lords Ministers, to bring it into broad parity with the approach taken in the Commons. From this year, they will no longer be asked to waive the increases which have been applied, but not claimed, since 2015 and instead will be entitled to claim their full entitled salaries. This amounts to an increase of 1.4 per cent this year, and just under 3.3 per cent, after including the entitled increases, since 2015. Again, this broadly reflects the changes in the Commons since 2015

Commons Ministers will continue to receive the same pay arrangements as before, and Ministerial salaries will continue to be kept under review. Updated transparency data for all Ministerial salaries will be published on gov.uk in due course.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Airline Insolvency Review final report

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

We have a thriving aviation sector, with competition between airlines delivering choice of destinations and competitive fares for consumers, but occasionally airlines, like any business, do collapse. Over the past decade we have seen two of the largest airline failures in UK history, with the collapse of XL Airways and Monarch Airlines. In both situations, the Government of the day took a decision to ask the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to intervene to assist the repatriation of passengers.

When Monarch collapsed in October 2017, it could have left around 110,000 passengers overseas without a flight back to the UK. Given the specific circumstances and scale of the situation, the Government asked the CAA to launch an operation to ensure that all those abroad were offered an alternative flight to the UK. This involved the UK’s largest peacetime repatriation operation. In total around 85,000 passengers were returned to the UK, with 98% of them travelling on the same day as their original flight.

While this support in both the XL and Monarch situations helped to reduce the detriment for passengers, it also resulted in significant costs to the taxpayer. In the case of the Monarch repatriation, the final cost to the taxpayer has been assessed to be £40.5m.

Following on from the experience of Monarch, I commissioned an independent Airline Insolvency Review, chaired by Peter Bucks. The review has considered consumer protection in the event of an airline or travel company failure. The final report has been published today.[1] It draws on lessons from the collapse of Monarch Airlines and has considered both repatriation and refund protection to identify options to ensure passengers are protected and identified areas for further work.

We welcome the report and the work performed by Peter and his team. The Government is considering the range of options put forward by the review and will work swiftly to introduce the reforms that are needed to ensure a strong level of consumer protection and value for money for the taxpayer. In doing so we also need to consider the challenges faced by the aviation sector. We would welcome any views on the report’s recommendations and encourage stakeholders to respond as part of the ongoing consultation on Aviation 2050, which closes on 20 June.[2]

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/airline-insolvency

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/aviation-2050-the-future-of-uk-aviation

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1546
WS
Home Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Investigatory Powers Act 2016: Safeguards Relating to Retention and Disclosure of Material

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

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 provides extensive privacy safeguards and has established a robust oversight regime with independent mechanisms for redress. The Investigatory Powers Commissioner, the rt hon Lord Justice Fulford, is responsible for overseeing the use of investigatory powers by the intelligence agencies, law enforcement and other public authorities. This oversight includes a programme of inspection and audit by Judicial Commissioners and inspectors, reporting to the Commissioner.

This statement notifies Parliament of compliance risks MI5 identified and reported within certain technology environments used to store and analyse data, including material obtained under the Investigatory Powers Act.

The investigatory powers regime is the subject of ongoing litigation where the Government continues to defend the UK’s legal framework. This does necessarily limit the extent to which it is appropriate for me to comment further on these issues, noting that the Government has, in line with its duty of candour, made the Court aware of this issue in relevant litigation. The sensitivity of this issue will also be apparent. The Government will not say anything that could damage national security. To the extent that it is possible to set out in open the nature and context of the material relevant to this issue, I have done so in this statement. Protecting the UK’s national security is my top priority and it is critical that MI5 is able to continue to carry out its vital role.

The compliance risks identified relate to particular safeguards set out in the Investigatory Powers Act in relation to the processing of material that has been obtained under a warrant. Section 53 of the Act – which relates specifically to lawful interception – and parallel provisions for the Act’s other powers require the authority issuing warrants to ensure certain processing is kept to the minimum necessary for the statutory purpose, including the number of people to whom material is made available, the number of copies made and the length of time it is retained. A report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office suggests that MI5 may not have had sufficient assurance of compliance with these safeguards within one of its technology environments.

As will be clear from the above, the compliance risks identified are limited to how material is treated after it has been obtained. They do not relate in any way to the manner in which MI5 acquires information in the first instance or the necessity and proportionality of doing so. All UK intelligence agencies treat protection of personal information seriously. MI5 has in place internal safeguards concerning the handling of such information and ensures stringent vetting of individuals who will have access to this sensitive material.

The report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office into these risks concluded that they were serious and required immediate mitigation. The Commissioner also expressed concern that MI5 should have reported the compliance risks to him sooner. In response to the Commissioner’s report, MI5 have also taken immediate and substantial mitigating actions to address the concerns raised. Work to implement those mitigations is ongoing and is being treated as a matter of the highest priority, both by MI5 and the Home Office. This work is subject to review by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to ensure that sufficient progress is being made.

It is of course paramount that UK intelligence agencies demonstrate full compliance with the law. In that context, the interchange between the Commissioner and MI5 on this issue demonstrates that the world leading system of oversight established by the Act is working as it should.

Following his report, the Commissioner was satisfied that the mitigating actions put in place by MI5 were sufficient for him to continue lawfully to approve decisions to issue warrants to MI5. I am also clear that none of the risks identified relate in any way to the conduct and integrity of the staff of MI5, who work tirelessly, under considerable pressure and without public recognition, to keep all of us safe.

The work MI5 do is absolutely critical, at a time when the threat from terrorism persists and continues to diversify. And the role of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and his office is also fundamental to protecting our citizens, ensuring that our operational agencies are able to carry out their vital work in accordance with strict and proportionate privacy safeguards.

Given the importance of these issues, I have established an independent review to consider and report back to me on what lessons can be learned for the future. MI5 will also continue to work closely with the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and his team to address the concerns raised and I anticipate that the Commissioner will outline his position in his annual report in due course. As the Parliamentary body responsible for oversight of the intelligence services, the Intelligence and Security Committee has also been updated on this issue.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1552
WS
Home Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Investigatory Powers Act 2016: Safeguards Relating to Retention and Disclosure of Material

The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 provides extensive privacy safeguards and has established a robust oversight regime with independent mechanisms for redress. The Investigatory Powers Commissioner, the rt hon Lord Justice Fulford, is responsible for overseeing the use of investigatory powers by the intelligence agencies, law enforcement and other public authorities. This oversight includes a programme of inspection and audit by Judicial Commissioners and inspectors, reporting to the Commissioner.

This statement notifies Parliament of compliance risks MI5 identified and reported within certain technology environments used to store and analyse data, including material obtained under the Investigatory Powers Act.

The investigatory powers regime is the subject of ongoing litigation where the Government continues to defend the UK’s legal framework. This does necessarily limit the extent to which it is appropriate for me to comment further on these issues, noting that the Government has, in line with its duty of candour, made the Court aware of this issue in relevant litigation. The sensitivity of this issue will also be apparent. The Government will not say anything that could damage national security. To the extent that it is possible to set out in open the nature and context of the material relevant to this issue, I have done so in this statement. Protecting the UK’s national security is my top priority and it is critical that MI5 is able to continue to carry out its vital role.

The compliance risks identified relate to particular safeguards set out in the Investigatory Powers Act in relation to the processing of material that has been obtained under a warrant. Section 53 of the Act – which relates specifically to lawful interception – and parallel provisions for the Act’s other powers require the authority issuing warrants to ensure certain processing is kept to the minimum necessary for the statutory purpose, including the number of people to whom material is made available, the number of copies made and the length of time it is retained. A report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office suggests that MI5 may not have had sufficient assurance of compliance with these safeguards within one of its technology environments.

As will be clear from the above, the compliance risks identified are limited to how material is treated after it has been obtained. They do not relate in any way to the manner in which MI5 acquires information in the first instance or the necessity and proportionality of doing so. All UK intelligence agencies treat protection of personal information seriously. MI5 has in place internal safeguards concerning the handling of such information and ensures stringent vetting of individuals who will have access to this sensitive material.

The report of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office into these risks concluded that they were serious and required immediate mitigation. The Commissioner also expressed concern that MI5 should have reported the compliance risks to him sooner. In response to the Commissioner’s report, MI5 have also taken immediate and substantial mitigating actions to address the concerns raised. Work to implement those mitigations is ongoing and is being treated as a matter of the highest priority, both by MI5 and the Home Office. This work is subject to review by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner to ensure that sufficient progress is being made.

It is of course paramount that UK intelligence agencies demonstrate full compliance with the law. In that context, the interchange between the Commissioner and MI5 on this issue demonstrates that the world leading system of oversight established by the Act is working as it should.

Following his report, the Commissioner was satisfied that the mitigating actions put in place by MI5 were sufficient for him to continue lawfully to approve decisions to issue warrants to MI5. I am also clear that none of the risks identified relate in any way to the conduct and integrity of the staff of MI5, who work tirelessly, under considerable pressure and without public recognition, to keep all of us safe.

The work MI5 do is absolutely critical, at a time when the threat from terrorism persists and continues to diversify. And the role of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and his office is also fundamental to protecting our citizens, ensuring that our operational agencies are able to carry out their vital work in accordance with strict and proportionate privacy safeguards.

Given the importance of these issues, I have established an independent review to consider and report back to me on what lessons can be learned for the future. MI5 will also continue to work closely with the Investigatory Powers Commissioner and his team to address the concerns raised and I anticipate that the Commissioner will outline his position in his annual report in due course. As the Parliamentary body responsible for oversight of the intelligence services, the Intelligence and Security Committee has also been updated on this issue.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1512
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Sir Alan Duncan (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs )
Commons

Foreign Affairs Council – 13 May 2019

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will take place in Brussels on 13 May. It will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini.

There will be an Eastern Partnership (EaP) Ministerial before the FAC. The FAC will discuss Current Affairs, Libya and Sahel.

Eastern Partnership Ministerial

Ministers will discuss the Partnership’s achievements, the need for further progress on reforms and the Partnership’s future direction post-2020. The Ministerial forms part of a sequence of events to mark the Partnership’s ten-year anniversary, including an anniversary statement and the EaP Heads of State/Government high level conference, hosted by Presidents Tusk, Junker, and Tajani on 14 May.

Current Affairs

We expect HRVP Mogherini to update Ministers on recent developments in Venezuela, including the 7 May International Contact Group meeting. She may also provide an update on Western Balkans, Sudan and the US decision not to renew the waiver of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

Libya

Ministers will discuss the ongoing security situation in Libya, following Libyan National Army (LNA) advances on Tripoli. The UK is deeply concerned by reports that the recent violence has caused the displacement of thousands of people, and blocked emergency aid to casualties, including civilians. The UK will underline that there is no military solution to Libya’s challenges.

Sahel

Ministers will discuss the current situation in the Sahel. The Council will seek to agree Conclusions highlighting the EU’s commitment to working with the countries of the region to meet the security, development and humanitarian challenges they are facing.

Council Conclusions

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Sahel and on the Communication on Relations between the EU and LAC (Latin America and Caribbean regional grouping).

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1511
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council – 13 May 2019

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

The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) will take place in Brussels on 13 May. It will be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini.

There will be an Eastern Partnership (EaP) Ministerial before the FAC. The FAC will discuss Current Affairs, Libya and Sahel.

Eastern Partnership Ministerial

Ministers will discuss the Partnership’s achievements, the need for further progress on reforms and the Partnership’s future direction post-2020. The Ministerial forms part of a sequence of events to mark the Partnership’s ten-year anniversary, including an anniversary statement and the EaP Heads of State/Government high level conference, hosted by Presidents Tusk, Junker, and Tajani on 14 May.

Current Affairs

We expect HRVP Mogherini to update Ministers on recent developments in Venezuela, including the 7 May International Contact Group meeting. She may also provide an update on Western Balkans, Sudan and the US decision not to renew the waiver of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act.

Libya

Ministers will discuss the ongoing security situation in Libya, following Libyan National Army (LNA) advances on Tripoli. The UK is deeply concerned by reports that the recent violence has caused the displacement of thousands of people, and blocked emergency aid to casualties, including civilians. The UK will underline that there is no military solution to Libya’s challenges.

Sahel

Ministers will discuss the current situation in the Sahel. The Council will seek to agree Conclusions highlighting the EU’s commitment to working with the countries of the region to meet the security, development and humanitarian challenges they are facing.

Council Conclusions

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on Sahel and on the Communication on Relations between the EU and LAC (Latin America and Caribbean regional grouping).

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1551
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Labour Market Policy Update

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

Conditionality and sanctions are an important part of the welfare system, motivating claimants to engage with the support on offer to look for work while ensuring the system is fair to the taxpayer.

Sanctions must be proportionate, particularly for the most vulnerable. The level of a sanction depends on the severity of the claimant’s failure to comply with their work-related requirements. Sanctions escalate for subsequent failures, carrying greater penalties. Under current policy, a claimant on Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance may receive a three-year sanction the third or subsequent time they have failed to comply with a work-related requirement.

Three-year sanctions are rarely used, but I believe that they are counter-productive and ultimately undermine our goal of supporting people into work.

I have reviewed my Department’s internal data, which shows that a six-month sanction already provides a significant incentive for claimants to engage with the labour market regime. I agree with the Work and Pensions Select Committee that a three-year sanction is unnecessarily long and I feel that the additional incentive provided by a three-year sanction can be outweighed by the unintended impacts to the claimant due to the additional duration. For these reasons, I have now decided to remove three year sanctions and reduce the maximum sanction length to six months by the end of the year.

It is important that sanctions remain proportionate to ensure they promote the best outcomes. For this reason, the Department is currently carrying out a further evaluation into the effectiveness of UC sanctions at supporting claimants to search for work. I will consider what other improvements can be made following this and inform the House in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1545
WS
Home Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s report on the Diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball Case Studies

Today the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published its latest case study report, which can be found at www.iicsa.org.uk.

This report relates to the Diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball case studies in the Inquiry’s Anglican Church investigation. I am thankful for the strength and courage of the victims and survivors who have shared their experiences to ensure the Inquiry can deliver its vital work.

Government will review this report and consider how to respond to its content in due course.

I would like to thank Professor Jay and her Panel for their continued work to uncover the truth, expose what went wrong in the past and to learn the lessons for the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1509
WS
Home Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (01 December 2018 to 28 February 2019)

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

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

TPIM notices in force (as of 28 February 2019)4
TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 28 February 2019)4
TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period)0
TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period)0
TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period)0
Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the reporting period)4
Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during the reporting period)2
The number of current subjects relocated under TPIM Legislation (as of 28 February 2019)2

The TPIM Review Group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The first quarter TRGs took place during March 2019.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1508
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Common Travel Area

Recognising the deep and enduring relationship between our two countries, the UK Government and the Government of Ireland yesterday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming our joint commitment to the Common Travel Area (CTA), and to maintaining the associated rights and privileges of British and Irish citizens under this longstanding reciprocal arrangement.

The UK has consistently reiterated its commitment to maintaining the CTA. Following on from guidance published in February, this Memorandum of Understanding reaffirms the support of the UK Government for the principles of the CTA, and the rights it affords British and Irish citizens when in the other’s State.

The CTA, involving the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and Ireland, facilitates the ability of British and Irish citizens to move freely within it. Flowing from this right to move freely are associated reciprocal rights and privileges that are enjoyed daily by British citizens in Ireland, and Irish citizens in the UK. These include access to employment, healthcare, all levels of education, and social benefits on the same basis as citizens of the other State, as well as the right to vote in local and national parliamentary elections.

Neither Irish citizens in the UK nor British citizens in Ireland are required to take any action to protect their status and rights associated with the CTA. Both Governments are committed to undertake all the work necessary, including through legislative provision, to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are protected.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1507
WS
Home Office
Made on: 09 May 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (01 September 2018 to 30 November 2018)

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

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

TPIM notices in force (as of 30 November 2018)5
TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 30 November 2018)5
TPIM notices extended (during the reporting period)1
TPIM notices revoked (during the reporting period)1
TPIM notices revived (during the reporting period)0
Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices (during the reporting period)5
Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused (during the reporting period)1
The number of current subjects relocated under TPIM Legislation (as of 30 November 2018)3

The TPIM Review Group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The third quarter TRG meetings took place on 12, 14, 18, 25 and 27 September 2018. The fourth quarter of TRG meetings took place on 4, 6, 10, 11 and 19 December 2018.

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

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1506
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