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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WS
Home Office
Made on: 08 February 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Immigration

The Government launched a public consultation on 19 July 2018 seeking views on proposals for a Windrush compensation scheme. I am today updating the House on the progress of the Government’s response to that consultation. Righting the wrongs experienced by the Windrush generation remains one of my top priorities.

The consultation period was originally intended to last 12 weeks. I made a written statement on 11 October extending the consultation period, on the advice of Martin Forde QC, the independent adviser I appointed to oversee the development of the scheme. I agreed to this extension in order to give all those who would like to respond, the opportunity to do so.

Over 1,000 leaflets advertising the consultation were delivered via volunteers and community groups, and over 2,500 paper copies of the consultation document were distributed. The document was published on gov.uk, and information about the consultation was disseminated via email and social media. Assistance in completing responses was available through a freephone helpline and email address.

During the consultation period twelve focus groups were also held, involving over 300 participants. These took place in Croydon, Birmingham, Cardiff, Newport, Walsall, Woolwich, Leicester, Brixton, Wolverhampton, Reading, Coventry and Telford.

Since the consultation closed on 16 November, we have given very careful consideration to the 1,435 responses that were received from people and organisations, as well as the feedback from the focus groups. These views have been considered in addition to the 650 responses to the Call for Evidence which preceded the consultation. I also have met with Martin Forde QC to discuss his views on the design of the scheme.

I intend to publish the formal Government response to the consultation shortly, which will set out the detailed design of the scheme. I will also publish more detailed rules and guidance about the scheme, and information about how eligible claimants can apply. The compensation scheme will then be opened for claims as soon as possible.

I would like to thank all those who responded to the consultation and who took part in the wider engagement throughout this period. The views and experiences that have been shared have proved invaluable in shaping the Government’s policy, ensuring it addresses the matters raised by those affected.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1279
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 08 February 2019
Made by: Stephen Barclay (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

Agreement with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

The UK has concluded discussions with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (the ‘EEA EFTA states’), on an EEA EFTA citizens’ rights agreement that would protect the rights of UK nationals already living in the EEA EFTA states and EEA EFTA nationals already living in the UK in the event of a no deal scenario.

Delivering the deal negotiated with the EU remains the Government’s top priority. This has not changed. However, the Government must ensure the UK is prepared for every eventuality. It is the responsible thing to do.

The EEA EFTA citizens’ rights agreement would ensure that citizens would be able to continue living broadly as they do today, regardless of the outcome of negotiations with the EU. The arrangements in the agreement closely mirror the arrangements for citizens in the EEA EFTA separation agreement, published on 20 December 2018. Citizens falling within scope would have broadly the same entitlement to work, study and access public services and benefits as now. The EEA EFTA separation agreement relies on some of the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement which would not apply in a no deal scenario. In such a scenario, therefore, we would instead bring this no deal citizens’ rights agreement into force.

Together, these agreements will protect around 17,000 UK nationals living in these countries and approximately 15,000 nationals from these countries in the UK in any scenario.

I am depositing a copy of the agreement and an explainer in the Libraries of both Houses.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Mims Davies (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society )
Commons

Sporting Future Annual Report 2019

The government’s Sporting Future strategy, published in December 2015, set out a radical new vision for our approach to sport and physical activity, including how we value and measure their immense contribution to the nation’s health and well-being. It placed five key outcomes at the heart of everything we support and invest in - physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. It identified tackling inactivity and getting people from underrepresented groups more engaged as key priorities. It was a bold new strategy for an active nation and marked the biggest shift in Government policy on sport for more than a decade.

Participation and physical activity

In the third full year of the strategy we have continued to deliver significant achievements. We have seen good progress against the 2020 physical activity targets set by Sport England and will continue to build on our understanding of Active Lives Adult Survey data to define robust successor targets for 2025.

A key focus has been developing our understanding of children’s engagement with, and attitude towards, physical activity. The December 2018 publication of the first year’s results of Sport England’s new Active Lives Children Survey was a significant milestone in terms of our understanding of how children engage with and think about sport and physical activity. The data on children’s inactivity levels was a wake up call both for government and the sector, and has prompted a substantial new focus across government on improving sport and physical activity for young people. This will be manifested through the cross-government School Sport and Physical Activity Action Plan which will be published in spring 2019.

Culture and integrity of sport

We have also continued to focus on the culture and integrity ofin sport. What matters is not just what we do to win medals and enjoy sporting success, but how we go about it. We have continued to work with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to implement the findings of the Tailored Review of UKAD and will be launching a consultation on revising the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy. We have launched a Mental Health and Elite Sport Action Plan, and UK Sport has reported on the first set of findings from its Culture Health Check, which monitors how athletes and staff in the elite sport system feel they are treated.

Ensuring people feel safe when participating in sport is a significant part of improving and strengthening the culture and integrity in sport. Over the course of the year we have worked across government and with the sports sector to look at existing processes and strengthen them where possible, integrating sport into the Department for Education’s Working Together and Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance. The governance of sport remains a critical issue and Sport England and UK Sport continue to embed the Code for Sports Governance and work with the sector to improve on issues such as diversity in leadership.

International sport and Global Britain

We have continued our work to ensure that the UK remains one of the big hitters in elite and international sport. UK Sport launched its consultation on its future funding strategy beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the results of which will be available in February 2019. UK Sport also successfully launched its Aspiration Fund which will provide invaluable financial support to those sports that do not have immediate medal potential, but which we want to support to improve and develop. We have also revised the Gold Framework, which provides guidance to partners and agencies seeking to bid for and deliver major sporting events in the UK. The revised framework strengthens the UK’s ability to put on world class sporting events that will help to further cement its reputation as a world leader on the sporting stage.

Priorities for the future

Looking to the future, cross-government working will be a key priority. Sport and physical activity has an immense role to play in a range of important agendas across government, be that supporting the NHS to become more prevention focused, joint-working with the Department for Education to make sure that a robust sport and physical activity offer to children is available both in and out of school, supporting and informing investment in transport infrastructure so that we are encouraging more people to walk and get on their bikes, or investing in sport and physical activity interventions to help reduce social isolation and strengthen community cohesion.

Supporting underrepresented groups including women and girls, people from BAME backgrounds, disabled people and people from lower socioeconomic groups to get active will continue to be a central focus. These are the groups in society who will benefit the most from getting more active and we remain committed to focusing on these groups as a priority. Equality in sport also applies to what we are able to watch. We can look forward to a number of sporting events on free-to-air TV this year, including the women’s netball world championships and the women’s football world championships. We want sports and broadcasters to continue to work together to ensure sports can continue to grow their appeal and find new audiences.

Preserving and strengthening the integrity of sport will continue to be at the forefront of our work. People having faith in the sports they know and love and athletes having the belief that they are competing on a level playing field are vital pillars of Sporting Future. To this end our focus on ensuring we have robust anti-doping and governance regimes will continue.

One of my highest priorities going forward will be for government and the whole sport and physical activity sector to work together to ensure that we create the conditions for anyone to get involved and to enjoy the transformative power of both physical activity and witnessing live sport. It is vital that we direct our efforts not only at providing people with sufficient opportunities to get, and stay, active, but that the atmosphere and environment in which that activity takes place - be it grassroots or at the elite level - is safe, supportive and free of discrimination. In recent times, we have seen some worrying instances of discriminatory behaviour across the sporting landscape, notably in football, and I will be bringing together the footballing authorities and other organisations with an interest, to agree what action must be taken to stamp out all forms of discrimination at sports events. I am clear that we must not, and will not, tolerate any form of discrimination in sport and sport administrators, clubs and fans must continue to embrace diversity and tackle racism whenever they encounter it.

As we leave the European Union, we will also continue to work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Trade, to maximise the great contribution sport can make to our international profile and our vision for Global Britain. Our hosting of the Cricket World Cup, with an expected global audience of over a billion people, will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our country in 2019.

We want to make sure absolutely everyone can benefit from the power of sport and physical activity. It can deliver tangible benefits for people’s physical and mental health, support the delivery of other vital agendas such as improving employment and educational outcomes, and it can act as a powerful tool for bringing communities closer together. I am grateful to all those across government and the sport and physical activity sector who are working to make the ambition of Sporting Future a reality.

There is much more to do to ensure that the UK becomes, and reaps the benefits of, a truly active nation. I will be laying the formal report of the third Annual Report to Parliament in spring. This will allow us to incorporate the findings of the third full year of Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey data results due for publication in April 2019.



WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Sporting Future Annual Report 2019

My Hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies has made the following Statement:

The government’s Sporting Future strategy, published in December 2015, set out a radical new vision for our approach to sport and physical activity, including how we value and measure their immense contribution to the nation’s health and well-being. It placed five key outcomes at the heart of everything we support and invest in - physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. It identified tackling inactivity and getting people from underrepresented groups more engaged as key priorities. It was a bold new strategy for an active nation and marked the biggest shift in Government policy on sport for more than a decade.

Participation and physical activity

In the third full year of the strategy we have continued to deliver significant achievements. We have seen good progress against the 2020 physical activity targets set by Sport England and will continue to build on our understanding of Active Lives Adult Survey data to define robust successor targets for 2025.

A key focus has been developing our understanding of children’s engagement with, and attitude towards, physical activity. The December 2018 publication of the first year’s results of Sport England’s new Active Lives Children Survey was a significant milestone in terms of our understanding of how children engage with and think about sport and physical activity. The data on children’s inactivity levels was a wake up call both for government and the sector, and has prompted a substantial new focus across government on improving sport and physical activity for young people. This will be manifested through the cross-government School Sport and Physical Activity Action Plan which will be published in spring 2019.

Culture and integrity of sport

We have also continued to focus on the culture and integrity of sport. What matters is not just what we do to win medals and enjoy sporting success, but how we go about it. We have continued to work with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to implement the findings of the Tailored Review of UKAD and will be launching a consultation on revising the UK’s National Anti-Doping Policy. We have launched a Mental Health and Elite Sport Action Plan, and UK Sport has reported on the first set of findings from its Culture Health Check, which monitors how athletes and staff in the elite sport system feel they are treated.

Ensuring people feel safe when participating in sport is a significant part of improving and strengthening the culture and integrity in sport. Over the course of the year we have worked across government and with the sports sector to look at existing processes and strengthen them where possible, integrating sport into the Department for Education’s Working Together and Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance. The governance of sport remains a critical issue and Sport England and UK Sport continue to embed the Code for Sports Governance and work with the sector to improve on issues such as diversity in leadership.

International sport and Global Britain

We have continued our work to ensure that the UK remains one of the big hitters in elite and international sport. UK Sport launched its consultation on its future funding strategy beyond the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the results of which will be available in February 2019. UK Sport also successfully launched its Aspiration Fund which will provide invaluable financial support to those sports that do not have immediate medal potential, but which we want to support to improve and develop. We have also revised the Gold Framework, which provides guidance to partners and agencies seeking to bid for and deliver major sporting events in the UK. The revised framework strengthens the UK’s ability to put on world class sporting events that will help to further cement its reputation as a world leader on the sporting stage.

Priorities for the future

Looking to the future, cross-government working will be a key priority. Sport and physical activity has an immense role to play in a range of important agendas across government, be that supporting the NHS to become more prevention focused, joint-working with the Department for Education to make sure that a robust sport and physical activity offer to children is available both in and out of school, supporting and informing investment in transport infrastructure so that we are encouraging more people to walk and get on their bikes, or investing in sport and physical activity interventions to help reduce social isolation and strengthen community cohesion.

Supporting underrepresented groups including women and girls, people from BAME backgrounds, disabled people and people from lower socioeconomic groups to get active will continue to be a central focus. These are the groups in society who will benefit the most from getting more active and we remain committed to focusing on these groups as a priority. Equality in sport also applies to what we are able to watch. We can look forward to a number of sporting events on free-to-air TV this year, including the women’s netball world championships and the women’s football world championships. We want sports and broadcasters to continue to work together to ensure sports can continue to grow their appeal and find new audiences.

Preserving and strengthening the integrity of sport will continue to be at the forefront of our work. People having faith in the sports they know and love and athletes having the belief that they are competing on a level playing field are vital pillars of Sporting Future. To this end our focus on ensuring we have robust anti-doping and governance regimes will continue.

One of my highest priorities going forward will be for government and the whole sport and physical activity sector to work together to ensure that we create the conditions for anyone to get involved and to enjoy the transformative power of both physical activity and witnessing live sport. It is vital that we direct our efforts not only at providing people with sufficient opportunities to get, and stay, active, but that the atmosphere and environment in which that activity takes place - be it grassroots or at the elite level - is safe, supportive and free of discrimination. In recent times, we have seen some worrying instances of discriminatory behaviour across the sporting landscape, notably in football, and I will be bringing together the footballing authorities and other organisations with an interest, to agree what action must be taken to stamp out all forms of discrimination at sports events. I am clear that we must not, and will not, tolerate any form of discrimination in sport and sport administrators, clubs and fans must continue to embrace diversity and tackle racism whenever they encounter it.

As we leave the European Union, we will also continue to work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Trade, to maximise the great contribution sport can make to our international profile and our vision for Global Britain. Our hosting of the Cricket World Cup, with an expected global audience of over a billion people, will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase our country in 2019.

We want to make sure absolutely everyone can benefit from the power of sport and physical activity. It can deliver tangible benefits for people’s physical and mental health, support the delivery of other vital agendas such as improving employment and educational outcomes, and it can act as a powerful tool for bringing communities closer together. I am grateful to all those across government and the sport and physical activity sector who are working to make the ambition of Sporting Future a reality.

There is much more to do to ensure that the UK becomes, and reaps the benefits of, a truly active nation. I will be laying the formal report of the third Annual Report to Parliament in spring. This will allow us to incorporate the findings of the third full year of Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey data results due for publication in April 2019.



WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Baroness Sugg (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Tyres and Vehicle Safety

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

Colleagues across the House have expressed concern about the potential dangers posed by ageing tyres. This is also a matter of great concern to the Government, and following my statement to the House of 23 November 2018, I want to update the House further on the measures we are taking to address it.

Colleagues will recall that in 2013 the Government issued guidance advising bus operators against fitting tyres over 10 years old to the front axles of their vehicles. This has proven extremely effective. Since June 2017 136,263 vehicles have been checked by DVSA at annual test and 82 have been found to be non-compliant, a rate of 0.06 per cent.

However, we have been determined to go further. In November 2018 the Government updated the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency guidance on maintaining roadworthiness, to the effect that tyres of 10 years of age or older should not be used on the front or steering axles of heavy goods vehicles as well as buses and coaches.

All DVSA encounters with GB heavy vehicles, including buses and coaches, identified as using older tyres will be followed up. Between 23 November and 25 January, DVSA carried out 7,500 enforcement checks and found 14 vehicles using older tyres. This reinforces the picture already built up of very low levels of infringement. The changes to maintenance best practice now provide a clear basis for referring cases to Traffic Commissioners when guidance has been disregarded.

The DfT and its agencies continue to work together to ensure vehicle operators understand how to maintain the safety and roadworthiness of their vehicles, including their tyres, and to enforce any non-compliance.

This strengthening of the roadworthiness guidance followed amendments to the MOT and annual test requirement in 2018 to tighten the control of the use of any tyres exhibiting deep cuts to the tread area. These changes, which apply to all road vehicles subject to MOT tests, were developed in response to new evidence obtained from a DfT funded collision investigation. This indicated that structural damage to tyres was possible due to corrosion caused by water ingress. As a result, from 20th May 2018 any vehicle found with tyres that have deep cuts will fail their MOT test. This is another example of how the DfT continue to make improvements to vehicle maintenance requirements based on available evidence, so as to improve roadworthiness and safety of vehicles on UK roads.

In addition to these measures, the Government has also commissioned pioneering new research to strengthen our understanding of the effect of age on the integrity of road vehicle tyres. No other country in the world has done work of this nature – we are pushing the boundaries of technical research in order to inform policy and ensure the safety of all road users.

The present work has been commissioned by the Department for Transport and is led by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory. The project has enlisted expertise from a leading laboratory in the United States, Smithers Rapra, to undertake testing and analysis to find out more about the structural qualities of those tyres. Thirty one used tyres of different ages, taken from the UK market, have been sent to this laboratory. The sample tyres are all from a single manufacturer and have been assembled so that accurate comparisons can be made. This analysis will be used to address the question of how ageing affects tyres’ integrity. I understand that it will be the first of its kind to be published using this methodology.

The Government is committed to evidence-based policymaking, in order to ensure the safety of all road users. Stakeholders and the public expect the Government to act on complete and appropriate evidence, and decisions would otherwise risk legal challenge by affected parties. As I informed the House on November 23, we expect the outcome of this research to be reported in the spring. It will be used alongside existing evidence to inform Government policy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1306
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity)
Lords

January Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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

Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Brussels on 28th January. I represented the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice MP.

The lead issue on the agriculture-focused agenda was the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform post-2020, divided into two table rounds. The first round focused on Strategic Plans and Horizontal Regulations, detailing the changes to streamline the new delivery model, as well as the agricultural reserve. Member States broadly supported the call for the pillar two budget to be maintained, including a proposal which will allow a 35 percent deviation from annual milestones, among other things.

In the second debate, the Commission’s proposal to lift the ban on Vitis labrusca and six further forbidden grape varieties was debated. The majority of wine producing Member States rejected the proposal on quality and reputational grounds. Commissioner Hogan then gave a presentation on Green Architecture which focused on Member States’ objectives to achieve high level climate ambitions.

Commissioner Hogan also introduced the non-legislative debate on supporting the growth of plant protein in the EU, setting out a wide range of proposed measures from the Commission’s Plan. A declaration, calling for measures to be brought together in an EU-wide action plan was supported by a number of Member States.

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

- Commissioner Andriukaitis provided an update from the Ministerial conference on African swine fever (ASF) held in December 2018.

- Slovakia presented their request for an update on the dual quality food issue.

- Denmark informed Council about their new International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS). The UK expressed its support, highlighting the new five year National AMR Action Plan and the Chief Medical Officer’s recent visit to Copenhagen.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Automatic Immigration Bail Referral Pilot

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

On 24 July 2018, the Home Secretary laid before Parliament the second independent review by Stephen Shaw CBE, into immigration detention. In responding to that review, the Home Secretary committed to going further and faster with the reforms to immigration detention in four priority areas: encouraging and supporting voluntary returns; improving the support available to vulnerable detainees; increasing transparency around immigration detention; and a new drive on dignity in detention.

As a part of this commitment, the Home Secretary, in agreement with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, announced plans to pilot an additional automatic bail referral to the First-tier Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber at the two-month point; halving the time in detention before a first bail referral.

I am pleased to announce that this pilot will commence on 10 February. It will run for six months and will be evaluated fully.

This is an important additional safeguard for those who are detained, giving them certainty that their detention is subject to further independent judicial oversight. It builds on the current automatic bail referral regime at the four-month point which was introduced last year. I have written to the Chairs of the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Joint Committee of Human Rights with more detail on the pilot and I will place copies of those letters in the Libraries of the House.

Together with the Ministry of Justice, we will consider the key outcomes of the pilot, as part of our continued efforts to ensure we have a detention system that is fair to those who may be detained, upholds our immigration policies and acts as a deterrent to those who might seek to frustrate immigration control.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1309
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I have today laid before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 September 2018 to 25 December 2018’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The report is available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the second reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act.

A copy of the “The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 September 2018 to 25 December 2018” report has been placed in the library of both Houses. The publication of the report reflects the Government’s continued commitment to transparency.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Smart ticketing on the rail network

My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Transport (Andrew Jones) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

In November 2017 in our Strategic Vision for Rail, the Department for Transport set out ambitious plans for the roll out of smart ticketing across the network, with the aim of making it more convenient for passengers to buy and receive their train tickets. Over a year later, we have made real progress. Every franchise offers smart cards and/or barcodes and smart tickets are available across almost all of the network.

We now want to go further. Our ambition is to ensure that across regional and urban commuter areas smart ticketing can deliver the kind of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) structure that is used in London, to make journeys easier and smoother for passengers.

In the North of England, the Government has allocated £150m to the multi-modal PAYG programme already being progressed by Transport for the North and, in London, Oyster ticketing already offers seamless PAYG travel. However, there is demand for PAYG to be deployed more widely, so today we begin consulting on the feasibility of delivering PAYG to an expanded area across the South East of England. This is just a first step, and we will continue to work with other areas to assess opportunities to roll out PAYG.

The consultation offers the travelling public, business, local authorities and others the opportunity to have their say on how the system could operate and where it could extend to. We are aware that there are views on the appropriate ticketing systems and the way the fares structure could be organised to complement pay as you go travel, these issues are also being considered in the consultation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1307
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks

I have today laid before Parliament a report, ‘The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 September 2018 to 25 December 2018’ as required by paragraph 4 of Schedule 3 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The report is available on Gov.uk and details the progress made in discussions between the UK Government and devolved administrations regarding common frameworks in the second reporting period covered under the legislation, and sets out that no ‘freezing’ regulations have been brought forward under section 12 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act.

A copy of the “The European Union (Withdrawal) Act and Common Frameworks - 26 September 2018 to 25 December 2018” report has been placed in the library of both Houses. The publication of the report reflects the Government’s continued commitment to transparency.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Caroline Nokes (The Minister of State for Immigration)
Commons

Automatic Immigration Bail Referral Pilot

On 24 July 2018, the Home Secretary laid before Parliament the second independent review by Stephen Shaw CBE, into immigration detention. In responding to that review, the Home Secretary committed to going further and faster with the reforms to immigration detention in four priority areas: encouraging and supporting voluntary returns; improving the support available to vulnerable detainees; increasing transparency around immigration detention; and a new drive on dignity in detention.

As a part of this commitment, the Home Secretary, in agreement with the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, announced plans to pilot an additional automatic bail referral to the First-tier Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber at the two-month point; halving the time in detention before a first bail referral.

I am pleased to announce that this pilot will commence on 10 February. It will run for six months and will be evaluated fully.

This is an important additional safeguard for those who are detained, giving them certainty that their detention is subject to further independent judicial oversight. It builds on the current automatic bail referral regime at the four-month point which was introduced last year. I have written to the Chairs of the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Joint Committee of Human Rights with more detail on the pilot and I will place copies of those letters in the Libraries of the House.

Together with the Ministry of Justice, we will consider the key outcomes of the pilot, as part of our continued efforts to ensure we have a detention system that is fair to those who may be detained, upholds our immigration policies and acts as a deterrent to those who might seek to frustrate immigration control.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1275
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: George Eustice (The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food )
Commons

January Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Brussels on 28 January. The UK was represented by Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and Lords Minister.

The lead issue on the agriculture-focused agenda was the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform post-2020, divided into two table rounds. The first round focused on Strategic Plans and Horizontal Regulations, detailing the changes to streamline the new delivery model, as well as the agricultural reserve. Member States broadly supported the call for the pillar two budget to be maintained, including a proposal which will allow a 35 percent deviation from annual milestones, among other things.

In the second debate, the Commission’s proposal to lift the ban on Vitis labrusca and six forbidden grape varieties was debated. The majority of wine producing Member States rejected the proposal on quality and reputational grounds. Commissioner Hogan then gave a presentation on Green Architecture which focused on Member States’ objectives to achieve high level climate ambitions.

Commissioner Hogan also introduced the non-legislative debate on supporting the growth of plant protein in the EU, setting out a wide range of proposed measures from the Commission’s Plan. A declaration, calling for measures to be brought together in an EU-wide action plan was supported by a number of Member States.

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

- Commissioner Andriukaitis provided an update from the Ministerial conference on African swine fever (ASF) held in December 2018.

- Slovakia presented their request for an update on the dual quality food issue.

- Denmark informed Council about their new International Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance Solutions (ICARS). The UK expressed its support, highlighting the new five year National AMR Action Plan and the Chief Medical Officer’s recent visit to Copenhagen.

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Andrew Jones (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Smart ticketing on the rail network

In November 2017 in our Strategic Vision for Rail, the Department for Transport set out ambitious plans for the roll out of smart ticketing across the network, with the aim of making it more convenient for passengers to buy and receive their train tickets. Over a year later, we have made real progress. Every franchise offers smart cards and/or barcodes and smart tickets are available across almost all of the network.

We now want to go further. Our ambition is to ensure that across regional and urban commuter areas smart ticketing can deliver the kind of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) structure that is used in London, to make journeys easier and smoother for passengers.

In the North of England, the Government has allocated £150m to the multi-modal PAYG programme already being progressed by Transport for the North and, in London, Oyster ticketing already offers seamless PAYG travel. However, there is demand for PAYG to be deployed more widely, so today we begin consulting on the feasibility of delivering PAYG to an expanded area across the South East of England. This is just a first step, and we will continue to work with other areas to assess opportunities to roll out PAYG.

The consultation offers the travelling public, business, local authorities and others the opportunity to have their say on how the system could operate and where it could extend to. We are aware that there are views on the appropriate ticketing systems and the way the fares structure could be organised to complement pay as you go travel, these issues are also being considered in the consultation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1273
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 07 February 2019
Made by: Jesse Norman (Minister of State for Transport)
Commons

Tyres and Vehicle Safety

Colleagues across the House have expressed concern about the potential dangers posed by ageing tyres. This is also a matter of great concern to the Government, and following my statement to the House of 23 November 2018, I want to update the House further on the measures we are taking to address it.

Colleagues will recall that in 2013 the Government issued guidance advising bus operators against fitting tyres over 10 years old to the front axles of their vehicles. This has proven extremely effective. Since June 2017 136,263 vehicles have been checked by DVSA at annual test and 82 have been found to be non-compliant, a rate of 0.06 per cent.

However, we have been determined to go further. In November 2018 the Government updated the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency guidance on maintaining roadworthiness, to the effect that tyres of 10 years of age or older should not be used on the front or steering axles of heavy goods vehicles as well as buses and coaches.

All DVSA encounters with GB heavy vehicles, including buses and coaches, identified as using older tyres will be followed up. Between 23 November and 25 January, DVSA carried out 7,500 enforcement checks and found 14 vehicles using older tyres. This reinforces the picture already built up of very low levels of infringement. The changes to maintenance best practice now provide a clear basis for referring cases to Traffic Commissioners when guidance has been disregarded.

The DfT and its agencies continue to work together to ensure vehicle operators understand how to maintain the safety and roadworthiness of their vehicles, including their tyres, and to enforce any non-compliance.

This strengthening of the roadworthiness guidance followed amendments to the MOT and annual test requirement in 2018 to tighten the control of the use of any tyres exhibiting deep cuts to the tread area. These changes, which apply to all road vehicles subject to MOT tests, were developed in response to new evidence obtained from a DfT funded collision investigation. This indicated that structural damage to tyres was possible due to corrosion caused by water ingress. As a result, from 20th May 2018 any vehicle found with tyres that have deep cuts will fail their MOT test. This is another example of how the DfT continue to make improvements to vehicle maintenance requirements based on available evidence, so as to improve roadworthiness and safety of vehicles on UK roads.

In addition to these measures, the Government has also commissioned pioneering new research to strengthen our understanding of the effect of age on the integrity of road vehicle tyres. No other country in the world has done work of this nature – we are pushing the boundaries of technical research in order to inform policy and ensure the safety of all road users.

The present work has been commissioned by the Department for Transport and is led by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory. The project has enlisted expertise from a leading laboratory in the United States, Smithers Rapra, to undertake testing and analysis to find out more about the structural qualities of those tyres. Thirty one used tyres of different ages, taken from the UK market, have been sent to this laboratory. The sample tyres are all from a single manufacturer and have been assembled so that accurate comparisons can be made. This analysis will be used to address the question of how ageing affects tyres’ integrity. I understand that it will be the first of its kind to be published using this methodology.

The Government is committed to evidence-based policymaking, in order to ensure the safety of all road users. Stakeholders and the public expect the Government to act on complete and appropriate evidence, and decisions would otherwise risk legal challenge by affected parties. As I informed the House on November 23, we expect the outcome of this research to be reported in the spring. It will be used alongside existing evidence to inform Government policy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1277
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 06 February 2019
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Unauthorised development and encampments

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.

The Government has today published its response to the consultation on powers for dealing with unauthorised development and encampments. This statement should be read alongside the written ministerial statement on ‘Improving the effectiveness of enforcement against unauthorised encampments’ made today by my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Since 2010, the Government has taken concerted action to address these matters, including issuing revised planning guidance on enforcement, updated policy, and reforms to temporary stop notices. In March 2015, the Government issued advice on dealing with illegal and unauthorised encampments to all local authorities, the police and landowners to encourage them to work collaboratively to tackle unauthorised encampments, and to remind them of the array of powers which exist for tackling such situations.

In terms of wider Government support for the provision of traveller sites, the New Homes Bonus provides an incentive for local authorities to encourage housing growth in their areas, and rewards net increases in effective housing stock, including the provision of authorised traveller pitches. In addition, the £9 billion Affordable Homes will provide a wider range of homes to meet the housing needs of people in different circumstances and different housing markets, including funding for new traveller pitches. We have also seen that the number of caravans on authorised sites has increased from 14,498 in July 2010 to 19,569 in July 2018, showing that the locally-led planning system is working.

But the responses received in our consultation were clear that significant problems are created by many unauthorised encampments. Responses highlighted the sense of unease and intimidation residents feel when an unauthorised encampment occurs, the frustration at not being able to access amenities, public land and business premises, and the waste and cost that is left once the encampment has moved on.

That is why the Government is today setting out a comprehensive range of further measures across multiple government departments and agencies, which will help to achieve the Government’s overarching aim of fair and equal treatment for travellers, while respecting the interests of the settled community. The package includes:

  • a set of measures to extend powers available to the police, to enable unauthorised encampments to be tackled more effectively.
  • a review into the potential criminalisation of unauthorised encampments.
  • new statutory good practice guidance to support local authorities use of powers to deal with unauthorised encampments and a commitment to keep these powers under review, particularly in instances of deliberate and repeated breaches of planning.
  • a commitment to further work to ensure that measures are in place to address issues around the clean-up costs which can occur following an unauthorised encampment.
  • up to £1.5m of funding for local authorities to support planning enforcement through the next round of the Planning Delivery Fund, helping them deal with unauthorised development.
  • a commitment that the Government is minded to extend the period of time that a temporary stopping notice can be in place for.
  • guidance making clear that the Secretary of State will be prepared to review cases where concerns are raised that there is too high a concentration of authorised traveller sites in one location.
  • a commitment to consult on options for strengthening policy on intentional unauthorised development, helping to maintain confidence and fairness in the planning system.
  • work to make information on permanent and transit sites freely available in open data format so that local authorities have a single clear source of data on the availability of such sites.
  • a reiteration of the planning obligations which local authorities already have to make transit sites available and for joint-working between authorities on the setting of pitch and plot targets.

Finally, I am keenly aware of evidence showing that members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have significantly worse health and education outcomes than the rest of society, and of the prevalence of domestic abuse in these communities. I will ensure that my Department’s forthcoming response to our review of domestic abuse service provision takes into account the support needs of victims from this community, and I will work with my colleagues across Government on a strategic approach to improving outcomes for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, as well as settled communities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1305
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 06 February 2019
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Unauthorised development and encampments

The Government has today published its response to the consultation on powers for dealing with unauthorised development and encampments. This statement should be read alongside the written ministerial statement on ‘Improving the effectiveness of enforcement against unauthorised encampments’ made today by my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Since 2010, the Government has taken concerted action to address these matters, including issuing revised planning guidance on enforcement, updated policy, and reforms to temporary stop notices. In March 2015, the Government issued advice on dealing with illegal and unauthorised encampments to all local authorities, the police and landowners to encourage them to work collaboratively to tackle unauthorised encampments, and to remind them of the array of powers which exist for tackling such situations.

In terms of wider Government support for the provision of traveller sites, the New Homes Bonus provides an incentive for local authorities to encourage housing growth in their areas, and rewards net increases in effective housing stock, including the provision of authorised traveller pitches. In addition, the £9 billion Affordable Homes will provide a wider range of homes to meet the housing needs of people in different circumstances and different housing markets, including funding for new traveller pitches. We have also seen that the number of caravans on authorised sites has increased from 14,498 in July 2010 to 19,569 in July 2018, showing that the locally-led planning system is working.

But the responses received in our consultation were clear that significant problems are created by many unauthorised encampments. Responses highlighted the sense of unease and intimidation residents feel when an unauthorised encampment occurs, the frustration at not being able to access amenities, public land and business premises, and the waste and cost that is left once the encampment has moved on.

That is why the Government is today setting out a comprehensive range of further measures across multiple government departments and agencies, which will help to achieve the Government’s overarching aim of fair and equal treatment for travellers, while respecting the interests of the settled community. The package includes:

  • a set of measures to extend powers available to the police, to enable unauthorised encampments to be tackled more effectively.
  • a review into the potential criminalisation of unauthorised encampments.
  • new statutory good practice guidance to support local authorities use of powers to deal with unauthorised encampments and a commitment to keep these powers under review, particularly in instances of deliberate and repeated breaches of planning.
  • a commitment to further work to ensure that measures are in place to address issues around the clean-up costs which can occur following an unauthorised encampment.
  • up to £1.5m of funding for local authorities to support planning enforcement through the next round of the Planning Delivery Fund, helping them deal with unauthorised development.
  • a commitment that the Government is minded to extend the period of time that a temporary stopping notice can be in place for.
  • guidance making clear that the Secretary of State will be prepared to review cases where concerns are raised that there is too high a concentration of authorised traveller sites in one location.
  • a commitment to consult on options for strengthening policy on intentional unauthorised development, helping to maintain confidence and fairness in the planning system.
  • work to make information on permanent and transit sites freely available in open data format so that local authorities have a single clear source of data on the availability of such sites.
  • a reiteration of the planning obligations which local authorities already have to make transit sites available and for joint-working between authorities on the setting of pitch and plot targets.

Finally, I am keenly aware of evidence showing that members of the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities have significantly worse health and education outcomes than the rest of society, and of the prevalence of domestic abuse in these communities. I will ensure that my Department’s forthcoming response to our review of domestic abuse service provision takes into account the support needs of victims from this community, and I will work with my colleagues across Government on a strategic approach to improving outcomes for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, as well as settled communities.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1272
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 06 February 2019
Made by: Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords))
Lords

EU Exit: Reciprocal Healthcare Legislation

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health (Stephen Hammond) has made the following written statement:

Current European Union (EU) reciprocal healthcare arrangements enable UK nationals[1] to access healthcare when they live, study, work, or travel in the EU and vice versa for EU citizens[2] when in the UK. They give people retiring abroad more security, they support tourism and businesses and facilitate healthcare cooperation.

These arrangements ensure that UK nationals living and working in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can access healthcare in exchange for paying taxes and social security contributions. The UK also funds healthcare abroad for a number of current or former UK residents. This includes healthcare for UK state pensioners who spend their retirement in the EU and needs arising healthcare when UK residents visit the EU for holiday or study through the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) Scheme.

The Government’s priority is to secure a withdrawal agreement with the EU. However, as a responsible Government, we are preparing for all eventualities, including the possibility the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If necessary, the UK would like to make arrangements with individual EU Member States to ensure that there are no immediate changes to people’s access to healthcare after Exit Day and that there is a strong basis for ongoing cooperation on health issues. The UK is therefore seeking to maintain reciprocal healthcare rights for pensioners, workers, students, tourists and other visitors in line with the current EU arrangements, including reimbursement of healthcare costs, for a transitional period lasting until 31 December 2020. This is only possible with agreement from other Member States and we have commenced discussions on this issue.

The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill (‘the Bill’) is being brought forward as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU; however, it is forward-facing and not intended to deal only with EU Exit. The Bill is intended to support the implementation of comprehensive reciprocal healthcare arrangements with countries both within and outside the EU to enable possible future partnerships.

The Bill can be used to implement complex bilateral arrangements with a Member State that may differ to current EU arrangements, or to make unilateral arrangements to assist UK nationals to access healthcare abroad in exceptional circumstances and in the interests of patient safety. The Bill also provides the legal basis to fund and process data relating to healthcare outside of the United Kingdom.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will convert EU law as it stands on Exit day into UK domestic law and preserve the laws made in the UK to implement EU obligations. This means that EU regulations providing for EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements will become part of the UK’s statute book on Exit day. Without further legislation, in a no-deal scenario the regulations would not be coherent or workable without reciprocity from Member States. Therefore, on 7 February, the Government will bring forward two Statutory Instruments under section 8 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, to prevent, remedy or mitigate deficiencies in retained EU law relating to reciprocal healthcare.

These instruments also afford the UK an additional mechanism for ensuring there is no interruption to healthcare arrangements for UK nationals[3] after Exit Day in those Member States who agree to maintain the current arrangements for a transitional period. Through these instruments, the UK can transitionally maintain current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements for countries where we have established reciprocity during an interim period lasting until 31 December 2020 and no later. The arrangements would not apply to Member States who do not agree to maintain the current reciprocal arrangements with us.

Together with the Bill, these instruments are focused on supporting a smooth transition as we exit the EU. Both of these legislative vehicles are necessary to ensure the UK Government is ready to deal with reciprocal and cross-border healthcare in any scenario. They afford the UK Government flexibility of action and ensure the UK is able to respond quickly to protect people’s healthcare.

The Bill and the forthcoming Statutory Instruments are intended to support further preparations the UK Government is making with regard to reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The Government has issued advice via the Government and NHS websites to UK nationals living in the EU, to UK residents travelling to the EU and to EU nationals living in the UK. This advice explains how the UK is working to maintain reciprocal healthcare arrangements, but that their continuation depends on decisions by Member States. It sets out what options people might have to access healthcare under local laws in the Member State they live in if we do not have bilateral arrangements in place, and what people can do to prepare. Our advice to people travelling abroad after Exit Day is to purchase travel insurance, as we already recommend now. These webpages will be updated as more information becomes available.

The Bill and the Statutory Instruments feed into a broader body of work by the Department of Health and Social Care and across the UK Government, to ensure health and social care systems are well prepared as we Exit the EU.

[1] This is a short-hand term for persons who are the responsibility of the UK. They may or may not be UK nationals.

[2] This is a short-hand term for EU27/EEA/Swiss-insured individuals i.e. persons who are the responsibility of an EU or EEA Member State or Switzerland.

[3] Please see footnote 1.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1304
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 06 February 2019
Made by: Stephen Hammond (Minister of State for Health)
Commons

EU Exit: Reciprocal Healthcare Legislation

Current European Union (EU) reciprocal healthcare arrangements enable UK nationals[1] to access healthcare when they live, study, work, or travel in the EU and vice versa for EU citizens[2] when in the UK. They give people retiring abroad more security, they support tourism and businesses and facilitate healthcare cooperation.

These arrangements ensure that UK nationals living and working in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can access healthcare in exchange for paying taxes and social security contributions. The UK also funds healthcare abroad for a number of current or former UK residents. This includes healthcare for UK state pensioners who spend their retirement in the EU and needs arising healthcare when UK residents visit the EU for holiday or study through the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) Scheme.

The Government’s priority is to secure a withdrawal agreement with the EU. However, as a responsible Government, we are preparing for all eventualities, including the possibility the UK leaves the EU without a deal. If necessary, the UK would like to make arrangements with individual EU Member States to ensure that there are no immediate changes to people’s access to healthcare after Exit Day and that there is a strong basis for ongoing cooperation on health issues. The UK is therefore seeking to maintain reciprocal healthcare rights for pensioners, workers, students, tourists and other visitors in line with the current EU arrangements, including reimbursement of healthcare costs, for a transitional period lasting until 31 December 2020. This is only possible with agreement from other Member States and we have commenced discussions on this issue.

The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill (‘the Bill’) is being brought forward as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU; however, it is forward-facing and not intended to deal only with EU Exit. The Bill is intended to support the implementation of comprehensive reciprocal healthcare arrangements with countries both within and outside the EU to enable possible future partnerships.

The Bill can be used to implement complex bilateral arrangements with a Member State that may differ to current EU arrangements, or to make unilateral arrangements to assist UK nationals to access healthcare abroad in exceptional circumstances and in the interests of patient safety. The Bill also provides the legal basis to fund and process data relating to healthcare outside of the United Kingdom.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will convert EU law as it stands on Exit day into UK domestic law and preserve the laws made in the UK to implement EU obligations. This means that EU regulations providing for EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements will become part of the UK’s statute book on Exit day. Without further legislation, in a no-deal scenario the regulations would not be coherent or workable without reciprocity from Member States. Therefore, on 7 February, the Government will bring forward two Statutory Instruments under section 8 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, to prevent, remedy or mitigate deficiencies in retained EU law relating to reciprocal healthcare.

These instruments also afford the UK an additional mechanism for ensuring there is no interruption to healthcare arrangements for UK nationals[3] after Exit Day in those Member States who agree to maintain the current arrangements for a transitional period. Through these instruments, the UK can transitionally maintain current EU reciprocal healthcare arrangements for countries where we have established reciprocity during an interim period lasting until 31 December 2020 and no later. The arrangements would not apply to Member States who do not agree to maintain the current reciprocal arrangements with us.

Together with the Bill, these instruments are focused on supporting a smooth transition as we exit the EU. Both of these legislative vehicles are necessary to ensure the UK Government is ready to deal with reciprocal and cross-border healthcare in any scenario. They afford the UK Government flexibility of action and ensure the UK is able to respond quickly to protect people’s healthcare.

The Bill and the forthcoming Statutory Instruments are intended to support further preparations the UK Government is making with regard to reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The Government has issued advice via the Government and NHS websites to UK nationals living in the EU, to UK residents travelling to the EU and to EU nationals living in the UK. This advice explains how the UK is working to maintain reciprocal healthcare arrangements, but that their continuation depends on decisions by Member States. It sets out what options people might have to access healthcare under local laws in the Member State they live in if we do not have bilateral arrangements in place, and what people can do to prepare. Our advice to people travelling abroad after Exit Day is to purchase travel insurance, as we already recommend now. These webpages will be updated as more information becomes available.

The Bill and the Statutory Instruments feed into a broader body of work by the Department of Health and Social Care and across the UK Government, to ensure health and social care systems are well prepared as we Exit the EU.

[1] This is a short-hand term for persons who are the responsibility of the UK. They may or may not be UK nationals.

[2] This is a short-hand term for EU27/EEA/Swiss-insured individuals i.e. persons who are the responsibility of an EU or EEA Member State or Switzerland.

[3] Please see footnote 1.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1271
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 06 February 2019
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

HS2 Construction Partner for Southern Stations

My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Nusrat Ghani) has made the following Ministerial Statement:

I would like to update the House on the progress of High Speed Two.

As part of this Government’s industrial strategy we are investing in High Speed 2, a transformational infrastructure project that will improve people’s journeys, create jobs, generate economic growth and help to rebalance our country’s economy. HS2 is more than a railway and the project’s vision is to be a catalyst for economic growth. It has cross-party support and support from councils, LEPs, Metro Mayors and businesses who can see the transformational potential.

HS2 is making progress and the benefits are already being seen, notably in the investment and job creation in the West Midlands in advance of HS2 services, and around 7,000 jobs have been supported so far, rising to around 30,000 at peak.

Parliament has approved the powers to proceed with Phase One of the railway, between London and the West Midlands, and we are making significant progress. Early works are well underway: HS2 Ltd has revealed the designs for new stations in Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street; enabling works on the route are progressing; decommissioning and preparatory works are taking place.

As has been seen with Stratford station in East London, railway stations have enormous power to transform their local surroundings. It is why I approved the appointment of a Master Development Partner (Lendlease) on 22 February 2018 to assist HS2 Ltd in delivering the new Euston station development. This will not only provide unparalleled levels of accessibility, ease and convenience for our passengers, but ensure work with local communities to help unlock wider regeneration, new jobs, homes and opportunities.

Last year, the tender shortlist for a construction partner for the two southern stations was released. In a clear signal of how work is progressing, this morning I am pleased to announce the intention to award these important positions to a Joint Venture between Mace Limited and Dragados S.A. for Euston and a Joint Venture between Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets SAS and SYSTRA Ltd for Old Oak Common. They will bring their global construction management expertise to these vitally important pieces of national infrastructure.

This demonstrates how progress is continuing at pace in order to deliver stations that will be embraced by their local communities, drive economic growth and improve rail journeys for passengers, whilst at the same time delivering this Phase of the project to schedule and cost.

The progress we are making with HS2 is clear evidence that the Government is delivering the infrastructure our country needs to build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1300
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 06 February 2019
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

Ministry of Defence Votes A Annual Estimate 2019-20

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

The Ministry of Defence Votes A Estimate 2019-20, will be laid before the House on 6 February 2019 as HC 1852. This outlines the maximum numbers of personnel to be maintained for each Service in the Armed Forces during Financial Year 2019-20.

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