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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Treasury
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Proposed Directive on credit servicers, credit purchasers and the recovery of collateral – JHA opt-in decision

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

The proposed EU Directive on credit purchasers, credit servicers and the recovery of collateral contains, among other things, provisions on a new EU mechanism for out-of-court collateral enforcement. The Directive is part of a broader package of EU measures designed to reduce the levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the EU, as NPLs decrease profitability of banks, often leaving them in a weak position from which to provide finance to the wider economy in support of growth and jobs.

The government has decided that it is in the UK’s interest not to opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs obligations within this Directive as the provisions introduce an unnecessary level of administration to the UK’s existing collateral enforcement mechanisms, which are sufficiently robust and fit for purpose.

The Directive states that where Member States establish collateral enforcement mechanisms “by means of appropriation”, the rights of creditors “shall be governed by the applicable laws in each Member State”. The government’s view is that this provision addresses situations in which conflicts of laws points arise, in which case it is an applicable law provision and therefore includes JHA content.

The Directive similarly governs applicable law if a borrower and lender from two different EU Member States cannot agree on the appointment of a valuer— with the appointment of the valuer falling on the court within one of those Member States.

The government remains supportive of the European Commission’s broader efforts to reduce levels of NPLs in the EU, supporting solutions that are proportionate and targeted.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS814
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Society Lotteries Consultation

I wish to inform the House that on Friday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a consultation on proposals for changes to the sales and prize limits for society lotteries to help charities raise more money.

The consultation follows the DCMS Select Committee recommendation in March 2015 that the Department look at whether limits on sales and prizes should be raised. Society lotteries are now a fundamental part of the giving landscape, and alongside The National Lottery, play an important role in supporting good causes across Great Britain. We have taken expert advice from the Gambling Commission and we believe that the proposed package of reforms maintains the balance between allowing charities and others to increase their fundraising through lotteries while protecting the unique position of the National Lottery.

We have considered options and the case for change carefully. A vital concern in developing proposals has been to ensure there is no risk to National Lottery’s ability to raise funds for good causes. The Gambling Commission has advised that to date there is no evidence that society lotteries have had a detrimental effect on the National Lottery. The two currently offer distinct propositions to players, with the National Lottery raising large sums across the UK, characterised by life-changing prizes. Society lotteries offer smaller prizes, generally with their proceeds being returned to a specified good cause.

We are consulting on a range of options which seek to maintain the distinct nature of the two sectors but allow a degree of growth for society lotteries, the impact of which will be measured by the Gambling Commission.

Society lotteries have to return at least 20% of their sales to good causes. Currently they have a cap of £4m of sales per draw and a maximum prize a society lottery can offer of £400,000. We are consulting on the following options;

  • Individual per draw sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £4 million;

    • Raising the limit to £5 million (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £10 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £2.5m

  • Individual per draw prize limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £400,000;

    • Raising the limit to £500,000 (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £1 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £250,000

In addition we are consulting on annual sales;

  • Annual sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £10 million;

    • Raising the limit to £50 million;

    • Raising the limit to £100 million (Government’s preferred option)

The preferred set of proposals in the consultation document would raise the per draw limit to £5m and the annual limit to £100m. This would increase the amount of fundraising that can be done through society lotteries in a year ten fold. It would also increase the maximum prize to £500,000.

The consultation also considers increasing the limits for small society lotteries, which do not require a Gambling Commission licence to operate and are instead registered with local authorities. Currently per draw proceeds are capped at £20,000 and annual proceeds are capped at £250,000. I am looking at options to increase the per draw limit to £30,000 or £40,000 and the annual limit to £400,000 or £500,000.

The consultation will run for ten weeks and close on September 7th. Relevant documents have been published on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-society-lottery-reform

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Viscount Younger of Leckie (The Lords Spokesperson (Department for Education) (Higher Education))
Lords

Student Finance

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Sam Gyimah) has made the following written ministerial statement.

EU Students

I am today confirming that eligibility rules for students from the European Union, and their family members, who commence courses in England in the Academic Year starting in August 2019 will remain unchanged. EU nationals will remain eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course under the current eligibility rules. This will provide certainty to providers and their prospective EU students.

EU students, staff and researchers make an important contribution to our universities. I want that contribution to continue and am confident – given the quality of our HE sector – that it will.

Tuition Fees

I am also confirming that maximum tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year in England will be maintained at the levels that apply in the 2018/19 academic year, the second year in succession that fees have been frozen. Freezing maximum fees at 2018/19 levels will save students up to £255 in 2019/20.

The Government considers each year what the maximum level of tuition fees should be, and sets a cap. I have listened to the views we have heard from young people, parents, and in Parliament and, on that that basis, have decided not to increase maximum tuition fees by inflation for the 2019/20 academic year. If the Regulations setting maximum fees were not approved, providers would not be subject to maximum fees and would be free legally to charge higher fees.

The Government is committed to improving the terms on which it provides financial support to students. In addition to a freeze in fees for the second year running, the Government has increased the repayment threshold above which graduates are required to make repayments on their loans from £21,000 to £25,000 from tax year 2018-19, and rising by average earnings thereafter. This puts more money in the pockets of graduates, lowering monthly repayments for all borrowers earning above £21,000.

On 19 February, the Prime Minister launched a major review of post-18 education and funding to ensure we have a joined up education system that is accessible to all, provides value for money for both students and taxpayers, and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

Regulations

I am laying Regulations setting maximum fees for the 2019/20 academic year before Parliament today.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, these Regulations set maximum fee limits for those registered providers who must abide by a fee limit condition as part of their registration with the new independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS). These providers are known as ‘Approved (Fee Cap) Providers’.

The Act requires the OfS to impose a fee limit condition and without these Regulations the new regulatory framework cannot be fully implemented. Providers can also register with the OfS in the Approved category which will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations.

Both Houses will have the opportunity to debate these Regulations under the affirmative procedure. These Regulations do not set separate maximum fees for accelerated degrees, which are still under consideration. I expect to confirm further details on accelerated degrees in due course.

I also expect to lay Regulations setting student support arrangements for 2019/20 early in 2019 which will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Maximum tuition fees and fee loans for Approved (Fee Cap) Providers in 2019/20

The maximum tuition fee for full-time courses will be £9,250 in 2019/20 for providers that are registered with the OfS in the Approved (Fee Cap) category and have a current Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) award and an access and participation plan in place with the OfS. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers that do not have a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan to meet the full costs of their tuition up to a maximum of £9,250 in 2019/20 for full-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

The maximum tuition fee for students undertaking part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers that have a TEF award and have an OfS access and participation plan, will be £6,935 in 2019/20. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers without a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan of up to a maximum of £6,935 to meet the full costs of their tuition in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

Maximum fee loans for Approved Providers in 2019/20

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at Approved providers in 2019/20 will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations. They will however be able to apply for fee loans towards the costs of their tuition.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £6,165 in 2019/20 for those undertaking full-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £6,000 without a TEF award.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £4,625 in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £4,500 without a TEF award.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS816
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Childcare update

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi) has made the following written ministerial statement.

I wish to update the House on two important changes the Government is making to childcare.

I have today laid a new Statutory Instrument, The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. This SI, which will come into force on 31 August 2018, makes important changes to improve the fairness of the childcare disqualification arrangements and extend 30 hours free childcare to children in foster care.

The childcare disqualification arrangements are an important part of the strong set of safeguards we have in place to ensure the safety and welfare of our children and young people. These arrangements apply exclusively to individuals working in childcare in schools and the private and voluntary sectors, up to and including reception classes, and in wraparound care for children up to the age of 8. These arrangements build on the safeguards provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regime, which all schools and early years childcare providers must operate.

Under the arrangements, any individual who has committed an offence, or who is in breach of other criteria set out in legislation, is prohibited from working in these settings. The arrangements also include provision that disqualifies an individual from working in childcare because of an offence committed by someone who lives or works in their household, known as disqualification by association. This means that a member of staff is unable to work in childcare even though they themselves have not committed a relevant offence.

Disqualified individuals can obtain a waiver from Ofsted against their disqualification. Employers must suspend or redeploy the individual until a waiver is granted, as individuals who are disqualified cannot work in childcare without an Ofsted waiver. This provision has unfortunately been widely misunderstood and a number of individuals have been redeployed or suspended unnecessarily. Consequently, the disqualification by association provision is having a detrimental impact on employers and employees, as well as family life. It is also having a negative impact on the rehabilitation of offenders.

In response to widespread concerns about the disqualification by association provision, the Department for Education undertook a public consultation on options for its reform. We were most grateful for the near 450 responses received. The responses to the consultation largely reiterated the earlier concerns. The consultation strongly favoured reform, and the majority of respondents advocated the removal of disqualification by association in non-domestic settings.

Making new regulations enables us to address these concerns, by removing the disqualification by association where childcare is provided in non-domestic settings, where other safeguarding measures are well observed and followed. The disqualification by association provision will however continue to apply where childcare is provided in domestic settings, where it provides an important safeguard.

We are supporting the changes we are making with new statutory guidance. This will reinforce existing messages about the importance of employers undertaking safer recruitment checks and provide them with advice on how they can manage their workforce in the absence of the disqualification by association component of the arrangements. The Department for Education will also continue to provide a helpline and mailbox to employers and employees to help them with the arrangements.

The Government is also extending 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds to children in foster care. This is a key government early years policy, and foster families should have access to the same support and opportunities that all families have.

This government’s ambitions for children during and after being looked after are the same as for any other child: that they have access to good health and wellbeing, fulfil their educational potential, build and maintain lasting relationships and participate positively in society. The role of the foster parent is central to achieving those high ambitions for the children in their care. Fostering provides stability, a home and an alternative family. Children in foster care want to feel part of a family and have a normal family life. We need to support foster parents and local authorities in a way that achieves that. That includes foster parents being able to work outside their caring responsibilities, where it is right for the child.

The SI I have laid today enables us to realise those ambitions, by allowing children in foster care to receive 30 hours free childcare where the following criteria are met:

i. That accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan, placing the child at the centre of the process and decision making, and

ii. That, in single parent families, the foster parent holds additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent; or

iii. That in two parent families, both parents hold additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent.

The SI makes it clear that the eligibility of children in foster care will be determined by the responsible local authority.

We are supporting the changes with new statutory guidance and operational guidance. These will provide local authorities with detailed guidance on how they can discharge their duty to secure 30 hours free childcare for children in foster care, and ensure that the additional eligibility criteria are met.

Copies of the SI, our statutory and operational guidance documents, and the Government’s response to the consultation on changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS815
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society)
Commons

Society Lotteries Consultation

I wish to inform the House that on Friday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a consultation on proposals for changes to the sales and prize limits for society lotteries to help charities raise more money.

The consultation follows the DCMS Select Committee recommendation in March 2015 that the Department look at whether limits on sales and prizes should be raised. Society lotteries are now a fundamental part of the giving landscape, and alongside The National Lottery, play an important role in supporting good causes across Great Britain. We have taken expert advice from the Gambling Commission and we believe that the proposed package of reforms maintains the balance between allowing charities and others to increase their fundraising through lotteries while protecting the unique position of the National Lottery.

We have considered options and the case for change carefully. A vital concern in developing proposals has been to ensure there is no risk to National Lottery’s ability to raise funds for good causes. The Gambling Commission has advised that to date there is no evidence that society lotteries have had a detrimental effect on the National Lottery. The two currently offer distinct propositions to players, with the National Lottery raising large sums across the UK, characterised by life-changing prizes. Society lotteries offer smaller prizes, generally with their proceeds being returned to a specified good cause.

We are consulting on a range of options which seek to maintain the distinct nature of the two sectors but allow a degree of growth for society lotteries, the impact of which will be measured by the Gambling Commission.

Society lotteries have to return at least 20% of their sales to good causes. Currently they have a cap of £4m of sales per draw and a maximum prize a society lottery can offer of £400,000. We are consulting on the following options;

  • Individual per draw sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £4 million;

    • Raising the limit to £5 million (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £10 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £2.5m

  • Individual per draw prize limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £400,000;

    • Raising the limit to £500,000 (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £1 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £250,000

In addition we are consulting on annual sales;

  • Annual sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £10 million;

    • Raising the limit to £50 million;

    • Raising the limit to £100 million (Government’s preferred option)

The preferred set of proposals in the consultation document would raise the per draw limit to £5m and the annual limit to £100m. This would increase the amount of fundraising that can be done through society lotteries in a year ten fold. It would also increase the maximum prize to £500,000.

The consultation also considers increasing the limits for small society lotteries, which do not require a Gambling Commission licence to operate and are instead registered with local authorities. Currently per draw proceeds are capped at £20,000 and annual proceeds are capped at £250,000. I am looking at options to increase the per draw limit to £30,000 or £40,000 and the annual limit to £400,000 or £500,000.

The consultation will run for ten weeks and close on September 7th. Relevant documents have been published on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-society-lottery-reform

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Mr Sam Gyimah (The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation )
Commons

Student Finance

EU Students

I am today confirming that eligibility rules for students from the European Union, and their family members, who commence courses in England in the Academic Year starting in August 2019 will remain unchanged. EU nationals will remain eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course under the current eligibility rules. This will provide certainty to providers and their prospective EU students.

EU students, staff and researchers make an important contribution to our universities. I want that contribution to continue and am confident – given the quality of our HE sector – that it will.

Tuition Fees

I am also confirming that maximum tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year in England will be maintained at the levels that apply in the 2018/19 academic year, the second year in succession that fees have been frozen. Freezing maximum fees at 2018/19 levels will save students up to £255 in 2019/20.

The Government considers each year what the maximum level of tuition fees should be, and sets a cap. I have listened to the views we have heard from young people, parents, and in Parliament and, on that that basis, have decided not to increase maximum tuition fees by inflation for the 2019/20 academic year. If the Regulations setting maximum fees were not approved, providers would not be subject to maximum fees and would be free legally to charge higher fees.

The Government is committed to improving the terms on which it provides financial support to students. In addition to a freeze in fees for the second year running, the Government has increased the repayment threshold above which graduates are required to make repayments on their loans from £21,000 to £25,000 from tax year 2018-19, and rising by average earnings thereafter. This puts more money in the pockets of graduates, lowering monthly repayments for all borrowers earning above £21,000.

On 19 February, the Prime Minister launched a major review of post-18 education and funding to ensure we have a joined up education system that is accessible to all, provides value for money for both students and taxpayers, and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

Regulations

I am laying Regulations setting maximum fees for the 2019/20 academic year before Parliament today.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, these Regulations set maximum fee limits for those registered providers who must abide by a fee limit condition as part of their registration with the new independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS). These providers are known as ‘Approved (Fee Cap) Providers’.

The Act requires the OfS to impose a fee limit condition and without these Regulations the new regulatory framework cannot be fully implemented. Providers can also register with the OfS in the Approved category which will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations.

Both Houses will have the opportunity to debate these Regulations under the affirmative procedure. These Regulations do not set separate maximum fees for accelerated degrees, which are still under consideration. I expect to confirm further details on accelerated degrees in due course.

I also expect to lay Regulations setting student support arrangements for 2019/20 early in 2019 which will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Maximum tuition fees and fee loans for Approved (Fee Cap) Providers in 2019/20

The maximum tuition fee for full-time courses will be £9,250 in 2019/20 for providers that are registered with the OfS in the Approved (Fee Cap) category and have a current Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) award and an access and participation plan in place with the OfS. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers that do not have a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan to meet the full costs of their tuition up to a maximum of £9,250 in 2019/20 for full-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

The maximum tuition fee for students undertaking part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers that have a TEF award and have an OfS access and participation plan, will be £6,935 in 2019/20. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers without a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan of up to a maximum of £6,935 to meet the full costs of their tuition in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

Maximum fee loans for Approved Providers in 2019/20

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at Approved providers in 2019/20 will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations. They will however be able to apply for fee loans towards the costs of their tuition.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £6,165 in 2019/20 for those undertaking full-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £6,000 without a TEF award.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £4,625 in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £4,500 without a TEF award.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS789
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Childcare update

I wish to update the House on two important changes the Government is making to childcare.

I have today laid a new Statutory Instrument, The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. This SI, which will come into force on 31 August 2018, makes important changes to improve the fairness of the childcare disqualification arrangements and extend 30 hours free childcare to children in foster care.

The childcare disqualification arrangements are an important part of the strong set of safeguards we have in place to ensure the safety and welfare of our children and young people. These arrangements apply exclusively to individuals working in childcare in schools and the private and voluntary sectors, up to and including reception classes, and in wraparound care for children up to the age of 8. These arrangements build on the safeguards provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regime, which all schools and early years childcare providers must operate.

Under the arrangements, any individual who has committed an offence, or who is in breach of other criteria set out in legislation, is prohibited from working in these settings. The arrangements also include provision that disqualifies an individual from working in childcare because of an offence committed by someone who lives or works in their household, known as disqualification by association. This means that a member of staff is unable to work in childcare even though they themselves have not committed a relevant offence.

Disqualified individuals can obtain a waiver from Ofsted against their disqualification. Employers must suspend or redeploy the individual until a waiver is granted, as individuals who are disqualified cannot work in childcare without an Ofsted waiver. This provision has unfortunately been widely misunderstood and a number of individuals have been redeployed or suspended unnecessarily. Consequently, the disqualification by association provision is having a detrimental impact on employers and employees, as well as family life. It is also having a negative impact on the rehabilitation of offenders.

In response to widespread concerns about the disqualification by association provision, the Department for Education undertook a public consultation on options for its reform. We were most grateful for the near 450 responses received. The responses to the consultation largely reiterated the earlier concerns. The consultation strongly favoured reform, and the majority of respondents advocated the removal of disqualification by association in non-domestic settings.

Making new regulations enables us to address these concerns, by removing the disqualification by association where childcare is provided in non-domestic settings, where other safeguarding measures are well observed and followed. The disqualification by association provision will however continue to apply where childcare is provided in domestic settings, where it provides an important safeguard.

We are supporting the changes we are making with new statutory guidance. This will reinforce existing messages about the importance of employers undertaking safer recruitment checks and provide them with advice on how they can manage their workforce in the absence of the disqualification by association component of the arrangements. The Department for Education will also continue to provide a helpline and mailbox to employers and employees to help them with the arrangements.

The Government is also extending 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds to children in foster care. This is a key government early years policy, and foster families should have access to the same support and opportunities that all families have.

This government’s ambitions for children during and after being looked after are the same as for any other child: that they have access to good health and wellbeing, fulfil their educational potential, build and maintain lasting relationships and participate positively in society. The role of the foster parent is central to achieving those high ambitions for the children in their care. Fostering provides stability, a home and an alternative family. Children in foster care want to feel part of a family and have a normal family life. We need to support foster parents and local authorities in a way that achieves that. That includes foster parents being able to work outside their caring responsibilities, where it is right for the child.

The SI I have laid today enables us to realise those ambitions, by allowing children in foster care to receive 30 hours free childcare where the following criteria are met:

i. That accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan, placing the child at the centre of the process and decision making, and

ii. That, in single parent families, the foster parent holds additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent; or

iii. That in two parent families, both parents hold additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent.

The SI makes it clear that the eligibility of children in foster care will be determined by the responsible local authority.

We are supporting the changes with new statutory guidance and operational guidance. These will provide local authorities with detailed guidance on how they can discharge their duty to secure 30 hours free childcare for children in foster care, and ensure that the additional eligibility criteria are met.

Copies of the SI, our statutory and operational guidance documents, and the Government’s response to the consultation on changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS788
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

GP update

My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jackie Doyle-Price) has made the following statement:

NHS Digital recently identified a supplier defect in the processing of historical patient objections to the sharing of their confidential health data. An error occurred when 150,000 Type 2 objections[1] set between March 2015 and June 2018 in GP practices running TPP’s system were not sent to NHS Digital. As a result, these objections were not upheld by NHS Digital in its data disseminations between April 2016, when the NHS Digital process for enabling them to be upheld was introduced, and 26 June 2018. This means that data for these patients has been used in clinical audit and research that helps drive improvements in outcomes for patients.

Since being informed of the error by TPP, NHS Digital acted swiftly and it has now been rectified. NHS Digital made the Department of Health and Social Care aware of the error on 28 June. NHS Digital manages the contract for GP Systems of Choice on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

TPP has apologised unreservedly for its role in this matter and has committed to work with NHS Digital so that errors of this nature do not occur again. This will ensure that patients’ wishes on how their data is used are always respected and acted upon.

NHS Digital will write to all TPP GP practices today to make sure that they are aware of the issue and can provide reassurance to any affected patients. NHS Digital will also write to every affected patient. Patients need to take no action and their objections are now being upheld.

There is not, and has never been, any risk to patient care as a result of this error. NHS Digital has made the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Data Guardian for Health and Care aware.

As part of our commitment to the secure and safe handling of health data, on 25 May 2018 the Government introduced the new national data opt-out. The national data opt-out replaces Type 2 objections. This has simplified the process of registering an objection to data sharing for uses beyond an individual’s care. The new arrangements give patients direct control over setting their own preferences for the secondary use of their data and do not require the use of GP systems, and therefore will prevent a repeat of this kind of GP systems failure in the future.

The Government has the highest regard for data standards and is committed to ensuring patients can express a preference over how health data is shared for purposes beyond their own care.



[1] Where individuals did not want NHS Digital to share confidential patient information that they had collected from across the health and care service for purposes other than the individuals care, they could register this preference, known as a Type 2 opt-out.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS813
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of Sate for Defence)
Lords

Grant In Kind

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

I have today laid before the House a Departmental Minute describing a package of equipment and infrastructure that the UK intends to provide to the Jordanian Armed Forces. The value of the package is estimated at £5,194,000.

The provision of equipment will be treated as a grant in kind. Following correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2016, Departments which previously treated these payments as gifts have undertaken to notify the House of Commons of any such grant in kind of a value exceeding £300,000 and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the grant until 14 parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The grant in kind in this case comprises working and accommodation buildings, furniture and physical training equipment. The granting of this equipment will support the Jordanian Defence and Borders Programme and is fundamental to the aims of the Government Strategy for Jordan. Delivery of targeted areas of equipment and infrastructure support is an integral part of the approach in order to assist Jordan in developing the capability to protect its borders. The activity is in support of the National Security Council objectives and is funded through the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence.

Subject to completion of the Departmental Minute process, the equipment and infrastructure is expected to be delivered by the end of this financial year.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Proposed Directive on credit servicers, credit purchasers and the recovery of collateral – JHA opt-in decision

The proposed EU Directive on credit purchasers, credit servicers and the recovery of collateral contains, among other things, provisions on a new EU mechanism for out-of-court collateral enforcement. The Directive is part of a broader package of EU measures designed to reduce the levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the EU, as NPLs decrease profitability of banks, often leaving them in a weak position from which to provide finance to the wider economy in support of growth and jobs.

The government has decided that it is in the UK’s interest not to opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs obligations within this Directive as the provisions introduce an unnecessary level of administration to the UK’s existing collateral enforcement mechanisms, which are sufficiently robust and fit for purpose.

The Directive states that where Member States establish collateral enforcement mechanisms “by means of appropriation”, the rights of creditors “shall be governed by the applicable laws in each Member State”. The government’s view is that this provision addresses situations in which conflicts of laws points arise, in which case it is an applicable law provision and therefore includes JHA content.

The Directive similarly governs applicable law if a borrower and lender from two different EU Member States cannot agree on the appointment of a valuer— with the appointment of the valuer falling on the court within one of those Member States.

The government remains supportive of the European Commission’s broader efforts to reduce levels of NPLs in the EU, supporting solutions that are proportionate and targeted.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS791
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Jackie Doyle-Price (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

GP update

NHS Digital recently identified a supplier defect in the processing of historical patient objections to the sharing of their confidential health data. An error occurred when 150,000 Type 2 objections[1] set between March 2015 and June 2018 in GP practices running TPP’s system were not sent to NHS Digital. As a result, these objections were not upheld by NHS Digital in its data disseminations between April 2016, when the NHS Digital process for enabling them to be upheld was introduced, and 26 June 2018. This means that data for these patients has been used in clinical audit and research that helps drive improvements in outcomes for patients.

Since being informed of the error by TPP, NHS Digital acted swiftly and it has now been rectified. NHS Digital made the Department of Health and Social Care aware of the error on 28 June. NHS Digital manages the contract for GP Systems of Choice on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

TPP has apologised unreservedly for its role in this matter and has committed to work with NHS Digital so that errors of this nature do not occur again. This will ensure that patients’ wishes on how their data is used are always respected and acted upon.

NHS Digital will write to all TPP GP practices today to make sure that they are aware of the issue and can provide reassurance to any affected patients. NHS Digital will also write to every affected patient. Patients need to take no action and their objections are now being upheld.

There is not, and has never been, any risk to patient care as a result of this error. NHS Digital has made the Information Commissioner’s Office and the National Data Guardian for Health and Care aware.

As part of our commitment to the secure and safe handling of health data, on 25 May 2018 the Government introduced the new national data opt-out. The national data opt-out replaces Type 2 objections. This has simplified the process of registering an objection to data sharing for uses beyond an individual’s care. The new arrangements give patients direct control over setting their own preferences for the secondary use of their data and do not require the use of GP systems, and therefore will prevent a repeat of this kind of GP systems failure in the future.

The Government has the highest regard for data standards and is committed to ensuring patients can express a preference over how health data is shared for purposes beyond their own care.



[1] Where individuals did not want NHS Digital to share confidential patient information that they had collected from across the health and care service for purposes other than the individuals care, they could register this preference, known as a Type 2 opt-out.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS787
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Grant In Kind

I have today laid before the House a Departmental Minute describing a package of equipment and infrastructure that the UK intends to provide to the Jordanian Armed Forces. The value of the package is estimated at £5,194,000.

The provision of equipment will be treated as a grant in kind. Following correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2016, Departments which previously treated these payments as gifts have undertaken to notify the House of Commons of any such grant in kind of a value exceeding £300,000 and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the grant until 14 parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The grant in kind in this case comprises working and accommodation buildings, furniture and physical training equipment. The granting of this equipment will support the Jordanian Defence and Borders Programme and is fundamental to the aims of the Government Strategy for Jordan. Delivery of targeted areas of equipment and infrastructure support is an integral part of the approach in order to assist Jordan in developing the capability to protect its borders. The activity is in support of the National Security Council objectives and is funded through the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence.

Subject to completion of the Departmental Minute process, the equipment and infrastructure is expected to be delivered by the end of this financial year.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Building Safety 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.

Today, my Department has published the Building Safety Programme: monthly data release for June. This updates data on the identification, testing and remediation programme for Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems on high-rise buildings. I wanted to update the House on the further steps my Department is taking to ensure this work is completed as effectively and swiftly as possible.

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Government has been working closely with local authorities and fire and rescue services to identify and make safe high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding as a matter of urgency. Through the Government-funded testing programme at Building Research Establishment (BRE), which has been made available at no cost to all local authorities, housing associations, public and private sector building owners, 314 buildings have been identified as having unsafe cladding. Of these, 159 are social housing, 14 are public buildings, and 141 are private residential buildings.

For high-rise buildings in the private sector, my predecessor wrote to local authorities last summer asking them to identify all privately-owned buildings with potentially unsafe cladding. We have provided local authorities with £1.3 million to assist in this process. As part of this work, local authorities have been collecting information on ACM buildings in their areas which have not been tested at BRE. This effort from local authorities has resulted in them assessing over 6,000 high-rise private sector buildings. They have now identified an additional 156 private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding. Adding these to the 141 already identified by BRE testing brings the total to 297 private sector high-rise residential buildings identified as having ACM cladding that is unlikely to meet current Building Regulations guidance.

We are confident that, through this testing and the hard work of local authorities, we have identified all social housing with unsafe ACM cladding systems in England. However, beyond the 297 confirmed private sector buildings, the cladding status of approximately 170 private sector residential buildings remains outstanding. For all but a handful of these buildings, local authorities have commenced enforcement action to obtain the necessary information from owners who are responsible for ensuring safety. Based on current evidence, and the identification rate to date, we expect three to five per cent of the remaining buildings to have similar ACM cladding systems to those which have failed large-scale system tests. Address details for these buildings have been passed to local fire and rescue services, who are prioritising visits to those buildings to confirm appropriate fire safety measures are in place.

In the private sector, local authorities are checking actions being taken to remediate buildings and have told us about plans for 72 of the private sector buildings identified to date. Of these, 21 have started remediation, and 4 of these have been completed. Remediation work has also started on 70 per cent of the social sector buildings and the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding systems on residential social housing buildings 18 metres and above owned by social landlords, with costs estimated at £400 million.

In light of this updated information, I am taking the following steps:

1) A new ministerially-chaired taskforce is being established to actively oversee the remediation of private sector buildings with ACM cladding systems. The taskforce will be charged with ensuring that remediation plans are put in place swiftly across all private sector buildings with ACM cladding systems, addressing any barriers or identifying any additional support required to achieve this. Membership of this taskforce will include Local Government Association (LGA), National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), London Councils, local authorities who have experienced the largest degree of impact and industry representatives.

2) The LGA and NFCC are convening a joint expert inspection team to help local authorities on the ground. This team will support local authorities in ensuring and where necessary, enforcing remediation of private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems. To support the work of the inspection team, I am making up to £1 million available to support local authorities on further enforcement steps and the Department is also developing further statutory guidance for local authorities to enhance their use of existing Housing Act powers in relation to fire safety hazards associated with cladding on high-rise residential buildings.

3) Following my recent roundtable with industry representatives, I have responded to their suggestions by inviting them to develop industry-led solutions to deliver remediation, exploring all options to protect leaseholders from additional costs. At a further meeting in July, I will expect industry to present their proposals with a view to agreeing next steps. I rule out no options if industry and individual building owners or developers do not come forward with their own solutions. In the meantime, I will continue to explore other routes for protecting leaseholders. These may include: supporting local authorities to take more targeted action to identify and remediate affected buildings and recovering costs from those responsible for ensuring the safety of buildings; and supporting leaseholder enfranchisement.

4) My Department is writing to all relevant private sector building owners to remind of their responsibility to make their buildings safe. This includes; confirming to the relevant local authority whether they have ACM cladding systems if they have not yet done so; implementing any necessary interim safety measures and permanently remediating their buildings, reminding them that local authorities have powers to enforce these improvements if building owners do not take action; and setting out my expectation that they should explore all options to protect leaseholders from incurring the costs associated with replacing unsafe cladding.

Building owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and their residents. Government and local authorities will monitor and hold them to account for this where they have unsafe ACM cladding systems, The Government continues to drive forward these steps as a priority, with the aim that residents are safe in their homes and that they feel safe.

A link to the data is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-june-2018 and I will place the documents in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS811
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Building Safety Update

Today, my Department has published the Building Safety Programme: monthly data release for June. This updates data on the identification, testing and remediation programme for Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems on high-rise buildings. I wanted to update the House on the further steps my Department is taking to ensure this work is completed as effectively and swiftly as possible.

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Government has been working closely with local authorities and fire and rescue services to identify and make safe high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding as a matter of urgency. Through the Government-funded testing programme at Building Research Establishment (BRE), which has been made available at no cost to all local authorities, housing associations, public and private sector building owners, 314 buildings have been identified as having unsafe cladding. Of these, 159 are social housing, 14 are public buildings, and 141 are private residential buildings.

For high-rise buildings in the private sector, my predecessor wrote to local authorities last summer asking them to identify all privately-owned buildings with potentially unsafe cladding. We have provided local authorities with £1.3 million to assist in this process. As part of this work, local authorities have been collecting information on ACM buildings in their areas which have not been tested at BRE. This effort from local authorities has resulted in them assessing over 6,000 high-rise private sector buildings. They have now identified an additional 156 private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe cladding. Adding these to the 141 already identified by BRE testing brings the total to 297 private sector high-rise residential buildings identified as having ACM cladding that is unlikely to meet current Building Regulations guidance.

We are confident that, through this testing and the hard work of local authorities, we have identified all social housing with unsafe ACM cladding systems in England. However, beyond the 297 confirmed private sector buildings, the cladding status of approximately 170 private sector residential buildings remains outstanding. For all but a handful of these buildings, local authorities have commenced enforcement action to obtain the necessary information from owners who are responsible for ensuring safety. Based on current evidence, and the identification rate to date, we expect three to five per cent of the remaining buildings to have similar ACM cladding systems to those which have failed large-scale system tests. Address details for these buildings have been passed to local fire and rescue services, who are prioritising visits to those buildings to confirm appropriate fire safety measures are in place.

In the private sector, local authorities are checking actions being taken to remediate buildings and have told us about plans for 72 of the private sector buildings identified to date. Of these, 21 have started remediation, and 4 of these have been completed. Remediation work has also started on 70 per cent of the social sector buildings and the government will fully fund the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding systems on residential social housing buildings 18 metres and above owned by social landlords, with costs estimated at £400 million.

In light of this updated information, I am taking the following steps:

1) A new ministerially-chaired taskforce is being established to actively oversee the remediation of private sector buildings with ACM cladding systems. The taskforce will be charged with ensuring that remediation plans are put in place swiftly across all private sector buildings with ACM cladding systems, addressing any barriers or identifying any additional support required to achieve this. Membership of this taskforce will include Local Government Association (LGA), National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC), London Councils, local authorities who have experienced the largest degree of impact and industry representatives.

2) The LGA and NFCC are convening a joint expert inspection team to help local authorities on the ground. This team will support local authorities in ensuring and where necessary, enforcing remediation of private sector high-rise residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding systems. To support the work of the inspection team, I am making up to £1 million available to support local authorities on further enforcement steps and the Department is also developing further statutory guidance for local authorities to enhance their use of existing Housing Act powers in relation to fire safety hazards associated with cladding on high-rise residential buildings.

3) Following my recent roundtable with industry representatives, I have responded to their suggestions by inviting them to develop industry-led solutions to deliver remediation, exploring all options to protect leaseholders from additional costs. At a further meeting in July, I will expect industry to present their proposals with a view to agreeing next steps. I rule out no options if industry and individual building owners or developers do not come forward with their own solutions. In the meantime, I will continue to explore other routes for protecting leaseholders. These may include: supporting local authorities to take more targeted action to identify and remediate affected buildings and recovering costs from those responsible for ensuring the safety of buildings; and supporting leaseholder enfranchisement.

4) My Department is writing to all relevant private sector building owners to remind of their responsibility to make their buildings safe. This includes; confirming to the relevant local authority whether they have ACM cladding systems if they have not yet done so; implementing any necessary interim safety measures and permanently remediating their buildings, reminding them that local authorities have powers to enforce these improvements if building owners do not take action; and setting out my expectation that they should explore all options to protect leaseholders from incurring the costs associated with replacing unsafe cladding.

Building owners are responsible for ensuring the safety of their buildings and their residents. Government and local authorities will monitor and hold them to account for this where they have unsafe ACM cladding systems, The Government continues to drive forward these steps as a priority, with the aim that residents are safe in their homes and that they feel safe.

A link to the data is here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-monthly-data-release-june-2018 and I will place the documents in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS785
WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (The Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

ISC Detainee Reports

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

The Government agreed with the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) in December 2013 that it would enquire into the themes and issues identified in Sir Peter Gibson’s Detainee Inquiry Report, take further evidence and produce a report. The ISC has now concluded its work and their report on detainee mistreatment and rendition issues has today been laid in Parliament. It is in two parts: the first on the period 2001 to 2010; the second on current issues.

The Government welcomes the publication of the ISC’s reports. It is important to begin by noting the context in which the Government, including the Security and Intelligence Agencies and Armed Forces, was working in the immediate aftermath of 11 September 2001 and the deployments of Armed Forces personnel to Iraq and Afghanistan. The UK responded, alongside its international partners, to the tragic events of 9/11 with the aim of doing everything possible to prevent further loss of innocent life, both here and overseas. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the priority again was preventing loss of life.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that UK personnel were working within a new and challenging operating environment for which, in some cases, they were not prepared. It took too long to recognise that guidance and training for staff was inadequate, and too long to understand fully and take appropriate action on the risks arising from our engagement with international partners on detainee issues. The Agencies responded to what they thought were isolated allegations and incidents of mistreatment, but the ISC concludes that they should have realised the extent to which others were using unacceptable practices as part of a systematic programme. The Agencies acknowledge that they did not fully understand this quickly enough and they regret not doing so.

UK personnel are bound by applicable principles of domestic and international law. The Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (CIDT) for any purpose. The ISC has noted, in the context of its historical report, a number of cases where intelligence and Armed Forces personnel are alleged to have threatened individuals in foreign detention. Such alleged behaviour is clearly unacceptable and the ISC’s Current Issues report recognises that improvements have been made to operational processes, fostering a greater awareness of risks and establishing enhanced oversight in relation to detainee issues.

Since 2010, UK intelligence and Armed Forces personnel have operated under the published Consolidated Guidance. It provides direction for UK personnel and governs their interaction with detainees held by others overseas and the handling of intelligence derived from them. As the ISC acknowledges, very few countries in the world have attempted to set out their approach to these matters, and let themselves be held accountable in this manner, and it is to the Security and Intelligence Agencies’ and Ministry of Defence’s credit that they have embedded these procedures and ensure that their personnel follow them carefully when dealing with detainees held by others. It is coupled with a world-leading independent oversight regime, underpinned by the Justice and Security Act 2013 and the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. This has given enhanced powers to the Intelligence and Security Committee to oversee the activities of the Security and Intelligence Agencies, alongside the statutory role of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, Sir Adrian Fulford.

Working closely with international partners is an essential part of keeping this country and its people safe. In doing so UK personnel seek assurances from those countries on their treatment of individuals and make clear the UK’s position on torture and CIDT. Detainee-related work remains important and at times difficult, but intelligence and Armed Forces personnel are now much better placed to meet that challenge. The lessons from what happened in the aftermath of the appalling terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 are to be found in improved operational policy and practice, better guidance and training, and an enhanced oversight and legal framework. We should be proud of the work done by our intelligence and service personnel, often in the most difficult circumstances, but it is only right that they should be held to the highest possible standards in protecting our national security.

The Government will give further consideration to the ISC’s conclusions and recommendations, noting that it has expressed a number of concerns about the Consolidated Guidance, but has said that these should be read in the spirit of continuous improvement. Formal oversight responsibility for the Consolidated Guidance rests with the Investigatory Powers Commissioner, following my direction to him under section 230 of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, with effect from 1 September 2017. I am therefore inviting Sir Adrian to make proposals to the Government about how the Guidance could be improved, taking account of the ISC’s views and those of civil society.

The Government will consider the reports in full and respond formally in due course.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Lords

Energy Policy

My hon friend Richard Harrington, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Business and Industry has made the following written ministerial statement:

In its Written Ministerial Statement of 11 January 2018, the Government set out its commitment to put in place all the necessary measures to ensure that the UK can operate as an independent and responsible nuclear state upon the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom. As made clear in a further Written Ministerial Statement of 26 March 2018, the UK will take legal responsibility for its own nuclear safeguards regime when Euratom safeguards arrangements no longer apply.

The necessary measures include the negotiation of new bilateral safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). I am pleased to announce that on 7 June 2018 the UK and the IAEA signed these new agreements – a Voluntary Offer Agreement and Additional Protocol – and we intend to bring these to Parliament for ratification this autumn. The new agreements will replace the current trilateral agreements between the UK, the IAEA and Euratom.

The conclusion of these agreements marks the successful achievement of a major Euratom Exit milestone and and important step towards ensuring business continuity for the civil nuclear sector once Euratom arrangements cease to apply to the UK.

On 26 June 2018, the Nuclear Safeguards Bill, which provides the necessary powers to establish a domestic nuclear safeguards regime, received Royal Assent.The passage of this Bill marks another important Euratom Exit milestone and paves the way for the secondary legislation, on which the Government will be publicly consulting over the summer, to be put in place before the end of March 2019.

The Government has also progressed its discussions on Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCAs) with priority countries to ensure continuity for the civil nuclear sector. On 4 May 2018 the UK signed a bilateral NCA with the United States of America, and remains on track to have bilateral agreements with all priority countries in place when Euratom arrangements cease to apply to the UK.

In parallel with the above, the Government is negotiating with the EU on the UK's separation from, and future relationship with, Euratom. The UK and EU have now reached agreement on all Euratom related articles of the draft Withdrawal Agreement. The relevant text has therefore been finalised.

There is more detail on these matters in the second quarterly update which has today been provided to Parliament by way of a report. The paper will be placed in the libraries of the House. As Royal Assent of the Nuclear Safeguards Bill was received on 26 June, the content and timing of these reporting updates to Parliament will be determined by the relevant provisions of that legislation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS809
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))
Lords

Industrial Strategy

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Greg Clark), has today made the following statement:

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government committed to making the most of the UK’s strengths, so we can develop the technologies that will transform existing industries and create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the United Kingdom. The nuclear sector is an undoubted strength of our economy and one of the most advanced in the world, from research, fuel production, generation through to decommissioning, waste management, transport and our world class regulatory system – it is an industry which offers huge opportunity for the future.

Sector Deals, where industries are invited to come forward with plans for their future, embody the ethos of our collaborative approach. They show how industry and the Government, working together, can boost the productivity and earning power of specific sectors. We have already struck ambitious deals with the artificial intelligence, life sciences, automotive and creative industries sectors and we look forward to building on this in the months ahead.

The Government has worked closely with the sector champion Lord Hutton and industry leads from the Nuclear Industry Council to develop a number of proposals by 2030, which include:

  • 30 per cent cost reduction in the cost of new build projects
  • Savings of 20 per cent in the cost of decommissioning compared with current estimates
  • Women to make up 40 per cent of the nuclear sector by 2030
  • Win up to £2bn domestic and international contracts

The Deal contains mutual commitments to drive greater productivity, innovation and exports by: adopting innovative advanced manufacturing and construction techniques in new nuclear projects; supporting advanced nuclear technologies including small modular reactors (SMRs) and a range of research and development activities; a joint review of the decommissioning pipeline to achieve greater value for the taxpayer and to boost exports; a supply chain competitiveness programme to support UK business to build capabilities to win work domestically and internationally; and a range of proposals to support a future workforce including a new apprenticeship standard and a commitment to a more diverse workforce, including a target of women making up 40% of the nuclear sector by 2030.

The UK has consistently been a world leader in nuclear technology and has been at the forefront of many new developments in the industry. This Deal will continue that tradition through the establishment of a new framework to support the development and deployment of SMRs and the innovative technologies that support them. This support is designed to challenge the industry to bring forward technically and commercially viable propositions that would lead to the deployment of new reactors that would be investable and cost competitive in the energy system. This builds on the package announced in December 2017 of up to £44m for R&D funding (up to £4m in phase 1 and, subject to Government approval, up to £40m for phase 2) for ‘advanced’ modular reactors. I am pleased to announce the following companies have made credible propositions from a range of UK and international concepts and will receive grant funding to undertake detailed studies:

Advanced Reactor Concepts LLC; DBD Limited; LeadCold; Moltex Energy Limited; Tokamak Energy Ltd; U-Battery Developments Ltd; Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation; Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited

The Government remains committed to fusion alongside fission and announced £86m, in December 2017, to create a new National Fusion Technology Platform at Culham in Oxfordshire. The Government is also working in partnership with the Welsh Government to develop a £40m thermal hydraulics facility in North Wales as part of the Nuclear Innovation Programme.

I have deposited a copy of the Nuclear Sector Deal in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS804
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

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

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

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on the 21th June 2018 in Luxembourg. The Deputy Permanent Representative to the European Union, Katrina Williams, represented the UK.

Three legislative proposals achieved general approach at the Council. These were the proposed Revision of Regulations on coordination of social security systems (883/04 and 987/09); the Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions in the European Union 16018/17; and the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers and Repealing Council Directive 2010/18/E.

The Council also discussed the European Semester. As part of this agenda item, the Council approved Draft Council Recommendations on the National Reform Programmes 2018 of each Member State; endorsed the opinions of the Employment Committee (EMCO) and the Social Protection Committee (SPC) on the 2018 Country-specific Recommendations (CSRs) and the implementation of the 2017 CSRs; and adopted a proposal on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States.

There were a number of progress reports and information items during the Council. These included an update on proposals for an equal treatment directive, the proposed European Labour Authority, and an overview of the Commission’s plans for the future European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) and European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGAF).

The Council closed with updates on the status of other legislative files, broader developments in the field of employment and social policy, and an overview of the priorities of the incoming Austrian presidency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS806
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Piloting alternative electoral canvassing models - Evaluation Report

The Minister for the Constitution has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am publishing the Government’s evaluation of the pilots conducted in 2017 in England, Scotland and Wales testing alternative approaches to the current annual canvass for the electoral register. These pilots were conducted under section 9 of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013. The Electoral Commission has today published its own evaluation of the pilot findings.

The Government brought forward legislation to conduct these pilots to test alternative approaches to the canvass as the current process is expensive, administratively complex to run and confusing for citizens to navigate. The alternative approaches were initially proposed by the electoral community, with four models being refined and taken forward for piloting. These models were a Household Notification Letter (HNL) model, a telephone canvassing model, an email model and a model that introduced a data discernment step at the start of the process. We tested these four models over 24 different local authorities in 2017, following a smaller sample of piloting the previous year. I would like to thank all the Local Authorities and their staff who participated.

The pilots and evaluation show that there are viable ways of improving the canvass to achieve a reduction in cost and administrative burden without compromising the volume and quality of data that is currently collected through this process. In particular, the pilots have shown that we can use data to help better target resources to those properties with a change in household composition. The pilots have also shown the ability to deploy more modern communication methods to engage citizens in the annual canvass. It is time the canvass process is brought into the 21st century. Doing so will build on other reforms to modernise electoral registration, such as the introduction of online registration, which have helped ensure the electoral register used for the 2017 General Election was the largest ever.

The Government now intends to consult in the coming months on reforms to the annual canvass based on the pilot findings. We believe a hybrid model, incorporating the most successful elements of each of the models piloted will be the most beneficial in achieving the aims of reform. We intend to publish a policy statement later this year setting out the plans and asking for feedback from all interested parties.

The pilots show the benefits of engaging closely with stakeholders, who are best placed to shape a system that works for everyone. We are indebted to the Electoral Commission, the Association of Electoral Administrators and the Scottish Assessors Association for their collaboration to date and look forward to this continuing throughout the development and implementation of these reforms.

Our intention is for reforms to be introduced across Great Britain. As elements of electoral registration are devolved in Scotland and Wales, reforms will need to be introduced jointly. We are therefore working closely with the Devolved Administrations in Scotland and Wales. The publication of the evidence from the pilots is an important milestone that will help underpin this collaboration.

I am placing a copy of the evaluation report in the Libraries of both Houses.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Business plan of the United Kingdom Debt Management Office

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

The United Kingdom Debt Management Office (DMO) has today published its business plan for the financial year 2018-19. Copies have been deposited in the Libraries of both houses and are available on the DMO’s website, www.dmo.gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS810
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