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
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Publication of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion Report

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

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) has undertaken a review of diversity and inclusion in the UK intelligence and security community focusing on four key protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010: gender, race, sexuality and disability. The Committee has now completed its inquiry and its report has today been laid in parliament.

The Government welcomes the publication of the ISC’s Report. The Report recognises that the intelligence and security community needs to attract and draw upon the skills, talent and experience of all sectors of our society in order to continue its vital work effectively, and to reflect the diverse population it protects. The Report acknowledges the significant progress that has taken place in recent years, highlighting the work of staff networks, innovative and inclusive recruitment campaigns and the facilitation of more flexible working patterns and styles. There is clearly room for improvement and senior leaders remain committed to ensuring the intelligence and security community is as inclusive as possible.

The Government thanks the ISC for its work. We will give full consideration to the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report and will respond formally in due course.

WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Machinery of Government - Child Death Review Policy

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

This written statement confirms that child death review policy will transfer from the Department for Education to the Department for Health and Social Care. More than 80 per cent of child deaths have medical or public health causes. The Department of Health and Social Care, its arm’s-length bodies and the wider NHS have a responsibility to support understanding of children’s deaths and translating learning into actions to reduce preventable deaths.

The transfer was recommended by the Wood Review of the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards, published in March 2016. It includes responsibility for issuing statutory guidance relating to child death reviews, supporting child death review partners with the implementation of this guidance alongside NHS England, and putting in place transitional arrangements involving NHS Digital for the collection of Local Safeguarding Children Boards child death review data, and then, once operational, by the National Child Mortality Database.

Related areas that remain the responsibility of the Department for Education include children’s social care, including safeguarding children and child protection.

These changes will be effective from today, 18 July 2018.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Allocations 2018/19

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

I wish to update the House on the progress of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) for the Financial Year 2017/18, as well as to announce the initial regional and thematic allocations for this Financial Year 2018/19.

The CSSF is a cross-government fund which uses both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA resources to deliver against both national security and UK Aid objectives, through security, defence, peacekeeping, peace-building and stability activity.

Following a review of the cross-government funds, undertaken as part of the National Security Capability Review, Ministerial oversight of the CSSF and the Prosperity Fund is now the responsibility of a sub committee of the National Security Council. I chair this sub committee, which met for the first time on 13 June, and ensures that both funds deliver effectively on national security priorities and UK Aid objectives.

Examples of successful programmes and results, as well as ways in which the CSSF has made improvements, are included in the CSSF Annual Report, published today. A copy of this document will be placed in the libraries of both Houses and has been published on GOV.UK.

In 2017/18, the CSSF spent £1,182 million against a cross-government allocation of £1,188 million (99.5%). A further breakdown of spend against regional and thematic allocation, by department and by discretionary and non-discretionary spend, is included in the Annual Report. The initial allocated budget for the Fund is £1,279 million for FY 2018/19.

FY 18/19 Allocations

Allocation

Non-ODA

ODA

Total

Middle East, North Africa

£30.5 m

£177.1 m

£207.6 m

South Asia

£18.5 m

£89.7 m

£108.2 m

Africa (sub-Saharan)

£34.0 m

£58.9 m

£92.8 m

Overseas Territories

£44.0 m

£4.5 m

£48.5 m

Eastern Europe, Central Asia

£25.7 m

£16.9 m

£42.5 m

Western Balkans

£5.7 m

£22.4 m

£28.0 m

Americas

£.3 m

£9.7 m

£10.0 m

Good Governance Fund (Western Balkans and Eastern Europe)

-

£33.0 m

£33.0 m

Asia Pacific

-

£3.0 m

£3.0 m

REGIONAL TOTAL

£158.6 m

£415.0 m

£573.7 m

Migration

£10.0 m

£18.5 m

£28.5 m

Counter Extremism

£13.3 m

£14.2 m

£27.5 m

Multilateral Strategy

£3.0 m

£51.5 m

£54.5 m

THEMATIC TOTAL

£26.3 m

£84.2 m

£110.5 m

Peacekeeping

£303.2 m

£82.8 m

£386.0 m

MOD DMAP

£50.0 m

-

£50.0 m

MOD Afghan Security

£100.0 m

-

£100.0 m

MOD UNFICYP

£18.1 m

-

£18.1 m

MOD UN Ops Africa

£20.0 m

-

£20.0 m

Non-Discretionary TOTAL

£491.3 m

£82.8 m

£574.1 m

Corporate Delivery Support & Other (this includes Stabilisation Unit, Joint Funds Unit and pilot activities)

£5.1 m

£15.2 m

£20.4 m

TOTAL CSSF

£681.4 m

£597.2 m

£1278.7 m

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Employment and Support Allowance

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

On 15 March I provided the House with a statement setting out how the work my Department was undertaking to correct underpayments that occurred when converting Incapacity Benefit claims to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) between 2011 and 2014 was progressing. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide the House with a further update.

In March I explained that my Department would resource this exercise with 400 staff to make sure we could review cases at pace. This work is now underway with staff reviewing cases, contacting claimants and correcting claims; so far we have paid out over £40 million in arrears.

The Department has analysed the relationship between “official error” and section 27 of the Social Security Act 1998 in regulating how and to what extent arrears can be paid. As a result of the conclusions of this analysis, we will now be paying arrears to those affected back to their date of conversion to ESA.

My Department will be contacting all those identified as potentially affected as planned. Once an individual is contacted, and the relevant information gathered, they can expect to receive appropriate payment within 12 weeks. I can also confirm that once contacted, individuals will be provided with a dedicated free phone number on which they can make contact with the Department.

Where we have already corrected cases and paid arrears from 21 October 2014 we will review the case again and pay any additional arrears that are due prior to that date.

I hope this will help Members to provide reassurance, to their constituents who think they may have been affected, that they will receive all the money they are entitled to.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS877
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Schools: Response to the Resolution of the House, 25 April 2018

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for School Standards (Nick Gibb) has made the following written ministerial statement.

I would like to respond to the resolution of the House following the opposition day debate on school funding on 25 April.

School funding is at a record high and schools have benefitted from the introduction of the national funding formula, which came into force in April. The new formula is supported by our investment of an additional £1.3 billion in the core schools budget, on top of what was announced at the last spending review.

Core schools funding will rise from almost £41 billion last year, to £42.4 billion this year and £43.5 billion in 2019-20. This means that real terms per pupil funding in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000.

The new national funding formula is an historic reform which means that, for the first time, resources are distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country.

The formula recognises the challenges of the very lowest funded schools, by introducing a minimum per pupil funding level. Under the national funding formula, in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil, and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil.

Moreover, the formula allocates every local authority more money for every pupil in every school in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Final decisions on local distribution will be taken by local authorities, but under the national funding formula every school is attracting at least 0.5% more per pupil in 2018-19, and 1% more in 2019-20, compared to 2017-18.

We recognise that the introduction of the national funding formula represents a significant change to the way schools are funded. To provide stability for authorities and schools through the transition, we have previously confirmed that in 2018-19 and 2019-20 each local authority will continue to set a local formula, in consultation with local schools.

Many local councils feel that the right thing to do is to replicate the national funding formula locally, and we support and encourage this. However, we recognise that some areas will want to use their local flexibility to introduce a more tailored local formula, for instance because of local changes in characteristics, rapid growth in pupil numbers or the need to invest more in pupils with SEN or disabilities.

After too many years in which the funding system has placed our schools on an unfair playing field, we are finally making the historic move towards fair funding. Alongside the increased investment we are making in schools, this will underpin further improvements in standards and help create a world-class education system, and build a system that allows every child to achieve their potential, no matter their background.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS876
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Contingency Fund Advance

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

The Department for Work and Pensions has identified the need for minor revisions to two Statutory Instruments. These relate to the award of some premiums to people entitled to income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, and to the application of the shared accommodation rate for foster carers in Universal Credit. Both drafting points date back to April 2013.

No customers have been adversely affected in either circumstance and payments of benefit have been – and continue to be – made fully in accordance with the policy intent.

The Department will amend the relevant legislation as soon as practically possible to ensure that these payments are included on the statutory framework.

Parliamentary approval for resources of £ 21,400,000 for this new service has been sought in the Main Estimate for the Department for Work and Pensions. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £ 21,400,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

Once the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No.2) Bill achieves Royal Assent, the advance will be repaid in full and ongoing expenditure will legitimately rest on the sole authority of the Supply and Appropriation Act, until the amending legislation is in place.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS875
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Esther McVey (The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions)
Commons

Employment and Support Allowance

On 15 March I provided the House with a statement setting out how the work my Department was undertaking to correct underpayments that occurred when converting Incapacity Benefit claims to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) between 2011 and 2014 was progressing. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide the House with a further update.

In March I explained that my Department would resource this exercise with 400 staff to make sure we could review cases at pace. This work is now underway with staff reviewing cases, contacting claimants and correcting claims; so far we have paid out over £40 million in arrears.

The Department has analysed the relationship between “official error” and section 27 of the Social Security Act 1998 in regulating how and to what extent arrears can be paid. As a result of the conclusions of this analysis, we will now be paying arrears to those affected back to their date of conversion to ESA.

My Department will be contacting all those identified as potentially affected as planned. Once an individual is contacted, and the relevant information gathered, they can expect to receive appropriate payment within 12 weeks. I can also confirm that once contacted, individuals will be provided with a dedicated free phone number on which they can make contact with the Department.

Where we have already corrected cases and paid arrears from 21 October 2014 we will review the case again and pay any additional arrears that are due prior to that date.

I hope this will help Members to provide reassurance, to their constituents who think they may have been affected, that they will receive all the money they are entitled to.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS846
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Nick Gibb (The Minister of State for School Standards)
Commons

Schools: Response to the Resolution of the House, 25 April 2018

I would like to respond to the resolution of the House following the opposition day debate on school funding on 25 April.

School funding is at a record high and schools have benefitted from the introduction of the national funding formula, which came into force in April. The new formula is supported by our investment of an additional £1.3 billion in the core schools budget, on top of what was announced at the last spending review.

Core schools funding will rise from almost £41 billion last year, to £42.4 billion this year and £43.5 billion in 2019-20. This means that real terms per pupil funding in 2020 will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000.

The new national funding formula is an historic reform which means that, for the first time, resources are distributed according to a formula based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country.

The formula recognises the challenges of the very lowest funded schools, by introducing a minimum per pupil funding level. Under the national funding formula, in 2019-20 all secondary schools will attract at least £4,800 per pupil, and all primary schools will attract at least £3,500 per pupil.

Moreover, the formula allocates every local authority more money for every pupil in every school in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Final decisions on local distribution will be taken by local authorities, but under the national funding formula every school is attracting at least 0.5% more per pupil in 2018-19, and 1% more in 2019-20, compared to 2017-18.

We recognise that the introduction of the national funding formula represents a significant change to the way schools are funded. To provide stability for authorities and schools through the transition, we have previously confirmed that in 2018-19 and 2019-20 each local authority will continue to set a local formula, in consultation with local schools.

Many local councils feel that the right thing to do is to replicate the national funding formula locally, and we support and encourage this. However, we recognise that some areas will want to use their local flexibility to introduce a more tailored local formula, for instance because of local changes in characteristics, rapid growth in pupil numbers or the need to invest more in pupils with SEN or disabilities.

After too many years in which the funding system has placed our schools on an unfair playing field, we are finally making the historic move towards fair funding. Alongside the increased investment we are making in schools, this will underpin further improvements in standards and help create a world-class education system, and build a system that allows every child to achieve their potential, no matter their background.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS845
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Alok Sharma (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Contingency Fund Advance

The Department for Work and Pensions has identified the need for minor revisions to two Statutory Instruments. These relate to the award of some premiums to people entitled to income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, and to the application of the shared accommodation rate for foster carers in Universal Credit. Both drafting points date back to April 2013.

No customers have been adversely affected in either circumstance and payments of benefit have been – and continue to be – made fully in accordance with the policy intent.

The Department will amend the relevant legislation as soon as practically possible to ensure that these payments are included on the statutory framework.

Parliamentary approval for resources of £ 21,400,000 for this new service has been sought in the Main Estimate for the Department for Work and Pensions. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £ 21,400,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

Once the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No.2) Bill achieves Royal Assent, the advance will be repaid in full and ongoing expenditure will legitimately rest on the sole authority of the Supply and Appropriation Act, until the amending legislation is in place.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS844
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Conflict, Stability and Security Fund Allocations 2018/19

I wish to update the House on the progress of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) for the Financial Year 2017/18, as well as to announce the initial regional and thematic allocations for this Financial Year 2018/19.

The CSSF is a cross-government fund which uses both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA resources to deliver against both national security and UK Aid objectives, through security, defence, peacekeeping, peace-building and stability activity.

Following a review of the cross-government funds, undertaken as part of the National Security Capability Review, Ministerial oversight of the CSSF and the Prosperity Fund is now the responsibility of a sub committee of the National Security Council. I chair this sub committee, which met for the first time on 13 June, and ensures that both funds deliver effectively on national security priorities and UK Aid objectives.

Examples of successful programmes and results, as well as ways in which the CSSF has made improvements are included in the CSSF Annual Report, published today. A copy of this document will be placed in the libraries of both Houses and has been published on GOV.UK.

In 2017/18, the CSSF spent £1,182 million against a cross-government allocation of £1,188 million (99.5%). A further breakdown of spend against regional and thematic allocation, by department and by discretionary and non- discretionary spend is included in the Annual Report. The initial allocated budget for the Fund is £1,279 million for FY 2018/19.

FY 18/19 Allocations

Allocation

Non-ODA

ODA

Total

Middle East North Africa

£30.5 m

£177.1 m

£207.6 m

South Asia

£18.5 m

£89.7 m

£108.2 m

Africa (sub-Saharan)

£34.0 m

£58.9 m

£92.8 m

Overseas Territories

£44.0 m

£4.5 m

£48.5 m

Eastern Europe, Central Asia

£25.7 m

£16.9 m

£42.5 m

Western Balkans

£5.7 m

£22.4 m

£28.0 m

Americas

£.3 m

£9.7 m

£10.0 m

Good Governance Fund (Western Balkans and Eastern Europe)

-

£33.0 m

£33.0 m

Asia Pacific

-

£3.0 m

£3.0 m

REGIONAL TOTAL

£158.6 m

£415.0 m

£573.7 m

Migration

£10.0 m

£18.5 m

£28.5 m

Counter Extremism

£13.3 m

£14.2 m

£27.5 m

Multilateral Strategy

£3.0 m

£51.5 m

£54.5 m

THEMATIC TOTAL

£26.3 m

£84.2 m

£110.5 m

Peacekeeping

£303.2 m

£82.8 m

£386.0 m

MOD DMAP

£50.0 m

-

£50.0 m

MOD Afghan Security

£100.0 m

-

£100.0 m

MOD UNFICYP

£18.1 m

-

£18.1 m

MOD UN Ops Africa

£20.0 m

-

£20.0 m

Non-Discretionary TOTAL

£491.3 m

£82.8 m

£574.1 m

Corporate Delivery Support & Other (this includes Stabilisation Unit, Joint Funds Unit and pilot activities)

£5.1 m

£15.2 m

£20.4 m

TOTAL CSSF

£681.4 m

£597.2 m

£1278.7 m

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

Launch of consultations on potential future free trade agreements

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

Today I am announcing the first public consultations on future free trade agreement negotiations. As I informed the House on Monday 16 July, these consultations will provide one of a number of means by which Parliament, the Devolved Administrations, the public, business, civil society and trade unions can have their say on the Government’s approach to new trade agreements.

Our first consultations will seek views on free trade agreements with some of our closest strategic allies, with whom we have no existing trade agreements - the United States, Australia and New Zealand. I am also opening a consultation on potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Our trade and investment working group discussions with Australia, New Zealand and the United States have been constructive and the Governments of each have expressed a desire to enter negotiations with the UK. These consultations will inform our overall approach to our future trade relationship with these countries.

The US is the UK's single largest trading partner and foreign investor, accounting for £100bn of UK annual exports. UK exports to Australia and New Zealand meanwhile are growing at 14.8% and 16.8% respectively, a faster pace than our global average. And these relationships are mutually beneficial – in total, the UK imported £75.4bn worth of goods and services from these three markets.

Whilst there are other markets the UK will look to for new agreements in the future, our shared values and strength of trade with the US, Australia and New Zealand make them the right places to focus our initial attention.

The Government is also engaging with members* of the CPTPP about the possibility of the UK joining the agreement in future.

CPTPP is a signed, but not yet in force, plurilateral trade agreement including some of the world's fastest growing economies that together represent 13-14% of global GDP, and a total population of around 500m people. If the UK were to join, it would be the second largest economy in the group, and CPTPP’s coverage of global GDP would increase to around 17%.

Alongside these online consultations, which will shortly be available on gov.uk, I will be publishing information packs that set out the characteristics of free trade agreements and the nature of the current trade and investment ties with the countries in question.

The consultations will be open for 14 weeks.

* Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS873
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Social Care: Response to the Resolution of the House, 25th April 2018

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Care (Caroline Dinenage) has made the following written statement:

Today I would like to update the House on social care funding following the Opposition day debate of 25 April 2018.

We know that social care services are facing pressures from rising demand for care, and the Government has taken steps to support the sector. That is why we announced an additional £2billion central Government funding for adult social care in the 2017 Spring Budget. In total, Government has given councils access to up to £9.4 billion additional funding for social care from 2017/18 to 2019/20, including the 2018/19 Local Government Finance settlement announcement of a £150 million adult social care support grant.

The action we have taken means that funding available for social care is increasing by 8% in real terms from 2015/16 to 2019/20.

This funding allows councils to support more people and sustain a diverse care market.

It is also helping to ease pressures on the NHS, including by supporting more people to be discharged from hospital and into care as soon as they are ready.

We have already seen a real difference to services across the country; social care related delayed transfers of care had been rising year-on-year from 2014 up to February 2017, but since taking action last year we have achieved a reduction of 40%. We are taking additional steps to ensure that those areas facing the greatest challenges improve services at the interface between social care and the NHS.

By passing the Care Act, this Government established a national threshold that defines the care needs that local authorities must meet. This eliminates the postcode lottery of eligibility across England, and means that all councils have statutory duties to look after the vulnerable, elderly and disabled people in their area.

Last year local authorities in England advised over 500,000 people on how to access services to meet their care needs. This includes services provided by leisure, housing, transport and care providers as well as voluntary groups.

According to the Care Quality Commission, 81% of adult social care providers are good or outstanding – testament to the many hardworking and committed professionals working in care to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.

But still too many people experience care that is not of the quality we would all want for our own loved ones; and there is too much variation in quality and outcomes between different services and different parts of the country.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working with the adult social care sector to implement Quality Matters – a shared commitment to take action to achieve high quality adult social care for service users, families, carers and everyone working in the sector.

An ageing society means that we need to reach a longer-term sustainable settlement for social care. This is why the Government will publish a Green Paper on Care and Support to set out our proposals for reform.

The health and social care systems are two sides of the same coin, and decisions on future reforms must therefore be aligned. That is why we will now publish the Green Paper in the autumn, around the same time as the NHS plan. Social care funding will be agreed at the forthcoming spending review, alongside the rest of the local government settlement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS872
WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Lords

Northern Ireland: Appointments

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Karen Bradley) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The ongoing absence of a Northern Ireland Executive has meant that a number of key public appointments cannot be made both in Northern Ireland and to some posts appointed by UK Ministers. As I told the House on 20 June [HC Deb, col. 309], this is an issue that I have been considering carefully.

While my overriding priority remains reaching agreement on restoring an inclusive power-sharing Executive, it is clear that there are current and developing issues in relation to certain public appointments in Northern Ireland that need to be addressed urgently. If an Executive is not in place soon, I intend to take measures to ensure good governance and the continued functioning of vital public bodies. This is consistent with my wider political strategy which aims to ensure we take the necessary action in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers whilst we also continue to remove the obstacles to the restoration of a fully functioning Executive and Assembly.

Existing legislation confers responsibility for the most significant public appointments in Northern Ireland on Northern Ireland Ministers. Therefore, in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers, new legislation is needed in the autumn to enable certain key Northern Ireland and UK appointments to be made.

This legislation would allow for certain specified appointments normally made by Northern Ireland Ministers to be made by the relevant UK Minister, either the Secretary of State or the Lord Chancellor as appropriate to the appointment being made. I have considered whether each appointment is essential for good governance and public confidence in Northern Ireland and my officials have engaged with the main political parties in Northern Ireland.

Currently, I am of the view that the appointments specified in the legislation would address the most pressing appointments held up by the lack of Northern Ireland Ministers, including the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission and the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. Further consideration is being given to the ongoing ability of Northern Ireland departments to make appointments already conferred on them in legislation. The legislation would also need to address those appointments to key UK Government sponsored bodies that cannot be made as they require consultation with Northern Ireland Ministers, such as the Chair of the Disclosure and Barring Service. Detailed policy work will continue over the summer on how to achieve this, should legislation be necessary.

Any such legislation would, of course, apply only while there are no Northern Ireland Ministers in place. Once a new Northern Ireland Executive is formed, the responsibility for appointments in Northern Ireland would return to Ministers in that Executive, and UK Ministers would again be required to consult Northern Ireland Ministers prior to making certain UK-wide appointments.

We are continuing to engage closely with the political parties, and the Irish Government as appropriate, to encourage and support work towards an accommodation to restore the Executive. This legislation would contribute towards ensuring good governance in Northern Ireland while the Government redoubles those efforts to restore a locally elected, democratically accountable devolved government.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence)
Lords

UK Military Support to France

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

I wish to update the House on the deployment of three CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters to Mali to support French operations in the Sahel region, which I announced in a Written Ministerial Statement on 18 January 2018 (HCWS413). All aircraft and personnel have now deployed and flying operations will begin shortly. We are committed to supporting our French allies in this armed conflict, combating terrorism and instability, as well as strengthening our military co-operation with one of our closest allies.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade)
Commons

Launch of consultations on potential future free trade agreements

Today I am announcing the first public consultations on future free trade agreement negotiations. As I informed the House on Monday 16 July, these consultations will provide one of a number of means by which Parliament, the Devolved Administrations, the public, business, civil society and trade unions can have their say on the Government’s approach to new trade agreements.

Our first consultations will seek views on free trade agreements with some of our closest strategic allies, with whom we have no existing trade agreements - the United States, Australia and New Zealand. I am also opening a consultation on potentially seeking accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Our trade and investment working group discussions with Australia, New Zealand and the United States have been constructive and the Governments of each have expressed a desire to enter negotiations with the UK. These consultations will inform our overall approach to our future trade relationship with these countries.

The US is the UK's single largest trading partner and foreign investor, accounting for £100bn of UK annual exports. UK exports to Australia and New Zealand meanwhile are growing at 14.8% and 16.8% respectively, a faster pace than our global average. And these relationships are mutually beneficial – in total, the UK imported £75.4bn worth of goods and services from these three markets.

Whilst there are other markets the UK will look to for new agreements in the future, our shared values and strength of trade with the US, Australia and New Zealand make them the right places to focus our initial attention.

The Government is also engaging with members* of the CPTPP about the possibility of the UK joining the agreement in future.

CPTPP is a signed, but not yet in force, plurilateral trade agreement including some of the world's fastest growing economies that together represent 13-14% of global GDP, and a total population of around 500m people. If the UK were to join, it would be the second largest economy in the group, and CPTPP’s coverage of global GDP would increase to around 17%.

Alongside these online consultations, which will shortly be available on gov.uk, I will be publishing information packs that set out the characteristics of free trade agreements and the nature of the current trade and investment ties with the countries in question.

The consultations will be open for 14 weeks.

* Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS843
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Caroline Dinenage (Minister of State for Care)
Commons

Social Care: Response to the Resolution of the House, 25th April 2018

Today I would like to update the House on social care funding following the Opposition day debate of 25 April 2018.

We know that social care services are facing pressures from rising demand for care, and the Government has taken steps to support the sector. That is why we announced an additional £2billion central Government funding for adult social care in the 2017 Spring Budget. In total, Government has given councils access to up to £9.4 billion additional funding for social care from 2017/18 to 2019/20, including the 2018/19 Local Government Finance settlement announcement of a £150 million adult social care support grant.

The action we have taken means that funding available for social care is increasing by 8% in real terms from 2015/16 to 2019/20.

This funding allows councils to support more people and sustain a diverse care market.

It is also helping to ease pressures on the NHS, including by supporting more people to be discharged from hospital and into care as soon as they are ready.

We have already seen a real difference to services across the country; social care related delayed transfers of care had been rising year-on-year from 2014 up to February 2017, but since taking action last year we have achieved a reduction of 40%. We are taking additional steps to ensure that those areas facing the greatest challenges improve services at the interface between social care and the NHS.

By passing the Care Act, this Government established a national threshold that defines the care needs that local authorities must meet. This eliminates the postcode lottery of eligibility across England, and means that all councils have statutory duties to look after the vulnerable, elderly and disabled people in their area.

Last year local authorities in England advised over 500,000 people on how to access services to meet their care needs. This includes services provided by leisure, housing, transport and care providers as well as voluntary groups.

According to the Care Quality Commission, 81% of adult social care providers are good or outstanding – testament to the many hardworking and committed professionals working in care to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude.

But still too many people experience care that is not of the quality we would all want for our own loved ones; and there is too much variation in quality and outcomes between different services and different parts of the country.

The Department of Health and Social Care is working with the adult social care sector to implement Quality Matters – a shared commitment to take action to achieve high quality adult social care for service users, families, carers and everyone working in the sector.

An ageing society means that we need to reach a longer-term sustainable settlement for social care. This is why the Government will publish a Green Paper on Care and Support to set out our proposals for reform.

The health and social care systems are two sides of the same coin, and decisions on future reforms must therefore be aligned. That is why we will now publish the Green Paper in the autumn, around the same time as the NHS plan. Social care funding will be agreed at the forthcoming spending review, alongside the rest of the local government settlement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS842
WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Publication of the Intelligence and Security Committee’s Diversity and Inclusion Report

The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC) has undertaken a review of diversity and inclusion in the UK intelligence and security community focusing on four key protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010: gender, race, sexuality and disability. The Committee has now completed its inquiry and its report has today been laid in parliament.

The Government welcomes the publication of the ISC’s Report. The Report recognises that the intelligence and security community needs to attract and draw upon the skills, talent and experience of all sectors of our society in order to continue its vital work effectively, and to reflect the diverse population it protects. The Report acknowledges the significant progress that has taken place in recent years, highlighting the work of staff networks, innovative and inclusive recruitment campaigns and the facilitation of more flexible working patterns and styles. There is clearly room for improvement and senior leaders remain committed to ensuring the intelligence and security community is as inclusive as possible.

The Government thanks the ISC for its work. We will give full consideration to the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report and will respond formally in due course.

WS
Department for International Development
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Penny Mordaunt (Secretary of State for International Development)
Commons

Inter-American Investment Corporation - Escrow Account

This statement sets out the particulars of a short-term arrangement arising from the UK’s intention to become a member of the IIC (the private sector arm of the IADB Group) through the transfer of up to US$6.98m of UK resources already held in the IADB. These resources form part of a US$725m capital asset transfer from the IADB (of which the UK is a member) to the IIC, and will be temporarily held by the IADB in an escrow account while the UK’s membership goes through the ratification process and the Privileges and Immunities sections of the treaty are brought into UK and Scottish law.

Joining the IIC through capital asset transfer offers the opportunity, at no extra cost, to be part of an important organisation in the Latin America and Caribbean region, which will support economic growth and leverage further private sector resources for development financing, as part of the UK’s Prosperity agenda. The UK’s membership will deepen economic ties with the region and create opportunities for British businesses, by making it easier for UK companies to win contracts through the IIC.

The only alternative would be to transfer the assets back to the UK Treasury over eight years. However, doing so would go against our Global Britain objective of playing an active, outward facing role in the rules-based international system.

In 2015 the UK was part of a unanimous vote of the Bank’s shareholders to merge the Bank’s private sector operations into a single consolidated entity, the IIC. This took effect in January 2016, formalised by a treaty signed by members who were providing new capital at that time. The UK opted to join at no cost, as part of an agreed capital transfer from the IADB to IIC which starts this year and spans 8 years. This will give the UK a 0.22% shareholding in the IIC.

The IADB obtained permission from Governors at this year’s Annual Meeting in March to initiate the eight year US$725m capital transfer process, including approval for an initial US$50m transfer of which the UK’s share is US$482,000. The first transfer took place on 30 March 2018. The timing and size of further transfers will be subject to annual agreement by the IADB’s Board of Governors but will likely follow the indicative schedule below (set out in the Implementation Package for the Second General Capital Increase of the IIC). The UK’s share of the transfers is a proportion of the capital that we invested plus the pro rata amount of accumulated net income earned with that capital, totalling US$6.98m over the eight years and breaks down as follows (using the indicative schedule):

Transfer Year

IADB Capital to be transferred

Number of UK Shares to be transferred

UK share of transfer

2018

US$50,000,000

29

US$481,510.09

2019

US$50,000,000

30

US$481,510.09[1]

2020

US$110,000,000

66

US$1,059,322.20

2021

US$150,000,000

89

US$1,444,530.27

2022

US$150,000,000

89

US$1,444,530.27

2023

US$72,000,000

43

US$693,374.53

2024

US$72,000,000

43

US$693,374.53

2025

US$71,000,000

42

US$683,744.33

TOTAL

US$725,000,000

431

US$6,981,896.33

The UK needs to become a member of the IIC by ratifying the treaty and bringing the Privileges and Immunities sections of the treaty into UK and Scottish law, Given the estimated timeframes, neither of these processes was possible before the IADB completed the first capital transfer.

To ensure that despite this delay the UK can still become a member and maintain the agreed share at its current value, DFID have negotiated to move the UK’s capital share into a no-cost escrow account. An escrow account is a temporary holding account that the IADB will set up, to keep UK funds separate from both the IADB’s and IIC’s accounts until all parliamentary processes are completed and in place. This is the only means of the UK preserving the full value of our share. DFID has sought and received HMT’s approval of this process.

We will be pursuing parliamentary approval as soon as possible to ensure that the UK’s funds remain inactive for as short a time as possible.

[1] 2018 and 2019. Half shares non transferrable, so shares transferred differ, rounded down or up while funds paid in are the same.

WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Machinery of Government – Child Death Review Policy

This written statement confirms that child death review policy will transfer from the Department for Education to the Department for Health and Social Care. More than 80 per cent of child deaths have medical or public health causes. The Department of Health and Social Care, its arm’s-length bodies and the wider NHS have a responsibility to support understanding of children’s deaths and translating learning into actions to reduce preventable deaths.

The transfer was recommended by the Wood Review of the role and functions of Local Safeguarding Children Boards, published in March 2016. It includes responsibility for issuing statutory guidance relating to child death reviews, supporting child death review partners with the implementation of this guidance alongside NHS England, and putting in place transitional arrangements involving NHS Digital for the collection of Local Safeguarding Children Boards child death review data, and then, once operational, by the National Child Mortality Database.

Related areas that remain the responsibility of the Department for Education include children’s social care, including safeguarding children and child protection.

These changes will be effective from today, 18 July 2018.

WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Karen Bradley (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Commons

Northern Ireland: Appointments

The ongoing absence of a Northern Ireland Executive has meant that a number of key public appointments cannot be made both in Northern Ireland and to some posts appointed by UK Ministers. As I told the House on 20 June [HC Deb, col. 309], this is an issue that I have been considering carefully.

While my overriding priority remains reaching agreement on restoring an inclusive power-sharing Executive, it is clear that there are current and developing issues in relation to certain public appointments in Northern Ireland that need to be addressed urgently. If an Executive is not in place soon, I intend to take measures to ensure good governance and the continued functioning of vital public bodies. This is consistent with my wider political strategy which aims to ensure we take the necessary action in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers whilst we also continue to remove the obstacles to the restoration of a fully functioning Executive and Assembly.

Existing legislation confers responsibility for the most significant public appointments in Northern Ireland on Northern Ireland Ministers. Therefore, in the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers, new legislation is needed in the autumn to enable certain key Northern Ireland and UK appointments to be made.

This legislation would allow for certain specified appointments normally made by Northern Ireland Ministers to be made by the relevant UK Minister, either the Secretary of State or the Lord Chancellor as appropriate to the appointment being made. I have considered whether each appointment is essential for good governance and public confidence in Northern Ireland and my officials have engaged with the main political parties in Northern Ireland.

Currently, I am of the view that the appointments specified in the legislation would address the most pressing appointments held up by the lack of Northern Ireland Ministers, including the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission and the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. Further consideration is being given to the ongoing ability of Northern Ireland departments to make appointments already conferred on them in legislation. The legislation would also need to address those appointments to key UK Government sponsored bodies that cannot be made as they require consultation with Northern Ireland Ministers, such as the Chair of the Disclosure and Barring Service. Detailed policy work will continue over the summer on how to achieve this, should legislation be necessary.

Any such legislation would, of course, apply only while there are no Northern Ireland Ministers in place. Once a new Northern Ireland Executive is formed, the responsibility for appointments in Northern Ireland would return to Ministers in that Executive, and UK Ministers would again be required to consult Northern Ireland Ministers prior to making certain UK-wide appointments.

We are continuing to engage closely with the political parties, and the Irish Government as appropriate, to encourage and support work towards an accommodation to restore the Executive. This legislation would contribute towards ensuring good governance in Northern Ireland while the Government redoubles those efforts to restore a locally elected, democratically accountable devolved government.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 18 July 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

UK Military Support to France

I wish to update the House on the deployment of three CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopters to Mali to support French operations in the Sahel region, which I announced in a Written Ministerial Statement on 18 January 2018 (HCWS413). All aircraft and personnel have now deployed and flying operations will begin shortly. We are committed to supporting our French allies in this armed conflict, combating terrorism and instability, as well as strengthening our military co-operation with one of our closest allies.

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Justice update

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Edward Argar) has made the following Written Statement.

"I have laid a draft proposal for a Remedial Order to amend section 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) to allow an award of damages in a new set of circumstances. This is to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Hammerton v UK (application no. 6287/10).

The domestic courts found that the applicant in Hammerton v UK had spent extra time in prison as a result of procedural errors during his committal which breached his rights under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as set out in the HRA (right to a fair trial). He was subsequently unable to obtain damages to compensate for the breach of Article 6 ECHR in the domestic courts because section 9(3) HRA does not allow damages to be awarded in proceedings in respect of a judicial act done in good faith, except to compensate a person to the extent required by Article 5(5) ECHR (deprivation of liberty).

In 2016, the ECtHR found a breach of Article 6 ECHR and adopted the finding of the domestic court that the applicant had spent extra time in prison as a result of the breach. The ECtHR found that the applicant’s inability to receive damages in the domestic courts in the particular circumstances of this case led to a violation of Article 13 ECHR (right to an effective remedy). The ECtHR awarded a sum in damages which has been paid.

Under Article 46 ECHR, the UK is obliged to abide by the judgment of the ECtHR in any case to which it is a party. In order to address the finding of a violation of Article 13 ECHR in Hammerton, legislative change is required as it was the result of a statutory bar on the award of damages under the existing section 9(3) HRA.

The Government proposes to implement the judgment by making a targeted amendment to section 9 HRA to make damages available in respect of breaches of Article 6 ECHR arising under similar circumstances to those in Hammerton. It would have the effect that:

- in proceedings for contempt of court;

- where a person does not have legal representation, in breach of Article 6 ECHR; and

- the person is committed to prison and the breach of Article 6 results in the person spending more time in prison than they otherwise would have done, or causes them to be committed to prison when they would not otherwise have been committed;

then a financial remedy would be available to the person to compensate for the breach of Article 6 ECHR that resulted in the person spending extra time in prison, or caused them to be committed to prison.

Following consideration of possible legislative options, the Government considers that there are compelling reasons to amend the HRA by Remedial Order under the power in section 10 HRA to take remedial action where a provision of legislation is incompatible with an obligation of the United Kingdom arising from the ECHR.

This draft proposal for a Remedial Order is being laid under the non-urgent procedure. It will be laid for a period of 60 days during which time representations may be made. The Joint Committee on Human Rights will scrutinise the Remedial Order and report on it to the House. Following that, the draft order, with any revisions the Government wishes to make, will be laid for a further 60 days before being considered and voted on by both Houses."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS863
WS
Treasury
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Managing fiscal risks and the OBR 2018 Fiscal sustainability report

My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Elizabeth Truss) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today sees the publication of two reports which underscore the need for continued fiscal responsibility: the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) 2018 Fiscal Sustainability Report (FSR) and the government’s report on Managing Fiscal Risks [CM 9647]. The publication of the FSR fulfils the OBR’s legal obligation to publish an analysis of the sustainability of the long-term public finances and an assessment of the public sector balance sheet at least once every two years. Managing Fiscal Risks fulfils the government’s obligation to respond to the OBR’s 2017 Fiscal Risks Report (FRR). These reports have been laid before Parliament today and copies are available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office.

These reports come at a turning point for the public finances. The government has made significant progress in repairing the public finances over the past eight years. The deficit has been cut by over three-quarters from its post-war peak of 9.9% of GDP in 2009-10 to 1.9% in 2017-18. The debt-to-GDP ratio is now forecast by the OBR to have peaked last year and to begin its first sustained fall in a generation from this year.

Both reports illustrate the long-term pressures and risks to the public finances, underscoring the importance of locking in this hard-won progress and continuing to reduce debt. As analysis by international experts and the OBR’s own fiscal stress test has shown, governments with high levels of debt are more vulnerable to shocks and have less room to use fiscal policy to mitigate their impact on the economy. Moreover, leaving government debt at current levels would see the burden of servicing that debt rise to levels not seen since the mid-1980s if interest rates normalise in the way assumed in the OBR’s long-run projections. This would pass an unacceptable burden on to the next generation. The government is therefore committed to continuing to reduce debt as a share of GDP.

The 2018 FSR projection shows that, left unaddressed, demographic change and non-demographic cost pressures on health, pensions, and social care would push the debt-to-GDP ratio to over 280% of GDP by 2067-68. One of the most important drivers of the long-run fiscal outlook in the FSR is health spending, which the OBR project will rise from 7.6% of GDP in 2022-23 to 13.8% in 2067-68 in the absence of action to increase productivity and contain costs. While this is partly explained by population ageing, most of the projected increase is due to non-demographic cost pressures - including the low productivity of the health sector relative to the rest of the economy; increases in chronic conditions; and improvements in technology and medical research leading to the provision of new drugs and treatments.

The government recognises that the NHS will need additional resources to help meet these pressures. In June, the Prime Minister announced that the NHS in England will receive an increase in funding over the next five years that equates to over £20 billion a year more in real terms by 2023-24. The government also recognises the need for action being taken to address long-term cost-drivers in health. The final settlement will be confirmed at a future fiscal event, subject to an NHS 10-year plan that delivers the efficiency, productivity, and performance improvements necessary to help address the long-term cost pressures highlighted by the OBR. The government will fund this five-year commitment in a responsible way, while continuing to meet its fiscal rules and reduce debt. As the Prime Minister has said, this will be partly funded by money that we will no longer spend on our annual membership subscription to the European Union after we have left. In addition, across the nation, taxpayers will need to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use.

The government is also determined to tackle the other risks and pressures facing the public finances, to lock in the hard-won progress we have made in reducing borrowing and getting debt falling. The OBR’s 2017 Fiscal Risks Report provided the UK’s first ever survey of the potential risks to the public finances and was recognised by the IMF, OECD, and others as the most comprehensive report of its kind and the only one produced by an independent body. By publishing our response today, the government invites Parliament and the public to hold us to account for the responsible management of those risks.

Managing Fiscal Risks shows how the government is tackling these risks as we continue to repair the public finances for the benefit of current and future generations – following our balanced approach to the public finances, getting debt falling whilst investing in our vital public services and keeping taxes as low as possible.

The report sets out the specific steps the government is taking to mitigate key sources of risk identified by the OBR. These include actions to reduce the likelihood and cost of financial crises, adapting the tax system to a changing economy, improving the sustainability of the State Pension in light of rising longevity, tightening controls over the issuance of loans and guarantees, and managing the government’s inflation exposure by considering the appropriate balance of index-linked and conventional gilts.

It also highlights that in the long-run, boosting productivity growth would accelerate the return to fiscal sustainability and alleviate pressures on taxpayers and public services. The government is taking forward a comprehensive strategy for boosting productivity based on supporting long-term investment in physical, human and intellectual capital.

Supporting the vision set out in the modern Industrial Strategy, the government is increasing investment in key productivity-boosting infrastructure. The National Productivity Investment Fund will provide £31 billion of additional investment in areas critical to improving productivity and £1 billion in improving the UK’s digital infrastructure. We have increased public support for R&D to its highest level in 30 years and are committed to increasing public and private investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

The government is also committed to making sure that Britain is the world’s most attractive location for private investment. We are supporting UK businesses by delivering a competitive tax system that supports growth and investment – including by reducing the corporation tax rate from 28% to 19% today, the lowest in the G20.

Building human capital through strengthening education and training is a priority for the government. We are taking action to transform technical education and help prepare people for the high-skilled jobs of the future, by investing in apprenticeships through the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, introducing a National Retraining Scheme, and introducing T-levels, which will mean that all 16-18 olds have a choice of technical and academic routes of equal status and quality.

These OBR reports and the government’s Managing Fiscal Risks report keep the UK at the frontier of fiscal management internationally and demonstrate the government’s commitment to fiscal transparency and accountability. No other government is so open about the risks to the public finances or more determined to manage them responsibly for the benefit of current and future generations.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS862
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

UK Support and Funding for International Criminal Justice

My Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Jeremy Hunt), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

Today is the Day of International Criminal Justice, which provides an opportunity to update Parliament on UK support for the principles and institutions of international criminal justice in the previous calendar year.

The UK maintains that those who commit atrocities should be held to account. As such, support for international criminal justice is a fundamental part of the UK’s foreign policy. Our approach is not limited to punishing the perpetrators – it seeks to help victims and their communities come to terms with the past, contribute to lasting peace and security, and deter those who might otherwise commit such violations in the future.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world’s first permanent independent international criminal court with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of international concern, and is complementary to national criminal jurisdiction. The UK government believes that the ICC can play an important role in pursuing accountability when national authorities are either unable or unwilling genuinely to do so. We provide both political and financial support to the Court, contributing £8.9 million in 2017. As of the end of 2017, the Court had issued 31 arrest warrants, handed down verdicts in six cases and convicted nine individuals, one of whom has since been acquitted on appeal. It is currently considering cases from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and South America.

During the course of 2017, the Court made reparations awards to the victims of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and Germain Katanga, both convicted of war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, convicted of destroying cultural heritage sites in Timbuktu. The UK contributed £400,000 to the Court’s Trust Fund for Victims to support its work, which has included counselling for rape victims, provision of prosthetics and work to remove any stigma that may attach to child soldiers in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When the Rome Statute entered into force in 2002, three crimes were agreed to be within the immediate jurisdiction of the ICC: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Court’s jurisdiction over a fourth, the crime of aggression, was postponed pending further consideration by States Parties. In December 2017, the ICC Assembly of States Parties agreed to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. It did so on the basis that all States Parties explicitly agreed and confirmed in a consensus-based decision that, in the case of a state referral or proprio mutu investigation, the Court shall not exercise its jurisdiction regarding a crime of aggression when committed by a national, or on the territory, of a State Party that has not ratified or accepted the relevant amendments to the Rome Statute. The UK has no plans to ratify the crime of aggression amendments and welcomes the decision as an authoritative, unqualified and clear interpretation of the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, in accordance with article 121 paragraph 5 of the Rome Statute. The activation of the Court’s jurisdiction for this crime takes place today.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) closed at the end of 2017. In its 24 years of operation, the Tribunal indicted 161 individuals for serious violations of international humanitarian law and provided a comprehensive historical record of the atrocities committed during the Balkans conflicts. One of its last acts was the conviction and sentencing of former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladiċ to life imprisonment for the Srebrenica genocide and other serious crimes during the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia. Any outstanding work of the ICTY will now pass to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which also assumed the residual functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2016.

In addition to the MICT and ICTY, the UK provides practical and financial support to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which was established to prosecute crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s; the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; and the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone. Our contributions to these tribunals totalled £5.8 million in 2017.

The UK has also been at the forefront of international efforts to gather and analyse evidence of atrocities committed in the Middle East. In 2017, we contributed £200,000 to the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to support the preparation of legal cases for serious crimes committed in the Syrian conflict. The UK also led efforts to adopt a UN Security Council resolution establishing an Investigative Team to collect, preserve and store evidence of Daesh atrocities in Iraq, and contributed £1m towards its eventual operation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS864
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Independent Review into Handling of Information about Child Sexual Abuse in Rotherham

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

The Home Office is today publishing an Independent Review of information passed to the Home Office in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse in Rotherham (1998 – 2005).

This Independent Review was commissioned by my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister, when she was Home Secretary, in response to suggestions contained in Professor Alexis Jay’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997-2013). These indicated that in the course of funding and evaluating a Rotherham based research project, the Home Office may have been passed information about the scale of child abuse in Rotherham and the response of local agencies such as the police and the local authority that should have raised concern. In particular, Professor Jay saw a document believed to have been written by a Home Office project researcher sometime in 2002 which – although the town was not named – contained a description of the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and a series of criticisms regarding the way in which this was being dealt with.

In response to these reports, my right honourable Friend the Prime Minister, as Home Secretary, announced that the department would conduct a thorough analysis of all relevant papers covering the period in question to ascertain exactly what information had been made available to the Home Office. She confirmed this work would be independently reviewed by Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, and Richard Whittam QC to ensure it had been conducted absolutely properly.

I can confirm that today’s publication includes Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam’s Independent Review and the internal Home Office review that this assesses.

The Home Office internal review could not locate key documentation produced by the project researcher in Home Office internal records, but notes records were imperfectly operated, meaning it could have been received. However, the review did find that pieces of information questioning the response of statutory services were available to the Home Office, meaning that opportunities to follow up on, or seek further information about, matters in Rotherham including whether the police and other statutory agencies were responding appropriately existed.

Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam were content that the methodology of this review was sound and that the findings were reasonable. They made one recommendation to the Home Office, in summary, that the Home Office should record allegations of child abuse, what information is sent to the police, and what the result of that referral has been. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam for their work on the Independent Review.

As public servants, we all have an important responsibility to raise and respond effectively to any safeguarding concerns we may encounter in the work we do – not least allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Home Office fully accepts Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam’s review and since 2014, the department has introduced a recording and referral system for allegations of child abuse to address their precise recommendation.

The Permanent Secretary and I take this issue extremely seriously and the Home Office will continue to promote amongst all staff the vital importance of using all available information to consider if a child is at risk of abuse.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS866
WS
Treasury
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No.2) Bill

I have made a statement under Section 19(1)(a) of the Human Rights Act 1998 that, in my view, the provisions of the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) (No.2) Bill are compatible with the convention rights. A copy of the statement has been placed in the Library of the House.

WS
The Senior Deputy Speaker
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Lord McFall of Alcluith (Senior Deputy Speaker)
Lords

Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster: shadow Sponsor Board

Both Houses have decided that the next phase of the Restoration and Renewal Programme should be overseen by a Sponsor Board and Delivery Authority. While it is anticipated that these bodies will be placed on a substantive footing by primary legislation in due course, the Commissions of both Houses have agreed to establish the Sponsor Board in shadow form, with the following members:

  • Elizabeth Peace CBE (Chair)
  • Lord Carter of Coles
  • Lord Deighton KBE
  • Rt Hon the Lord Geidt GCB GCVO OBE
  • Neil Gray MP
  • Brigid Janssen
  • Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP
  • Marta Phillips OBE
  • Baroness Scott of Needham Market
  • Mark Tami MP
  • Simon Thurley CBE
  • Simon Wright OBE

The shadow Sponsor Board will act as the single client accountable to Parliament and own the budget, business case and scope of the Programme.

The recruitment of the Chair and the other external members was overseen by an independent recruitment panel, chaired by Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE, a former First Civil Service Commissioner. Other recruitment panel members possessed major projects and heritage experience.The panel’s role was to make a recommendation to the Commissions regarding the most appropriate candidates for the roles following a full and open competition. The panel unanimously recommended the appointment of the Chair and the other external members. The appointment of the external members is subject to satisfactory references and security clearance.

The parliamentarians on the Board were nominated by the political parties and groups in both Houses.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and Lords Minister)
Lords

Surface Water Management Action Plan

My Hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment (Thérèse Coffey) has today made the following statement.

Surface water flooding happens when intense rain from storms overwhelms local drainage capacities. It is caused by short heavy rainstorms, tends to affect localised areas and is more difficult to forecast than flooding from rivers and the sea.

Managing surface water can be complex because it is difficult to forecast which areas the storms will affect, to understand the routes the water will take when it falls, and because there are many parties with relevant responsibilities.

The government has today published its Surface Water Management Action Plan on gov.uk. This action plan will bring our preparedness for surface water flood risks more closely into line with that for risks from main rivers and the sea. It delivers a commitment in the National Flood Resilience Review and includes a number of actions to both improve our understanding of the risks and strengthen delivery. The action plan covers:

  • improving risk assessment and communication;
  • making sure infrastructure is resilient;
  • clarifying responsibilities for surface water management;
  • joining up planning for surface water management; and
  • building local authority capacity.

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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence)
Lords

UK Combat Air Strategy

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

On 21 February, I informed the House that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would produce a strategy for the Combat Air sector. Development of the strategy has drawn heavily on expertise from across Defence, wider Government, academia, think-tanks, industry and international partners. The approach adopted is driven by the developing themes of the Modernising Defence Programme and the recent review of Defence’s contribution to national economic and social value conducted by Philip Dunne.

Defence of the UK, protection of our people and our contribution to securing the rules-based international order requires us to deter adversaries by having the capability and the will to use decisive force to deliver our Defence, Foreign policy and economic objectives. The threats we face are evolving and proliferating ever more rapidly. World-class Combat Air capability allows us to maintain control of the air both at home and around the world.

The UK Combat Air sector provides the capability to underpin our operational advantage[1] and freedom of action[2]. It also makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and our international influence. The UK is a global leader in Combat Air, with cutting-edge military capability underpinned by world-class industrial and technical know-how.

The UK Combat Air sector has an annual turnover of over £6 billion and directly supports over 18,000 highly skilled jobs across the UK. It supports over 100,000 jobs in the supply chain and more than 2,000 companies across the UK. The UK is the world’s second largest exporter of Defence equipment with Defence aerospace representing over 80% of the value of these exports. We are at the heart of a number of key international programmes, including F-35 the largest Defence programme in the world. Our position was secured through world-leading Intellectual Property, understanding, innovation and industrial capability. As we leave the EU, we will continue to seek partnerships across Europe and beyond to deliver UK, European and global security. To do this we must retain access to our proud industrial base. The UK’s Combat Air sector is therefore critical to the UK’s prosperity, our Global Britain outlook and our ability to deliver the best capability to the front line.

The future of the UK’s Combat Air sector is, however, not assured. There has been a gap between major Combat Air development programmes and a clear indication of future UK military requirements is required to stimulate the research and development investment necessary to refresh UK Intellectual Property.

Today I can announce the publication of the UK Combat Air Strategy. The strategy defines a clear way ahead to preserve our national advantage and maintain choice in how it is delivered. The MOD will work with wider Government, industry and international partners to deliver the strategy by taking the following steps:

  • The MOD will continue to invest in upgrading Typhoon to maintain its world-class capabilities for the coming decades.

  • The MOD will provide investment in key UK design engineering skills and a means to generate UK Intellectual Property by implementing the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative. The initiative was established by the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and builds on recent UK technology investment.

  • The MOD will initiate the UK's capability acquisition programme to define and deliver the future capabilities required when Typhoon leaves service by 2040. An initial acquisition decision will be made by the end of 2020.

  • UK Government and industry will work together to achieve a more open and sustainable industrial base which invests in its own future, partners internationally and breaks the cycle of increasing cost and length of Combat Air programmes.

  • The UK will take a strategic approach to key Combat Air decisions. This will maximise the overall national value the UK derives from the sector; balancing military capability, international influence, economic and prosperity benefits.

  • Effective international partnering in Combat Air is fundamental to the delivery of our national goals and management of cost. The UK will work quickly and openly with allies to build on or establish new partnerships to define future requirements and how they could be delivered in a mutually beneficial manner.

By preserving our ability to maintain operational advantage and freedom of action, the strategy will ensure we have greater choice in how we deliver future capabilities and are able to maximise the economic and strategic benefits of future Combat Air acquisition programmes.

A copy of the Combat Air Strategy has been placed in the Library of the House.

I will report annually to Parliament on progress in implementing the Strategy.

[1] The ability to find and maintain an edge over potential adversaries, both to increase the chances of our success in hostile situations and to increase the protection of the UK assets involved, especially our people.

[2] The ability to determine our internal and external affairs and act in the country’s interests free from intervention by other states or entities, in accordance with our legal obligations.

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Home Office
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Independent Review into Handling of Information about Child Sexual Abuse in Rotherham

The Home Office is today publishing an Independent Review of information passed to the Home Office in connection with allegations of child sexual abuse in Rotherham (1998 – 2005).

This Independent Review was commissioned by my Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister, when she was Home Secretary, in response to suggestions contained in Professor Alexis Jay’s Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997-2013). These indicated that in the course of funding and evaluating a Rotherham based research project, the Home Office may have been passed information about the scale of child abuse in Rotherham and the response of local agencies such as the police and the local authority that should have raised concern. In particular, Professor Jay saw a document believed to have been written by a Home Office project researcher sometime in 2002 which – although the town was not named – contained a description of the extent of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and a series of criticisms regarding the way in which this was being dealt with.

In response to these reports, my right honourable Friend the Prime Minister, as Home Secretary, announced that the department would conduct a thorough analysis of all relevant papers covering the period in question to ascertain exactly what information had been made available to the Home Office. She confirmed this work would be independently reviewed by Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, and Richard Whittam QC to ensure it had been conducted absolutely properly.

I can confirm that today’s publication includes Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam’s Independent Review and the internal Home Office review that this assesses.

The Home Office internal review could not locate key documentation produced by the project researcher in Home Office internal records, but notes records were imperfectly operated, meaning it could have been received. However, the review did find that pieces of information questioning the response of statutory services were available to the Home Office, meaning that opportunities to follow up on, or seek further information about, matters in Rotherham including whether the police and other statutory agencies were responding appropriately existed.

Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam were content that the methodology of this review was sound and that the findings were reasonable. They made one recommendation to the Home Office, in summary, that the Home Office should record allegations of child abuse, what information is sent to the police, and what the result of that referral has been. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam for their work on the Independent Review.

As public servants, we all have an important responsibility to raise and respond effectively to any safeguarding concerns we may encounter in the work we do – not least allegations of child sexual abuse.

The Home Office fully accepts Mr Wanless and Mr Whittam’s review and since 2014, the department has introduced a recording and referral system for allegations of child abuse to address their precise recommendation.

The Permanent Secretary and I take this issue extremely seriously and the Home Office will continue to promote amongst all staff the vital importance of using all available information to consider if a child is at risk of abuse.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS836
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Leader of the House
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Andrea Leadsom (Leader of the House of Commons)
Commons

Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy

In November, my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister convened a cross-party Working Group to establish a new independent complaints and grievance procedure, in response to reports of sexual harassment and bullying in parliament. The House agreed to implement the proposals for the new procedure set out by the Working Group in February.

Today, I am pleased to attach to this statement a copy of the Programme Team’s delivery report, which is endorsed by all members of the Steering Group who have overseen the process of implementing the Working Group’s proposals.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

UK Support and Funding for International Criminal Justice

Today is the Day of International Criminal Justice, which provides an opportunity to update Parliament on UK support for the principles and institutions of international criminal justice in the previous calendar year.

The UK maintains that those who commit atrocities should be held to account. As such, support for international criminal justice is a fundamental part of the UK’s foreign policy. Our approach is not limited to punishing the perpetrators – it seeks to help victims and their communities come to terms with the past, contribute to lasting peace and security, and deter those who might otherwise commit such violations in the future.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world’s first permanent independent international criminal court with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of international concern, and is complementary to national criminal jurisdiction. The UK government believes that the ICC can play an important role in pursuing accountability when national authorities are either unable or unwilling genuinely to do so. We provide both political and financial support to the Court, contributing £8.9 million in 2017. As of the end of 2017, the Court had issued 31 arrest warrants, handed down verdicts in six cases and convicted nine individuals, one of whom has since been acquitted on appeal. It is currently considering cases from Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and South America.

During the course of 2017, the Court made reparations awards to the victims of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo and Germain Katanga, both convicted of war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi, convicted of destroying cultural heritage sites in Timbuktu. The UK contributed £400,000 to the Court’s Trust Fund for Victims to support its work, which has included counselling for rape victims, provision of prosthetics and work to remove any stigma that may attach to child soldiers in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When the Rome Statute entered into force in 2002, three crimes were agreed to be within the immediate jurisdiction of the ICC: war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. The Court’s jurisdiction over a fourth, the crime of aggression, was postponed pending further consideration by States Parties. In December 2017, the ICC Assembly of States Parties agreed to activate the Court’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression. It did so on the basis that all States Parties explicitly agreed and confirmed in a consensus-based decision that, in the case of a state referral or proprio mutu investigation, the Court shall not exercise its jurisdiction regarding a crime of aggression when committed by a national, or on the territory, of a State Party that has not ratified or accepted the relevant amendments to the Rome Statute. The UK has no plans to ratify the crime of aggression amendments and welcomes the decision as an authoritative, unqualified and clear interpretation of the amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression, in accordance with article 121 paragraph 5 of the Rome Statute. The activation of the Court’s jurisdiction for this crime takes place today.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) closed at the end of 2017. In its 24 years of operation, the Tribunal indicted 161 individuals for serious violations of international humanitarian law and provided a comprehensive historical record of the atrocities committed during the Balkans conflicts. One of its last acts was the conviction and sentencing of former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladiċ to life imprisonment for the Srebrenica genocide and other serious crimes during the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia. Any outstanding work of the ICTY will now pass to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), which also assumed the residual functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 2016.

In addition to the MICT and ICTY, the UK provides practical and financial support to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, which was established to prosecute crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s; the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; and the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone. Our contributions to these tribunals totalled £5.8 million in 2017.

The UK has also been at the forefront of international efforts to gather and analyse evidence of atrocities committed in the Middle East. In 2017, we contributed £200,000 to the UN International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to support the preparation of legal cases for serious crimes committed in the Syrian conflict. The UK also led efforts to adopt a UN Security Council resolution establishing an Investigative Team to collect, preserve and store evidence of Daesh atrocities in Iraq, and contributed £1m towards its eventual operation.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS837
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Edward Argar (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice update

I have laid a draft proposal for a Remedial Order to amend section 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) to allow an award of damages in a new set of circumstances. This is to implement the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Hammerton v UK (application no. 6287/10).

The domestic courts found that the applicant in Hammerton v UK had spent extra time in prison as a result of procedural errors during his committal which breached his rights under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as set out in the HRA (right to a fair trial). He was subsequently unable to obtain damages to compensate for the breach of Article 6 ECHR in the domestic courts because section 9(3) HRA does not allow damages to be awarded in proceedings in respect of a judicial act done in good faith, except to compensate a person to the extent required by Article 5(5) ECHR (deprivation of liberty).

In 2016, the ECtHR found a breach of Article 6 ECHR and adopted the finding of the domestic court that the applicant had spent extra time in prison as a result of the breach. The ECtHR found that the applicant’s inability to receive damages in the domestic courts in the particular circumstances of this case led to a violation of Article 13 ECHR (right to an effective remedy). The ECtHR awarded a sum in damages which has been paid.

Under Article 46 ECHR, the UK is obliged to abide by the judgment of the ECtHR in any case to which it is a party. In order to address the finding of a violation of Article 13 ECHR in Hammerton, legislative change is required as it was the result of a statutory bar on the award of damages under the existing section 9(3) HRA.

The Government proposes to implement the judgment by making a targeted amendment to section 9 HRA to make damages available in respect of breaches of Article 6 ECHR arising under similar circumstances to those in Hammerton. It would have the effect that:

- in proceedings for contempt of court;

- where a person does not have legal representation, in breach of Article 6 ECHR; and

- the person is committed to prison and the breach of Article 6 results in the person spending more time in prison than they otherwise would have done, or causes them to be committed to prison when they would not otherwise have been committed;

then a financial remedy would be available to the person to compensate for the breach of Article 6 ECHR that resulted in the person spending extra time in prison, or caused them to be committed to prison.

Following consideration of possible legislative options, the Government considers that there are compelling reasons to amend the HRA by Remedial Order under the power in section 10 HRA to take remedial action where a provision of legislation is incompatible with an obligation of the United Kingdom arising from the ECHR.

This draft proposal for a Remedial Order is being laid under the non-urgent procedure. It will be laid for a period of 60 days during which time representations may be made. The Joint Committee on Human Rights will scrutinise the Remedial Order and report on it to the House. Following that, the draft order, with any revisions the Government wishes to make, will be laid for a further 60 days before being considered and voted on by both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS839
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Treasury
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Managing fiscal risks and the OBR 2018 Fiscal sustainability report

Today sees the publication of two reports which underscore the need for continued fiscal responsibility: the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) 2018 Fiscal Sustainability Report (FSR) and the government’s report on Managing Fiscal Risks [CM 9647]. The publication of the FSR fulfils the OBR’s legal obligation to publish an analysis of the sustainability of the long-term public finances and an assessment of the public sector balance sheet at least once every two years. Managing Fiscal Risks fulfils the government’s obligation to respond to the OBR’s 2017 Fiscal Risks Report (FRR). These reports have been laid before Parliament today and copies are available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office.

These reports come at a turning point for the public finances. The government has made significant progress in repairing the public finances over the past eight years. The deficit has been cut by over three-quarters from its post-war peak of 9.9% of GDP in 2009-10 to 1.9% in 2017-18. The debt-to-GDP ratio is now forecast by the OBR to have peaked last year and to begin its first sustained fall in a generation from this year.

Both reports illustrate the long-term pressures and risks to the public finances, underscoring the importance of locking in this hard-won progress and continuing to reduce debt. As analysis by international experts and the OBR’s own fiscal stress test has shown, governments with high levels of debt are more vulnerable to shocks and have less room to use fiscal policy to mitigate their impact on the economy. Moreover, leaving government debt at current levels would see the burden of servicing that debt rise to levels not seen since the mid-1980s if interest rates normalise in the way assumed in the OBR’s long-run projections. This would pass an unacceptable burden on to the next generation. The government is therefore committed to continuing to reduce debt as a share of GDP.

The 2018 FSR projection shows that, left unaddressed, demographic change and non-demographic cost pressures on health, pensions, and social care would push the debt-to-GDP ratio to over 280% of GDP by 2067-68. One of the most important drivers of the long-run fiscal outlook in the FSR is health spending, which the OBR project will rise from 7.6% of GDP in 2022-23 to 13.8% in 2067-68 in the absence of action to increase productivity and contain costs. While this is partly explained by population ageing, most of the projected increase is due to non-demographic cost pressures - including the low productivity of the health sector relative to the rest of the economy; increases in chronic conditions; and improvements in technology and medical research leading to the provision of new drugs and treatments.

The government recognises that the NHS will need additional resources to help meet these pressures. In June, the Prime Minister announced that the NHS in England will receive an increase in funding over the next five years that equates to over £20 billion a year more in real terms by 2023-24. The government also recognises the need for action being taken to address long-term cost-drivers in health. The final settlement will be confirmed at a future fiscal event, subject to an NHS 10-year plan that delivers the efficiency, productivity, and performance improvements necessary to help address the long-term cost pressures highlighted by the OBR. The government will fund this five-year commitment in a responsible way, while continuing to meet its fiscal rules and reduce debt. As the Prime Minister has said, this will be partly funded by money that we will no longer spend on our annual membership subscription to the European Union after we have left. In addition, across the nation, taxpayers will need to contribute a bit more in a fair and balanced way to support the NHS we all use.

The government is also determined to tackle the other risks and pressures facing the public finances, to lock in the hard-won progress we have made in reducing borrowing and getting debt falling. The OBR’s 2017 Fiscal Risks Report provided the UK’s first ever survey of the potential risks to the public finances and was recognised by the IMF, OECD, and others as the most comprehensive report of its kind and the only one produced by an independent body. By publishing our response today, the government invites Parliament and the public to hold us to account for the responsible management of those risks.

Managing Fiscal Risks shows how the government is tackling these risks as we continue to repair the public finances for the benefit of current and future generations – following our balanced approach to the public finances, getting debt falling whilst investing in our vital public services and keeping taxes as low as possible.

The report sets out the specific steps the government is taking to mitigate key sources of risk identified by the OBR. These include actions to reduce the likelihood and cost of financial crises, adapting the tax system to a changing economy, improving the sustainability of the State Pension in light of rising longevity, tightening controls over the issuance of loans and guarantees, and managing the government’s inflation exposure by considering the appropriate balance of index-linked and conventional gilts.

It also highlights that in the long-run, boosting productivity growth would accelerate the return to fiscal sustainability and alleviate pressures on taxpayers and public services. The government is taking forward a comprehensive strategy for boosting productivity based on supporting long-term investment in physical, human and intellectual capital.

Supporting the vision set out in the modern Industrial Strategy, the government is increasing investment in key productivity-boosting infrastructure. The National Productivity Investment Fund will provide £31 billion of additional investment in areas critical to improving productivity and £1 billion in improving the UK’s digital infrastructure. We have increased public support for R&D to its highest level in 30 years and are committed to increasing public and private investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

The government is also committed to making sure that Britain is the world’s most attractive location for private investment. We are supporting UK businesses by delivering a competitive tax system that supports growth and investment – including by reducing the corporation tax rate from 28% to 19% today, the lowest in the G20.

Building human capital through strengthening education and training is a priority for the government. We are taking action to transform technical education and help prepare people for the high-skilled jobs of the future, by investing in apprenticeships through the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, introducing a National Retraining Scheme, and introducing T-levels, which will mean that all 16-18 olds have a choice of technical and academic routes of equal status and quality.

These OBR reports and the government’s Managing Fiscal Risks report keep the UK at the frontier of fiscal management internationally and demonstrate the government’s commitment to fiscal transparency and accountability. No other government is so open about the risks to the public finances or more determined to manage them responsibly for the benefit of current and future generations.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS838
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House of Commons Commission
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Tom Brake (Spokesperson, House of Commons Commission)
Commons

Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster: Shadow Sponsor Board

WRITTEN STATEMENT TABLED BY RT HON TOM BRAKE MP & RT HON LORD McFALL OF ALCLUITH

Restoration and Renewal of the Palace of Westminster: Shadow Sponsor Board

Both Houses have decided that the next phase of the Restoration & Renewal Programme should be overseen by a Sponsor Board and Delivery Authority. While it is anticipated that these bodies will be placed on a substantive footing by primary legislation in due course, the Commissions of both Houses have agreed to establish the Sponsor Board in shadow form, with the following members:

  • Elizabeth Peace CBE (Chair)
  • Lord Carter of Coles
  • Lord Deighton KBE
  • Rt Hon the Lord Geidt GCB GCVO OBE
  • Neil Gray MP
  • Brigid Janssen
  • Rt Hon Sir Patrick McLoughlin MP
  • Marta Phillips OBE
  • Baroness Scott of Needham Market
  • Mark Tami MP
  • Simon Thurley CBE
  • Simon Wright OBE

The shadow Sponsor Board will act as the single client accountable to Parliament and own the budget, business case and scope of the Programme.

The recruitment of the Chair and the other external members was overseen by an independent recruitment panel, chaired by Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE, a former First Civil Service Commissioner. Other recruitment panel members possessed major projects and heritage experience. The panel’s role was to make a recommendation to the Commissions regarding the most appropriate candidates for the roles following a full and open competition. The panel unanimously recommended the appointment of the Chair and the other external members. The appointment of the external members is subject to satisfactory references and security clearance.

The parliamentarians on the Board were nominated by the political parties and groups in both Houses.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Dr Thérèse Coffey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment)
Commons

Surface Water Management Action Plan

Surface water flooding happens when intense rain from storms overwhelms local drainage capacities. It is caused by short heavy rainstorms, tends to affect localised areas and is more difficult to forecast than flooding from rivers and the sea.

Managing surface water can be complex because it is difficult to forecast which areas the storms will affect, to understand the routes the water will take when it falls, and because there are many parties with relevant responsibilities.

The government has today published its Surface Water Management Action Plan on gov.uk. This action plan will bring our preparedness for surface water flood risks more closely into line with that for risks from main rivers and the sea. It delivers a commitment in the National Flood Resilience Review and includes a number of actions to both improve our understanding of the risks and strengthen delivery. The action plan covers:

  • improving risk assessment and communication;
  • making sure infrastructure is resilient;
  • clarifying responsibilities for surface water management;
  • joining up planning for surface water management; and
  • building local authority capacity.
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

UK Combat Air Strategy

On 21 February 2018, I informed the House that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would produce a strategy for the Combat Air sector. Development of the strategy has drawn heavily on expertise from across Defence, wider Government, academia, think-tanks, industry and international partners. The approach adopted is driven by the developing themes of the Modernising Defence Programme and the recent review of Defence’s contribution to national economic and social value conducted by Philip Dunne.

Defence of the UK, protection of our people and our contribution to securing the rules-based international order requires us to deter adversaries by having the capability and the will to use decisive force to deliver our Defence, Foreign policy and economic objectives. The threats we face are evolving and proliferating ever more rapidly. World-class Combat Air capability allows us to maintain control of the air both at home and around the world.

The UK Combat Air sector provides the capability to underpin our operational advantage[1] and freedom of action[2]. It also makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and our international influence. The UK is a global leader in Combat Air, with cutting-edge military capability underpinned by world-class industrial and technical know-how.

The UK Combat Air sector has an annual turnover of over £6 billion and directly supports over 18,000 highly skilled jobs across the UK. It supports over 100,000 jobs in the supply chain and more than 2,000 companies across the UK. The UK is the world’s second largest exporter of Defence equipment with Defence aerospace representing over 80% of the value of these exports. We are at the heart of a number of key international programmes, including F-35 the largest Defence programme in the world. Our position was secured through world-leading Intellectual Property, understanding, innovation and industrial capability. As we leave the EU, we will continue to seek partnerships across Europe and beyond to deliver UK, European and global security. To do this we must retain access to our proud industrial base. The UK’s Combat Air sector is therefore critical to the UK’s prosperity, our Global Britain outlook and our ability to deliver the best capability to the front line.

The future of the UK’s Combat Air sector is, however, not assured. There has been a gap between major Combat Air development programmes and a clear indication of future UK military requirements is required to stimulate the research and development investment necessary to refresh UK Intellectual Property.

Today I can announce the publication of the UK Combat Air Strategy. The strategy defines a clear way ahead to preserve our national advantage and maintain choice in how it is delivered. The MOD will work with wider Government, industry and international partners to deliver the strategy by taking the following steps:

  • The MOD will continue to invest in upgrading Typhoon to maintain its world-class capabilities for the coming decades.

  • The MOD will provide investment in key UK design engineering skills and a means to generate UK Intellectual Property by implementing the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative. The initiative was established by the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review and builds on recent UK technology investment.

  • The MOD will initiate the UK's capability acquisition programme to define and deliver the future capabilities required when Typhoon leaves service by 2040. An initial acquisition decision will be made by the end of 2020.

  • UK Government and industry will work together to achieve a more open and sustainable industrial base which invests in its own future, partners internationally and breaks the cycle of increasing cost and length of Combat Air programmes.

  • The UK will take a strategic approach to key Combat Air decisions. This will maximise the overall national value the UK derives from the sector; balancing military capability, international influence, economic and prosperity benefits.

  • Effective international partnering in Combat Air is fundamental to the delivery of our national goals and management of cost. The UK will work quickly and openly with allies to build on or establish new partnerships to define future requirements and how they could be delivered in a mutually beneficial manner.

By preserving our ability to maintain operational advantage and freedom of action, the strategy will ensure we have greater choice in how we deliver future capabilities and are able to maximise the economic and strategic benefits of future Combat Air acquisition programmes.

A copy of the Combat Air Strategy has been placed in the Library of the House.

I will report annually to Parliament on progress in implementing the Strategy.

[1] The ability to find and maintain an edge over potential adversaries, both to increase the chances of our success in hostile situations and to increase the protection of the UK assets involved, especially our people.

[2] The ability to determine our internal and external affairs and act in the country’s interests free from intervention by other states or entities, in accordance with our legal obligations.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
Commons

Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report 2017

I have today laid before Parliament a copy of the 2017 Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Report on Human Rights and Democracy (Cm number:9644).

The report analyses human rights developments overseas in 2017 and illustrates how the government works to promote and defend human rights globally.

The report assesses the situation in 30 countries, which the FCO has designated as its Human Rights Priority Countries. These are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

This year marks the 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The report I have laid before Parliament today demonstrates that the principles and values enshrined in the Universal Declaration remain as crucial as ever.

It also serves as a reminder that ensuring universal respect for those principles remains a difficult task.

The UK Government will continue to play a significant part in this endeavour to protect the ‘inherent dignity’ of ‘all members of the human family’.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS831
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report 2017

My Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Jeremy Hunt), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

I have today laid before Parliament a copy of the 2017 Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Report on Human Rights and Democracy (Cm number:9644).

The report analyses human rights developments overseas in 2017 and illustrates how the government works to promote and defend human rights globally.

The report assesses the situation in 30 countries, which the FCO has designated as its Human Rights Priority Countries. These are Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

This year marks the 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The report I have laid before Parliament today demonstrates that the principles and values enshrined in the Universal Declaration remain as crucial as ever. It also serves as a reminder that ensuring universal respect for those principles remains a difficult task. The UK Government will continue to play a significant part in this endeavour to protect the ‘inherent dignity’ of ‘all members of the human family’.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS858
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

British Council Annual Report 2017-18

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

Copies of the British Council’s Annual Report and Accounts for the 2017-18 financial year have been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities and it makes a significant contribution to projecting British values overseas. In doing so they make a lasting difference to the UK’s security, prosperity and influence. They are the world’s leading cultural relations organisation, reaching over 758m people in over 100 countries in 2017/18. This included 14 million face-to-face participants in British Council programmes, 42 million customers using British Council digital social media and learning products and 19 million visitors to British Council Exhibitions. They are a significant driver of UK soft power.

The Council received £168m grant-in-aid from the FCO in 2017/18. The FCO is committed to continuing its support of the British Council’s excellent work. The FCO has protected the British Council’s budget and has increased its overall grant over the current Spending Review period. It has also recently agreed to provide additional funding in this period specifically to support the British Council’s work in Europe and in the developed world.

The Report can also be found at the British Council’s website www.britishcouncil.org

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS847
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Department for International Trade
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

Trade Bill – Analysis on the application of Standing Order No.83L of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons relating to Public Business in respect of Government amendments tabled for Report stage

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Trade Policy (George Hollingbery) has today made the following statement:

The English Votes for English Laws process applies to public bills in the House of Commons. To support the process, the Government has agreed that it will provide information to assist the Speaker in considering whether to certify the Bill or any of its provisions for the purposes of English Votes for English Laws. Bill provisions that relate exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and which have a subject matter within the legislative competence of one or more of the devolved legislatures, can be certified.

Report Stage Amendments

The memorandum, which I will place in the libraries of both Houses, provides an assessment of Government amendments tabled to the Trade Bill, for the purposes of English Votes for English Laws, ahead of Report stage in the House of Commons. The Department for International Trade’s assessment is that the amendments do not change the territorial application of the Bill, for the purpose of Standing Order No.83L of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons as set out in the Explanatory Notes to the Bill at introduction and as reproduced below.

The above assessment is represented in tabular form below.

Provision

Extends to E & W and applies to England?

Extends to E & W and applies to Wales?

Extends and applies to Scotland?

Extends and applies to Northern Ireland?

Would corresponding provision be within the competence of the National Assembly of Wales?

Would corresponding provision be within the competence of the Scottish Parliament?

Would corresponding provision be within the competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly?

Legislative Consent Motion needed?

Part 1 (Clauses 1-7)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

Yes (S, W, NI)

Part 2 (Clauses 8-9)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Part 3 (Clauses 10-11)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Part 4 (Clauses 12-15)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Schedules 1-3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

Yes (S, W, NI)

Schedule 4

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Schedule 5

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

WS
Treasury
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill

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

I have today published a written submission outlining the Government’s analysis of how the English Votes for English Laws principle relates to all Government amendments tabled for Report Stage of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill.

The department’s assessment is that the amendments do not change the territorial application of the Bill.

I have deposited a copy of the submission in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS857
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Treasury
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill

I have today published a written submission outlining the Government’s analysis of how the English Votes for English Laws principle relates to all Government amendments tabled for Report Stage of the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill.

The department’s assessment is that the amendments do not change the territorial application of the Bill.

I have deposited a copy of the submission in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS828
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Department for International Trade
Made on: 16 July 2018
Made by: George Hollingbery (Minister of State for Trade Policy)
Commons

Trade Bill – Analysis on the application of Standing Order No.83L of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons relating to Public Business in respect of Government amendments tabled for Report stage

The English Votes for English Laws process applies to public bills in the House of Commons. To support the process, the Government has agreed that it will provide information to assist the Speaker in considering whether to certify the Bill or any of its provisions for the purposes of English Votes for English Laws. Bill provisions that relate exclusively to England or to England and Wales, and which have a subject matter within the legislative competence of one or more of the devolved legislatures, can be certified.

Report Stage Amendments

The memorandum, which I will place in the libraries of both Houses, provides an assessment of Government amendments tabled to the Trade Bill, for the purposes of English Votes for English Laws, ahead of Report stage in the House of Commons. The Department for International Trade’s assessment is that the amendments do not change the territorial application of the Bill, for the purpose of Standing Order No.83L of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons as set out in the Explanatory Notes to the Bill at introduction and as reproduced below.

The above assessment is represented in tabular form below.

Provision

Extends to E & W and applies to England?

Extends to E & W and applies to Wales?

Extends and applies to Scotland?

Extends and applies to Northern Ireland?

Would corresponding provision be within the competence of the National Assembly of Wales?

Would corresponding provision be within the competence of the Scottish Parliament?

Would corresponding provision be within the competence of the Northern Ireland Assembly?

Legislative Consent Motion needed?

Part 1 (Clauses 1-7)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

Yes (S, W, NI)

Part 2 (Clauses 8-9)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Part 3 (Clauses 10-11)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Part 4 (Clauses 12-15)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Schedules 1-3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

Yes (S, W, NI)

Schedule 4

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

Schedule 5

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

N/A

N/A

N/A

No

WS
Treasury
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 13 July 2018

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 13 July 2018. The Council will discuss the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 12 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

VAT: Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism and E-Publications

The Council will hold an exchange of views on proposals to allow Member States to temporarily apply a VAT Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism, and proposals to allow Member States to apply non-standard rates of VAT to e-publications.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Presidency Work Programme

The Austrian Presidency will present its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2018, followed by an exchange of views.

June European Council Follow-up

The Council will hold an exchange of views on the follow-up to the European Council of 28-29 June 2018.

G20 Meeting

The Council will be invited to approve the EU Terms of reference for the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Buenos Aires on 21-22 July.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS827
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Treasury
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 13 July 2018

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Philip Hammond) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held in Brussels on 13 July 2018. The Council will discuss the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President will brief the Council on the outcomes of the 12 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission will provide an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

VAT: Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism and E-Publications

The Council will hold an exchange of views on proposals to allow Member States to temporarily apply a VAT Generalised Reverse Charge Mechanism, and proposals to allow Member States to apply non-standard rates of VAT to e-publications.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Austrian Presidency will provide an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Presidency Work Programme

The Austrian Presidency will present its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2018, followed by an exchange of views.

June European Council Follow-up

The Council will hold an exchange of views on the follow-up to the European Council of 28-29 June 2018.

G20 Meeting

The Council will be invited to approve the EU Terms of reference for the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Buenos Aires on 21-22 July.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS855
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Treasury
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Update on the pensions cold calling ban

I have today laid before Parliament a Ministerial Statement to set out government progress on the ban on pensions cold calling, as required under the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018.

Pensions cold calling is an important and complex issue. Pensions scams can have devastating consequences and cold calling is the most common method used to initiate pensions scams, so the government has taken the time to ensure the ban works for consumers. The government will imminently publish a consultation seeking views on a set of draft regulations to ban pensions cold calling. Once we have considered all responses to the consultation, in the Autumn we intend to lay regulations under the affirmative procedure and subject to parliamentary approval bring the regulations into force as soon as possible thereafter.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS826
WS
Treasury
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Update on the pensions cold calling ban

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

I have today laid before Parliament a Ministerial Statement to set out government progress on the ban on pensions cold calling, as required under the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018.

Pensions cold calling is an important and complex issue. Pensions scams can have devastating consequences and cold calling is the most common method used to initiate pensions scams, so the government has taken the time to ensure the ban works for consumers. The government will imminently publish a consultation seeking views on a set of draft regulations to ban pensions cold calling. Once we have considered all responses to the consultation, in the Autumn we intend to lay regulations under the affirmative procedure and subject to parliamentary approval bring the regulations into force as soon as possible thereafter.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS854
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: Lucy Frazer (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice Update

I wish to inform the House that I have decided to lay an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to bring immigration matters for unaccompanied and separated children into scope of legal aid.

Under current legislation, legal aid is available in all asylum cases – for all age groups - and immigration cases where someone is challenging a detention decision. Legal aid for other immigration matters is available via the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme, which is intended to ensure legal aid is accessible in all cases where there is a risk of breach of human rights.

Following a judicial review brought by the Children’s Society, we have examined both the evidence presented as part of the case and our data on applications for funding. Based on the distinct nature of the cohort in question, and of our data regarding them, I have decided to bring these cases into the scope of legal aid to ensure access to justice.

The amendment will be laid in due course following discussion across government and with external stakeholders.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS825
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 12 July 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Justice Spokesperson)
Lords

Justice Update

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Justice has today made the following statement.

I wish to inform the House that I have decided to lay an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to bring immigration matters for unaccompanied and separated children into scope of legal aid.

Under current legislation, legal aid is available in all asylum cases – for all age groups - and immigration cases where someone is challenging a detention decision. Legal aid for other immigration matters is available via the Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) scheme, which is intended to ensure legal aid is accessible in all cases where there is a risk of breach of human rights.

Following a judicial review brought by the Children’s Society, we have examined both the evidence presented as part of the case and our data on applications for funding. Based on the distinct nature of the cohort in question, and of our data regarding them, I have decided to bring these cases into the scope of legal aid to ensure access to justice.

The amendment will be laid in due course following discussion across government and with external stakeholders.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS853
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