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:

Show
Find by:
Close

WSID

Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
Showing 1-100 out of 1761
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all statements
Print selected
WS
Treasury
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Robert Jenrick (The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Annual Report under the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012

The Annual Report to Parliament under the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012 for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 has today been laid before Parliament.

The report is prepared in line with the requirements set out in the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012 that the government reports annually to Parliament on the financial assistance given under the act.

Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS867
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lucy Frazer (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice )
Commons

Call for Evidence – provision of legal aid for inquests

The Secretary of State for Justice and I are today launching a call for evidence which seeks information on the experience of bereaved families at inquests.

An inquest is a distinct judicial process. It can be a traumatic ordeal for the bereaved, both in hearing how their loved ones died and through the frustration in the search for answers. That search for the truth, the answers to the unknown questions, is important in helping the bereaved to understand and make sense of tragedies such as this.

The inquest itself is meant to be an inquisitorial process and as such, most inquest hearings are conducted without the need for publicly funded representation. That must be right to ensure they are as accessible as possible to both the bereaved and the wider public. Of course, early legal advice may sometimes be needed and helpful. That is why we have protected early legal advice to support the bereaved in preparing inquests, ensuring that it remains within the scope of ​legal aid. It may also be that publicly-funded representation at the inquest hearing itself is necessary in certain exceptional circumstances, and if that is the case it should be provided.

Recently, concerns have been levelled against this existing availability of legal aid for inquests. In light of this, the Ministry of Justice is conducting a review of the current system. This call for evidence forms a key part of this work.

The central aim of this paper is to consider what is needed to ensure that bereaved people have access to the necessary levels of support they need to understand and properly participate at every stage of the proceedings.

The paper seeks to widen our existing evidence base. In particular, we are interested in finding out more about death in custody cases, and cases where there is state involvement in the process. It also seeks to better understand the circumstances in which families may require legal representation to allow for a fair inquest process, and whether changes need to be made to current eligibility criteria.

The paper also includes questions on what can be done beyond the provision of legal aid, to make inquests less adversarial and more sensitive to the needs of bereaved families. This includes looking at the number and actions of lawyers and the style of questioning adopted.

Responses will be used to help us consider whether changes need to be made to existing policies. Any prospective policy options will be presented in a public consultation.

The Government welcomes responses from bereaved people, charities, arms-length bodies, the legal profession, experts, and professionals across the system who have experience or involvement in the inquest process.

The call for evidence exercise will run for 8 weeks to 31 August 2018.

A copy of the consultation paper will be placed in the libraries of the house and will be available online at www.gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS866
WS
Treasury
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Annual Report under the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012

My honourable friend the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Robert Jenrick) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Annual Report to Parliament under the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012 for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 has today been laid before Parliament.

The report is prepared in line with the requirements set out in the Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012 that the government reports annually to Parliament on the financial assistance given under the act.

Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS895
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Call for Evidence – provision of legal aid for inquests

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

"The Secretary of State for Justice and I are today launching a call for evidence which seeks information on the experience of bereaved families at inquests.

An inquest is a distinct judicial process. It can be a traumatic ordeal for the bereaved, both in hearing how their loved ones died and through the frustration in the search for answers. That search for the truth, the answers to the unknown questions, is important in helping the bereaved to understand and make sense of tragedies such as this.

The inquest itself is meant to be an inquisitorial process and as such, most inquest hearings are conducted without the need for publicly funded representation. That must be right to ensure they are as accessible as possible to both the bereaved and the wider public. Of course, early legal advice may sometimes be needed and helpful. That is why we have protected early legal advice to support the bereaved in preparing inquests, ensuring that it remains within the scope of ​legal aid. It may also be that publicly-funded representation at the inquest hearing itself is necessary in certain exceptional circumstances, and if that is the case it should be provided.

Recently, concerns have been levelled against this existing availability of legal aid for inquests. In light of this, the Ministry of Justice is conducting a review of the current system. This call for evidence forms a key part of this work.

The central aim of this paper is to consider what is needed to ensure that bereaved people have access to the necessary levels of support they need to understand and properly participate at every stage of the proceedings.

The paper seeks to widen our existing evidence base. In particular, we are interested in finding out more about death in custody cases, and cases where there is state involvement in the process. It also seeks to better understand the circumstances in which families may require legal representation to allow for a fair inquest process, and whether changes need to be made to current eligibility criteria.

The paper also includes questions on what can be done beyond the provision of legal aid, to make inquests less adversarial and more sensitive to the needs of bereaved families. This includes looking at the number and actions of lawyers and the style of questioning adopted.

Responses will be used to help us consider whether changes need to be made to existing policies. Any prospective policy options will be presented in a public consultation.

The Government welcomes responses from bereaved people, charities, arms-length bodies, the legal profession, experts, and professionals across the system who have experience or involvement in the inquest process.

The call for evidence exercise will run for 8 weeks to 31 August 2018.

A copy of the consultation paper will be placed in the libraries of the house and will be available online at www.gov.uk."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS894
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 2008: (Remedial) Order 2018

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

We are today laying a revised non-urgent remedial order, which will enable a sole applicant to apply for a parental order, which transfers legal parenthood after a surrogacy arrangement.

The Joint Committee for Human Rights (JCHR) published its report about the initial draft remedial order on 2 March 2018. The Government has carefully considered the issues raised in the report and has accepted the recommendations made by JCHR. We have taken additional action so that the revised order ensures that a biological parent in a surrogacy arrangement is not blocked by their relationship status from obtaining legal parenthood.

Surrogacy has an increasingly important role to play in our society, helping to create much-wanted new families for a range of people. The UK Government recognises the value of this in the 21st century where family structures, attitudes and life-styles are much more diverse.

The revised remedial order reflects an equal approach for a sole applicant or a couple in obtaining legal parenthood after a surrogacy arrangement. The order will allow a six month period where an existing sole applicant can retrospectively apply for a parental order for a child born through surrogacy.

It will be for the Joint Committee on Human Rights to further scrutinise the revised order, take views from Parliamentarians and stakeholders and advise the Government and Parliament on the appropriateness of the order. The Committee will have 60 days to undertake these considerations and then make recommendations to Parliament, before debates in both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS893
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Relationships and Sex Education

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education (Damian Hinds) has made the following written ministerial statement.

Children and young people today are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their lives in a positive way. Ensuring children and young people have this knowledge contributes to Government’s effort to eradicate problems like sexual harassment and violence.

We have engaged thoroughly with a wide range of organisations, supported by experienced head teacher Ian Bauckham CBE. Between November 2017 and March 2018, Ian led a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement process with many experts. In addition, the department launched a call for evidence to seek public views from adults and young people– over 23,000 people responded and the level of consensus has been encouraging. We are pleased today to be able to announce the key decisions and launch a consultation on the detail of the regulations and guidance.

For Relationships Education and RSE, the aim is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with the family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including online. It is essential that we ensure young people can keep themselves safe online, from the basics of who and what to trust and how personal information is used, through to how to ensure online relationships are healthy and safe.

A guiding principle is that teaching will start from the basis that children and young people, at age appropriate points, need to know the laws relating to relationships and sex that govern society to ensure they act appropriately and can be safe. This includes LGBT, which is a strong feature of the new subjects at age appropriate points. The draft guidance sets out core required content, but leaves flexibility for schools to design a curriculum that builds on this and is right for their pupils, bearing in mind their age and religious backgrounds. It enables schools with a religious character to deliver and expand on the core content by reflecting the teachings of their faith.

We are also proposing to introduce compulsory content on Health Education. This supports the findings from the call for evidence and engagement process, where giving children and young people the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing – particularly their mental wellbeing - was a priority. This directly supports the Green Paper published jointly by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on children and young people’s mental health, as well as our manifesto commitment to ensure all young people are taught about mental wellbeing. The focus on physical health also supports Government’s activity to tackle childhood obesity.

Financial education is already in the curriculum, in maths and citizenship, and careers education is an important part of our Careers Strategy. For these reasons, we do not consider that economic education should be made compulsory. We are committed, however, to improving provision of financial and careers education and will work with stakeholders to do so.

We know that many schools successfully cover this content in a broader PSHE programme. They should continue to do so, adapting their programme to the new requirements rather than starting from scratch. Schools are also free to develop alternative, innovative ways to ensure that pupils receive this education and we want good practice to be shared so that all schools can benefit.

We have previously committed to parents having a right to withdraw their children from sex education in RSE, but not relationships education in primary or secondary. A right for parents to withdraw their child up to 18 years of age is no longer compatible with English case law or the European Convention on Human Rights. It is also clear that allowing parents to withdraw their child up to age 16 would not allow the child to opt in to sex education before the legal age of consent.

We therefore propose to give parents the right to request their child be withdrawn from sex education delivered as part of RSE. The draft guidance sets out that unless there are exceptional circumstances, the parents’ request should be granted until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the child wishes to have sex education, the head teacher should ensure they receive it in one of those terms. This preserves the parental right in most cases, but also balances it with the child’s right to opt in to sex education when they are competent to do so.

This is a very important change to the curriculum that has to be delivered well, and whilst many schools will be able to quickly adapt their existing teaching it is essential that those schools that need more time to plan and prepare their staff get that time. It is our intention that as many schools as possible will start teaching the subjects from September 2019. We will be working with those schools, as well as with MATs, dioceses and education unions, to help them to do so. All schools will be required to teach the new subjects from September 2020. This is in line with the department’s approach to any significant changes to the curriculum and will enable us to learn lessons from the early adopter schools and share good practice across the sector. We will be seeking views through the consultation to test the right focus for a school support package as we know that it is crucial for schools and teachers to be confident and well-prepared.

We are keen to hear as many views as possible through the consultation, which will be open until early November, and the final regulations will be laid in both Houses, allowing for a full and considered debate. There was strong cross-party support for the introduction of these subjects we are confident that we can continue to work together on this important reform. We believe that our proposals are an historic step in education that will equip children and young people with the knowledge and support they need to form healthy relationships, lead healthy lives and be safe and happy in modern Britain.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS892
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Jackie Doyle-Price (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act 2008: (Remedial) Order 2018

We are today laying a revised non-urgent remedial order, which will enable a sole applicant to apply for a parental order, which transfers legal parenthood after a surrogacy arrangement.

The Joint Committee for Human Rights (JCHR) published its report about the initial draft remedial order on 2 March 2018. The Government has carefully considered the issues raised in the report and has accepted the recommendations made by JCHR. We have taken additional action so that the revised order ensures that a biological parent in a surrogacy arrangement is not blocked by their relationship status from obtaining legal parenthood.

Surrogacy has an increasingly important role to play in our society, helping to create much-wanted new families for a range of people. The UK Government recognises the value of this in the 21st century where family structures, attitudes and life-styles are much more diverse.

The revised remedial order reflects an equal approach for a sole applicant or a couple in obtaining legal parenthood after a surrogacy arrangement. The order will allow a six month period where an existing sole applicant can retrospectively apply for a parental order for a child born through surrogacy.

It will be for the Joint Committee on Human Rights to further scrutinise the revised order, take views from Parliamentarians and stakeholders and advise the Government and Parliament on the appropriateness of the order. The Committee will have 60 days to undertake these considerations and then make recommendations to Parliament, before debates in both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS865
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Mr Damian Hinds (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Relationships and Sex Education

Children and young people today are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their lives in a positive way. Ensuring children and young people have this knowledge contributes to Government’s effort to eradicate problems like sexual harassment and violence.

We have engaged thoroughly with a wide range of organisations, supported by experienced head teacher Ian Bauckham CBE. Between November 2017 and March 2018, Ian led a wide-ranging stakeholder engagement process with many experts. In addition, the department launched a call for evidence to seek public views from adults and young people– over 23,000 people responded and the level of consensus has been encouraging. We are pleased today to be able to announce the key decisions and launch a consultation on the detail of the regulations and guidance.

For Relationships Education and RSE, the aim is to put in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with the family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including online. It is essential that we ensure young people can keep themselves safe online, from the basics of who and what to trust and how personal information is used, through to how to ensure online relationships are healthy and safe.

A guiding principle is that teaching will start from the basis that children and young people, at age appropriate points, need to know the laws relating to relationships and sex that govern society to ensure they act appropriately and can be safe. This includes LGBT, which is a strong feature of the new subjects at age appropriate points. The draft guidance sets out core required content, but leaves flexibility for schools to design a curriculum that builds on this and is right for their pupils, bearing in mind their age and religious backgrounds. It enables schools with a religious character to deliver and expand on the core content by reflecting the teachings of their faith.

We are also proposing to introduce compulsory content on Health Education. This supports the findings from the call for evidence and engagement process, where giving children and young people the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing – particularly their mental wellbeing - was a priority. This directly supports the Green Paper published jointly by the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on children and young people’s mental health, as well as our manifesto commitment to ensure all young people are taught about mental wellbeing. The focus on physical health also supports Government’s activity to tackle childhood obesity.

Financial education is already in the curriculum, in maths and citizenship, and careers education is an important part of our Careers Strategy. For these reasons, we do not consider that economic education should be made compulsory. We are committed, however, to improving provision of financial and careers education and will work with stakeholders to do so.

We know that many schools successfully cover this content in a broader PSHE programme. They should continue to do so, adapting their programme to the new requirements rather than starting from scratch. Schools are also free to develop alternative, innovative ways to ensure that pupils receive this education and we want good practice to be shared so that all schools can benefit.

We have previously committed to parents having a right to withdraw their children from sex education in RSE, but not relationships education in primary or secondary. A right for parents to withdraw their child up to 18 years of age is no longer compatible with English case law or the European Convention on Human Rights. It is also clear that allowing parents to withdraw their child up to age 16 would not allow the child to opt in to sex education before the legal age of consent.

We therefore propose to give parents the right to request their child be withdrawn from sex education delivered as part of RSE. The draft guidance sets out that unless there are exceptional circumstances, the parents’ request should be granted until three terms before the pupil turns 16. At that point, if the child wishes to have sex education, the head teacher should ensure they receive it in one of those terms. This preserves the parental right in most cases, but also balances it with the child’s right to opt in to sex education when they are competent to do so.

This is a very important change to the curriculum that has to be delivered well, and whilst many schools will be able to quickly adapt their existing teaching it is essential that those schools that need more time to plan and prepare their staff get that time. It is our intention that as many schools as possible will start teaching the subjects from September 2019. We will be working with those schools, as well as with MATs, dioceses and education unions, to help them to do so. All schools will be required to teach the new subjects from September 2020. This is in line with the department’s approach to any significant changes to the curriculum and will enable us to learn lessons from the early adopter schools and share good practice across the sector. We will be seeking views through the consultation to test the right focus for a school support package as we know that it is crucial for schools and teachers to be confident and well-prepared.

We are keen to hear as many views as possible through the consultation, which will be open until early November, and the final regulations will be laid in both Houses, allowing for a full and considered debate. There was strong cross-party support for the introduction of these subjects we are confident that we can continue to work together on this important reform. We believe that our proposals are an historic step in education that will equip children and young people with the knowledge and support they need to form healthy relationships, lead healthy lives and be safe and happy in modern Britain.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS864
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Contingent liability

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Rt Hon Jeremy Wright) has made the following Written Statement:

A minute has been laid before Parliament regarding the live broadcast of the England men’s team Semi-Final match at the 2018 Football World Cup in Hyde Park on the 11th July, and specifically in relation to incurring a contingent liability.

The Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) directed the Royal Parks (TRP) to host an event which showed the live broadcast of the England men’s team Semi-Final match at the 2018 Football World Cup on large television screens in Hyde Park on 11th July. The Department provided an indemnity agreement to the TRP; in order to meet the short timescale to organise this event, it was necessary to give commitments in relation to such liabilities urgently.

DCMS agreed to indemnify TRP for net costs and there is an agreement regarding any such indemnity costs between DCMS and the Greater London Authority and the Football Association.

The Treasury approved the proposal in principle. Authority for any expenditure required under the liability will be sought through the normal Supply procedure. A full departmental Minute has been laid providing more detail on this contingent liability as provided to TRP on the 8th July.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Jeremy Wright (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Contingent liability

A minute has been laid before Parliament regarding the live broadcast of the England men’s team Semi-Final match at the 2018 Football World Cup in Hyde Park on the 11th July, and specifically in relation to incurring a contingent liability.

The Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) directed the Royal Parks (TRP) to host an event which showed the live broadcast of the England men’s team Semi-Final match at the 2018 Football World Cup on large television screens in Hyde Park on 11th July. The Department provided an indemnity agreement to the TRP; in order to meet the short timescale to organise this event, it was necessary to give commitments in relation to such liabilities urgently.

DCMS agreed to indemnify TRP for net costs and there is an agreement regarding any such indemnity costs between DCMS and the Greater London Authority and the Football Association.

The Treasury approved the proposal in principle. Authority for any expenditure required under the liability will be sought through the normal Supply procedure. A full departmental Minute has been laid providing more detail on this contingent liability as provided to TRP on the 8th July.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Grenfell Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (James Brokenshire), has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Honourable Members will have been moved by the strength, courage and dignity demonstrated by those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire during the commemoration that took place last month marking one year on. I wanted to update the House before the summer recess on the critical work the Government is undertaking in response to the tragedy and broader building safety work.

First, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government continues to work closely with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to ensure the bereaved and survivors are given the support they need. This includes practical, long-term emotional, and, in some cases, mental health support to ensure all the bereaved and survivors are settled and comfortable in new permanent accommodation.

The latest position is that of 204 households from Grenfell Tower and Walk who need rehousing, 200 households (over 98 per cent) have accepted an offer of either permanent or temporary accommodation. 142 households have now moved in; of which 96 have moved into their permanent homes and 46 households are currently living in good quality interim accommodation. The number of households in hotels has reduced to 40, with 19 in serviced apartments and three living with friends and family. My Department is working closely with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to ensure that the properties acquired for the survivors are safe and ready to move into and I have been assured by the Council that the majority of that work is now complete. 24 properties that have been accepted by residents are still being finalised and the vast majority of these are expected to be completed over the summer. I am also continuing to focus on the support that is available to those moving into their new homes; through working with the Council to provide a strong package of resettlement support. This includes a range of elements, from helping to provide furniture, packing and removals, support to join community groups in a new local area, and drop-in counselling sessions.

Our support and commitment to the bereaved, victims and wider community remains steadfast.

Second, I wanted to update the House on the work we are doing to ensure residents of high-rise buildings are safe and feel safe, now, and in the future. The Government is committed to learning lessons from the Grenfell fire and delivering far-reaching change to ensure similar devastation cannot happen again.

In the days following the tragedy, we set up a Building Safety Programme as part of our response. Key initial actions to guide and support this work included:

  • establishing an Expert Panel, chaired by Sir Ken Knight, and an industry response group to advise on and support urgent safety and remediation work; and
  • commissioning an independent, forward-looking review of the building regulations and fire safety system, led by Dame Judith Hackitt.

The report by Dame Judith, Building a Safer Future, was published on 17 May. As I said in my statement to the House that day, its publication was a watershed moment for everyone who has a stake in ensuring the people living in buildings like Grenfell Tower are safe, and feel safe. Dame Judith called for major reform and a change of culture. The onus should clearly be on everyone involved to manage risk at every stage, and government should do more to set and enforce high standards. The Government agrees with that assessment and supports the principles behind the report’s recommendations for a more effective system.

As Dame Judith acknowledged, delivering fundamental system reform – including changes to the law – will take time and, as I said in May, I will set out our detailed implementation plan in the autumn. But we can, and must, start changing the culture and practice right now. We are therefore delivering key elements of the report.

First, I am pleased to announce that my Department is today publishing the clarified building regulations fire safety guidance (Approved Document B) for consultation. The revised guidance will be easier to use and reduce the risk of misinterpretation by those carrying out and inspecting building work. It is a vital first step on the road to reform. A link to the consultation is here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fire-safety-clarification-of-statutory-guidance-approved-document-b and I am placing the documents in the library of the House.

I am clear we will not hesitate to go further than the Hackitt recommendations where we deem it necessary. Not only have we launched a consultation on proposals to restrict or ban the use of so-called desk top studies (assessments in lieu of tests) for cladding materials, as recommended by Hackitt, but we have also launched a consultation on proposals to ban the use of combustible materials in the exterior wall construction of high-rise buildings. I have also listened to calls from a number of colleagues, experts and organisations that a wider review of Approved Document B is necessary to ensure the guidance reflects innovations in the construction sector and the latest understanding of fire behaviour and protection. With this in mind, I am today announcing the Government will carry out a wider technical review of the guidance on fire safety. We will publish a call for evidence in the autumn inviting views on the technical issues and further improvements that could be made in the Approved Document.

Reforming the regulatory system requires change across all its aspects. In relation to building safety, I can announce we will introduce a mandatory requirement on landlords in the private rented sector to ensure electrical installations in their property are inspected every five years. This will help drive up standards across the private rented sector and reduce deaths and injuries due to electric shocks and fires caused by electric faults.

We are committed to establishing a more effective regulatory regime for fire and building safety. We have started work with building control bodies, National Fire Chiefs Council, the Health and Safety Executive and others to consider options for a Joint Competent Authority and stronger regime as per the recommendations in the report, and we will set out our implementation plan in the autumn.

The Hackitt Review identified a lack of leadership within the construction and fire safety industries as a contributory failure on building safety. I want the construction industry to drive action on building safety now, leading from the front and changing practice and behaviour. We know there are many who are already doing the right thing, and I want to encourage more in the industry to do the same.

I am pleased we have already had support on this and today I can announce that Wilmott Dixon, Keir, L&Q and Salix have agreed to be the first of the early adopters on building safety. This is a commitment to prioritising building safety. These organisations will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to trial ways of working in line with the Hackitt recommendations and assess benefits in the buildings they are constructing or managing. We would welcome others in industry coming forward to join them.

We also need to ensure residents are given a voice in the system. This is necessary to provide reassurance and recourse across all tenures by providing: greater transparency of information on building safety; better involvement in decision-making through the support of resident associations and tenant panels and a no-risk route of escalation and redress. This was echoed in feedback from tenant events held to inform the Social Housing Green Paper. We are considering options for addressing these concerns, including through the forthcoming Green Paper.

I can also announce today I intend to set up a residents’ reference panel for the life of the Building Safety Programme. This indicates our commitment to residents, and ensures policy is grounded in the experiences of those who live in high-rise buildings.

The Hackitt Review also called for the construction and fire safety industries to show more effective leadership in raising the competence of those working on high-rise buildings. I have been pleased to see both the construction and fire sectors come together quickly in the response to this challenge set by Dame Judith, under the stewardship of the Construction Industry Council. We remain in close contact with the industry to see the progress of their proposals on competence, and will stand ready to provide support as required.

I also welcome the work of the Home Office and National Fire Chiefs Council on setting up a new independent Fire Standards Board to produce and own professional standards for fire and rescue services in England. This forms part of the Government’s fire reform programme which will make services more accountable, effective and professional. Work is underway to form the board by late summer, with work on the first standards beginning shortly thereafter.

To provide additional oversight of the industry’s work, I intend to set up an Industry Safety Steering Group. This group will hold industry to account for making cultural change happen, and I can announce today that this will be chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Our focus on delivering the systemic reforms envisaged by the Hackitt Review will not distract from the critical work of ensuring people are safe in their homes. Guided by advice from our Expert Panel, we continue to work closely with fire and rescue services, local authorities and landlords to identify high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding, ensure interim measures are in place to reduce risks, and give building owners clear advice about what they need to do to make buildings safe.

My written statement of 28 June provided an update on our work to identify, test and remediate unsafe cladding systems on high-rise buildings. I announced in that statement the further steps I would be taking to promote swifter action by building owners to remove potentially unsafe cladding on private sector high-rise residential buildings. I expect to chair the first meeting of the new private sector remediation taskforce which will oversee this activity before summer recess. Since 28 June two additional roundtables have been held with industry to work on solutions for individual building owners who cannot resolve building remediation themselves. This work with industry will continue over the summer.

We will also take further steps to ensure there is clarity for building owners about the circumstances in which buildings should be remediated. These steps will include the production of clear guidance about the circumstances in which decorative or small amounts of Aluminium Composite Material cladding should be remediated. My department has also written to all relevant building owners to remind them of their responsibilities and I am pleased to be able to report that the National House Building Council has accepted a warranty claim for the New Capital Quay development. I call on others to follow their lead.

Further to my update on building safety on 16 May, my department is continuing to monitor and facilitate action taken by those who purchased Manse Masterdor fire doors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is working with the Local Government Association and National Housing Federation to provide advice and support to building owners with these doors.

In my update of 16 May I also reported that Synseal, the company that took over the Manse Masterdor business, were working with Trading Standards to ensure their products met relevant standards and had withdrawn their composite 30 minute fire door range. Following further testing of their fire doors, Synseal has informed my department they have withdrawn their composite and timber fire door range from the market as it does not consistently meet the minimum standard. Based on advice sought from the Expert Panel, Synseal have written to all customers of Masterdor Limited (a subsidiary of Synseal) asking building owners to review the fire risk assessment of their buildings to determine how quickly these doors should be replaced. The Expert Panel have advised me there is no change to the risk to public safety and the failure of Masterdor Limited fire doors remains a product standards issue which is being overseen by Trading Standards. My department is working closely with Trading Standards on this issue.

Local fire and rescue services continue to provide advice locally and the National Fire Chiefs Council, with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, are monitoring assessments and the action being taken by customers of Manse Masterdor and Masterdor Limited.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will continue its investigation into the wider fire door market, where we are testing doors from at least 20 suppliers over the next six months.

Nothing is more important than ensuring that people are safe and feel safe in their homes. We have made progress but there is much left to do. I shall provide a further update to the House on this work in the autumn.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS890
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

Modernising Defence Programme - Update

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

In January, together with the Prime Minister and Chancellor, I launched the Government’s Modernising Defence Programme (MDP). The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is now able to share our headline conclusions. Throughout the MDP, the Department has worked with colleagues across Whitehall, with academics, subject matter experts, allies and partners and ran a public consultation exercise.

The MDP was launched after the National Security Capability Review acknowledged the increasing security challenges we are facing. Its purpose was to deliver better military capability to meet the increasing threat environment and value for money in a sustainable and affordable way. Defence protects our people, projects our global influence, and promotes our prosperity. And, at this key moment as the UK leaves the European Union, Defence and the Armed Forces will continue to deliver security in Europe and further afield, helping to make Global Britain a reality.

Threats and risks to national security have diversified and become more complex since 2015. Although we anticipated many of the threats and risks we now face, we underestimated the pace at which they would intensify and combine to challenge UK national security at home and threaten the rules-based international order that has delivered peace, security and prosperity over many decades. And, we did not fully understand the ways in which they would interact with each other.

Alongside this, the character of warfare has changed since 2015. We are in a period of constant aggressive competition between states, often developing into undeclared confrontation and, in some cases, proxy conflicts. Technology, especially digital technology, is developing at a breath-taking pace, making pervasive many capabilities once only imagined in science fiction.

Our adversaries are working to take advantage of this contested environment by systematically identifying and exploiting our vulnerabilities and those of our allies and partners. Peer and near-peer states are investing heavily in both conventional and emerging technologies, and are increasingly adopting hybrid or asymmetric approaches to gain advantage. This has included attacking our digital networks and those of our allies, and operating in unconventional and legally questionable ways. Broader developments in the world including demographic change, increasing urbanisation, the risk of pandemics, resource and environmental pressures will all contribute to a global strategic context which will become more complex.

All this means that the challenges to our national security and prosperity – and to our allies’ and partners’ security and prosperity – are increasingly complex, ambiguous, destabilising and potentially catastrophic.

Work in the first phase of the MDP has reviewed this changing strategic context and how our Armed Forces need to be able to respond. We have reviewed our existing capability plans, and begun to shape new policy approaches and identify investment priorities, and through workstreams, we have developed a blueprint for a major programme of top-down transformative reform to defence.

In all of this, we have been guided by the three key roles that our Armed Forces should be able to fulfil in the 21st century:

1. Contribute to strengthening global security through our leading role in NATO, and provide the structures and capabilities to defend the UK;

2. Meet the challenges of the wider threats to international security and stability, including through operations and activities alongside our global allies and partners. Defence must be engaged and outward looking, meeting the challenges of our age, from state-based competition and confrontation, violent extremism and terrorism, instability and crises in Africa and Asia, illegal and irregular migration, serious and organised crime, to climate change and environmental disasters.

3. Act independently, when appropriate, to protect UK interests and citizens overseas, leading multi-national operations and developing strong defence relationships with partners around the world.

Headline conclusions

1. Our Armed Forces need to be ready and able to match the pace at which our adversaries now move.

The pace at which our adversaries can act against us has grown quickly since SDSR 2015. Today, our adversaries disguise their actions by launching attacks that are hard to attribute, or by operating below the conventional threshold for a decisive, collective response. Whilst our Armed Forces already protect us against these challenges every hour of every day, we need to be able to respond to this new character of warfare, both in the traditional land, sea and air domains, as well as in the new domains of space and cyber. The MDP will make sure that the Armed Forces can continue to protect our prosperity and security, whilst reinforcing Britain’s place in the world.

To defend our national security, we should make the best possible use of the unique mix of hard and soft power that makes the UK a major global actor: from our economic levers to our wider diplomatic and cultural influence on the world’s stage. This integrated, collective approach to national security is captured in the Government’s Fusion Doctrine. Defence has a vital and increasing role in underwriting it, including through contributing to deterring and disrupting hostile state activity, delivering the CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy in the UK and overseas, or supporting wider security and prosperity objectives.

The Armed Forces have a unique network of alliances and friendships spanning every corner of every continent. We have made significant progress in making Defence more ‘international by design’, and we will look at how we could do more. We have already strengthened relationships with key allies and partners, including through ambitious capability collaborations, and we will seek to go further still. We will consider our global defence network, to make sure we have the right military and civilian staff deployed around the world. We will seek to optimise our programme of world-class international education and training, which is so highly valued by our allies and partners, and gives the UK competitive advantage and strategic influence across the globe. And we will continue to lead multinational forces and deepen our relationships across the globe.

Most importantly, we need to make sure we can respond rapidly to future crises on our terms. Our elite and high-readiness forces are critical in this regard, enabled by collective training and our high-end exercise programme. We will consider how we can rebalance our training and equipment to mainland Europe, the Far East and the Middle East and review our overseas basing to improve our interoperability with allies and partners. NATO’s Readiness Initiative will also play an important role in this endeavour. Equally, our ability to respond rapidly will depend on an improved understanding and anticipation of the strategic confrontations that define this era: we will therefore build a Strategic Net Assessment capability in the MOD. Strategic Net Assessment looks across all dimensions of competition – political, economic, military, resources – to assess how the choices of both friends and foes may play out over the short, medium and long-term. Its conclusions can be used to develop more nuanced and better-informed strategy, so we can better anticipate our adversaries’ actions and counter them more effectively.

As outlined in SDSR 2015, protecting our security safeguards our prosperity, so our Armed Forces will continue to provide the assurance and reassurance for our global trade and development commitments, and support our ambitions for Global Britain. As we continue our commitment to Defence investment we will consider a much more agile approach to the development of future equipment, with a clear focus on the increasing flexibility required to maintain strategic advantage over our adversaries.

2. A fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century

We intend to modernise our force structure so that it is better able to meet the increasing threats we face. The key design principles of Joint Force 2025 are right; we want Armed Forces able to operate with agility and pace in the information age. Our Armed Forces need to be able to meet a full range of missions now and into the future. This includes, if necessary, warfighting operations under NATO Article 5 and further afield.

We need to be able to meet future threats and face down our adversaries to continue to protect our prosperity and security. We may need to accelerate elements of the programme to meet the most acute threats sooner. Equally, we might want to introduce new capabilities or equipment that provide significant advantage in the immediate term. We intend, in each case, to look to the right balance of conventional and novel capabilities to meet the threats we face.

Alongside this, we will consider how to improve our resilience, so that our networks and systems across defence are protected against cyber-attack and infiltration, and our submarines can continue to avoid detection. We will also strengthen our equipment, training and facilities, like the investment we are making in a Chemical Weapons Defence Centre to counter Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear threats like we saw in Salisbury and Amesbury. Through advancing our resilience we will make sure our forces and bases are better protected.

A fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century also means our Armed Forces need to be able to operate in the space domain. So, to guide future investment in our satellites and wider space capabilities we will publish a Space Strategy.

To operate effectively in the information age, we need ‘information advantage’. Conflicts of the future will increasingly be won and lost based on who uses information technology most effectively: sensors, computing, communication, cyber and machine learning, artificial intelligence and autonomy. We will consider how to enhance our ability to collect, analyse, disseminate and act very rapidly on the vast quantities of data that characterise the contemporary operating environment. That will allow us to understand how our adversaries are thinking, how they may choose to act against us, and how we can deter or defeat them.

We are also looking at how to update the way we fight. For much of the last two decades, the UK has been conducting or contributing to significant overseas operations, in Afghanistan, Iraq and the wider Middle East. Our adversaries have learned a lot about how we operate, and how they can disrupt our preferred methods. So, we are considering what a more active and dynamic approach to operations in all five domains – land, sea, air, space and cyberspace – should look like.

At the same time, we will consider how to modernise our approach to technology and innovation. By taking a more coordinated approach to technology and experimentation, with better central oversight, we may be able to pursue opportunities for modernisation more aggressively and accept higher levels of risk pursuing novel ideas. We intend to invest in a series of ‘Spearhead’ initiatives on key new technologies and increase our spending on innovation, science and technology. Pursuing this approach will allow us to become quicker at turning advances in research and development into strategic advantage. In support of this, we will publish a ‘Defence Technology Framework’, setting out the Department’s technology priorities so that we can focus efforts and guide strategy, investment and plans across Defence as a whole.

And we should also ensure that we use the combined talents of our Whole Force of Regulars, Reserves, civil servants and industry partners more effectively. The character of conflict and the world of work more generally are changing, so Defence will need to up-skill our people, harness the advantages offered by Reserves, and reflect the expectations of the modern workforce.

3. Transforming the business of Defence to deliver a robust, credible, modern and affordable force

We are re-setting and re-energising the way MOD is led, organised and managed, with clearer responsibilities and accountabilities to deliver better value for money. We will embrace approaches, processes, technologies and best practice with a proven track record of success elsewhere. We will encourage a culture of experimentation, and change our acquisition and commercial processes to better support the rapid and incremental adoption of new and emerging technologies.

To help create financial headroom for the additional modernisation, we will consider how to deliver greater efficiency by adopting ambitious, digitally-enabled business modernisation. In parallel, we will consider removing existing areas of overlap and duplication within our force structure and burden-sharing more effectively with allies and partners.

We intend to adopt a more collaborative and demanding approach to our relationship with industry, centred around an agreed set of productivity, efficiency, skills and innovation challenges that we need to meet together. At the same time, in the next stages of our work we will consider what we might do to grow even further the already considerable contribution that Defence makes to UK prosperity. The important work conducted by the Honourable Member for Ludlow, Philip Dunne MP, in his independent report can inform these considerations.

Conclusion

The first phase of the MDP has looked to set the direction we intend to take. It has clarified three key themes we should consider in the next phase: firstly, our Armed Forces need to be ready and able to match the pace at which our adversaries now move. Secondly, our Armed Forces need to be a fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century. And, finally, we need to transform the business of Defence to deliver a robust, credible, modern and affordable force.

The Prime Minister, Chancellor and I will continue to work closely throughout the next phase of the MDP, and I will keep the House updated as decisions are made.

We will continue to meet our commitment to our partners and maintain a full spectrum of nuclear, conventional and cyber capabilities to match our global ambition. With one of the largest Defence budgets in the world, and the highest in Europe, our Defence budget is increasing in real terms by £1 billion a year during this Parliament. The stage is now set for the next phase of this programme of work to ensure UK defence and our Armed Forces can continue to keep our country safe, our people and interests around the world secure, and help ensure that the UK can continue to play a major role on the world stage.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Grenfell Update

Honourable Members will have been moved by the strength, courage and dignity demonstrated by those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire during the commemoration that took place last month marking one year on. I wanted to update the House before the summer recess on the critical work the Government is undertaking in response to the tragedy and broader building safety work.

First, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government continues to work closely with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to ensure the bereaved and survivors are given the support they need. This includes practical, long-term emotional, and, in some cases, mental health support to ensure all the bereaved and survivors are settled and comfortable in new permanent accommodation.

The latest position is that of 204 households from Grenfell Tower and Walk who need rehousing, 200 households (over 98 per cent) have accepted an offer of either permanent or temporary accommodation. 142 households have now moved in; of which 96 have moved into their permanent homes and 46 households are currently living in good quality interim accommodation. The number of households in hotels has reduced to 40, with 19 in serviced apartments and three living with friends and family. My Department is working closely with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to ensure that the properties acquired for the survivors are safe and ready to move into and I have been assured by the Council that the majority of that work is now complete. 24 properties that have been accepted by residents are still being finalised and the vast majority of these are expected to be completed over the summer. I am also continuing to focus on the support that is available to those moving into their new homes; through working with the Council to provide a strong package of resettlement support. This includes a range of elements, from helping to provide furniture, packing and removals, support to join community groups in a new local area, and drop-in counselling sessions.

Our support and commitment to the bereaved, victims and wider community remains steadfast.

Second, I wanted to update the House on the work we are doing to ensure residents of high-rise buildings are safe and feel safe, now, and in the future. The Government is committed to learning lessons from the Grenfell fire and delivering far-reaching change to ensure similar devastation cannot happen again.

In the days following the tragedy, we set up a Building Safety Programme as part of our response. Key initial actions to guide and support this work included:

  • establishing an Expert Panel, chaired by Sir Ken Knight, and an industry response group to advise on and support urgent safety and remediation work; and
  • commissioning an independent, forward-looking review of the building regulations and fire safety system, led by Dame Judith Hackitt.

The report by Dame Judith, Building a Safer Future, was published on 17 May. As I said in my statement to the House that day, its publication was a watershed moment for everyone who has a stake in ensuring the people living in buildings like Grenfell Tower are safe, and feel safe. Dame Judith called for major reform and a change of culture. The onus should clearly be on everyone involved to manage risk at every stage, and government should do more to set and enforce high standards. The Government agrees with that assessment and supports the principles behind the report’s recommendations for a more effective system.

As Dame Judith acknowledged, delivering fundamental system reform – including changes to the law – will take time and, as I said in May, I will set out our detailed implementation plan in the autumn. But we can, and must, start changing the culture and practice right now. We are therefore delivering key elements of the report.

First, I am pleased to announce that my Department is today publishing the clarified building regulations fire safety guidance (Approved Document B) for consultation. The revised guidance will be easier to use and reduce the risk of misinterpretation by those carrying out and inspecting building work. It is a vital first step on the road to reform. A link to the consultation is here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fire-safety-clarification-of-statutory-guidance-approved-document-b and I am placing the documents in the library of the House.

I am clear we will not hesitate to go further than the Hackitt recommendations where we deem it necessary. Not only have we launched a consultation on proposals to restrict or ban the use of so-called desk top studies (assessments in lieu of tests) for cladding materials, as recommended by Hackitt, but we have also launched a consultation on proposals to ban the use of combustible materials in the exterior wall construction of high-rise buildings. I have also listened to calls from a number of colleagues, experts and organisations that a wider review of Approved Document B is necessary to ensure the guidance reflects innovations in the construction sector and the latest understanding of fire behaviour and protection. With this in mind, I am today announcing the Government will carry out a wider technical review of the guidance on fire safety. We will publish a call for evidence in the autumn inviting views on the technical issues and further improvements that could be made in the Approved Document.

Reforming the regulatory system requires change across all its aspects. In relation to building safety, I can announce we will introduce a mandatory requirement on landlords in the private rented sector to ensure electrical installations in their property are inspected every five years. This will help drive up standards across the private rented sector and reduce deaths and injuries due to electric shocks and fires caused by electric faults.

We are committed to establishing a more effective regulatory regime for fire and building safety. We have started work with building control bodies, National Fire Chiefs Council, the Health and Safety Executive and others to consider options for a Joint Competent Authority and stronger regime as per the recommendations in the report, and we will set out our implementation plan in the autumn.

The Hackitt Review identified a lack of leadership within the construction and fire safety industries as a contributory failure on building safety. I want the construction industry to drive action on building safety now, leading from the front and changing practice and behaviour. We know there are many who are already doing the right thing, and I want to encourage more in the industry to do the same.

I am pleased we have already had support on this and today I can announce that Wilmott Dixon, Keir, L&Q and Salix have agreed to be the first of the early adopters on building safety. This is a commitment to prioritising building safety. These organisations will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to trial ways of working in line with the Hackitt recommendations and assess benefits in the buildings they are constructing or managing. We would welcome others in industry coming forward to join them.

We also need to ensure residents are given a voice in the system. This is necessary to provide reassurance and recourse across all tenures by providing: greater transparency of information on building safety; better involvement in decision-making through the support of resident associations and tenant panels and a no-risk route of escalation and redress. This was echoed in feedback from tenant events held to inform the Social Housing Green Paper. We are considering options for addressing these concerns, including through the forthcoming Green Paper.

I can also announce today I intend to set up a residents’ reference panel for the life of the Building Safety Programme. This indicates our commitment to residents, and ensures policy is grounded in the experiences of those who live in high-rise buildings.

The Hackitt Review also called for the construction and fire safety industries to show more effective leadership in raising the competence of those working on high-rise buildings. I have been pleased to see both the construction and fire sectors come together quickly in the response to this challenge set by Dame Judith, under the stewardship of the Construction Industry Council. We remain in close contact with the industry to see the progress of their proposals on competence, and will stand ready to provide support as required.

I also welcome the work of the Home Office and National Fire Chiefs Council on setting up a new independent Fire Standards Board to produce and own professional standards for fire and rescue services in England. This forms part of the Government’s fire reform programme which will make services more accountable, effective and professional. Work is underway to form the board by late summer, with work on the first standards beginning shortly thereafter.

To provide additional oversight of the industry’s work, I intend to set up an Industry Safety Steering Group. This group will hold industry to account for making cultural change happen, and I can announce today that this will be chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt.

Our focus on delivering the systemic reforms envisaged by the Hackitt Review will not distract from the critical work of ensuring people are safe in their homes. Guided by advice from our Expert Panel, we continue to work closely with fire and rescue services, local authorities and landlords to identify high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding, ensure interim measures are in place to reduce risks, and give building owners clear advice about what they need to do to make buildings safe.

My written statement of 28 June provided an update on our work to identify, test and remediate unsafe cladding systems on high-rise buildings. I announced in that statement the further steps I would be taking to promote swifter action by building owners to remove potentially unsafe cladding on private sector high-rise residential buildings. I expect to chair the first meeting of the new private sector remediation taskforce which will oversee this activity before summer recess. Since 28 June two additional roundtables have been held with industry to work on solutions for individual building owners who cannot resolve building remediation themselves. This work with industry will continue over the summer.

We will also take further steps to ensure there is clarity for building owners about the circumstances in which buildings should be remediated. These steps will include the production of clear guidance about the circumstances in which decorative or small amounts of Aluminium Composite Material cladding should be remediated. My department has also written to all relevant building owners to remind them of their responsibilities and I am pleased to be able to report that the National House Building Council has accepted a warranty claim for the New Capital Quay development. I call on others to follow their lead.

Further to my update on building safety on 16 May, my department is continuing to monitor and facilitate action taken by those who purchased Manse Masterdor fire doors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is working with the Local Government Association and National Housing Federation to provide advice and support to building owners with these doors.

In my update of 16 May I also reported that Synseal, the company that took over the Manse Masterdor business, were working with Trading Standards to ensure their products met relevant standards and had withdrawn their composite 30 minute fire door range. Following further testing of their fire doors, Synseal has informed my department they have withdrawn their composite and timber fire door range from the market as it does not consistently meet the minimum standard. Based on advice sought from the Expert Panel, Synseal have written to all customers of Masterdor Limited (a subsidiary of Synseal) asking building owners to review the fire risk assessment of their buildings to determine how quickly these doors should be replaced. The Expert Panel have advised me there is no change to the risk to public safety and the failure of Masterdor Limited fire doors remains a product standards issue which is being overseen by Trading Standards. My department is working closely with Trading Standards on this issue.

Local fire and rescue services continue to provide advice locally and the National Fire Chiefs Council, with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, are monitoring assessments and the action being taken by customers of Manse Masterdor and Masterdor Limited.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will continue its investigation into the wider fire door market, where we are testing doors from at least 20 suppliers over the next six months.

Nothing is more important than ensuring that people are safe and feel safe in their homes. We have made progress but there is much left to do. I shall provide a further update to the House on this work in the autumn.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS862
WS
Treasury
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Securing the tax base: tackling VAT off-shore looping and clarifying the legislative framework for HMRC charging interest on unpaid tax

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

The government is fully committed to doing what is necessary to protect the Exchequer and maintain fairness in the tax system. Therefore, the government is announcing today that legislation will be brought forward later in the year which corrects a number of loopholes and omissions.

VAT off-shore looping arrangement

The government is announcing today that secondary legislation will be introduced later in the year to tackle VAT avoidance which takes advantage of a particular type of off-shore looping arrangement, as well as examining further measures to tackle variations of this type of avoidance. By taking this action, the government will maintain fairness in the tax system and will protect up to £100 million of future annual tax revenues. The government is also considering additional measures to protect further tax from being lost on variations of these schemes, which could be adopted extensively across the VAT exempt sectors.

Off-shore looping avoidance

Providers of financial services generally cannot reclaim the VAT they incur on their costs because their services are VAT exempt. An off-shore loop is a cross-border structure that enables these VAT costs to be recovered by routing services primarily carried out in the UK via a body located in a non-VAT territory. Those services are then used to provide insurance and other financial services back into the UK market. This is contrary to the intention of the VAT system and distorts competition to the disadvantage of domestic UK suppliers.

Targeted action

This measure addresses a particular version of off-shore looping which is currently found almost exclusively in the insurance sector and involves looping supplies via non-VAT territories. While this scheme is currently the subject of litigation, the government has decided to legislate to put the issue beyond doubt and prevent any ongoing distortion of competition through use of this scheme.

The government will amend UK law using secondary legislation later in the year. This will reduce the scope of the current VAT relief for exporters of financial services by excluding financial intermediation in supplies made ultimately to UK customers. This will mean that the UK providers of these financial services will no longer be able to gain a VAT advantage by acting as an agent for an overseas associate when the services are in fact being provided to their UK customers. The draft legislation and explanatory note will be published today and will be available on the gov.uk website.

Further action

The government is also examining further legislative options for closing other versions of avoidance schemes involving such arrangements. This would ensure that revenue is protected in the future and that the system is fair for all and that those that seek to benefit from this type of arrangement do not get an unfair advantage.

Another variant of off-shore looping, involving the provision of repair services to insurers, was addressed in 2016. Alongside that, the government also considered further action, particularly in respect of the application of the VAT use and enjoyment provisions, but concluded that further change was not merited at that time. However, given the additional risks since identified, the scope of the options now under consideration will be much broader, including the use of measures outside of the UK VAT system altogether. Further details will be set out as part of the normal tax making process.

Interest for late payment and repayment of taxes

Additionally, the government is announcing today that it will introduce retrospective legislation in the Finance Bill 2018-19 to correct omissions from enactments that enable HMRC to charge interest for late payment of taxes and to pay interest on repayments to taxpayers. This legislation will also include interest charged as part of the diverted profits tax regime. By taking this action, the government will guarantee the integrity of the tax base.

The legislation will apply retrospectively to cover all relevant interest charged or applied and will not change either the interest rate or amounts charged or repaid by HMRC to date. The legislation will apply to all taxpayers and any existing or future claim or appeal where these omissions have been identified.

The main taxes affected are corporation tax, stamp duty and stamp duty land tax. Further detail can be found in the accompanying draft clause and explanatory note.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS889
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip) )
Lords

Electoral Integrity Update

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

Today, the Cabinet Office published its evaluation and it shows that Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking delivered successful voter ID pilots. We know that because the evidence shows that the majority of voters who turned up to vote without ID returned later with ID without problem. When surveyed, polling station staff overwhelmingly judged that they had been able to successfully deliver the ID requirements in their polling stations, with 99% satisfaction rates amongst administrators in four of the five local authorities - Bromley, Swindon, Woking and Gosport - and 97% in the fifth, Watford.

Locally issued ID was made available free of charge whenever an elector was unsure they were able to produce the required ID. In one local authority, this was issued to ten people who were homeless. They were also able to use the ID to register at the local job centre. The amount of voters who felt the security of elections improved increased consistently in the areas where electors had to show photographic ID. Confidence and satisfaction in the process of voting itself significantly increased post election day where voters had to show photographic ID.

Overall, voters’ views of election day were largely positive across all of the pilots and the main reason for not voting was that people were too busy or had other commitments.

Alongside the Government’s evaluation, the Electoral Commission will publish their evaluation on the voter ID pilots today.

Peterborough, Slough and Tower Hamlets tested additional measures to improve the security and integrity of the postal vote process and ensured that additional guidance on preventing electoral fraud was given to every postal vote applicant. The local authorities found value in the pilot as an elector engagement exercise, given the positive feedback they received from electors in reaction to being contacted.

Electoral fraud is not a victimless crime. We owe it to voters to ensure they know their voices are being heard and their right to vote is being protected. We have worked with the Electoral Commission and Crimestoppers to support the ‘Your Vote is Yours alone’ campaign that ran alongside the local elections to encourage the reporting of suspected electoral crime.

The improvement we will make to the security and integrity of our voting process in Great Britain will bring us in line with many other countries where voters provide confirmation of their identity and where there is a reasonable expectation that someone’s vote should be properly protected and that doing so guards democracy and confidence for everyone.

Indeed, within the United Kingdom, the experience of Northern Ireland, where paper ID has been required since 1985 and photo ID since 2003, illustrates that there should be no issue for voters - once the requirement has become established.

I am absolutely clear that requiring voter ID in polling stations is a timely and reasonable measure that will sustain confidence in our voting process and we are inviting expressions of interest from local authorities to run further pilots at the Local Government elections in May 2019.

We are committed to improving the security of everyone’s votes, strengthening our elections and ensuring that people have confidence in our democracy, whilst putting equality and inclusivity at the centre of our electoral system.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Immigration

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

I am today publishing a consultation paper on the design of a compensation scheme that will help to right the wrongs suffered by those of the Windrush generation who have faced difficulties and suffered losses as a result of measures that are in place to tackle illegal immigration [Cm 9654].

I have been very clear both that the Government deeply regrets what has happened to some of the Windrush generation and that we are determined to put it right. A series of measures are in place to help achieve this. We are supporting those affected directly to gain confirmation of their immigration status. The Windrush taskforce, established in April, has provided documentation to over 2,000 people to demonstrate their right to live in the UK. We are conducting a Lessons Learned review, with independent oversight and challenge, to look at what happened and what the HO can do to ensure that it acts differently in future. Today I am also fulfilling the commitment to publish the terms of reference and methodology for that Review by summer recess and a copy of each will be placed in the House Library. The review aims to complete its findings by the end of March 2019 and I can confirm that the findings from the review will be published.

We also committed to establish a compensation scheme for those who have suffered loss as a result of these difficulties. On 10 May I launched a Call for Evidence, to help us understand what went wrong, when and the effects it has had on people’s lives. That closed on 8 June and we received over 650 responses. I have been moved by the stories people have told. There has been genuine suffering, which should never have happened. I am also inspired by the way many of the respondents moved half way round the world to help rebuild the UK, and established their homes and lives here. It is also clear from these stories that these are strong communities which support each other and contribute significantly to the life and prosperity of the UK.

I want to move quickly, but carefully, from this initial Call for Evidence to the next stage. Based on the Call for Evidence and the independent advice we are receiving from Martin Forde QC, we have designed a consultation exercise to help us build and set up a compensation scheme. We are suggesting the scheme should be open to anyone who would be eligible for assistance of any type under the existing Windrush Scheme being operated by the taskforce, and we are consulting on the types of losses and impacts that we should compensate for.

We received representations to extend the initial Call for Evidence and therefore I am keen to ensure that the consultation exercise is thorough and allows sufficient opportunity for everyone who wants to respond, to do so. The consultation will last 12 weeks, closing on 11 October 2018. We are encouraging responses from a wide range of people, but particularly the communities affected. I am working with the Caribbean High Commissioners to ensure the consultation reaches the right people abroad. The consultation document will be accessible online and offline. My officials will promote the consultation using appropriate media channels including social media. Throughout the consultation period we will engage with key stakeholders and community organisations to encourage responses, providing copies of the document and guidance for it to be completed, along with the offer of dedicated events with Home Office staff within community groups to facilitate responses. The independent advisor to the scheme, Martin Forde QC, will be talking directly to individuals affected and their representatives, as well as community leaders.

Following the consultation my priority will be to establish a scheme which will pay appropriate compensation as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to offer people direct support to establish their immigration status.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS887
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Gangmasters Licensing Authority Annual Report and the Disclosure and Barring Service Annual Report

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability (Victoria Atkins) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Today the Annual Reports and Accounts for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority 2016-2017 [HC 1402] and the Disclosure and Barring Service 2017-18 [HC 1367] are being laid before the House and will published on www.gov.uk . Copies of both reports will also be available in the Vote Office.

The 2018-2019 Business Plan for the Disclosure and Barring Service is also being published today and a copy will be placed in the House Library and will be made available on www.gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS884
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence)
Lords

Service Personnel

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

On 12 March 2018, I announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would be looking to mitigate the impact of income tax rises in Scotland affecting thousands of Armed Forces personnel in Scotland. New income tax bands and increased tax levels for Tax Year 2018-19, as compared to the rest of the UK, will result in the majority of military personnel living in Scotland, those earning more than £26,000 per annum, paying more tax this year in comparison to their counterparts living in the rest of the UK.

It has been decided that for this tax year the MOD will make a financial mitigation payment to all those Regular Service personnel negatively impacted by Scottish tax by £12 a year (or £1 a month) or higher. However, it has also been decided the amount of mitigation provided will be capped at £1,500. The financial mitigation payment will be paid retrospectively after the end of the tax year. It will be grossed up to ensure that when income tax and national insurance deductions are made the value of the payment closely matches the difference in tax experienced up to the £1,500 cap.

The MOD will continue to review the situation and decide each tax year whether the impact on UK Armed Forces warrants an offer of financial mitigation to support Service personnel in Scotland.

It is estimated that these payments will be made to up to 8,000 Regular Service personnel and will cost the MOD in the region of £4 million in Financial Year 2019-20.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Securing the tax base: tackling VAT off-shore looping and clarifying the legislative framework for HMRC charging interest on unpaid tax

The government is fully committed to doing what is necessary to protect the Exchequer and maintain fairness in the tax system. Therefore, the government is announcing today that legislation will be brought forward later in the year which corrects a number of loopholes and omissions.

VAT off-shore looping arrangement

The government is announcing today that secondary legislation will be introduced later in the year to tackle VAT avoidance which takes advantage of a particular type of off-shore looping arrangement, as well as examining further measures to tackle variations of this type of avoidance. By taking this action, the government will maintain fairness in the tax system and will protect up to £100 million of future annual tax revenues. The government is also considering additional measures to protect further tax from being lost on variations of these schemes, which could be adopted extensively across the VAT exempt sectors.

Off-shore looping avoidance

Providers of financial services generally cannot reclaim the VAT they incur on their costs because their services are VAT exempt. An off-shore loop is a cross-border structure that enables these VAT costs to be recovered by routing services primarily carried out in the UK via a body located in a non-VAT territory. Those services are then used to provide insurance and other financial services back into the UK market. This is contrary to the intention of the VAT system and distorts competition to the disadvantage of domestic UK suppliers.

Targeted action

This measure addresses a particular version of off-shore looping which is currently found almost exclusively in the insurance sector and involves looping supplies via non-VAT territories. While this scheme is currently the subject of litigation, the government has decided to legislate to put the issue beyond doubt and prevent any ongoing distortion of competition through use of this scheme.

The government will amend UK law using secondary legislation later in the year. This will reduce the scope of the current VAT relief for exporters of financial services by excluding financial intermediation in supplies made ultimately to UK customers. This will mean that the UK providers of these financial services will no longer be able to gain a VAT advantage by acting as an agent for an overseas associate when the services are in fact being provided to their UK customers. The draft legislation and explanatory note will be published today and will be available on the gov.uk website.

Further action

The government is also examining further legislative options for closing other versions of avoidance schemes involving such arrangements. This would ensure that revenue is protected in the future and that the system is fair for all and that those that seek to benefit from this type of arrangement do not get an unfair advantage.

Another variant of off-shore looping, involving the provision of repair services to insurers, was addressed in 2016. Alongside that, the government also considered further action, particularly in respect of the application of the VAT use and enjoyment provisions, but concluded that further change was not merited at that time. However, given the additional risks since identified, the scope of the options now under consideration will be much broader, including the use of measures outside of the UK VAT system altogether. Further details will be set out as part of the normal tax making process.

Interest for late payment and repayment of taxes

Additionally, the government is announcing today that it will introduce retrospective legislation in the Finance Bill 2018-19 to correct omissions from enactments that enable HMRC to charge interest for late payment of taxes and to pay interest on repayments to taxpayers. This legislation will also include interest charged as part of the diverted profits tax regime. By taking this action, the government will guarantee the integrity of the tax base.

The legislation will apply retrospectively to cover all relevant interest charged or applied and will not change either the interest rate or amounts charged or repaid by HMRC to date. The legislation will apply to all taxpayers and any existing or future claim or appeal where these omissions have been identified.

The main taxes affected are corporation tax, stamp duty and stamp duty land tax. Further detail can be found in the accompanying draft clause and explanatory note.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS860
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Chloe Smith (Minister for the Constitution )
Commons

Electoral Integrity Update

Today, the Cabinet Office published its evaluation and it shows that Bromley, Gosport, Swindon, Watford and Woking delivered successful voter ID pilots. We know that because the evidence shows that the majority of voters who turned up to vote without ID returned later with ID without problem. When surveyed, polling station staff overwhelmingly judged that they had been able to successfully deliver the ID requirements in their polling stations, with 99% satisfaction rates amongst administrators in four of the five local authorities - Bromley, Swindon, Woking and Gosport - and 97% in the fifth, Watford.

Locally issued ID was made available free of charge whenever an elector was unsure they were able to produce the required ID. In one local authority, this was issued to ten people who were homeless. They were also able to use the ID to register at the local job centre. The amount of voters who felt the security of elections improved increased consistently in the areas where electors had to show photographic ID. Confidence and satisfaction in the process of voting itself significantly increased post election day where voters had to show photographic ID.

Overall, voters’ views of election day were largely positive across all of the pilots and the main reason for not voting was that people were too busy or had other commitments.

Alongside the Government’s evaluation, the Electoral Commission will publish their evaluation on the voter ID pilots today.

Peterborough, Slough and Tower Hamlets tested additional measures to improve the security and integrity of the postal vote process and ensured that additional guidance on preventing electoral fraud was given to every postal vote applicant. The local authorities found value in the pilot as an elector engagement exercise, given the positive feedback they received from electors in reaction to being contacted.

Electoral fraud is not a victimless crime. We owe it to voters to ensure they know their voices are being heard and their right to vote is being protected. We have worked with the Electoral Commission and Crimestoppers to support the ‘Your Vote is Yours alone’ campaign that ran alongside the local elections to encourage the reporting of suspected electoral crime.

The improvement we will make to the security and integrity of our voting process in Great Britain will bring us in line with many other countries where voters provide confirmation of their identity and where there is a reasonable expectation that someone’s vote should be properly protected and that doing so guards democracy and confidence for everyone.

Indeed, within the United Kingdom, the experience of Northern Ireland, where paper ID has been required since 1985 and photo ID since 2003, illustrates that there should be no issue for voters - once the requirement has become established.

I am absolutely clear that requiring voter ID in polling stations is a timely and reasonable measure that will sustain confidence in our voting process and we are inviting expressions of interest from local authorities to run further pilots at the Local Government elections in May 2019.

We are committed to improving the security of everyone’s votes, strengthening our elections and ensuring that people have confidence in our democracy, whilst putting equality and inclusivity at the centre of our electoral system.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Independent Office for Police Conduct Annual Report

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service (Nick Hurd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today, along with my rt hon Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, publishing the 2017-2018 Annual Report and Accounts for the Independent Office for Police Conduct [HC 1331]. This will be laid before the House and published on www.gov.uk . The report will also be available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS886
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

EU trade agreement impact analysis and process

My Honourable Friend the Minister of State for Trade Policy (George Hollingbery MP) has today made the following statement.

I am pleased to announce that my Department will today publish an impact assessment for the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). I have separately written to the Scrutiny Committees in both Houses of Parliament such that they can consider this evidence as part of their important review of this Agreement. A copy of this impact assessment will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Negotiations with Singapore concluded in October 2014. The European Commission has now presented the final negotiated texts to the Council of the European Union (Council). The Council will now decide whether to adopt the necessary Council Decision authorising signature and conclusion, with a vote in October 2018.

The Agreement is expected to promote bilateral trade and economic growth between the EU and Singapore by eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and when investing.

I will also today lay the European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Economic Partnership Agreements and Trade Agreement) (Eastern and Southern Africa States, Southern African Development Community States, Ghana and Ecuador) Order 2018 to designate the Ecuador – EU Andean Accession and these Economic Partnership Agreements as Treaties in accordance with the European Communities Act 1972.

The EU, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru signed the Protocol of Accession of Ecuador to the EU-Andean Free Trade Agreement (known as the EU-Andean FTA) on 11 November 2016. The protocol has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2017.

On the 28 July 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Ghana. The EPA has been provisionally applied since 15 December 2016.

On the 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with 6 countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC): Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland (now known as Eswatini) (the 'SADC EPA states'). The EPA has been provisionally applied since 10 October 2016, except in the case of Mozambique, where it has been provisionally applied since 4 February 2018.

On the 24 August 2009, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Eastern and Southern Africa countries: Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe (the ‘ESA countries’). In July 2017, the Comoros signed the Agreement, and they are currently in the process of ratification. The EPA has been provisionally applied since 14 May 2012, except in the case of the Comoros, where it will be applied pending ratification by the government of the Comoros. These agreements require ratification by the EU Member States to come fully into effect.

I will lay this Order concurrently with the laying of the text of the Agreements as Command Papers under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act for scrutiny. This is in effect the start of the formal process of ratification of the Agreements in the UK.

These Agreements will boost the economies of the UK, the EU, and partner countries by promoting trade and economic growth. The European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have a development focus that goes beyond trade, by including co-operation and assistance for partner countries. They aim to promote trade – and ultimately contribute, through increased trade and investment, to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

I will also lay before the House an Explanatory Memorandum to this Order. This explains the background and rationale of the Agreements and ratification. At the same time, we are publishing our economic impact assessments of these Agreements. Copies of these documents are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade and development agendas including the EU Free Trade Agreements it is putting in place. The UK ratification of these Agreements whilst the UK is still an EU Member State is a sound demonstration of this commitment.

The Government has been clear it will seek a seamless transition to replicate the effects of the Agreements when we leave the EU in line with our policy.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Tailored Review of the British Council

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

I am announcing today the start of a Tailored Review of the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Established by Royal Charter in 1940, the British Council builds relationships and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries.

As a Non-Department Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the British Council is required to undergo a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The principal aims of Tailored Reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and properly accountable for what they do.

The Review will provide a robust scrutiny of, and assurance on, the continuing need for the British Council – both its function and its form. It will then assess the governance and control arrangements in place to ensure they are compliant with the recognised principles of good corporate governance and delivering good value for money. The structure, efficiency and effectiveness of the British Council will be considered throughout the Review.

A Challenge Panel, chaired by a FCO Non-Executive Director, will examine the findings of both stages of the Review.

The Review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: ‘Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-reviews-of-public-bodies-guidance. The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on gov.uk.

In conducting this Tailored Review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders across the UK and overseas, including across UK Government, Devolved Administrations, foreign governments, business and civil society, as well as with the British Council’s own staff and management.

I shall inform the House of the outcome of the Review when it is completed and copies of the report of the Review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS881
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Provision of Policing Support to Jordan

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

The United Kingdom is strongly committed to supporting Jordan’s security and stability. Through a Conflict Stability and Security Fund project worth £9 million over two years, the UK is helping the Jordanian Public Security Directorate (PSD) and Gendarmerie to develop its community policing, critical incident response and investigative counter-terrorist policing capabilities. The support delivers against the objectives of Her Majesty’s Government, in particular our security objective, on building Jordanian capability to enhance both its own security and its ability to tackle internal and regional threats in a manner compliant with human rights.

In order to reach this objective, the British Embassy in Amman is granting equipment totalling £742,853.24 for support to the PSD and Gendarmerie. This includes infrastructure, vehicles, and IT equipment (hardware and software).

The provision of this assistance is fully in line with this Government’s security and stability objectives in the Middle East. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials carry out regular reviews of our programmes in Jordan to ensure that objectives are being met, and that value for money is being achieved.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS880
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Developments in the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe since December 2017

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

I represented the United Kingdom at the 24th Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held in Vienna on 7-8 December 2017, hosted by Austrian Chair-in-Office, Sebastian Kurz. The Council is the top decision-making body of the OSCE and was attended by Ministers from across its 57 participating states. A number of new commitments were agreed, including on combating trafficking in human beings, on small arms and light weapons, and on reducing the risk of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies.

In my intervention at the Ministerial Council, I reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. I condemned Russia’s destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea, and we co-sponsored an event in the margins of the Ministerial Council for Crimean Tatar leaders. The United Kingdom is the second largest contributor of secondees to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), which plays a crucial role in monitoring the ceasefire and events on the ground. I paid tribute during my intervention to SMM paramedic Joseph Stone, who tragically lost his life on patrol in April 2017. The United Kingdom continues to call on all parties to ensure the safety both of our monitors and of civilians in Eastern Ukraine.

The 2017 Ministerial Council discussed the continuation of the Structured Dialogue launched in 2016, aimed at reducing risk of military conflict. We welcome the Dialogue as an opportunity to rebuild trust among all stakeholders of European Security in the OSCE area. The process will take time, but we value the work done so far, including discussions on threat perceptions, challenges to the rules-based order, military-to-military contact, and trends in military force postures and exercises. At the Ministerial Council, the United Kingdom delivered a statement on behalf of 29 Allies restating the importance of enhancing military transparency, and of full implementation and updating of relevant commitments.

The OSCE is a vital forum for addressing the ‘protracted conflicts’ which remain a threat to European security, and during the Ministerial Council I reiterated our firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government welcomes progress on confidence building measures relating to the conflict in Moldova agreed in the 5+2 format meetings in Vienna in 2017 and in Rome in 2018. We also continue to support the Minsk Co-Chairs in their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Government remains committed to the security and stability of the Western Balkans. We provide over 5 million Euros per annum to OSCE’s extensive field presence in the Western Balkans through assessed contributions and also give extra-budgetary funding to support work on media freedom, electoral reform, safe storage of small arms and light weapons, strengthening the rule of law, and processing of war crimes cases. The office of the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media chaired a discussion on media freedom at the Western Balkans Summit in London on 9-10 July. The Government also supports security and stability in Central Asia through our assessed contributions and through extra-budgetary funding to OSCE field missions, supporting work in areas such as judicial independence, rule of law, border controls, counter-terrorism, cyber security, and freedom of religion or belief.

The United Kingdom is using its second year chairing the OSCE Human Dimension Committee to support the 2017 Italian Chairmanship and promote discussion of issues relevant to everyday lives across the OSCE area in the field of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy. 2018 meetings have covered issues such as Human Rights Defenders, Freedom of Religion or Belief, and Roma and Sinti Girls’ Education. The Committee has also addressed cross-dimensional issues such as human trafficking and violence against women. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Post-Holocaust Issues, Lord Pickles, spoke at an OSCE Chairmanship conference on Anti-Semitism in Rome in January and a UK-led event on racism in Vienna in May. Throughout this period, the United Kingdom, with EU partners, has continued to raise human rights concerns at the OSCE. At the Ministerial Council, the UK joined a Declaration by 44 states expressing concern at deteriorating respect for human rights and space for civil society in parts of the OSCE region.

OSCE work on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, along with counter-terrorism and cyber security, plays an important role in pursuit of our security objectives. We continue to promote efforts in the OSCE to strengthen and modernise conventional arms control in Europe, based on principles such as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, reciprocity, transparency, and host nation consent. We welcome the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision to reinforce and expand efforts to reduce the threat posed by small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition.

I was able to underline the UK’s commitment to European Security, the OSCE and to multilateral cooperation when I met the new OSCE Secretary General, Thomas Greminger, during his visit to London in May.

Slovakia has begun preparations for its OSCE Chairmanship, which starts in January 2019. We look forward to working with them to promote shared priorities, uphold shared principles and commitments and to increase security and cooperation in Europe.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS879
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Immigration

I am today publishing a consultation paper on the design of a compensation scheme that will help to right the wrongs suffered by those of the Windrush generation who have faced difficulties and suffered losses as a result of measures that are in place to tackle illegal immigration [Cm 9654].

I have been very clear both that the Government deeply regrets what has happened to some of the Windrush generation and that we are determined to put it right. A series of measures are in place to help achieve this. We are supporting those affected directly to gain confirmation of their immigration status. The Windrush taskforce, established in April, has provided documentation to over 2,000 people to demonstrate their right to live in the UK. We are conducting a Lessons Learned review, with independent oversight and challenge, to look at what happened and what the HO can do to ensure that it acts differently in future. Today I am also fulfilling the commitment to publish the terms of reference and methodology for that Review by summer recess and a copy of each will be placed in the House Library. The review aims to complete its findings by the end of March 2019 and I can confirm that the findings from the review will be published.

We also committed to establish a compensation scheme for those who have suffered loss as a result of these difficulties. On 10 May I launched a Call for Evidence, to help us understand what went wrong, when and the effects it has had on people’s lives. That closed on 8 June and we received over 650 responses. I have been moved by the stories people have told. There has been genuine suffering, which should never have happened. I am also inspired by the way many of the respondents moved half way round the world to help rebuild the UK, and established their homes and lives here. It is also clear from these stories that these are strong communities which support each other and contribute significantly to the life and prosperity of the UK.

I want to move quickly, but carefully, from this initial Call for Evidence to the next stage. Based on the Call for Evidence and the independent advice we are receiving from Martin Forde QC, we have designed a consultation exercise to help us build and set up a compensation scheme. We are suggesting the scheme should be open to anyone who would be eligible for assistance of any type under the existing Windrush Scheme being operated by the taskforce, and we are consulting on the types of losses and impacts that we should compensate for.

We received representations to extend the initial Call for Evidence and therefore I am keen to ensure that the consultation exercise is thorough and allows sufficient opportunity for everyone who wants to respond, to do so. The consultation will last 12 weeks, closing on 11 October 2018. We are encouraging responses from a wide range of people, but particularly the communities affected. I am working with the Caribbean High Commissioners to ensure the consultation reaches the right people abroad. The consultation document will be accessible online and offline. My officials will promote the consultation using appropriate media channels including social media. Throughout the consultation period we will engage with key stakeholders and community organisations to encourage responses, providing copies of the document and guidance for it to be completed, along with the offer of dedicated events with Home Office staff within community groups to facilitate responses. The independent advisor to the scheme, Martin Forde QC, will be talking directly to individuals affected and their representatives, as well as community leaders.

Following the consultation my priority will be to establish a scheme which will pay appropriate compensation as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to offer people direct support to establish their immigration status.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS858
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service)
Commons

Independent Office for Police Conduct Annual Report

I am today, along with my rt hon Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, publishing the 2017-2018 Annual Report and Accounts for the Independent Office for Police Conduct [HC 1331]. This will be laid before the House and published on www.gov.uk . The report will also be available in the Vote Office.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS855
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Service Personnel

On 12 March 2018, I announced that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) would be looking to mitigate the impact of income tax rises in Scotland affecting thousands of Armed Forces personnel in Scotland. New income tax bands and increased tax levels for Tax Year 2018-19, as compared to the rest of the UK, will result in the majority of military personnel living in Scotland, those earning more than £26,000 per annum, paying more tax this year in comparison to their counterparts living in the rest of the UK.

It has been decided that for this tax year the MOD will make a financial mitigation payment to all those Regular Service personnel negatively impacted by Scottish tax by £12 a year (or £1 a month) or higher. However, it has also been decided the amount of mitigation provided will be capped at £1,500. The financial mitigation payment will be paid retrospectively after the end of the tax year. It will be grossed up to ensure that when income tax and national insurance deductions are made the value of the payment closely matches the difference in tax experienced up to the £1,500 cap.

The MOD will continue to review the situation and decide each tax year whether the impact on UK Armed Forces warrants an offer of financial mitigation to support Service personnel in Scotland.

It is estimated that these payments will be made to up to 8,000 Regular Service personnel and will cost the MOD in the region of £4 million in Financial Year 2019-20.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Victoria Atkins (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability)
Commons

Gangmasters Licensing Authority Annual Report and the Disclosure and Barring Service Annual Report

Today the Annual Reports and Accounts for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority 2016-2017 [HC 1402] and the Disclosure and Barring Service 2017-18 [HC 1367] are being laid before the House and will published on www.gov.uk . Copies of both reports will also be available in the Vote Office.

The 2018-2019 Business Plan for the Disclosure and Barring Service is also being published today and a copy will be placed in the House Library and will be made available on www.gov.uk.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS857
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Modernising Defence Progaramme - Update

In January, together with the Prime Minister and Chancellor, I launched the Government’s Modernising Defence Programme (MDP). The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is now able to share our headline conclusions. Throughout the MDP, the Department has worked with colleagues across Whitehall, with academics, subject matter experts, allies and partners and ran a public consultation exercise.

The MDP was launched after the National Security Capability Review acknowledged the increasing security challenges we are facing. Its purpose was to deliver better military capability to meet the increasing threat environment and value for money in a sustainable and affordable way. Defence protects our people, projects our global influence, and promotes our prosperity. And, at this key moment as the UK leaves the European Union, Defence and the Armed Forces will continue to deliver security in Europe and further afield, helping to make Global Britain a reality.

Threats and risks to national security have diversified and become more complex since 2015. Although we anticipated many of the threats and risks we now face, we underestimated the pace at which they would intensify and combine to challenge UK national security at home and threaten the rules-based international order that has delivered peace, security and prosperity over many decades. And, we did not fully understand the ways in which they would interact with each other.

Alongside this, the character of warfare has changed since 2015. We are in a period of constant aggressive competition between states, often developing into undeclared confrontation and, in some cases, proxy conflicts. Technology, especially digital technology, is developing at a breath-taking pace, making pervasive many capabilities once only imagined in science fiction.

Our adversaries are working to take advantage of this contested environment by systematically identifying and exploiting our vulnerabilities and those of our allies and partners. Peer and near-peer states are investing heavily in both conventional and emerging technologies, and are increasingly adopting hybrid or asymmetric approaches to gain advantage. This has included attacking our digital networks and those of our allies, and operating in unconventional and legally questionable ways. Broader developments in the world including demographic change, increasing urbanisation, the risk of pandemics, resource and environmental pressures will all contribute to a global strategic context which will become more complex.

All this means that the challenges to our national security and prosperity – and to our allies’ and partners’ security and prosperity – are increasingly complex, ambiguous, destabilising and potentially catastrophic.

Work in the first phase of the MDP has reviewed this changing strategic context and how our Armed Forces need to be able to respond. We have reviewed our existing capability plans, and begun to shape new policy approaches and identify investment priorities, and through workstreams, we have developed a blueprint for a major programme of top-down transformative reform to defence.

In all of this, we have been guided by the three key roles that our Armed Forces should be able to fulfil in the 21st century:

1. Contribute to strengthening global security through our leading role in NATO, and provide the structures and capabilities to defend the UK;

2. Meet the challenges of the wider threats to international security and stability, including through operations and activities alongside our global allies and partners. Defence must be engaged and outward looking, meeting the challenges of our age, from state-based competition and confrontation, violent extremism and terrorism, instability and crises in Africa and Asia, illegal and irregular migration, serious and organised crime, to climate change and environmental disasters.

3. Act independently, when appropriate, to protect UK interests and citizens overseas, leading multi-national operations and developing strong defence relationships with partners around the world.

Headline conclusions

1. Our Armed Forces need to be ready and able to match the pace at which our adversaries now move.

The pace at which our adversaries can act against us has grown quickly since SDSR 2015. Today, our adversaries disguise their actions by launching attacks that are hard to attribute, or by operating below the conventional threshold for a decisive, collective response. Whilst our Armed Forces already protect us against these challenges every hour of every day, we need to be able to respond to this new character of warfare, both in the traditional land, sea and air domains, as well as in the new domains of space and cyber. The MDP will make sure that the Armed Forces can continue to protect our prosperity and security, whilst reinforcing Britain’s place in the world.

To defend our national security, we should make the best possible use of the unique mix of hard and soft power that makes the UK a major global actor: from our economic levers to our wider diplomatic and cultural influence on the world’s stage. This integrated, collective approach to national security is captured in the Government’s Fusion Doctrine. Defence has a vital and increasing role in underwriting it, including through contributing to deterring and disrupting hostile state activity, delivering the CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy in the UK and overseas, or supporting wider security and prosperity objectives.

The Armed Forces have a unique network of alliances and friendships spanning every corner of every continent. We have made significant progress in making Defence more ‘international by design’, and we will look at how we could do more. We have already strengthened relationships with key allies and partners, including through ambitious capability collaborations, and we will seek to go further still. We will consider our global defence network, to make sure we have the right military and civilian staff deployed around the world. We will seek to optimise our programme of world-class international education and training, which is so highly valued by our allies and partners, and gives the UK competitive advantage and strategic influence across the globe. And we will continue to lead multinational forces and deepen our relationships across the globe.

Most importantly, we need to make sure we can respond rapidly to future crises on our terms. Our elite and high-readiness forces are critical in this regard, enabled by collective training and our high-end exercise programme. We will consider how we can rebalance our training and equipment to mainland Europe, the Far East and the Middle East and review our overseas basing to improve our interoperability with allies and partners. NATO’s Readiness Initiative will also play an important role in this endeavour. Equally, our ability to respond rapidly will depend on an improved understanding and anticipation of the strategic confrontations that define this era: we will therefore build a Strategic Net Assessment capability in the MOD. Strategic Net Assessment looks across all dimensions of competition – political, economic, military, resources – to assess how the choices of both friends and foes may play out over the short, medium and long-term. Its conclusions can be used to develop more nuanced and better-informed strategy, so we can better anticipate our adversaries’ actions and counter them more effectively.

As outlined in SDSR 2015, protecting our security safeguards our prosperity, so our Armed Forces will continue to provide the assurance and reassurance for our global trade and development commitments, and support our ambitions for Global Britain. As we continue our commitment to Defence investment we will consider a much more agile approach to the development of future equipment, with a clear focus on the increasing flexibility required to maintain strategic advantage over our adversaries.

2. A fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century

We intend to modernise our force structure so that it is better able to meet the increasing threats we face. The key design principles of Joint Force 2025 are right; we want Armed Forces able to operate with agility and pace in the information age. Our Armed Forces need to be able to meet a full range of missions now and into the future. This includes, if necessary, warfighting operations under NATO Article 5 and further afield.

We need to be able to meet future threats and face down our adversaries to continue to protect our prosperity and security. We may need to accelerate elements of the programme to meet the most acute threats sooner. Equally, we might want to introduce new capabilities or equipment that provide significant advantage in the immediate term. We intend, in each case, to look to the right balance of conventional and novel capabilities to meet the threats we face.

Alongside this, we will consider how to improve our resilience, so that our networks and systems across defence are protected against cyber-attack and infiltration, and our submarines can continue to avoid detection. We will also strengthen our equipment, training and facilities, like the investment we are making in a Chemical Weapons Defence Centre to counter Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear threats like we saw in Salisbury and Amesbury. Through advancing our resilience we will make sure our forces and bases are better protected.

A fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century also means our Armed Forces need to be able to operate in the space domain. So, to guide future investment in our satellites and wider space capabilities we will publish a Space Strategy.

To operate effectively in the information age, we need ‘information advantage’. Conflicts of the future will increasingly be won and lost based on who uses information technology most effectively: sensors, computing, communication, cyber and machine learning, artificial intelligence and autonomy. We will consider how to enhance our ability to collect, analyse, disseminate and act very rapidly on the vast quantities of data that characterise the contemporary operating environment. That will allow us to understand how our adversaries are thinking, how they may choose to act against us, and how we can deter or defeat them.

We are also looking at how to update the way we fight. For much of the last two decades, the UK has been conducting or contributing to significant overseas operations, in Afghanistan, Iraq and the wider Middle East. Our adversaries have learned a lot about how we operate, and how they can disrupt our preferred methods. So, we are considering what a more active and dynamic approach to operations in all five domains – land, sea, air, space and cyberspace – should look like.

At the same time, we will consider how to modernise our approach to technology and innovation. By taking a more coordinated approach to technology and experimentation, with better central oversight, we may be able to pursue opportunities for modernisation more aggressively and accept higher levels of risk pursuing novel ideas. We intend to invest in a series of ‘Spearhead’ initiatives on key new technologies and increase our spending on innovation, science and technology. Pursuing this approach will allow us to become quicker at turning advances in research and development into strategic advantage. In support of this, we will publish a ‘Defence Technology Framework’, setting out the Department’s technology priorities so that we can focus efforts and guide strategy, investment and plans across Defence as a whole.

And we should also ensure that we use the combined talents of our Whole Force of Regulars, Reserves, civil servants and industry partners more effectively. The character of conflict and the world of work more generally are changing, so Defence will need to up-skill our people, harness the advantages offered by Reserves, and reflect the expectations of the modern workforce.

3. Transforming the business of Defence to deliver a robust, credible, modern and affordable force

We are re-setting and re-energising the way MOD is led, organised and managed, with clearer responsibilities and accountabilities to deliver better value for money. We will embrace approaches, processes, technologies and best practice with a proven track record of success elsewhere. We will encourage a culture of experimentation, and change our acquisition and commercial processes to better support the rapid and incremental adoption of new and emerging technologies.

To help create financial headroom for the additional modernisation, we will consider how to deliver greater efficiency by adopting ambitious, digitally-enabled business modernisation. In parallel, we will consider removing existing areas of overlap and duplication within our force structure and burden-sharing more effectively with allies and partners.

We intend to adopt a more collaborative and demanding approach to our relationship with industry, centred around an agreed set of productivity, efficiency, skills and innovation challenges that we need to meet together. At the same time, in the next stages of our work we will consider what we might do to grow even further the already considerable contribution that Defence makes to UK prosperity. The important work conducted by the Honourable Member for Ludlow, Philip Dunne MP, in his independent report can inform these considerations.

Conclusion

The first phase of the MDP has looked to set the direction we intend to take. It has clarified three key themes we should consider in the next phase: firstly, our Armed Forces need to be ready and able to match the pace at which our adversaries now move. Secondly, our Armed Forces need to be a fighting force fit for the challenges of the 21st century. And, finally, we need to transform the business of Defence to deliver a robust, credible, modern and affordable force.

The Prime Minister, Chancellor and I will continue to work closely throughout the next phase of the MDP, and I will keep the House updated as decisions are made.

We will continue to meet our commitment to our partners and maintain a full spectrum of nuclear, conventional and cyber capabilities to match our global ambition. With one of the largest Defence budgets in the world, and the highest in Europe, our Defence budget is increasing in real terms by £1 billion a year during this Parliament. The stage is now set for the next phase of this programme of work to ensure UK defence and our Armed Forces can continue to keep our country safe, our people and interests around the world secure, and help ensure that the UK can continue to play a major role on the world stage.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: George Hollingbery (Minister of State for Trade Policy)
Commons

EU trade agreement impact analysis and process

I am pleased to announce that my Department will today publish an impact assessment for the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA). I have separately written to the Scrutiny Committees in both Houses of Parliament such that they can consider this evidence as part of their important review of this Agreement. A copy of this impact assessment will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Negotiations with Singapore concluded in October 2014. The European Commission has now presented the final negotiated texts to the Council of the European Union (Council). The Council will now decide whether to adopt the necessary Council Decision authorising signature and conclusion, with a vote in October 2018.

The Agreement is expected to promote bilateral trade and economic growth between the EU and Singapore by eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and when investing.

I will also today lay the European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Economic Partnership Agreements and Trade Agreement) (Eastern and Southern Africa States, Southern African Development Community States, Ghana and Ecuador) Order 2018 to designate the Ecuador – EU Andean Accession and these Economic Partnership Agreements as Treaties in accordance with the European Communities Act 1972.

The EU, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru signed the Protocol of Accession of Ecuador to the EU-Andean Free Trade Agreement (known as the EU-Andean FTA) on 11 November 2016. The protocol has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2017.

On the 28 July 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Ghana. The EPA has been provisionally applied since 15 December 2016.

On the 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with 6 countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC): Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland (now known as Eswatini) (the 'SADC EPA states'). The EPA has been provisionally applied since 10 October 2016, except in the case of Mozambique, where it has been provisionally applied since 4 February 2018.

On the 24 August 2009, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Eastern and Southern Africa countries: Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe (the ‘ESA countries’). In July 2017, the Comoros signed the Agreement, and they are currently in the process of ratification. The EPA has been provisionally applied since 14 May 2012, except in the case of the Comoros, where it will be applied pending ratification by the government of the Comoros. These agreements require ratification by the EU Member States to come fully into effect.

I will lay this Order concurrently with the laying of the text of the Agreements as Command Papers under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act for scrutiny. This is in effect the start of the formal process of ratification of the Agreements in the UK.

These Agreements will boost the economies of the UK, the EU, and partner countries by promoting trade and economic growth. The European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have a development focus that goes beyond trade, by including co-operation and assistance for partner countries. They aim to promote trade – and ultimately contribute, through increased trade and investment, to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

I will also lay before the House an Explanatory Memorandum to this Order. This explains the background and rationale of the Agreements and ratification. At the same time, we are publishing our economic impact assessments of these Agreements. Copies of these documents are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade and development agendas including the EU Free Trade Agreements it is putting in place. The UK ratification of these Agreements whilst the UK is still an EU Member State is a sound demonstration of this commitment.

The Government has been clear it will seek a seamless transition to replicate the effects of the Agreements when we leave the EU in line with our policy.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Mark Field (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Tailored Review of the British Council

I am announcing today the start of a Tailored Review of the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Established by Royal Charter in 1940, the British Council builds relationships and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries.

As a Non-Department Public Body (NDPB) sponsored by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the British Council is required to undergo a Tailored Review at least once in every parliament. The principal aims of Tailored Reviews are to ensure public bodies remain fit for purpose, are well governed and properly accountable for what they do.

The Review will provide a robust scrutiny of, and assurance on, the continuing need for the British Council – both its function and its form. It will then assess the governance and control arrangements in place to ensure they are compliant with the recognised principles of good corporate governance and delivering good value for money. The structure, efficiency and effectiveness of the British Council will be considered throughout the Review.

A Challenge Panel, chaired by a FCO Non-Executive Director, will examine the findings of both stages of the Review.

The Review will follow guidance published in 2016 by the Cabinet Office: ‘Tailored Reviews: guidance on reviews of public bodies’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tailored-reviews-of-public-bodies-guidance. The Terms of Reference for the review can be found on gov.uk.

In conducting this Tailored Review, officials will engage with a broad range of stakeholders across the UK and overseas, including across UK Government, Devolved Administrations, foreign governments, business and civil society, as well as with the British Council’s own staff and management.

I shall inform the House of the outcome of the Review when it is completed and copies of the report of the Review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS853
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Provision of Policing Support to Jordan

The United Kingdom is strongly committed to supporting Jordan’s security and stability. Through a Conflict Stability and Security Fund project worth £9 million over two years, the UK is helping the Jordanian Public Security Directorate (PSD) and Gendarmerie to develop its community policing, critical incident response and investigative counter-terrorist policing capabilities. The support delivers against the objectives of Her Majesty’s Government, in particular our security objective, on building Jordanian capability to enhance both its own security and its ability to tackle internal and regional threats in a manner compliant with human rights.

In order to reach this objective, the British Embassy in Amman is granting equipment totalling £742,853.24 for support to the PSD and Gendarmerie. This includes infrastructure, vehicles, and IT equipment (hardware and software).

The provision of this assistance is fully in line with this Government’s security and stability objectives in the Middle East. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials carry out regular reviews of our programmes in Jordan to ensure that objectives are being met, and that value for money is being achieved.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS852
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Sir Alan Duncan (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Developments in the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe since December 2017

I represented the United Kingdom at the 24th Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held in Vienna on 7-8 December 2017, hosted by Austrian Chair-in-Office, Sebastian Kurz. The Council is the top decision-making body of the OSCE and was attended by Ministers from across its 57 participating states. A number of new commitments were agreed, including on combating trafficking in human beings, on small arms and light weapons, and on reducing the risk of conflict stemming from the use of information and communication technologies.

In my intervention at the Ministerial Council, I reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. I condemned Russia’s destabilising actions in eastern Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea, and we co-sponsored an event in the margins of the Ministerial Council for Crimean Tatar leaders. The United Kingdom is the second largest contributor of secondees to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM), which plays a crucial role in monitoring the ceasefire and events on the ground. I paid tribute during my intervention to SMM paramedic Joseph Stone, who tragically lost his life on patrol in April 2017. The United Kingdom continues to call on all parties to ensure the safety both of our monitors and of civilians in Eastern Ukraine.

The 2017 Ministerial Council discussed the continuation of the Structured Dialogue launched in 2016, aimed at reducing risk of military conflict. We welcome the Dialogue as an opportunity to rebuild trust among all stakeholders of European Security in the OSCE area. The process will take time, but we value the work done so far, including discussions on threat perceptions, challenges to the rules-based order, military-to-military contact, and trends in military force postures and exercises. At the Ministerial Council, the United Kingdom delivered a statement on behalf of 29 Allies restating the importance of enhancing military transparency, and of full implementation and updating of relevant commitments.

The OSCE is a vital forum for addressing the ‘protracted conflicts’ which remain a threat to European security, and during the Ministerial Council I reiterated our firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Government welcomes progress on confidence building measures relating to the conflict in Moldova agreed in the 5+2 format meetings in Vienna in 2017 and in Rome in 2018. We also continue to support the Minsk Co-Chairs in their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Government remains committed to the security and stability of the Western Balkans. We provide over 5 million Euros per annum to OSCE’s extensive field presence in the Western Balkans through assessed contributions and also give extra-budgetary funding to support work on media freedom, electoral reform, safe storage of small arms and light weapons, strengthening the rule of law, and processing of war crimes cases. The office of the OSCE’s Representative on Freedom of the Media chaired a discussion on media freedom at the Western Balkans Summit in London on 9-10 July. The Government also supports security and stability in Central Asia through our assessed contributions and through extra-budgetary funding to OSCE field missions, supporting work in areas such as judicial independence, rule of law, border controls, counter-terrorism, cyber security, and freedom of religion or belief.

The United Kingdom is using its second year chairing the OSCE Human Dimension Committee to support the 2017 Italian Chairmanship and promote discussion of issues relevant to everyday lives across the OSCE area in the field of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy. 2018 meetings have covered issues such as Human Rights Defenders, Freedom of Religion or Belief, and Roma and Sinti Girls’ Education. The Committee has also addressed cross-dimensional issues such as human trafficking and violence against women. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Post-Holocaust Issues, Lord Pickles, spoke at an OSCE Chairmanship conference on Anti-Semitism in Rome in January and a UK-led event on racism in Vienna in May. Throughout this period, the United Kingdom, with EU partners, has continued to raise human rights concerns at the OSCE. At the Ministerial Council, the UK joined a Declaration by 44 states expressing concern at deteriorating respect for human rights and space for civil society in parts of the OSCE region.

OSCE work on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, along with counter-terrorism and cyber security, plays an important role in pursuit of our security objectives. We continue to promote efforts in the OSCE to strengthen and modernise conventional arms control in Europe, based on principles such as respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, reciprocity, transparency, and host nation consent. We welcome the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision to reinforce and expand efforts to reduce the threat posed by small arms and light weapons and stockpiles of conventional ammunition.

I was able to underline the UK’s commitment to European Security, the OSCE and to multilateral cooperation when I met the new OSCE Secretary General, Thomas Greminger, during his visit to London in May.

Slovakia has begun preparations for its OSCE Chairmanship, which starts in January 2019. We look forward to working with them to promote shared priorities, uphold shared principles and commitments and to increase security and cooperation in Europe.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS851
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade)
Commons

Submission of UK's Goods Schedule at the World Trade Organization

I have previously informed the House that in order to fulfil our obligations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as we leave the European Union we will prepare UK-specific schedules of concessions and commitments. I have today sent to the secretariat of the WTO the UK schedule for goods and I will place a copy in the library.

This schedule replicates, as far as possible, our current obligations. We see this as a technical exercise for which the WTO’s 1980 procedures provide the appropriate legal mechanism. That will be our first step.

Presenting our own UK Schedules at the WTO is a necessary part of our leaving the EU. It does not in any way prejudge the outcome of the eventual UK-EU trading arrangements.

WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 19 July 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade Export and Promotion)
Lords

Submission of UK's Goods Schedule at the World Trade Organization

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:

I have previously informed the House that in order to fulfil our obligations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) as we leave the European Union we will prepare UK-specific schedules of concessions and commitments. I have today sent to the secretariat of the WTO the UK schedule for goods and I will place a copy in the library.

This schedule replicates, as far as possible, our current obligations. We see this as a technical exercise for which the WTO’s 1980 procedures provide the appropriate legal mechanism. That will be our first step.

Presenting our own UK Schedules at the WTO is a necessary part of our leaving the EU. It does not in any way prejudge the outcome of the eventual UK-EU trading arrangements.

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.

WS
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.

WS
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