Written statements

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

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

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

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Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Jackie Doyle-Price (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 Advisory Bodies – Annual Report 2017

My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Lord O'Shaughnessy) has made the following statement:

I have received the annual reports of the Human Medicines Regulations Advisory Bodies for 2017, which has been laid before Parliament today in accordance with the requirements of Part 2 Section 12 (4) of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

I am glad to acknowledge the valuable work done by the distinguished members of the Human Medicines Regulations advisory bodies and thank them for the time and effort dedicated in the public interest to this important work. I attach a copy of the report.

Annual Report 2017 (PDF Document, 2.41 MB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS676
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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Pre-Council WMS: Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council will take place in Brussels on 22 and 23 May 2018. Lord Ashton of Hyde will represent the UK at the Youth session of this Council (on 22 May). The UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU will represent the UK on 23 May for the meetings on Culture & Audiovisual and Sport.

Youth

This session of the Council will begin with the adoption of Council conclusions on the role of young people in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe. The Council will then seek to adopt Council conclusions on the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union.

Also tabled for this session is a policy debate on the future priorities for EU Youth policy.

In addition, there will be information from the Commission on European Youth Together, followed by information from the Belgian and French delegations on the Franco-Belgian declaration of Ministers responsible for youth on the prevention of violent radicalisation.

Culture/Audiovisual

This meeting will begin with the adoption of Council conclusions on the need to bring cultural heritage to the fore across policies in the EU.

There will be also be a policy debate on the long term vision for the contribution of culture to the EU after 2020, in particular looking forward to the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027).

Additionally, there will be a public deliberation of current legislative proposals. For this, the Council will first welcome information from the German delegation on the Directive amending Directive (2006/112/EC) as regards rates of value added tax - actively engaging in negotiations from a cultural policy perspective. In extension to this, there will be information from the French delegation on the regulation on the Import of cultural goods. No legislative decisions will be made in these debates, so there are no implications for the parliamentary scrutiny reservation.

Information will be provided by the Lithuanian and Luxembourg delegations, on their respective hosting of the European Capitals of Culture 2022.

Sport

The sport session of EYCS will begin with the adoption of Council conclusions on promoting the common values of the EU through Sport. This will be followed by a policy debate on the commercialisation of elite sports and the sustainability of the European Model of Sport.

The EU Member States representative in the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board, will present information on the Foundation Board meeting on 16-17 May. The French delegation will present information on the informal meeting of the EU Minister for Sport (Paris, 31 May 2018) signing of a declaration for a Europe of Sport on the horizon of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other

There will be information from the Austrian delegation, setting out their work programmes as the incoming Presidency, for the second half of 2018.

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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

Media matters

On 7 May 2018, Comcast Corporation formally notified the European Commission of its intention to acquire the entire issued share capital of Sky plc.

Under section 58 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (“the Act”), the Secretary of State has the powers to intervene in certain media mergers on public interest grounds.

Having reviewed the relevant evidence available, I can confirm that I have today written to the parties to inform them that I am minded not to issue an EIN on the basis that the proposed merger does not raise concerns in relation to public interest considerations which would meet the threshold for intervention.

This is a quasi-judicial decision and I am required to make my decision independently, following a process that is scrupulously fair and impartial, and as quickly as possible.

I will now allow until 5pm on Thursday 24 May for interested parties to submit written representations, and I aim to come to a final decision on whether to intervene in the merger shortly.

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Department for International Trade
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Dr Liam Fox (Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade)
Commons

Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement

My Department has today laid the European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Canada Trade Agreement) Order 2017 to designate the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement as a Treaty in accordance with the European Communities Act 1972.

The European Union and Canada have concluded negotiation and signature of this Agreement, which was provisionally applied on 21 September 2017 and requires ratification by the EU Member States to come fully into effect.

We have laid this Order which will be followed shortly by the laying of the text of the Agreement as a Command Paper under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act for scrutiny. This is, in effect, the start of the formal process of ratification of the Agreement in the UK.

This Agreement will boost the economies of the UK, Canada, and the EU, promoting bilateral trade and economic growth. It removed 98.2% of Canadian tariff lines with provisional application on 21 September 2017. This will rise to almost 99% over the next seven years. The Agreement also reduces non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and when investing in Canada.

The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade agenda including the free trade agreements it is putting in place. We see UK ratification of CETA, whilst the UK is still an EU Member State, as a sound demonstration of this commitment.

The Government has been clear that it will seek to ensure continuity in its existing EU trade agreements and other preferential arrangements as we leave the EU, including CETA. The Prime Minister and the Canadian Prime Minister have confirmed that both countries remain committed to a seamless transition of the trade preferences between the UK and Canada brought into effect with this Agreement.

We have also laid before the House an Explanatory Memorandum to this Order. This explains the background and rationale of the Agreement and ratification. At the same time, we are publishing our economic impact assessment of this Agreement and the external study on which it is based. Copies of these documents are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS680
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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Boris Johnson (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Provision of Early Recovery Assistance to the Overseas Territories

The United Kingdom is strongly committed to supporting the recovery of the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September. Through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund we committed £72 million to support the immediate needs of the affected Territories from September 2017, of which £15m was approved on top of the initial commitment of £57m to support early recovery needs. This allocation was first brought to Parliament’s attention in the written ministerial statement made on 14 December 2017 (HCWS355) following the Joint Ministerial Council on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 November. This funding, supplemented by Foreign and Commonwealth Office programme funds, supported Overseas Territory Governments in meeting their immediate needs.

The Overseas Territories Directorate has led on dispursing this funding in consultation with Overseas Territory Governments, to achieve the following early recovery deliverables each worth over £100,000:

Anguilla

1) Repairs to educational infrastructure in Anguilla, with a value of up to £344,000 for phase 1, ensuring there is sufficient space for examinations, language tuition and theatre productions. This work is still ongoing.
2) Orders worth £1,170,000 that provided Anguilla with a temporary air traffic control tower, fencing and ground lighting which contributed to the recertification of the territory’s airport.
3) Reimbursement to the Government of Anguilla for £2,740,000 of invoices for island-wide waste cleanup, interim infrastructure repairs and generator/electrical works for school buildings, and buildings costs on the Anguilla Fire and Rescue Services Building.
4) Repairs and safety equipment for Her Majesty’s Prison, totalling £211,000.

British Virgin Islands

5) Promotion of employment in the construction sector in the British Virgin Islands, worth £363,000. This project is supporting the reform of the labour market and laws, as well as vocational training (construction and maritime) to prepare for the recovery and to promote more resilient building practises.
6) Immediate repairs to housing for vulnerable families with inadequate insurance coverage, worth at least £1,260,000 This project is working with the British Virgin Islands Government plan to repair 70-100 homes and provide technical advice to use the repairs to spearhead the BVIG US$15m housing recovery programme. .
7) A temporary magistrate’s court, worth up to £320,000. This will provide a secure premises for tackling the backlog of criminal cases, increasing public confidence in visible and effective rule of law while longer term criminal justice infrastructure is addressed.
8) Ongoing prison infrastructure repairs worth up to £676,000 to restore perimeter and internal fencing, roofing and locking systems, so that prisoners and staff have secure and decent living and working conditions.
9) The repair of 7 reservoirs on the British Virgin Islands, worth up to £1m that will restore the potable water network and enable basic water access for the majority of the population.
10) Repairs to the sewage and waterworks infrastructure and the procurement of maintenance vehicles to prevent it falling back into a state of disrepair, worth up to £1.1m.
11) The deployment of UK police personnel at a cost of £1,008,000 to provide surge support for law enforcement and support the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force to sustain public order.
12) A programme of further support to meet the immediate capacity building needs of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, currently worth £1,349,000 with plans for continuation of training and leadership development support during the coming year.

Turks and Caicos Islands

13) Ongoing and planned prison infrastructure repairs worth up to £580,000 to repair perimeter lighting and install internal zonal fencing, improving movement and management of prisoners, and enabling the temporary restricted regime in place since the hurricanes to be lifted.
14) Restoration of the Radar system on the Turks and Caicos Islands, worth up to £350,000, enhancing border control and contributing to the security required for long-term recovery.

Cross-Territory Support

15) An order worth £5,296,000 that supported the electricity authorities in Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands to restore power to both territories.
16) Orders worth £522,000 to provide uniforms and equipment for the police forces in all three affected territories
17) The deployment of security personnel to TCI, BVI and Anguilla to fill staffing and capability gaps and support prison leadership and management. Support delivered in TCI up to the end of March 2018 (at a value of £475,000) has been extended (at a further cost of £119,000) to ensure basic safety, security and leadership development while repair work proceeds and TCI Government recruits additional staff. Additional personnel support to Anguilla from the same organisation (£217,000) has provided enhanced leadership planning and capability following the impact of the hurricanes. Support to BVI at a value of £194,000 has provided interim support until the arrival of the Scottish Prison Service in April 2018 to assist with enhanced security and management measures.
18) The provision of technical assistance and advisory support on recovery worth £547,000
19) An order worth up to £1.2m to provide equipment for the tackling of the spread of vector borne diseases across the affected OTs, which will be funded from the FY 2018-19 OT CSSF programme.

The provision of this assistance was in line with the Government’s hurricane recovery objectives for the Overseas Territories. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, along with UK Government advisors oversaw the procurement and delivery process. Where applicable, Memoranda of Understanding have been agreed with the Anguilla, Turks and Caicos Islands and British Virgin Islands Governments to cover their responsibilities once ownership has been transferred.

In November 2017 the Prime Minister confirmed a further £70 million package of recovery and reconstruction support. £10m of this has been allocated to the British Virgin Islands and £60m to Anguilla. In the British Virgin Islands it will be supplemented by up to £300 million of UK loan guarantees. The British Virgin Islands House of Assembly has passed legislation to establish a Recovery and Development Agency that will take this programme forward.

In Anguilla funds have been released for 6 priority projects, which the Government of Anguilla has estimated at approximately £10m. The release of further funding by UK Ministers is conditional on agreement of a Medium Term Economic and Fiscal Reform Plan to put Anguilla’s public finances on a stable footing for the long term.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS678
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Department for Transport
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Jesse Norman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport )
Commons

Road Haulage Update

The Department for Transport is today updating the house on our work to improve on the current Operation Stack arrangements and ensure that traffic can keep flowing on the M20 even in the event of serious disruption to cross-Channel transport.

At the same time, we are announcing a package of measures to tackle the blight of fly-parking across the south-east and other parts of the country, including plans to increase overnight lorry parking capacity which could potentially add an additional 1,500 spaces.

Further to the Secretary of State’s statement of 15 November 2017, Highways England will soon be starting the consultation process on a permanent solution for holding lorries in the event of cross-Channel disruption, with a full public information exercise launching in June. The consultation will consider the broad solutions rather than specific sites. It will also seek views on the potential use of any future lorry park or parks for ‘business as usual’ overnight lorry parking; while remaining sensitive to the Government’s desire not to deter any planned private investment.

In his November announcement, the Secretary of State also asked Highways England to develop an improved interim arrangement for holding lorries on the M20, whilst allowing traffic to continue to flow in both directions and keeping junctions open. The Department has now agreed with Highways England that this arrangement should take the form of a contraflow system which would see lorries for the Port of Dover and Eurotunnel held on the coast-bound carriageway between junctions 8-9 of the M20, while other traffic will use a contraflow to continue their journey on the other side of the motorway. Highways England are starting the preparatory works for the scheme now and it will be available from early 2019.

As well as improving the contingency arrangements as to lorry parking, the Government is also focused on improving the situation for business-as-usual lorry parking. We have published the results of an in-depth survey carried out on the national picture of overnight lorry parking in England.

The detailed information in the report will help local planning authorities to understand the nature of the issue better, at both a regional and local level. However, it is important to note that developers are already responding to what is currently a mismatch between supply and demand. There are planning applications in the pipeline which it is estimated would, if delivered, equate to over 1,000 additional spaces across the country.

Given the evident need for further parking spaces, the Government will be taking three steps on its side:

First, Highways England have begun to analyse their landholdings in order to identify sites with the potential to be developed into lorry parks. Initial work suggests that this might facilitate a total of around 1,500 additional parking spaces nationwide. Detailed feasibility work will be undertaken in the next six months.

More generally, Highways England intend in future to give increased priority to the provision of lorry parking across the Strategic Road Network. Its initial report for the second Road Investment Strategy period (2020-2025) Highways England propose funding to support the provision of better roadside facilities, which would include lorry parking. The Department has consulted on this proposal and is carefully considering the responses received.

Secondly, I have written with Planning Minister Dominic Raab to local planning authorities to draw their attention to the survey results, which show a strategic national need for more lorry parking and highlight shortages in specific areas.

In addition, I am asking Highways England to develop their existing role as a statutory consultee on all proposed developments that are on or that directly affect the strategic road network. In future, Highways England will seek to use their unique network-wide perspective to assist local authorities in actively identifying areas of lorry parking need and potential solutions, including in the context of specific planning applications where these might help alleviate the situation.

Thirdly, the Department will consider further steps to make it easier for local authorities to take enforcement action against hauliers who park inappropriately. In Kent the trial on a stretch of the A20 of innovative enforcement approaches has had considerable success in its first six months of operation, with a significant fall in the number of vehicles parked overnight, and increased use of commercial parking facilities in the area, especially at weekends. Subject to the findings of this 18-month trial, we will be looking to promote the wider application of such measures elsewhere.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS675
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Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Alok Sharma (Minister of State for Employment)
Commons

Jobseeker’s Allowance trial

It has been a long-standing policy of successive Governments that claimants on work-related benefits are generally expected to undertake certain activities in return for financial support through the benefit system. This system of ‘conditionality’ can lead to sanctions, which deduct benefit from claimants when they fail, without good reason, to meet a conditionality requirement, such as failing to attend a Jobcentre interview or failing to search for work. This ensures a fair, proportionate and effective use of public money, in support of employment and wider outcomes for society.

Today, we are publishing the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) Sanctions Early Warning Trial’s final evaluation report (Jobseeker’s Allowance Sanctions Early Warning Trial Evaluation – Final report) and qualitative research (Jobseekers Allowance: Sanctions Early Warning Trial).

In October 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions announced that it would be trialling a new process for JSA sanctions in response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s recommendations to review the JSA sanction process.

The trial was delivered between April and September 2016 and involved 6,500 claimants. It tested an approach of adding an additional step into the sanction decision making process, by informing claimants through a ‘Sanction Warning Letter’ that, on the basis of information available, the Decision Maker intended to apply a sanction. Claimants were then given a further 14 days (on top of the standard 7 days they already receive before the decision is initially considered) to submit evidence of good reason for not meeting their conditionality.

The aim of the trial was to consider whether such an approach would have an effect on:

  • The volume of claimants that provide reasons for not meeting their conditionality requirements.
  • The volume of claimants sanctioned who request a Mandatory Reconsideration of the initial sanction decision.
  • The service received by the claimant and whether this represented value for money.
  • The effectiveness of the process as perceived by Decision Makers.

The key findings of the trial were:

  • 13 per cent of those receiving a ‘Sanction Warning Letter’ responded to it during the additional 14 days and provided evidence. In around half of these cases the evidence provided did not contain a good reason for the Labour Market Decision Maker to change their decision and the sanction was applied.
  • There were some indications that the trial had an impact on reducing the proportion of cases where a Decision Review or Mandatory Reconsideration was carried out. However, as these findings are based on low volumes, they are indicative only.
  • The qualitative evaluation concluded that given the additional burden placed on the Departmental resources and marginal gains achieved, the trial did not appear to be an effective use of the Department’s resource.
  • Results from the qualitative evaluation showed that there was support from staff for the intentions underpinning the trial, however evidence from interviews with staff suggested that in practice the trial appeared to make little difference to the outcomes of claimants.

Given the low proportion of cases in which claimants provided further evidence and the even lower proportion of cases where decision outcomes were changed, we do not consider that the benefits of the approach are sufficient to justify the extra time and cost it adds to the process.

We are now exploring the feasibility of an alternative process to give claimants written warnings, instead of a sanction, for a first sanctionable failure to attend a Work-Search Review. The aim will be to conduct a small-scale proof of concept to obtain qualitative feedback from staff on this new process, followed by any subsequent tests. More details will be made available once we have progressed with the design work.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS674
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 21 May 2018
Made by: Mark Lancaster (Minister of State for Defence)
Commons

Call-Out Order to Support Operations in Mali

A new call-out order has been made under section 56(1B) of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 to enable reservists to be called out into service to support operations in Mali.

Currently, we plan on calling out only willing and available reservists who have the support of their employer.

The order took effect from 18 May 2018 and ceases to have effect on 17 May 2019.

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Women and Equalities
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: Penny Mordaunt (Minister for Women and Equalities)
Commons

Access to Elected Office for Disabled People

It is essential that our public offices, from the UK Parliament to local government, reflect the diversity of the UK population. Currently the disabled population of this country is not sufficiently represented.

If we want to inspire and encourage businesses and other organisations to place inclusivity at the heart of their work, then politicians should lead by example. Political parties also have a duty to ensure they encourage and support their candidates as well as support to their workforce and ensure a level playing field in recruitment.

The Government Equalities Office, together with the Office for Disability Issues and the Cabinet Office, will consult with disability stakeholders to undertake a programme of work over the next 12 months to help both major and smaller political parties best support disabled candidates.

The prime responsibility for this would sit with political parties themselves. However within this, there will be ways the government can help too, for example by looking at extending the support we already provide in other areas such as employment to enable other activities such as volunteering or representing their communities.

Within 12 months we hope to have political parties offering and advertising support, as well as solutions to help independent candidates.

While this work is ongoing we want to ensure that disabled people can run for office, so we are announcing a fund of up to £250,000 to support disabled candidates, primarily for the forthcoming English local elections in 2019. We will set out further details about the scheme in the near future and any measures taken to ensure such costs are not considered to be part of a candidate’s election expenses.

Establishing this fund should not disincentivise political parties from continuing to develop their own measures. Instead, it should help them prioritise this issue and take action to ensure no one is disadvantaged in the democratic process.

I hope that the interim fund will also help us gather further evidence of what good practice looks like.

I will keep the House updated on further developments.

The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP

Chloe Smith MP

Sarah Newton MP

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Department for International Development
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: Penny Mordaunt (Secretary of State for International Development)
Commons

Update on DFID’s work to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the aid sector

Following the Written Ministerial Statement of 20th March I am updating the House on what the Department for International Development (DFID) is doing to protect recipients of UK aid and those working in the sector from harm (safeguarding for short) with our focus on preventing and responding to sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

  1. Ensuring DFID’s programmes meet the highest standards

Around 60% of DFID’s funding is delivered through multilateral organisations. On 21st April I co-hosted with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation a roundtable with senior representatives of ten international financial institutions (I am placing the list of names in an Annex to this document in the Libraries of both Houses) and discussed how we can pool best practice and resources to tackle this issue across the sector. All ten institutions signed a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to preventing sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation, both within their own institutions and their operations, many of which are funded by DFID. I will be pressing for them to translate this commitment into further concrete actions in 2018.

From my recent meetings in Washington it is clear that multilateral organisations are taking this issue extremely seriously and looking to learn from previous cases and improve their systems and processes. For example, the World Bank has strengthened its staff rules covering sexual misconduct and abuse and is rolling out staff training and a wider review of its human resources policies with respect to sexual harassment and exploitation.

The UN Secretary General has made clear his zero tolerance approach to both sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment. In the past two weeks I have discussed safeguarding with the Heads of the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. At the UN system Chief Executives Board meeting in London earlier in May, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres led a special session with the heads of 31 UN agencies, funds and programmes on addressing sexual harassment within the UN system. This included a new 24 hour helpline for staff to report harassment and access support, so fast-tracking complaints. I am pressing for agreement to a consistent UN-wide approach on reporting, investigation and outreach, and support when cases of sexual exploitation, abuse or harassment occur.

I am also pressing all organisations that DFID funds to learn from best and worst practice. Last month Save the Children UK withdrew from bidding for new UK Government funding while it looks to learn lessons and the Charity Commission carries out a statutory inquiry into its handling of internal cases.

Following my letter to DFID partners seeking assurances on their safeguarding policies and procedures, I have now received responses from our top suppliers, multilateral partners, development capital partners and research partners. This is a total of 283 organisations. I will publish a high-level summary of the returns on gov.uk later this month updating the information published on 20th March on the 179 charities directly receiving UK Aid. I am including the link to that document in an Annex to this document in the Libraries of both houses.

Following the 5th March Summit organised by DFID and the Charity Commission, DFID has convened four NGO working groups and an external experts group to develop concrete ideas. I met representatives of the working groups and the experts this week to discuss which of their initial proposals could make the biggest difference. The work is focusing on:

  • accountability to beneficiaries and survivors - prioritising those who have suffered and survived exploitation, abuse and violence, and designing systems of accountability and transparency that have beneficiaries at their centre;

  • how the aid sector can demonstrate a step change in shifting organisational culture to tackle power imbalances and gender inequality;

  • ensuring that safeguards are integrated throughout the employment cycle, including work on the proposal for a global register / passport; and

  • providing full accountability through rigorous reporting and complaints mechanisms, and ensuring that concerns are heard and acted on.

  1. Ensuring all UK aid meets the highest standards

On 28th March I chaired a meeting of UK Government departments who spend Official Development Assistance (ODA). I updated Ministers on DFID’s work including the new safeguarding due diligence standards which I announced in March. Following a successful pilot, the new process will be rolled out to other programmes later this month. DFID will write to all other UK ODA spending departments with the details should they wish to adopt the same approach.

This month senior DFID officials have held further meetings with opposite numbers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Cabinet Office and the Charity Commission to discuss how we can raise our own performances on safeguarding and that of others in the aid sector.

I am in contact with the Ministry of Defence about pre-deployment training for peacekeeping operations. And DFID’s HR Director has been working with colleagues across Whitehall to drive up internal HR standards.

  1. Working with other donors to drive up standards

The department is working closely with Canada as G7 Presidency and at a meeting of G7 Development Ministers at the end of May I have been asked to lead a discussion on sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

DFID is now chairing monthly meetings of a group of 15 donors (I am placing the list of names in the Libraries of both houses) to seek collective action including in our key implementing partners.

DFID is also working with the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to explore how to measure donors’ performance on sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment as part regular peer reviews. I plan to write to all DAC donors, observers and other major donors updating them on our work and seeking their suggestions.

The UK is leading the change needed on this issue. We have made good progress since March and I will use every opportunity possible in the coming weeks and months to push for much more. I will host an international conference in London on the 18th October.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS673
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Department for Education
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Update on guidance to schools and colleges

This government is committed to keeping children safe. All children, from whatever background and no matter what challenges they face, deserve a safe environment in which they can learn.

Today my department is publishing the government response to the recent Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) consultation. KCSIE is statutory guidance that schools and colleges must have regard to when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Children in this context includes anyone under the age of 18.

Alongside revised statutory guidance, the department is publishing revised advice covering child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment.

The KCSIE consultation ran between 14 December 2017 and 22 February 2018. We were delighted to receive 311 responses. Officials have carefully considered every response and we have made additional changes to strengthen KCSIE as a result.

The most significant revision to KCSIE is the inclusion of a new Part 5 to support schools and colleges respond to reports of child on child sexual violence and sexual harassment. It is an important step in protecting children to include a dedicated Part, covering this complex issue, in the statutory guidance. We were pleased that 87% of respondents agreed explicitly that schools and colleges holding more than one emergency contact number for each child was sensible. As such, we have included this in the revised guidance. Other changes include making the guidance even clearer that where staff have a safeguarding concern they should act on it immediately and providing more information about vulnerable children who may benefit from early help.

The sexual violence and sexual harassment advice has been strengthened to, amongst other things, be clear that it is relevant for all schools, to be clear that child on child abuse can take place between children of all ages, provide more details as to what sexual harassment can look like and provide additional links to specialist support. The revised advice is published today and is available immediately to support schools and colleges.

As part of the government response, we are publishing the revised KCSIE for information. This will allow schools and colleges time to consider any changes they might want to make to their policies and procedures before the revised guidance comes into force on 3 September 2018. Until the revised guidance comes into force, schools and colleges must continue to have regard to the existing KCSIE 2016 guidance.

Copies of the government response, KCSIE and the sexual violence and sexual harassment advice will be placed in the House Library and are available on the government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/keeping-children-safe-in-education-proposed-revisions, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in-education--2 and https://www.gov.uk/education/safeguarding-pupils.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS670
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Independent review of building regulations and fire safety

Following the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, the Government asked Dame Judith Hackitt to undertake a thorough review of building regulations and fire safety, with a particular focus on multiple-occupancy high-rise buildings. Her final report is being published today. It is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-building-regulations-and-fire-safety-final-report and copies are being placed in the Libraries of both Houses. I intend to give an Oral Statement to the House later today to provide further detail on the publication of the report.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS668
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Prime Minister
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Appointments to the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

The Hon. Member for St Austell and Newquay (Steve Double), the Hon. Member for Chelmsford (Vicky Ford), the Rt. Hon. Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Robert Goodwill) and the Hon. Member for Cleethorpes (Martin Vickers) have been appointed as substitute members of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of the Hon. Member for Cheltenham (Alex Chalk), the Hon. Member for Gordon (Colin Clark), the Hon. Member for Cheadle (Mary Robinson) and the Hon. Member for Erewash (Maggie Throup).

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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: Greg Clark ( Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Energy Policy

My Rt. Hon. Friend James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and I wish to reiterate the Government’s view that there are potentially substantial benefits from the safe and sustainable exploration and development of our onshore shale gas resources and to set out in this statement to Parliament the actions we are taking to support our position. This joint statement should be considered in planning decisions and plan-making in England.

The UK must have safe, secure and affordable supplies of energy with carbon emissions levels that are consistent with the carbon budgets defined in our Climate Change Act and our international obligations. We believe that gas has a key part to play in meeting these objectives both currently and in the future. In part as a result of the UK’s diverse range of energy sources, which include natural gas, we have had competitively-priced energy since 1990 whilst reducing carbon emissions across the economy by 49% – a leading performance among developed nations. Gas still makes up around a third of our current energy usage and every scenario proposed by the Committee on Climate Change setting out how the UK could meet its legally-binding 2050 emissions reduction target includes demand for natural gas. As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, innovations in technologies such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) have the potential to decarbonise this energy supply still further and prolong its role in our energy mix.

However, despite the welcome improvements in efficiency and innovation from companies operating in the North Sea, the ongoing decline in our offshore gas production has meant that the UK has gone from being a net exporter of gas in 2003 to importing over half (53%) of gas supplies in 2017 and estimates suggest we could be importing 72% of our gas by 2030. Our current import mix, via pipelines from Norway and Continental Europe and LNG terminals that can source gas from around the world, provides us with stable and secure supplies. However, we believe that it is right to utilise our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent and exploring further the potential for onshore gas production from shale rock formations in the UK, where it is economically efficient, and where environment impacts are robustly regulated.

We also believe that further development of onshore gas resources has the potential to deliver substantial economic benefits to the UK economy and for local communities where supplies are located by creating thousands of new jobs directly in extraction, local support services, and the rest of the supply chain. A potential new shale gas exploration and production sector in the shale basins of England could provide a new economic driver. We also see an opportunity to work with industry on innovation to create a “UK Model” - the world’s most environmentally robust onshore shale gas sector - and to explore export opportunities from this model, a core theme of our modern industrial strategy.

But to achieve these benefits, we need to work with responsible companies prepared to invest in this industry as they proceed with the exploration process, to test the size and value of the potential reserves and to ensure that our planning and regulatory systems work appropriately whilst assisting local councils in making informed and appropriate planning decisions. So we are setting out a series of actions, including those committed to in the Government’s 2017 manifesto to support the development of shale gas extraction.

Planning

The UK has world class regulation to ensure that shale exploration can happen safely, respecting local communities and safeguarding the environment. The development of the shale gas industry so far has already led to millions of pounds being invested in the UK, supporting businesses and the supply chain, and creating British jobs. We have recently seen four planning approvals for exploratory shale development. The Government remains fully committed to making planning decisions faster and fairer for all those affected by new development, and to ensure that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them. These are long standing principles. No one benefits from the uncertainty caused by delay which is why, in September 2015, Government set out a range of measures to help ensure every planning application or appeal was dealt with as quickly as possible.

However, recent decisions on shale exploration planning applications remain disappointingly slow against a statutory time frame of 16 weeks where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required. So, we are announcing a range of measures to facilitate timely decisions. These measures only apply in England.

Planning policy and guidance

This Statement is a material consideration in plan-making and decision-taking, alongside relevant policies of the existing National Planning Policy Framework (2012), in particular those on mineral planning (including conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons).

Shale gas development is of national importance. The Government expects Mineral Planning Authorities to give great weight to the benefits of mineral extraction, including to the economy. This includes shale gas exploration and extraction. Mineral Plans should reflect that minerals resources can only be worked where they are found, and applications must be assessed on a site by site basis and having regard to their context. Plans should not set restrictions or thresholds across their plan area that limit shale development without proper justification. We expect Mineral Planning Authorities to recognise the fact that Parliament has set out in statute the relevant definitions of hydrocarbon, natural gas and associated hydraulic fracturing. In addition, these matters are described in Planning Practice Guidance, which Plans must have due regard to. Consistent with this Planning Practice Guidance, policies should avoid undue sterilisation of mineral resources (including shale gas).

The Government has consulted on a draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The consultation closed on 10 May 2018. In due course the revised National Planning Policy Framework will sit alongside the Written Ministerial Statement.

We intend to publish revised planning practice guidance on shale development once the revised National Planning Policy Framework has been launched ensuring clarity on issues such as cumulative impact, local plan making and confirmation that planners can rely on the advice of regulatory experts.

Planning decision making

To support a decision-making regime that meets the future needs of the sector we will progress our manifesto commitments by:

  • holding an early stage consultation, in summer 2018, on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate.

  • consulting, in summer 2018, on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

Further, we will strengthen community engagement by consulting in due course on the potential to make pre-application consultation a statutory requirement.

Support for those involved in decision making

We are aware that the shale applications and the planning process can be complex for local authorities. Building capacity and capability within local authorities to deal with shale development is a vital step towards speeding up decision making. We will help achieve this by announcing, today:

  • the launch of a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications.

  • the creation of a new planning brokerage service for shale applications to provide guidance to developers and local authorities on the planning process to help facilitate timely decision making. The service would focus exclusively on the planning process and will have no role in the consideration or determination of planning applications. The service will not comment on the merits of a case and will also have no role in the appeals process.

In addition, the Government recognises that early engagement with local authorities, including capitalising on formal pre-application discussions, is critical in building confidence in decision making and securing support for development proposals and set realistic timeframes for decisions. We expect this to be formalised by a Planning Performance Agreement providing certainty for all parties. And we then expect all parties – including decision-makers in local authorities – to stick to the timetable.

Opportunities for Redress

While we are confident that the measures announced in this Written Ministerial Statement will speed up decision making on shale applications, we cannot be complacent. Therefore:

  • we will continue to treat appeals against any refusal of planning permission for exploring and developing shale gas, or against any non-determination as a priority for urgent determination by the Planning Inspectorate, making additional resources available where necessary.

  • under the Written Ministerial Statement in 2015 the criteria for recovering planning appeals were amended to include proposals for exploring and developing shale gas. This was applied for a two-year period subject to further review. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has conducted a review and remains committed to scrutinising appeals for these proposals. We are therefore announcing that the criteria for considering the recovery of planning appeals are continued for a further two years. The new criterion is added to the recovery policy of 30 June 2008, Official Report, column 43WS.

  • the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government will actively consider calling in shale applications particularly where statutory deadlines have been exceeded. Each case will be considered on its facts in line with his policy. Priority timeframes for urgent determination will be given to any called-in applications.

  • the Government continues to commit to identifying underperforming local planning authorities that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within statutory timeframes. When any future applications are made to underperforming authorities, the Secretary of State will consider whether he should determine the application instead.

Shale Regulator

The UK regulatory regime for shale gas is considered among the most robust and stringent in the world. However, we acknowledge that it is also complex, with three regulators, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority, all with responsibilities for regulation. It is not always transparent to both the public and industry who is responsible for what. Therefore, the Government is setting up a Shale Environmental Regulator which will bring the regulators together to act as one coherent single face for the public, mineral planning authorities and industry. We intend to establish the regulator from the summer.

We anticipate that the plans for the Shale Environmental Regulator and future consultations will only apply in England.

Community Benefits

We strongly believe that communities hosting shale gas developments should share in the financial returns they generate. The Government welcomes the shale gas companies’ commitment to make set payments to these communities, which could be worth up to £10m for a typical site. Actions to support local communities are an important complement to the planning actions set out above. With that in mind, we want to go further, and we will work with industry to see how we can improve this offer.

In addition to this offer we also announced in the Autumn Statement 2016 that the Shale Wealth Fund will provide additional resources to local communities, over and above industry schemes and other sources of government funding. Local communities will benefit first and determine how the money is spent in their area.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS671
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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Planning Policy

My Rt. Hon. Friend Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and I wish to reiterate the Government’s view that there are potentially substantial benefits from the safe and sustainable exploration and development of our onshore shale gas resources and to set out in this statement to Parliament the actions we are taking to support our position. This joint statement should be considered in planning decisions and plan-making in England.

The UK must have safe, secure and affordable supplies of energy with carbon emissions levels that are consistent with the carbon budgets defined in our Climate Change Act and our international obligations. We believe that gas has a key part to play in meeting these objectives both currently and in the future. In part as a result of the UK’s diverse range of energy sources, which include natural gas, we have had competitively-priced energy since 1990 whilst reducing carbon emissions across the economy by 49% – a leading performance among developed nations. Gas still makes up around a third of our current energy usage and every scenario proposed by the Committee on Climate Change setting out how the UK could meet its legally-binding 2050 emissions reduction target includes demand for natural gas. As set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, innovations in technologies such as Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS) have the potential to decarbonise this energy supply still further and prolong its role in our energy mix.

However, despite the welcome improvements in efficiency and innovation from companies operating in the North Sea, the ongoing decline in our offshore gas production has meant that the UK has gone from being a net exporter of gas in 2003 to importing over half (53%) of gas supplies in 2017 and estimates suggest we could be importing 72% of our gas by 2030. Our current import mix, via pipelines from Norway and Continental Europe and LNG terminals that can source gas from around the world, provides us with stable and secure supplies. However, we believe that it is right to utilise our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent and exploring further the potential for onshore gas production from shale rock formations in the UK, where it is economically efficient, and where environment impacts are robustly regulated.

We also believe that further development of onshore gas resources has the potential to deliver substantial economic benefits to the UK economy and for local communities where supplies are located by creating thousands of new jobs directly in extraction, local support services, and the rest of the supply chain. A potential new shale gas exploration and production sector in the shale basins of England could provide a new economic driver. We also see an opportunity to work with industry on innovation to create a “UK Model” - the world’s most environmentally robust onshore shale gas sector - and to explore export opportunities from this model, a core theme of our modern industrial strategy.

But to achieve these benefits, we need to work with responsible companies prepared to invest in this industry as they proceed with the exploration process, to test the size and value of the potential reserves and to ensure that our planning and regulatory systems work appropriately whilst assisting local councils in making informed and appropriate planning decisions. So we are setting out a series of actions, including those committed to in the Government’s 2017 manifesto to support the development of shale gas extraction.

Planning

The UK has world class regulation to ensure that shale exploration can happen safely, respecting local communities and safeguarding the environment. The development of the shale gas industry so far has already led to millions of pounds being invested in the UK, supporting businesses and the supply chain, and creating British jobs. We have recently seen four planning approvals for exploratory shale development. The Government remains fully committed to making planning decisions faster and fairer for all those affected by new development, and to ensure that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them. These are long standing principles. No one benefits from the uncertainty caused by delay which is why, in September 2015, Government set out a range of measures to help ensure every planning application or appeal was dealt with as quickly as possible.

However, recent decisions on shale exploration planning applications remain disappointingly slow against a statutory time frame of 16 weeks where an Environmental Impact Assessment is required. So, we are announcing a range of measures to facilitate timely decisions. These measures only apply in England.

Planning policy and guidance

This Statement is a material consideration in plan-making and decision-taking, alongside relevant policies of the existing National Planning Policy Framework (2012), in particular those on mineral planning (including conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons).

Shale gas development is of national importance. The Government expects Mineral Planning Authorities to give great weight to the benefits of mineral extraction, including to the economy. This includes shale gas exploration and extraction. Mineral Plans should reflect that minerals resources can only be worked where they are found, and applications must be assessed on a site by site basis and having regard to their context. Plans should not set restrictions or thresholds across their plan area that limit shale development without proper justification. We expect Mineral Planning Authorities to recognise the fact that Parliament has set out in statute the relevant definitions of hydrocarbon, natural gas and associated hydraulic fracturing. In addition, these matters are described in Planning Practice Guidance, which Plans must have due regard to. Consistent with this Planning Practice Guidance, policies should avoid undue sterilisation of mineral resources (including shale gas).

The Government has consulted on a draft revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The consultation closed on 10 May 2018. In due course the revised National Planning Policy Framework will sit alongside the Written Ministerial Statement.

We intend to publish revised planning practice guidance on shale development once the revised National Planning Policy Framework has been launched ensuring clarity on issues such as cumulative impact, local plan making and confirmation that planners can rely on the advice of regulatory experts.

Planning decision making

To support a decision-making regime that meets the future needs of the sector we will progress our manifesto commitments by:

- holding an early stage consultation, in summer 2018, on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration development should be treated as permitted development, and in particular on the circumstances in which this might be appropriate.

- consulting, in summer 2018, on the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

Further, we will strengthen community engagement by consulting in due course on the potential to make pre-application consultation a statutory requirement.

Support for those involved in decision making

We are aware that the shale applications and the planning process can be complex for local authorities. Building capacity and capability within local authorities to deal with shale development is a vital step towards speeding up decision making. We will help achieve this by announcing, today:

- the launch of a new £1.6 million shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications.

- the creation of a new planning brokerage service for shale applications to provide guidance to developers and local authorities on the planning process to help facilitate timely decision making. The service would focus exclusively on the planning process and will have no role in the consideration or determination of planning applications. The service will not comment on the merits of a case and will also have no role in the appeals process.

In addition, the Government recognises that early engagement with local authorities, including capitalising on formal pre-application discussions, is critical in building confidence in decision making and securing support for development proposals and set realistic timeframes for decisions. We expect this to be formalised by a Planning Performance Agreement providing certainty for all parties. And we then expect all parties – including decision-makers in local authorities – to stick to the timetable.

Opportunities for Redress

While we are confident that the measures announced in this Written Ministerial Statement will speed up decision making on shale applications, we cannot be complacent. Therefore:

- we will continue to treat appeals against any refusal of planning permission for exploring and developing shale gas, or against any non-determination as a priority for urgent determination by the Planning Inspectorate, making additional resources available where necessary.

- under the Written Ministerial Statement in 2015 the criteria for recovering planning appeals were amended to include proposals for exploring and developing shale gas. This was applied for a two-year period subject to further review. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has conducted a review and remains committed to scrutinising appeals for these proposals. We are therefore announcing that the criteria for considering the recovery of planning appeals are continued for a further two years. The new criterion is added to the recovery policy of 30 June 2008, Official Report, column 43WS.

- the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government will actively consider calling in shale applications particularly where statutory deadlines have been exceeded. Each case will be considered on its facts in line with his policy. Priority timeframes for urgent determination will be given to any called-in applications.

- the Government continues to commit to identifying underperforming local planning authorities that repeatedly fail to determine oil and gas applications within statutory timeframes. When any future applications are made to underperforming authorities, the Secretary of State will consider whether he should determine the application instead.

Shale Regulator

The UK regulatory regime for shale gas is considered among the most robust and stringent in the world. However, we acknowledge that it is also complex, with three regulators, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority, all with responsibilities for regulation. It is not always transparent to both the public and industry who is responsible for what. Therefore, the Government is setting up a Shale Environmental Regulator which will bring the regulators together to act as one coherent single face for the public, mineral planning authorities and industry. We intend to establish the regulator from the summer.

We anticipate that the plans for the Shale Environmental Regulator and future consultations will only apply in England.

Community Benefits

We strongly believe that communities hosting shale gas developments should share in the financial returns they generate. The Government welcomes the shale gas companies’ commitment to make set payments to these communities, which could be worth up to £10m for a typical site. Actions to support local communities are an important complement to the planning actions set out above. With that in mind, we want to go further, and we will work with industry to see how we can improve this offer.

In addition to this offer we also announced in the Autumn Statement 2016 that the Shale Wealth Fund will provide additional resources to local communities, over and above industry schemes and other sources of government funding. Local communities will benefit first and determine how the money is spent in their area.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS672
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Department for International Trade
Made on: 17 May 2018
Made by: Greg Hands (Minister of State for Trade Policy)
Commons

PRE-COUNCIL: EU FOREIGN AFFAIRS COUNCIL (TRADE) 22 MAY 2018

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) will take place in Brussels on 22 May 2018. I will be representing the UK.

The substantive items on 22 May will be: adoption of the negotiating mandates for Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand, adoption of conclusions on the negotiation and conclusion of EU trade arrangements, and follow-up to the 11th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference (MC11). There will also be an exchange of views on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership agreement, the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS669
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 16 May 2018
Made by: Guto Bebb (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Grant-in-Kind

I have today laid before the House a Departmental Minute describing a package of spares for Challenger 2 Tanks that the UK intends to provide to the Royal Army of Oman. The value of the package is estimated at £0.997 million.

The provision of equipment is being made as a Grant-in-Kind. Following correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2016, Departments which previously treated these payments as gifts have undertaken to notify the House of Commons of any such Grant- in- Kind of a value exceeding £300,000 and explaining the circumstances; following Treasury Approval the House is duly notified of this intention.

The Grant-in-Kind in this case is to the Royal Army of Oman. The equipment being granted by the UK will comprise of surplus Assemblies and Line Replaceable Units for the repair and maintenance of Challenger 2 tanks. The provision of this equipment is a direct response to a request made by the Royal Army of Oman to the UK Defence Attaché in Oman and is in support of National Security Council objectives. Releasing this surplus equipment is consistent with wider Defence policy to reduce the number of Challenger 2 in service.

The total cost of the proposed UK package is £0.997 million, including some minor transportation costs within the UK. Delivery from the UK to Oman will be conducted by the Royal Air Force of Oman and will be at no cost to the UK.

The UK is committed to assisting the Royal Army of Oman and the Government of Oman as it remains a key ally in the Gulf region. Contributing to the development of capable and well-led Armed Forces in Oman supports the Government’s aim of enhancing regional stability, developing permanency in Oman and the wider Gulf and cementing our relationship with Oman for the future; this relationship is critical to UK National Security.

All export and licensing requirements have been met and the equipment is expected to be delivered in May 2018.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 May 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Building Safety Update

In my predecessor, the Right Honourable Member for Bromsgrove’s update on building safety on 15 March 2018, he informed the House that a glazed, composite, fire door from Grenfell Tower manufactured by Manse Masterdor, around five years ago, and marketed as meeting a 30 minutes standard failed the test after approximately 15 minutes.

The Government immediately sought advice from the independent Expert Panel, which was appointed by this government following the Grenfell Tower fire to advise on immediate measures needed to ensure building safety and to help identify other buildings of concern. The Expert Panel has consulted representatives from the Metropolitan Police, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisers, the National Fire Chiefs’ Council, and technical experts. Following this, the Expert Panel advised that the risks to public safety remained low and there was no change to the fire safety advice that the public should follow. As outlined in the statement on 15 March, further investigations, including testing have been taken forward in relation to flat front entrance doors manufactured by Manse Masterdor.

The National Fire Chiefs’ Council has advised the Expert Panel that the risk to public safety remains low. The Expert Panel have recognised that, based on the evidence, the risks to public safety have not changed significantly. However, as a result of our tests, they have concluded there is a performance issue with composite 30 minute flat fire doors that have been manufactured by Manse Masterdor, a company which ceased trading in 2014. These doors were manufactured by the company in such a way that the glazing and hardware components fitted would not consistently meet the 30 minutes of fire resistance in furnace tests required for these doors to meet the current Building Regulations guidance.

The National Fire Chiefs’ Council has advised the Expert Panel that buildings affected by this issue need to review their fire risk assessment to take into account this new information.

The Expert Panel’s advice is:

  • Building owners with Manse Masterdor front entrance flat fire doors should review the fire risk assessment of their buildings to assess the overall fire risk and determine whether mitigations are needed.
  • The risk to public safety remains low
  • Fire doors prevent the spread of fire and smoke and the performance deficiencies identified are different to risks from aluminium composite material cladding which assists the spread of fire
  • All fire doors should be assessed regularly to make sure they are likely to meet the minimum standard
  • The replacement of Manse Masterdor fire doors should take place using a risk based approach
  • Further testing of other suppliers should be undertaken to make sure the issues with manufacture are not wider than this single supplier’s products.

The National Fire Chiefs’ Council have confirmed its previous advice that the risk to public safety is low and evidence does not suggest this has changed. It continues to advise that, in the event of a fire, people should follow existing fire procedures for the building. Residents should also test their smoke alarms regularly to ensure they work and ensure that their flat front door is fitted with a working self closing device. All doors provide essential protection in a fire if they are properly closed.

I am therefore advising owners of buildings where Manse Masterdor composite front entrance 30 minute fire doors have been installed in flats, to review their buildings’ fire risk assessments, and to consider how quickly these doors should be replaced.

The Expert Panel has published guidance for building owners who are replacing flat front entrance fire doors and this can be accessed from my department’s website

www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-building-owners-on-assurance-and-replacing-of-flat-entrance-fire-doors

My department is writing to customers of Manse Masterdor identified in the company’s records as having been supplied with 30 minute fire doors and is working closely with the Local Government Association, the National Housing Federation, the National Fire Chiefs’ Council and the Industry Response Group to consider what further support building owners may require to assist with taking timely action.

In testing their product range Synseal Masterdor, the company that took over the operation from Manse Masterdor, have withdrawn their entire composite 30 minute fire door range, have notified all their customers of the issues identified. Unlike the case of Manse Masterdor where the company is no longer trading, Synseal are a company still in operation. They are therefore working with Trading Standards to determine further action to ensure their products meet relevant standards, in line with usual good practice.

The Expert Panel endorse this approach with Synseal.

We are continuing our investigations into the wider fire door market, and intend to test fire doors from other door suppliers. This will form part of the work my department takes forward to respond to the findings from Dame Judith Hackitt’s Review.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS666
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Treasury
Made on: 15 May 2018
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 July 2017 to 30 September 2017 and 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2017

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the periods of 1 July 2017 to 30 September 2017 and 1 October 2017 to 31 December 2017.

This report also covers the UK’s implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ), and the operation of the EU’s asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 concerning external terrorist threats to the EU. (also referred to as the CP 931 regime).

Under the ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury, through its Office of Financial Sanctions implementation (OFSI), has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

Under EU Regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and OFSI has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings. Once a designation is made under this regime it will appear in the table below.

The annexed tables set out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during each quarter.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill currently before Parliament will help ensure that UK counterterrorist sanctions powers remain a useful tool for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to consider utilising, while also meeting the UK’s international obligations.

Under the Bill, a designation could be made where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the person or group is or has been involved in a defined terrorist activity and that designation is appropriate. This approach is in line with the UK’s current approach under UN and EU sanctions and would be balanced by procedural protections such as the ability of designated persons to challenge the Government in court.

Asset-freezing activity: Jul-Sep (PDF Document, 45.3 KB)
Asset-freezing activity: Oct-Dec (PDF Document, 44.79 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS664
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 15 May 2018
Made by: Andrew Griffiths (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility)
Commons

Consumer Policy Update

I am today publishing the department’s investigation into the safety of the Hotpoint fridge freezer model FF175B which police identified as being involved in the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June last year.

The safety of consumers is a key priority for this Government, which is why my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) ordered an immediate examination of the appliance by independent technical experts. Within days the Department had undertaken a preliminary assessment and issued advice following a meeting convened by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser including public health advisers. The advice to owners of the model concerned – Hotpoint FF175B – was that they could continue to use their fridge freezer as the public health risk of advising not to use the appliance was judged to be of greater risk. Owners were advised to contact the manufacturer to register their appliance so they could be contacted directly should any further action be necessary.

At the same time the Department began a thorough and comprehensive product safety investigation into the model to identify whether there was any wider safety risk to the public. BEIS experts conducted a product safety investigation, examining the Grenfell Tower appliance, commissioning independent examination and testing of example FF175B appliances, undertaking analysis of data and documents and risk assessment. Whirlpool has co-operated with the investigation and has undertaken its own investigation in line with its legal obligations as the manufacturer of the product.

The full investigation has now concluded. It confirmed the advice that was given to consumers in June, that there is no need for a product recall or for any other corrective action for this model, and that consumers can continue using the product as normal. The investigation concluded that the product met legal safety requirements and that the risk associated with the model is assessed as low. The findings have been confirmed by separate and independent tests, under the supervision of the BEIS Chief Scientific Advisor, carried out by scientific and technical experts including the Health and Safety Executive and Intertek.

We have shared the results of our investigation with the Metropolitan Police, the Grenfell Inquiry, and, of course, with the Grenfell residents through appropriate channels.

The Government continues to place huge importance on consumer safety. This is why, on January 21, 2018, we accepted all the recommendations made by the Working Group on Product Recall and Safety to upgrade the UK system of product safety, and we established the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

A copy of the risk statement and technical reports relating to the investigation have been published and copies of the documents have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS663
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