Written statements

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

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

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

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WS
Home Office
Made on: 15 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (Minister of State (Home Office))
Lords

Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules

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

My rt hon Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules.

The changes include exempting doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 (General) limit, recognising the important contribution that overseas health professionals make to our NHS. This is in response to the particular shortages and pressures facing the NHS at the current time, as well as the fact that the limit has been oversubscribed in each month since December 2017. The change will mean that health sector employers will be able to sponsor doctors and nurses without putting pressure on the limit, freeing up places within the limit for other key roles which contribute to the UK economy and other public services. The changes will be kept under review.

The Government will also ask the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the composition of the Shortage Occupation List.

Building on the changes announced by the Chancellor in the autumn, which were implemented in January of this year, further improvements are being made to the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent route. These changes include widening the scope of the creative element of the route to include leading fashion designers, and improved provisions for applicants in film and television.

Appendix H is being updated to include a number of visa national countries, which will allow a greater number of students to benefit from a streamlined application process by reducing documentary requirements. This change demonstrates the continued focus on improving the UK’s offer to international students.

Today also sees the introduction of a new rule for those transferred to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (section 67 leave), who do not qualify for Refugee or humanitarian protection leave under the existing Rules. In keeping with our commitments in the legislation, and in line with those granted Refugee or humanitarian protection leave, individuals who qualify for section 67 leave will have the right to study, work, access public funds and healthcare and apply for indefinite leave to remain without paying a fee after five years.

New settlement provisions are being created to put beyond doubt that Afghan nationals who worked with our Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and subsequently relocated to the UK with their families, will be able to apply for permanent residence here. As announced on 4 May, these applications will also be free of charge. Afghan locally engaged staff worked in dangerous and challenging situations, regularly putting their lives at risk and we would not have been able to carry out our work there without them. The new dedicated settlement rules make clear our commitment to honour their service and ensure they can continue to build their lives here. The changes also implement plans to extend the ex-gratia redundancy scheme by six years to recognise and honour the service of those made redundant before 19 December 2012, as announced by the Defence Secretary on 11 June.

As announced in March, a new route to settlement for Turkish business people and their families who are in the UK under the European Communities Association Agreement is also being created. Eligibility is being extended for this route to Turkish workers and their families who are also here under the Association Agreement.

Changes are being made to provisions to allow holders of an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW) to present their EVW in a digital format. The changes will also establish a wider set of permissible errors that will overlook specific, minor discrepancies in the biographic details of an EVW, without compromising on the security of the EVW system.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS768
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Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 15 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Personal Independence Payments

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

Last week I came to the House to answer an Urgent Question regarding two PIP appeals to the Upper Tribunal (known as AN and JM) that I had withdrawn. I was unable to comment on a related case that was pending an appeal to the Court of Appeal (known as LB) as it concerned ongoing litigation, and I committed to updating the House at the earliest opportunity on this case when I was able to do so.

I carefully considered this appeal and have decided to not continue with it in order to provide certainty to the claimant involved. The March 2017 amending regulations (Regulations 2(2) and (3) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017) clarified the Department’s position on PIP Daily Living Activity 3 (managing a therapy or monitoring a health condition) and therefore further litigation is unnecessary.

On Wednesday 13th June I received confirmation that the Court of Appeal had consented to my Department’s application to withdraw the appeal in the LB case, and I am pleased to confirm the claimant will be receiving arrears of benefit as soon as possible.

My Department has now begun work to apply the law as stated by the Upper Tribunal in LB and will take all steps necessary to implement it in the best interests of all affected claimants for the period 28 November 2016 (the date of the Upper Tribunal decision in LB) to 16 March 2017 (when the amendment to activity 3 came into force). This work will include a review exercise later in the year. We expect that around 1,000 claimants will be affected.

I am absolutely committed to ensuring that disabled people and people with health conditions get the right support they need. PIP is a modern, personalised benefit that assesses claimants on needs, not conditions. It continues to be a better benefit than its predecessor DLA for claimants with chronic conditions. This Government is spending over £50bn a year supporting people with disabilities and health conditions – this is higher than ever before.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS767
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Department for Transport
Made on: 14 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

EU Transport Council

My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling), has made the following Ministerial Statement:

I attended the only formal Transport Council under the Bulgarian Presidency (the Presidency) in Luxembourg on Thursday 7th June.

The Council reached a General Approach on a proposal to revise the current Regulation on safeguarding connectivity and competition in international air transport, which is intended to provide protection against subsidisation and unfair pricing practices in the supply of air services from non-EU countries. During the discussion, I emphasised the importance of connectivity, consumer choice and avoiding market distortions.

Following this, the Council adopted the Presidency’s proposal for a General Approach on the Directive on port reception facilities. I supported the aim to further protect the marine environment against illegal discharges of waste from ships and to ensure the efficiency of maritime operation in ports, and recognised that concerns raised by the UK had been addressed.

Next, the Presidency presented a Progress Report on the revised rail passengers’ rights and obligations Regulation, which was noted by the Council.

Following this, the Council considered a number of files in Phase One of the Mobility Package (published in May 2017). Firstly, the Presidency concluded that the Council had reached a General Approach on the compromise proposal on the revised European electronic road tolling services (“EETS”) Directive, on which I voiced my support. Next, when considering the proposed Directive on hired goods vehicles, the Presidency observed it did not have sufficient support for a General Approach and concluded that the Council was unable to adopt the proposal. In the discussion, I noted that the UK supported the General Approach, but acknowledged that other Member States wanted further discussion.

Over lunch, Ministers discussed the financing of infrastructure projects in the EU and connectivity in the Western Balkans.

Following this, the Presidency presented Progress Reports on the remaining elements of Phase One of the Mobility Package, covering proposals designed to improve the clarity and enforcement of the EU road transport market (the 'market pillar'), and proposals on the application of social legislation in road transport (the 'social pillar'). I outlined the outstanding areas of concern for the UK and committed to working constructively toward a General Approach and deal moving forward.

Next, the Presidency presented two Progress Reports on proposals from Phase Two of the Mobility Package (published November 2017). The Presidency provided updates on the proposal to amend the current combined transport Directive, which aims to encourage and facilitate modal shift away from the roads and onto alternative means of transport, and to reduce congestion, and the clean and energy-efficient vehicles Directive.

Under Any Other Business, several items were discussed. Notably, Commissioner Bulc presented the third and final Mobility Package proposals, which focused on safety and technology in transport. Commissioner Bulc also presented an action plan on military mobility; in reply to Luxembourg, she confirmed that a range of actions were being pursued under the EU cycling strategy and, in reply to Finland, set out plans for an upcoming public consultation on summertime arrangements. Furthermore, Sweden noted the 18-19 June summit on connected and autonomous vehicles in Gothenburg; and Austria presented transport plans for its incoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Regarding bilateral engagement, I met with Commissioner Bulc and my ministerial counterparts from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Malta, Poland and Romania.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS765
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 14 June 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

June Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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

Agriculture and Fisheries Council will take place on 18 June in Luxembourg.

As the provisional agenda stands, the primary focus for fisheries will be a presentation by the European Commission on the state of play of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and consultation on the fishing opportunities for 2019.

Council will exchange views on a Regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, followed by an exchange of views concerning a Regulation amending Council Regulations as regards fisheries control.

The primary focus for agriculture will be an exchange of views on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2020. Council will discuss three regulations during this item: a Regulation on CAP Strategic Plans; a Regulation on Financing, management and monitoring of the CAP; and a Regulation on common market organisation of agricultural products.

The Commission will also provide an update on the situation in EU agricultural markets.

There are currently six items scheduled under ‘Any other business’:

- protection of honeybees and other pollinators

- memorandum on the CAP in the context of the next MFF

- decreasing availability of water for agriculture in Cyprus

- disposal of skimmed milk powder stocks

- situation in the pig meat market

- joint declaration of the ministers of agriculture of 11 Member States (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) on the Vision of the Central Eastern European Initiative for Knowledge-based Agriculture, Aquaculture and Forestry in the Bio-economy ‘BIOEAST’.

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Department for Transport
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Road Safety - Recent Progress and Future Work

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

The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, but every road death is an unnecessary tragedy. That is why the last Government set out an ambitious range of further measures to enhance the safety of UK road users in its 2015 Road Safety Statement.

Today I am publishing a progress report on the delivery of the planned actions from that Statement. We have made some good headway: 15 of the 23 short term actions have been delivered including three where our original objectives have been exceeded. Penalties for using mobile phones when driving have been significantly increased, we have exceeded our commitments to funding police forces in England and Wales to build drug-driving enforcement capability, and most recently new legislation came into force on 4 June allowing learners to drive on motorways when accompanied by an instructor in a dual control car. I am placing a copy of the progress report in the Libraries of both Houses.

This is good progress. But it is only part of a wider picture.

First, I am pleased today to announce the successful bids for the Safer Roads Fund, which we made available to enable Local Authorities to improve the 50 most dangerous stretches of ‘A’ roads in England. We are investing £100m to tackle these dangerous roads. This sum fully funds all bids from the Local Authorities concerned. The additional £75m initially allocated for the work has not been required, but we will continue to look closely at further scope for capital improvements to improve road safety.

I am placing a copy of the list of successful Local Authorities and the sections of roads to be improved in the Libraries of both Houses and all Local Authorities have been notified directly today. A report on the lessons learned from the bidding process is also being published today, to aid knowledge sharing and capacity building amongst Local Authorities. . I have made this report available in the Libraries of both Houses as well.

Secondly, last week the Prime Minister also announced two important and path-breaking road safety projects: a £350,000 innovation competition to provide police forces with the next generation of mobile breathalyser equipment, enabling swifter and more timely read-outs on drink-driving tests; and a£480,000 partnership between police forces and the RAC Foundation to trial an innovative approach to road collision investigation, carrying out more in-depth, qualitative analysis of the underlying causes of road safety incidents.

This package of measures underlines the Government’s recognition of the importance of road safety. But, thirdly, we intend to go further still, and I have asked the Department to develop a refreshed Road Safety Statement and a two year action plan to address four priority user groups - Young people, Rural road users, Motorcyclists and Older vulnerable users. The first three of these groups are continually overrepresented in our road casualty statistics, while we have data to confirm that the safety of older road users is a growing concern. Our goal is for everyone to continue to enjoy the mobility that driving offers, but to do so safely. The development of this refreshed Road Safety Statement will also take account of the early lessons from the new road collision investigation pilots.

It is important to say that the Department cannot and does not seek to achieve all these actions in isolation. We remain grateful for the constructive and expert support of key partners, including motoring groups such as the AA, RAC and the RAC Foundation; road safety campaigners including PACTS, Road Safety Foundation, Brake, Road Safety Trust, and RoSPA; local authorities and the Police, as well as colleagues in other Government Departments and Devolved Administrations. Officials will work with these organisations, and with colleagues at DVSA, DVLA and Highways England to deliver this new package of road safety measures.

Evalution report (PDF Document, 1.42 MB)
Road Safety Statement (PDF Document, 431.93 KB)
Safer Roads (PDF Document, 147.73 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS761
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Home Office
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Fire Reform

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

I am pleased to announce that I have approved the proposal from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for North Yorkshire (Julia Mulligan), to take on governance of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

I have carefully considered the proposal, taking into account representations made by the public, police and fire personnel, and relevant local authorities in response to the PCC’s local consultation. I have had regard to an Independent Assessment of the PCC’s proposal, carried out by the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA) and today publish this, in the interests of transparency. A copy of the Independent Assessment will be placed in the House Library and published on Gov.UK shortly.

Having had regard to this material, I am of the view that a transfer of fire governance to the PCC is in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, and that there is no adverse effect on public safety.

My officials will now prepare the necessary statutory instrument to give effect to this proposal in the coming months.

As a directly accountable leader overseeing both fire and policing, the PCC can increase efficiency and effectiveness, maximise available resources and improve the service delivered to the public. I look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to North Yorkshire.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS762
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Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

EU Exit

My Rt. Hon. Friend, David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

Today we are publishing two documents produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

These cover:

  • Data
  • Transport

These will be available on GOV.UK today and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS746
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Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 13 June 2018
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

EU Exit, 13 June 2018

My Rt. Hon Friend, David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

Today we are publishing two documents produced by the UK negotiating team for discussion with the EU.

These cover:

  • Civil Judicial Cooperation

  • Company Law (Accounting and Audits)

These will be available on GOV.UK and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS763
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson )
Lords

Justice & Home Affairs post-Council statement

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (David Gauke) has made the following Written Statement.

"The Justice and Home Affairs Council took place in Luxembourg on 4 and 5 June 2018. The UK was represented by a senior official from the Ministry of Justice on Justice Day (4 June). The Home Secretary represented the UK on Interior Day (5 June).

Justice Day began with a discussion on the Contract Law- Sales of Goods Directive. The UK supported the Presidency’s approach of a single set of rules in this measure for all goods (including those with embedded digital content), and on guarantee periods, but expressed concern on the potential for full harmonisation of remedies. A more general concern was expressed around the room, including by the UK, about the impact of the remedies provisions on consumer protections set out in national laws. Work will continue at technical level in line with the Digital Content Directive, taking this concern into account.

The Presidency secured a partial general approach on the Insolvency Directive provisions covering the discharge of debts for honest entrepreneurs, training for judges and practitioners and data collection, in line with UK views.

There was a discussion around certain policy questions on Brussels IIa, with broad support for circulation of provisional measures in relation to child abduction cases, as well as the need for consent in relation to the placement of children in foster or institutional care in another Member State. On the recognition and enforcement of judgments, Member States were divided on whether (and how) to treat cases involving children differently, with the Presidency concluding that further work would be required at technical level.

There was a report on the preparatory steps needed to be taken to ensure that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) becomes operational in 2020. The UK will not participate in the EPPO.

Member States discussed the misuse of user data and the protection of democracy in relation to Facebook. The UK provided an update on the ICO’s (Information Commissioner’s Office’s) investigation. The Commission noted the importance of fully implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and welcomed the cooperation between the UK and Ireland on the Cambridge Analytica case.

Judicial training and the role of the European Judicial Training Network was discussed over lunch. There was broad support for more money for the network in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

The incoming Austrian Presidency provided an update on their programme. They will aim to achieve a general approach in a number of dossiers: insolvency, e-evidence, sale of goods, service of documents and taking of evidence; political consensus on Brussels IIa; and the adoption of the confiscation, Eurojust and ECRIS TCN (European Criminal Records Information System – Third Country Nationals) measures. The July Informal JHA Council will also include a discussion on mutual trust and mutual recognition, and developing ECJ jurisprudence (in particular the Irish references on UK and Polish European Arrest Warrants (EAWs)).

In a joint session of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers there was a policy debate on the draft EU legislation on improving cross-border access to electronic evidence. Ministers agreed on the need to explore further whether to include live intercept and direct access in the scope of the legislation. The Council also reaffirmed widespread support among Member States for a common EU approach towards the negotiation of an executive agreement with international partners, and concluded that the Commission should submit recommendations for negotiating mandates before the summer. The UK has a JHA opt-in decision to take on this Regulation by 22 August.

Ministers adopted Council Conclusions on support for victims of terrorism. A new Coordination Centre for Victims of Terrorism will bring together expertise and facilitate coordination.

Interior Day began with a discussion on progress made on negotiations on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Of the measures that make up CEAS, the UK has only opted in to the recast of the Eurodac Regulation. Member States remained split on the inclusion of a mandatory redistribution mechanism in the recast Dublin Regulation. The June European Council will aim to reach agreement as a priority.

There was a policy debate on the Regulation amending the Schengen Visa Code. The UK does not participate in the border and immigration aspects of the Schengen Acquis so this legislation has no impact upon the UK.

Over lunch, Ministers exchanged views on the current developments on the migration situation at the Eastern, Central and Western Mediterranean migration routes. The UK reinforced our commitment to the EU-Turkey Statement and called for focus on breaking the people smugglers’ business model and encouraged more action on strategic communications. The Council agreed the immediate and short-term measures proposed by the Presidency.

Ministers then exchanged views on enhancing cooperation between counterterrorism authorities. The Council endorsed the importance of the Counter Terrorism Group’s work and endorsed the call for heightened cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement communities.

On internal security, the Council signalled continued support for the multidisciplinary approach of the EU Policy Cycle to counter organised and serious international crime.

Finally, there was a discussion on co-operation between Common Security and Defence Policy operations and EU JHA agencies. The Council was updated on the establishment of the new ‘Crime Information Cell’ in the EUNAVFORMED Operation Sophia."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS760
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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence)
Lords

Contingent Liabilities

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Procurement (Guto Bebb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today laying a Departmental Minute to advise that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is retrospectively notifying Parliament about contingent liabilities not previously disclosed, due to procedural errors. HMT recognise the urgency for these contingent liabilities to be laid before Parliament and have approved them in principle. Final approval is expected pending the outcome of a wider Departmental review, as part of the Balance Sheet Review, being conducted by Her Majesty’s Treasury.

The Minute describes the contingent liabilities that the MOD holds against three Air Command contracts, two Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and one Navy Command contract. It is usual to allow a period of 14 Sitting Days prior to accepting a contingent liability, to provide hon. Members an opportunity to raise any objections. Regrettably, this was not done ahead of contract award in these cases and I sincerely apologise for our failure to do so. The purpose of the Minute is to regularise the position with Parliament. The contracts remain fully enforceable and the associated contingent liabilities will be reported in the 2017-18 MOD Annual Report and Accounts.

Failure to notify these contingent liabilities prior to the award of the associated contracts has been reported to the Public Accounts Committee. The Department has noted the Committee’s concerns about this situation and fully accepts the need to follow the correct approvals and reporting procedures. Air Command, DIO and Navy Command have put in place a series of measures to address this issue including staff briefing, mandated training, improving the clarity of internal guidance and procedures and additional controls in the approvals process, to ensure compliance.

If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

If, following the laying of the Departmental Minute, a Member signifies an objection by writing to me, I undertake to examine the objection and respond to the member concerned.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 12 June 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity )
Lords

Multi-Agency Flood Plan Review Report

My Right Hon Friend the Secretary of State (Michael Gove) has today made the following statement.

On 3 November 2017 I announced that Defra and the Environment Agency would be undertaking a review of multi-agency flood plans produced by local resilience forums (LRFs) in England, as part of the government’s ongoing work to address flood risk (Written Statement - HCWS221). The remit of the review was to look at the effectiveness and consistency of current flood plans, to identify good practice and provide advice on how it can be spread, to help make sure we have the best plans in place across the country. The review was led and overseen by Major General (retd) Tim Cross, as an independent external reviewer.

I am very pleased today to be publishing General Cross’ review. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to General Cross for conducting such careful, insightful analysis and so quickly. The review report includes twelve recommendations which General Cross developed in light of his discussions and evidence gathering with LRFs and specialists across the country and he has brought to the fore important issues that need to be addressed.

I will now consider the report’s recommendations in detail, in consultation with other Departments, and will publish a Government response later in the year.

I have arranged for a copy of the report to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Professor Sir Norman Williams' review into gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has made the following written statement:

On 6 February 2018 I informed the House that I had asked Professor Sir Norman Williams to carry out a rapid policy review of gross negligence manslaughter in healthcare settings. This review was prompted by concerns among healthcare professionals that errors could result in prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter, even in the face of broader organisation and system failings. In particular, there was concern that this fear had had a negative impact on reflection and learning by healthcare professionals, which is vital to improving patient care.

My Department is today publishing the report of Sir Norman’s rapid policy review and a copy is attached.

Any investigation of a healthcare professional for suspected gross negligence manslaughter begins with the death of a patient. A life needlessly cut short and a family grieving. Sir Norman and his Panel have heard from such families. Their experiences were vital in informing this review and I would particularly like to thank them for their courage in providing evidence to the review.

The report finds that prosecutions and convictions of healthcare professionals for gross negligence manslaughter are rare. It also finds that the legal test for the offence is set at an appropriately high level. This should reassure healthcare professionals that only where conduct is ‘truly, exceptionally bad’ and in consideration of ‘all the circumstances’ will the bar for gross negligence manslaughter be met.

However in order to provide greater consistency the report makes recommendations to improve the investigation of allegations of gross negligence manslaughter involving healthcare professionals. These include:

  • developing an agreed understanding of gross negligence manslaughter that reflects the most recent case law;
  • improvements to the way that healthcare professionals provide expert advice and evidence; and
  • improvements to local investigations into unexpected deaths in healthcare to provide a full understanding of the cause of death, ensuring improvements are made to reduce the likelihood of similar incidents.

The report also considers the impact of criminal and regulatory investigations on the willingness of healthcare professionals to reflect on their practice. It finds that reflective material is rarely sought in such investigations. Nonetheless, in order to provide clear assurance to professionals, the report recommends that those regulators that have a power to require information from registrants when investigating their fitness to practise should have this power removed in respect of reflective material.

Finally the report looks at the regulation of healthcare professionals. It makes a number of recommendations for further work to understand inconsistencies in the way that different regulators carry out their fitness to practise functions. It also finds that the General Medical Council’s right to appeal decisions of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service has resulted in a lack of confidence in their regulator as well as having an unanticipated impact on the willingness of doctors, especially trainees, to reflect fully on their practice. Since the PSA has a near identical right of appeal to Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service decisions, it is clear that there would be no gap in the law where regulatory action is being taken as a result of a serious criminal conviction, and the report recommends that the GMC’s right of appeal should be removed.

These recommendations aim to support a just and learning culture in healthcare, where professionals are able to raise concerns and reflect openly on their mistakes but where those who are responsible for providing unacceptable standards of care are held to account. This will support improvements in patient safety.

I thank Sir Norman and his panel for their work in delivering this important report. I accept the recommendations in full.

Professor Sir Norman Williams' review (PDF Document, 781.52 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS751
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Treasury
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Draft legislation for Finance (No.3) Bill

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

The government will introduce Finance (No.3) Bill following the Budget in the autumn.

In line with the approach to tax policy making set out in the government’s documents ‘Tax Policy Making: a new approach’, published in 2010, and ‘The new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process’, published in 2017, the government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the legislation is laid before Parliament.

The government will publish draft clauses for Finance (No.3) Bill on Friday 6 July 2018, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes, responses to consultations and other supporting documents. All publications will be available on the gov.uk website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS757
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Department for Transport
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport )
Lords

Notification of a Contingent Liability

My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling), has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute describing three contingent liabilities relating to a tripartite deal between Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL), First Greater Western Limited (FGW) and the Department for Transport.

Unfortunately, due to the urgent need to finalise the deal and the confidential commercial nature of the negotiations it was not possible to notify Parliament of the particulars of the liability and allow the required 14 days’ notice prior to the liabilities going live. A delay would have resulted in higher HS2 costs and an increased scheduling risk impacting on the December 2026 opening date for Phase 1.

The main element of the deal is a service agreement between FGW, HAL and Heathrow Airport Operating Company (HEOC) for the continuation of non-stop rail services between Paddington and Heathrow Airport. Under this agreement FGW will assume operation of Heathrow Express services. Although this is an agreement between private sector companies, there are significant benefits to the Department, in particular, savings generated from not building a replacement depot for Heathrow Express rolling stock at Langley (the land on which the current depot is situated at Old Oak Common is needed by HS2 for the construction of the high speed railway).

In order to conclude the deal, and secure departmental/HS2 benefits, the Department needed to offer indemnities in relation to three risks that the parties were unwilling or unable to assume or manage. The financial exposure is not high – a conservative estimate is c£12m. But they are unusual and outside the Department’s normal course of business.

The three contingent liabilities are: first, indemnifying FGW against the cost of any delay to delivery of new rolling stock required to operate Heathrow Express services. The department’s exposure is estimated to be £2.25m; second, indemnifying FGW against the cost of any redundancies following the transfer of staff, mainly drivers, from HAL to FGW. The cost is estimated to be c£3.2m; third, an indemnity against contagion from a wider industrial relations dispute – nationwide or franchise wide. The exposure is estimated to be £6.8m.

The Treasury approved these liabilities before they were activated. However, if any Member of Parliament has concerns, he/she may write to me within the next 14 parliamentary sitting days. I will be happy to examine their concerns and provide a response.

Contingent Liability (Word Document, 15.23 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS748
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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

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

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

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

Youth

This session of the Council began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the role of young people in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe. The Council adopted Council conclusions on the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union.

A policy debate was then held on the future priorities for EU Youth policy.

In addition, there was 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 began with the adoption of Council conclusions on the need to bring cultural heritage to the fore across policies in the EU.

There was also 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 was a public deliberation of current legislative proposals. For this, the Council first welcomed 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, information was provided by the French delegation on the regulation on the import of cultural goods. No legislative decisions were made in these debates, so there are no implications for the parliamentary scrutiny reservation.

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

Sport

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

The EU Member States represented in the World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation Board presented information on the Foundation Board meeting held on 16-17 May. The French delegation presented information on the informal meeting of the EU Minister for Sport (held in Paris on 31 May 2018), where there was the signing of a declaration for a Europe of Sport looking to the horizon of the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other

The Austrian delegation set out their work programmes as the incoming Presidency, for the second half of 2018. They highlighted a number of priorities for their Presidency. These priorities included a focus on the work plan for culture 2018+, the successor programme to the Creative Europe programme and enhancing the principle of subsidiarity.

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Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Rough Sleeping

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.

I am today announcing the allocation of a targeted £30m Rough Sleeping Initiative fund to support those sleeping rough and those at risk of sleeping rough in 83 local authorities with the highest numbers of rough sleepers.

On 30 March 2018 we announced a new, cross-Whitehall, multidisciplinary Rough Sleeping Initiative. A £30m fund, targeted at areas with the highest levels of rough sleeping, was part of that package to support the work of the Rough Sleeping Initiative team.

Over the last few months our team of expert practitioners have worked closely with local authorities and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to identify service gaps and create tailored packages to tackle rough sleeping in their area this year. Together they have coproduced bespoke plans to tackle rough sleeping based on local government and the third sector knowledge of what works.

This represents a first significant step in our plans to reduce rough sleeping. It will be followed by a cross-Government strategy, published in July, which will set out how we intend to meet the manifesto commitment of halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027.

This funding will provide for over 500 new staff focused on rough sleeping. This will include more outreach workers to engage with people on the streets, specialist mental health and substance misuse workers and dedicated co-ordinators to drive efforts to reduce rough sleeping in their areas. It will also provide for over 1700 new bedspaces including both emergency and settled accommodation.

The new Rough Sleeping Initiative team will work closely with local areas to implement the plans and to monitor their progress.

In recognition of the expertise needed to deliver reductions in rough sleeping immediately, Jeremy Swain, currently Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Thames Reach, has been brought in to lead the Rough Sleeping Initiative. Jeremy is an outstanding candidate for this position, and he brings with him 30 years of invaluable front-line experience. He will be in post by early July.

A full list of the individual amounts allocated to the 83 local authorities and the GLA has been published on GOV.UK. Further funding for 2019-20 will be announced shortly.

I am confident this package will achieve substantial results in these areas of high need. It will also build upon the work we have already undertaken in order to meet out manifesto commitment. This work includes, piloting the internationally proven Housing First approach in three major regions of England, allocating over £1.2 billion in order to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping, including more upfront funding so local authorities can proactively tackle homelessness pressures in their areas, and also the recent changes made under the Homelessness Reduction Act which means that more people will get the help they need and at an earlier stage - preventing a homelessness crisis from occurring in the first place.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS754
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Treasury
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 25 May 2018

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

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 25 May 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 24 May meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

Banking Package

The Council agreed a General Approach to the Banking Risk Reduction Package including proposals for legislative amendments to the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and Directive (CRD), Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR), and the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD).

Strengthening Administrative Cooperation

The Council discussed measures to strengthen administrative cooperation in the area of VAT, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

General Reverse Charge Mechanism

The Council discussed proposals to allow Member States to apply a temporary VAT General Reverse Charge Mechanism, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

E-Publications

The Council discussed proposals to allow Member States to apply reduced rates of VAT on e-publications, but were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Bulgarian Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

European Semester

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the In-Depth Reviews of macroeconomic imbalances in Member States as part of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure, and the implementation of 2017 Country-Specific Recommendations as assessed in the Commission’s Country Reports, published on 07 March.

2018 Ageing Report

The Council adopted Council conclusions on the 2018 Ageing Report on age-related spending and the sustainability of public finances.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS753
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Competitiveness Council 28-29 May 2018

The Competitiveness Council (Internal Market and Industry) took place on 28 May in Brussels. I represented the UK.

The standing ‘competitiveness check-up’ debate focused on the linkages between internal market integration and competitiveness in the EU. The Commission argued that its analysis showed that the Single Market generates significant economic benefits across a range of sectors. The UK underlined its continuing interest in the success of the Single Market, calling for continued progress, particularly on services, and for the EU to be a force for open international trade. Other Member States picked up similar themes as well as other issues including access to finance.

The Council agreed a General Approach on the revision of the Mutual Recognition Regulation, which aims to improve the functioning of the mutual recognition principle for non-harmonised products in the Single Market. Member States were unanimous in their support for the Presidency’s compromise text and praised the balance struck between the need to support businesses trading across the EU while allowing Member States to protect their legitimate public interests.

The Commission presented its new proposal on platform to business relations, which it believed was a balanced attempt to improve transparency and predictability for users without creating undue burdens on platforms or stifling innovation. The UK responded positively but emphasised the benefits of platforms to businesses, particularly SMEs, and underlined the need to consult businesses. Other Member States generally welcomed the Commission’s approach, but the debate displayed the tension between those that have legislated in this area and those who want to avoid fragmentation in the Single Market as a result of differing national legislation. Some hinted at their preference for further regulatory measures.

The Presidency provided an update on progress in negotiations on the copyright package. Member States also responded to the UK’s ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.

The Commission presented its latest package of Digital Single Market proposals, which focus on the improved use of data at EU level as a tool to drive innovation.

Ministers discussed the opportunities and challenges of Artificial Intelligence, including the role of public and private investment, the impact on labour markets, and ethical and legal questions.

The Commission provided information on its ‘New Deal for Consumers’ proposal, confirming its ambitious timetable for adoption by May 2019. Some Member States raised the dual quality of products as a key concern.

The Commission also presented its Company Law package and a proposal amending the Supplementary Protection Certificates Regulation for the export of medicinal products.

The Presidency also provided updates on work in the area of tourism and within the SOLVIT network; the Austrian delegation presented its priorities as incoming Presidency.

The Competitiveness Council continued on 29 May covering research, innovation and space. Sam Gyimah MP (Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation)represented the UK.

The Council held a policy debate on the future of European space policy. The UK emphasised the global nature of the space sector and the long heritage of technical excellence and research within the European Space Agency. The UK also outlined the case for continued full involvement in EU space programmes such as Galileo and Copernicus.

The Council continued with a discussion on the Progress Report on the Regulation on establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. The UK assured the EU of our commitment to continuing collaboration in science and innovation and highlighted the importance of a continued focus of wider programmes on excellence. Following the discussion, the Council held a plenary session providing an update on the progress of the regulation.

The following sessions adopted two Council Conclusions: the first on accelerating knowledge circulation in the European Union and the second on the European Open Science Cloud.

The Council then agreed a General Approach on the Regulation on the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (2019-2020) complementing the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Ministers agreed to the approach set out by the Commission.

The Council held a policy debate on research and innovation within the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The UK noted the value to the EU of the UK's strength in research and innovation both in terms of results and of expertise in supporting research and innovation as well as emphasising the UK’s continuing desire to engage in European collaborative research and innovation programmes.

The Commission provided information on the outcome of the Presidency event dedicated to space (Sofia, 17-19 April 2018). The Council concluded with Austria’s presentation of its incoming Presidency work programme.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS752
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Department for International Trade
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Fairhead (Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion)
Lords

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement

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 am pleased to announce that my Department will today publish an impact assessment for the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). 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 scrutiny of this Agreement. A copy of this impact assessment will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The European Union and Japan concluded negotiations on this Agreement in December 2017, and have announced their intention to sign this Agreement at an EU-Japan Summit in July, subject to approval by EU Member States in the Council of the European Union.

This Agreement will promote bilateral trade and economic growth between the EU and Japan by eliminating most tariffs and reducing non-tariff measures that businesses face when trading goods and services and investing.

The Government remains committed to supporting the EU’s ambitious trade agenda including the free trade agreements it is putting in place and to date has strongly supported the EU-Japan EPA negotiations.

The Prime Minister and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in August 2017 to ‘work quickly to establish a new economic partnership between Japan and the UK based on the final terms of the EPA’ as the UK leaves the EU. The UK-Japan Trade and Investment Working Group, established last year by the Japan-UK Joint Declaration on Prosperity Cooperation, is tasked to deliver on this commitment and met for the second time in May.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS747
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 11 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Introduction of Medical Examiners and Reforms to Death certification in England and Wales

Between March and June 2016 the Government consulted on a package of reforms to the death certification process and the introduction of medical examiners. The reforms aim to improve engagement with the bereaved in the process of death certification and offer them an opportunity to raise any concerns, as well as improving the quality and accuracy of Medical Certificates of Cause of Death. Safeguards will be enhanced in the process to enable medical examiners to report matters of a clinical governance nature to support local learning and changes to practice and procedures.

As part of the drive to further improve patient safety, I have today published the Government’s response to consultation on the introduction of medical examiners and the reforms of death certification in England and Wales and a copy is attached. This sets out the Government’s intention to introduce a system of medical examiners in England. The Welsh Government consulted separately in Wales.

Medical examiners are a key element of the death certification reforms, which, once in place, will deliver a more comprehensive system of assurances for all non-coronial deaths regardless of whether the deceased is buried or cremated. Medical examiners will be employed in the NHS system, ensuring lines of accountability are separate from NHS acute trusts but allowing for access to information in the sensitive and urgent timescales to register a death.

The response to the consultation demonstrates that there is widespread support for the aims of the reforms and for the introduction of medical examiners, but there were concerns about some aspects of the proposals. In particular concerns were raised about how the proposed model, based in local authorities, would work in practice and about the timeframes for implementing the system. Feedback on a proposed funding model was also received.

Since the Government consulted on the package of Death Certification Reforms, events have moved on. New information about how a medical examiner system could be introduced has been generated by the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) medical examiner pilot sites, early adopters of the medical examiner system, as well as from the Learning from Deaths initiative.

There will be two stages to funding the ME system to enable its introduction while legislation is in progress. Initially, medical examiners will be funded through the existing fee for completing medical cremation forms, in combination with central government funding for medical examiner work not covered by those fees. Following this interim period and when Parliamentary time allows for the system to move to a statutory footing, the funding of the system will need to be revisited. The existing medical cremation forms and fees payable associated with those forms will continue to apply for the interim period.

The Government has proposed that all child deaths (up to age 18) be exempt from the cost associated with the Medical Examiner system. This aligns with the broader purpose of the Government’s recent announcement about steps to ensure that no bereaved family will have to pay for the essential costs of burying or cremating their child.

Response to consultation (PDF Document, 260.07 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS755
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