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
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Troubled Families Evaluation

Today I am pleased to announce publication of the latest Troubled Families Programme national evaluation reports. The Programme 2015-2020 aims to improve outcomes for families and reform services. The national evaluation looks at how well the programme is achieving those aims. The reports published today provide the most significant evidence to date, bringing together findings from the latest analysis of national and local datasets, a cost benefit analysis, case study research and staff survey research.

The latest evidence is encouraging. While many families continue to face challenges, which is to be expected given the complexity of needs of families on the programme, this evidence shows that the programme is improving outcomes for families across a number of measures. When comparing families on the programme with a matched comparison group, analysis indicates that the programme has had a positive impact, reducing the proportion of:

  • Looked After Children by 32%
  • Adults going to prison by 25%
  • Juvenile convictions by 15%
  • Juveniles going to custody by 38%
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants by 10%

In addition, 20,000 families on the programme include one or more adults who have moved into work. The evaluation results also suggest local services are being reformed and the Programme has been successful in driving this change.

The Troubled Families Programme supports families with complex, interconnected problems such as anti-social behaviour, mental health problems or domestic abuse. Rather than responding to each problem, or single family member separately, assigned Troubled Families keyworkers engage with the whole family. Through this approach they coordinate support from a range of services to identify and address family issues as early as possible rather than merely reacting to crises. The full set of national evaluation reports published today together with an evaluation overview policy report can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-evaluation-of-the-troubled-families-programme-2015-to-2020-findings

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1398
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Troubled Families Evaluation

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

Today I am pleased to announce publication of the latest Troubled Families Programme national evaluation reports. The Programme 2015-2020 aims to improve outcomes for families and reform services. The national evaluation looks at how well the programme is achieving those aims. The reports published today provide the most significant evidence to date, bringing together findings from the latest analysis of national and local datasets, a cost benefit analysis, case study research and staff survey research.

The latest evidence is encouraging. While many families continue to face challenges, which is to be expected given the complexity of needs of families on the programme, this evidence shows that the programme is improving outcomes for families across a number of measures. When comparing families on the programme with a matched comparison group, analysis indicates that the programme has had a positive impact, reducing the proportion of:

  • Looked After Children by 32%
  • Adults going to prison by 25%
  • Juvenile convictions by 15%
  • Juveniles going to custody by 38%
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants by 10%

In addition, 20,000 families on the programme include one or more adults who have moved into work. The evaluation results also suggest local services are being reformed and the Programme has been successful in driving this change.

The Troubled Families Programme supports families with complex, interconnected problems such as anti-social behaviour, mental health problems or domestic abuse. Rather than responding to each problem, or single family member separately, assigned Troubled Families keyworkers engage with the whole family. Through this approach they coordinate support from a range of services to identify and address family issues as early as possible rather than merely reacting to crises. The full set of national evaluation reports published today together with an evaluation overview policy report can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-evaluation-of-the-troubled-families-programme-2015-to-2020-findings

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1430
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy

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

The U.K. is in the early stages of a transport revolution. For much of the past half century, many of the improvements to transport have been gradual and incremental, focused on increasing the capacity of existing infrastructure to meet growing demand. Yet today important new technologies are emerging that will transform transport and travel. Zero tailpipe emission cars are replacing those powered by fossil fuels. Self-driving vehicles have the potential to allow people with mobility issues to enjoy far greater freedom to travel. And advances in data production and use are already improving the way that transport services are devised, planned and delivered.

In they are properly managed, the transport technologies of the future will not just make journeys faster. They will also make them safer, easier, more comfortable and more affordable. They will make our towns and cities quieter and less polluted. And they will give us the option to see mobility as a service, integrated and accessible to all.

But this transformation potentially offers huge industrial opportunities as well, including new high quality jobs, new investment and increased national productivity.

The Government has put the Future of Mobility at the heart of its Industrial Strategy in an effort to take full advantage of these extraordinary opportunities. With a long history of transport innovation, a world-class research base and many established technology leaders, the UK is well placed to harness its domestic expertise and to profit from a growing market for cleaner, safer and more efficient transport.

Such fundamental change in transport within a relatively short period of time, and across so many different technologies, is unprecedented. The sector is at a point of inflection. The window of opportunity is currently open; but for how much longer it will be so, no one can say.

Today the Government is publishing its Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy. This sets out its approach to working with innovators, companies, Local Authorities and other stakeholders in order to harness the developing benefits of new urban mobility technologies.

In the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, the Government has:

  • Outlined the benefits it wants mobility innovation to deliver, and the Principles by which to achieve them;

  • Launched an ambitious Regulatory Review;

  • Established a wide programme of work to meet the Grand Challenge.

Alongside this document it has:

  • Launched a £90 million competition for cities to deliver Future of Mobility Zones, which follows £60 million awarded to 10 cities across the UK via the Transforming Cities Fund

  • Published a response to the last mile call for evidence it conducted in summer

  • Outlined next steps on the E-Cargo Bike Grant

As a country, our approach to these technologies will need to adapt over the coming decades. The Government will need to gather and respond to evidence of the impacts of new mobility technologies and services as they emerge. It will also need to set out its thinking on the future of rural mobility in due course, to explore how the benefits of transport innovation can be enjoyed by everyone, wherever they live.

We have an extraordinary opportunity here – to put this country at the heart of the next mobility revolution, and deliver a cleaner, greener, more productive and more inclusive country for future generations.

I have laid a copy of the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy in the libraries of both Houses.

Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy (PDF Document, 3.64 MB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1424
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords))
Lords

Department for Health and Social Care Update

My Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Health (Stephen Hammond) has made the following written statement:

Today, I am updating the House on the Department for Health and Social Care’s plans for the continuity of reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event we exit the EU without a deal.

Under current EU-based entitlements, the UK pays for the healthcare costs of 180,000 UK nationals, mostly pensioners, in health systems across the EU. There are around 50 million UK tourist visits to the EU annually; the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) is used in around 0.5% of these visits. Moreover, approximately 50,000 posted workers are protected through the current arrangements.

The current EU healthcare arrangements operate on a reciprocal basis. The UK, EU Member States and EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) reimburse each other for the healthcare of those who remain covered by their respective social security schemes when living in, working in or visiting each other’s country. These arrangements are a function of EU membership that also applies to the EFTA countries, and are an exception to the arrangements that apply to the rest of the world. As a result, extending these functions in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal is subject to agreement and cannot be done by the UK alone.

Separately, the UK and Irish Governments are committed to continuing to facilitate access to healthcare services within the Common Travel Area (CTA). Discussions to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements are underway between the UK and Ireland and both Governments are taking legislative steps to enable us to implement these arrangements by exit day. Additional guidance for those living and working in the CTA has been published on the GOV.UK website.

While EU reciprocal healthcare is funded and administered on a UK-wide basis, the Devolved Administrations have responsibility for healthcare provision in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are working closely with all parts of the UK on our approach.

My Department has published country specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK about healthcare arrangements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal and has been working closely with EU Member States and EFTA states to protect existing healthcare arrangements for these and other groups.

The UK Government’s Proposal

Subject to Parliament ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement, in a deal scenario current reciprocal healthcare rights will continue during the implementation period until 31 December 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement and EFTA Agreements also give longer-term reciprocal healthcare rights to those who are living in or previously worked in the other country on exit day.

We have proposed to EU Member States and EFTA states that we should maintain the existing healthcare arrangements in a no deal scenario until 31 December 2020, with the aim of minimising disruption to UK nationals and EU and EFTA state citizens’ healthcare provision.

This would mean that we will continue to pay for healthcare costs for current or former UK residents for whom the UK has responsibility who are living or working in or visiting the EU and EFTA states, where individuals are not covered by the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements. We are hopeful that we will reach such agreements.

We have brought forward legislation to enable us to implement new reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 26 October 2018 and passed Report stage in the House of Lords on 12 March 2019. It will provide us with the power to fund and implement comprehensive reciprocal healthcare arrangements after we leave the EU. We have also laid three Statutory Instruments which will give us the specific legal basis to implement our proposal.

Minimising disruption in the event of no dealAs outlined above, we want to work with EU partners to protect existing healthcare arrangements beyond exit day. If that is not possible, healthcare arrangements in many EU Member States would revert to those which apply to the rest of the world. Whenever travelling abroad, individuals are always responsible for ensuring they have travel insurance. It is already the case that we advise people to obtain comprehensive travel insurance when working, studying or travelling to the EU and the rest of the world. This will remain our advice in all circumstances.

Many people rely on EHICs. In a no deal scenario, these may no longer be valid in EU Member States (and in EFTA states for those visitors not in scope of the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements and travelling after exit day). UK nationals living in or travelling to EU Member States should check up to date information GOV.UK and NHS.UK and ensure they have taken the necessary steps to prepare.

Although we are hopeful that we can agree reciprocal healthcare arrangements, as a responsible Government we have developed a multi-layered approach to minimise disruption to healthcare provision to UK nationals currently in or travelling to the EU Member States and to those UK nationals not covered by the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements:

  1. We welcome action from those EU Member States who have prepared their own legislation for a no deal scenario. EU Member States such as Spain have made public commitments that they will enable resident UK nationals and visitors to access healthcare in the same way they do now.
  2. As noted above, the UK and Irish Governments are committed to continuing to facilitate access to healthcare services within the Common Travel Area (CTA). Discussions to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements are underway between the UK and Ireland and both Governments are taking legislative steps to enable us to implement these arrangements by exit day. Additional guidance for those living and working in the CTA has been published on the GOV.UK website.
  3. The UK Government has already agreed with Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland (EFTA) to protect citizens’ rights. This means that UK nationals already living in EFTA states and vice versa will be able to access healthcare as they do now. However, in line with the arrangements we are seeking with EU Member States, we would like to protect the healthcare cover of visitors not in scope of the citizens’ rights agreements travelling between the EFTA states and the UK after exit day to enable them to continue to be covered for needs-arising healthcare (currently facilitated under the EHIC system).
  4. The UK Government has committed to fund healthcare for UK nationals (and others for whom the UK is responsible) who have applied for, or are undergoing, treatments in the EU prior to and on exit day, for up to one year, to protect the most vulnerable. The Statutory Instruments introduced on 11 February would also enable some UK residents to recover costs if they are charged. For UK nationals who are visitors, we will refund costs directly. For UK nationals who are resident in another Member State, this commitment requires us to reach an arrangement with individual EU Member States. We are hopeful that they will remain willing to treat patients and accept reimbursement and are in discussions to seek such an agreement.
  5. We have published guidance profiles on GOV.UK and NHS.UK and will update the guidance with further developments.
  6. Should UK nationals face changes in how they can access healthcare, they may use NHS services if they return to live in the UK. As is currently the case, UK nationals living in the EU will have an entitlement to NHS services as soon as they take up ordinary residence in England. We will continue to work closely with the NHS in England and across the Devolved Administrations in the UK to ensure returners can appropriately access NHS services. A British citizen who moves to the UK can be considered ordinarily resident upon arrival if it is clear that they are here to reside on a properly settled basis for the time being. British citizens who return to live in the UK partway through their treatment will be able to access NHS services.
  7. Those who have their healthcare funded by the UK under current EU arrangements and are resident in EU Member States on exit day can use NHS services in England without charge when on a temporary visit to England.
  8. The Association of British insurers (ABI) has advised that travel insurance policies will cover emergency medical treatment costs as standard that could have been reclaimed through the EHIC, although some routine treatments would not be covered. People should be aware that there are a small number of policies in the market that state they will only provide cover if you have and use an EHIC. The ABI have advised that all individuals should check their current travel insurance thoroughly to ensure they have the correct amount of cover for their requirements. Additional guidance has been published on the ABI website here.

Advice for citizens of EU Member States and EFTA states

We have confirmed that, in a no deal scenario, we will protect the healthcare rights of citizens from EU Member States and EFTA states, who are living lawfully in the UK on exit day, and this includes their entitlements to NHS cover.

Advice for UK nationals

In the event that we cannot reach an agreement with EU Member States and EFTA states for those nationals not in scope of the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements, it is not possible for the UK Government to guarantee access unilaterally to healthcare abroad, beyond the situations set out above. We will be employing a small number of overseas healthcare advisers in UK Missions across Europe who will be able to provide advice where individuals have particular need for support. However, it is vital that all UK nationals who are currently or planning to reside in, travel to, work or study in EU Member States and EFTA states take the following actions now:

Residents: The UK Government has published advice setting out options to access healthcare under local laws in EU Member States and EFTA states and what people can do to prepare. We have analysed 31 countries and strongly advise that all affected UK nationals check the latest country specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

Substantial numbers of UK nationals will already be eligible for or enrolled in the relevant health authorities locally, either because of their residency, benefits or employment status. There is no reason to think that a no deal scenario will affect these arrangements where EU countries offer equal access to healthcare.

For some people it may be advisable to register their healthcare entitlement with their relevant health authority locally. This may mean that they will need to join a social insurance scheme and contribute as other residents do. Others will need to buy private healthcare insurance.

Visitors: The Government always advises UK nationals to take out travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations. UK nationals, including those with pre-existing conditions, planning to visit an EU Member State or EFTA states on or after exit day should continue to buy travel insurance.

As with any policy, UK nationals are advised to make sure they understand the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy and that the policy is sufficient to cover healthcare needs. Most travel insurance policies will cover emergency treatment as standard but we advise all travelers to check their policies as some treatments may not be covered in the countries they are visiting.

Any questions regarding individual travel insurance policies should be directed to the relevant insurance companies or refer to guidance published on the ABI website here.

If we do not reach an agreement with EU Member States and EFTA states for those nationals not in scope of the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements, EHIC may no longer be valid after exit day. ABI advice is that, whilst almost all insurance policies will remain valid, some insurance policies may be affected. There are a small number of insurance policies which are dependent on having an EHIC, so if you have purchased one of these policies it is recommended you speak to your provider to ensure you are fully protected before you leave the UK.

Workers: We have published country specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK to help UK workers make the necessary preparations for a no deal scenario. We strongly advise that workers ensure they have comprehensive healthcare insurance for the full period of their stay.

Students: Currently, students residing in the UK who are going on a placement abroad are entitled to a UK-issued EHIC to cover healthcare costs for the duration of their placement.

We cannot guarantee that this will continue for all EU Member States in the event of a no deal scenario where the existing arrangements are not extended. We strongly advise that students check the country specific guidance that we have published on GOV.UK and NHS.UK and make the necessary preparations for a no deal scenario.

The EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements protect the rights of UK nationals who are studying in an EFTA state over exit day, and who are entitled to a UK EHIC, to continue to benefit from the EHIC scheme for the duration of their course.

Returners: As is currently the case, UK nationals who return to live in the UK and meet the ordinarily resident test will be able to access NHS care on the same basis as other UK residents. If these people return to live in the UK partway through their treatment, they will be treated by the NHS in a fair and equitable way.

UK nationals who have their healthcare funded by the UK under current EU arrangements and are resident in the EU on exit day can use NHS services in England without charge when on a temporary visit to England.

UK nationals who are resident in an EU country, who do not have their healthcare funded by the UK under current EU arrangements and who do not wish to return to the UK, should seek to formalise their current residency status if they are eligible. Guidance has been made available on GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

The UK is taking steps to protect individuals whose healthcare it is responsible for under current EU arrangements, but who are not UK nationals. Where this paper refers to UK nationals, it includes non-nationals for whom the UK is responsible.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1429
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Stephen Hammond (Minister of State for Health)
Commons

Department for Health and Social Care Update

Today, I am updating the House on the Department for Health and Social Care’s plans for the continuity of reciprocal healthcare arrangements in the event we exit the EU without a deal.

Under current EU-based entitlements, the UK pays for the healthcare costs of 180,000 UK nationals, mostly pensioners, in health systems across the EU. There are around 50 million UK tourist visits to the EU annually; the European Healthcare Insurance Card (EHIC) is used in around 0.5% of these visits. Moreover, approximately 50,000 posted workers are protected through the current arrangements.

The current EU healthcare arrangements operate on a reciprocal basis. The UK, EU Member States and EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) reimburse each other for the healthcare of those who remain covered by their respective social security schemes when living in, working in or visiting each other’s country. These arrangements are a function of EU membership that also applies to the EFTA countries, and are an exception to the arrangements that apply to the rest of the world. As a result, extending these functions in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal is subject to agreement and cannot be done by the UK alone.

Separately, the UK and Irish Governments are committed to continuing to facilitate access to healthcare services within the Common Travel Area (CTA). Discussions to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements are underway between the UK and Ireland and both Governments are taking legislative steps to enable us to implement these arrangements by exit day. Additional guidance for those living and working in the CTA has been published on the GOV.UK website.

While EU reciprocal healthcare is funded and administered on a UK-wide basis, the Devolved Administrations have responsibility for healthcare provision in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are working closely with all parts of the UK on our approach.

My Department has published country specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK about healthcare arrangements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal and has been working closely with EU Member States and EFTA states to protect existing healthcare arrangements for these and other groups.

The UK Government’s Proposal

Subject to Parliament ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement, in a deal scenario current reciprocal healthcare rights will continue during the implementation period until 31 December 2020. The Withdrawal Agreement and EFTA Agreements also give longer-term reciprocal healthcare rights to those who are living in or previously worked in the other country on exit day.

We have proposed to EU Member States and EFTA states that we should maintain the existing healthcare arrangements in a no deal scenario until 31 December 2020, with the aim of minimising disruption to UK nationals and EU and EFTA state citizens’ healthcare provision.

This would mean that we will continue to pay for healthcare costs for current or former UK residents for whom the UK has responsibility who are living or working in or visiting the EU and EFTA states, where individuals are not covered by the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements. We are hopeful that we will reach such agreements.

We have brought forward legislation to enable us to implement new reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The Healthcare (International Arrangements) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 26 October 2018 and passed Report stage in the House of Lords on 12 March 2019. It will provide us with the power to fund and implement comprehensive reciprocal healthcare arrangements after we leave the EU. We have also laid three Statutory Instruments which will give us the specific legal basis to implement our proposal.

Minimising disruption in the event of no dealAs outlined above, we want to work with EU partners to protect existing healthcare arrangements beyond exit day. If that is not possible, healthcare arrangements in many EU Member States would revert to those which apply to the rest of the world. Whenever travelling abroad, individuals are always responsible for ensuring they have travel insurance. It is already the case that we advise people to obtain comprehensive travel insurance when working, studying or travelling to the EU and the rest of the world. This will remain our advice in all circumstances.

Many people rely on EHICs. In a no deal scenario, these may no longer be valid in EU Member States (and in EFTA states for those visitors not in scope of the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements and travelling after exit day). UK nationals living in or travelling to EU Member States should check up to date information GOV.UK and NHS.UK and ensure they have taken the necessary steps to prepare.

Although we are hopeful that we can agree reciprocal healthcare arrangements, as a responsible Government we have developed a multi-layered approach to minimise disruption to healthcare provision to UK nationals currently in or travelling to the EU Member States and to those UK nationals not covered by the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements:

  1. We welcome action from those EU Member States who have prepared their own legislation for a no deal scenario. EU Member States such as Spain have made public commitments that they will enable resident UK nationals and visitors to access healthcare in the same way they do now.
  2. As noted above, the UK and Irish Governments are committed to continuing to facilitate access to healthcare services within the Common Travel Area (CTA). Discussions to continue reciprocal healthcare arrangements are underway between the UK and Ireland and both Governments are taking legislative steps to enable us to implement these arrangements by exit day. Additional guidance for those living and working in the CTA has been published on the GOV.UK website.
  3. The UK Government has already agreed with Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland (EFTA) to protect citizens’ rights. This means that UK nationals already living in EFTA states and vice versa will be able to access healthcare as they do now. However, in line with the arrangements we are seeking with EU Member States, we would like to protect the healthcare cover of visitors not in scope of the citizens’ rights agreements travelling between the EFTA states and the UK after exit day to enable them to continue to be covered for needs-arising healthcare (currently facilitated under the EHIC system).
  4. The UK Government has committed to fund healthcare for UK nationals (and others for whom the UK is responsible) who have applied for, or are undergoing, treatments in the EU prior to and on exit day, for up to one year, to protect the most vulnerable. The Statutory Instruments introduced on 11 February would also enable some UK residents to recover costs if they are charged. For UK nationals who are visitors, we will refund costs directly. For UK nationals who are resident in another Member State, this commitment requires us to reach an arrangement with individual EU Member States. We are hopeful that they will remain willing to treat patients and accept reimbursement and are in discussions to seek such an agreement.
  5. We have published guidance profiles on GOV.UK and NHS.UK and will update the guidance with further developments.
  6. Should UK nationals face changes in how they can access healthcare, they may use NHS services if they return to live in the UK. As is currently the case, UK nationals living in the EU will have an entitlement to NHS services as soon as they take up ordinary residence in England. We will continue to work closely with the NHS in England and across the Devolved Administrations in the UK to ensure returners can appropriately access NHS services. A British citizen who moves to the UK can be considered ordinarily resident upon arrival if it is clear that they are here to reside on a properly settled basis for the time being. British citizens who return to live in the UK partway through their treatment will be able to access NHS services.
  7. Those who have their healthcare funded by the UK under current EU arrangements and are resident in EU Member States on exit day can use NHS services in England without charge when on a temporary visit to England.
  8. The Association of British insurers (ABI) has advised that travel insurance policies will cover emergency medical treatment costs as standard that could have been reclaimed through the EHIC, although some routine treatments would not be covered. People should be aware that there are a small number of policies in the market that state they will only provide cover if you have and use an EHIC. The ABI have advised that all individuals should check their current travel insurance thoroughly to ensure they have the correct amount of cover for their requirements. Additional guidance has been published on the ABI website here.

Advice for citizens of EU Member States and EFTA states

We have confirmed that, in a no deal scenario, we will protect the healthcare rights of citizens from EU Member States and EFTA states, who are living lawfully in the UK on exit day, and this includes their entitlements to NHS cover.

Advice for UK nationals

In the event that we cannot reach an agreement with EU Member States and EFTA states for those nationals not in scope of the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements, it is not possible for the UK Government to guarantee access unilaterally to healthcare abroad, beyond the situations set out above. We will be employing a small number of overseas healthcare advisers in UK Missions across Europe who will be able to provide advice where individuals have particular need for support. However, it is vital that all UK nationals who are currently or planning to reside in, travel to, work or study in EU Member States and EFTA states take the following actions now:

Residents: The UK Government has published advice setting out options to access healthcare under local laws in EU Member States and EFTA states and what people can do to prepare. We have analysed 31 countries and strongly advise that all affected UK nationals check the latest country specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

Substantial numbers of UK nationals will already be eligible for or enrolled in the relevant health authorities locally, either because of their residency, benefits or employment status. There is no reason to think that a no deal scenario will affect these arrangements where EU countries offer equal access to healthcare.

For some people it may be advisable to register their healthcare entitlement with their relevant health authority locally. This may mean that they will need to join a social insurance scheme and contribute as other residents do. Others will need to buy private healthcare insurance.

Visitors: The Government always advises UK nationals to take out travel insurance when going overseas, both to EU and non-EU destinations. UK nationals, including those with pre-existing conditions, planning to visit an EU Member State or EFTA states on or after exit day should continue to buy travel insurance.

As with any policy, UK nationals are advised to make sure they understand the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy and that the policy is sufficient to cover healthcare needs. Most travel insurance policies will cover emergency treatment as standard but we advise all travelers to check their policies as some treatments may not be covered in the countries they are visiting.

Any questions regarding individual travel insurance policies should be directed to the relevant insurance companies or refer to guidance published on the ABI website here.

If we do not reach an agreement with EU Member States and EFTA states for those nationals not in scope of the EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements, EHIC may no longer be valid after exit day. ABI advice is that, whilst almost all insurance policies will remain valid, some insurance policies may be affected. There are a small number of insurance policies which are dependent on having an EHIC, so if you have purchased one of these policies it is recommended you speak to your provider to ensure you are fully protected before you leave the UK.

Workers: We have published country specific guidance on GOV.UK and NHS.UK to help UK workers make the necessary preparations for a no deal scenario. We strongly advise that workers ensure they have comprehensive healthcare insurance for the full period of their stay.

Students: Currently, students residing in the UK who are going on a placement abroad are entitled to a UK-issued EHIC to cover healthcare costs for the duration of their placement.

We cannot guarantee that this will continue for all EU Member States in the event of a no deal scenario where the existing arrangements are not extended. We strongly advise that students check the country specific guidance that we have published on GOV.UK and NHS.UK and make the necessary preparations for a no deal scenario.

The EFTA Citizens’ Rights Agreements protect the rights of UK nationals who are studying in an EFTA state over exit day, and who are entitled to a UK EHIC, to continue to benefit from the EHIC scheme for the duration of their course.

Returners: As is currently the case, UK nationals who return to live in the UK and meet the ordinarily resident test will be able to access NHS care on the same basis as other UK residents. If these people return to live in the UK partway through their treatment, they will be treated by the NHS in a fair and equitable way.

UK nationals who have their healthcare funded by the UK under current EU arrangements and are resident in the EU on exit day can use NHS services in England without charge when on a temporary visit to England.

UK nationals who are resident in an EU country, who do not have their healthcare funded by the UK under current EU arrangements and who do not wish to return to the UK, should seek to formalise their current residency status if they are eligible. Guidance has been made available on GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

The UK is taking steps to protect individuals whose healthcare it is responsible for under current EU arrangements, but who are not UK nationals. Where this paper refers to UK nationals, it includes non-nationals for whom the UK is responsible.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1396
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Sajid Javid (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Protective security at Places of Worship

The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with New Zealand against terrorism and we will not falter in our commitment to uphold the values of tolerance, religious freedom, and democracy.

I have discussed with police and religious leaders further measures we can take to protect our mosques and communities from any threats here in the UK.

The police have increased the number of reassurance patrols around mosques and are increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, including giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.

This Government recognises that our communities remain anxious. We are committed to working with faith groups and engaging them on existing measures that fund and protect all places of worship. We will be working with groups including the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Tell MAMA and those representing other faiths to review what more can and should be done to protect faith institutions. This engagement will start immediately.

The Government is committed to acting quickly in response to these concerns. We are therefore announcing today an uplift of funding for the next year of the Places of Worship Protective Security Fund to £1.6 million. This is double the amount awarded last year. The fund will provide financial support to places of worship for the purchase of physical protective security measures such as fencing, lighting and access control. We will make it easier for places of worship to apply, reducing the administrative burden whilst widening the criteria so places no longer need to show they have already experienced hate crime. Our focus will be on helping those who are vulnerable to hate fuelled attacks.

Physical security measures are only part of the solution. That is why the Government is also announcing a new £5 million fund over 3 years to provide security training for Places of Worship. We will be working closely with communities and faith leaders to develop this new scheme and will, as soon as possible, be opening up a competitive process.

We are proud of all our faith communities and we are absolutely committed to ensuring they are able to worship and live their lives in safety, and free from fear.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1395
WS
Home Office
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Protective security at Places of Worship

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

The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with New Zealand against terrorism and we will not falter in our commitment to uphold the values of tolerance, religious freedom, and democracy.

I have discussed with police and religious leaders further measures we can take to protect our mosques and communities from any threats here in the UK.

The police have increased the number of reassurance patrols around mosques and are increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, including giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.

This Government recognises that our communities remain anxious. We are committed to working with faith groups and engaging them on existing measures that fund and protect all places of worship. We will be working with groups including the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, Tell MAMA and those representing other faiths to review what more can and should be done to protect faith institutions. This engagement will start immediately.

The Government is committed to acting quickly in response to these concerns. We are therefore announcing today an uplift of funding for the next year of the Places of Worship Protective Security Fund to £1.6 million. This is double the amount awarded last year. The fund will provide financial support to places of worship for the purchase of physical protective security measures such as fencing, lighting and access control. We will make it easier for places of worship to apply, reducing the administrative burden whilst widening the criteria so places no longer need to show they have already experienced hate crime. Our focus will be on helping those who are vulnerable to hate fuelled attacks.

Physical security measures are only part of the solution. That is why the Government is also announcing a new £5 million fund over 3 years to provide security training for Places of Worship. We will be working closely with communities and faith leaders to develop this new scheme and will, as soon as possible, be opening up a competitive process.

We are proud of all our faith communities and we are absolutely committed to ensuring they are able to worship and live their lives in safety, and free from fear.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1428
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Personal injury

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

"The Damages Act 1996 (“the Act”) requires the Lord Chancellor to start a review of the personal injury discount rate within 90 days of and including the date on which the amendments made to the Act by the Civil Liability Act 2018 came into force, which occurred on 20 December 2018.

The Act requires that the Lord Chancellor conducts the review and determines whether the rate should be changed or kept unchanged within 140 days of and including the day on which the review starts. It also requires the Lord Chancellor, in conducting the review, must consult (a) the Government Actuary and that this consultation must start within 20 days of and including the start of the review; and (b) the Treasury.

In accordance with these statutory requirements, I have decided to start the review today (19 March 2019) with the consequence that I must conduct the review and make the determination about the rate on or before 5 August 2019.

I will start my consultation with the Government Actuary no later than 7 April 2019 and will start my consultation with the Treasury at the same time.

I have placed copies of the Terms of Reference that I propose to issue to the Government Actuary and the Treasury for their respective consultations in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

I will make a further announcement on the completion of the review."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1427
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Technical Education Reform

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills (Anne Milton) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today, I am pleased to launch the first stage consultation on the post-16 review of qualifications at level 3 and below in England.

This review, alongside the development of T Levels, is central to building a world class technical education system. Our ambition is to develop a qualifications system for all, in which every student benefits from high quality study that helps them realise their talents and achieve their career ambitions. It is vital to addressing our country’s productivity and skills gaps and achieving the international competitiveness on which our future prosperity depends.

The current qualifications system at level 3 and below is complex, with around 12,000 qualifications. Some of the qualifications are well recognised and valued, but as the Wolf and Sainsbury reviews identified, too many are poorly understood and poor quality, weakening their currency and value for individuals, employers and the economy as whole.

The review aims to simplify the landscape, ensuring that every single qualification is necessary and has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes. At level 3, we want A Levels and T Levels to be the qualifications of choice for students choosing classroom-based study, and for more students to study and achieve at level 3. Subject to the review and the outcomes of our consultation, we expect that where a qualification at level 3 overlaps with a T Level or A Level, it would not, in future, be approved for funding for 16 to 19 year olds.

At level 2 and below, qualifications should enable progression to a higher level of study for those that are able to do so; and for those who are not, there should be high quality qualifications that lead to a good range of employment options and opportunities to study at a later stage.

To drive up quality and ensure fairness in the system at an early stage, in August 2020 we will withdraw approval for funding for older qualifications, where there are newer, more robust versions that have been re-developed to meet performance table rules.

We recognise that qualifications in scope of this review are taken by a range of learners, including adults and those with additional needs, such as special educational needs and disabilities. A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work. We want to be confident that the qualifications available work for all students, irrespective of their specific needs.

It is important that we take the time to get these changes right and listen carefully to the sector’s views. This is why we are consulting in two stages. We are looking first at the principles that should guide the review before moving on in the second stage consultation to detailed proposals for change, which we will bring forward later in the year. I strongly encourage everyone with an interest to contribute to the debate, so that we can work together to build the world class technical education system that our students deserve and that our country needs.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity , and Lords' Minister)
Lords

MARCH EU ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL

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

Strategic EU long-term vision for a climate neutral economy – policy debate:

The Presidency invited Member States to give their views on the Commission’s draft long-term strategy on climate, ‘A Clean Planet for all’, following an initial exchange of views at the Environment Council on 20th December 2018. The Presidency asked for views on the challenges and opportunities arising from the transition to a climate-neutral economy and the enabling framework required to stimulate investment, especially private sector investment, in technology, education, and training.

Member States’ interventions focused on four main areas. Firstly, a number of Member States gave their views on the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets for 2030, and the proposed target of net-zero GHG emissions in the EU by 2050. Some welcomed the ambition of the Commission’s proposed 2050 target, while others cautioned against any revision to the EU’s 2030 targets. Secondly, many argued that the strategy must recognise and enable a socially fair and just transition recognising the different impacts across Member States, regions, and sectors of the economy. Thirdly, a number spoke of the need to frame the strategy positively, as the transition to a low-carbon economy presents opportunities including for competitiveness, employment, public health and the environment. Fourthly, the transition should be acceptable to citizens and businesses to give investors’ confidence in the direction of travel, given that both public and private investment will be crucial to the transition.

I intervened to welcome the Commission’s strategy as a positive response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on global warming of 1.5 degrees published in October 2018. I spoke of the need to ensure that all sectors of the economy take action to tackle climate change while at the same time managing the impact on those sectors disproportionately affected. I referred to the benefits of clean growth and that both technological and nature-based solutions must play their part in reducing emissions, including carbon capture usage and storage, and natural carbon sinks, such as mangrove forests. I emphasised that private sector investment and green finance will be integral to financing the transition and highlighted the UK’s funding for low-carbon innovation. In closing, I underscored that the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September would be an important milestone, and that the UK intends to play a leading role on climate resilience at the Summit.

Drinking Water Directive – General Approach

The Presidency invited Member States to agree the proposed General Approach, stressing debate should focus on Article 10a and 10b, (materials and substances in contact with water) and Article 13 (access to water). The Commission urged Member States to agree the text, noting that they would reserve their position due to concerns on Article 10a.

The UK, along with a number of other Member States, fully supported Article 10a and 10b. Others expressed concern, but noted that ultimately they could accept the proposed text. These Member States also called for further work to help understand the impacts of the proposal and to clarify the text. Latvia, Estonia and Austria were unable to accept the General Approach due to Article 10a.

On Article 13, Member States noted the delicate Council position and agreed that the Presidency text provided a good compromise. The UK highlighted concerns regarding subsidiarity, drawing attention to the UK Parliament’s reasoned opinion but confirmed that it could accept the compromise text.

The Presidency concluded the General Approach had been agreed. The Commission noted that more work was needed on Article 10a and they would issue a formal declaration outlining their concerns.

Greening the European Semester – exchange of views

The Council exchanged views on the Greening of the European Semester and post 2020 investments (6260/19) with Member States stressing the importance of the environmental dimension. A group of Member States recognised the importance of taking the Paris Agreement into account.

EU framework on endocrine disruptors – policy debate

The Commission stressed the need for a coherent approach based on scientific advice, and the need to follow the precautionary approach where the science was inconclusive. They announced a cross-cutting fitness check on endocrine disruptors (with the aim of concluding findings in early 2020) and a new comprehensive forum to engage stakeholders.

Member States welcomed the Commission communication, with significant differences between the levels of ambition expressed. A small number of Member States led a group calling for more concrete actions; including a ban on endocrine disruptors in toys and consumer goods. Others, including the UK, were more cautious, stressing the need for further research and emphasising the importance of risk-based measures.

AOB items

The following items were also discussed under Any Other Business.

  1. Global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption:

Council noted the information from the Commission on the proposal to revise the Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport. The aim of the proposal is to reduce the administrative burden for ships having to report under both EU regulations and the global data collection system for fuel oil consumption, established recently by the International Maritime Organisation.

  1. Better EU enforcement of the EU phasedown of hydrocarbons:

Council noted the information from the Commission.

  1. Tackling greenhouse gas emissions through aviation pricing:

Council noted the information from the Belgian delegation concerning their proposal for a fair, European pricing system on aviation. This information was previously presented at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 12th February by the Dutch delegation. Some Member State delegations intervened in support of further work on this. The Commission stated that they will consider existing policy instruments and assess whether there is a need to make a legislative proposal.

  1. Strengthening the coherence between EU free trade agreements and the Paris climate change agreement:

Council noted the information from the French, Spanish, and Luxembourgish delegations, proposing that ratification of the Paris Agreement should be an essential clause of the EU’s trade agreements with third countries, and that the Council should be able to suspend trade agreements following breaches of the obligations under the Paris Agreement. Other Member States expressed a degree of caution on the proposed approach. The Commission noted that such a proposal would need to be operational.

  1. Outcome of the intermediary sessions of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and to the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) (Geneva, 5-7 February 2019)

Council noted the information from the Presidency and the Commission regarding the work of the EU and Member States. It also noted the decisions adopted at the Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on SEA, which the UK, other Member States, and the EU attended. Lithuania stated that they considered that further steps were needed concerning the case of the Ostrovets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus.

  1. Environmental protection policies to combat depopulation in rural areas and to improve quality of life:

Council noted the information from the Spanish delegation and the difficulties between population and conservation efforts. Other Member States intervened to show their support and outline their own nation’s struggles with depopulation.

  1. Preparation for the 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Naples, 2-5 December 2019)

Council noted the information from the Italian delegation. There were limited interventions around this AOB.

Additional engagement

In the margins of the Council, I met with counterparts from Member States and the European Commission to reassure them of our intention to continue working closely on these global environmental issues, and to highlight the UK’s bid to host the twenty sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Personal injury

The Damages Act 1996 (“the Act”) requires the Lord Chancellor to start a review of the personal injury discount rate within 90 days of and including the date on which the amendments made to the Act by the Civil Liability Act 2018 came into force, which occurred on 20 December 2018.

The Act requires that the Lord Chancellor conducts the review and determines whether the rate should be changed or kept unchanged within 140 days of and including the day on which the review starts. It also requires the Lord Chancellor, in conducting the review, must consult (a) the Government Actuary and that this consultation must start within 20 days of and including the start of the review; and (b) the Treasury.

In accordance with these statutory requirements, I have decided to start the review today (19 March 2019) with the consequence that I must conduct the review and make the determination about the rate on or before 5 August 2019.

I will start my consultation with the Government Actuary no later than 7 April 2019 and will start my consultation with the Treasury at the same time.

I have placed copies of the Terms of Reference that I propose to issue to the Government Actuary and the Treasury for their respective consultations in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

I will make a further announcement on the completion of the review.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1394
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Anne Milton (The Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills)
Commons

Technical Education Reform

Today, I am pleased to launch the first stage consultation on the post-16 review of qualifications at level 3 and below in England.

This review, alongside the development of T Levels, is central to building a world class technical education system. Our ambition is to develop a qualifications system for all, in which every student benefits from high quality study that helps them realise their talents and achieve their career ambitions. It is vital to addressing our country’s productivity and skills gaps and achieving the international competitiveness on which our future prosperity depends.

The current qualifications system at level 3 and below is complex, with around 12,000 qualifications. Some of the qualifications are well recognised and valued, but as the Wolf and Sainsbury reviews identified, too many are poorly understood and poor quality, weakening their currency and value for individuals, employers and the economy as whole.

The review aims to simplify the landscape, ensuring that every single qualification is necessary and has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes. At level 3, we want A Levels and T Levels to be the qualifications of choice for students choosing classroom-based study, and for more students to study and achieve at level 3. Subject to the review and the outcomes of our consultation, we expect that where a qualification at level 3 overlaps with a T Level or A Level, it would not, in future, be approved for funding for 16 to 19 year olds.

At level 2 and below, qualifications should enable progression to a higher level of study for those that are able to do so; and for those who are not, there should be high quality qualifications that lead to a good range of employment options and opportunities to study at a later stage.

To drive up quality and ensure fairness in the system at an early stage, in August 2020 we will withdraw approval for funding for older qualifications, where there are newer, more robust versions that have been re-developed to meet performance table rules.

We recognise that qualifications in scope of this review are taken by a range of learners, including adults and those with additional needs, such as special educational needs and disabilities. A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work. We want to be confident that the qualifications available work for all students, irrespective of their specific needs.

It is important that we take the time to get these changes right and listen carefully to the sector’s views. This is why we are consulting in two stages. We are looking first at the principles that should guide the review before moving on in the second stage consultation to detailed proposals for change, which we will bring forward later in the year. I strongly encourage everyone with an interest to contribute to the debate, so that we can work together to build the world class technical education system that our students deserve and that our country needs.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Dr Thérèse Coffey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment)
Commons

MARCH EU ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL

I attended the EU Environment Council on 5 March in Brussels.

I wish to update the House on the matters discussed.

Strategic EU long-term vision for a climate neutral economy – policy debate:

The Presidency invited Member States to give their views on the Commission’s draft long-term strategy on climate, ‘A Clean Planet for all’, following an initial exchange of views at the Environment Council on 20th December 2018. The Presidency asked for views on the challenges and opportunities arising from the transition to a climate-neutral economy and the enabling framework required to stimulate investment, especially private sector investment, in technology, education, and training.

Member States’ interventions focused on four main areas. Firstly, a number of Member States gave their views on the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets for 2030, and the proposed target of net-zero GHG emissions in the EU by 2050. Some welcomed the ambition of the Commission’s proposed 2050 target, while others cautioned against any revision to the EU’s 2030 targets. Secondly, many argued that the strategy must recognise and enable a socially fair and just transition recognising the different impacts across Member States, regions, and sectors of the economy. Thirdly, a number spoke of the need to frame the strategy positively, as the transition to a low-carbon economy presents opportunities including for competitiveness, employment, public health and the environment. Fourthly, the transition should be acceptable to citizens and businesses to give investors’ confidence in the direction of travel, given that both public and private investment will be crucial to the transition.

I intervened to welcome the Commission’s strategy as a positive response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on global warming of 1.5 degrees published in October 2018. I spoke of the need to ensure that all sectors of the economy take action to tackle climate change while at the same time managing the impact on those sectors disproportionately affected. I referred to the benefits of clean growth and that both technological and nature-based solutions must play their part in reducing emissions, including carbon capture usage and storage, and natural carbon sinks, such as mangrove forests. I emphasised that private sector investment and green finance will be integral to financing the transition and highlighted the UK’s funding for low-carbon innovation. In closing, I underscored that the United Nations’ Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September would be an important milestone, and that the UK intends to play a leading role on climate resilience at the Summit.

Drinking Water Directive – General Approach

The Presidency invited Member States to agree the proposed General Approach, stressing debate should focus on Article 10a and 10b, (materials and substances in contact with water) and Article 13 (access to water). The Commission urged Member States to agree the text, noting that they would reserve their position due to concerns on Article 10a.

The UK, along with a number of other Member States, fully supported Article 10a and 10b. Others expressed concern, but noted that ultimately they could accept the proposed text. These Member States also called for further work to help understand the impacts of the proposal and to clarify the text. Latvia, Estonia and Austria were unable to accept the General Approach due to Article 10a.

On Article 13, Member States noted the delicate Council position and agreed that the Presidency text provided a good compromise. The UK highlighted concerns regarding subsidiarity, drawing attention to the UK Parliament’s reasoned opinion but confirmed that it could accept the compromise text.

The Presidency concluded the General Approach had been agreed. The Commission noted that more work was needed on Article 10a and they would issue a formal declaration outlining their concerns.

Greening the European Semester – exchange of views

The Council exchanged views on the Greening of the European Semester and post 2020 investments (6260/19) with Member States stressing the importance of the environmental dimension. A group of Member States recognised the importance of taking the Paris Agreement into account.

EU framework on endocrine disruptors – policy debate

The Commission stressed the need for a coherent approach based on scientific advice, and the need to follow the precautionary approach where the science was inconclusive. They announced a cross-cutting fitness check on endocrine disruptors (with the aim of concluding findings in early 2020) and a new comprehensive forum to engage stakeholders.

Member States welcomed the Commission communication, with significant differences between the levels of ambition expressed. A small number of Member States led a group calling for more concrete actions; including a ban on endocrine disruptors in toys and consumer goods. Others, including the UK, were more cautious, stressing the need for further research and emphasising the importance of risk-based measures.

AOB items

The following items were also discussed under Any Other Business.

  1. Global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption:

Council noted the information from the Commission on the proposal to revise the Regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport. The aim of the proposal is to reduce the administrative burden for ships having to report under both EU regulations and the global data collection system for fuel oil consumption, established recently by the International Maritime Organisation.

  1. Better EU enforcement of the EU phasedown of hydrocarbons:

Council noted the information from the Commission.

  1. Tackling greenhouse gas emissions through aviation pricing:

Council noted the information from the Belgian delegation concerning their proposal for a fair, European pricing system on aviation. This information was previously presented at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 12th February by the Dutch delegation. Some Member State delegations intervened in support of further work on this. The Commission stated that they will consider existing policy instruments and assess whether there is a need to make a legislative proposal.

  1. Strengthening the coherence between EU free trade agreements and the Paris climate change agreement:

Council noted the information from the French, Spanish, and Luxembourgish delegations, proposing that ratification of the Paris Agreement should be an essential clause of the EU’s trade agreements with third countries, and that the Council should be able to suspend trade agreements following breaches of the obligations under the Paris Agreement. Other Member States expressed a degree of caution on the proposed approach. The Commission noted that such a proposal would need to be operational.

  1. Outcome of the intermediary sessions of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and to the Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) (Geneva, 5-7 February 2019)

Council noted the information from the Presidency and the Commission regarding the work of the EU and Member States. It also noted the decisions adopted at the Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention and the Protocol on SEA, which the UK, other Member States, and the EU attended. Lithuania stated that they considered that further steps were needed concerning the case of the Ostrovets Nuclear Power Plant in Belarus.

  1. Environmental protection policies to combat depopulation in rural areas and to improve quality of life:

Council noted the information from the Spanish delegation and the difficulties between population and conservation efforts. Other Member States intervened to show their support and outline their own nation’s struggles with depopulation.

  1. Preparation for the 21st Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Naples, 2-5 December 2019)

Council noted the information from the Italian delegation. There were limited interventions around this AOB.

Additional engagement

In the margins of the Council, I met with counterparts from Member States and the European Commission to reassure them of our intention to continue working closely on these global environmental issues, and to highlight the UK’s bid to host the twenty sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 19 March 2019
Made by: Jesse Norman (Minister of State for Transport)
Commons

Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy

The U.K. is in the early stages of a transport revolution. For much of the past half century, many of the improvements to transport have been gradual and incremental, focused on increasing the capacity of existing infrastructure to meet growing demand. Yet today important new technologies are emerging that will transform transport and travel. Zero tailpipe emission cars are replacing those powered by fossil fuels. Self-driving vehicles have the potential to allow people with mobility issues to enjoy far greater freedom to travel. And advances in data production and use are already improving the way that transport services are devised, planned and delivered.

In they are properly managed, the transport technologies of the future will not just make journeys faster. They will also make them safer, easier, more comfortable and more affordable. They will make our towns and cities quieter and less polluted. And they will give us the option to see mobility as a service, integrated and accessible to all.

But this transformation potentially offers huge industrial opportunities as well, including new high quality jobs, new investment and increased national productivity.

The Government has put the Future of Mobility at the heart of its Industrial Strategy in an effort to take full advantage of these extraordinary opportunities. With a long history of transport innovation, a world-class research base and many established technology leaders, the UK is well placed to harness its domestic expertise and to profit from a growing market for cleaner, safer and more efficient transport.

Such fundamental change in transport within a relatively short period of time, and across so many different technologies, is unprecedented. The sector is at a point of inflection. The window of opportunity is currently open; but for how much longer it will be so, no one can say.

Today the Government is publishing its Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy. This sets out its approach to working with innovators, companies, Local Authorities and other stakeholders in order to harness the developing benefits of new urban mobility technologies.

In the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy, the Government has:

  • Outlined the benefits it wants mobility innovation to deliver, and the Principles by which to achieve them;

  • Launched an ambitious Regulatory Review;

  • Established a wide programme of work to meet the Grand Challenge.

Alongside this document it has:

  • Launched a £90 million competition for cities to deliver Future of Mobility Zones, which follows £60 million awarded to 10 cities across the UK via the Transforming Cities Fund

  • Published a response to the last mile call for evidence it conducted in summer

  • Outlined next steps on the E-Cargo Bike Grant

As a country, our approach to these technologies will need to adapt over the coming decades. The Government will need to gather and respond to evidence of the impacts of new mobility technologies and services as they emerge. It will also need to set out its thinking on the future of rural mobility in due course, to explore how the benefits of transport innovation can be enjoyed by everyone, wherever they live.


We have an extraordinary opportunity here – to put this country at the heart of the next mobility revolution, and deliver a cleaner, greener, more productive and more inclusive country for future generations.

I have laid a copy of the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy in the libraries of both Houses.

Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy (PDF Document, 3.64 MB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1397
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 March 2019
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Collective Defined Contribution Pension Schemes

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

Today the Government publishes our response to the consultation on Delivering Collective Defined Contribution Schemes.

The UK has a world-class occupational pension system. But there is always opportunity for further innovation and improvement to ensure pensions work for their members, who deserve security in retirement. The Government believes that Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) pension schemes can be a key part of this.

CDC schemes are a new type of pension scheme. In a CDC scheme, like Defined Contribution (DC), contributions are paid into a fund. Unlike DC, these funds are pooled, and at retirement, individual members receive a regular pension income from the fund. This income will be based on the value of their contributions and savers will save towards a ‘target’ benefit whose value will depend on the fund’s performance.

The CDC approach increases investment leverage for savers, and helps members secure a regular income in retirement at lower cost. For employers, CDC, like DC, provides stability and predictability in their obligations to the pension scheme. Therefore, CDC helps improve retirement outcomes for members whilst also benefitting employers.

In that spirit, Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have proposed a CDC pension scheme in the belief that this will be advantageous to both the employees and the business. This is a start and will provide a firm footing for further innovation in pensions.

We set out our proposed approach for providing for CDC schemes in our consultation document Delivering Collective Defined Contribution Pension Schemes, including requirements for CDC schemes to operate with systems and approaches that ensure sustainability, transparency and effective communication. Intergenerational fairness must be at the heart of CDC schemes. All this will be underpinned by a requirement for CDC schemes to be authorised by the Pensions Regulator. Government is grateful for the constructive comments and broad support our proposals received. Also, many responses, from trade unions, master trusts, and other pension providers, expressed a desire to see more people benefiting from the advantages that CDC can bring. They urged us, in time, to extend CDC to other parts of the pensions market.

Pension reforms in recent years have transformed pension saving in this country, whether it is auto-enrolment or the new state pension. The creation of CDC schemes is part of an ambitious reform of private pensions schemes, the pensions regulator and the way that savers interact with their savings through improved information and guidance. This means people can prepare for retirement with confidence. We will provide more options for employers to ensure that scheme members can adequately save for retirement and to better protect their income in later life.

As part of these reforms we intend to bring forward legislation to facilitate single and associated employer CDC provision as soon as Parliamentary time allows, and consider further what other provision would be appropriate for the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1422
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 18 March 2019
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

High Streets update

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

On Saturday I announced the national High Streets Community Clean-Up Programme. This £9.75 million programme will provide every local authority in England with grant funding to work with community groups to carry out locally-led spring cleans on their high streets and town centres.

Our ambition is to build strong, resilient and empowered communities where local citizens feel proud of the place in which they live – and this money will empower local authorities to support residents to take control over their high streets and town centres.

Events are scheduled across the country to take place in March to coincide with clean-up campaigns, including the Great British Spring Clean beginning on 22 March. This funding reflects commitments given in the Litter Strategy and will increase the reach and impact of such events.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1423
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 18 March 2019
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

High Streets update

On Saturday I announced the national High Streets Community Clean-Up Programme. This £9.75 million programme will provide every local authority in England with grant funding to work with community groups to carry out locally-led spring cleans on their high streets and town centres.

Our ambition is to build strong, resilient and empowered communities where local citizens feel proud of the place in which they live – and this money will empower local authorities to support residents to take control over their high streets and town centres.

Events are scheduled across the country to take place in March to coincide with clean-up campaigns, including the Great British Spring Clean beginning on 22 March. This funding reflects commitments given in the Litter Strategy and will increase the reach and impact of such events.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1390
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 March 2019
Made by: Amber Rudd (The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions)
Commons

Collective Defined Contribution Pension Schemes

Today the Government publishes our response to the consultation on Delivering Collective Defined Contribution Schemes.

The UK has a world-class occupational pension system. But there is always opportunity for further innovation and improvement to ensure pensions work for their members, who deserve security in retirement. The Government believes that Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) pension schemes can be a key part of this.

CDC schemes are a new type of pension scheme. In a CDC scheme, like Defined Contribution (DC), contributions are paid into a fund. Unlike DC, these funds are pooled, and at retirement, individual members receive a regular pension income from the fund. This income will be based on the value of their contributions and savers will save towards a ‘target’ benefit whose value will depend on the fund’s performance.

The CDC approach increases investment leverage for savers, and helps members secure a regular income in retirement at lower cost. For employers, CDC, like DC, provides stability and predictability in their obligations to the pension scheme. Therefore, CDC helps improve retirement outcomes for members whilst also benefitting employers.

In that spirit, Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union have proposed a CDC pension scheme in the belief that this will be advantageous to both the employees and the business. This is a start and will provide a firm footing for further innovation in pensions.

We set out our proposed approach for providing for CDC schemes in our consultation document Delivering Collective Defined Contribution Pension Schemes, including requirements for CDC schemes to operate with systems and approaches that ensure sustainability, transparency and effective communication. Intergenerational fairness must be at the heart of CDC schemes. All this will be underpinned by a requirement for CDC schemes to be authorised by the Pensions Regulator. Government is grateful for the constructive comments and broad support our proposals received. Also, many responses, from trade unions, master trusts, and other pension providers, expressed a desire to see more people benefiting from the advantages that CDC can bring. They urged us, in time, to extend CDC to other parts of the pensions market.

Pension reforms in recent years have transformed pension saving in this country, whether it is auto-enrolment or the new state pension. The creation of CDC schemes is part of an ambitious reform of private pensions schemes, the pensions regulator and the way that savers interact with their savings through improved information and guidance. This means people can prepare for retirement with confidence. We will provide more options for employers to ensure that scheme members can adequately save for retirement and to better protect their income in later life.

As part of these reforms we intend to bring forward legislation to facilitate single and associated employer CDC provision as soon as Parliamentary time allows, and consider further what other provision would be appropriate for the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1391
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 15 March 2019
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords)
Lords

Statement under Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

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

This statement is being made for the purposes of Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and outlines how the Government intends to proceed in the light of the House’s decision on Tuesday 12 March 2019 not to agree to a resolution for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The Government regrets the House’s decision of Tuesday 12 March 2019 but still believes that the best way forward is for the UK to leave the EU in an orderly manner having agreed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

We note the House’s resolutions of Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 March 2019 not to leave the European Union without a deal and to seek an extension to the Article 50 process.

In accordance with the motion the House approved on Thursday 14 March 2019 the Government will now seek to agree an extension with the EU. The European Council has to approve any extension by unanimity, meaning it would require all the leaders of the other 27 EU Member States to agree the UK’s request.

As the motion stated, if the House has passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship by Wednesday 20 March 2019, then the Government will seek to agree with the European Union a one-off extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) for a period ending on 30 June 2019 for the purpose of passing the necessary legislation to implement the Withdrawal Agreement into our domestic law and complete the ratification process. However, if the House has not reached such agreement by the 20 March 2019 then it is highly likely that the European Council at its meeting the following day would require a clear purpose for any extension, not least to determine its length, and that any extension beyond 30 June 2019 would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.

It is expected that the EU will use the March European Council on the 21 and 22 March 2019 to consider and reach a decision on a request from the UK to extend the Article 50 period.

As soon as possible following agreement at the EU level we will bring forward the necessary legislation to amend the definition of exit day in domestic legislation. This statutory instrument will be laid, before it is made, under section 20(4) of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

This legislation is subject to the draft affirmative procedure and so would need to be actively approved in each House. The legislation would give effect to any agreement with the EU on an extension, so would not be laid before Parliament until that agreement had been reached.

WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 15 March 2019
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

Statement under Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

This statement is being made for the purposes of Section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and outlines how the Government intends to proceed in the light of the House’s decision on Tuesday 12 March 2019 not to agree to a resolution for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The Government regrets the House’s decision of Tuesday 12 March 2019 but still believes that the best way forward is for the UK to leave the EU in an orderly manner having agreed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration.

We note the House’s resolutions of Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 March 2019 not to leave the European Union without a deal and to seek an extension to the Article 50 process.

In accordance with the motion the House approved on Thursday 14 March 2019 the Government will now seek to agree an extension with the EU. The European Council has to approve any extension by unanimity, meaning it would require all the leaders of the other 27 EU Member States to agree the UK’s request.

As the motion stated, if the House has passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship by Wednesday 20 March 2019, then the Government will seek to agree with the European Union a one-off extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) for a period ending on 30 June 2019 for the purpose of passing the necessary legislation to implement the Withdrawal Agreement into our domestic law and complete the ratification process. However, if the House has not reached such agreement by the 20 March 2019 then it is highly likely that the European Council at its meeting the following day would require a clear purpose for any extension, not least to determine its length, and that any extension beyond 30 June 2019 would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.

It is expected that the EU will use the March European Council on the 21 and 22 March 2019 to consider and reach a decision on a request from the UK to extend the Article 50 period.

As soon as possible following agreement at the EU level we will bring forward the necessary legislation to amend the definition of exit day in domestic legislation. This statutory instrument will be laid, before it is made, under section 20(4) of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

This legislation is subject to the draft affirmative procedure and so would need to be actively approved in each House. The legislation would give effect to any agreement with the EU on an extension, so would not be laid before Parliament until that agreement had been reached.

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