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
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

Contingencies Fund Advance

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Vote on Account cash limit has been used in full between April 2020 and June 2020 to support the running costs of the department, NHS and Arm’s Length Bodies, including expenditure on the Covid-19 pandemic. This application from the Contingencies Fund is to access the budgetary cover already included in the 2020/21 Main Supply Estimate, as set out below.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £24,250,000,000 and additional capital of £750,000,000 will be sought in a Main Estimate for Department of Health and Social Care. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £25,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS296
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Grant Shapps (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Contingency Fund

I hereby give notice of the Department for Transport having drawn advances from the Contingencies Fund totalling £7,000,000,000 to enable expenditure on COVID-19 support packages for transport to be spent ahead of the passage of the Supply and Appropriation Act. The schemes include:

Emergency Measures Agreements with the Train Operating Companies; the COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant; safeguarding critical ferry freight routes; and supporting regional transport networks such as Transport for London and light rail networks. Furthermore, the Department brought-forward the payment of local authority road maintenance grants announced in the Budget. Barnett Consequentials have already been applied in the usual way to any funding on top of the Department for Transport’s current budgets.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £5,253,000,000 and additional capital of £603,000,000 and £ 1,144,000,000 of cash will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Department for Transport. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £7,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The cash advance will be repaid upon receiving Royal assent of the Supply and Appropriation Bill.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS298
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 17 June 2020
Made by: Michael Gove (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office )
Commons

Advance from the Contingencies Fund

The Cabinet Office has sought a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund of £270,100,000.

The requirement has arisen due to increased costs relating to urgent expenditure, including that relating to the COVID-19 response.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £107,100,000 and £163,000,000 of capital has been sought in a Main Estimate for the Cabinet Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £270,100,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS294
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 17 June 2020
Made by: Lord True (Minister of State)
Lords

Advance from the Contingencies Fund

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Michael Gove) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The Cabinet Office has sought a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund of £270,100,000.

The requirement has arisen due to increased costs relating to urgent expenditure, including that relating to the COVID-19 response.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £107,100,000 and £163,000,000 of capital has been sought in a Main Estimate for the Cabinet Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £270,100,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS298
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 17 June 2020
Made by: Lord Grimstone of Boscobel (Minister for Investment)
Lords

Update on Trade Negotiations with Australia and New Zealand

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade (Liz Truss MP) has today made the following statement.

Today, the Government publishes its approach to trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, as well as providing an update on its approach to accession to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

New Zealand and Australia rank among our closest friends. We share a language, head of state and a system of common law, and we have a proud shared history. We also have a common set of values. Like the UK, both nations have always stood up for what is right and maintained a fierce belief in the merits of trade openness, the rule of law, international co-operation, and democratic government.

But what we have never had with either is a free trade agreement. That can change now the UK has left the EU. Our future success as a country depends partly on using our new-found status as an independent trading nation to strengthen ties with old allies beyond Europe. Ambitious, wide-ranging free trade agreements with old friends like Australia and New Zealand are a powerful way for us to do that and make good on the promise of Brexit.

From a purely economic perspective, deals with both countries can help deliver the things that our people care about – better jobs, higher wages, greater choice, and lower prices.

UK businesses traded £21bn worth of goods and services with Australia and New Zealand combined in 2019. Trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand could increase UK exports to Australia and New Zealand by around £1 billion – with beverages firms, the automotive industry and professional services among those expected to benefit. Opportunities for these agreements include additional access for UK services and investment, removing tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods and the chance to shape the future of digital trade.

An ambitious UK-Australia trade agreement could increase UK GDP by up to £500 million and UK workers’ wages by up to £400 million. It can enable Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to export more goods and services to Australia, building on the 13,400 UK SMEs that already exported goods there in 2018.

A cutting-edge agreement with New Zealand could increase UK workers’ wages by up to £200 million. New Zealand and the UK also share a particular ambition to work together to promote clean growth through trade – a key contribution to a low-carbon economic recovery.

But perhaps more importantly than the pure economics, both these countries are vital to the UK’s future place in the world and our future sovereign capability.

The pandemic has given oxygen to the politics of protectionism across the globe, and to those who advocate closed, statist economies. Trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand are important in helping our country and the world move beyond coronavirus.

Strengthening ties between nations who believe in free trade is a powerful way to defend the principles of open markets and international cooperation, and in doing show that free trade is still the best way forward for the world after coronavirus.

Strategically, our aim is to place the UK at the centre of a network of modern free trade agreements, turning our country into a global hub for businesses and investors who want to trade in dynamic areas of the world – especially in the Asia-Pacific.

Pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific will help diversify our trade, make our supply chains more resilient and make the UK less vulnerable to political and economic shocks in certain parts of the world. This economic security is important at a time of increased turbulence and uncertainty in the world.

It will also help us forge a leadership position among a network of countries committed to free trade – and strengthen the club of like-minded democracies who share our commitment to advance trade liberalisation, fight protectionism and defend international rules.

Australia and New Zealand are both big players in the Asia-Pacific and share our commitment to free trade. They are also prominent members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – a club of eleven countries representing 13% of global GDP.

The UK had more than £110 billion-worth of trade in 2019 with the 11 countries in the group and we are determined to increase our trade through membership. CPTPP will help us diversify our trade and join a strong, modern trade agreement between countries committed to free and fair trade in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Both Australia and New Zealand support our membership, and free trade agreements with both countries would be an important step towards our eventual accession.

Today, the Department for International Trade is publishing three documents:

  1. UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement: the UK’s strategic approach
  2. UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement: the UK’s strategic approach
  3. An update on the UK’s position on accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

We will be placing copies in the House libraries. For Australia and New Zealand, these documents include:

  • The Government’s negotiating objectives for each trade agreement
  • A scoping assessment providing a preliminary assessment of the potential long-term economic impacts for each agreement
  • The Government’s response to the public consultations on each agreement, setting out how these have informed our policy development.

As with our whole trade agreement programme, these agreements need to work for the UK. We have been clear that future agreements with Australia and New Zealand must work for UK consumers, producers and companies. We remain committed to upholding our high environmental, labour, food safety and animal welfare standards in our trade agreements with these countries. The Government has been clear that when we are negotiating trade agreements, we will protect the National Health Service (NHS). Our objectives reinforce this.

We are engaging with the devolved administrations, crown dependencies and overseas territories to ensure that we develop agreements that works for the whole of the UK. The Government is committed to transparency and we will continue to ensure that parliamentarians, businesses, and the range of civil society stakeholders have access to information on our trade negotiations.

Negotiations with Australia and New Zealand will be carried out by video conference, ensuring that talks can progress during the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to conduct talks remotely until it is safe to conduct talks in person.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS297
WS
Department for International Trade
Made on: 17 June 2020
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (Secretary of State for International Trade)
Commons

Update on Trade Negotiations with Australia and New Zealand

Today, the Government publishes its approach to trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, as well as providing an update on its approach to accession to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

New Zealand and Australia rank among our closest friends. We share a language, head of state and a system of common law, and we have a proud shared history. We also have a common set of values. Like the UK, both nations have always stood up for what is right and maintained a fierce belief in the merits of trade openness, the rule of law, international co-operation, and democratic government.

But what we have never had with either is a free trade agreement. That can change now the UK has left the EU. Our future success as a country depends partly on using our new-found status as an independent trading nation to strengthen ties with old allies beyond Europe. Ambitious, wide-ranging free trade agreements with old friends like Australia and New Zealand are a powerful way for us to do that and make good on the promise of Brexit.

From a purely economic perspective, deals with both countries can help deliver the things that our people care about – better jobs, higher wages, greater choice, and lower prices.

UK businesses traded £21bn worth of goods and services with Australia and New Zealand combined in 2019. Trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand could increase UK exports to Australia and New Zealand by around £1 billion – with beverages firms, the automotive industry and professional services among those expected to benefit. Opportunities for these agreements include additional access for UK services and investment, removing tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods and the chance to shape the future of digital trade.

An ambitious UK-Australia trade agreement could increase UK GDP by up to £500 million and UK workers’ wages by up to £400 million. It can enable Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to export more goods and services to Australia, building on the 13,400 UK SMEs that already exported goods there in 2018.

A cutting-edge agreement with New Zealand could increase UK workers’ wages by up to £200 million. New Zealand and the UK also share a particular ambition to work together to promote clean growth through trade – a key contribution to a low-carbon economic recovery.

But perhaps more importantly than the pure economics, both these countries are vital to the UK’s future place in the world and our future sovereign capability.

The pandemic has given oxygen to the politics of protectionism across the globe, and to those who advocate closed, statist economies. Trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand are important in helping our country and the world move beyond coronavirus.

Strengthening ties between nations who believe in free trade is a powerful way to defend the principles of open markets and international cooperation, and in doing show that free trade is still the best way forward for the world after coronavirus.

Strategically, our aim is to place the UK at the centre of a network of modern free trade agreements, turning our country into a global hub for businesses and investors who want to trade in dynamic areas of the world – especially in the Asia-Pacific.

Pivoting towards the Asia-Pacific will help diversify our trade, make our supply chains more resilient and make the UK less vulnerable to political and economic shocks in certain parts of the world. This economic security is important at a time of increased turbulence and uncertainty in the world.

It will also help us forge a leadership position among a network of countries committed to free trade – and strengthen the club of like-minded democracies who share our commitment to advance trade liberalisation, fight protectionism and defend international rules.

Australia and New Zealand are both big players in the Asia-Pacific and share our commitment to free trade. They are also prominent members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – a club of eleven countries representing 13% of global GDP.

The UK had more than £110 billion-worth of trade in 2019 with the 11 countries in the group and we are determined to increase our trade through membership. CPTPP will help us diversify our trade and join a strong, modern trade agreement between countries committed to free and fair trade in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Both Australia and New Zealand support our membership, and free trade agreements with both countries would be an important step towards our eventual accession.

Today, the Department for International Trade is publishing three documents:

  1. UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement: the UK’s strategic approach
  2. UK-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement: the UK’s strategic approach
  3. An update on the UK’s position on accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

We will be placing copies in the House libraries. For Australia and New Zealand, these documents include:

  • The Government’s negotiating objectives for each trade agreement
  • A scoping assessment providing a preliminary assessment of the potential long-term economic impacts for each agreement
  • The Government’s response to the public consultations on each agreement, setting out how these have informed our policy development.

As with our whole trade agreement programme, these agreements need to work for the UK. We have been clear that future agreements with Australia and New Zealand must work for UK consumers, producers and companies. We remain committed to upholding our high environmental, labour, food safety and animal welfare standards in our trade agreements with these countries. The Government has been clear that when we are negotiating trade agreements, we will protect the National Health Service (NHS). Our objectives reinforce this.

We are engaging with the devolved administrations, crown dependencies and overseas territories to ensure that we develop agreements that works for the whole of the UK. The Government is committed to transparency and we will continue to ensure that parliamentarians, businesses, and the range of civil society stakeholders have access to information on our trade negotiations.

Negotiations with Australia and New Zealand will be carried out by video conference, ensuring that talks can progress during the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to conduct talks remotely until it is safe to conduct talks in person.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS293
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Lord Bethell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Innovation))
Lords

Coronavirus impact update

My Hon Friend theParliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care) (Jo Churchill) has made the following written statement:

Today, Public Health England has published the result of their work to engage with individuals and organisations within the BAME community, to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of Covid-19 on their communities. As the House will know, my honourable friend, the Equalities Minister will be leading on the next steps, working with PHE and others. Copies will be deposited in the Libraries of both houses and are available on PHE’s website, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS296
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Jo Churchill (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care))
Commons

Coronavirus impact update

Today, Public Health England has published the result of their work to engage with individuals and organisations within the BAME community, to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of Covid-19 on their communities. As the House will know, my honourable friend, the Equalities Minister will be leading on the next steps, working with PHE and others. Copies will be deposited in the Libraries of both houses and are available on PHE’s website, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS292
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Lord Bethell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Innovation))
Lords

Coronavirus update

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matt Hancock) has made the following written statement:

On 26 March 2020, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force, imposing restrictions on people’s movements and gatherings, and requiring the closure of certain retail and public premises, in the interest of public health in light of the coronavirus pandemic. On 13 May and 1 June, we introduced some cautious easements of some of the measures in the Regulations, in order to begin reopening the economy and returning to normal life, while continuing to protect the NHS and save lives.

Taking into account scientific advice and the government’s assessment against the five conditions required for change, I have now made some further amendments to the Regulations to ease the restrictions as has been announced by the Government in recent weeks.

The changes which have come into effect include allowing for adults who live without another adult in their household, including single parents with dependent children under the age of 18, to form a “support bubble” with another household, and allowing individual prayer in places of worship.

The changes also updated the arrangements for businesses. Non-essential retail can open, as can some additional outdoor attractions, including drive-in cinemas and zoos. Libraries will be able to operate an order and collect service. The amendments also expressly provide for people to make visits such as end of life visits where appropriate.

Publicly available Government guidance on Gov.uk is being updated to ensure it fully corresponds with the amended Regulations. These remain strict measures, but they are measures that we must take in order to protect our NHS and to save lives.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS295
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care )
Commons

Coronavirus update

On 26 March 2020, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force, imposing restrictions on people’s movements and gatherings, and requiring the closure of certain retail and public premises, in the interest of public health in light of the coronavirus pandemic. On 13 May and 1 June, we introduced some cautious easements of some of the measures in the Regulations, in order to begin reopening the economy and returning to normal life, while continuing to protect the NHS and save lives.

Taking into account scientific advice and the government’s assessment against the five conditions required for change, I have now made some further amendments to the Regulations to ease the restrictions as has been announced by the Government in recent weeks.

The changes which have come into effect include allowing for adults who live without another adult in their household, including single parents with dependent children under the age of 18, to form a “support bubble” with another household, and allowing individual prayer in places of worship.

The changes also updated the arrangements for businesses. Non-essential retail can open, as can some additional outdoor attractions, including drive-in cinemas and zoos. Libraries will be able to operate an order and collect service. The amendments also expressly provide for people to make visits such as end of life visits where appropriate.

Publicly available Government guidance on Gov.uk is being updated to ensure it fully corresponds with the amended Regulations. These remain strict measures, but they are measures that we must take in order to protect our NHS and to save lives.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS291
WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

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

My Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister has made the following statement:

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


The Honourable Member for Gower (Tonia Antoniazzi) has been appointed as a full member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of the Honourable Member for Walthamstow (Stella Creasy). The Right Honourable Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) has been appointed as a substitute member.

WS
Women and Equalities
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Baroness Berridge (Minister for Women)
Lords

Clarification regarding disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID-19

My Hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Minister for Equalities, (Kemi Badenoch) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

On 9 June 2020, the honourable member for Brent Central made a Point of Order raising concerns that I misled the House about the role Professor Kevin Fenton had in the Public Health England (PHE) review into disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19; and also whether third-party submissions were part of their final report. As I was unable to attend to respond in person, I am writing now to do so.

On 4 June, I stated in the House, that Professor Fenton was leading PHE’s review. A press release from PHE on the 4 May clearly stated, ‘Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health Director for London will lead the review’ into how different factors can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. In the same press release, Professor Fenton said ‘We are committed to hearing voices from a variety of perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on people of different ethnicities. Duncan Selbie, the Chief Executive of PHE, has since written to the honourable member and myself to clarify that the review Professor Fenton led, refers to a parallel piece of work to engage with individuals and organisations within the BAME community.

I understand the purpose of this was to gain insights into what communities themselves felt the impacts of COVID-19 were. This work was separate to the epidemiological review of the data, which the Chief Medical Officer commissioned. However, they are all part of the work PHE has been doing to investigate this issue. Today, a document summarising this engagement and its findings were formally submitted to me and due to be published by PHE.

In regard to the honourable member’s suggestion that I misled the house about whether third-party submissions were part of PHE’s report, my statement as I made it is accurate. Third-party submissions are part of Professor Fenton’s extensive stakeholder engagement work as he made clear on 4 May, which will contribute to and inform the next stage of work that I am taking forward.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS293
WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Boris Johnson (Prime Minister)
Commons

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

The Honourable Member for Gower (Tonia Antoniazzi) has been appointed as a full member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of the Honourable Member for Walthamstow (Stella Creasy). The Right Honourable Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) has been appointed as a substitute member.

WS
Women and Equalities
Made on: 16 June 2020
Made by: Kemi Badenoch (Minister for Equalities )
Commons

Clarification regarding disparities in the risk and outcomes from COVID-19

On 9 June 2020, the honourable member for Brent Central made a Point of Order raising concerns that I misled the House about the role Professor Kevin Fenton had in the Public Health England (PHE) review into disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19; and also whether third-party submissions were part of their final report. As I was unable to attend to respond in person, I am writing now to do so.

On 4 June, I stated in the House, that Professor Fenton was leading PHE’s review. A press release from PHE on the 4 May clearly stated, ‘Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health Director for London will lead the review’ into how different factors can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. In the same press release, Professor Fenton said ‘We are committed to hearing voices from a variety of perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on people of different ethnicities. Duncan Selbie, the Chief Executive of PHE, has since written to the honourable member and myself to clarify that the review Professor Fenton led, refers to a parallel piece of work to engage with individuals and organisations within the BAME community.

I understand the purpose of this was to gain insights into what communities themselves felt the impacts of COVID-19 were. This work was separate to the epidemiological review of the data, which the Chief Medical Officer commissioned. However, they are all part of the work PHE has been doing to investigate this issue. Today, a document summarising this engagement and its findings were formally submitted to me and due to be published by PHE.

In regard to the honourable member’s suggestion that I misled the house about whether third-party submissions were part of PHE’s report, my statement as I made it is accurate. Third-party submissions are part of Professor Fenton’s extensive stakeholder engagement work as he made clear on 4 May, which will contribute to and inform the next stage of work that I am taking forward.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS289
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 15 June 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Business Update

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Alok Sharma) has today made the following statement:

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention the details of changes we have made to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

CLBILS is facilitated by the Government-owned British Business Bank and delivered through its delivery partners. Lenders have until now offered loans from £30,000 up to £50 million to support viable businesses with a turnover of £45 million and above that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It is designed to ensure businesses that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak can access the finance they need, even if they are too large to access CBILS but unable to access the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility. There is no limit on the number and aggregate value of loans that can be made under the scheme.

Despite this, some businesses have not been able to address cashflow issues due to caps on maximum loan sizes permissible under the scheme. Businesses with turnover up to £250 million have been unable to borrow more than £25 million, and no business, regardless of turnover, has been permitted to borrow more than £50 million. On 26 May, we therefore made the following changes to the scheme:

  • an increase in the maximum loan size available under CLBILS: loans are now available from £50,000 to £200 million;

  • the replacement of the £25 million loan size cap for firms with a turnover of up to £250 million with a new cap on maximum loan size at 25 per cent of turnover for all borrowers through CLBILS; and

  • tighter restrictions on company activities for the duration of the facility for loans above £50 million: borrowers cannot make any dividend payments other than those that have already been declared, may not make any share buybacks on dividend payments, may not pay any cash bonuses, or award any pay rises to senior management (including the board) except where they were declared before the CLBILS loan was taken out, are in keeping with similar payments made in the preceding 12 months, and do not have a material negative impact on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.

  • for loans up to £50 million, the existing restrictions on dividends continue to apply: only dividends declared before the CLBILS loan was taken out, are in keeping with those made in the previous 12 months, and which would not have a material negative impact on the ability to repay the loan are permitted.

Further detailed technical changes to the scheme, including the approach to restructuring events and new provisions on seniority of CLBILS facilities, are detailed on the British Business Bank’s website.

There remains no limit on the number or aggregate value of loans issued under CLBILS. The Government remains subject to a statutory contingent liability arising from CLBILS, and I will be laying a revised Departmental Minute today containing a description of the liability undertaken.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS292
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 15 June 2020
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Business Update

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention the details of changes we have made to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

CLBILS is facilitated by the Government-owned British Business Bank and delivered through its delivery partners. Lenders have until now offered loans from £30,000 up to £50 million to support viable businesses with a turnover of £45 million and above that are affected by the coronavirus outbreak. It is designed to ensure businesses that have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak can access the finance they need, even if they are too large to access CBILS but unable to access the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility. There is no limit on the number and aggregate value of loans that can be made under the scheme.

Despite this, some businesses have not been able to address cashflow issues due to caps on maximum loan sizes permissible under the scheme. Businesses with turnover up to £250 million have been unable to borrow more than £25 million, and no business, regardless of turnover, has been permitted to borrow more than £50 million. On 26 May, we therefore made the following changes to the scheme:

  • an increase in the maximum loan size available under CLBILS: loans are now available from £50,000 to £200 million;

  • the replacement of the £25 million loan size cap for firms with a turnover of up to £250 million with a new cap on maximum loan size at 25 per cent of turnover for all borrowers through CLBILS; and

  • tighter restrictions on company activities for the duration of the facility for loans above £50 million: borrowers cannot make any dividend payments other than those that have already been declared, may not make any share buybacks on dividend payments, may not pay any cash bonuses, or award any pay rises to senior management (including the board) except where they were declared before the CLBILS loan was taken out, are in keeping with similar payments made in the preceding 12 months, and do not have a material negative impact on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan.

  • for loans up to £50 million, the existing restrictions on dividends continue to apply: only dividends declared before the CLBILS loan was taken out, are in keeping with those made in the previous 12 months, and which would not have a material negative impact on the ability to repay the loan are permitted.

Further detailed technical changes to the scheme, including the approach to restructuring events and new provisions on seniority of CLBILS facilities, are detailed on the British Business Bank’s website.

There remains no limit on the number or aggregate value of loans issued under CLBILS. The Government remains subject to a statutory contingent liability arising from CLBILS, and I will be laying a revised Departmental Minute today containing a description of the liability undertaken.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS288
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 15 June 2020
Made by: Lord True (Minister of State)
Lords

Second meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee: Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Michael Gove) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The second meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee took place by video conference on 12 June 2020. It was co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.

The Committee was updated on progress of the Specialised Committees and Withdrawal Agreement implementation. The Committee adopted one Decision on correcting errors and omissions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to financial provisions and citizens’ rights.

The UK emphasised its decision not to extend the Transition Period.

The UK also announced that it would introduce new border controls on imports coming into Great Britain from the EU in three stages up until 1 July 2021. The UK stated that it was taking a flexible and pragmatic approach that will give industry extra time to be ready for the new procedures, recognising the impact of COVID-19 on businesses’ ability to prepare.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS291
WS
Home Office
Made on: 15 June 2020
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Prüm – Data Sharing Update

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Security (James Brokenshire) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

Following a review of the policy of limiting data sharing via Prüm to the DNA profiles of convicted criminals and excluding data which relates to those suspected but not convicted of a crime, it is the Government’s intention to begin exchanging suspects’ data held in England & Wales and Northern Ireland with connected EU Member States through Prüm. Consultation will continue with the Scottish Government, where policing matters are devolved, in respect of the implications for the implementation of the policy in Scotland.

EU Council Implementing Decision 2019/968 required the UK to “review its policy on the exchange of suspects' profiles” and set a deadline of the 15 June 2020 to notify the Council of that outcome. The Implementing Decision makes clear the Council should “re-evaluate the situation with a view to the continuation or termination of DNA Prüm automated exchange” should the notification not be made. In order to meet that deadline, Sir Tim Barrow will shortly be instructed to notify the European institutions that it is the Government’s intention to begin exchanging suspects’ data held in England & Wales and Northern Ireland with connected EU Member States through Prüm and that consultation will continue with the Scottish Government.

The UK has been exchanging DNA data via Prüm since July 2019. During that period searches of historic data held on the UK’s national DNA database have been made against the data held by the nine EU countries to whom we have connected Around 12,000 initial hits have been identified relating to UK investigations. EU Member States have received approximately 41,000 initial hits from matching their data with that held by the UK. These hits have already delivered public protection benefits. For example, an unidentified crime stain from a sexual assault in Glasgow in 2012 was identified as a subject convicted for theft offences in Austria and that investigation is now being progressed in way that would not have been possible were it not for the Prüm exchange.

Sharing suspects’ data would mean that more UK data stores would be checked across the EU, supplementing intelligence for investigations, including in relation to serious organised crime, terrorism and cross-border crime. Law enforcement agencies have identified that there are risks and missed opportunities associated with not sharing suspects’ data. For example, the inclusion of UK data taken from a person suspected of rape – where the conviction rates are disappointingly low - could allow a match to be made with data held in the EU where that person may have been previously suspected or convicted of a sexual offence.

This exchange involves a two-step process. Step one is to send anonymised biometric data to the connected partner for it to be searched against their database, providing a ‘hit/no hit’ result. Where there is a match against the anonymised data, step two applies during which the relevant demographic data is shared, i.e. name, and date of birth. A series of stringent checks are carried out by UK law enforcement agencies before any demographic or identifying data is provided and only if the Member State submits a separate request for this data.

The Government has considered the impact of sharing suspects’ data as it concerns individual freedoms. However, I am reassured by protections applicable to England and Wales which carefully govern the retention of biometric data, and which confer protections to data from individuals who have not been convicted. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 creates a strict retention regime which sets out that data must be deleted within a set period, depending on the circumstances under which it was collected. This regime considers factors such as the age of the individual at the time of the offence, the seriousness of the offence, and ensures that suspects' data constitutes only around 2% of the profiles in the DNA and fingerprint databases at any one time.

In addition, a number of safeguards were introduced when Parliament voted in favour of joining Prüm in 2015 have been in place since we started exchanging DNA data. They include: the introduction of an independent oversight board; the requirement that low-quality matches be excluded from Prüm searching; the introduction of an additional step where a ‘hit’ involves data which relates to a minor; and the exclusion of data held for only a short period in relation to vulnerable persons. These all work together to protect against innocent UK citizens being caught up inappropriately in overseas criminal investigations. The Government considers these safeguards to be working well. Ensuring continued adherence to the UK’s scientific standards means that there is a one in a billion chance that a UK DNA sample would be falsely matched with an overseas criminal investigation. Moreover, the two-step Prüm process means that a law enforcement officer in the UK checks the data against set criteria before providing any identifying data to the requesting state. These checks ensure that the information is lawfully retained and that providing the information would not endanger any UK investigation.

In considering whether to include suspects’ data, the Government has carefully balanced the potential public protection benefits against concerns that a UK citizen could be caught up inappropriately in criminal investigations in EU Member States and has considered the effectiveness of the safeguards put in place to prevent such instances occurring. In light of the benefits reaped from exchanging DNA since July 2019 and the way in which the safeguards have been applied, the Government has concluded that the important public safety benefits in exchanging suspects’ data outweigh the risks associating with sharing it.

As we made clear in the “UK Approach” published on 27 February, the Government is discussing a possible agreement on law enforcement with the EU, which could include arrangements providing similar capabilities to those currently delivered through the Prüm system.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS290
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 15 June 2020
Made by: Michael Gove (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office )
Commons

Second meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee: Update

The second meeting of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee took place by video conference on 12 June 2020. It was co-chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and Vice President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčovič.

The Committee was updated on progress of the Specialised Committees and Withdrawal Agreement implementation. The Committee adopted one Decision on correcting errors and omissions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to financial provisions and citizens’ rights.

The UK emphasised its decision not to extend the Transition Period.

The UK also announced that it would introduce new border controls on imports coming into Great Britain from the EU in three stages up until 1 July 2021. The UK stated that it was taking a flexible and pragmatic approach that will give industry extra time to be ready for the new procedures, recognising the impact of COVID-19 on businesses’ ability to prepare.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS287
WS
Home Office
Made on: 15 June 2020
Made by: James Brokenshire (The Minister of State for Security)
Commons

Prüm – Data Sharing Update

Following a review of the policy of limiting data sharing via Prüm to the DNA profiles of convicted criminals and excluding data which relates to those suspected but not convicted of a crime, it is the Government’s intention to begin exchanging suspects’ data held in England & Wales and Northern Ireland with connected EU Member States through Prüm. Consultation will continue with the Scottish Government, where policing matters are devolved, in respect of the implications for the implementation of the policy in Scotland.

EU Council Implementing Decision 2019/968 required the UK to “review its policy on the exchange of suspects' profiles” and set a deadline of the 15 June 2020 to notify the Council of that outcome. The Implementing Decision makes clear the Council should “re-evaluate the situation with a view to the continuation or termination of DNA Prüm automated exchange” should the notification not be made. In order to meet that deadline, Sir Tim Barrow will shortly be instructed to notify the European institutions that it is the Government’s intention to begin exchanging suspects’ data held in England & Wales and Northern Ireland with connected EU Member States through Prüm and that consultation will continue with the Scottish Government.

The UK has been exchanging DNA data via Prüm since July 2019. During that period searches of historic data held on the UK’s national DNA database have been made against the data held by the nine EU countries to whom we have connected Around 12,000 initial hits have been identified relating to UK investigations. EU Member States have received approximately 41,000 initial hits from matching their data with that held by the UK. These hits have already delivered public protection benefits. For example, an unidentified crime stain from a sexual assault in Glasgow in 2012 was identified as a subject convicted for theft offences in Austria and that investigation is now being progressed in way that would not have been possible were it not for the Prüm exchange.

Sharing suspects’ data would mean that more UK data stores would be checked across the EU, supplementing intelligence for investigations, including in relation to serious organised crime, terrorism and cross-border crime. Law enforcement agencies have identified that there are risks and missed opportunities associated with not sharing suspects’ data. For example, the inclusion of UK data taken from a person suspected of rape – where the conviction rates are disappointingly low - could allow a match to be made with data held in the EU where that person may have been previously suspected or convicted of a sexual offence.

This exchange involves a two-step process. Step one is to send anonymised biometric data to the connected partner for it to be searched against their database, providing a ‘hit/no hit’ result. Where there is a match against the anonymised data, step two applies during which the relevant demographic data is shared, i.e. name, and date of birth. A series of stringent checks are carried out by UK law enforcement agencies before any demographic or identifying data is provided and only if the Member State submits a separate request for this data.

The Government has considered the impact of sharing suspects’ data as it concerns individual freedoms. However, I am reassured by protections applicable to England and Wales which carefully govern the retention of biometric data, and which confer protections to data from individuals who have not been convicted. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 creates a strict retention regime which sets out that data must be deleted within a set period, depending on the circumstances under which it was collected. This regime considers factors such as the age of the individual at the time of the offence, the seriousness of the offence, and ensures that suspects' data constitutes only around 2% of the profiles in the DNA and fingerprint databases at any one time.

In addition, a number of safeguards were introduced when Parliament voted in favour of joining Prüm in 2015 have been in place since we started exchanging DNA data. They include: the introduction of an independent oversight board; the requirement that low-quality matches be excluded from Prüm searching; the introduction of an additional step where a ‘hit’ involves data which relates to a minor; and the exclusion of data held for only a short period in relation to vulnerable persons. These all work together to protect against innocent UK citizens being caught up inappropriately in overseas criminal investigations. The Government considers these safeguards to be working well. Ensuring continued adherence to the UK’s scientific standards means that there is a one in a billion chance that a UK DNA sample would be falsely matched with an overseas criminal investigation. Moreover, the two-step Prüm process means that a law enforcement officer in the UK checks the data against set criteria before providing any identifying data to the requesting state. These checks ensure that the information is lawfully retained and that providing the information would not endanger any UK investigation.

In considering whether to include suspects’ data, the Government has carefully balanced the potential public protection benefits against concerns that a UK citizen could be caught up inappropriately in criminal investigations in EU Member States and has considered the effectiveness of the safeguards put in place to prevent such instances occurring. In light of the benefits reaped from exchanging DNA since July 2019 and the way in which the safeguards have been applied, the Government has concluded that the important public safety benefits in exchanging suspects’ data outweigh the risks associating with sharing it.

As we made clear in the “UK Approach” published on 27 February, the Government is discussing a possible agreement on law enforcement with the EU, which could include arrangements providing similar capabilities to those currently delivered through the Prüm system.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS286
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