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
Treasury
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: The Earl of Courtown (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Signature of the Double Taxation Agreement between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar

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

A new Double Taxation Agreement with Gibraltar was mutually accepted in an exchange of letters signed in London on 1 October 2019 and in Gibraltar on 15 October 2019. The texts of the letters will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on the GOV.UK website. The texts will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS19
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Robert Buckland (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

The Deputy Chair of the Boundary Commission for Wales

I should like to inform the House that I have made the following reappointment under Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986:

  • The Honourable Mr Justice Lewis has been re-appointed as Deputy Chair of the Boundary Commission for Wales, effective until 31 December 2019.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS20
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Housing Update

Two-thirds of social housing tenants would like to buy a home, yet only a quarter believe they will ever be able to do so. That is why I have announced today the government’s intention to reinvigorate the home ownership offer for social housing tenants, by introducing a new Right to Shared Ownership.

This will help reduce the gap between ambition and expectation, and make home ownership attainable and affordable for many more social housing tenants. It is part of the government’s wider commitment to support people and families from all backgrounds to realise their ambition to own their own home.

The Right to Shared Ownership will give housing association tenants the right to purchase a share of the home they rent and to purchase further shares in future when they can afford to do so. Alongside this, the government will also cut the minimum initial ownership stake from 25% to 10% for all shared ownership homes, making the tenure even more accessible for aspiring homeowners who are struggling to raise a deposit.

This will build on the government’s existing proposals to introduce a new national model for shared ownership. This new model will be redesigned to work effectively for aspiring home owners in today’s housing market, for example, by allowing shared owners to buy further shares in smaller increments, cutting the costly fees charged for additional shares and introducing a standardised preferred model to improve mortgage availability. The combined package will make it much easier to buy an initial share and to purchase additional shares in order to build up to full ownership.

The government intends to make the Right to Shared Ownership available to tenants in all new social homes delivered with grant in the future. Future investment will be considered at a future fiscal event.

We will also work with the housing association sector on a voluntary basis to determine what offer can be made to tenants in existing homes, so that the new Right to Shared Ownership is extended as widely as possible. The Right to Shared Ownership will not apply to tenants living in existing local authority homes, who already have the statutory Right to Buy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS21
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Viscount Younger of Leckie (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Housing Update

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

Two-thirds of social housing tenants would like to buy a home, yet only a quarter believe they will ever be able to do so. That is why I have announced today the government’s intention to reinvigorate the home ownership offer for social housing tenants, by introducing a new Right to Shared Ownership.

This will help reduce the gap between ambition and expectation, and make home ownership attainable and affordable for many more social housing tenants. It is part of the government’s wider commitment to support people and families from all backgrounds to realise their ambition to own their own home.

The Right to Shared Ownership will give housing association tenants the right to purchase a share of the home they rent and to purchase further shares in future when they can afford to do so. Alongside this, the government will also cut the minimum initial ownership stake from 25% to 10% for all shared ownership homes, making the tenure even more accessible for aspiring homeowners who are struggling to raise a deposit.

This will build on the government’s existing proposals to introduce a new national model for shared ownership. This new model will be redesigned to work effectively for aspiring home owners in today’s housing market, for example, by allowing shared owners to buy further shares in smaller increments, cutting the costly fees charged for additional shares and introducing a standardised preferred model to improve mortgage availability. The combined package will make it much easier to buy an initial share and to purchase additional shares in order to build up to full ownership.

The government intends to make the Right to Shared Ownership available to tenants in all new social homes delivered with grant in the future. Future investment will be considered at a future fiscal event.

We will also work with the housing association sector on a voluntary basis to determine what offer can be made to tenants in existing homes, so that the new Right to Shared Ownership is extended as widely as possible. The Right to Shared Ownership will not apply to tenants living in existing local authority homes, who already have the statutory Right to Buy.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS21
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

The Deputy Chair of the Boundary Commission for Wales

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

"I should like to inform the House that I have made the following reappointment under Schedule 1 to the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986:

  • The Honourable Mr Justice Lewis has been re-appointed as Deputy Chair of the Boundary Commission for Wales, effective until 31 December 2019."
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS22
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Modern Slavery: 2019 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery

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

Today, I am publishing the 2019 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery. The Report covers the whole of the UK and has been drafted in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. This report sets out an assessment of the scale of modern slavery in the UK and outlines the actions that have been taken to combat it over the last year.

A copy of the report will be available on Gov.uk and placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS20
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Climate Change)
Lords

Infrastructure Update

My hon friend the Minister for Business and Industry (Nadhim Zahawi) has today made the following statement:

Today I am pleased to designate the National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure, which was laid in parliament on 4 July.

This is an important milestone in finding a solution to manage the UK’s higher activity radioactive waste and this marks the final step in the parliamentary process for the National Policy Statement.

It is important that we who have benefitted from nuclear technology take appropriate steps now to manage the waste created from using that technology. Nuclear technology has provided clean energy to our homes and businesses and will continue to play an important role as we transition to a carbon neutral economy. For a long time, we have also used radioactive materials to treat and diagnose serious illnesses, to deliver research and development and to help deliver industrial processes. Radioactive waste is created from a variety of sources including electricity generation, defence and healthcare, and geological disposal is internationally recognised as the safest and most secure means of permanently managing a proportion of this waste not suitable for other management regimes.

The National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure sets out the need for such disposal infrastructure to safely and securely manage the UK’s higher activity radioactive wastes. The National Policy Statement provides an appropriate and effective framework for the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to examine and make decisions on development consent applications for geological disposal infrastructure in England

In order to support the requirements for the designation of the National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure, I am also publishing the Final Habitats Regulations Assessment Report and the Post Adoption Statement for the Appraisal of Sustainability on the department’s website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS18
WS
Department for International Development
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development)
Lords

Aid Update

My Rt Hon Friend, the Secretary of State for International Development, has today made the following statement:

This week marks one year on since the UK Department for International Development hosted the 2018 Safeguarding Summit, Putting People First: tackling sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector.

In early 2018 the aid sector’s failure over many years to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH) came into sharp relief.

The shocking stories that emerged exposed how aid workers had been allowed to get away with sexual misconduct. Their actions undermined trust in the whole sector and all the positive work that it does.

So from February 2018 DFID set out to work with others to change the way the aid sector tackles SEAH, from root to branch.

The October 2018 summit in London was an important milestone. More than 500 organisations came together to make commitments for change. This included 22 donors - who provide 90% of global ODA. We committed to global standards on prevention and improved processes covering ethical behaviour, robust recruitment and complaints processes.

These were not empty promises. Work is ongoing to put victims and survivors first and drive real culture change across the aid sector. This includes:

  • DFID’s £10 million project with INTERPOL to help stop perpetrators of SEAH moving around the aid sector by strengthening criminal record checks and information sharing between countries. Regional hubs are being set up and priority countries have been identified.
  • The Misconduct Disclosure Scheme, which means employers can share data on conduct and disciplinary records related to sexual misconduct with greater confidence. It is still early days, but the over 1,500 requests for information since January have prevented the hiring of at least 10 individuals.
  • Awarding the contract this month for DFID’s £10 million Resource and Support Hub to provide guidance, support and training to NGOs and others and access to independent investigators for smaller charities.

Today, DFID is publishing three reports showing some of the progress made and the challenges remaining.

The first has updates from each of the eight groups which made commitments at the summit: donors, UK NGOs, private sector suppliers, the United Nations, International Financial Institutions, CDC, research funders, and Gavi and the Global Fund. Initiatives include new tools and guidance for NGOs; mechanisms to collaborate and learn lessons among private sector suppliers; a new reporting tool for United Nations staff; the development of a Good Guidance Note by International Financial Institutions and CDC; an evidence review of safeguarding challenges by research funders; and the rollout of new training by Gavi and the Global Fund.

The second covers how donors are meeting their commitments. This includes the adoption of a new OECD Development Assistance Committee recommendation on ending SEAH in the aid sector; work to align donor SEAH clauses in funding agreements with multilateral agencies; and collective leverage to drive change across the UN. Donors are continuing to strengthen accountability, build more robust systems and drive culture change across the whole international system. The third gives more details about what DFID has done.

We have been clear that any sexual misconduct is totally unacceptable. But we know that sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector still happens far too often.

The international work led by DFID over the last year has generated good momentum and is starting to deliver results. But we must collectively keep working until every individual feels able to speak up and challenge abuses of power wherever they occur.

We must continue to do all we reasonably can to make zero tolerance a reality, by which we mean responding appropriately to every single report or case.

We must prevent SEAH from happening, listen to those affected, respond appropriately when allegations are made, and learn from every single case.

This is just the beginning of a long-term process.

I will build on the work of my predecessors to maintain momentum, to ensure the failings of the past do not happen again and to deliver better results for the people we serve.

If we do not get things right on safeguarding, and ensure the protection of the most vulnerable, then we fail in our ultimate goal to support the world’s poorest and jeopardise all the positive work aid does.

The commitments made at the London summit are having a positive impact. But more is required by every organisation and every programme if we are going to stop sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector. Something which we must achieve.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS17
WS
Home Office
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Priti Patel (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Modern Slavery: 2019 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery

Today, I am publishing the 2019 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery. The Report covers the whole of the UK and has been drafted in collaboration with the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government. This report sets out an assessment of the scale of modern slavery in the UK and outlines the actions that have been taken to combat it over the last year.

A copy of the report will be available on Gov.uk and placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS19
WS
Treasury
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Mr Simon Clarke (The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Signature of the Double Taxation Agreement between the United Kingdom and Gibraltar

A new Double Taxation Agreement with Gibraltar was mutually accepted in an exchange of letters signed in London on 1 October 2019 and in Gibraltar on 15 October 2019. The texts of the letters will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on the GOV.UK website. The texts will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS22
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (Minister for Business and Industry)
Commons

Infrastructure Update

Today I am pleased to designate the National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure, which was laid in parliament on 4 July.

This is an important milestone in finding a solution to manage the UK’s higher activity radioactive waste and this marks the final step in the parliamentary process for the National Policy Statement.

It is important that we who have benefitted from nuclear technology take appropriate steps now to manage the waste created from using that technology. Nuclear technology has provided clean energy to our homes and businesses and will continue to play an important role as we transition to a carbon neutral economy. For a long time, we have also used radioactive materials to treat and diagnose serious illnesses, to deliver research and development and to help deliver industrial processes. Radioactive waste is created from a variety of sources including electricity generation, defence and healthcare, and geological disposal is internationally recognised as the safest and most secure means of permanently managing a proportion of this waste not suitable for other management regimes.

The National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure sets out the need for such disposal infrastructure to safely and securely manage the UK’s higher activity radioactive wastes. The National Policy Statement provides an appropriate and effective framework for the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to examine and make decisions on development consent applications for geological disposal infrastructure in England

In order to support the requirements for the designation of the National Policy Statement for Geological Disposal Infrastructure, I am also publishing the Final Habitats Regulations Assessment Report and the Post Adoption Statement for the Appraisal of Sustainability on the department’s website.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS18
WS
Department for International Development
Made on: 17 October 2019
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for International Development)
Commons

Aid Update

This week marks one year on since the UK Department for International Development hosted the 2018 Safeguarding Summit, Putting People First: tackling sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector.

In early 2018 the aid sector’s failure over many years to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH) came into sharp relief.

The shocking stories that emerged exposed how aid workers had been allowed to get away with sexual misconduct. Their actions undermined trust in the whole sector and all the positive work that it does.

So from February 2018 DFID set out to work with others to change the way the aid sector tackles SEAH, from root to branch.

The October 2018 summit in London was an important milestone. More than 500 organisations came together to make commitments for change. This included 22 donors - who provide 90% of global ODA. We committed to global standards on prevention and improved processes covering ethical behaviour, robust recruitment and complaints processes.

These were not empty promises. Work is ongoing to put victims and survivors first and drive real culture change across the aid sector. This includes:

  • DFID’s £10 million project with INTERPOL to help stop perpetrators of SEAH moving around the aid sector by strengthening criminal record checks and information sharing between countries. Regional hubs are being set up and priority countries have been identified.
  • The Misconduct Disclosure Scheme, which means employers can share data on conduct and disciplinary records related to sexual misconduct with greater confidence. It is still early days, but the over 1,500 requests for information since January have prevented the hiring of at least 10 individuals.
  • Awarding the contract this month for DFID’s £10 million Resource and Support Hub to provide guidance, support and training to NGOs and others and access to independent investigators for smaller charities.

Today, DFID is publishing three reports showing some of the progress made and the challenges remaining.

The first has updates from each of the eight groups which made commitments at the summit: donors, UK NGOs, private sector suppliers, the United Nations, International Financial Institutions, CDC, research funders, and Gavi and the Global Fund. Initiatives include new tools and guidance for NGOs; mechanisms to collaborate and learn lessons among private sector suppliers; a new reporting tool for United Nations staff; the development of a Good Guidance Note by International Financial Institutions and CDC; an evidence review of safeguarding challenges by research funders; and the rollout of new training by Gavi and the Global Fund.

The second covers how donors are meeting their commitments. This includes the adoption of a new OECD Development Assistance Committee recommendation on ending SEAH in the aid sector; work to align donor SEAH clauses in funding agreements with multilateral agencies; and collective leverage to drive change across the UN. Donors are continuing to strengthen accountability, build more robust systems and drive culture change across the whole international system. The third gives more details about what DFID has done.

We have been clear that any sexual misconduct is totally unacceptable. But we know that sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector still happens far too often.

The international work led by DFID over the last year has generated good momentum and is starting to deliver results. But we must collectively keep working until every individual feels able to speak up and challenge abuses of power wherever they occur.

We must continue to do all we reasonably can to make zero tolerance a reality, by which we mean responding appropriately to every single report or case.

We must prevent SEAH from happening, listen to those affected, respond appropriately when allegations are made, and learn from every single case.

This is just the beginning of a long-term process.

I will build on the work of my predecessors to maintain momentum, to ensure the failings of the past do not happen again and to deliver better results for the people we serve.

If we do not get things right on safeguarding, and ensure the protection of the most vulnerable, then we fail in our ultimate goal to support the world’s poorest and jeopardise all the positive work aid does.

The commitments made at the London summit are having a positive impact. But more is required by every organisation and every programme if we are going to stop sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment in the aid sector. Something which we must achieve.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS17
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Robert Buckland (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice and Home Affairs post-Council statement

The Justice and Home Affairs Council of the Finnish EU Presidency recently took place in Luxembourg. The JHA Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of the UK to the EU attended Justice Day on 7th October. The UK did not attend Interior Day on 8th October.

The UK Government decided that from 1 September until Brexit day, UK Ministers and officials will only attend EU meetings where the UK has a significant national interest in the outcome of the discussions.

Justice Day began with a discussion on the EU Action against corruption, in the broader context of the debate on rule of law and mutual recognition. All Member States supported the need to take action against corruption. The Presidency concluded that there was support for a new comprehensive EU Strategy or Action Plan. The EU work should bring added value and as such should look first at using its existing tools. Member States also supported the EU becoming a full member of the Group of States against corruption (GRECO), so that the EU Institutions are held to the same standards as GRECO members.

Ministers adopted the supplementary negotiating directives on EU accession to the ECHR. The Commission committed to restarting negotiations as soon as possible, whilst ensuring that the EU would reform its internal rules ahead of agreement with the Council of Europe.

The Council Conclusions on the “EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after 10 Years: a State of Play and future work” were waved through without debate.

During lunch, Ministers discussed the rights of victims of crime, particularly the most vulnerable, including children and victims of domestic and sexual violence. The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) cited the 2.5 million children across the EU who are involved in criminal proceedings in different forms. The need for a multi-agency approach was noted, with care of victims being about more than the criminal justice system alone. It also entailed medical, social and psychological care. The Presidency concluded that they would consider this issue further at the December Council.

After lunch, the FRA Director presented the ‘Fundamental Rights Challenges in 2020 and Beyond’ paper. Many Member States touched on the importance of the link between rule of law and fundamental rights and the importance of the EU moving forwards on artificial intelligence with a fundamental rights focus.

The Commission then welcomed the progress made following the introduction of the Code of Conduct but called for further work to be done by the next Commission on disinformation and online hate speech.

Ministers also approved the Council Conclusions on Eurojust. Eurojust presented the Counter Terrorism Register which was launched in September. Member States agreed that the register would build upon the spirit of cooperation reached in the 2005 Council Decision to support the work of Eurojust.

The Commission briefed the Council on the latest EU-US senior officials meeting, reiterating the limited mandate due to the ongoing E-Evidence negotiations. The second senior officials meeting would take place in early November to make progress before the EU-US Ministerial on 10th December. Security Commissioner Sir Julian King briefed on the progress made on the Budapest Convention. The Presidency concluded that it would return to the issue in December.

The Commission considered that the appointment of the European Public Prosecutor would give a boost to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) being set up and reminded participating Member States to nominate their three nominees as to be ready before November 2020.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS16
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Justice and Home Affairs post-Council statement

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Robert Buckland) has made the following Written Statement:

"The Justice and Home Affairs Council of the Finnish EU Presidency recently took place in Luxembourg. The JHA Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of the UK to the EU attended Justice Day on 7th October. The UK did not attend Interior Day on 8th October.

The UK Government decided that from 1 September until Brexit day, UK Ministers and officials will only attend EU meetings where the UK has a significant national interest in the outcome of the discussions.

Justice Day began with a discussion on the EU Action against corruption, in the broader context of the debate on rule of law and mutual recognition. All Member States supported the need to take action against corruption. The Presidency concluded that there was support for a new comprehensive EU Strategy or Action Plan. The EU work should bring added value and as such should look first at using its existing tools. Member States also supported the EU becoming a full member of the Group of States against corruption (GRECO), so that the EU Institutions are held to the same standards as GRECO members.

Ministers adopted the supplementary negotiating directives on EU accession to the ECHR. The Commission committed to restarting negotiations as soon as possible, whilst ensuring that the EU would reform its internal rules ahead of agreement with the Council of Europe.

The Council Conclusions on the “EU Charter of Fundamental Rights after 10 Years: a State of Play and future work” were waved through without debate.

During lunch, Ministers discussed the rights of victims of crime, particularly the most vulnerable, including children and victims of domestic and sexual violence. The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) cited the 2.5 million children across the EU who are involved in criminal proceedings in different forms. The need for a multi-agency approach was noted, with care of victims being about more than the criminal justice system alone. It also entailed medical, social and psychological care. The Presidency concluded that they would consider this issue further at the December Council.

After lunch, the FRA Director presented the ‘Fundamental Rights Challenges in 2020 and Beyond’ paper. Many Member States touched on the importance of the link between rule of law and fundamental rights and the importance of the EU moving forwards on artificial intelligence with a fundamental rights focus.

The Commission then welcomed the progress made following the introduction of the Code of Conduct but called for further work to be done by the next Commission on disinformation and online hate speech.

Ministers also approved the Council Conclusions on Eurojust. Eurojust presented the Counter Terrorism Register which was launched in September. Member States agreed that the register would build upon the spirit of cooperation reached in the 2005 Council Decision to support the work of Eurojust.

The Commission briefed the Council on the latest EU-US senior officials meeting, reiterating the limited mandate due to the ongoing E-Evidence negotiations. The second senior officials meeting would take place in early November to make progress before the EU-US Ministerial on 10th December. Security Commissioner Sir Julian King briefed on the progress made on the Budapest Convention. The Presidency concluded that it would return to the issue in December.

The Commission considered that the appointment of the European Public Prosecutor would give a boost to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) being set up and reminded participating Member States to nominate their three nominees as to be ready before November 2020."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS16
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: The Earl of Courtown (Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (Lords Deputy Chief Whip))
Lords

Office for Veterans' Affairs

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office (Oliver Dowden) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I would like to update the House on the work of the new Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which was announced by the Prime Minister in July.

As the Minister attending Cabinet with responsibility for veterans, I have been appointed to oversee the Office with the Minister for Defence People and Veterans.

Veterans have offered to make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our country, so the Government has a moral duty to them and their loved ones to provide the best possible support after they leave service.

Our ambition is for the UK to be the best place in the world to be a veteran and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs will be a champion for our ex-servicemen and women at the centre of government. It will promote the outstanding contribution veterans are already making to our economy and society and ensure no individual who needs help is left behind after they leave service.

As part of the recent spending round, £5 million of Government funding was secured to staff and resource the new Office.

Colonel (Retired) David Richmond CBE has now been appointed as the Head of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and has started work in the Cabinet Office this week. David Richmond was the most senior officer injured in combat in Afghanistan and subsequently became the Director of Recovery at Help for Heroes.

One of the Office’s first tasks will be to produce a detailed work programme informed by the responses to the government consultation on the Strategy for our Veterans. David Richmond and his team will be engaging widely with veterans, charities, the Devolved Administrations, local authorities and Parliamentarians so that the work of the Office reflects the needs of veterans and their families, with a particular focus on:

  • Pulling together all functions of Government, and better collaboration with charity sector provision, in order to ensure this Nation’s life-long duty to those who have served

  • Ensuring that every single veteran and their family knows where to turn to access support if required

  • Helping to generate a ‘single view of the veteran’ by making better use of data to understand veterans’ needs and where gaps in provision exist

  • Improving the perception of veterans and showcasing the brilliant contribution they make after leaving service.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS15
WS
Home Office
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Government Response to the SNP Opposition Day Debate - A Fair Immigration System

My hon Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration (Seema Kennedy) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

People from all over the world have come to the UK and helped make this nation what it is today, and this Government welcomes the contribution migrants make to the UK’s economy, society and culture.

Leaving the EU allows us to introduce a new points-based immigration system and we have commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to conduct a review of the Australian immigration system and other international comparators, as the first step in creating our new fairer immigration system.

The new immigration system will be a single system, where it is people’s skills that matter, not where they come from. For example, our new Graduate route will be open to international students who have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider. It will build on action to help recruit and retain the best and brightest global talent.

But a fair system also means a controlled system. My Right Honourable Friend, the Prime Minister, has confirmed he is not getting into a numbers game in respect of migration, but it is only fair to those who play by the rules and everyone else that those working, living and accessing public services are doing so legally. It is right that the system distinguishes effectively between those with lawful status and those here illegally.

In that respect, we are keen to ensure that the experiences of the Windrush generation are not repeated. One of the key lessons we have learnt is that declaratory systems do not work. The EU Settlement Scheme means that, in years to come, EU citizens will always have the evidence that they need to continue living in the UK as they do now. Simply to grant all EU citizens a status in law, and not require them to obtain evidence of this, would significantly increase the risk of another Windrush.

The EU Settlement Scheme, is a fair, simple and straightforward system for EU citizens to secure their immigration status in UK law. The system is working well, and the latest internal figures show we have received two million applications and are processing up to 20,000 a day.

Settled and pre-settled status reflects the residence rights that EU citizens currently have under EU free movement rules. EU citizens resident in the UK for less than five years can get pre-settled status, which protects their current rights to live, work, receive benefits and access services, qualifying for settled status once five years residence is complete.

Fairness also means ensuring we provide protection to those most in need of it. This Government has great respect for human rights and has evidenced this through a long and proud history of supporting refugees and other vulnerable people. Over 75,000 individuals have been granted some form of protection since 2010.

In 2015 we committed to resettle up to 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria by 2020 – and we are well over three-quarters of the way there, resettling over 17,000. We have re-affirmed this commitment to resettlement beyond the current commitments by creating a new consolidated global resettlement scheme, resettling in the region of 5,000 refugees in its first year of operation.

Immigration is a reserved matter and this Government believes it is right that it stays that way, but we do recognise the need for some regional variation, which is why Scotland already benefits from a separate Shortage Occupation List.

It is also why, earlier this year, we commissioned the MAC to advise on issues concerning potential future salary thresholds.

This Government believes that a controlled immigration system that serves the best interests of the whole of the UK, that rewards hard work and talent, that is based on a person’s skills and what they have to offer rather than where they come from; and that provides protection to the most vulnerable, is a system that constitutes fairness. That is the system that this Government is working to deliver.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS14
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Viscount Younger of Leckie (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Domestic Abuse Support

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

My Department has published the government response to the consultation on the Future Delivery of Support for Victims and their Children in Accommodation-Based Domestic Abuse Services.

Through the consultation we heard from victims and survivors, service providers, local authorities and other public agencies, as well as other professionals who support victims including children every day. All responses to the consultation were carefully considered – I am grateful to everyone who took the time to respond, providing vital insight and evidence.

The majority of respondents agreed with the proposals as set out. Government will therefore introduce a statutory duty on local authorities, placing clearer accountability on local areas to ensure the needs of survivors and victims within safe accommodation are met in a consistent way across England. By introducing this statutory duty, we want to ensure all victims of domestic abuse are able to access support within safe accommodation that meets their specific individual needs. All victims, no matter their background, should feel safe and supported as they recover from this terrible crime.

Under this new duty Tier One authorities (County Councils, Metropolitan, and Unitary Authorities, and the Greater London Authority) in England will be required to convene a Local Domestic Abuse Partnership Board to support them in undertaking local needs assessments and developing local strategies. Tier One authorities will also be required to effectively commission services based on a robust needs assessment, and report back to Government demonstrating how they have met the needs identified. The duty will also require Tier Two authorities in two-tier areas (District, City, and Borough Councils) to co-operate with the lead Tier One authority.

To support local authorities, my department will develop statutory guidance which will set out government’s expectations of local authorities in delivering this duty. We will also establish a ministerial-led National Steering Group to monitor and evaluate delivery of support within safe accommodation – working closely with the newly appointed Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

The full response can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse-in-safe-accommodation

The Domestic Abuse Bill demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting all victims of domestic abuse. The Government will now introduce this new statutory duty as an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill at the earliest opportunity, to enable proper parliamentary scrutiny.

My officials will continue to work closely with local authorities, national organisations, and specialist domestic abuse service providers to ensure the proposals are effectively delivered on the ground.

I am also pleased to announce ahead of this new duty coming into force in 2021, that we are confirming today a further domestic abuse accommodation services funding round for 2020/21. Councils will be invited to bid for a share of £15 million – a 20% increase on 2019/20 – to ensure essential support services are able to run for those that need them.

A copy of the Government response to the consultation will be placed in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS10
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Cabinet Office
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Oliver Dowden (Paymaster General and Minister for Cabinet Office)
Commons

Office for Veterans' Affairs

I would like to update the House on the work of the new Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which was announced by the Prime Minister in July.

As the Minister attending Cabinet with responsibility for veterans, I have been appointed to oversee the Office with the Minister for Defence People and Veterans.

Veterans have offered to make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our country, so the Government has a moral duty to them and their loved ones to provide the best possible support after they leave service.

Our ambition is for the UK to be the best place in the world to be a veteran and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs will be a champion for our ex-servicemen and women at the centre of government. It will promote the outstanding contribution veterans are already making to our economy and society and ensure no individual who needs help is left behind after they leave service.

As part of the recent spending round, £5 million of Government funding was secured to staff and resource the new Office.

Colonel (Retired) David Richmond CBE has now been appointed as the Head of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and has started work in the Cabinet Office this week. David Richmond was the most senior officer injured in combat in Afghanistan and subsequently became the Director of Recovery at Help for Heroes.

One of the Office’s first tasks will be to produce a detailed work programme informed by the responses to the government consultation on the Strategy for our Veterans. David Richmond and his team will be engaging widely with veterans, charities, the Devolved Administrations, local authorities and Parliamentarians so that the work of the Office reflects the needs of veterans and their families, with a particular focus on:

  • Pulling together all functions of Government, and better collaboration with charity sector provision, in order to ensure this Nation’s life-long duty to those who have served

  • Ensuring that every single veteran and their family knows where to turn to access support if required

  • Helping to generate a ‘single view of the veteran’ by making better use of data to understand veterans’ needs and where gaps in provision exist

  • Improving the perception of veterans and showcasing the brilliant contribution they make after leaving service.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS15
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Home Office
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Seema Kennedy (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Immigration)
Commons

Government Response to the SNP Opposition Day Debate - A Fair Immigration System

People from all over the world have come to the UK and helped make this nation what it is today, and this Government welcomes the contribution migrants make to the UK’s economy, society and culture.

Leaving the EU allows us to introduce a new points-based immigration system and we have commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to conduct a review of the Australian immigration system and other international comparators, as the first step in creating our new fairer immigration system.

The new immigration system will be a single system, where it is people’s skills that matter, not where they come from. For example, our new Graduate route will be open to international students who have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at an approved UK Higher Education Provider. It will build on action to help recruit and retain the best and brightest global talent.

But a fair system also means a controlled system. My Right Honourable Friend, the Prime Minister, has confirmed he is not getting into a numbers game in respect of migration, but it is only fair to those who play by the rules and everyone else that those working, living and accessing public services are doing so legally. It is right that the system distinguishes effectively between those with lawful status and those here illegally.

In that respect, we are keen to ensure that the experiences of the Windrush generation are not repeated. One of the key lessons we have learnt is that declaratory systems do not work. The EU Settlement Scheme means that, in years to come, EU citizens will always have the evidence that they need to continue living in the UK as they do now. Simply to grant all EU citizens a status in law, and not require them to obtain evidence of this, would significantly increase the risk of another Windrush.

The EU Settlement Scheme, is a fair, simple and straightforward system for EU citizens to secure their immigration status in UK law. The system is working well, and the latest internal figures show we have received two million applications and are processing up to 20,000 a day.

Settled and pre-settled status reflects the residence rights that EU citizens currently have under EU free movement rules. EU citizens resident in the UK for less than five years can get pre-settled status, which protects their current rights to live, work, receive benefits and access services, qualifying for settled status once five years residence is complete.

Fairness also means ensuring we provide protection to those most in need of it. This Government has great respect for human rights and has evidenced this through a long and proud history of supporting refugees and other vulnerable people. Over 75,000 individuals have been granted some form of protection since 2010.

In 2015 we committed to resettle up to 20,000 refugees affected by the conflict in Syria by 2020 – and we are well over three-quarters of the way there, resettling over 17,000. We have re-affirmed this commitment to resettlement beyond the current commitments by creating a new consolidated global resettlement scheme, resettling in the region of 5,000 refugees in its first year of operation.

Immigration is a reserved matter and this Government believes it is right that it stays that way, but we do recognise the need for some regional variation, which is why Scotland already benefits from a separate Shortage Occupation List.

It is also why, earlier this year, we commissioned the MAC to advise on issues concerning potential future salary thresholds.

This Government believes that a controlled immigration system that serves the best interests of the whole of the UK, that rewards hard work and talent, that is based on a person’s skills and what they have to offer rather than where they come from; and that provides protection to the most vulnerable, is a system that constitutes fairness. That is the system that this Government is working to deliver.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS14
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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Barran (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

ONLINE HARMS

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Nicky Morgan) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:



Protecting children is at the heart of our online harms agenda, and is key to wider government priorities. Going online can be beneficial for children, who use the internet for connecting with peers, to access educational resources and for entertainment. However, the government is concerned about the prevalence of adult content online, which is easily accessible to children, and believes it is vital that children are protected from accessing inappropriate, harmful content.

The government published the Online Harms White Paper in April this year. It proposed the establishment of a duty of care on companies to improve online safety, overseen by an independent regulator with strong enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance. Since the White Paper’s publication, the government’s proposals have continued to develop at pace. The government announced as part of the Queen’s Speech that we will publish draft legislation for pre-legislative scrutiny. It is important that our policy aims and our overall policy on protecting children from online harms are developed coherently in view of these developments with the aim of bringing forward the most comprehensive approach possible to protecting children.

The government has concluded that this objective of coherence will be best achieved through our wider online harms proposals and, as a consequence, will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 concerning age verification for online pornography. The Digital Economy Act objectives will therefore be delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime. This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care. As currently drafted, the Digital Economy Act does not cover social media platforms.

The government’s commitment to protecting children online is unwavering. Adult content is too easily accessed online and more needs to be done to protect children from harm. We want to deliver the most comprehensive approach to keeping children safe online and recognised in the Online Harms White Paper the role that technology can play in keeping all users, particularly children, safe. We are committed to the UK becoming a world-leader in the development of online safety technology and to ensure companies of all sizes have access to, and adopt, innovative solutions to improve the safety of their users. This includes age verification tools and we expect them to continue to play a key role in protecting children online.


We will continue to engage with members of Parliament on the provisions of the online harms regime to ensure the most comprehensive online harms proposals which deliver on the objectives of the Digital Economy Act.

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Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Nicky Morgan (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

ONLINE HARMS

Protecting children is at the heart of our online harms agenda, and is key to wider government priorities. Going online can be beneficial for children, who use the internet for connecting with peers, to access educational resources and for entertainment. However, the government is concerned about the prevalence of adult content online, which is easily accessible to children, and believes it is vital that children are protected from accessing inappropriate, harmful content.

The government published the Online Harms White Paper in April this year. It proposed the establishment of a duty of care on companies to improve online safety, overseen by an independent regulator with strong enforcement powers to deal with non-compliance. Since the White Paper’s publication, the government’s proposals have continued to develop at pace. The government announced as part of the Queen’s Speech that we will publish draft legislation for pre-legislative scrutiny. It is important that our policy aims and our overall policy on protecting children from online harms are developed coherently in view of these developments with the aim of bringing forward the most comprehensive approach possible to protecting children.

The government has concluded that this objective of coherence will be best achieved through our wider online harms proposals and, as a consequence, will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 concerning age verification for online pornography. The Digital Economy Act objectives will therefore be delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime. This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care. As currently drafted, the Digital Economy Act does not cover social media platforms.

The government’s commitment to protecting children online is unwavering. Adult content is too easily accessed online and more needs to be done to protect children from harm. We want to deliver the most comprehensive approach to keeping children safe online and recognised in the Online Harms White Paper the role that technology can play in keeping all users, particularly children, safe. We are committed to the UK becoming a world-leader in the development of online safety technology and to ensure companies of all sizes have access to, and adopt, innovative solutions to improve the safety of their users. This includes age verification tools and we expect them to continue to play a key role in protecting children online.

We will continue to engage with members of Parliament on the provisions of the online harms regime to ensure the most comprehensive online harms proposals which deliver on the objectives of the Digital Economy Act.

WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords))
Lords

Publication of Professor Sir Mike Richards’ Review of National Adult Screening Programmes

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

I would like to inform the House that Professor Sir Mike Richards’ review of adult screening has been published today. The review was commissioned in November 2018, following two high-profile screening incidents in the NHS breast and cervical cancer screening programmes.

Screening is an essential component of early diagnosis and a way of preventing more serious ill-health or death. Professor Richards’ recognises the value of our national screening programmes, which result in over 10 million screening appointments and save approximately 10,000 lives each year. The success of our programmes is in large part due to the expertise and dedication of staff across the NHS and Public Health England (PHE).

However, there is a serious need to improve the existing arrangements to achieve our vision for effective screening programmes and to harness powerful new technologies. We will use the findings from Professor Richards’ review, and other recent independent screening reviews, to inform the actions we need to take to improve our screening programmes and save even more lives.

I agree that there is a need for robust governance and clarity of responsibility and accountability for the different elements of screening. Working closely with Public Health England and NHS England we will ensure functions are located in the best place to deliver a high-quality service, building on the joint work that both organisations have already been implementing. I also agree it is important that screening programmes receive independent external scrutiny and we will continue to work with PHE and NHS England to design an optimum quality assurance process.

I agree with Professor Richards that there should be a single source of national expert advice on both population-wide and targeted screening. Public Health England, our national public health agency, hosts world-class scientific and expert advice on screening and will host this function, building on its current role providing support to the UK National Screening Committee. I have asked the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, to work with his counterparts across the UK to consider the detail of the proposed new advisory mechanism and how it could meet the needs of all four UK countries. By extending and consolidating our arrangements for providing independent expert advice on all screening programmes, we will improve delivery and exploit the huge scientific progress that is being made to deliver faster and better access to the latest and best screening interventions. NHS England will become the single body responsible for the delivery of screening services.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the invaluable advice received from the current UK National Screening Committee on both existing and potential screening programmes to ensure the programmes achieve the right balance of benefit versus harm and that our national screening programmes are effective and of high quality.

In his report, Professor Richards also notes the need for significant investment in diagnostic capacity. I have recently announced £200m investment in new cancer screening equipment, including x-ray mammography machines and MRI and CT scanners, with priority given to replacing the oldest machines with new cutting-edge technology. This will significantly improve the ability of the NHS to diagnose cancer and will support the commitment in the NHS Long-term Plan to ensure 55,000 more people survive cancer each year.

I recognise the immense value that research adds to our understanding of screening and I am determined to ensure we use cutting-edge data techniques. NHSX will lead the vital work to drive this forward to save more lives.

Professor Richards has delivered a significant body of work, together with a substantial number of recommendations. His full recommendations will need further consideration, taking into account the potential impact on current service delivery to ensure any changes can be delivered safely and consistently. We will consider the review’s report and recommendations and develop an implementation plan, which we will publish in due course.

I would like to record my thanks to Professor Richards for his report, and to colleagues across the health system who have contributed, and to pay tribute to all those who work to deliver the screening system across the country.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS11
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Climate Change)
Lords

Professional Qualifications and the Common Travel Area

My Rt hon friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Andrea Leadsom) has today made the following statement:

As set out in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 8 May 2019, the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland means that British citizens in Ireland and Irish citizens in the UK can work in either country,  including  on a self-employed basis, without any requirement to obtain permission from the authorities.

Her Majesty’s Government  remains committed to ensuring the continuation of adequate and appropriate provisions to enable the recognition of Irish professional qualifications in the UK after Brexit.

We seek to build on the highly effective working relationships that currently exist between the UK and Ireland in this area.  Many professional bodies and regulators in the UK and Ireland have close and longstanding  links, rooted in mutual trust and familiarity. Some operate as a single body across jurisdictions.  The Government  will support and encourage continued close collaboration and communication between UK and Irish regulators.

My department, along with colleagues across Whitehall, have been working closely with UK regulators and professional bodies to ensure that, as far as possible, there are appropriate systems and procedures in place for the recognition of Irish professional qualifications, whether through retained EU legislation or alternative profession-specific pathways. Some individuals will continue to benefit from bilateral arrangements already in place between UK and Irish regulators.

We recognise that it is in our mutual interest to ensure that these routes to recognition are in place to allow Irish professionals to continue in their important participation within the UK economy.

Her Majesty’s Government will continue to encourage UK and Irish regulators to work together to strengthen their relationships and minimise the impact on individuals of any necessary changes after EU Exit. By building on longstanding relationships and established good practice we seek to ensure minimal disruption for all stakeholders.

Finally, Her Majesty’s Government would like to reassure professionals with Irish qualifications who have already had those qualifications recognised in the UK under the current EU Directives, that their recognition decisions will still stand and they will continue to be recognised.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS12
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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Andrea Leadsom (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Professional Qualifications and the Common Travel Area

As set out in the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 8 May 2019, the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland means that British citizens in Ireland and Irish citizens in the UK can work in either country,  including  on a self-employed basis, without any requirement to obtain permission from the authorities.

Her Majesty’s Government  remains committed to ensuring the continuation of adequate and appropriate provisions to enable the recognition of Irish professional qualifications in the UK after Brexit.

We seek to build on the highly effective working relationships that currently exist between the UK and Ireland in this area.  Many professional bodies and regulators in the UK and Ireland have close and longstanding  links, rooted in mutual trust and familiarity. Some operate as a single body across jurisdictions.  The Government  will support and encourage continued close collaboration and communication between UK and Irish regulators.

My department, along with colleagues across Whitehall, have been working closely with UK regulators and professional bodies to ensure that, as far as possible, there are appropriate systems and procedures  in place  for  the  recognition of Irish professional qualifications, whether through retained EU legislation or alternative profession-specific pathways. Some individuals will continue to benefit from bilateral arrangements already in place between UK and Irish regulators.

We recognise that it is in our mutual interest to ensure that these routes to recognition are in place to allow Irish professionals to continue in their important participation within the UK economy.

Her Majesty’s Government will continue to encourage UK and Irish regulators to work together to strengthen their relationships and minimise the impact on individuals of any necessary changes after EU Exit.  By building on longstanding relationships and  established  good practice we seek to ensure minimal disruption for all stakeholders.

Finally, Her Majesty’s Government would like to reassure professionals with Irish qualifications who have already had those qualifications recognised in the UK under the current EU Directives, that their recognition decisions will still stand and they will continue to be recognised.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS10
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Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 16 October 2019
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

Publication of Professor Sir Mike Richards’ Review of National Adult Screening Programmes

I would like to inform the House that Professor Sir Mike Richards’ review of adult screening has been published today. The review was commissioned in November 2018, following two high-profile screening incidents in the NHS breast and cervical cancer screening programmes.

Screening is an essential component of early diagnosis and a way of preventing more serious ill-health or death. Professor Richards’ recognises the value of our national screening programmes, which result in over 10 million screening appointments and save approximately 10,000 lives each year. The success of our programmes is in large part due to the expertise and dedication of staff across the NHS and Public Health England (PHE).

However, there is a serious need to improve the existing arrangements to achieve our vision for effective screening programmes and to harness powerful new technologies. We will use the findings from Professor Richards’ review, and other recent independent screening reviews, to inform the actions we need to take to improve our screening programmes and save even more lives.

I agree that there is a need for robust governance and clarity of responsibility and accountability for the different elements of screening. Working closely with Public Health England and NHS England we will ensure functions are located in the best place to deliver a high-quality service, building on the joint work that both organisations have already been implementing. I also agree it is important that screening programmes receive independent external scrutiny and we will continue to work with PHE and NHS England to design an optimum quality assurance process.

I agree with Professor Richards that there should be a single source of national expert advice on both population-wide and targeted screening. Public Health England, our national public health agency, hosts world-class scientific and expert advice on screening and will host this function, building on its current role providing support to the UK National Screening Committee. I have asked the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, to work with his counterparts across the UK to consider the detail of the proposed new advisory mechanism and how it could meet the needs of all four UK countries. By extending and consolidating our arrangements for providing independent expert advice on all screening programmes, we will improve delivery and exploit the huge scientific progress that is being made to deliver faster and better access to the latest and best screening interventions. NHS England will become the single body responsible for the delivery of screening services.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the invaluable advice received from the current UK National Screening Committee on both existing and potential screening programmes to ensure the programmes achieve the right balance of benefit versus harm and that our national screening programmes are effective and of high quality.

In his report, Professor Richards also notes the need for significant investment in diagnostic capacity. I have recently announced £200m investment in new cancer screening equipment, including x-ray mammography machines and MRI and CT scanners, with priority given to replacing the oldest machines with new cutting-edge technology. This will significantly improve the ability of the NHS to diagnose cancer and will support the commitment in the NHS Long-term Plan to ensure 55,000 more people survive cancer each year.

I recognise the immense value that research adds to our understanding of screening and I am determined to ensure we use cutting-edge data techniques. NHSX will lead the vital work to drive this forward to save more lives.

Professor Richards has delivered a significant body of work, together with a substantial number of recommendations. His full recommendations will need further consideration, taking into account the potential impact on current service delivery to ensure any changes can be delivered safely and consistently. We will consider the review’s report and recommendations and develop an implementation plan, which we will publish in due course.

I would like to record my thanks to Professor Richards for his report, and to colleagues across the health system who have contributed, and to pay tribute to all those who work to deliver the screening system across the country.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS11
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Domestic Abuse Support

My Department has published the government response to the consultation on the Future Delivery of Support for Victims and their Children in Accommodation-Based Domestic Abuse Services.

Through the consultation we heard from victims and survivors, service providers, local authorities and other public agencies, as well as other professionals who support victims including children every day. All responses to the consultation were carefully considered – I am grateful to everyone who took the time to respond, providing vital insight and evidence.

The majority of respondents agreed with the proposals as set out. Government will therefore introduce a statutory duty on local authorities, placing clearer accountability on local areas to ensure the needs of survivors and victims within safe accommodation are met in a consistent way across England. By introducing this statutory duty, we want to ensure all victims of domestic abuse are able to access support within safe accommodation that meets their specific individual needs. All victims, no matter their background, should feel safe and supported as they recover from this terrible crime.

Under this new duty Tier One authorities (County Councils, Metropolitan, and Unitary Authorities, and the Greater London Authority) in England will be required to convene a Local Domestic Abuse Partnership Board to support them in undertaking local needs assessments and developing local strategies. Tier One authorities will also be required to effectively commission services based on a robust needs assessment, and report back to Government demonstrating how they have met the needs identified. The duty will also require Tier Two authorities in two-tier areas (District, City, and Borough Councils) to co-operate with the lead Tier One authority.

To support local authorities, my department will develop statutory guidance which will set out government’s expectations of local authorities in delivering this duty. We will also establish a ministerial-led National Steering Group to monitor and evaluate delivery of support within safe accommodation – working closely with the newly appointed Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

The full response can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse-in-safe-accommodation

The Domestic Abuse Bill demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting all victims of domestic abuse. The Government will now introduce this new statutory duty as an amendment to the Domestic Abuse Bill at the earliest opportunity, to enable proper parliamentary scrutiny.

My officials will continue to work closely with local authorities, national organisations, and specialist domestic abuse service providers to ensure the proposals are effectively delivered on the ground.

I am also pleased to announce ahead of this new duty coming into force in 2021, that we are confirming today a further domestic abuse accommodation services funding round for 2020/21. Councils will be invited to bid for a share of £15 million – a 20% increase on 2019/20 – to ensure essential support services are able to run for those that need them.

A copy of the Government response to the consultation will be placed in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS13
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Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Lords

Government's Legislative Programme (Northern Ireland)

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Julian Smith MP) has today made the following statement:

The legislative programme for the Second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on Monday 14 October. This statement provides a summary of the programme and its application to Northern Ireland. It does not include draft bills, Law Commission bills or Finance Bills.

The legislative programme will deliver important reform to domestic issues and deliver benefits across the whole of the United Kingdom. The programme includes a series of ambitious reforms and brings forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom. The Government believes strongly in upholding the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom - our Union is at its strongest when all four nations work together.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to ensure the UK leaves the EU with certainty, continuity and control by working to deliver an unprecedented programme of legislation to date, preparing for all scenarios. The second session legislative programme will build on this by seizing the opportunities EU exit brings.

The Government’s top priority in Northern Ireland is the restoration of the devolved institutions at the earliest possible opportunity. The Government will continue to work with all of the parties in Northern Ireland, and the Irish Government, as part of the ongoing talks process to support the return of the Executive.

In the absence of an Executive the Government remains steadfastly committed to ensuring good governance in Northern Ireland. We will continue to take action to protect the continued delivery of vital public services where necessary.

The following Bills contained in the programme are likely to apply to Northern Ireland (either in full or in part):

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrests) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

In the absence of a devolved Assembly and Executive we will continue to work constructively with Northern Ireland Departments to deliver legislation which will apply to Northern Ireland.

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Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Julian Smith (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Commons

Government's Legislative Programme (Northern Ireland)

Government's Legislative Programme (Northern Ireland)

The legislative programme for the Second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on Monday 14 October. This statement provides a summary of the programme and its application to Northern Ireland. It does not include draft bills, Law Commission bills or Finance Bills.

The legislative programme will deliver important reform to domestic issues and deliver benefits across the whole of the United Kingdom. The programme includes a series of ambitious reforms and brings forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom. The Government believes strongly in upholding the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom - our Union is at its strongest when all four nations work together.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to ensure the UK leaves the EU with certainty, continuity and control by working to deliver an unprecedented programme of legislation to date, preparing for all scenarios. The second session legislative programme will build on this by seizing the opportunities EU exit brings.

The Government’s top priority in Northern Ireland is the restoration of the devolved institutions at the earliest possible opportunity. The Government will continue to work with all of the parties in Northern Ireland, and the Irish Government, as part of the ongoing talks process to support the return of the Executive.

In the absence of an Executive the Government remains steadfastly committed to ensuring good governance in Northern Ireland. We will continue to take action to protect the continued delivery of vital public services where necessary.

The following Bills contained in the programme are likely to apply to Northern Ireland (either in full or in part):

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrests) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

In the absence of a devolved Assembly and Executive we will continue to work constructively with Northern Ireland Departments to deliver legislation which will apply to Northern Ireland.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State )
Lords

The Environment Bill

My Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Theresa Villiers) has today made the following statement:

Today, I am introducing the Environment Bill into the House of Commons, which will play a crucial role in delivering on the Government’s goal that this will be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.

The case for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change is clear. The accelerating impact of climate change in this country, and around the world, is of profound public concern, as is the damage to nature with species loss, habitat erosion and the disappearance of cherished wildlife.

The Environment Bill, building on the vision set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, will help to manage the impact of human activity on the environment, create a more sustainable economy, and enhance well-being and quality of life.

A key aim of the Bill is to engage and empower citizens, local government and businesses to deliver environmental outcomes and create a positive legacy for future generations. It will also support recent legislation on reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by reducing waste, improving air and water quality, and restoring habitats to allow plants and wildlife to thrive.

The Bill will transform our environmental governance by creating a new, world-leading system tailored to a UK context once we leave the EU. It will introduce new statutory cycle of monitoring, planning and reporting on the environment, coupled with a framework to set long-term legally binding targets, on biodiversity, air quality, waste and resource efficiency, and water. This will deliver significant environmental improvement and ensure that the Government can be held to account for its actions.

This new framework will ensure that environmental principles are embedded in Government decision-making and policy development.

A new public body – the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) – will act as an independent watchdog. The OEP will provide scrutiny and advice, and enforce the delivery of environmental law (including on climate) by public authorities where necessary.

Together, these measures form a robust framework which will maintain and enhance our environmental standards as we leave the EU. They will enable the UK to take a global lead on environmental concerns such as nature recovery and the protection of biodiversity.

The Environment Bill takes action to address some of the biggest environmental priorities of our age: air quality, nature recovery, waste and resource efficiency, and water resource management. For example, mandatory biodiversity net gain principles will ensure that new developments enhance biodiversity in conjunction with Local Nature Recovery Strategies which will help restore wildlife rich habitats to enable ecosystems to recover and thrive.

The Bill strengthens the ability for local authorities to tackle air quality issues. It will also require Government to set a legally-binding target for the pollutant with the most significant impact on human health, fine particulate matter. The Bill improves water company planning for future water supply and wastewater and drainage networks, enabling more resilient solutions to drought and flooding in a changing climate.

Extended Producer Responsibility and powers to set resource efficiency standards will drive a shift in the market towards products that can be more easily recycled, re-used and repaired. This, and other measures in the Bill, will play a significant part in addressing public concern about plastics waste and pollution.

This Environment Bill is a landmark commitment to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. It grasps opportunities created from leaving the European Union and I hope that it will deliver a step-change in environmental protection and recovery.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Theresa Villiers (Secretary of State)
Commons

The Environment Bill

Today, I am introducing the Environment Bill into the House of Commons, which will play a crucial role in delivering on the Government’s goal that this will be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it.

The case for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change is clear. The accelerating impact of climate change in this country, and around the world, is of profound public concern, as is the damage to nature with species loss, habitat erosion and the disappearance of cherished wildlife.

The Environment Bill, building on the vision set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, will help to manage the impact of human activity on the environment, create a more sustainable economy, and enhance well-being and quality of life.

A key aim of the Bill is to engage and empower citizens, local government and businesses to deliver environmental outcomes and create a positive legacy for future generations. It will also support recent legislation on reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 by reducing waste, improving air and water quality, and restoring habitats to allow plants and wildlife to thrive.

The Bill will transform our environmental governance by creating a new, world-leading system tailored to a UK context once we leave the EU. It will introduce new statutory cycle of monitoring, planning and reporting on the environment, coupled with a framework to set long-term legally binding targets, on biodiversity, air quality, waste and resource efficiency, and water. This will deliver significant environmental improvement and ensure that the Government can be held to account for its actions.

This new framework will ensure that environmental principles are embedded in Government decision-making and policy development.

A new public body – the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) – will act as an independent watchdog. The OEP will provide scrutiny and advice, and enforce the delivery of environmental law (including on climate) by public authorities where necessary.

Together, these measures form a robust framework which will maintain and enhance our environmental standards as we leave the EU. They will enable the UK to take a global lead on environmental concerns such as nature recovery and the protection of biodiversity.

The Environment Bill takes action to address some of the biggest environmental priorities of our age: air quality, nature recovery, waste and resource efficiency, and water resource management. For example, mandatory biodiversity net gain principles will ensure that new developments enhance biodiversity in conjunction with Local Nature Recovery Strategies which will help restore wildlife rich habitats to enable ecosystems to recover and thrive.

The Bill strengthens the ability for local authorities to tackle air quality issues. It will also require Government to set a legally-binding target for the pollutant with the most significant impact on human health, fine particulate matter. The Bill improves water company planning for future water supply and wastewater and drainage networks, enabling more resilient solutions to drought and flooding in a changing climate.

Extended Producer Responsibility and powers to set resource efficiency standards will drive a shift in the market towards products that can be more easily recycled, re-used and repaired. This, and other measures in the Bill, will play a significant part in addressing public concern about plastics waste and pollution.

This Environment Bill is a landmark commitment to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. It grasps opportunities created from leaving the European Union and I hope that it will deliver a step-change in environmental protection and recovery.

WS
Scotland Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Viscount Younger of Leckie (Government Spokesperson for Scotland)
Lords

Government's Legislative Programme (Scotland)

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr Alister Jack MP) has today made the following statement:

The legislative programme for the Second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on Monday 14 October. This statement provides a summary of the programme and its application to Scotland. It does not include draft bills, Law Commission bills or Finance Bills.

The legislative programme will deliver important reform to domestic issues and deliver benefits across the whole of the United Kingdom. The programme includes a series of ambitious reforms and brings forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom. The Government believes strongly in upholding the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom - our Union is at its strongest when all four nations work together.

The Government’s domestic programme will, for example, include the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill which will ensure consumers can be confident in the knowledge that their tips are going to the staff as they intended across the UK. The Environment Bill will also put environmental ambition and accountability at the very heart of government.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to ensure the UK leaves the EU with certainty, continuity and control by working to deliver an unprecedented programme of legislation to date, preparing for all scenarios. The second session legislative programme will build on this by seizing the opportunities EU exit brings. This includes the Fisheries Bill which will provide the powers to build a sustainable and profitable fishing industry, which is in the best interests of the whole of the UK and future generations.

The Government expects that the return of powers from the EU will lead to a significant increase in the decision-making powers for the Devolved Administrations. It will mean that decisions and powers sit in the right place and closer to people than ever before.

The following bills would apply to Scotland (either in full or in part).

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Police Protections Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

In line with the Sewel Convention, the Government will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government to secure the legislative consent of the Scottish Parliament where appropriate.

WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

General Affairs Council, October 2019

My Right Honourable friend Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I will attend the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 15 October 2019 to represent the UK. The UK Government has decided that from 1 September until exit day, UK Ministers and officials will only attend EU meetings where the UK has a significant national interest in the outcome of the discussions.

The provisional agenda includes:

Preparation of the European Council on 17-18 October 2019 and European Council follow-up

The Council will discuss preparations for the October European Council, for which the agenda includes: the Multiannual Financial Framework; the next Institutional Cycle; Climate Change, and other items such as specific foreign policy issues. The European Council (Art 50) will meet in EU27 format to discuss the state of play regarding Brexit. Ministers will also take stock of the implementation of previous European Council conclusions.

Enlargement and the Stabilisation and Association Process - Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia

Enlargement is the process whereby European countries are able to join the European Union. The October General Affairs Council will consider whether or not to open EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. The Commission’s 2018 and 2019 enlargement Progress Reports recommended opening negotiations with both.

Any Other Business: Transparency seminar (Brussels, 24 September 2019)

The Finnish Presidency will update the Council on a Transparency Seminar that it hosted on 24 September. The UK did not attend the seminar due to the current policy on attending EU meetings. This is largely an information-only item. Finland is keen to enhance the openness and transparency of the legislation process. They are seeking to facilitate discussions between Member States and the institutions during their Presidency, with the aim of reaching agreement on a number of measures to make the Council’s work more transparent.

WS
Scotland Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Mr Alister Jack (Secretary of State for Scotland )
Commons

Government's Legislative Programme (Scotland)

The legislative programme for the Second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on Monday 14 October. This statement provides a summary of the programme and its application to Scotland. It does not include draft bills, Law Commission bills or Finance Bills.

The legislative programme will deliver important reform to domestic issues and deliver benefits across the whole of the United Kingdom. The programme includes a series of ambitious reforms and brings forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom. The Government believes strongly in upholding the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom - our Union is at its strongest when all four nations work together.

The Government’s domestic programme will, for example, include the Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill which will ensure consumers can be confident in the knowledge that their tips are going to the staff they as intended across the UK. The Environment Bill will also put environmental ambition and accountability at the very heart of government.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to ensure the UK leaves the EU with certainty, continuity and control by working to deliver an unprecedented programme of legislation to date, preparing for all scenarios. The second session legislative programme will build on this by seizing the opportunities EU exit brings. This includes the Fisheries Bill which will provide the powers to build a sustainable and profitable fishing industry, which is in the best interests of the whole of the UK and future generations.

The Government expects that the return of powers from the EU will lead to a significant increase in the decision-making powers for the Devolved Administrations. It will mean that decisions and powers sit in the right place and closer to people than ever before.

The following bills would apply to Scotland (either in full or in part).

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Police Protections Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

In line with the Sewel Convention, the Government will continue to work constructively with the Scottish Government to secure the legislative consent of the Scottish Parliament where appropriate.

WS
Wales Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Alun Cairns (Secretary of State for Wales )
Commons

Government's Legislative Programme (Wales)

The legislative programme for the Second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on Monday 14 October. This statement provides a summary of the programme and its application to Wales. It does not include draft bills, Law Commission bills or Finance Bills.

The legislative programme will deliver important reform to domestic issues and deliver benefits across the whole of the United Kingdom. The programme includes a series of ambitious reforms and brings forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom. The Government believes strongly in upholding the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom - our Union is at its strongest when all four nations work together.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to ensure the UK leaves the EU with certainty, continuity and control by working to deliver an unprecedented programme of legislation to date, preparing for all scenarios. The second session legislative programme will build on this by seizing the opportunities EU exit brings.

The Government expects that the return of powers from the EU will lead to a significant increase in the decision-making powers for the Devolved Administrations. It will mean that decisions and powers sit in the right place and closer to people than ever before

The following Bills will apply to Wales (either in full or in part):

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Police Protections Bill
  • Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Sentencing Bill
  • Serious Violence Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

The Government will continue to work constructively with the Welsh Government to secure the legislative consent of the National Assembly for Wales where appropriate.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Dr Andrew Murrison (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Indemnity for Special Representative on UK Victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 4 October formally commenced the appointment of Mr William Shawcross as his Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. This appointment reflects HMG’s strong commitment to support all UK victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism. The Special Representative has been asked to focus, in the first instance, on investigating the feasibility of calculating a precise number of people affected and the compensation due to them from the Libyan Government. This is an important preliminary step. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) believes that, provided the Special Representative acts honestly, reasonably, in good faith and without negligence in the performance of his obligations under the terms and conditions agreed with him, he should be indemnified against any liability arising from this role. The FCO is therefore notifying Parliament of its intention to undertake this contingent liability. Further details are set out in a Departmental Minute laid today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS4
WS
Wales Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist (Government Spokesperson for Wales )
Lords

Government's Legislative Programme (Wales)

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Wales (Alun Cairns MP) has today made the following statement:

The legislative programme for the Second Session was outlined by Her Majesty on Monday 14 October. This statement provides a summary of the programme and its application to Wales. It does not include draft bills, Law Commission bills or Finance Bills.

The legislative programme will deliver important reform to domestic issues and deliver benefits across the whole of the United Kingdom. The programme includes a series of ambitious reforms and brings forward measures to support citizens across all the nations of the United Kingdom. The Government believes strongly in upholding the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom - our Union is at its strongest when all four nations work together.

The Government has taken the necessary steps to ensure the UK leaves the EU with certainty, continuity and control by working to deliver an unprecedented programme of legislation to date, preparing for all scenarios. The second session legislative programme will build on this by seizing the opportunities EU exit brings.

The Government expects that the return of powers from the EU will lead to a significant increase in the decision-making powers for the Devolved Administrations. It will mean that decisions and powers sit in the right place and closer to people than ever before

The following Bills will apply to Wales (either in full or in part):

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Police Protections Bill
  • Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Sentencing Bill
  • Serious Violence Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

The Government will continue to work constructively with the Welsh Government to secure the legislative consent of the National Assembly for Wales where appropriate.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Indemnity for Special Representative on UK Victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism

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

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 4 October formally commenced the appointment of Mr William Shawcross as his Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. This appointment reflects HMG’s strong commitment to support all UK victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism. The Special Representative has been asked to focus, in the first instance, on investigating the feasibility of calculating a precise number of people affected and the compensation due to them from the Libyan Government. This is an important preliminary step. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) believes that, provided the Special Representative acts honestly, reasonably, in good faith and without negligence in the performance of his obligations under the terms and conditions agreed with him, he should be indemnified against any liability arising from this role. The FCO is therefore notifying Parliament of its intention to undertake this contingent liability. Further details are set out in a Departmental Minute laid today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS5
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Climate Change)
Lords

Government responses to the Committee on Climate Change's 2019 Annual Progress Reports to Parliament

My Rt hon friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Andrea Leadsom) has today made the following statement:

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and I wish to inform the House of the laying of the Government responses to the Committee on Climate Change 2019 reports on Reducing UK Emissions and Preparing for Climate Change.

2019 has been a pivotal year in the fight against climate change. As the scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming continues to mount, and as people of all ages call for urgent action, the message to governments around the world is clear: act, and act now, to protect the future of our planet.

The UK has long been a leader in clean growth – cutting emissions while growing the economy. We were the first to set a long-term emission reduction target in law, under the Climate Change Act (2008), and since 1990 we have reduced emissions by over 40% while growing the economy by more than two thirds. On 27 June, the government adopted legislation to set a new net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the UK, to be delivered by 2050. This made the UK the first major economy to set a net zero target in law, ending the UK’s contribution to global warming in three decades.

That target is an immense challenge for the whole of society – but not only is net zero achievable, it can and will be the growth story of the 21st century. We have a thriving low carbon economy, with turnover in the low carbon sector growing more quickly than GDP in 2017, supporting almost 400,000 jobs across the country.

But our success to date is not a reason to delay action - it provides the argument for going further and faster. By taking action to cut emissions we can protect our planet while putting UK businesses at the forefront of the zero carbon revolution, especially as we prepare to embrace the Presidency of COP26 next year.

As well as supporting our emissions reduction efforts, our world-leading Climate Change Act continues to provide a robust framework for strengthening our preparedness to climate change, through our National Adaptation Programme (NAP).

Today we are also introducing the landmark Environment Bill – the first in over 20 years – which will tackle the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. The Bill will improve air quality so that our children live longer, restore and recover environmental biodiversity, and move us towards a more circular economy, which will help to ensure Britain can be cleaner and greener for future generations.

Exiting the EU does not change the UK’s commitment to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change. The new independent Office for Environmental Protection, which this Bill will establish, will work closely with the Committee on Climate Change to ensure climate and environmental legislation is respected once the UK leaves the EU.

In July this year, The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published their annual Progress Report: “Reducing UK Emissions – 2019 Progress Report to Parliament”; and their biennial “Progress in preparing for climate change”. Today we are publishing Government’s responses to both of these reports, in fulfilment of our requirements under the Climate Change Act.

Government response to “Reducing UK Emissions – 2019 Progress Report to Parliament”

The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual Progress Report, published in July, recognised the progress that has been made, but also set out some tough messages about the need for further action across the economy. This government has heard that message – from the Committee, from businesses, and from people across the whole country.

The Government’s response to the CCC’s report sets out the action that is being taken across all sectors of the economy, working through the strong frameworks we have established in the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy. It also reflects the suite of recent announcements we have made in support of our net zero target. In our response published today, we set out further actions that we will take to deliver net zero, and meet our carbon budgets, including:

  • Ambitious proposals to improve the energy performance of non-domestic buildings – potentially saving businesses around £1 billion per year in energy costs by 2030;
  • Development of a new, holistic Transport Decarbonisation Plan to step up the pace of progress towards a cleaner, more sustainable and innovative transport network; and
  • A proposal to establishing new governance arrangements to drive forward cross-government efforts to deliver the net zero target, potentially including a new cabinet sub-committee on climate change.

This builds on what we have delivered over the last year. Since legislating for net zero emissions in the summer, we have announced around £2 billion to support decarbonisation in a range of sectors – including investment in hydrogen and low carbon technology in industry, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and projects to accelerate rollout of carbon capture and storage technology.

We recognise the importance of reducing emissions from industry and we have just set out our detailed proposals for our £315m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund which will support industry to invest in energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation technologies.

The latest Contracts for Difference auction saw contracts awarded to renewable energy projects that will create enough generating capacity to power around 7 million homes – with the costs of new offshore wind projects falling by a remarkable two thirds between the 2015 and 2019 auctions. This demonstrates the scope for advances in technology to deliver unprecedented cost reduction.

And we will set out further detail on how the UK will make progress towards our net zero target in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.

In addition to our progress at home, the UK remains at the forefront of international action on climate change. In September, we were formally nominated by our international partners to host the vital COP26 climate negotiations in 2020. We intend to use this role to catalyse ambitious global action to cut emissions further, and harness growing momentum to take us closer to delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement.

At the recent UN Climate Action Summit, the Government announced that the UK will double its international climate finance to £11.6 billion in the period 2021 to 2025. In assisting developing countries, we will draw on the breadth and depth of the UK’s expertise to support the transformational and systemic change needed to deliver a net zero world resilient to the risks from climate change.

Government response to “Progress in preparing for climate change

In July 2019, the CCC published their third progress report on adaptation, their first on the second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) detailing action from 2018 to 2023. The progress report contains twelve recommendations for Government spanning four of the key themes of the second NAP (published in 2018); the natural environment; infrastructure; people and the built environment, and business, as well as 33 sectoral progress scores (such as water supply, rail, roads, agricultural productivity, amongst others). The CCC highlights areas of good planning and progress as well as areas where they identify the need for further policy development and evidence to support and monitor the success of adaptation.

The Government response mirrors the CCC’s progress report. The headline message is that we have made progress on adaptation and broadly accept the recommendations made by the CCC. We will build on this progress to ensure the country is well prepared to face the challenges a changing climate brings. The CCC’s recommendations will be addressed in our current and future policies and programmes such as through the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Agriculture Bill and Environment Bill, amongst other policy areas across Departments. In particular the Environment Bill, introduced today, will include ambitious legislative measures to take action to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age, many of which are linked directly to climate change.

At the same time we are demonstrating leadership at a global level on the agenda, driving action as co-lead of the Resilience and Adaptation theme of this year’s UN Climate Action Summit, where a UK co-led Call for Action has been endorsed by 112 countries and counting.

We remain grateful to the CCC for their scrutiny, analysis and expert advice, which will be more vital than ever as we set the UK on a firm path to net zero. The challenges of reducing our emissions, and preparing for the changes that climate change will bring, are immense – but the rewards of action will be greater still. This government has listened to the science and the clear message from across society - and we are redoubling our efforts to drive down emissions while seizing the economic opportunities at hand, as we lead the world towards a cleaner, greener, net zero future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS3
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Lord Privy Seal & Leader of the House of Lords)
Lords

The Government’s Legislative Programme 2019

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

Following yesterday’s State Opening of Parliament, and for the convenience of the House, I am listing the Bills which were announced yesterday:

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill
  • Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Police Protections Bill
  • Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Serious Violence Bill
  • Sentencing Bill
  • Sentencing (Pre-consolidation Amendments) Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

The programme will also include Finance Bills to implement budget policy decisions.
Detailed information about each of these Bills can be accessed from the Gov.uk website at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-2019-background-briefing-
notes.

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

School Funding Allocations

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for School Standards (Nick Gibb) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today informing you of the details of an announcement made by the Department for Education on Friday 11th October of the further details of school revenue funding for 2020-21. At the Spending Round we announced a total additional investment of £14 billion in schools over the next three years - the biggest funding boost for a decade. This includes £2.6 billion for 2020-21, £4.8 billion for 2021-22, and £7.1 billion for 2022-23 compared to 2019-20. On top of this we are providing £1.5 billion each year to fund additional pensions costs for teachers, bringing the total schools budget to £52.2 billion in 2022-23.

This funding will give every school more money for every child – with the biggest boost going to schools that need it most. It means all secondary schools will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year while all primary schools will get a minimum of £3,750 next year and £4,000 per pupil from 2021-22.

On Friday we published the details of provisional allocations for local authorities in 2020-21 through three of the four blocks of the Dedicated Schools Grant: the schools block, the high needs block, and the central school services block. As usual, allocations through the early years block will be published later in the year.

The per pupil units of funding for local authorities that we have published will be used to set final allocations when updated pupil numbers are available later in the autumn. As in previous years, there will be further data updates in relation to the high needs block.

We have also published notional school level allocations for 5-16 funding, so that schools can understand the amount they attract under the national funding formula. Details of these arrangements have been published on GOV.UK.

The figures reflect the features of the national funding formula that we announced on 30 August 2019.

For the schools national funding formula, these include:

  • increasing the total funding in the schools block by 5%;
  • increasing the formula funding floor so that all schools will attract at least a 1.84% per pupil gain against their 2019-20 national funding formula baselines. This is in line with the forecast GDP deflator, to protect per pupil allocations for all schools in real terms;
  • removing the gains cap so that underfunded schools attract the full gains they are due under the formula;
  • increasing the core factors in the National Funding Formula by 4%; and
  • updating the underpinning data used in the calculation of the national funding formula, where more recent data is available.

For the high needs national funding formula, these include:

  • increasing the total funding in the high needs block by 12%;
  • increasing the funding floor to 8% per head of population, compared to 2019-20 allocations, to ensure that all areas see substantial gains;
  • setting a limit on the gains under the formula of 17% per head of population; and
  • updating underpinning data, as for the schools block.

We have also published local authority allocations for the central school services block in 2020-21. We have protected the total funding allocated for the ongoing responsibilities that local authorities have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. These allocations will continue to be calculated for all authorities using a per pupil formula, the structure of which is unchanged. Local authorities will continue to be protected so that the maximum per pupil reduction in this funding is 2.5% compared to their 2019-20 allocation; and the maximum per pupil gain will be set at 1.94%.

As we have stated previously, from 2020-21 we will start to reduce the other element of central school services funding, that some local authorities receive for historic commitments made prior to 2013-14. This is in line with our reforms to move to a fairer funding system. In 2020-21, for those authorities that receive it, historic commitments funding will be reduced by 20%, with a protection so that no authority loses an amount equivalent to more than 0.5% of its 2019-20 schools block allocation. We will continue to unwind this funding in future years, and will provide further detail in due course.

The detail of the changes above, and some further technical changes to the national funding formula, are outlined in the accompanying policy document. To note, these changes relate to the 2020-21 NFF. We have not confirmed the details of the NFF for future years.

As we have previously confirmed, local authorities will continue to set a local formula to determine individual primary and secondary school budgets in 2020-21. However, we have set out the government's intention to move to a ‘hard’ national funding formula for schools as soon as possible, where every school’s budget will be set on the basis of a single, national formula. We recognise that this will represent a significant change and we will work closely with local authorities, schools and others to make this transition as smoothly as possible. As a first step towards hardening the formula, from 2020-21 we will make it compulsory for local authorities to use the national minimum per pupil funding levels in their own funding formulae, and are currently consulting on our proposals for introducing this change.

Last week’s announcements underline how the significant funding boost we have announced will benefit every area in the country and support our continued move towards a fairer funding system – helping every child to achieve their potential, no matter what their background or where they happen to live. This comes as research in the Teacher Workload Survey shows that teachers’ working hours have fallen by five hours per week over the past three years. The findings, taken from a representative survey of over 7,000 teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders, also show that actual teaching hours remain broadly stable. Our continuing investment in education, coupled with a bold reform agenda and the work of Ofsted will bolster the ongoing rise in school standards.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1
WS
Leader of the House
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg (Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons)
Commons

The Government’s Legislative Programme 2019

Following yesterday’s State Opening of Parliament, and for the convenience of the House, I am listing the Bills which were announced yesterday:

  • Agriculture Bill
  • Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill
  • Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill
  • Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill
  • Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
  • Domestic Abuse Bill
  • Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill
  • Environment Bill
  • European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill
  • Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill
  • Financial Services Bill
  • Fisheries Bill
  • Foreign National Offenders Bill
  • Health Service Safety Investigations Bill
  • High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill
  • Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill
  • Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill
  • Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
  • Pension Schemes Bill
  • Police Protections Bill
  • Prisoners (Disclosure of Information About Victims) Bill
  • Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill
  • Serious Violence Bill
  • Sentencing Bill
  • Sentencing (Pre-consolidation Amendments) Bill
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill
  • Trade Bill
  • Windrush Compensation Scheme (Expenditure) Bill

The programme will also include Finance Bills to implement budget policy decisions.

Detailed information about each of these Bills can be accessed from the Gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/queens-speech-2019-background-briefing-notes.

WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Andrea Leadsom (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Government responses to the Committee on Climate Change's 2019 Annual Progress Reports to Parliament

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and I wish to inform the House of the laying of the Government responses to the Committee on Climate Change 2019 reports on Reducing UK Emissions and Preparing for Climate Change.

2019 has been a pivotal year in the fight against climate change. As the scientific evidence of the dangers of global warming continues to mount, and as people of all ages call for urgent action, the message to governments around the world is clear: act, and act now, to protect the future of our planet.

The UK has long been a leader in clean growth – cutting emissions while growing the economy. We were the first to set a long-term emission reduction target in law, under the Climate Change Act (2008), and since 1990 we have reduced emissions by over 40% while growing the economy by more than two thirds. On 27 June, the government adopted legislation to set a new net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for the UK, to be delivered by 2050. This made the UK the first major economy to set a net zero target in law, ending the UK’s contribution to global warming in three decades.

That target is an immense challenge for the whole of society – but not only is net zero achievable, it can and will be the growth story of the 21st century. We have a thriving low carbon economy, with turnover in the low carbon sector growing more quickly than GDP in 2017, supporting almost 400,000 jobs across the country.

But our success to date is not a reason to delay action - it provides the argument for going further and faster. By taking action to cut emissions we can protect our planet while putting UK businesses at the forefront of the zero carbon revolution, especially as we prepare to embrace the Presidency of COP26 next year.

As well as supporting our emissions reduction efforts, our world-leading Climate Change Act continues to provide a robust framework for strengthening our preparedness to climate change, through our National Adaptation Programme (NAP).

Today we are also introducing the landmark Environment Bill – the first in over 20 years – which will tackle the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. The Bill will improve air quality so that our children live longer, restore and recover environmental biodiversity, and move us towards a more circular economy, which will help to ensure Britain can be cleaner and greener for future generations.

Exiting the EU does not change the UK’s commitment to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change. The new independent Office for Environmental Protection, which this Bill will establish, will work closely with the Committee on Climate Change to ensure climate and environmental legislation is respected once the UK leaves the EU.

In July this year, The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published their annual Progress Report: “Reducing UK Emissions – 2019 Progress Report to Parliament”; and their biennial “Progress in preparing for climate change”. Today we are publishing Government’s responses to both of these reports, in fulfilment of our requirements under the Climate Change Act.

Government response to “Reducing UK Emissions – 2019 Progress Report to Parliament”

The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) annual Progress Report, published in July, recognised the progress that has been made, but also set out some tough messages about the need for further action across the economy. This government has heard that message – from the Committee, from businesses, and from people across the whole country.

The Government’s response to the CCC’s report sets out the action that is being taken across all sectors of the economy, working through the strong frameworks we have established in the Clean Growth Strategy and the Industrial Strategy. It also reflects the suite of recent announcements we have made in support of our net zero target. In our response published today, we set out further actions that we will take to deliver net zero, and meet our carbon budgets, including:

  • Ambitious proposals to improve the energy performance of non-domestic buildings – potentially saving businesses around £1 billion per year in energy costs by 2030;
  • Development of a new, holistic Transport Decarbonisation Plan to step up the pace of progress towards a cleaner, more sustainable and innovative transport network; and
  • A proposal to establishing new governance arrangements to drive forward cross-government efforts to deliver the net zero target, potentially including a new cabinet sub-committee on climate change.

This builds on what we have delivered over the last year. Since legislating for net zero emissions in the summer, we have announced around £2 billion to support decarbonisation in a range of sectors – including investment in hydrogen and low carbon technology in industry, electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and projects to accelerate rollout of carbon capture and storage technology.

We recognise the importance of reducing emissions from industry and we have just set out our detailed proposals for our £315m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund which will support industry to invest in energy efficiency and deep decarbonisation technologies.

The latest Contracts for Difference auction saw contracts awarded to renewable energy projects that will create enough generating capacity to power around 7 million homes – with the costs of new offshore wind projects falling by a remarkable two thirds between the 2015 and 2019 auctions. This demonstrates the scope for advances in technology to deliver unprecedented cost reduction.

And we will set out further detail on how the UK will make progress towards our net zero target in the National Infrastructure Strategy this autumn.

In addition to our progress at home, the UK remains at the forefront of international action on climate change. In September, we were formally nominated by our international partners to host the vital COP26 climate negotiations in 2020. We intend to use this role to catalyse ambitious global action to cut emissions further, and harness growing momentum to take us closer to delivering the goals of the Paris Agreement.

At the recent UN Climate Action Summit, the Government announced that the UK will double its international climate finance to £11.6 billion in the period 2021 to 2025. In assisting developing countries, we will draw on the breadth and depth of the UK’s expertise to support the transformational and systemic change needed to deliver a net zero world resilient to the risks from climate change.

Government response to “Progress in preparing for climate change

In July 2019, the CCC published their third progress report on adaptation, their first on the second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) detailing action from 2018 to 2023. The progress report contains twelve recommendations for Government spanning four of the key themes of the second NAP (published in 2018); the natural environment; infrastructure; people and the built environment, and business, as well as 33 sectoral progress scores (such as water supply, rail, roads, agricultural productivity, amongst others). The CCC highlights areas of good planning and progress as well as areas where they identify the need for further policy development and evidence to support and monitor the success of adaptation.

The Government response mirrors the CCC’s progress report. The headline message is that we have made progress on adaptation and broadly accept the recommendations made by the CCC. We will build on this progress to ensure the country is well prepared to face the challenges a changing climate brings. The CCC’s recommendations will be addressed in our current and future policies and programmes such as through the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Agriculture Bill and Environment Bill, amongst other policy areas across Departments. In particular the Environment Bill, introduced today, will include ambitious legislative measures to take action to address the biggest environmental priorities of our age, many of which are linked directly to climate change.

At the same time we are demonstrating leadership at a global level on the agenda, driving action as co-lead of the Resilience and Adaptation theme of this year’s UN Climate Action Summit, where a UK co-led Call for Action has been endorsed by 112 countries and counting.

We remain grateful to the CCC for their scrutiny, analysis and expert advice, which will be more vital than ever as we set the UK on a firm path to net zero. The challenges of reducing our emissions, and preparing for the changes that climate change will bring, are immense – but the rewards of action will be greater still. This government has listened to the science and the clear message from across society - and we are redoubling our efforts to drive down emissions while seizing the economic opportunities at hand, as we lead the world towards a cleaner, greener, net zero future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS3
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Stephen Barclay (The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

General Affairs Council, October 2019

I will attend the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 15 October 2019 to represent the UK. The UK Government has decided that from 1 September until exit day, UK Ministers and officials will only attend EU meetings where the UK has a significant national interest in the outcome of the discussions.

The provisional agenda includes:

Preparation of the European Council on 17-18 October 2019 and European Council follow-up

The Council will discuss preparations for the October European Council, for which the agenda includes: the Multiannual Financial Framework; the next Institutional Cycle; Climate Change; and other items such as specific foreign policy issues. The European Council (Art 50) will meet in EU27 format to discuss the state of play regarding Brexit. Ministers will also take stock of the implementation of previous European Council conclusions.

Enlargement and the Stabilisation and Association Process - Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia

Enlargement is the process whereby European countries are able to join the European Union. The October General Affairs Council will consider whether or not to open EU accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. The Commission’s 2018 and 2019 enlargement Progress Reports recommended opening negotiations with both.

Any Other Business: Transparency seminar (Brussels, 24 September 2019)

The Finnish Presidency will update the Council on a Transparency Seminar that it hosted on 24 September. The UK did not attend the seminar due to the current policy on attending EU meetings. This is largely an information-only item. Finland is keen to enhance the openness and transparency of the legislation process. They are seeking to facilitate discussions between Member States and the institutions during their Presidency, with the aim of reaching agreement on a number of measures to make the Council’s work more transparent.

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 15 October 2019
Made by: Nick Gibb (The Minister of State for School Standards)
Commons

School Funding Allocations

I am today informing you of the details of an announcement made by the Department for Education on Friday 11th October of the further details of school revenue funding for 2020-21. At the Spending Round we announced a total additional investment of £14 billion in schools over the next three years - the biggest funding boost for a decade. This includes £2.6 billion for 2020-21, £4.8 billion for 2021-22, and £7.1 billion for 2022-23 compared to 2019-20. On top of this we are providing £1.5 billion each year to fund additional pensions costs for teachers, bringing the total schools budget to £52.2 billion in 2022-23.

This funding will give every school more money for every child – with the biggest boost going to schools that need it most. It means all secondary schools will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year while all primary schools will get a minimum of £3,750 next year and £4,000 per pupil from 2021-22.

On Friday we published the details of provisional allocations for local authorities in 2020-21 through three of the four blocks of the Dedicated Schools Grant: the schools block, the high needs block, and the central school services block. As usual, allocations through the early years block will be published later in the year.

The per pupil units of funding for local authorities that we have published will be used to set final allocations when updated pupil numbers are available later in the autumn. As in previous years, there will be further data updates in relation to the high needs block.

We have also published notional school level allocations for 5-16 funding, so that schools can understand the amount they attract under the national funding formula. Details of these arrangements have been published on GOV.UK.

The figures reflect the features of the national funding formula that we announced on 30 August 2019.

For the schools national funding formula, these include:

  • increasing the total funding in the schools block by 5%;
  • increasing the formula funding floor so that all schools will attract at least a 1.84% per pupil gain against their 2019-20 national funding formula baselines. This is in line with the forecast GDP deflator, to protect per pupil allocations for all schools in real terms;
  • removing the gains cap so that underfunded schools attract the full gains they are due under the formula;
  • increasing the core factors in the National Funding Formula by 4%; and
  • updating the underpinning data used in the calculation of the national funding formula, where more recent data is available.

For the high needs national funding formula, these include:

  • increasing the total funding in the high needs block by 12%;
  • increasing the funding floor to 8% per head of population, compared to 2019-20 allocations, to ensure that all areas see substantial gains;
  • setting a limit on the gains under the formula of 17% per head of population; and
  • updating underpinning data, as for the schools block.

We have also published local authority allocations for the central school services block in 2020-21. We have protected the total funding allocated for the ongoing responsibilities that local authorities have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. These allocations will continue to be calculated for all authorities using a per pupil formula, the structure of which is unchanged. Local authorities will continue to be protected so that the maximum per pupil reduction in this funding is 2.5% compared to their 2019-20 allocation; and the maximum per pupil gain will be set at 1.94%.

As we have stated previously, from 2020-21 we will start to reduce the other element of central school services funding, that some local authorities receive for historic commitments made prior to 2013-14. This is in line with our reforms to move to a fairer funding system. In 2020-21, for those authorities that receive it, historic commitments funding will be reduced by 20%, with a protection so that no authority loses an amount equivalent to more than 0.5% of its 2019-20 schools block allocation. We will continue to unwind this funding in future years, and will provide further detail in due course.

The detail of the changes above, and some further technical changes to the national funding formula, are outlined in the accompanying policy document. To note, these changes relate to the 2020-21 NFF. We have not confirmed the details of the NFF for future years.

As we have previously confirmed, local authorities will continue to set a local formula to determine individual primary and secondary school budgets in 2020-21. However, we have set out the government's intention to move to a ‘hard’ national funding formula for schools as soon as possible, where every school’s budget will be set on the basis of a single, national formula. We recognise that this will represent a significant change and we will work closely with local authorities, schools and others to make this transition as smoothly as possible. As a first step towards hardening the formula, from 2020-21 we will make it compulsory for local authorities to use the national minimum per pupil funding levels in their own funding formulae, and are currently consulting on our proposals for introducing this change.

Last week’s announcements underline how the significant funding boost we have announced will benefit every area in the country and support our continued move towards a fairer funding system – helping every child to achieve their potential, no matter what their background or where they happen to live. This comes as research in the Teacher Workload Survey shows that teachers’ working hours have fallen by five hours per week over the past three years. The findings, taken from a representative survey of over 7,000 teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders, also show that actual teaching hours remain broadly stable. Our continuing investment in education, coupled with a bold reform agenda and the work of Ofsted will bolster the ongoing rise in school standards.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1
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