Written statements

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

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

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

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WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 05 September 2019
Made by: Baroness Stedman-Scott (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013

My honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment (Mims Davies MP) has made the following Written Statement.

I will, later today, lay a draft Remedial Order to amend the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013, along with the Government Statement, setting out our response to the Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights and other representations my Department received on the proposal for the draft Order when this was laid in Parliament between 28 June and 31 October 2018.

The draft Remedial Order ensures the right to a fair hearing for a small group of claimants who had lodged an appeal against a sanction decision that was retrospectively validated by the 2013 Act, if that appeal case had not been finally determined, abandoned or withdrawn before 26 March 2013. For these appeal cases, the draft Order gives the Courts the ability to find in the individual’s favour and enables the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to change the sanction decision and refund the amount withheld, without those affected individuals having to continue with their appeal, wherever possible.

In 2013, the Courts ruled that the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Schemes) Regulations 2011 (ESE Regulations) that underpinned a range of programmes of support to help people into work did not describe the individual schemes in enough detail, and that our referral letters did not say enough about the activities required. The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Mandatory Work Activity Scheme) Regulations 2011 (MWA Regulations) contained identical requirements about the content of referral letters. The 2013 Act reinstated the original policy intent of these Regulations. This ensured that job seekers who had failed to take all reasonable steps to increase their chances of finding work between 2011 and 2013 did not unfairly obtain advantage over claimants who complied with the benefit conditionality requirements.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the 2013 Act is effective in retrospectively validating sanction decisions and notifications. The Court of Appeal also ruled that the 2013 Act was incompatible with article 6(1) (the right to a fair hearing) of the European Convention on Human Rights. It did not prevent people from appealing if they felt they had a good reason for not participating in one of the employment schemes, but it meant that their appeal would be unsuccessful if it related to their compliance with the ESE Regulations or the referral notification they received under the ESE Regulations or the MWA Regulations. The Court of Appeal found that the 2013 Act was effective and that there was no breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for the vast majority of claimants affected by the 2013 Act. The incompatibility with Article 6 (1) arises only where a claimant had an undetermined appeal still in the Tribunal system on the 26 March 2013, the date the Act came into force. The Court’s decision does not affect the continuing validity of the 2013 Act.

I used the non-urgent Remedial Order process to allow time for Parliamentary scrutiny. This requires that an initial proposed draft Remedial Order is laid in both Houses for a period of 60 days for consultation. The Joint Committee on Human Rights also consulted on the proposal and published its Report on 31 October 2019. The initial proposed draft Remedial Order restored the right to a fair hearing for ESE Regulation appeal cases because the appellants in the Court of Appeal case were appealing sanctions decisions made under these Regulations. An Upper Tribunal Judge has since questioned whether a limited group of Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) appeal cases might also be included, as their rights under Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights arguably may also have been affected by the 2013 Act.

I have thoroughly considered his question and I believe that certain MWA Regulation appeal cases are in a similar position to the ESE appeal cases that were specifically examined by the Court of Appeal. I have, therefore, revised the proposed draft Remedial Order to ensure that all claimants who had a pending appeal in the Tribunal system on 26th March 2013 that may have been affected when the retrospective provisions of the 2013 Act came into effect are included in the draft Remedial Order.

There are no other groups similarly affected by the 2013 Act. The revised draft Remedial Order remains limited to circumstances that were incompatible with Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. I will lay the draft Order later today for consideration by Parliament for a period of 60 days, it is then subject to affirmative resolution.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1819
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 05 September 2019
Made by: Viscount Younger of Leckie (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Building Safety

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.

I updated the House today in an Oral Statement on the Government's progress on building safety and set out this administration’s approach. As set out in the Statement, I am consulting on changes to fire safety regulations for new-build blocks of flats. We will seek to commit to requiring sprinkler systems as standard in a wider range of new flats. We will also consult on requiring better signs and evacuation alert systems to support effective firefighting. A link to the consultation document ‘Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats’ is here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sprinklers-and-other-fire-safety-measures-in-new-high-rise-blocks-of-flats and I will deposit copies of this consultation in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1820
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 05 September 2019
Made by: Robert Jenrick (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Building Safety

I updated the House today in an Oral Statement on the Government's progress on building safety and set out this administration’s approach. As set out in the Statement, I am consulting on changes to fire safety regulations for new-build blocks of flats. We will seek to commit to requiring sprinkler systems as standard in a wider range of new flats. We will also consult on requiring better signs and evacuation alert systems to support effective firefighting. A link to the consultation document ‘Sprinklers and other fire safety measures in new high-rise blocks of flats’ is here https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sprinklers-and-other-fire-safety-measures-in-new-high-rise-blocks-of-flats and I will deposit copies of this consultation in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1782
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 05 September 2019
Made by: Lord Callanan (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

General Affairs Council, July 2019

I represented the UK at the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels on 18 July 2019. From September 1 until exit day, the UK will no longer attend most EU meetings, in order to make the best possible use of UK resources. The UK is still committed to the duty of sincere cooperation and this decision is not intended in any way to frustrate the functioning of the EU. A provisional report of the meeting and the conclusions adopted can be found on the Council of the European Union’s website at:

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/gac/2019/07/18/

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

The Presidency presented its plan for approaching the next phase of negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, and indicated its commitment to the European Council’s objective of concluding the MFF by the end of the year. To prepare for discussions between EU Leaders on the MFF in October, the Presidency outlined a new timetable for delivery and prepared a questionnaire for Member States to complete over the summer. The Commission welcomed the timetable and noted the need to consider the views of the new European Parliament.

Presentation of the priorities of the Finnish Presidency

The Presidency delivered a presentation on its priorities for the next six months. The overarching priorities include strengthening common values and the rule of law; making the EU more competitive and socially inclusive; strengthening the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action; and protecting the security of citizens comprehensively. Other issues to be discussed throughout 2019 in the GAC format include the MFF, rule of law, enlargement and hybrid threats.

Implementation of the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024

Ministers discussed the implementation of the new EU Strategic Agenda 2019-24. The Strategic Agenda was adopted by the European Council on 20 June 2019 and will guide the overarching priorities for the next institutional cycle. The priority areas are: protecting citizens and freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

Ministers discussed how the Strategic Agenda could be implemented. The discussion was guided by a Presidency paper which provided an initial indication as to which Council configuration would consider the main issues and set out proposed timings for these discussions. Member States agreed on ensuring a coherent agenda across all three institutions; supported greater engagement with citizens and national Parliaments through clear communication; and stressed the importance of achieving concrete results. I intervened to welcome the broad themes of the Finnish Presidency and stated that the UK would support its delivery of priorities whilst we remained a Member State. I also reaffirmed the UK’s continued commitment and support for the security and competitiveness of the EU, and welcomed the greater focus on hybrid threats and cyber threats.

Several Member States referred to the programme set out by Commission President-elect von der Leyen, and called for the Strategic Agenda to inform the Commission Work Programme. The GAC will return to this agenda item in October and December, while the European Council will discuss the follow-up to the Strategic Agenda at the October European Council.

Commission communication on further strengthening the Rule of Law

The Commission presented its new communication on further strengthening the rule of law in the EU which was adopted on 17 July. The proposals centered on the three pillars of promotion, prevention and response and included a Commission-driven ‘Rule of Law Review Cycle’ and an ‘Annual Rule of Law Review’. These proposals will engage all Member States to prevent backtracking on the rule of law.

Rule of Law in Poland / Article 7 (1) TEU Reasoned Proposal

The Commission provided a further update on the rule of law in Poland. This followed the recent judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Poland’s Supreme Court law.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1818
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 05 September 2019
Made by: Mims Davies (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Employment)
Commons

Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013

I will, later today, lay a draft Remedial Order to amend the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013, along with the Government Statement, setting out our response to the Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights and other representations my Department received on the proposal for the draft Order when this was laid in Parliament between 28 June and 31 October 2018.

The draft Remedial Order ensures the right to a fair hearing for a small group of claimants who had lodged an appeal against a sanction decision that was retrospectively validated by the 2013 Act, if that appeal case had not been finally determined, abandoned or withdrawn before 26 March 2013. For these appeal cases, the draft Order gives the Courts the ability to find in the individual’s favour and enables the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to change the sanction decision and refund the amount withheld, without those affected individuals having to continue with their appeal, wherever possible.

In 2013, the Courts ruled that the Jobseeker’s Allowance (Employment, Skills and Enterprise Schemes) Regulations 2011 (ESE Regulations) that underpinned a range of programmes of support to help people into work did not describe the individual schemes in enough detail, and that our referral letters did not say enough about the activities required. The Jobseeker’s Allowance (Mandatory Work Activity Scheme) Regulations 2011 (MWA Regulations) contained identical requirements about the content of referral letters. The 2013 Act reinstated the original policy intent of these Regulations. This ensured that job seekers who had failed to take all reasonable steps to increase their chances of finding work between 2011 and 2013 did not unfairly obtain advantage over claimants who complied with the benefit conditionality requirements.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the 2013 Act is effective in retrospectively validating sanction decisions and notifications. The Court of Appeal also ruled that the 2013 Act was incompatible with article 6(1) (the right to a fair hearing) of the European Convention on Human Rights. It did not prevent people from appealing if they felt they had a good reason for not participating in one of the employment schemes, but it meant that their appeal would be unsuccessful if it related to their compliance with the ESE Regulations or the referral notification they received under the ESE Regulations or the MWA Regulations. The Court of Appeal found that the 2013 Act was effective and that there was no breach of the European Convention on Human Rights for the vast majority of claimants affected by the 2013 Act. The incompatibility with Article 6 (1) arises only where a claimant had an undetermined appeal still in the Tribunal system on the 26 March 2013, the date the Act came into force. The Court’s decision does not affect the continuing validity of the 2013 Act.

I used the non-urgent Remedial Order process to allow time for Parliamentary scrutiny. This requires that an initial proposed draft Remedial Order is laid in both Houses for a period of 60 days for consultation. The Joint Committee on Human Rights also consulted on the proposal and published its Report on 31 October 2019. The initial proposed draft Remedial Order restored the right to a fair hearing for ESE Regulation appeal cases because the appellants in the Court of Appeal case were appealing sanctions decisions made under these Regulations. An Upper Tribunal Judge has since questioned whether a limited group of Mandatory Work Activity (MWA) appeal cases might also be included, as their rights under Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights arguably may also have been affected by the 2013 Act.

I have thoroughly considered his question and I believe that certain MWA Regulation appeal cases are in a similar position to the ESE appeal cases that were specifically examined by the Court of Appeal. I have, therefore, revised the proposed draft Remedial Order to ensure that all claimants who had a pending appeal in the Tribunal system on 26th March 2013 that may have been affected when the retrospective provisions of the 2013 Act came into effect are included in the draft Remedial Order.

There are no other groups similarly affected by the 2013 Act. The revised draft Remedial Order remains limited to circumstances that were incompatible with Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. I will lay the draft Order later today for consideration by Parliament for a period of 60 days, it is then subject to affirmative resolution.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1783
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 05 September 2019
Made by: James Duddridge (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

General Affairs Council, July 2019

Lord Callanan, Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I represented the UK at the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels on 18 July 2019. From September 1 until exit day, the UK will no longer attend most EU meetings, in order to make the best possible use of UK resources. The UK is still committed to the duty of sincere cooperation and this decision is not intended in any way to frustrate the functioning of the EU. A provisional report of the meeting and the conclusions adopted can be found on the Council of the European Union’s website at:

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/gac/2019/07/18/

Multiannual Financial Framework 2021 - 2027

The Presidency presented its plan for approaching the next phase of negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, and indicated its commitment to the European Council’s objective of concluding the MFF by the end of the year. To prepare for discussions between EU Leaders on the MFF in October, the Presidency outlined a new timetable for delivery and prepared a questionnaire for Member States to complete over the summer. The Commission welcomed the timetable and noted the need to consider the views of the new European Parliament.

Presentation of the priorities of the Finnish Presidency

The Presidency delivered a presentation on its priorities for the next six months. The overarching priorities include strengthening common values and the rule of law; making the EU more competitive and socially inclusive; strengthening the EU’s position as a global leader in climate action; and protecting the security of citizens comprehensively. Other issues to be discussed throughout 2019 in the GAC format include the MFF, rule of law, enlargement and hybrid threats.

Implementation of the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024

Ministers discussed the implementation of the new EU Strategic Agenda 2019-24. The Strategic Agenda was adopted by the European Council on 20 June 2019 and will guide the overarching priorities for the next institutional cycle. The priority areas are: protecting citizens and freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

Ministers discussed how the Strategic Agenda could be implemented. The discussion was guided by a Presidency paper which provided an initial indication as to which Council configuration would consider the main issues and set out proposed timings for these discussions. Member States agreed on ensuring a coherent agenda across all three institutions; supported greater engagement with citizens and national Parliaments through clear communication; and stressed the importance of achieving concrete results. I intervened to welcome the broad themes of the Finnish Presidency and stated that the UK would support its delivery of priorities whilst we remained a Member State. I also reaffirmed the UK’s continued commitment and support for the security and competitiveness of the EU, and welcomed the greater focus on hybrid threats and cyber threats.

Several Member States referred to the programme set out by Commission President-elect von der Leyen, and called for the Strategic Agenda to inform the Commission Work Programme. The GAC will return to this agenda item in October and December, while the European Council will discuss the follow-up to the Strategic Agenda at the October European Council.

Commission communication on further strengthening the Rule of Law

The Commission presented its new communication on further strengthening the rule of law in the EU which was adopted on 17 July. The proposals centered on the three pillars of promotion, prevention and response and included a Commission-driven ‘Rule of Law Review Cycle’ and an ‘Annual Rule of Law Review’. These proposals will engage all Member States to prevent backtracking on the rule of law.

Rule of Law in Poland / Article 7 (1) TEU Reasoned Proposal

The Commission provided a further update on the rule of law in Poland. This followed the recent judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Poland’s Supreme Court law.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1781
WS
Home Office
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Immigration

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

After Brexit, the Government will take back control by introducing a new, fairer immigration system that prioritises skills and what people can contribute to the UK, rather than where they come from. Yesterday we commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the benefits of a points-based system and what best practice can be learnt from other international comparators, including the Australian immigration system.

In a no deal scenario, free movement as it currently stands will end at 11pm on 31 October. The UK will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. EU citizens will be subject to stricter criminality checks and further changes will be introduced to show that UK has left the EU. I am today publishing a policy statement setting out these changes, and further information will be published in due course.

The Government recognises the need to provide EU citizens, employers and others with certainty about the arrangements that will be in place after Brexit. Border crossing arrangements will not change. However, we do not believe it is right to allow people moving to the UK after Brexit to have the same rights as the EU residents who have lived here, in some cases for decades.

After careful consideration, myself, the Prime Minister and Cabinet have therefore agreed that EU citizens moving here after a no deal Brexit will be able to access a temporary immigration status, until the new skills-based immigration system goes live at the start of 2021.

To this effect, the Home Office will open a new European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme for EU citizens and their close family members moving to the UK after Brexit, in a no deal scenario. When the Scheme opens it will be voluntary, and we will not charge a fee. It will be open until the end of 2020 and EU citizens who apply will be able to secure a 36-month temporary immigration status which will extend beyond the launch of the UK’s future immigration system. Once the future system opens at the start of 2021, anyone without European Temporary Leave to Remain will have to qualify under the provisions in the future system if they wish to stay in the UK. In contrast, those who have applied for the bespoke interim scheme will have more time to transition into the future system and will not need to qualify until their temporary leave expires.

The same arrangements will apply to nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The 3.4 million EU citizens already resident here, and their family members, deserve a privileged position. They are our family, friends and neighbours and we want them to stay. We have set up the EU Settlement Scheme to enable them to secure their status under UK law and – in a no deal scenario – they have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply. Already over 1 million people have successfully been granted status.

Until the future immigration system is introduced, all EU citizens will be able to prove their rights to take up employment and rent property, as now, by using a passport or national identity card. Their rights to claim benefits and access services in the UK will remain unchanged.

Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter, live and work in the UK without requiring permission. The UK and Irish Governments have made firm commitments to protect Common Travel Area arrangements, including the associated rights of British and Irish citizens in each other’s state.

For EU citizens and their family members moving to the UK after Brexit freedom of movement in its current form will end on 31 October. EU citizens who still want to make a contribution to the UK, will soon have a route by which they can secure the certainty of status they need in advance of the future system going live in 2021.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1817
WS
Home Office
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: Priti Patel (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Immigration

After Brexit, the Government will take back control by introducing a new, fairer immigration system that prioritises skills and what people can contribute to the UK, rather than where they come from. Yesterday we commissioned the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review the benefits of a points-based system and what best practice can be learnt from other international comparators, including the Australian immigration system.

In a no deal scenario, free movement as it currently stands will end at 11pm on 31 October. The UK will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. EU citizens will be subject to stricter criminality checks and further changes will be introduced to show that UK has left the EU. I am today publishing a policy statement setting out these changes, and further information will be published in due course.

The Government recognises the need to provide EU citizens, employers and others with certainty about the arrangements that will be in place after Brexit. Border crossing arrangements will not change. However, we do not believe it is right to allow people moving to the UK after Brexit to have the same rights as the EU residents who have lived here, in some cases for decades.

After careful consideration, myself, the Prime Minister and Cabinet have therefore agreed that EU citizens moving here after a no deal Brexit will be able to access a temporary immigration status, until the new skills-based immigration system goes live at the start of 2021.

To this effect, the Home Office will open a new European Temporary Leave to Remain scheme for EU citizens and their close family members moving to the UK after Brexit, in a no deal scenario. When the Scheme opens it will be voluntary, and we will not charge a fee. It will be open until the end of 2020 and EU citizens who apply will be able to secure a 36-month temporary immigration status which will extend beyond the launch of the UK’s future immigration system. Once the future system opens at the start of 2021, anyone without European Temporary Leave to Remain will have to qualify under the provisions in the future system if they wish to stay in the UK. In contrast, those who have applied for the bespoke interim scheme will have more time to transition into the future system and will not need to qualify until their temporary leave expires.

The same arrangements will apply to nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The 3.4 million EU citizens already resident here, and their family members, deserve a privileged position. They are our family, friends and neighbours and we want them to stay. We have set up the EU Settlement Scheme to enable them to secure their status under UK law and – in a no deal scenario – they have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply. Already over 1 million people have successfully been granted status.

Until the future immigration system is introduced, all EU citizens will be able to prove their rights to take up employment and rent property, as now, by using a passport or national identity card. Their rights to claim benefits and access services in the UK will remain unchanged.

Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter, live and work in the UK without requiring permission. The UK and Irish Governments have made firm commitments to protect Common Travel Area arrangements, including the associated rights of British and Irish citizens in each other’s state.

For EU citizens and their family members moving to the UK after Brexit freedom of movement in its current form will end on 31 October. EU citizens who still want to make a contribution to the UK, will soon have a route by which they can secure the certainty of status they need in advance of the future system going live in 2021.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1780
WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Lords

Report under Section 4 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018

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

This statement is issued in accordance with section 4 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 (‘the Act’). Section 4 of the Act requires that I, as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, report on a quarterly basis on guidance issued under that section of the Act, and report on how I plan to address the impact of the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers on human rights obligations within three months of the day the Act was passed.

The Act received Royal Assent on 1 November 2018. Following careful consideration of the sensitive issues section 4 deals with, and in consultation with the Northern Ireland Civil Service, guidance under section 4 was published on 17 December 2018.

The guidance notes that it does not, and cannot be used to, change the current law on abortion or same sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Both issues remain devolved matters in Northern Ireland. The guidance provides that all relevant Northern Ireland departments should continue to have regard to all of their legal obligations, including the Human Rights Act 1998 and sections 24 and 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, in exercising any relevant functions in relation to abortion and same sex marriage.

Two reports required under section 4 have been published as Written Ministerial Statements on 30 January 2019 and 1 May 2019.

I have consulted the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service in the preparation of this report. He has reaffirmed the continuing commitment of the NICS to have regard to their legal obligations when exercising any relevant functions in relation to abortion and same sex marriage.

The Government’s preference remains that any change to law on either of these sensitive devolved issues is taken forward by a restored Executive and functioning Assembly. It remains the hope that devolved government can be restored at the earliest opportunity through the current talks process.

However, we recognise the strength of feeling on same-sex marriage and abortion law reform demonstrated by a majority of MPs supporting the addition of sections 8 and 9 to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. These sections require the Government to regulate in order to provide access to abortion services and same-sex marriage (and opposite-sex civil partnerships) in Northern Ireland, if there is no restored Executive by 21 October 2019.

There are a range of sensitive policy issues that need to be carefully addressed on both issues. We will work with relevant Whitehall departments and the Northern Ireland Civil Service to take all necessary steps between now and 21 October 2019 to ensure that, if the Executive has not been restored by that date, relevant regulations can come into force in accordance with the timescales specified in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.

WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: Lord Duncan of Springbank (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Lords

Publication of reports under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019

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

I am today formally laying in the House, under section three of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, reports on progress towards forming an Executive and other matters.

Northern Ireland has been without a sitting Assembly and Executive since January 2017. Since becoming Secretary of State for Northern Ireland I have made working to restore the devolved institutions my absolute priority.

Whilst significant gaps remain on rights, identity and culture, the Government’s assessment is that the range of outstanding issues in the cross-party talks is relatively narrow.

This means it should prove possible - with intensive engagement - to resolve the strands of talks on the Programme for Government, Transparency and Sustainability relatively swiftly. There has been good engagement too on the Petition of Concern.

While the parties remain engaged and are demonstrating a willingness to find solutions to the remaining critical issues, a renewed determination to find agreement will be needed if the process is to conclude in the coming weeks.

Northern Ireland needs a restored Executive and the political leadership that would bring. The UK Government, working closely with the Irish Government in accordance with the three-stranded approach, will now intensify our efforts to put forward compromise solutions to the parties. If that does not succeed, then my next update to the House will set out next steps to ensure adequate governance in Northern Ireland and the protection of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

The reports I have laid in the House today also address other critical issues for Northern Ireland. These include a report on the progress of implementing the recommendations made by the Report of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland. I want to pay particular tribute to the survivors I have met, who waited so long for acknowledgment and accountability for the appalling abuse that they suffered. Good progress has been made on drafting legislation to deliver redress for the survivors, and I will continue to press for a slot to introduce the legislation at Westminster as soon as possible.

I have also laid a report setting out next steps on abortion in Northern Ireland. The Government acknowledges that this is a highly sensitive subject and I continue to believe it would be better in principle if it could be addressed by the democratic institutions in Northern Ireland.

Given the very long and drawn out cross-party talks process, the House spoke clearly in July this year. There are now legal obligations for the Government to deliver change to the law on abortion in Northern Ireland in the event that the Executive is not restored. The Government will update the House and the public regularly on the steps it is taking, mindful that the legal obligation will be triggered from 21 October in the absence of an Executive. This will result in the repeal of the relevant criminal law in Northern Ireland [sections 58 and 59 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861] - and a moratorium will also come into effect on that date, meaning that no criminal investigation may be carried out, and no criminal proceedings may be brought or continued after this time.

By no later than 31 March 2020, a new legal regime allowing for lawful access to abortion services, implementing the recommendations of the 2018 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Report, will be in place.

The full list of reports is as follows:

  • Gambling
  • Human trafficking
  • Victims’ payment
  • Historical institutional abuse
  • A single report covering:

○ Executive formation

○ Transparency of political donations

○ Higher education and a Derry university

○ Presumption of non-prosecution

○ Troubles related guidance

○ Abortion law review

  • Armed forces covenant
  • Definition of a victim

Both Houses will debate the motions on the first reports relating to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: The Earl of Courtown (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019.

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

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

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

EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings.

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

Asset-freezing table April-June (Word Document, 26.62 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1814
WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: Julian Smith (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Commons

Report under section 4 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018

This statement is issued in accordance with section 4 of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018 (‘the Act’). Section 4 of the Act requires that I, as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, report on a quarterly basis on guidance issued under that section of the Act, and report on how I plan to address the impact of the absence of Northern Ireland Ministers on human rights obligations within three months of the day the Act was passed.

The Act received Royal Assent on 1 November 2018. Following careful consideration of the sensitive issues section 4 deals with, and in consultation with the Northern Ireland Civil Service, guidance under section 4 was published on 17 December 2018.

The guidance notes that it does not, and cannot be used to, change the current law on abortion or same sex marriage in Northern Ireland. Both issues remain devolved matters in Northern Ireland. The guidance provides that all relevant Northern Ireland departments should continue to have regard to all of their legal obligations, including the Human Rights Act 1998 and sections 24 and 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, in exercising any relevant functions in relation to abortion and same sex marriage.

Two reports required under section 4 have been published as Written Ministerial Statements on 30 January 2019 and 1 May 2019.

I have consulted the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service in the preparation of this report. He has reaffirmed the continuing commitment of the NICS to have regard to their legal obligations when exercising any relevant functions in relation to abortion and same sex marriage.

The Government’s preference remains that any change to law on either of these sensitive devolved issues is taken forward by a restored Executive and functioning Assembly. It remains the hope that devolved government can be restored at the earliest opportunity through the current talks process.

However, we recognise the strength of feeling on same-sex marriage and abortion law reform demonstrated by a majority of MPs supporting the addition of sections 8 and 9 to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019. These sections require the Government to regulate in order to provide access to abortion services and same-sex marriage (and opposite-sex civil partnerships) in Northern Ireland, if there is no restored Executive by 21 October 2019.

There are a range of sensitive policy issues that need to be carefully addressed on both issues. We will work with relevant Whitehall departments and the Northern Ireland Civil Service to take all necessary steps between now and 21 October 2019 to ensure that, if the Executive has not been restored by that date, relevant regulations can come into force in accordance with the timescales specified in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: The Earl of Courtown (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019.

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

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

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

EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings.

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

Asset-freezing table Jan-March (Word Document, 26.54 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1813
WS
Northern Ireland Office
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: Julian Smith (Secretary of State for Northern Ireland)
Commons

Publication of reports under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019

I am today formally laying in the House, under section three of the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019, reports on progress towards forming an Executive and other matters.

Northern Ireland has been without a sitting Assembly and Executive since January 2017. Since becoming Secretary of State for Northern Ireland I have made working to restore the devolved institutions my absolute priority.

Whilst significant gaps remain on rights, identity and culture, the Government’s assessment is that the range of outstanding issues in the cross-party talks is relatively narrow.

This means it should prove possible - with intensive engagement - to resolve the strands of talks on the Programme for Government, Transparency and Sustainability relatively swiftly. There has been good engagement too on the Petition of Concern.

While the parties remain engaged and are demonstrating a willingness to find solutions to the remaining critical issues, a renewed determination to find agreement will be needed if the process is to conclude in the coming weeks.

Northern Ireland needs a restored Executive and the political leadership that would bring. The UK Government, working closely with the Irish Government in accordance with the three-stranded approach, will now intensify our efforts to put forward compromise solutions to the parties. If that does not succeed, then my next update to the House will set out next steps to ensure adequate governance in Northern Ireland and the protection of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

The reports I have laid in the House today also address other critical issues for Northern Ireland. These include a report on the progress of implementing the recommendations made by the Report of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland. I want to pay particular tribute to the survivors I have met, who waited so long for acknowledgment and accountability for the appalling abuse that they suffered. Good progress has been made on drafting legislation to deliver redress for the survivors, and I will continue to press for a slot to introduce the legislation at Westminster as soon as possible.

I have also laid a report setting out next steps on abortion in Northern Ireland. The Government acknowledges that this is a highly sensitive subject and I continue to believe it would be better in principle if it could be addressed by the democratic institutions in Northern Ireland.

Given the very long and drawn out cross-party talks process, the House spoke clearly in July this year. There are now legal obligations for the Government to deliver change to the law on abortion in Northern Ireland in the event that the Executive is not restored. The Government will update the House and the public regularly on the steps it is taking, mindful that the legal obligation will be triggered from 21 October in the absence of an Executive. This will result in the repeal of the relevant criminal law in Northern Ireland [sections 58 and 59 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861] - and a moratorium will also come into effect on that date, meaning that no criminal investigation may be carried out, and no criminal proceedings may be brought or continued after this time.

By no later than 31 March 2020, a new legal regime allowing for lawful access to abortion services, implementing the recommendations of the 2018 Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Report, will be in place.

The full list of reports is as follows:

  • Gambling
  • Human trafficking
  • Victims’ payment
  • Historical institutional abuse
  • A single report covering:

○ Executive formation

○ Transparency of political donations

○ Higher education and a Derry university

○ Presumption of non-prosecution

○ Troubles related guidance

○ Abortion law review

  • Armed forces covenant
  • Definition of a victim

Both Houses will debate the motions on the first reports relating to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc) Act 2019.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019.

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

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

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

EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings.

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

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1777
WS
Treasury
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to prepare a quarterly report regarding its exercise of the powers conferred on it by Part 1 of TAFA 2010. This written statement satisfies that requirement for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019.

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

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

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

EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings.

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

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1776
WS
Treasury
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Bilateral loan to Ireland under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010

I would like to update Parliament on the loan to Ireland.

In December 2010, the UK agreed to provide a bilateral loan of £3.2 billion as part of a €67.5 billion international assistance package for Ireland. The loan was disbursed in 8 tranches. The final tranche was drawn down on 26 September 2013. Ireland has made interest payments on the loan every six months since the first disbursement.

On 30 July, in line with the agreed repayment schedule, HM Treasury received a total payment of £404,642,604.73 from Ireland. This comprises the repayment of £403,370,000 in principal and £1,272,604.73 in accrued interest.

As required under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010, HM Treasury laid a Statutory Report to Parliament on 1 April 2019 covering the period from 1 October to 31 March 2019. The Report set out details of future payments up to the final repayment on 26 March 2021. The government continues to expect the loan to be repaid in full and on time.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791132/Ireland_loan_statutory_report_April_2019_web.pdf

The next Statutory Report will cover the period from 1 April to 30 September 2019. HM Treasury will report fully on all repayments received during this period in the Report.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1775
WS
Treasury
Made on: 04 September 2019
Made by: The Earl of Courtown (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Bilateral loan to Ireland under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (John Glen) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I would like to update Parliament on the loan to Ireland.

In December 2010, the UK agreed to provide a bilateral loan of £3.2 billion as part of a €67.5 billion international assistance package for Ireland. The loan was disbursed in 8 tranches. The final tranche was drawn down on 26 September 2013. Ireland has made interest payments on the loan every six months since the first disbursement.

On 30 July, in line with the agreed repayment schedule, HM Treasury received a total payment of £404,642,604.73 from Ireland. This comprises the repayment of £403,370,000 in principal and £1,272,604.73 in accrued interest.

As required under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010, HM Treasury laid a Statutory Report to Parliament on 1 April 2019 covering the period from 1 October to 31 March 2019. The Report set out details of future payments up to the final repayment on 26 March 2021. The government continues to expect the loan to be repaid in full and on time.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791132/Ireland_loan_statutory_report_April_2019_web.pdf

The next Statutory Report will cover the period from 1 April to 30 September 2019. HM Treasury will report fully on all repayments received during this period in the Report.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1812
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 03 September 2019
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School System))
Lords

Education Funding Update

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education (Gavin Williamson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I will be making an Oral Statement in the House, updating on the schools and colleges funding package announced by the Prime Minister last weekend.

The package includes a cash increase compared to 2019-20 of £2.6bn to core schools funding next year, with increases of £4.8bn and £7.1bn in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively.

This is in addition to the £1.5bn per year that we will continue to provide to fund additional pension costs for teachers over the next three years.

We will also be investing an extra £400m in 16-19 education next year – the single biggest annual increase for the sector since 2010.

My statement will set out core schools funding at a national level. Illustrative school level allocations and provisional local authority level allocations through the schools and high needs National Funding Formulae will be announced next month. I will then write to members with further details on the impact for schools and local areas.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1811
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 03 September 2019
Made by: Gavin Williamson (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Education Funding Update

Today I will be making an Oral Statement in the House, updating on the schools and colleges funding package announced by the Prime Minister last weekend.

The package includes a cash increase compared to 2019-20 of £2.6bn to core schools funding next year, with increases of £4.8bn and £7.1bn in 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively.

This is in addition to the £1.5bn per year that we will continue to provide to fund additional pension costs for teachers over the next three years.

We will also be investing an extra £400m in 16-19 education next year – the single biggest annual increase for the sector since 2010.

My statement will set out core schools funding at a national level. Illustrative school level allocations and provisional local authority level allocations through the schools and high needs National Funding Formulae will be announced next month. I will then write to members with further details on the impact for schools and local areas.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1774
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