Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Portrait

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering

Conservative - Life peer

EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee
2nd Jul 2019 - 23rd Apr 2020
Licensing Act 2003 Committee
25th May 2016 - 4th Apr 2017
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
18th Dec 2007 - 30th Mar 2015
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
10th Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Panel of Chairs
21st Jun 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Liaison Committee (Commons)
19th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jul 2007 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Minister (Children, Young People and Families)
8th Nov 2006 - 3rd Jul 2007
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
8th Dec 2005 - 8th Nov 2006
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
10th May 2005 - 8th Dec 2005
Transport Committee
15th Dec 2003 - 12th Jul 2005
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jul 2003 - 1st Jul 2005
Shadow Minister (Transport)
1st Jul 2002 - 1st Jul 2005
European Scrutiny Committee
20th Nov 2000 - 15th Sep 2003
Transport, Local Government & The Regions
16th Jul 2001 - 22nd Jul 2002
Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2001 - 1st Jul 2002
Environment, Transport & Regional Affairs
5th Jul 1999 - 1st Jun 2001


Scheduled Event
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Conclusions of the report by Henry Dimbleby 'National Food Strategy: Part One'
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Environment Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 179 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 202 Noes - 210
Speeches
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Environment Bill

My Lords, I congratulate my noble friend the Duke of Wellington and our honourable friend Philip Dunne in the other …

Written Answers
Friday 24th September 2021
Pets: Imports
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prepare for the requirement for mandatory veterinary health certificates …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 14th January 2020
Road Traffic Offences (Cycling) Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to create criminal offences …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has voted in 111 divisions, and 24 times against the majority of their Party.

10 Mar 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 213 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 310 Noes - 237
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 215 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 304 Noes - 260
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 221 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 257
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 215 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 240
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Conservative Aye votes vs 208 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 339 Noes - 235
14 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 201 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 229
9 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 196 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 215
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 221
25 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 204 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 323 Noes - 241
18 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 190 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 209
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 44 Conservative No votes vs 147 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 165 Noes - 433
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 134 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 407
21 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 197 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 166 Noes - 237
20 Oct 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 39 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 395 Noes - 169
20 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 183 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 278 Noes - 200
5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 174 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 192
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 198 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 122 Noes - 234
22 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 145 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 266 Noes - 159
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 125 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
21 Apr 2021 - Domestic Abuse Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 240
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative Aye votes vs 144 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 161 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 172
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 207 Noes - 172
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness McIntosh of Pickering voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 59 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 60
View All Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
(47 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(38 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for International Trade
(66 debate contributions)
Home Office
(53 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness McIntosh of Pickering's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Baroness McIntosh of Pickering


A bill to make provision for the accreditation of child contact centres; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading : House Of Lords
Friday 3rd February 2017

A bill to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 to create criminal offences relating to dangerous, careless or inconsiderate cycling, in particular applying to a pedal cycle, an electrically assisted pedal cycle, and an electric scooter


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Tuesday 14th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness McIntosh of Pickering has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


84 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
27th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the commitments it contains.

The Government’s policy has been for the Protocol to be operated in a pragmatic and proportionate way, protecting the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimension and minimising its impact on everyday lives in Northern Ireland.

In doing so, the Government has developed significant measures to support businesses, such as the Trader Support Service, Movement Assistance Scheme and UK Trader Scheme.

Nevertheless, there have been significant difficulties in the Protocol’s operation, and solutions must be found rapidly. We are working through the structures of the Withdrawal Agreement to find pragmatic ways forward in a range of problem areas. We look to the EU to show a common sense, risk-based, approach.

Lord Frost
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) technology failures, (2) issues with the infrastructure at ports of exit from Great Britain, and (3) the number of veterinarians available, on the timeliness of goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

As outlined in my answer on 14 January, the UK will continue to work with supermarkets and retailers. We have a dedicated group of officials working on this. We are seeking new end-to-end digital systems that will enable goods to be moved in accordance with the protocol in the most streamlined way, and this will be backed by a major injection of UK government funding as part of a broader support package.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria are used to determine key workers; and what plans they have to add cleaners to the published list.

The position remains, as outlined on gov.uk, that everyone who can work from home should do so.

Where that is not possible, people should go into work where it is safe and they are not symptomatic, isolating or shielding. Relevant guidance including from PHE should be followed.

In terms of the provision of education for certain workers, it is already the case that cleaners working in, for example, hospitals and social care could be eligible as long as "their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service". This is set out on gov.uk.

The Government has placed restrictions on the operations of certain businesses as part of the strategy of enhanced social distancing. Separate guidance has been published on this and is also available on gov.uk.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the reduced supply of polypropylene, (2) the increased price level of polypropylene, and (3) the impact this will have on supplies for medical use.

BEIS officials are in regular contact with the British Plastics Federation (BPF) who have informed them that there are global pressures affecting the demand and supply for some plastics polymers including polypropylene. These pressures are currently shared with a number of different materials sectors.

The BPF regularly surveys its members on key issues and have passed on information outlining that these pressures are due to a variety of issues including the current pandemic and some instances of extreme weather that has affected production. Officials will continue to work with the sector and with other government departments to monitor the effects of such issues, especially if they appear to have an impact on vital supplies of products that are needed for medical use.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to permit greater coal imports for the UK’s heritage market should the UK’s coal industry fail to meet the demands of that market.

In line with our Net Zero target, the Government is committed to phasing out unabated coal-fired power generation by 2025, and is consulting on moving this date forward to 2024. This policy applies to coal-fired power stations only – it does not apply to other coal consumers such as heritage railways, or to domestic coal mines. Companies do not require permission from the Government to import coal; the sourcing of coal for use in heritage railways and other industries is a private commercial decision for the companies involved.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the restrictions put in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic on (1) the income of businesses working in, and (2) jobs related to, the night-time economy; and what steps they are taking to address any such impact.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has worked closely with the hospitality sector, including those operating in the night-time economy, to understand and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

Night-time economy businesses have been able to benefit from government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, Local Restrictions Support Grants, additional funding provided to Local Authorities to support businesses and the Cultural Relief Fund.

On 5 January, when the new national lockdown began, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a one-off top up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring. A £594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that electricity generated by waste-to-energy facilities will be used to the benefit of the local community closest to where the electricity is generated.

Local communities are already able to benefit from the sale of electricity from Energy from Waste (EfW) plants in those instances where the local authority has made a provision to retain revenue from the sale when tendering a waste processing contract.

For EfW plants that utilise combined heat and power (CHP) technologies the local area can also benefit from the supply of low carbon heat, either via a heat network to heat homes and commercial premises or by direct connection to an industrial site to help incentivise businesses.

The Government is supporting EfW-based networks through its £320m Heat Network Investment Project and from 2022 an additional £270m will be available through the Green Heat Network Fund.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what infrastructure they plan to deploy to transmit the electricity generated from renewables both onshore and offshore to the national grid; and whether they plan to exclude the use of overhead powerlines for that purpose.

Regulation of the electricity network is a matter for Ofgem as the independent regulator. It is the responsibility of network companies to provide the infrastructure required to transmit electricity generated from renewables and they do this according to the framework set out by Ofgem through the price control. A number of methods can be used to transfer energy to transmission and distribution systems, including overhead powerlines. The choice of which method to use depends on a range of factors, including technical assessments, environmental impacts and costs.

The Offshore Transmission Network Review is currently considering how best to connect offshore renewable energy in the most efficient way, with a view to finding the appropriate balance between environmental, social and economic costs.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether energy stored in batteries for the National Grid is used to provide energy to communities located near to such batteries.

Batteries can provide a range of services to the electricity system, such as storing electricity from renewable generation during periods of low demand and releasing electricity when prices are high, as well as helping to reduce the cost of balancing the system. They can provide services at both local (community) and national levels.

Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) also operate local markets for flexibility services. These provide additional opportunities for batteries to support the decarbonisation of, and provide energy to, their local communities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 7.7 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Corporate Insolvency and Governance (Coronavirus) (Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020, when will (1) the permanent procedural moratorium rules be laid before Parliament under the Corporate and Insolvency Governance Act 2020, and (2) the consultation with the Insolvency Rules Committee regarding the permanent rules covering England and Wales commence.

Work on amendments to the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 to provide permanent procedural rules for the moratorium introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 is ongoing and the relevant regulations will be laid when Parliamentary time allows. The Government is aware that the current temporary provision expires on 30 March 2021 (subject to any extensions) and will have regard to that fact for the purpose of preparing and laying the permanent rules.

The Government intends that consultation with the Insolvency Rules Committee regarding these rules, as required by law, will commence in November 2020.

Separate rules will be required for Scotland and, since this area is partially devolved, the timing of those rules will be subject to further discussions with the Scottish Government.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the jetstream on recent weather events; and what plans they have to conduct research into the role of the jetstream in extreme weather events.

Extended spells of dry sunny weather during spring are primarily a consequence of the large-scale circulation and buckling of the jet stream allowing for the development of persistent high-pressure systems close to the UK. In spring 2020 the jet stream shifted to the north-west of the UK and successive areas of high pressure dominated the country, leading to sunny, warm and dry conditions. Weather conditions in February 2020 were also due to a change in the jet stream. In this instance, a strengthening of the jet over the UK delivered multiple storms and record rainfall. In both cases, the conditions were predicted in some detail days ahead in Met Office short-range weather forecasts and also anticipated in its long-range outlooks.

The role of the jet stream in influencing UK weather is well understood. The next step is to understand what is driving the behaviour of the jet steam when there are extremes. There is strong evidence from research by the Met Office that global connections from the tropics were responsible for the behaviour of the jet stream during February 2020. Work is ongoing to examine what influenced the jet stream during spring 2020. Future research by the Met Office will examine current variability in the jet stream and the effect on UK weather.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what specific support they have identified for small and medium-size enterprises operating in (1) the tourism, (2) the hospitality, and (3) the retail sectors, (a) who are experiencing cash flow problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (b) who pay council tax in lieu of business rates, and (c) who have commercial mortgages and are therefore ineligible for payment holidays. [T]

The two existing business grants schemes have helped supported many thousands of small businesses.

To ensure that Local Authorities can help these businesses, the Government has allocated additional up to £617 million funding to Local Authorities in England to allow them to provide discretionary grants.

It is our intention that the following businesses should be considered as a priority for these funds:

· Businesses in a range of shared workspaces;

· Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;

· B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and

· Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in expanding communications network coverage in rural areas; and what plans they have to share the resources used by the Emergency Services Network to achieve such coverage.

The Government’s £1 billion Shared Rural Network (SRN) agreement with the Mobile Network Operators, will see the operators collectively increase 4G mobile coverage to 95% by the end of the programme. While the programme is still in its early stages, we anticipate that areas of the UK will see improvements in coverage long before its completion. On 27 January 2021, the operators O2, Three and Vodafone announced a joint venture to build and share 222 new mobile masts to boost rural coverage across the United Kingdom and deliver the first stage of the SRN. This will see 124 new sites built in Scotland, 33 in Wales, 11 in Northern Ireland, and 54 in England.

Furthermore, on 24 February, EE announced it will be expanding 4G in more than 500 areas in this year to improve rural connectivity across the UK as part of the programme. This will include 333 in England, 132 in Scotland, 76 in Wales, and 38 in Northern Ireland. 110 areas have already been upgraded since the SRN deal was signed, with a further 469 to follow this year in the first phase of the programme.

The Government is committed to delivering value for money for the taxpayer by sharing infrastructure where possible for the Shared Rural Network. The Home Office will make the Extended Area Service (EAS) infrastructure, which is part of the new Emergency Services Network (ESN), available to all mobile operators for deployment as part of SRN. In some specific cases, SRN site upgrades may not be possible due to insurmountable practical or cost barriers.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to prepare for the requirement for mandatory veterinary health certificates for imports from the EU, that come into force on 1 October.

The Government has set out a new timetable for introducing full import controls for sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) goods being imported from the EU to the UK.

The new timetable considers the challenges businesses have faced due to the global pandemic, as well as its impact on supply chains across the UK and Europe. The Government believes a more pragmatic timetable will help give businesses time to recover from the pandemic and adjust to the new processes.

The controls will now be phased in across 2022.

From 1 July 2022:

  • The new requirements for GB Export Health Certificates from EU exporters, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary certificates for lower risk plant produce, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts will now begin on 1 July 2022.

All current controls for live animals, products of animal origin under safeguard measures and high priority plants and plant products remain unchanged.

In addition, the following customs controls will be phased in:

  • Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced.
  • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022.

The new timeline allows importers, exporters and EU certifiers more time to prepare for the requirements and controls. It will ensure we reduce any anticipated disruption when these measures are introduced.

Defra has been working hard with businesses to ensure they are prepared and has run numerous webinars and advice sessions, attended by around 4,000 businesses.

Around 4,600 businesses are already registered for the Import of Products, Animals, Food and Feed System (IPAFFS). More than 13,000 individual users are registered for IPAFFS.

The process is simple and only requires a Government Gateway account to register. We have sought to make these processes as straightforward as possible, and many thousands of businesses are already prepared for their introduction.

Defra is working closely with customs agents who are keen to provide import and export support to businesses. We are looking to provide digital solutions to simplify processes and encouraging more agents to offer pre-notification support and support to EU exporters.

Pre-notification procedures from January 2022 to July 2022 have been reduced and now mirror the current import process introduced for live animals in January this year, requiring importers or their agents to complete 15 simple information boxes on IPAFFS.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the European Union on the implementation of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in relation to fishing rights and quotas in the waters around the Channel Islands.

We have had regular engagement, at all levels, with the European Union on implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement in relation to fishing in the Channel Islands’ territorial seas and will continue to do so.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to negotiate a sanitary and phytosanitary trade agreement with the EU.

The sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) chapter of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement puts in place a framework that allows the UK and the EU to take informed decisions to reduce their respective SPS controls, with a commitment to avoid unnecessary barriers. It is in both Parties’ interests to use this framework to reduce the rate of SPS checks required.

We are open to discussion with the EU on an agreement that goes further in reducing trade frictions between us, but it cannot be on the basis of alignment with EU rules as this would compromise UK sovereignty over our own laws

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Specialised Committee on Fisheries to be established under the provisions of the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

• The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for a number of Specialised Committees which sit underneath the Partnership Council. The Specialised Committee on Fisheries will provide a forum for discussion and co-operation in relation to sustainable fisheries management.

• Until the TCA has been ratified in European parliament, the Partnership Council and Specialised Committees will not become operational. The membership and administration of the Partnership Council and the supporting Specialised Committees is being worked through at a UK level in anticipation of ratification.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to digitise export health certificates and other customs documents required for exporting goods to the EU.

The Export Health Certificate Online (EHC Online) service is currently live with digitised forms covering all EU exports and currently covering just over 80% of rest of the world trade. To date, in excess of 130,000 EHC's have been applied for on the service and the system is working well.

19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effectiveness of existing flood warning systems, and (2) the level of investment in flood defences.

Over 1.52 million properties in England are signed up to the Environment Agency's (EA) free flood warning service, which sends a message directly by voice message, text or email when a flood warning is issued.

Our latest assessment from September 2020 showed that the EA’s Flood Warning Service is available to 84% of those who live in areas of flood risk (target 83%).

The take up is 82% by those who are offered the service (target 80%). The EA continues to work on improving performance against measures on flood warning quality (timeliness and accuracy, message quality).

There are millions of visits every year to the online Flood Information Service. This provides the public with an opportunity to give feedback on the service provided. From July to December 2020, 61% said that they were either satisfied or very satisfied.

Direct user feedback helps to target where improvements are needed and make best use of government funding. For example, as part of the discovery work for the NeXt Warning System, the EA looked into how the current flood warning service and supporting systems are designed, support and delivered. The report proposes recommendations on how they can build a next generation flood warning system to better support the needs of the users, the business and wider government.

Since 2010 the Environment Agency (and Natural Resources Wales) has worked with telephone providers to access and automatically register landline phone numbers onto the flood warning system. The service, which automatically adds phone numbers registered in areas at risk of flooding, now encompasses all four major Mobile Network Operators – O2, Three, Vodafone and EE.

From April 2021, the new 6-year £5.2 billion capital investment programme, announced in the March 2020 Budget, will start. This will ensure a further 336,000 homes and non-residential properties such as businesses, schools and hospitals are better protected from flooding and coastal erosion.

£24.9 million of this investment will be allocated annually to run the Flood Incident Management service which directly supports costs for Flood Warnings. In addition, £23.1 million will be spent over the next 5 years for developing and enhancing the service.

The Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme has also allocated £150 million from 2021 to 2027 for ‘resilience actions’, such as tailored flood warning systems.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with relevant water management bodies, including (1) water companies and, (2) the Association of Drainage Authorities, about (a) increasing the maintenance of water courses, (b) achieving integrated catchment management, and (c) increasing private sector investment in flood defences.

Ministers and officials meet regularly with water companies, the Association of Drainage Authorities and other stakeholders to discuss these and other matters that will help secure our long term resilience to flooding and costal erosion.

In July 2020 the Government published its long-term Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Policy Statement which sets out the Government's ambition to create a nation more resilient to future flood and coastal erosion risk. The Policy Statement sets out five key policies and over 40 actions, to deliver an integrated approach to managing water and develop a diverse range of sustainable funding and finance opportunities.

Between 2015 and 2020 we committed over £1 billion on the maintenance of flood defence assets. This is a real term increase in spending compared to the £812 million spent in the previous five years. Our Policy statement includes our commitment to ensure that there is a long-term approach to maintain our network of flood defences across the country, through a combination of investment and action by risk management authorities, government, riparian owners and wider beneficiaries. This, and all the actions set out in the Government's Policy Statement will continue to be delivered in partnership with all our stakeholders.

The Government's Strategic Policy Statement already requires Ofwat to ensure water companies improve planning and investment to prevent wastewater flooding and to improve infrastructure resilience against extreme flood events. Following the 2019 Price Review the water sector has committed to invest more than £1 billion to protect the environment, homes, businesses and drinking water from flooding.

Water companies are developing Drainage and Sewerage Management Plans that will inform the next price review. These plans provide a framework for organisations to work together, through which joint solutions and approaches can be developed to improve drainage and environmental water quality. Water companies are participating in and, in some cases, fund the Catchment Based Approach which is one of the Government's key mechanisms to deliver integrated catchment management.

Ahead of the next price review in 2024, the Government has committed to consider if additional outcome measures are required through future Price Reviews and the Environment Agency and Ofwat will develop a joint approach for how water companies should address flood and coastal resilience.

Between 2015-2021 the government's partnership investment programme has generated over £500 million from private and public sources to complement the government's grant in aid budget. This investment has helped deliver flood defence projects across England helping the Government meet its commitment of better protecting 300,000 homes from flooding.

The Government's Policy Statement sets out how we will explore opportunities to further incentivise contributions from others including from businesses and the private sector. On 1 February we published a call for evidence on strengthening the assessment of local factors in the government's flood and coastal defence programme, including how we can incentivise increased private sector contributions to flood and coastal defence projects.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role farmers can play in improving biodiversity in their preparations for participation in the Conference on the Convention on Biodiversity in 2021.

Farmers have a crucial role to play in implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity at home.

This role was evident from the evaluation of Biodiversity 2020, the Government’s previous strategy for implementing the Convention commitments in England. This report, published in 2019, found strong partnerships that included farmers and landowners had supported progress in driving forward our biodiversity goals on land, by managing habitat condition, extent and connectivity. Agri-environment schemes were considered in the report to be the main mechanisms by which biodiversity improvements have been delivered. It highlighted how farmers and landowners, through agri-environment options and partnership working with Government and the conservation community, had supported the recovery of declining species, including cirl bunting and turtle dove.

Domestic biodiversity and land management policy is devolved in the UK. We are developing a new strategy for nature to replace Biodiversity 2020 in England. We expect the new strategy will continue to stress the importance of farmers, farming and wider land management as we take forward our plans under a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as those set out under our 25 Year Environment Plan.

Our new Environmental Land Management Scheme will be a powerful tool for delivering the goals of our 25 Year Environment Plan, including for biodiversity, on farmed land in England. Environmental Land Management will also play a role in supporting the “30by30” target, to protect 30% of England’s land for biodiversity by 2030, through habitat creation and restoration, or securing long-term management and protection for wildlife-rich habitats.

The 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Kunming, China in 2021. The make-up of the UK delegation will be confirmed closer to the time and will be dependent on the conference agenda.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to include farming representatives in the UK delegation to the Conference on the Convention on Biodiversity in 2021.

Farmers have a crucial role to play in implementing the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity at home.

This role was evident from the evaluation of Biodiversity 2020, the Government’s previous strategy for implementing the Convention commitments in England. This report, published in 2019, found strong partnerships that included farmers and landowners had supported progress in driving forward our biodiversity goals on land, by managing habitat condition, extent and connectivity. Agri-environment schemes were considered in the report to be the main mechanisms by which biodiversity improvements have been delivered. It highlighted how farmers and landowners, through agri-environment options and partnership working with Government and the conservation community, had supported the recovery of declining species, including cirl bunting and turtle dove.

Domestic biodiversity and land management policy is devolved in the UK. We are developing a new strategy for nature to replace Biodiversity 2020 in England. We expect the new strategy will continue to stress the importance of farmers, farming and wider land management as we take forward our plans under a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework under the Convention on Biodiversity, as well as those set out under our 25 Year Environment Plan.

Our new Environmental Land Management Scheme will be a powerful tool for delivering the goals of our 25 Year Environment Plan, including for biodiversity, on farmed land in England. Environmental Land Management will also play a role in supporting the “30by30” target, to protect 30% of England’s land for biodiversity by 2030, through habitat creation and restoration, or securing long-term management and protection for wildlife-rich habitats.

The 15th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity will be held in Kunming, China in 2021. The make-up of the UK delegation will be confirmed closer to the time and will be dependent on the conference agenda.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES); if so, when; and what annual budget they intend to allocate for ICES' research and scientific activities from 2021.

The UK is in the process of finalising the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). The UK expects to sign the MoU in time for it to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

The cost to the UK for advice received from ICES will be outlined within the MoU.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) the construction of, and (2) the underwater noise levels caused by, wind turbines at sea on (a) dolphins, (b) porpoises, (c) whales, (d) seals, and (e) other marine life; and what steps they are taking to mitigate any such impact.

Defra has commissioned a number of projects to assess the impact of underwater noise pollution. These include several projects to set targets for Good Environmental Status (GES) under descriptor 11 (marine noise) of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which assesses noise and its effects on marine species including fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates. Most recently, we have this year published a risk assessment of underwater noise pollution in Special Areas of Conservation for marine mammals, wider Marine Protected Areas and throughout the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.

A Defra project is currently investigating effectiveness of existing, new and emerging mitigation techniques for offshore wind. We are working with other Government bodies, The Crown Estate, industry and wider stakeholders to mitigate against, and prepare for, any environmental impacts of growth in the offshore wind sector

To mitigate the impact of underwater noise in the Southern North Sea we have worked with the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to publish guidance for assessing the significance of noise disturbance against Conservation Objectives of harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation and continue to work with industry and marine regulators on its implementation.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what relationship they plan to have with the EU's Scientific Review Group after 1 January 2021.

As we have left the EU we will no longer participate in, or be bound by, EU structures, including the EU Scientific Review Group which comprises representatives from EU Member States’ Scientific Authorities. Our Scientific Authorities, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, will continue to provide scientific advice on a range of CITES matters and collaborate internationally with other CITES Scientific Authorities to ensure we remain a world leader in environmental protection.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the power to prohibit the holding of specimens including live animals under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has been removed; if so, (1) why, and (2) what plans they have to reverse any such removal.

The Environment and Wildlife (Miscellaneous Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 do not lessen government powers or weaken our implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The provision in Council Regulation 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein states that Member States ‘may prohibit the holding of specimens, in particular live animals of the species listed in Annex A’.

Rather than conferring any legislative powers, this provision simply states that EU Member States have discretion to act should it be considered necessary. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will continue to be able to act, meaning the inclusion of the provision in retained direct EU legislation would be an unnecessary statement of the government’s ability to put in place legislation. Its omission does not lessen existing powers or weaken our controls on endangered species.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what happens to the fines levied under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora; and what plans they have, if any, to use any money raised by such fines solely for the benefit of wildlife and endangered species.

CITES offences and penalties are used as a deterrent to illegal wildlife trade which in turn protects wildlife and endangered species. The collection of fines resulting from convictions under the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations (COTES) is undertaken by HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

With the agreement of HM Treasury (HMT), as part of its Spending Round 2015 settlement the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has been permitted to retain receipts from all fine collections. These receipts form part of the overall settlement provided by HMT to MoJ to operate the Courts and Tribunals Service and are used for this purpose.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the damage caused by sky lanterns; and what plans they have to impose a national ban on such lanterns in rural areas.

In 2013, the UK and Welsh Governments jointly commissioned an independent study looking at the impacts of sky lanterns and helium balloons on livestock and the environment. The report concluded that the impact was generally low, though did highlight a potential fire safety risk.

Any action the Government takes must be proportionate to the level of risk and we have concluded, based on the results of this research, that an outright ban would be disproportionate in the circumstances. Should evidence that this approach is no longer sufficient arise, we will take the necessary action.

We do recognise the need to protect our environment and wildlife and have therefore used media messaging to encourage people and businesses to consider the risks before releasing lanterns.

There may be times when a local ban is appropriate as part of a wider strategic approach. and local authorities already have powers to restrict or ban the use of sky lanterns on council or public land. Many councils in England, Scotland and Wales have applied such a ban. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of single-use products.

Voluntary actions and initiatives aimed at minimising the risks associated with sky lanterns and driving up safety standards have been effective. This includes a voluntary Code of Practice for sky lanterns developed by industry with Government support to ensure that they are manufactured to be safe and are sold responsibly. Sky lanterns also fall in scope of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 which oblige producers and distributors to place only safe consumer products on the market.

As the law stands in England, it is conceivable that a magistrates’ court would conclude that a release of sky lanterns constitutes a littering offence. Section 87 of the?Environmental Protection Act 1990 says: “A person is guilty of an offence if he throws down, drops or otherwise deposits any litter in any place to which this section applies and leaves it”. Ultimately it would be for a court to rule whether this phrase would cover sky lantern releases.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of export health certificates for animal products that will need to be issued from 1 January 2021; and what is their current capacity for issuing these certificates.

New requirements for export health certificates (EHCs) for goods moving from Great Britain to the EU from 1 January 2021 may increase demand for EHCs for products of animal origin (POAO) by up to five times, compared with the approximately 57,000 issued for third country trade in 2017. To meet this possible demand, we have increased the number of Official Vets (OVs) holding the relevant qualification to certify POAO exports from around 600 in February 2019 to more than 1200 today, with further funded training announced on 1 October 2020. In addition, around 1000 Food Competent Certifying Officers (FCCOs) working in 153 different local authorities across Great Britain can certify some exports and therefore contribute towards certification capacity. We have also introduced the role of Certification Support Officers (CSOs) to help reduce the burden on OVs and FCCOs. CSOs are able to carry out preliminary and administrative work to prepare consignments for export. On 1 October, we announced additional funded training to help increase the number of CSOs from 96 qualified and authorised by APHA.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the UK is facing a critical shortage of veterinarians; and what steps they are taking to increase veterinary capacity.

The Department is aware of staff shortages within the veterinary profession which has an existing job vacancy rate of around 10%. Defra is working with the UK veterinary profession to address the UK’s veterinary resourcing needs and to ensure capacity in both the short and long term.

With support from stakeholders, the Department was successful in ensuring that veterinarians were added to the UK Shortage Occupation List in September 2019. This will make it easier for UK employers to recruit vets from overseas. Additionally, two new veterinary schools have been opened to expand the number of UK veterinary graduates in the future.

To support official veterinarians further, Defra created a Certification Support Officer (CSO) role to help work on export certification. Additionally, to ease the burden of statutory TB skin testing of cattle, from 2 November 2020, Approved Tuberculin Testers (ATTs) can be employed and trained by private veterinary businesses in England.

15th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Burning as a tool for the restoration of upland blanket bog: Position Statement by Natural England, published in February 2019, which advises that "in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to carry out a one-off burn for the purposes of restoration"; and what steps they intend to take in response to that advice before imposing any blanket ban on such burning.

The Government has always been clear of the need to phase out rotational burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats, and we are looking at how legislation could achieve this. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives. We have urged landowners to adopt these and continue to work with them constructively.

Any legislative proposals will be developed with consideration of the expert advice of Natural England. These considerations are complex, but it is important that we take the right steps to restore and protect this valuable habitat.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the Environment Agency, and (2) water companies in England, about testing waste water for COVID-19; and what plans they have to use the results of such tests to detect early warning signs of community COVID-19 outbreaks.

Defra, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) have been working together since April 2020 to establish a national monitoring programme to detect fragments of genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus in waste water. The programme was announced by Defra in a press release on 12 June. Data from the programme is being used as an early warning system to detect the presence of the virus in the population. The programme could not have been established without close collaboration with the water companies. Defra, EA and JBC continue to work with water companies to further develop and refine the work programme.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recommendations on the standards for food imports which should apply in international trade agreements in the report by Henry Dimbleby National Food Strategy: Part One, published on 29 July.

The Government has a clear manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.

We will use all appropriate policy levers available to us to achieve our policy aims ensuring that trade agreements live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK.

The National Food Strategy recommends that the independent Trade and Agriculture Commission consider this issue. As noted in the public record of its meeting of 21 August, available online, the Commission has already started discussing its response. The membership agreed to deliberate further on some of the report’s recommendations on the international framework of rules and standards.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in agreeing common frameworks with the devolved administrations, in particular in regard to (1) trade, (2) agriculture, and (3) fisheries, policies.

Defra is working closely with the Devolved Administrations to agree the common frameworks that we will need for those returning EU powers that intersect with Devolved competence. We have made significant progress in developing the policy content of the frameworks mentioned and these will be shared for parliamentary scrutiny at the appropriate stage of policy development. The set of principles, including the need to ensure that frameworks support the UK’s international trade obligations, agreed at the Joint Ministerial Committee for EU negotiations in October 2017 guide Defra and the Devolved Administrations in the development of these frameworks.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to clarify their relationship with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea; and when they expect to conclude the agreements that are necessary before 31 December.

The UK has agreed in principle a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). This will ensure the advice we require is in place so that the UK can continue to meet its international and domestic commitments and obligations on sustainability. The MoU will be signed by December 2020, entering into force on 1 January 2021.

The UK has been a member of ICES since its inception in 1902 and we intend to continue playing a strong role in it in the future. UK scientists make a significant contribution to the science that generates ICES’s advice, including annual recommendations for total allowable catches, and they will continue to provide their scientific expertise. The UK will continue to provide strong support for ICES’s scientific activities in 2020 and beyond.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on the farming and agricultural sectors.

The Government is aware that coronavirus represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy. We are working closely alongside the agricultural industry to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts on farming and the agricultural sectors.

Defra’s Food Chain Emergency Liaison Group (FCELG) is meeting regularly to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the food and farming sectors across the UK, and what actions are needed to support the sectors. This group includes the National Farmers Union (NFU), other industry stakeholders and the devolved administrations.

Since 18 March, the UK Agricultural Market Monitoring Group (UKAMMG) has increased the frequency of its meetings to weekly. Its aim is to monitor UK agricultural markets and provide forewarning of any atypical market movements. During the coronavirus outbreak this is allowing Defra and the devolved administrations to share the latest stakeholder information to assess the effects of COVID-19 on the agricultural industry, as well as prepare the evidence base for a possible range of interventions needed in specific markets, or geographical regions.

Officials are having regular meetings with the different agricultural sectors to understand the specific issues affecting each sector. We have also provided all agricultural industry stakeholders with a central point of contact to send details of any emerging impacts as and when they arise.

The Secretary of State remains in regular contact with representatives of the farming and agricultural sectors and will continue to engage with them on the effects of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and to work closely with the farming sectors to respond to emerging issues as they arise.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of municipal waste site closures on the prevalence of fly tipping; and what advice they provide to local councils about reducing the incidence of fly tipping.

Fly-tipping is unacceptable and the Government is committed to tackling this crime.

We are aware of reports of an increase in fly-tipping and that, anecdotally, this may be a result of the decisions taken by local authorities to close household waste recycling centres. However, this does not appear to be consistent across the country. We have requested fly-tipping incident data through the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG), chaired by Defra, which includes local authorities and other key stakeholders, to help us to monitor the situation.

We have published guidance to help local authorities prioritise waste services. This recommends keeping household waste recycling centres open if it is safe to do so and that the clearance of fly-tipped material should be given a high priority. The Government has been working with local authorities to explore ways in which household waste recycling centres that have been closed might be re-opened, whilst observing social distancing and other requirements. The Government published guidance on this on 5 May 2020.

Through the NFTPG, we have also disseminated messaging aimed at householders promoting the secure storage of waste, use of registered waste carriers and reiterating that waste must not be fly-tipped.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their policy on the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and, in particular, genome-edited crops; and what plans they have to make regulations to address any potential danger of cross-contamination with non-GMO products.

The UK Government takes a science-based approach to genetically modified organism (GMO) policy and regulation. Our view is that genome-edited organisms should not be subject to GMO regulation if the DNA changes could have occurred naturally, or through traditional breeding methods.

No genetically modified or genome-edited crops are grown commercially in the UK.

The UK Government supports choice for both farmers and consumers. Before any GMO crops are grown here, we will need to put rules in place to segregate production methods and facilitate that choice. These rules will be based on independent scientific advice and they will take the potential for cross-pollination into account.

24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement the recommendations contained in the report by Sir Michael Pitt The Pitt Review: Lessons learned from the 2007 floods, published on 25 June 2008, in particular to end developers’ automatic right to connect new developments to public sewers.

The Government implemented recommendations from Sir Michael Pitt’s review through the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on the Post-legislative scrutiny of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 was in its Sixth Report of Session 2016–17, published on 26 April 2017.

The Government response to the Committee’s report notes that planning practice guidance includes a hierarchy for sustainable drainage options that favours non-sewer solutions. Draining to a combined sewer should be the least favoured option in new development, to be considered when sustainable drainage options are not reasonably practicable. Removing the right to connect to an existing sewer therefore would offer no clear benefits over current arrangements and is likely to add costs and delay to the planning process for new housing.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the environmental damage caused by spillages from combined sewer overflows releasing raw sewage into rivers; and what plans they have to prevent such spillages.

Combined sewers that carry surface water from roofs and roads together with sewage from homes are a common sewage system. On occasion, storm sewage discharges occur from Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) when the risk of sewer flooding is high and pipework capacity is exceeded. This is done to reduce the flood risk to homes and businesses. The Environment Agency (EA) has looked at the reasons for rivers not achieving good ecological status and found that about 3% of water bodies are failing due to the impact of CSOs.

To prevent spillages, between 2015 to 2020 water companies are installing monitors on up to 13,000 of the 15,000 CSOs in England. These will measure how often and for how long they operate, helping inform where improvement works may be required and providing information to the public about spills. This information has been used to help develop the environmental programme that the water companies will be implementing over the next five years. This includes further monitoring of CSOs, over 700 investigations and more than 200 schemes for environmental improvement or to reduce the spills from CSOs.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they promote and develop (1) food security, and (2) self-sufficiency, in the production of UK food.

Our landmark Agriculture Bill sets out a clear path for future policy to support farming and the environment which includes commitments to regularly review our food security.

As part of the Bill, we are including a new requirement for the UK Government to regularly report on food security to Parliament, demonstrating the importance we place on this subject. The report will contain information on the role of strong domestic production alongside diverse sources of supply. It will encompass a range of current issues relevant to food security including global food availability; supply of food sources; the resilience of the supply chain for food; household expenditure on food; food safety and consumer confidence in food.

The UK has a high degree of food security, built on access to a range of different sources including strong domestic production and imports from other countries, demonstrated by the UK's current production to supply ratio of 75% for indigenous-type foods and 60% for all foods

The National Food Strategy will cover the entire food chain from field to fork, building on work already underway in Defra.

It will address the challenges of supporting people to eat healthy diets, producing food sustainably and protecting national food security, whilst also looking at related issues such as food price and trade.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of provisions in recent roll-over trade agreements that grant trading surpluses to partner countries rather than for UK exports; and what assessment they have made of the benefits to date of the UK's departure from the EU.

The United Kingdom has sought to reproduce the effects of trading agreements that previously applied, to ensure continuity for British businesses. The Department has published parliamentary reports for all such partner countries containing explanations of any changes or significant differences between these bilateral agreements and the previous EU trade agreements (e.g. gov.uk/government/publications/continuing-the-uks-trade-relationship-with-canada-parliamentary-report).

The United Kingdom’s departure from the EU presents opportunities for us to do things differently and better. HM Government has already acted in a number of areas, for example, establishing the new ‘Points Based System’ on migration and replacing the Common Agricultural Policy. The United Kingdom can capitalise on new regulatory and policy freedoms, and the ability to find new ways to drive growth internationally, enabling us to deliver on the priorities of the British people.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Minsterial Forum set up to include the devolved administrations in trade policy and trade agreements last met; how often it has met since it was established; and what is the composition and remit of the Forum.

The Ministerial Forum for Trade last met on 22nd April 2020. It has been convened twice since it was established in January of this year and will meet again in the coming weeks. The Forum is chaired by my Hon Friend, the Minister of State for Trade Policy, and membership comprises Ministerial representatives from each Devolved Administration and UK Government Territorial Offices. The forum covers matters of trade policy, including the UK’s current and future negotiations, priorities at the WTO and trade disputes.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the (1) remit, and (2) composition, of the proposed Trade and Agriculture Commission; and whether the Commission's recommendations to the Government will be binding.

The Department for International Trade has announced on Friday 10 July further details of the new Trade and Agriculture Commission which has been set up to act as an advisory board to my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade.

The Commission will be chaired by Tim Smith, former director of FSA, and will have a fixed term of six months to consider trade policies that Government should adopt to secure opportunities for UK farmers, producers and exporters. The Commission will ensure the sector remains competitive and that animal welfare and environmental standards in food production are not undermined. At the end of its work, the Trade and Agriculture Commission will produce an advisory report which will be presented to Parliament by the Department for International Trade. The recommendations will not be binding as the Commission has an advisory role.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to regulate use of e-scooters, including compulsory insurance cover on their use.

The Department is running trials of rental e-scooters to assess their safety and wider impacts. Some 32 trials are underway and will run across the year, with final trial schemes due to conclude by 31 March 2022. The evidence gathered during the trials will inform whether e-scooters should be legalised in the future and how we can ensure their use is as safe as possible. Until we have that evidence, we do not want to speculate on the future legal status of e-scooters or on specific issues like insurance.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on facilitating international travel; and what plans they have (1) to clarify the status of countries on the green list, and (2) to reduce the cost of PCR tests.

The Global Travel Taskforce outlined plans for the safe and sustainable reopening of international travel using a traffic light system. The traffic light system categorises countries based on risk to protect public health and the vaccine rollout from variants of COVID-19. The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors. Country categorisation is published on gov.uk.

The Government continues to work with the travel industry and private testing providers to further reduce testing costs, while ensuring travel is as safe as possible. The price of tests has reduced significantly over recent weeks, and several providers are offering Day 2 tests for green arrivals for under £50.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a hard copy passenger locator form on all (1) flights, (2) ferry journeys, and (3) Eurostar train journeys, arriving into the UK, to improve tracking of passengers and their compliance with self-isolation rules.

The passenger locator form is designed to track and trace those individuals who may have come into contact with another person who has, or goes on to develop, coronavirus. It is also used to monitor self-isolation of those individuals who have been abroad and returned to the UK and who are not exempt from self-isolation measures.

The PLF was introduced as an electronic form, and allows Public Health England to conduct fast and efficient contact tracing.

The vast majority of arriving passengers are complying with all the requirements of the Covid-19 related health regulations at the border.

Border Force Officers are on hand at the Border to help passengers who may struggle to submit an electronic form.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the sale of alcohol airside at international airports in the UK; and what plans they have to bring such sales into line with the sale of alcohol landside.

The Government keeps the matter of licencing at airports under consideration. There are tough penalties in place for drunk and disruptive behaviour onboard an aircraft, including imprisonment for up to two years or an unlimited fine. Pilots also have the power to deny boarding or force passengers to disembark a plane if they are drunk and threaten the safety of the aircraft or its passengers.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to keep the public service obligation for Belfast International Airport under review.

The Government recognises that connectivity between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is vital, which is why we secured a £5.7 million support package in May this year to temporarily support the last remaining service from Belfast to London during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK policy on public service obligations (PSO) is to protect existing routes into London that are in danger of being lost. It is for the relevant local authority or devolved administration to determine the need for a PSO on a route and to submit a business case to DfT for consideration. The local authority must also hold a full and open tender to select an airline to operate the route on an exclusive basis. Airlines select the airports they wish to operate from, if there is more than one option available, as part of their bid.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what source of energy (1) is, and (2) is planned to be, used to power electric (a) buses, and (b) cars; and what estimate they have made of the sustainability of those sources of energy.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy produce annual statistics and future projections of UK energy demand currently up to 2035. Of electricity generated in 2019, low carbon electricity’s share of generation amounted to 54.2 per cent. This comprised 36.9 per cent renewables and 17.4 per cent from nuclear generation. Fossil fuel’s share of generation was 43.4 per cent, of which 40.9 per cent was from gas, 2.1 per cent coal and 0.3 per cent oil. The remaining 2.4 per cent generation share came from pumped storage and other fuels including the non-renewable component of waste. It is not possible to identify accurately what proportion of energy is used to recharge electric buses and other electric vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation took place to inform the new guidance on cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic; and how they intend to police that guidance. [T]

This guidance has been fast-tracked without consultation because of the need to make sure the opportunity to improve cycling and walking facilities is not missed – the Government has only a few weeks in which action can be taken. The guidance will be reviewed after 3 months and local authorities and others will be involved in that process.

The guidance sets out our vision for ensuring active travel is embedded in local authorities’ green restart plans. We expect them to be prioritising walking and cycling and considering how to make adjustments to their roads to enable social distancing. The Department is not responsible for policing what local authorities implement on their roads.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that pensioners with (1) vision, and (2) hearing, impairments are able to apply for Pension Credit.

Individuals wishing to claim Pension Credit can do so by telephone, online or by postal claim form. Within these three options, there are a number of different ways the Department communicates with people with visual or hearing impairments. These include large print, Braille and British sign language options. Hearing loop, textphone and Next Generation Text relay facilities are also available.

More generally, people wishing to claim Pension Credit who need help to do so can receive help from family members, friends or voluntary organisations such as Citizens Advice or Age UK.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of take up of Pension Credit; and what discussions they have had with the BBC about publicising eligibility for Pension Credit alongside advertising to the same group their eligibility for free television licences.

The Department assesses levels of take-up of Pension Credit on an annual basis. Latest official statistics on the take-up of income-related benefits at Great Britain level, including Pension Credit, can be found in the publication “Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up in 2018 to 2019”, is available on the gov.uk website.

As well as regular meetings to discuss Pension Credit and the implications of the new television licence arrangements, DWP officials have worked with the BBC to ensure that the BBC’s letters to all existing free TV licence holders informing them of the new arrangements included information on how to claim Pension Credit. The Minister for Pensions and I are engaging with the BBC to discuss what more we could do together to increase take-up of Pension Credit.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letters from NHS England and NHS Improvement to GP practices dated 17 March 2020 and 4 August 2020, when additional costs related to COVID-19 borne by dispensing GPs will be reimbursed.

Dispensing practices continue to be reimbursed for additional costs related to COVID-19 in the same way as non-dispensing practices. At the beginning of the pandemic the COVID-19 support fund for general practice (GP) reimbursed practices for additional expenditure they incurred for absence cover, bank holiday opening and the costs of some consumables.  A further £270 million has been made available from November 2020 until September 2021, allocated to systems and ring-fenced exclusively for use in GP to ensure practices can continue to provide the necessary care for all patients.

18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the operation of the NHS COVID-19 app.

The NHS COVID-19 app is kept under close review and is continually being refined and enhanced to ensure it can continue to break chains of transmission. Research from academics and bodies such as The Alan Turing Institute and The University of Oxford have shown that the app continues to work effectively, and user research and feedback are continually considered and incorporated into app releases. Constant evaluation is conducted to ensure the app can continue to support present and future requirements.

9th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what treatments are available on the NHS in England which help to prevent those with ostopenia contracting osteoporosis; and whether those with ostopenia are kept under regular review to assess the risk of developing osteoporosis.

People with osteopenia will not necessarily go on to develop osteoporosis. In those found to have a bone density within an osteopenic range, preventative lifestyle measures, such as healthy eating, exercise and taking vitamin D supplements, are recommended to protect against developing osteoporosis.

Clinicians may wish to monitor patients found to have a bone density within an osteopenic range, depending on what risk factors they have for osteoporosis or fragility fracture.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure patients in rural areas receive the COVID-19 vaccination in a timely manner; whether any such steps take into account the (1) isolation of such patients, and (2) the distances such patients have to travel to medical facilities.

Currently, in England, more than 98% of the population is within 10 miles of a vaccine service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit. The mobile model helps more remote rural communities, particularly those where public transport is limited.

7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to work with dispensing doctors for the administration of COVID-19 vaccines to patients in rural areas.

General practices, including dispensing practices, form just one part of the plan for delivering COVID-19 vaccination and will operate as part of a system of providers, ensuring the best possible coverage of the UK population. Each Primary Care Network grouping is required to work with their local regional team to understand the current healthcare provision for vulnerable groups. Where there are gaps in provision, NHS England will commission additional providers, such as community pharmacy, hospital hubs, and mass vaccination centres, to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. The first community pharmacy sites and mass vaccination centres opened the week commencing 11 January 2021.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the future importance of dispensing practices in administering COVID-19 vaccinations in rural areas with poor transport links and connectivity.

The National Health Service has a tried and tested track record for delivering vaccination programmes and will work with existing partners across the healthcare system, including general practices, to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine can be deployed safely and effectively. Detailed planning is underway building on the NHS’s expertise to deliver immunisation programmes, such as the flu vaccination programme. Planning considerations, includes the supporting infrastructure required, including warehousing, transport, logistics for transport across the nation and end-destination ‘clinic’ storage.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential reliance on paracetamol in alleviating possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination; what plans they have to ensure that patients in rural areas can access such medication where there is no community pharmacy in place; and whether rural dispensing practices will be permitted to sell sufficient quantities of such medication.

Assessments on the potential reliance on medication in alleviating possible side effects of the COVID-19 vaccination are not finalised as we do not yet know the full characteristics, including side effects, of any of the vaccines in development. All plans for deployment remain flexible as there are no certainties in the development, production, formulation and timing of any new vaccines.

Detailed planning is underway building on the National Health Service’s expertise to deliver immunisation programmes, such as the flu vaccination programme. Planning considerations, includes the supporting infrastructure required, including warehousing, transport, logistics for transport across the nation and end-destination ‘clinic’ storage.

Medication such as paracetamol can also be purchased from supermarkets and other retail outlets, as a ‘general sales’ medicine. Paracetamol can also be purchased online, including in a larger quantity from an online pharmacy.

12th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that remaining influenza vaccines are delivered to GP practices and administered for those over the age of 50 in advance of the COVID-19 vaccine being made available.

The flu vaccine programme is currently underway, with priority given to those who are most at risk from the effects of flu, and frontline health and social care workers. We have announced that we will be extending the programme to those aged 50-64 from 1 December.

The Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available this winter. General practitioners who have exhausted their own supply are now able to order from this central stock.

Overall, there is sufficient vaccine for more than 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the uptake of the influenza vaccination programme this autumn; and what measures they intend to take to promote uptake.

On 5 August 2020 we published the Annual Flu Letter Update 2020/21, which set out our ambitions for uptake for all eligible groups.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to ensure that regional teams have plans in place to increase coverage of the influenza vaccination this winter. In addition to developing the existing system of providing vaccinations through general practice, community pharmacies, schools, community and other National Health Service settings to reach new cohorts and increase uptake in existing cohorts; new models of delivery have been shared with regional commissioning teams to encourage innovative thinking such as mobile and mass vaccination models to allow for increases in uptake safely whilst observing social distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the British Medical Association about the capacity to deliver seasonal flu jabs to all people aged over 50 in the autumn. [T]

NHS England and NHS Improvement have had discussions with the British Medical Association, and other representative bodies to discuss delivery of the expanded flu programme.

In addition to developing the existing system of providing vaccinations through general practice, community pharmacies, schools, community and other National Health Service settings to reach new cohorts and increase uptake in existing cohorts; new models of delivery have been shared with regional commissioning teams to encourage innovative thinking to deliver the programme this winter.

29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the causes of the outbreak of COVID-19 at meat processing plants; and what measures they plan to take (1) to address such outbreaks, and (2) to prevent any such recurrence. [T]

Public Health England (PHE) local health protection teams respond to notifications of suspected outbreaks in food processing plants by undertaking a risk assessment, providing public health advice, including on infection prevention and control and social distancing measures, and advising on the testing of employees. In doing so, an assessment is made as to whether transmission may be occurring in or outside the workplace.

An enhanced outbreak investigation protocol has been developed which will allow PHE to further understand the factors relating to infection transmission in meat-related food production settings to ascertain potential routes of transmission: within the workplace through a more detailed understanding of the workforce, the working environment and working practices; staff and environmental biological sampling; factors outside the workplace, such as transport arrangements, housing, employment conditions.

The learning from such investigations can identify measures that may help prevent outbreaks from occurring in these settings.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that NHS England implements the Electronic Prescription Service in dispensing practices to benefit rural patients.

The majority of dispensing practices are live with the prescribing functionality of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS). In the next round of general practitioner contract negotiations, the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement will look at what further support can be provided to dispensing practices to implement the EPS.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with NHS England about why it has not triggered Regulation 61 of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/349) to allow for the flexible provision of pharmaceutical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department is in regular discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement over the provision of services during this pandemic.

The Secretary of State has enabled Regulation 61 of the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013. Regulation 61 allows NHS England and NHS Improvement to commission a dispensing doctor to provide pharmaceutical services to patients to whom the dispensing doctor is not otherwise entitled to provide pharmaceutical services during an emergency.

The prerequisite is the temporary closure of pharmacy premises which results, in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s opinion, in inadequate provision of pharmaceutical services in an area. There are currently few pharmacies closed across England and whether this extra provision is needed, in any particular area, is an operational decision for NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect personal protective equipment in storage areas to be distributed to front line medical practitioners in hospitals and GP surgeries

As of 14 April, since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have delivered over 923 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to 58,000 different health and care settings including National Health Service trusts, general practitioners, pharmacies and community providers. We have provided PPE equipment to over 26,000 care homes including home care and hospices across the country. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, over 48 million PPE items were delivered.

We are working around the clock to give the NHS and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We have brought together the NHS, industry and the armed forces to create a new nationwide PPE distribution network, delivering critical PPE supplies to those who need it.

We have a 24 hours a day, seven days a week helpline for those experiencing supply disruption with business as usual ordering channels. Where there may be any shortages, we act on this immediately. Local Resilience Forums are also supporting care homes, hospices, home care and primary care in getting hold of PPE equipment.

16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that COVID-19 will be listed as a qualifying disease for insurance payouts.

On 5 March 2020, the Government added COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases.

Insurers’ policies that cover notifiable diseases will typically only cover a specific subset of notifiable diseases (such as cholera or anthrax) that the insurer will reference in the policy documentation. These policies will exclude any notifiable disease not on the insurer’s list, as well as future/unknown diseases such as COVID-19. The price that the insurer charges for the policy is modelled against the risk posed by this set list of diseases.

Some businesses will have purchased add-ons for their insurance that cover for ‘unspecified notifiable diseases’. These policies effectively cover any disease listed as a notifiable disease, enabling the business to claim for losses for all notifiable diseases as well as from diseases that are unknown at the point the policy is written.

The effect of the Government adding COVID-19 to its list of notifiable diseases is to ensure that businesses with unspecified notifiable disease cover are able to make a claim – subject to the terms and conditions in their policy. For example, someone infected with COVID-19 may need to have been on the premises.

12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of medical supplies following the outbreak of Wuhan coronavirus and the closure of manufacturing facilities in China; and what contingencies they have in place in the event of any shortages of supplies.

The National Health Service and wider health system are extremely well prepared for these types of outbreaks and follow tried and tested procedures of the highest standards to protect staff, patients and the public. The Department has stepped up its efforts to assess risks to the availability of medical supplies and put in place contingencies to help ensure uninterrupted supply.

These efforts have included:

- a response group has been established to evaluate the potential impacts of this situation on continuity of supply of medical goods;

- asking suppliers to conduct a full risk assessment of the impact of the situation on their supply chains;

- requesting that suppliers who still retain some or all of their European Union exit stockpiles, should hold on to them, while the Department considers more targeted approaches;

- directing NHS Supply Chain to pause ramp-down activity of the centralised stock-build of medical devices and clinical consumables; and

- contacting all known medical suppliers trading from or via China.

Working closely with industry, the NHS and others in the supply chain, we continue to monitor the situation to help prevent shortages and minimise the risks to patients.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking (1) to prevent the sale of counterfeit drugs to developing countries, and (2) to ensure that only patented drugs are sold to those countries. [I]

The UK has long supported strategies to increase access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines to people living in low- and middle-income countries. This includes patented products, and their generic equivalents, which are affordable versions of brand name products. We also work to prevent the spread of substandard, falsified, and counterfeit medicines; for example, through support to the WHO's Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for substandard and falsified medical products.

1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review regulations relatig to short selling  to ensure that any such regulations are fit for purpose.

The government works closely with the regulators and market participants to monitor the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, in line with the government’s objectives of supporting economic growth and financial stability.

The UK’s Short Selling Regime, introduced in 2012, regulates short selling practices while safeguarding companies and the financial system.

Among other things, it requires persons to report their short positions in companies whose shares are admitted to trading on UK trading venues, and provides the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with powers to request information from persons on their short selling activities, to apply penalties to persons who do not meet their regulatory obligations under the short selling regime, and to restrict the short selling of certain instruments in certain circumstances.

In particular, the FCA can temporarily restrict short selling when the price of an instrument has fallen significantly during a single trading day in relation to the closing price of that instrument on the previous trading day, and can restrict short selling for a period of up to three months when there are adverse events or developments which are a serious threat to financial stability or to market confidence in the UK.

It is the Government’s position that this regime is working as intended, providing the necessary safeguards to allow the operation of a fair and effective market. Therefore, we see no need to conduct a full review of this legislation at this time.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the economic impact of the loss of duty-free sales on (1) Belfast International Airport, (2) Stansted Airport, (3) Manchester Airport, and (4) Newcastle Airport.

Ahead of the end of the transition period, the Government has announced the excise duty treatment of goods purchased by individuals for personal use and carried in their luggage arriving from or going overseas (passengers). The following rules will apply from 1 January 2021:

- Passengers travelling from Great Britain to any destination outside the United Kingdom (UK) will be able to purchase duty-free excise goods once they have passed security controls at ports, airports, and international rail stations.

- Personal allowances will apply to passengers entering Great Britain from a destination outside of the UK, with alcohol allowances significantly increased.

The Government published a consultation which ran from 11 March to 20 May. During this time the Government held a number of virtual meetings with stakeholders to hear their views and received 73 responses to the consultation. The Government is also continuing to meet and discuss with stakeholders following the announcement of these policies.

The detailed rationale for these changes are included in the written ministerial statement and summary of responses to the recent consultation: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-09-11/hcws448 and https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-consultation-on-duty-free-and-tax-free-goods-carried-by-passengers. A technical note has also been issued to stakeholders to expand on this document and to respond to issues raised by stakeholders.

On 25 November the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out their assessment of the fiscal impact of the withdrawal of the tax-free airside sales. The OBR estimate that the withdrawal will raise approximately £170 million per year for the Exchequer, after behavioural responses are taken into account and passenger numbers recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The Government recognises the challenges the aviation sector is facing as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 and has supported the sector throughout the pandemic, and continues to do so, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to use green gilts to promote (1) waste recovery, and (2) energy generation from waste.

On Monday 9 November, The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the UK’s intention is issue its inaugural Sovereign Green Bond (SGB), subject to market conditions, in 2021.

Further details on timings and other aspects of the policy, such as the issuance framework, which will set out the projects that the SGB will help to finance, will be provided in due course.

While it is possible that government expenditures on projects relating to waste recovery and energy generation from waste could be financed with the proceeds of the SGB, such decisions will be made in the coming months following discussions with other government departments, structuring advisors and other stakeholders. The government will provide updates as appropriate.

The government is already taking powers in the Environment Bill to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes which promote waste recovery. These require producers to fund the end of life costs of their products and can deliver higher collection, recycling and recovery rates.

In addition, the Landfill Tax was introduced in 1996 with the aim of diverting waste away from landfill to more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as Energy from Waste. It has been hugely successful in achieving this aim alongside other waste policy – since 2000, Local Authority waste sent to landfill in England has fallen by 87%.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why (1) betting shops, (2) bingo halls, and (3) casinos, were excluded from the business rate holiday; and what plans they have to extend such businesses the same relief as granted to other retail and leisure businesses.

The Government has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

The Chancellor previously announced a 100% rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties in 2020-21. On 25 March the Government went further and removed some of the exclusions for this relief, so that eligible retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that will have to close as a result of the measures announced by the Prime Minister in his statement of the 23 March, will now be eligible for the relief.

Support is also available to those not eligible for business rates relief. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, a statutory sick pay relief package, the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment, and a new lending facility from the Bank of England for larger firms.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that commercial businesses seeking insurance payouts for cancellations or closures due to COVID-19 are covered.

The Chancellor has made clear that, for those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers pandemics, government’s medical advice of 16 March is sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

In addition, the FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers pandemic related losses. As such, any affected businesses should note the government’s full package of support.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many points have been added to driving licences for the illegal use of e-scooters in each of the last three months.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which is already reasonably accessible to you here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales.

However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a motoring offence, including a fine or penalty points is not collected.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many fixed penalty notices have been issued for illegal use of e-scooters in each of the last three months.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of motoring offences in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which is already reasonably accessible to you here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales.

However, information on the type of vehicle issued with a motoring offence, including a fine or penalty points is not collected.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal e-scooters have been confiscated in (1) London, (2) Birmingham, and (3) other cities in England, in each of the last three months.

Information on numbers and types of vehicle seized is not held centrally.

The Metropolitan Police seized over 1,000 scooters in June 2021.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) local authorities, and (2) police forces, to prevent the illegal (a) purchase, and (b) use, of e-scooters in England.

Legislation was amended in July 2020 to allow for rental e-scooter trials around England which will run for 12 months with the trial period beginning in each area as and when e-scooters become available to the public. It remains illegal to use privately owned e-scooters on the road as they do not meet the requirements of stringent construction regulations, registration, road tax, insurance and MOT testing.

It is not illegal to sell an e-scooter as they can be used legally on private land. However, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, there is a general obligation for traders to give consumers sufficient information about goods and services at the point of sale, so consumers are not misled.

Electric scooters have to abide by the same road traffic legislation as mopeds and motorcycles. To drive or ride any motor vehicle without permission onto a footpath, common land, moorland or land of any description that does not form part of the road is an offence under section 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. To drive or ride a powered scooter on a pavement, as with pedal cycles, is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835.

Enforcement of road traffic laws on the illegal use of e-scooters is an operational matter for individual Chief Officers who will decide how to deploy available resources, taking into account any specific local problems and demands. Where e-scooters amount to anti-social behaviour, then local authorities make byelaws/injunctions and Anti-Social Behaviour orders to curb the misuse of vehicles.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Town and Country Planning Association, Planning 2020: Raynsford Review of Planning in England, published in November 2018; and what steps they intend to take in response.

The Government believes that further reform of the planning system is necessary. We will be publishing a planning White Paper in due course, which will aim to make the planning system clearer, more accessible and more certain for all users, including home owners and small businesses. It will also address resourcing and performance in local planning departments and ensure timely decisions are made. It will seek to improve the ways communities can get involved in the planning process, including through the opportunities afforded by new digital methods of engagement.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)