Lord Browne of Ladyton Portrait

Lord Browne of Ladyton

Labour - Life peer

1 APPG membership (as of 6 Oct 2021)
Global Security and Non-Proliferation
Science and Technology Committee (Lords)
1st Jul 2019 - 28th Jan 2021
Partnerships (Prosecution) (Scotland) Bill Special Public Bill Committee
22nd Jan 2013 - 13th Feb 2013
Shadow Spokesperson (Scotland)
17th Oct 2011 - 6th Sep 2012
Secretary of State for Scotland
28th Jun 2007 - 3rd Oct 2008
Secretary of State for Defence
5th May 2006 - 3rd Oct 2008
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
6th May 2005 - 5th May 2006
Minister of State (Home Office) (Citizenship, Immigration and Nationality)
1st Apr 2004 - 6th May 2005
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)
13th Jun 2003 - 1st Apr 2004
Parliamentary Secretary (Northern Ireland Office)
11th Jun 2001 - 13th Jun 2003
Human Rights (Joint Committee)
17th Jan 2001 - 7th Jun 2001
Public Administration Committee
10th Jun 1999 - 3rd Mar 2000
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
28th Jul 1997 - 9th Nov 1998


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
09:45
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 10th November 2021
09:45
Division Votes
Thursday 21st October 2021
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 82 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 180 Noes - 130
Speeches
Monday 25th October 2021
Climate Change Risk: National Audit Office Guidance

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to ensure government departments and other public bodies have regard …

Written Answers
Thursday 18th February 2021
Gambling
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Barran on 7 January (HL Deb, col 281), and …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Browne of Ladyton has voted in 135 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Browne of Ladyton 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
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(28 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(20 debate interactions)
Baroness Goldie (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(13 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Browne of Ladyton's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Browne of Ladyton, 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.


Lord Browne of Ladyton has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Browne of Ladyton has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Browne of Ladyton has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Browne of Ladyton has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


29 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
9th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 6 July (HL5987) and the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 8 July (HL5985), why the gov.uk website for the National Security Council states that there are sub-committees of the Council on (1) threats, hazards, resilience and contingencies, (2) nuclear deterrence and security, (3) matters relating to implementing the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and National Security Strategy (including cyber matters), and (4) cross-government funds.

The current list on GOV.UK is up to date.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord True on 4 June (HL Deb, col 1436) and subsequent correspondence, whether a committee of ministers has assumed responsibility for receiving reports from the cross-departmental governance board referred to in the UK Biological Security Strategy.

There is an undertaking in the Biological Security Strategy for the Governance Board to report progress to the Ministerial National Security Council. The progress report is in its final stages of drafting and will be submitted to the National Security Council when this has cleared the process.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the (1) Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies, (2) Nuclear Deterrence and Security, (3) Implementation of the Strategic Defence and Security Review and National Security Strategy, and (4) Cross-Government Funds, sub-committees of the National Security Council still exist; and which Secretary of State or minister chairs each sub-committee.

The bodies referred to were part of a number of sub-Committees of the National Security Council. The Cabinet Office regularly publishes lists of Cabinet Committees and their membership on GOV.UK.

Since July 2019, the National Security Council itself now considers matters relating to national security, foreign policy, defence, international relations and development, resilience, energy and resource security.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to respond to the consultation on Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) Business Models, which opened on 22 July 2019 and closed on 16 September 2019.

We are committed to deploying carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) this decade as we work towards net zero by 2050 and see an opportunity for the UK to become a global leader in CCUS.

We are determined to realise the key strategic opportunities of CCUS in a way that is affordable and value for money for the consumer and taxpayer. As part of this we continue to work closely with industry to design business models which provide value to the economy, drive decarbonisation and are compatible with existing market frameworks.

Our intention is to respond to our consultation on CCUS business models in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Barran on 7 January (HL Deb, col 281), and the statement that "the vast majority of people who gamble do not experience harm", what assessment they have made of the report by Naomi Muggleton et al The association between gambling and financial, social and health outcomes in big financial data, published in Nature on 4 February.

The 2016 combined Health Surveys, estimated that 1.2% of people who gamble are likely to be problem gamblers, with a further 2% at moderate risk, and 4.4% at low risk of experiencing some harm related to gambling. The Health Surveys use two validated screening questionnaires to assess problem gambling, which ask whether respondents have experienced a range of negative behaviours and outcomes related to gambling including spending more than they could afford to lose, chasing losses and borrowing money to pay gambling debts.

Recently published analysis of banking transaction data has demonstrated a correlation between higher rates of gambling spend as a proportion of income and indicators of lower financial inclusion, wellbeing and healthiness. These correlations were generally strongest after the 75th percentile of spend levels. The analysis found that the majority of people who gamble spend only a small proportion of their income on gambling, and did not establish a causative link between gambling spend and the indicators identified.

The government launched its Review of the Gambling Act 2005 on 8 December with the publication of a Call for Evidence. The Review will be wide-ranging and evidence led, and aims to make sure that the regulation of gambling is fit for the digital age.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given (1) to introducing a national and regional skills strategy to provide reskilling opportunities within low carbon sectors, and (2) to the benefits of investing in reskilling and retraining in low-carbon and climate resilient industries, to address unemployment arising from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government is committed to making the skills system more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally, and to equip young people and adults with the skills they need to have productive and fulfilling careers. We are working with employers in all sectors including those in the ‘green economy’ to jointly design and deliver policies and programmes to do this.

We are investing in a network of Institutes of Technology around the country – flagship training providers that will help to drive regional growth in key areas like engineering, advanced manufacturing and construction by meeting technical and higher technical skills needs.

We recently published reforms that aim to make higher technical education a high-quality, prestigious and popular choice. Through our reforms, we will introduce a national approvals scheme to show which higher technical qualifications (including those addressing needs in low carbon sectors) deliver the skills that employers want. We will also raise the profile and understanding of higher technical education through a public campaign and improved information, advice and guidance.

There are a number of apprenticeships available in the green and energy sectors including Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) controls engineer, community energy specialist and dual-fuel smart meter installer, and we are committed to ensuring people of all ages can benefit from the high-quality training that an apprenticeship offers. To help support employers to offer new apprenticeships, employers are now able to claim £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, and £1,500 for those 25 and over.

Alongside these wider adult skills reforms, the government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) starting this Parliament, for a new National Skills Fund to help adults learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

As part of this, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, recently announced the launch of the trial of digital bootcamps to support local regions and employers to fill in-demand vacancies. We will expand these out to wider areas of the economy and parts of the country next year.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, also announced, as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, the government will be fully funding their first full level 3 through the National Skills Fund.

Currently, adults who are between the ages of 19 – 23 are eligible for full funding for their first full level 3. We are now extending eligibility for a first full level 3 so adults who are above the age of 23 can also benefit from level 3 courses and qualifications with high economic value and strong alignment with government priorities. We will continue to work to ensure that the National Skills Fund aligns and supports important cross-government priorities, including the UK's ambitious clean growth agenda.

We are committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund. We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

In the meantime, we will engage closely with stakeholders as we continue to develop detailed plans for the National Skills Fund, including considering what role the fund could play in meeting more immediate needs in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

17th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Minister for Investment last met representatives of the UK automotive industry to discuss (1) the reduction in investment that motor manufacturing has experienced, and (2) the consequential challenges that industry is facing.

Since becoming Minister for Investment, I have discussed current challenges and opportunities with a range of automotive companies.

The automotive industry globally has seen the impact of a downturn in demand, exacerbated by the COVID crisis. The UK government has already taken unprecedented steps - welcomed by the sector - to protect businesses and workers. The Department for International Trade has been very active in helping companies access these schemes.

We are also delivering a sustained, strategic programme of support to enable the development, manufacture and adoption of low and zero-emission technologies.

UK automotive is a great success story and we are determined to ensure its recovery from the COVID crisis and its prosperity in a zero-carbon future.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Ministerial Statement by the Secretary of State for International Trade on 7 July (HCWS339), whether details of the revised methodology described are publicly available; and if not, whether they will place a description of the non-sensitive and non-confidential elements of the revised methodology in the Library of the House.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 7th July 2020 explained and set out details of the revised methodology developed to comply with the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20th June 2019 and applied to re-take the decisions remitted by the Court of Appeal on the correct legal basis.

HM Government have no plans to publish the assessments to which the Noble Lord refers. Such assessments use all available sources of information – including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive – so we are not able to provide details of the assessments.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Ministerial Statement by the Secretary of State for International Trade on 7 July (HCWS339), what data sets were employed in the revised methodology described.

The Written Ministerial Statement of 7th July 2020 explained and set out details of the revised methodology developed to comply with the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20th June 2019 and applied to re-take the decisions remitted by the Court of Appeal on the correct legal basis.

HM Government have no plans to publish the assessments to which the Noble Lord refers. Such assessments use all available sources of information – including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive – so we are not able to provide details of the assessments.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 10 July (HL Deb, col 1347), whether they will now answer the question put, namely whether Parliament will be given access to the methodology referred to in the Written Ministerial Statement made by Lord Grimstone of Boscobel on 7 July (HLWS336).

The Written Ministerial Statement of 7th July 2020 explained and set out details of the revised methodology developed to comply with the Court of Appeal’s judgment of 20th June 2019 and applied to re-take the decisions remitted by the Court of Appeal on the correct legal basis.

HM Government have no plans to publish the assessments to which the Noble Lord refers. Such assessments use all available sources of information – including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive – so we are not able to provide details of the assessments.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the killing of human rights defenders in Colombia and recent reports of illegal surveillance by Colombian Military Intelligence on civil society organisations, whether they are reassessing the licensing of UK arms exports, including cryptographic equipment, to Colombia.

There are no extant licences granted for Colombia that may be used for such surveillance.

For context, all export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). In reaching a decision, the Department for International Trade (DIT) receives advice from a number of Departments including the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Together, we draw on all available information, including reports from Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and our diplomatic missions. The Consolidated Criteria provides a thorough risk assessment framework and requires us to think hard about the impact of exporting any items.

Assessments under Criterion 2 in particular include the respect of rights and freedoms in the country of final destination. A licence will not be issued if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria, including where there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression. Accordingly, we continue to monitor global developments closely and are able to review licences – and suspend or revoke as necessary – when circumstances require, in line with the Consolidated Criteria.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by David G Victor et al, Accelerating the Low Carbon Transition, published in November 2019, in particular regarding the recommendation that developing countries with plentiful renewable energy sources could be well placed to attract investment in technology to decarbonise international freight shipping.

The Government agrees that there is a unique opportunity for developing countries to play a key role in the decarbonisation of the international freight shipping sector, including through the production of alternative fuels. For example, according to a study conducted by EDF, the introduction of electrofuels in Chile could unlock investment worth up to 90 billion US dollars for the country.

Ahead of COP26, the Government is working with other States to explore the global landside infrastructure solutions that can unlock clean shipping for all. At the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UK remains committed to being an ambitious voice at negotiations on the reduction of greenhouse gases from international shipping, and to working collaboratively with our peers to ensure that the specific needs of developing countries are being met.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that young disabled people are able to fully benefit from the Kickstart Scheme.

We are encouraging employers to create a range of opportunities through the Kickstart Scheme for all young people aged 16 to 24 who are at risk of long–term unemployment including those who have disabilities. Job Centre Plus Work Coaches will identify those young people most in need of the extra support offered by the Kickstart Scheme. We encourage organisations that work with disabled young people to take part in the Kickstart scheme, acting as gateway organisations for their networks of small and medium employers, to encourage and support young people into a number of careers. This will help ensure that there is nothing to exclude young disabled people, or any disadvantaged groups, from accessing the Kickstart Scheme.

The Department for Work and Pensions also offers a range of support programmes including Access to Work and Disability Confident to advise and support employers looking to take on disabled jobseekers – this support can be accessed through local Jobcentres.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the review announced on 8 December 2018 into overprescribing in the NHS has concluded; and if so, (1) if it has reported, and (2) when the report will be published.

The work on the review into overprescribing, led by the Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic because the majority of the participants have National Health Service clinical roles which had to take priority. Work has resumed and it is hoped the report will be finalised in the coming weeks for presentation to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care by the end of the year.

17th Sep 2020
To ask the Leader of the House what plans she has to arrange a debate on the report by the Committee on Climate Change Reducing UK emissions: 2020 Progress report to Parliament, published on 25 June.

My Noble Friend the Government Chief Whip does not intend to schedule such a debate in Government time. Members who wish to initiate a debate of their own are able to do so by tabling a question for short debate. Subject to the progress of legislative business, it is expected that questions for short debate will be re-introduced during October.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the accuracy of reports that US military exports to Colombia were used for illegal surveillance activities.

We are aware of allegations that Colombian state actors have been conducting illegal surveillance activities against civil society organisations. We are also aware of media claims that US equipment may have been used in such surveillance. We do not have any information on the accuracy of these reports.

We welcome the Colombian authorities' announcement of an investigation into these allegations and their commitment to hold those responsible to account.

10th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to recent reports of illegal surveillance by Colombian Military Intelligence on civil society organisations, what steps they have taken to establish whether cryptographic equipment exported by the UK to Colombia has been used in this type of activity.

We are aware of allegations that Colombian state actors have been illegally gathering surveillance on civil society organisations. We expect state authorities to comply fully with their human rights obligations, and the United Kingdom is committed to protecting and promoting human rights in Colombia. We welcome the Colombian authorities' announcement of an investigation into these allegations and their commitment to hold those responsible to account.

The UK Government rigorously examines each export licence application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Risks around human rights violations or abuses are a key part of our assessment. We do not export equipment and technology where we assess there is a clear risk that it might be used for internal repression.

8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to make the Written Ministerial Statement that provides notification that work on the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review has been formally paused.

The Government paused its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy in April due to the pressing need to focus on COVID-19. We have formally recommenced the Review, building on the work done since February. Deputy National Security Advisor for the Integrated Review (IR) Alex Ellis, has written to Parliamentary Committees (Joint Committee on National Security Strategy, Defence, Foreign Affairs, Development) informing them that the IR has formally recommenced. There are no current plans to make a Written Ministerial Statement. Work is underway to update the GOV.UK website with up to date information on the IR.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 30 April (HL3303), in the absence of a suitable equipped aircraft for observation flights, how they carry out or participate in such flights; and whether they have plans to acquire a new Open Skies airframe equipped with the latest authenticated sensor technology.

Since 2008 the UK has not possessed any Open Skies capable aircraft. Instead, the UK hires Open Skies aircraft from other participating States in order to conduct its missions. This continues to be assessed to be the most cost effective way of delivering the capability for the UK. There is currently no intention to procure an Open Skies aircraft for the future.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an assessment of funding for (1) a low carbon reskilling strategy, and (2) a public engagement strategy, will be included in the Net Zero Review

The objectives and scope of HMT’s Net Zero Review are set out in the terms of reference, published in November 2019, and are available on the GOV.UK website. The Review will explore how the transition to a net zero economy will be funded, and where the costs will fall. The Review will look at options for a balance of contributions between households, businesses and the taxpayer, and how to maximise economic growth opportunities from the transition.

The government has announced that the Review will be published in Spring 2021. In the meantime, HMT will publish an interim report this autumn 2020. This will set out our approach to the Review and analysis which will inform the final report.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to use Pool Re’s model of terrorism (re)insurance to provide cover for other systemic events that could impact the economy.

Ideally all firms would be able to purchase the insurance products they need on a market basis, but the Government recognises that in some exceptional circumstances that may not be possible.

The Government welcomes ideas for how insurance can build resilience and access insurance in future, noting the new risks and challenges from the outbreak of COVID-19. We will be assessing all proposals in due course.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 4 June (HL4757), what plans they have to ensure that there is sufficient provision of business interruption cover for businesses in event of any future pandemic, given that such cover can no longer be purchased in the commercial market.

Ideally all firms would be able to purchase the insurance products they need on a market basis, but the Government recognises that in some exceptional circumstances that may not be possible.

The Government welcomes ideas for how insurance can build resilience and access insurance in future, noting the new risks and challenges from the outbreak of COVID-19. We will be assessing all proposals in due course.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they are having with businesses, including banks and risk insurance companies, about business disruption insurance.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector to understand and influence its response to this unprecedented situation and is encouraging insurers to do all they can to support customers during this difficult period.

The Government is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis and fully supports the regulator in its role. The FCA rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

On 1 May the FCA outlined its intention to seek a court declaration, on an agreed and urgent basis, and for a selected number of key issues, to resolve uncertainty for many customers making business interruption claims. Additionally, the FCA stated its expectation for insurers to assess the value of their insurance products to customers during this period and to consider appropriate action. This might include changing how benefits are delivered, refunding some premiums or suspending monthly payments for a certain period of time.

Subsequently on 1 June, the FCA announced the policy wordings that would be tested in the court action and insurers it had invited to participate directly, along with an initial list of policy wordings and insurers that will potentially be impacted by the Court’s decision on the representative sample. The FCA expects to publish a final list of all the relevant insurers and policies that may have impacted wordings in early July, and expects a court hearing to take place in late July.

However, it is important to note that most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from non-property damage. Additionally, while some policies cover losses arising from any disease classed as notifiable by the government, or a denial of access to a building, most of these policies only cover a specific list of notifiable diseases or an incident specifically on the premises of the business. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. The terms of a policy cannot be changed retrospectively.

The Government encourages businesses to seek assistance through the wider support package if they are in financial difficulty. Businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor in the Budget, on 17 March, and on 20 March, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the cross-Government director-level governance board referred to in the UK Biological Security Strategy met between July 2018 and July 2019.

The UK Biological Security Strategy Governance Board met in December 2018 and July 2019 during this period. The Governance Board is supported and informed by the Biological Security Strategy Working Group which has met twelve times, the most recent meeting was in March 2020.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Threats, Hazards, Resilience and Contingencies sub-committee of the National Security Council has met to consider a report from the cross-Government director-level governance board referred to in the UK Biological Security Strategy; and if so, when.

The focus since publication has been on developing and normalising the governance structure, building a biological security community, and mapping current departmental biological security related workstreams and a first cross-government report is in its final drafting stages. The THRC was a former sub-Committee of the National Security Council up until July 2019 and no longer sits anymore. We do not comment on specific National Security Council Agenda items.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks associated with any increase in (1) the duration, (2) the proximity, and (3) the intensity, of military exercising undertaken by (a) NATO, (b) Russia, and (c) Belarus, in and around Belarus; and what steps are being taken to reduce those risks.

The Ministry of Defence monitors all military exercising taking place in and around Belarus. Any increase in duration, proximity and intensity of military exercising in or near Belarus only serves to increase regional tensions. The UK and NATO take the appropriate steps to reduce any risks when conducting military exercises near Belarus and where necessary, alter training due to the associated risks.

The UK and Belarus maintain a cooperative relationship; particularly in the areas of arms control and the de-escalation of tensions in the Eastern Neighbourhood. This policy of transparency helps to build confidence and reduce risks associated with any increases in duration, proximity or intensity of military exercises. Though the UK has suspended Defence Engagement with Belarus we still maintain dialogue in order to reduce risks from all sides.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
17th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the written answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Defence on 13 July (68798), how many of the 535 incidents referred to in the "Tracker" database record a civilian harm incident as a "mistake" by the Saudi-led coalition.

As explained by the International Trade Secretary on 7 July 2020, all of the allegations recorded on the Tracker have been subject to detailed analysis by reference to the relevant principles of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and in the light of all the information and intelligence available. An evaluation has then been made, in respect of each incident, whether it is possible that it constitutes a breach of IHL or whether it is unlikely that it represents a breach. The assessment of whether it is possible that an incident constituted a breach of IHL uses all available sources of information, including some that are necessarily confidential and sensitive. We are therefore not able to go into the details of individual assessments.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to affirm their commitment to the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC); and what consideration they have given to the UK’s future membership of the ISTC as a state party.

The Government recognises that the ISTC has played a valuable role in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction-related scientific and technical expertise from former Soviet programmes, and mitigating broader chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks. However, HMG currently funds only a small number of projects through the ISTC. After careful consideration, we have therefore concluded that the recent and currently anticipated level of UK engagement with the ISTC would not warrant the expected costs of future UK membership of the ISTC as a Funding Party. The UK will continue to play a leading international role in countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related expertise, and mitigating CBRN risks, including funding projects through the ISTC, where appropriate.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)