Lord Steel of Aikwood

Non-affiliated - Life peer

Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament
12th May 1999 - 7th May 2003
Joint Founder, Social & Liberal Democrats
3rd Mar 1988 - 16th Jul 1988
Leader of the Liberal Party
7th Jul 1976 - 16th Jul 1988
Privileges
3rd May 1979 - 14th May 1986


Division Voting information

Lord Steel of Aikwood has voted in 662 divisions, and 24 times against the majority of their Party.

27 Oct 2014 - Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 42 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 247 Noes - 181
27 Oct 2014 - Criminal Justice and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 48 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 186
1 Apr 2014 - Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 45 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 54 Noes - 360
13 Jan 2014 - Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 28 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 29 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 195
17 Jul 2013 - Mesothelioma Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 54 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 192 Noes - 199
22 Apr 2013 - Growth and Infrastructure Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 17 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 47 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 260 Noes - 191
22 Apr 2013 - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 17 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 30 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 210 Noes - 180
22 Apr 2013 - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 30 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 168
22 Apr 2013 - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 41 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 170
26 Mar 2013 - Justice and Security Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 27 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 174
4 Mar 2013 - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 21 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 33 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 256 Noes - 153
4 Mar 2013 - Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 45 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 167 Noes - 179
26 Mar 2012 - Procedure of the House - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 17 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 39 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 96
8 Nov 2011 - Procedure of the House (Proposal 9) - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 36 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 173 Noes - 173
13 Jul 2011 - European Union Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 62 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 210 Noes - 244
15 Jun 2011 - Estates of Deceased Persons (Forfeiture Rule and Law of Succession) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 47 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 209 Noes - 203
11 May 2011 - Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 35 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 176
9 Feb 2011 - Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 61 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 221 Noes - 250
19 Jan 2011 - Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 44 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 196 Noes - 122
6 May 2009 - Health Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 32 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 110 Noes - 204
5 Mar 2008 - Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 28 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 87
15 Jan 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 8 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 42 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 96 Noes - 268
14 Mar 2007 - House of Lords: Reform - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 42 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 361 Noes - 121
14 Mar 2007 - House of Lords: Reform - View Vote Context
Lord Steel of Aikwood voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 38 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 114 Noes - 336
View All Lord Steel of Aikwood Division Votes

All Debates

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
Earl of Caithness (Conservative)
(22 debate interactions)
Lord Trefgarne (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(49 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(42 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(39 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(30 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Steel of Aikwood's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Steel of Aikwood, 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 Steel of Aikwood has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Steel of Aikwood has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Lord Steel of Aikwood


A Bill to make provision for the appointment of a Commission to make recommendations to the Crown for the creation of life peerages; to restrict membership of the House of Lords by virtue of hereditary peerage; to make provision for permanent leave of absence from the House of Lords; to provide for the expulsion of members of the House of Lords in specified circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 20th March 2012

Lord Steel of Aikwood has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


74 Written Questions

(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
3 Other Department Questions
24th Apr 2018
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker how many members of the House have (1) retired or otherwise resigned, and (2) ceased to be a member of the House as a result of non-attendance or conviction of a serious offence, since the passing of the House of Lords Reform Act 2014.

Since the House of Lords Reform Act 2014 came into force, 81 members of the House have retired and six have ceased to be a member as a result of non-attendance.

20th Apr 2016
To ask the Chairman of Committees what fees were paid, if any, to Electoral Reform Services for conducting each of the last four Hereditary Peers By-elections.

The table below shows the date of the count of the last four Hereditary Peers By-elections for which invoices have been received and the amount paid to Electoral Reform Services in respect of each.

Date of count

Amount paid to Electoral Reform Services

7 July 2015

£950

16 September 2015

£950

20 October 2015

£950

24 November 2015

£950

Amounts are exclusive of VAT. The table does not include a recent by-election in respect of which Electoral Reform Services has provided services but not yet sent an invoice.

In addition to the services they provide in administering and supervising by-elections, engaging Electoral Reform Services provides assurance that by-elections conform to good electoral practice.

21st Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was their annual expenditure on financial grants, in the last year for which figures are available, for the installation of (1) wind turbines, (2) solar panels, and (3) hydro power generators; and what is their estimate of the total output of installations of each type.

The majority of renewable electricity generation is supported by two government schemes; the Renewables Obligation (RO) and (for smaller schemes) the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT).


Based on the number of Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs) awarded and the buy-out price for each ROC, the table below shows the amount of support provided by the RO for the years 2013/14 and 2014/15:


Payments made under the Renewables Obligation

£ (million)

2013/14

2014/15

Wind turbines

1,791.9

1,866.5

Solar photovoltaics

37.4

136.6

Hydro power generators

107.9

110.5


This information is available from the Ofgem website.


The number of ROCs issued can be found in table 6.3 of the following link (copy attached):

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables






Payments made under the FiT scheme are not available by technology, but the majority of deployment is solar photovoltaic. In 2013/14, the total payments for the scheme were £691 million [1]. This is available from the Feed-in-Tariff annual report:


https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2014/12/feed-in_tariff_fit_annual_report_2013_2014.pdf


Annual generation statistics, irrespective of support mechanism are published in The Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES). The table below summarises the generation figures for wind, hydro, and solar photovoltaic on a calendar year basis:


Generation (GWh)

2013

2014

Wind turbines

28,421

32,016

Solar photovoltaics

1,989

4,050

Hydro power generators

4,702

5,885


Copies of DUKES are available from the House Libraries.


[1] The annual report for 2014/15 will be published in December 2015.

11th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to amending the Letters Patent to limit the terms of new appointments to the House of Lords to 15 years.

Any such amendments to the Letters Patent of new members of the House of Lords would require primary legislation. The Government has been clear that comprehensive reform of this House, which requires legislation, is not a priority for the current Parliament.

13th Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have of the case for devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament after Brexit.

The Government expects that the return of powers from the EU will lead to a significant increase in the decision making powers for the devolved administrations, including the Scottish Parliament. It will bring power closer to people than ever before.

The Government is continuing to discuss this with the devolved administrations, working through the relevant areas of EU law to determine where common approaches will and will not be required, and the different forms that common approaches could take. The common framework principles agreed at the Joint Ministerial Committee (European Negotiations) are guiding these discussions.

6th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with BMW about the future of the MINI manufacturing plant in Oxford in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Leaving the EU with a deal that supports the future of British industry remains the government’s top priority. The Government is determined to ensure that the UK continues to be one of the most competitive locations in the world for automotive and other advanced manufacturing.

With 4,000 staff in their Oxford plant alone, BMW is a hugely important company for the UK. BEIS Ministers and officials regularly meet with the company, to understand and support them in their planning. My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State and Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW Board Member with responsibility for the UK spoke on 13 March.

8th May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what research they have undertaken or commissioned into the decline of stocks of wild salmon and sea trout, and the polluting effects of farmed salmon.

Freshwater fisheries and aquaculture policy is devolved in the UK. In England, Defra has funded numerous projects on factors that could contribute to the decline in stocks of wild salmon and sea trout. These can be found on the Defra research database at http://randd.defra.gov.uk/. We have not commissioned any research on the potential environmental impacts of salmon farming in recent years.

The devolved administrations also have active research programmes on migratory fish and these can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/525279/Background_Salmon_Report_2015_final.pdf

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/Freshwater/Research

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/marine/Salmon-Trout-Coarse/Freshwater/Research/Aqint

https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/digest-statistics-salmon-and-inland-fisheries-daera-jurisdiction-2017

22nd Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Scottish Government about the effect of Brexit on Scottish fisheries.

The Government is working closely with the Devolved Administrations to deliver a future fishing policy that works for the whole of the UK and reflects the different needs and circumstances of fisheries in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

There has been extensive, positive and productive discussions at Ministerial and official level between Defra and the DAs, including the Scottish Government. The Secretary of State meets regularly with his Ministerial counterparts in the Scottish and Welsh Governments and senior officials from Northern Ireland. Officials have also established joint Defra-DA working groups to strengthen collaborative working and preparedness as we consider the implications of exiting the EU on UK fisheries.

22nd Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Scottish Government about the findings of a report by Scotland's Rural College on the effect of Brexit on sheep farming in Scotland.

Ministers and Defra officials meet regularly with the Scottish Government, along with their counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland to discuss a range of issues connected with the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. In connection with this, HM Government is undertaking a wide range of analysis and examining all areas of the UK economy, seeking input from a wide range of stakeholders. The report from Scotland’s Rural College “Assessing the impacts of alternative post-Brexit trade and agricultural support policy scenarios on Scottish farming systems” makes a contribution to that process.

9th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussion they have had with the Scottish Government about the proposed release of lynx animals in Kielder Forest which straddles the border between England and Scotland.

Natural England has set up a regulators’ group involving officials from the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, Defra, the Forestry Commission and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. The group has met and discussed the application and will continue to liaise regularly.

26th Jun 2017
Her Majesty's Government why additional EU funding for farmers granted to the UK in 2014 was distributed across the UK, given that that funding arose because of low area payments in Scotland.

Following agreement of the European Council on the EU Budget for 2014 to 2020, the Government decided in 2013 to maintain the historic split of the UK’s CAP direct payments budget between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. This decision followed consultation with key stakeholders in each part of the UK and each of the devolved administrations.

The decision recognised that not all parts of the UK had yet completed the transition to area based payments, making comparisons difficult. Scotland received less funding per hectare than other parts of the UK because of its mountainous, and therefore less productive, areas. Scotland has, on average, larger farms than the rest of the UK meaning Scottish farmers received higher than average payments.

24th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the speech by the King of the Netherlands to both Houses of Parliament on 23 October; and what steps they are taking to safeguard the current rights of Dutch citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the Netherlands after Brexit.

We welcomed the King's remarks, particularly that Brexit does not mean goodbye, but merely a new start in the close, historic relationship between the UK and the Netherlands. That is a view we share.

Safeguarding citizens’ rights is our first priority for negotiations. The draft Withdrawal Agreement will provide certainty about the rights of UK nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the UK going forward. We are implementing this agreement through the EU Settlement Scheme and are working with Member States, including the Netherlands, to understand how they will do the same.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to protect the rights of British citizens living in the EU set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

There has been no change to the rights and status of British citizens in the EU, or EU citizens in the UK, as a result of the referendum.

The Prime Minister has been clear that during negotiations she wants to protect the status of EU nationals already living here, and the only circumstances in which that would not be possible is if British citizens’ rights in European member states were not protected in return.

5th Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the announcement by the Palestinian Ministry of Health that because of fuel shortages affecting hospitals and clinics “urgent action is needed to prevent collapse of Gaza’s health system”, they are planning to offer any assistance.

We remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and continue to monitor it closely, including the effect electricity shortages are having on the health sector. The UK will continue to urge all the parties to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to improve conditions, including restoring the availability of electricity as a matter of urgency. The UK is supporting approximately 1 million Gazans by addressing critical water, sanitation and hygiene needs through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and is a long-term supporter of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), which provides basic services to 1.3 million people in Gaza, including basic health care.

12th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which countries they include in their Global Mine Action Programme, and whether they will consider adding Angola to that list.

The Global Mine Action Programme which runs from 2014 to 2017 funds mine action projects in Mozambique, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Further work in Burma, Somalia, South Sudan and Zimbabwe is currently being procured. The countries were selected following an inclusive consultation which took into account factors such as other donor funding and where the impact would be the greatest. In addition, DFID took the decision to shift the UK’s mine action funding to more fragile and conflict affected countries and where DFID could align mine action work with other DFID country programmes to maximise the impact. All funds have already been allocated under this programme therefore there is no scope for Angola to be included. This year DFID will reconsider the list of countries for future mine action programmes.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
9th Jun 2014
CDC
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they consider investment by the Commonwealth Development Corporation in luxury construction projects is consistent with the Department for International Development's overall objectives in developing countries.

In 2013, CDC's 1,300 investee companies directly employed over a million people, and created more than 68,000 net new jobs.

Individual investments are fully decided by CDC and the Government has put in place strict rules which require commitments to deliver jobs, economic development and poverty alleviation in developing countries.

29th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for ministerial or other visits to South Africa to establish trade deals after Brexit.

Secretary of State Fox and Lord Price have both met with Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry in South Africa, and DIT Ministers are keen to visit South Africa in the near future. We are committed to strengthening ties as the UK prepares to leave the European Union and to work together to identify trade and investment opportunities that will benefit not only the UK and South Africa, but across the wider southern Africa and Africa region.

12th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for increasing trade with, and investments in, Taiwan.

The UK enjoys a strong trade and investment relationship with Taiwan. Bilateral trade reached £5.8bn in 2014, a rise of more than 50% on the level five years ago.

Building on the visit to Taiwan in September 2016 by The Rt Hon Greg Hands MP, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, we will continue to work with the Taiwanese authorities to address market access issues and to further increase UK trade with Taiwan as we promote the UK as a place to do business and trade with.

9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure adequate availability at petrol stations of E5 ethanol fuel once E10 becomes the standard grade of fuel sold.

On the 4 March the Government published the consultation paper

“Introducing E10 petrol”. As set out in that consultation we are proposing that, should E10 be mandated as the standard grade of petrol in the UK, we will also introduce legislation that would keep E5 petrol available.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Dec 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Scotland about when the Caledonian Sleeper train carriages were originally expected to be in service; and when they are now expected to be so.

Under the devolved arrangements relating to the railways in Scotland, the Caledonian Sleeper service is solely the responsibility of the Scottish Government and operates under a franchise procured by Scottish Ministers. It has therefore not been the subject of substantive discussions between the Scottish and UK Governments in recent years.

1st Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by the Prime Minister on 5 September (HC Deb, col 157), whether they will contribute (1) funding, and (2) any other support towards extending the Borders rail route to Carlisle.

The UK Government is committed to working with the Scottish Government to drive forward the innovative, cross-border Borderlands Deal. We will be working with local partners to agree a deal which will see significant investment to transform the local economies within the Borderlands area.

We can confirm that the Borderlands have sought funding for feasibility work on the extension of the Borders Railway as part of their Borderlands Growth Deal submission to both governments on Friday 28 September.

20th Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government why they propose to apply the European directive on testing motorcycles in 2018, given that the directive is deferred to 2022; and whether they will reconsider that decision to allow more time to consult further with motorcycle producers, users, and clubs.

In Great Britain, for road safety reasons, motorcycles are already included in the vehicle testing regime, despite this not being required by European rules until 2022. EU Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic technical inspections of vehicles makes a number of changes to roadworthiness testing requirements, which must be implemented by 20 May 2018. It updates some of the technical test standards, broadly reflecting developments in vehicle and testing technology and the regulatory environment, such as improved emissions standards. It is important that our roadworthiness testing requirements keep pace with improving vehicle standards.

Alongside the changes required by the Directive by 20 May 2018, the Government has decided to apply the relevant technical changes to motorcycle testing because there are road safety and environmental benefits of doing so. There was a public consultation in 2016 about the changes.

13th Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, prior to the introduction of the exemption from MOT tests for vehicles aged 40 years and over, they plan to issue guidance to motor retailers to avoid valuable historic vehicles in good condition which are registered with the DVLA being scrapped under scrappage discount schemes.

The Government has no plans to provide specific guidance on scrappage of vehicles of historical interest. Legislation will introduce a 40 year rolling exemption from MOT testing for these vehicles, providing they have not been substantially altered.

Officials are working, including with advice from the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, to finalise draft guidance on how to identify whether a vehicle has been substantially altered and this will be published before the legislation comes into force in May 2018. We have not so far seen significant evidence of scrappage discount schemes encouraging the scrappage of valuable older vehicles.

9th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Scottish Government about re-opening the rest of the Waverley route from Edinburgh to Carlisle following the partial opening to Tweedbank.

In line with the Scottish Parliament’s legislative competence, the promotion and construction of railways that start, end and remain in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Government. We look to the relevant local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the Transport for the North partnership, in developing a comprehensive transport strategy for the North of England, to decide whether to engage with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders on the commissioning of such assessments.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the decision by the government of Sweden to abolish testing for all road vehicles over 50 years old, what consideration they have given to applying a similar rule in the UK.

A consultation has been completed about exempting more vehicles of historic interest from testing, given an increased flexibility offered by changes in EU-wide standards, to which Sweden is also responding. The UK already exempts pre-1960 vehicles from testing and consideration is being given to changing that threshold, with a lead consultation option of exempting most vehicles more than 40 years old.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether, before creating any new category of road vehicles of historic interest, they will engage in consultation with representatives of the estimated 250,000 users of such vehicles; and how many such vehicles they estimate to exist.

The Department for Transport ran a public consultation about possible changes related to the testing of vehicles of historic interest, with a preferred option to move from the current position of an exemption for pre-1960 vehicles to a rolling 40 year exemption for vehicles which have not been substantially modified. There were more than 2,200 responses, including many from users and owners of historic vehicles. These responses are currently being considered and we hope to announce a response to this consultation later this year.

An initial impact assessment was prepared which assessed that there were about 192,000 pre-1960 registered vehicles which are currently exempt from the MOT requirement. The preferred option identified in the consultation exempted an estimated further 278,000 vehicles. A final validated impact assessment will be published along with the consultation response summary.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jun 2017
Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on consumers of the cost of domestic flights on routes on which airlines have a monopoly or near monopoly; and whether they intend to investigate commercial practices whereby administrative charges are imposed on consumers who wish to change their flight details after having purchased fully flexible tickets.

The Government is not able to get involved in regulating the level of fares set by airlines operating in the UK, or abroad. Since the inception of the Single European Aviation market, any EU airline may establish the fare structure it wishes.

The Government has made no assessment on the impact of the costs of domestic flights, but has focused on ensuring connectivity to the regions.

However, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has started work on unfair contract terms with the airlines, in accordance with the CAA’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021. The work will include a review of the airlines’ terms and conditions with the aim of ensuring the rights and obligations of the consumers and businesses are fair and balanced and consumers are not being penalised by unfair contract terms.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total amount raised by Vehicle Excise Duty in each of the two years prior to abolition of the tax disc, and in each of the subsequent years.

The amount of vehicle excise duty collected varies year on year. A decrease of £300 million in vehicle excise duty income between 2014-15 and 2015-16 was previously forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility due to expected decreases in the average cost of licences issued as vehicles continue to become more fuel-efficient. The actual reduction for the financial year 2015-16 was £93 million.

The tax disc was abolished in October 2014.

The following table shows the net revenue for each full financial year prior to and after the abolition of tax disc:

Year

Vehicle Excise Duty collected £m

2012-13

£6,013

2013-14

£6,052

2014-15

£6.023

2015-16

£5,930

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Nov 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Scotland about extending the HS2 route to Edinburgh.

HS2 will serve Edinburgh on completion of the Y network in 2033, with journey times reduced to 3 hours 40 minutes. In line with the joint ministerial statement on 21 March 2016, the Department for Transport, Transport Scotland, Network Rail and HS2 Ltd, are working together to identify any and all options with strong business cases that could further improve journey times, capacity, resilience and reliability, with the ultimate aim of 3 hour journeys between London and Scotland’s central belt.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Nov 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Scotland concerning dualling the remaining parts of the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh which are not already dual-carriageway.

This government is taking forward a package of investments to improve the A1 between Newcastle and the Scottish border, as announced in the Road Investment Strategy in December 2014. This includes dualling the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham. Highways England is currently updating the route strategy for the A1, bringing together information from stakeholders, local communities and partners to gain a better understanding of its performance to help prioritise investment beyond 2020. The Scottish Government has been invited to contribute its views on the A1 as part of this process.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to encourage motorway service station signs to advertise on approaching road signs the brand and prices of fuel they are selling.

The Government is currently finalising the detailed design for trialling new traffic signs, displaying comparative motorway fuel prices, to provide greater transparency on the pricing of fuel at service areas and to encourage competition. The first sign will be installed this Winter, with the remaining three signs by Spring 2016.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the comments by Doddie Weir, reported on 1 December, concerning his frustration that there have been no new drugs to treat motor neurone disease developed in the last 22 years; and what steps they are taking to promote research into such treatments.

There are currently no new drugs under assessment for a marketing authorisation to treat Motor Neurone Disease (MND). The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved 16 trials in the last five years in the indication of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Three of these trials remain active, the remainder have completed or ended early.

The Department funds research mainly through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Medical Research Council (MRC), a research funding body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, also funds medical research.

The usual practice of the NIHR and of the MRC is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including MND. The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) is currently recruiting patients to 24 trials and studies in MND. The NIHR Clinical Research Network is developing and nurturing relationships with industry, so that the United Kingdom remains attractive as a site for the innovative therapies.

The MRC currently spends approximately £5.3 million per year on research relating to MND. The MRC, as part of the Network of Centres of Excellence in Neurodegeneration, has recently made available up to £1 million to support research in the UK. The current ‘Pathfinder call’ aims to stimulate new and unconventional approaches and creative solutions to the challenges of neurodegeneration research by undertaking high-risk/high-payoff research and is open to researchers who are involved in MND research.

8th Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of women who travelled from (a) the Republic of Ireland, and (b) Northern Ireland, to the rest of the UK to obtain legal abortions in the latest year for which figures are available.

Summary information from the abortion notification forms returned to the Chief Medical Officers of England and Wales shows that 3,451 women from the Republic of Ireland and 833 women from Northern Ireland had a legal abortion in England and Wales in 2015. The Department does not collect data on abortions in Scotland.

15th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the outcome of the election in Taiwan; and in particular, of its impact on Hong Kong.

The Foreign Secretary’s statement on 11 January noted that the presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan were testament to Taiwan’s vibrant democracy. He congratulated the people of Taiwan on the smooth conduct of those elections and to Dr Tsai Ing-wen and her party on her re-election. The Foreign Secretary expressed his hope that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would renew dialogue to resolve differences and build constructive relations across the Strait.

We have not yet made an assessment of the impact of the elections in Taiwan on Hong Kong.  It is clear, however, that many people in Hong Kong followed the elections with interest.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the general election result in Israel.

Following the election that took place in Israel on 9 April, Israeli political parties are now engaged in coalition formation discussions. The UK looks forward to continuing its excellent relationship with the Israeli Government and to working closely together on shared areas of interest.​

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the recognition by the President of the United States of Israel's sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights; and what discussions they have had, or intend to have, with the government of the United States about that recognition.

On 26 March officials from our Embassy in Washington raised our concerns with US counterparts about the US Presidential Proclamation recognising that the Golan Heights are part of the State of Israel. We are clear that the UK views the Golan Heights as territory occupied by Israel. Annexation of territory by force is prohibited under international law, including the UN Charter. The UK did not recognise Israel's annexation in 1981 and we have no plans to change our position. On 26 March we reiterated our firm position on this matter at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to invite the President of Angola to visit the UK in order to discuss his stated wish to have his country join the Commonwealth.

The UK is committed to deepening our bilateral relationship with Angola. Decisions on Commonwealth membership are made by consensus by all Commonwealth member states. The UK is supportive of Angola's aspiration to join the Commonwealth, provided it meets the criteria for membership. The Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office discussed this matter with the Angolan Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs during his visit to Luanda in August 2018. There are no immediate plans for the President of Angola to visit the UK, but he would be very welcome to visit.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations, if any, they have made to secure an observer place for Taiwan at the forthcoming General Assembly of Interpol, and for that country to have access to the I-24/7 global police communications system.

The British Government believes that the people of Taiwan have a valuable contribution to make towards global issues such as organised crime. Their involvement would, in our view, improve co-operation on issues that pose a risk to the international community, including the United Kingdom and our own people. Although the UK has not made any representations to secure Taiwan’s observer status at INTERPOL this year, we are discussing this issue with international partners, including those countries on the INTERPOL Executive Committee.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that the electoral commission is genuinely independent prior to the forthcoming elections.

The Foreign Secretary met Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo on 20 April and our Ambassador met President Mnangagwa on 5 May to discuss Zimbabwe’s upcoming elections. At these meetings, we were clear that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) must be neutral and enjoy the confidence of all parties contesting the elections. While we welcome the appointment of a new ZEC Chair, the organisation must be scrupulously impartial and ensure it deals with all stakeholders equally.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following the European Court of Justice decision on 27 February on the EU–Morocco Fisheries Agreement, they will meet with the new representative of MINURSO to expedite settlement of the Western Sahara status.

My colleague, the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, has met the UN Secretary-General's Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, former German President Horst Koehler, twice in the last two months and our Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Jonathan Allen, has met the new Head of MINURSO, Colin Stewart. They have underlined the UK's firm support for the UN-led efforts to find a solution to the Western Sahara issue. We note the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union on the EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement. This ruling now passes to the High Court of England and Wales, so it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for cross-straits harmony and stability of the announcement by China on 4 January of four air routes in the Taiwan Straits without prior communication with Taiwan and of Taiwan's belief that this violates the negotiation results reached between the Taipei Airlines Association and China Air Transport Association in March 2015; and what representations they intend to make to the government of China in this regard.

We understand that the opening of the four new air routes in the Taiwan Strait on 4 January is a cause of concern for the authorities in Taiwan.

Her Majesty's Government is assessing whether the introduction of these new northbound flights in the Straits will have any impact on aviation safety in the region.

In line with our longstanding position, we encourage China and Taiwan to engage in dialogue to resolve this issue.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to support the participation of Taiwan in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The United Kingdom believes that Taiwan has a valuable contribution to make on global issues such as the Sustainable Development Goals

The UK's longstanding policy on Taiwan remains the same. The UK supports Taiwanese membership of international organisations where statehood is not a pre-requisite for membership. In situations where Taiwanese membership of international organisations is not possible, we welcome pragmatic solutions that allow Taiwan to contribute to the global good, such as Taiwan's voluntary efforts to support the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to take steps to retain Taiwan's place at future assemblies of the World Health Organisation.

The British Government was disappointed that Taiwan was not permitted to observe the World Health Assembly this year. We will continue to make the UK position clear ie, that we support Taiwanese participation in international organisations where there is precedent for involvement, where Taiwan can contribute to the global good, and where there is no pre-requisite of nationhood for participation. Given the global reach and often rapid spread of global health emergencies it is of particular importance that all relevant administrations be invited to engage in the World Health Assembly to ensure that discussions on Global Health Security can benefit from their experience and expertise.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the RRS James Cook has been operating in the coastal waters of the Western Sahara; what was the nature of its research; and what instruments it deployed.

The RRS James Cook is part of the Government funded national sustained observational programme called RAPID. This long-term programme’s aim is to monitor the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) in the North Atlantic at the latitude of 26 degrees north. The MOC determines the Atlantic ocean’s transport of heat, freshwater, carbon, and other environmental properties. It is central to understanding the role of the thermohaline circulation in global climate change. The RRS James Cook recovered and redeployed a number of oceanographic moorings fitted with conductivity and temperature sensors, which were distributed at a range of depths on moorings.

5th Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Saharawi authorities have made enquiries about the activities of the RRS James Cook in their territorial waters; if so when they will receive replies; and whether scientific data obtained by the vessel will be shared with the Saharawi authorities, pursuant to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Sahrawi representatives contacted the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) on 3 March 2017 about the work of RRS James Cook in the eastern Atlantic. The UK regards the status of Western Sahara as undetermined and supports UN-led efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution to all parties, which provides self-determination for the Sahrawi people. As a non-self governing territory under Article 73 of the UN Charter, rights under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea should be provided by the administering power and for the benefit of the people of the territory with a view to promoting their well being and development. The NOC will share information with Morocco, who are the de facto administering power.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had or plan to have with the government of Mauritius following their decision to deny the right of return to the Chagos people.

We have continually sought the views of the Mauritian Government in regards to the Chagossian resettlement review. The British High Commissioner to Mauritius met representatives of the Mauritian Government on 16 November to explain our decision against resettlement and the support package of approximately £40 million for Chagossians, including those living in Mauritius. The Government will continue to make efforts to work closely with Mauritius to develop cost-effective programmes which will make the biggest improvement in the life chances of those Chagossians who need it most.

12th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 2 August (HL1270) concerning resettlement of the Chagos Islands, whether the remaining work is now completed and when an announcement on possible resettlement will be made.

We have consulted a range of stakeholders as we work towards a decision on the question of resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The Government is still considering its policy in this area and will announce developments to Parliament and the public by the end of the year.

18th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will support the resolution from Mauritius at the forthcoming UN General Assembly calling for the matter of the resettlement of Chagos islanders to be referred to the International Court of Justice.

We are not aware of any plans by Mauritius for a resolution at the next UN General Assembly regarding the resettlement of Chagos islanders to be referred to the International Court of Justice (ICC). On 17 May the Prime Minister of Mauritius expressed to the Mauritian Parliament his intention to seek a referral by the UN General Assembly to the ICC this autumn, in order to obtain an advisory opinion in relation to sovereignty of the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). We would not support any such resolution as we are in no doubt about British sovereignty over BIOT.
18th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the comments by Lord Mance in the Supreme Court’s judgment in <i>R (on the application of Bancoult (No 2)) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs </i>[2016] UKSC 35 that a refusal to allow resettlement of the Chagos Islands could be judicially reviewed as potentially "irrational, unreasonable and/or disproportionate", what steps they plan to take to reach a reasoned decision on the issue of resettlement as quickly as possible.

In the last Parliament, the Cabinet asked for further detailed work to understand the uncertainties around cost and demand for resettlement of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence, have refined uncertainties around costs, and a 12 week public consultation was carried out to clarify demand. The results of the consultation were published in January 2016. Officials are now carrying out remaining work on the options available before the Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), takes a final decision on the policy. There is no date yet when an announcement on possible resettlement will be made. Developments will be announced to Parliament and the public in due course.

23rd Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the steps taken by the government of Germany in respect of acts committed by their colonial troops against the Herero and Nama people in South-West Africa in 1904–1908; whether they intend to take similar steps; and whether they will support requests for compensation.

The British Government has not made any assessment of the steps taken by the Government of Germany in respect of this matter. The issue of compensation is a bilateral matter between the governments of Germany and Namibia.

17th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the elections in Tanzania, particularly with respect to the devolved assembly in Zanzibar, and what representations they have made to the government of Tanzania or the Commonwealth Secretariat regarding the elections.

Despite some problems, the national elections in Tanzania were peaceful and generally well organised. We have extended our congratulations to President Magufuli on his victory. We are however deeply concerned at the decision to nullify the elections for the Zanzibar Presidency and Parliament. We have conveyed our concerns to the Government of Tanzania on a number of occasions including at senior levels, most recently during a meeting last week between the Tanzanian High Commissioner to London and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Rochford and Southend East (James Duddridge).

14th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the government of Germany regarding the return of items, including human skulls, taken from German South-West Africa in the early twentieth century and exported to European institutions.

The British Government has not held discussions with the German Government on this matter.

9th Jul 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Germany regarding compensation for the descendants of the Herero and Nama people killed by German colonial troops in German South-West Africa in 1904–08.

The British Government has not made representations to the Government of Germany on this matter.

10th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost to public funds of the evacuation of tourists from Mombasa in May.

The British Government did not evacuate British nationals from Mombasa in May and there was no cost to public funds.

10th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their current travel advice for visits to Kenya.

We keep our travel advice under constant review. As of 12 June, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advised against all but essential travel to:

- areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border

- Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island

- Garissa District

- the Eastleigh area of Nairobi

- low income areas of Nairobi, including all township or slum areas

- Mombasa island and within 5km of the coast from Mtwapa creek in the north down to and including Tiwi in the south (this area does not include Diani or Moi international airport).

9th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the conduct of the recent census in Burma.

The UK (through the Department for International Development) joined an international effort to provide funding to the census in 2014 because it will be a critical step in the country's development process, underpinning better planning and delivery of vital services and infrastructure, such as schools, roads and hospitals.

The UK, UN and other international donors argued strongly for the right of all people to be enumerated fairly and to be able, where necessary, to self-identify their ethnicity in the census. In most areas where the census was conducted, self-identification was permitted. We were deeply disappointed that, in the case of the Rohingya, the Burmese government contravened its long-standing assurance that all individuals would have the right to self-identify their ethnic origin. We have been clear that this decision is contrary to international norms and standards on census conduct. The Minister of State, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), summoned the Burmese Ambassador on 7 April to make these concerns clear.

Reports from independent international observers of the census suggest that, with the exception of Rakhine and parts of Kachin state, the enumeration process appears to have been largely carried out effectively. We continue to closely monitor the process.

25th Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of the budget preparing for a no-deal Brexit has been spent on advertisements (1) in newspapers, (2) on radio and television, and (3) on social media.

The Treasury allocated £100m to Cabinet Office to deliver the No-Deal Brexit Public Information Campaign in August 2019. The costs of the campaign will be published monthly on gov.uk, as part of routine government transparency. This will be broken down by supplier. The Treasury does not hold a detailed breakdown of how departments have allocated funding for no-deal preparations, therefore it is difficult to determine the exact amount spent on any other advertising delivered by individual departments.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
22nd Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to have discussions with the major banks about the use of contactless credit cards for sums under £30 and the ease with which such cards might be misused.

Treasury ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. This includes regular meetings with consumer organisations to discuss relevant regulatory issues, including consumer protection on payment instruments.

Government takes all fraud extremely seriously. In February 2016 the government set up the Joint Fraud Taskforce, which aims to use the collective powers, systems and resources of banks, payment providers, police, wider law enforcement and regulators to tackle fraud, and raise awareness of the risk of fraud among consumers.

The Taskforce is currently focused on: developing a national fraud prevention campaign to provide targeted advice to the public; improving the police response to fraud at national, regional and local level; exploring ways in which more victims of fraud can have their losses repaid; removing vulnerabilities fraudsters exploit to commit certain types of fraud; and, improving support for victims of fraud which will ensure a consistent response including for those who may be more vulnerable or susceptible to fraud.

Industry statistics received from Financial Fraud Action UK indicate that in the first half of 2016 there were £2.9 million losses attributed to fraud on contactless cards compared to a spend of £9.27 billion. This is just 0.031% of spending on contactless technology. According to the industry, fraud on contactless cards accounts for less than 1% of card fraud losses.

11th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they plan to take to address the delays in dealing with applications for clearance under section 1044 of the Company Tax Act 2010 by HMRC in Newcastle due to a shortage of resources, in the light of the urgency of some of the outstanding cases.

HMRC must notify its decision on an application under section 1044 Corporation Tax Act 2010 within 30 days of its receipt.

During the six months from October 2015 to March 2016, HMRC received 1105 clearance applications under section 1044. The average time taken to reply to these applications was 15 days. Decisions on over 95% of the applications were notified within the statutory time limit.

HMRC monitors the number of clearance applications it receives in this area and the time taken to reply to them to ensure a consistent service.

2nd Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to alter fuel duties to change the relative price difference paid by customers for petrol and diesel fuels.

The Government has no current plans to alter fuel duty to change the relative price difference paid by customers for petrol and diesel.

17th Jul 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure that banks continue to offer account facilities to local voluntary associations, clubs and societies within their communities.

The Government believes it is important for local voluntary associations, clubs and societies to be able to access account facilities, and it will continue to monitor the situation.

15th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given, if any, to including provisions in the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill for a separate short-stay visa category.

The forthcoming Immigration Bill will lay the foundation for a new immigration system which welcomes the people the country needs.

The Government is considering the design of the future immigration system and will outline plans shortly.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the joint All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report by the APPG for Africa, the APPG for Diaspora, Development and Migration and the APPG for Malawi Visa problems for African visitors to the UK, published on 16 July, in particular its findings in regard to the level of refusals of short-term visitor visa applications from Africa.

Officials will review the findings of the report and the Immigration Minister will respond on it in due course.

Information on total entry clearance visas (the majority of which are visitor visas) broken down by nationality and outcome (grants, refusals, withdrawals, lapsed) is published in the quarterly Immigration Statistics Visas volume 1 table vi_02_q at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2019-data-tables

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
26th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make it mandatory for emergency vehicles and motorcycles to use auditory warnings as well as flashing lights when travelling on the wrong side of any road.

Emergency service drivers are empowered to use certain road traffic exemption in the course of their duties. Decisions on when to exercise these exemptions is an operational matter.

In the Government’s response to “The Law Guidance and Training Governing Police Pursuits” consultation we committed to undertaking a review of existing emergency service exemptions to traffic law to ensure that they are appropriate. Part of the review will consider how emergency services use exemptions safely.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many reported credit card frauds there were in each of the last available three years; and what was the total sum involved.

The Home Office collects quarterly fraud data, including banking and credit card industry fraud data, from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

These data are published by the ONS on a quarterly basis. The latest data are for year to June 2017 and are available in Table A5 at the link below: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/datasets/crimeinenglandandwalesappendixtables

Published tables for earlier quarters are also available at the above link.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in order to welcome tourists to Scotland and the North of England, they plan to instruct the Border Agency to reduce its processing time of vehicles at Newcastle arriving off the ferry from Amsterdam.

Border Force has carried out a significant transformation programme at Port of Tyne to improve border security and customer service. Joint investment with the port operator in new infrastructure has significantly reduced passenger processing times and the port operator has confirmed a noticeable improvement compared to previous years.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2017
Her Majesty's Government what co-ordination they are planning with the devolved administrations in assessing the safety of tower blocks following the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Department is co-ordinating with the devolved administrations following the Grenfell Tower fire. After the Department wrote to local authorities and Housing Associations on the 22 June to outline the steps to ensure the safety of residential buildings, the Department then shared this letter with the devolved administrations, alongside all letters the Department has sent to local authorities and housing associations regarding the safety of residential tower blocks.

The Department wrote to devolved administrations on the 28 June to outline the steps to ensure the safety of public buildings, schools and hospitals. Devolved administrations are following the same process as local authorities and housing associations, including the Building Research Establishment screening and testing process, and are also receiving the same support from the fire and rescue services.

21st Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why Charles Taylor, the ex-President of Liberia, was permitted to make a phone call from Frankland Prison to supporters in Liberia and deliver a speech to them via speakerphone.

All prisoners are eligible to make phone calls to approved numbers for both social and legal purposes and are subject to security and monitoring arrangements. Legally privileged calls remain unmonitored in line with policy requirements

16th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to sign the prisoner exchange agreement with the government of Taiwan.

Negotiations between the UK and Taiwan Authorities on an arrangement to facilitate the transfer of prisoners between the respective jurisdictions are moving forward. Plans will be made for signature once the text has been agreed.

15th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to bring the law on abortion in Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK while there is no functioning Assembly in Northern Ireland.

The Government recognises the sensitivities of this issue and the strongly held views on all sides of the debate in Northern Ireland and across the rest of the UK.

As abortion is devolved, the best way forward is for locally accountable politicians in Northern Ireland to make decisions. We want to see devolved government restored at the earliest opportunity through the current political talks process.