Lord West of Spithead Portrait

Lord West of Spithead

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 9th July 2007


5 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Cyber Security, Flags and Heraldry, Norfolk Island, Philately, St George's Day
2 Former APPG memberships
Reserves and Cadets, Ship Building
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
3rd Dec 2015 - 27th Apr 2017
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
12th Jun 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)
29th Jun 2007 - 6th May 2010


Scheduled Event
Monday 11th March 2024
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Timeline for 809 Naval Air Squadron to be fully operational with full complement of aircraft
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill [HL]
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 119 Labour Aye votes vs 1 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 201 Noes - 227
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Written Answers
Thursday 21st December 2023
Guyana: Venezuela
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the situation between Venezuela and Guyana.
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord West of Spithead has voted in 218 divisions, and 17 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Covid-19 Pandemic and the Coronavirus Act 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Labour No votes vs 6 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 119 Noes - 279
3 Mar 2021 - Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 4 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 103 Noes - 300
9 Feb 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Labour No votes vs 18 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 143 Noes - 311
9 Feb 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 15 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 127 Noes - 296
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 140 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 284
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 133 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 259 Noes - 283
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 137 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 339 Noes - 235
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 132 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 269
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour No votes vs 15 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 153 Noes - 309
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 11 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 119 Noes - 263
11 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 12 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 111 Noes - 255
9 Nov 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 4 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 130 Noes - 290
15 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 4 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 130 Noes - 225
15 Sep 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Labour No votes vs 115 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 258 Noes - 208
20 Jul 2020 - Business and Planning Bill - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Labour No votes vs 3 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 128 Noes - 244
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 9 Labour No votes vs 105 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 77
29 Nov 2021 - Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord West of Spithead voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Labour No votes vs 78 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 147 Noes - 211
View All Lord West of Spithead Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Baroness Goldie (Conservative)
(84 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(50 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(44 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(88 debate contributions)
Home Office
(40 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord West of Spithead's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord West of Spithead, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


Lord West of Spithead has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord West of Spithead has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


444 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
5 Other Department Questions
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker how many people are in the House of Lords Inclusion and Diversity team.

The House of Lords Inclusion and Diversity Team is made up of three full-time posts: one Head of Inclusion and Diversity and two Inclusion and Diversity Managers. One Inclusion and Diversity Manager post is currently vacant but is expected to be filled in the New Year.

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker whether (1) acquired, or (2) restored, buildings as part of the Restoration and Renewal project will have a target of 15 per cent female-only toilet facilities.

The two Houses have recently agreed a new approach to the restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster, as set out in the Joint Report of the two Commissions (HL Paper 19) and in the resolution passed by the House on 13 July [HL deb. Col. 1497]. The new approach asks for different levels of ambition and a broader range of options for delivering the works to be considered. At this early stage in the development of proposals no targets have been agreed for the provision of toilet facilities in either (1) acquired or (2) restored buildings. Proposals for the restoration works require parliamentary approval, as set out in section 7 of the Parliamentary Buildings (Restoration and Renewal) Act 2019.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to raise the subject of global overpopulation at COP26; and what proposals they have to address it.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to HL13299 on 25 February 2021.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what was the original estimated cost of the refurbishment of the Elizabeth Tower; when was that refurbishment originally intended to be completed; and what is the expected final cost of that refurbishment.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Finance Committee, to respond on his behalf.

Scaffolding was removed around the roof level of the Elizabeth Tower in October 2020. More scaffolding is expected to be removed towards the end of this year and continuing into 2022.

Covid-19 has restricted the progress of the refurbishment. The completion date will be later than the planned 2021 date, and is now expected in 2022. Further information on the revised completion date will be announced once the schedule of works is finalised.

The original outline business case for the Elizabeth Tower assessed the costs at £29.7m. In 2017, the final business case for the Elizabeth Tower was approved at a value of £61m, subsequently revised in February 2020 to £79.7m. The additional costs due to the impact of COVID-19 are currently being assessed.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker when will (1) the scaffolding be removed from, and (2) the refurbishment be completed of, the Elizabeth Tower.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chair of the Finance Committee, to respond on his behalf.

Scaffolding was removed around the roof level of the Elizabeth Tower in October 2020. More scaffolding is expected to be removed towards the end of this year and continuing into 2022.

Covid-19 has restricted the progress of the refurbishment. The completion date will be later than the planned 2021 date, and is now expected in 2022. Further information on the revised completion date will be announced once the schedule of works is finalised.

The original outline business case for the Elizabeth Tower assessed the costs at £29.7m. In 2017, the final business case for the Elizabeth Tower was approved at a value of £61m, subsequently revised in February 2020 to £79.7m. The additional costs due to the impact of COVID-19 are currently being assessed.

28th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether all of the civil servants working in (1) the Department for Business and Trade, (2) the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, (3) the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, (4) the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, (5) the Department for Transport, (6) the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and (7) the Department of Health and Social Care, who have regular access to top secret material have been cleared through Developed Vetting.

The UK government policy on National Security Vetting is outlined in the HMG Personnel Security Controls, which states the levels of clearance required for access to TOP SECRET material and the access controls in place. For long-term, frequent or uncontrolled access to TOP SECRET assets and/or access to TOP SECRET codeword material, the level of clearance required is Developed Vetting (DV). Occasional, supervised access to TOP SECRET assets is permitted for individuals with Security Check (SC) clearance.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan (HL2382), whether the Cabinet Office coordination of departmental actions takes place from an operations room in real time; and whether this functions 24 hours per day.

The Foreign Policy and National Security Secretariat (FPNSS) within the Cabinet Office works with responsible departments across Whitehall to coordinate policy on the resilience of subsea and offshore infrastructure. This policy coordination role compliments broader horizon scanning efforts within the department which aim to identify potential risks to infrastructure through early warning mechanisms or relevant intelligence.

Where crises impacting this infrastructure do materialise and could harm the UK’s national security, the Cabinet Office's National Security Watchkeepers, a team responsible for monitoring open source and government reporting tools on a 24/7 basis, alert the relevant teams within government.

Following any crisis notification, it is up to the relevant policy team in the FPNSS to work with the lead government department to assess the level of risk, identify any impacts and outline the appropriate next steps which HMG needs to take, including the activation of crisis machinery within the Cabinet Office where required.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 7 October (HL2313), when they expect work to be completed so that planning for a recommissioning ceremony can begin.

Further to the last response from the Government Property Agency with regards to the Naval Monument, we can now confirm that all works have been completed and that it is now fully operational.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 28 April (HL7898), whether the Government Property Agency has received the list of works needed on the Royal Naval Division war memorial from Heritage England; if not, why not; and whether they have been hastened.

Remedial work has started and is ongoing. As our partners undertake remedial works, they have uncovered further defects and are continuing to carry out a full internal repair of the fountain and its pump system. Due to the location of the fountain, works were halted during the period of mourning, but have now resumed within the secure zone.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, how long the fountain of the Royal Naval Division War Memorial has not been functional; and when they expect the necessary repairs to have been completed.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) remains the Custodian of the Royal Naval Division War Memorial following transfer of the freehold.

Renovation works to the Memorial were put on hold during a major refurbishment of London, Old Admiralty Building which was only completed in 2021.

The Government Property Agency is working with Heritage England to assess the works required to develop a suitable plan. We expect the works to be concluded at the earliest opportunity once we have received feedback from the Heritage survey, until this has been concluded the GPA is unable to give a timescale for completion.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 24 June 2019 (HL16339), whether they continue to be the custodians, through the Government Property Agency, of the Royal Naval Division War Memorial.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) remains the Custodian of the Royal Naval Division War Memorial following transfer of the freehold.

Renovation works to the Memorial were put on hold during a major refurbishment of London, Old Admiralty Building which was only completed in 2021.

The Government Property Agency is working with Heritage England to assess the works required to develop a suitable plan. We expect the works to be concluded at the earliest opportunity once we have received feedback from the Heritage survey, until this has been concluded the GPA is unable to give a timescale for completion.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to appoint someone to report directly to the National Security Advisor (1) on military co-operation with Australia and America, and (2) to help Australia develop SSN submarines.

The National Security Adviser has appointed Whitehall leads to report to him directly on the UK’s collaboration with the US and Australia on AUKUS. The Ministry of Defence reports regularly to the National Security Adviser on the programme of work, conducted alongside US and Australian colleagues, to identify the optimum way to deliver new submarine capability to the Royal Australian Navy.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total number of COVID-19 deaths in England since 1 July; and how many of those deaths were people who were either (1) unvaccinated, or (2) had underlying health conditions.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

Lord West of Spithead

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

27 October 2021

Dear Lord West of Spithead,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking the total number of COVID-19 deaths in England since 1 July; and how many of those deaths were people who were either (1) unvaccinated, or (2) had underlying health conditions (HL3191).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes mortality statistics for England and Wales compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration. Based on the latest data in the bulletin ‘Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: 15 October 2021’1, there were 7,673 deaths involving COVID-19 registered between 1 July 2021 and 8 October 2021 in England.

Information provided at death registration can be used to identify the presence of pre-existing health conditions. The data are published quarterly in the ‘Pre-existing conditions of people who died due to COVID-19, England and Wales’ dataset2. These are currently available until the end of June 2021. In the second quarter of 2021 (April to June), 18.8% of people who died due to COVID-19 in England and Wales had no pre-existing condition. The data for the third quarter (July to September) will be published on 23 November 2021.

The vaccination status of the deceased is not recorded at death registration unless the certifying doctor or coroner considered it to be relevant to the cause of death. To produce statistics on deaths by COVID-19 vaccination status the ONS has created a linked dataset which includes death registrations, vaccination data from the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) and Test and Trace data on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results. The methods are described in ‘Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England: deaths occurring between 2 January and 2 July 2021’3. Unfortunately, this publication only covered deaths that occurred up to 2 July 2021. However, an update of this publication, covering deaths that occurred up to 24 September 2021, will be published on 1 November. Of the 51,281 deaths involving Covid-19 that occurred between 2 January and 2 July 2021, 38,964 (76.0%) occurred in unvaccinated individuals. Please note, however, that this proportion is likely to change in the most recent period, as an increasing number of people are now vaccinated.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

1 Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional: 15 October 2021

2 Pre-existing conditions of people who died due to COVID-19, England and Wales

3 Deaths involving COVID-19 by vaccination status, England: deaths occurring between 2 January and 2 July 2021. 13 September 2021

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 25 February (HL13332), what are the timescales for the cross government review being led by the Deputy National Security Advisor into future governance for the development of resilient Position, Navigation and Timing arrangements for UK users, including promotion of Global Navigation Satellite System and other Position, Navigation and Timing sources.

A team in the Cabinet Office has developed a Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) strategy that seeks to define the high-level requirements for resilient PNT systems. This work has included engaging subject matter experts across a full range of Government departments, including those leading in maritime, aviation, energy and communications sectors. Views have also been taken from selected PNT industry members to ensure peer review and robust challenge. The review of current governance arrangements, which aims to ensure that coordination of PNT across government is put on sustainable footing, is nearing completion and is expected to be concluded shortly.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to involve experts across different organisations in the development of a resilient, high integrity Position, Navigating and Timing (PNT) System-of-Systems.

A team in the Cabinet Office has developed a Position Navigation and Timing (PNT) strategy that seeks to define the high-level requirements for resilient PNT systems. This work has included engaging subject matter experts across a full range of Government departments, including those leading in maritime, aviation, energy and communications sectors. Views have also been taken from selected PNT industry members to ensure peer review and robust challenge. The review of current governance arrangements, which aims to ensure that coordination of PNT across government is put on sustainable footing, is nearing completion and is expected to be concluded shortly.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
12th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people aged (1) below 50, (2) 50 to 59, (3) 60 to 69, (4) 70 to 79, and (5) over 80, years, had died as a result of COVID-19 as of 31 December 2020; and how many in each age group had a serious underlying health condition.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

19 January 2021

Dear Lord West,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people aged (1) below 50, (2) 50 to 59, (3) 60 to 69, (4) 70 to 79, and (5) over 80 years, have died as a result of COVID-19 as of 31 December 2020; and how many in each age group had a serious underlying health condition (HL12082).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing numbers of deaths registered in England and Wales. As part of the ‘Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales’ publication[1], we produce the number of deaths involving COVID-19 by age group. Table 1 below shows the number of deaths due to COVID-19 registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 1 January 2021, the relevant period used in our regular mortality reports, for the age bands below 50, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80 years and over.

The mortality statistics produced by the ONS are based on the information recorded when a death is certified and registered. A doctor will only record a health condition on the death certificate if it was in the sequence of events leading to death, or was a contributory factor in the death; the death certificate does not list all health conditions the person suffered from. Therefore, we can say in how many deaths a particular condition was involved (i.e. mentioned on the death certificate) but not how many deaths in total were of individuals suffering from such conditions. Similarly, where several conditions are mentioned on the death certificate, we cannot necessarily say whether each one was ‘serious’ in itself. For example, a chronic condition such as diabetes might have contributed to the death in combination with COVID-19, but be unlikely to have caused death on its own.

Information on deaths involving COVID-19 and pre-existing health conditions was published in July for the period 1 March to 30 June 2020 [2]. Table 2 shows the number of deaths involving COVID-19 occurring in England and Wales between 1 March and 30 June 2020, registered up to 4 July 2020, for the age bands below 50, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and 80 years and over, divided into those did or did not have one or more pre-existing conditions mentioned on the death certificate. The analysis of pre-existing conditions in the deaths involving COVID-19 is planned to be updated in the next six weeks.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1. Deaths due to COVID-19 registered between 28 December 2019 and 1 January 2021, England and Wales[3],[4],[5],[6]

Age band

Deaths

Below 50 years

1,499

50 to 59 years

3,470

60 to 69 years

7,837

70 to 79 years

18,699

80 years and over

49,325

Source: ONS

Table 2. Deaths involving COVID-19 by whether a pre-existing condition was mentioned on the death certificate, deaths occurring 1 March to 30 June 2020, England and Wales[7],[8],[9],[10]

Age band

One or more pre-existing condition

No pre-existing condition

Below 50 years

807

192

50 to 59 years

1,950

350

60 to 69 years

4,333

523

70 to 79 years

10,394

926

80 years and over

28,375

2,485

Source: ONS

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/latest

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsinvolvingcovid19englandandwales/deathsoccurringinjune2020

[3] Includes deaths registered between 28 December 2019 and 1 January 2021. These figures represent death registrations, there can be a delay between the date a death occurred and the date a death was registered. More information can be found in our impact of registration delays release.

[4] Does not include deaths where age is either missing or not yet fully coded.

[5] Does not include deaths of those resident outside England and Wales or those records where the place of residence is either missing or not yet fully coded.

[6] All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.

[7] Includes deaths occurring between 1 March and 30 June 2020, registered up to 4 July 2020.

[8] Based on all deaths involving COVID-19 (ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2) not only deaths ‘due to’ COVID-19 (i.e. where COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death).

[9] Includes deaths of non-residents.

[10] All figures for 2020 and 2021 are provisional.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 12 November (HL9797), whether (1) the Cabinet Office, or (2) the Prime Minister’s Office, hold any records concerning Operation Mincemeat; and if so, whether these records are publicly available.

The Cabinet Office (which includes the Prime Minister’s Office) does not hold any records on HMS Dasher or Operation Mincemeat. In line with standard practice, historic records are transferred to The National Archives. A number of files relating to both HMS Dasher and Operation Mincemeat are held by The National Archives, including under references CAB 154/66; CAB 154/112; CAB 79/60/18; CAB 79/60/20; CAB 79/60/24; CAB 79/60/26; CAB 79/60/27; and CAB 146/442.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 12 November (HL9797), whether CAB93/7 contains any records relating to the loss of HMS Dasher; whether (1) the Cabinet Office, or (2) the Prime Minister’s Office, hold any other records concerning HMS Dasher; and if so, whether any of these records are publicly available.

The Cabinet Office (which includes the Prime Minister’s Office) does not hold any records on HMS Dasher or Operation Mincemeat. In line with standard practice, historic records are transferred to The National Archives. A number of files relating to both HMS Dasher and Operation Mincemeat are held by The National Archives, including under references CAB 154/66; CAB 154/112; CAB 79/60/18; CAB 79/60/20; CAB 79/60/24; CAB 79/60/26; CAB 79/60/27; and CAB 146/442.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the files 'CAB93/7' relating to Operation Mincemeat are (1) still held in 10 Downing Street, (2) available for viewing, and (3) if so, under what conditions.

The Cabinet Office holds the original CAB 93/7, it contains no material related to Operation Mincemeat. A version is held by The National Archives (TNA). Consultation of the volume held by TNA would need to be made by appointment, a service currently suspended owing to national restrictions. Details of how to arrange a visit are available here: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/visit-us/

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the EU on access to Galileo as part of negotiations on the future UK–EU relationship.

The UK and the EU discussed the Galileo programme during the Withdrawal Agreement negotiations. The EU’s offer then on Galileo did not meet the UK’s defence and industrial requirements.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 13 May (HL3564), whether any single authority or body was responsible for monitoring and assessing individual departmental plans to ascertain the level of national readiness for a pandemic; and if not, why not.

Planning for a pandemic inevitably engages the work of many different departments. Each department is responsible for ensuring its own preparedness, and that of its relevant sectors, to manage the impacts of a pandemic. The Cabinet Office's role includes coordinating the regular assessment of the UK’s overall risk landscape for both internal and public purposes, the Resilience Capabilities Programme, managing central government response including by convening COBR, providing crisis management training through the Emergency Planning College, and working with Departments to test emergency response plans.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the UK is a net exporter of enriched uranium; and what discussions they have had with the industry regarding growing external markets.

Urenco currently supplies around 30% of the global market with uranium enrichment services, a number which could rise in the coming years. Whether the UK is a net exporter at any given moment is subject to commercial agreements however the UK has the capability to supply a significant proportion of the global market.

HMG works closely with Urenco to explore opportunities globally and maintain their existing international contracts. HMG also works with Urenco to support investment into their UK facilities.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the UK has a strategic need to maintain a steel industry; and if not, how it can ensure industrial resilience.

The UK steel industry not only underpins a range of domestic industries, it forms the core of some local communities and economies. The Government remains committed to a UK steel industry and a decarbonised future, supporting local economic growth and our levelling-up agenda.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether there is sufficient Western uranium conversion capacity and uranium enrichment capacity to replace that provided by Russian state-owned entities.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has made it more important than ever to reduce international dependencies on Russian energy supplies, which is why through the Sapporo Agreement and the Atlantic Declaration, the Government has committed to the development of shared, resilient supply chains to support global divestment from Russian nuclear fuel supply.

The UK’s uranium enrichment capabilities are amongst the best in the world, and Government has announced its commitment to growing these by developing a High Assay Low Enriched Uranium capability in the UK. The Government has also committed £13m, match-funded by Westinghouse, to fund preparatory work to bring Uranium Conversion capability back to the UK’s Springfields site, with the potential to deliver 7,500 tonnes of uranium conversion capability, for both reprocessed uranium and naturally enriched uranium, by the end of the decade. This would give a vital alternative capacity to Russia.

While fuel and uranium procurement is ultimately a commercial matter for reactor operators, the government continues to work closely with international fuel suppliers and our allies to mitigate and respond to any supply chain risks.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) the EU, (2) NATO, (3) Japan, and (4) the Republic of Korea, about terminating contracts with Russian state-owned entities for provision of nuclear products.

In the June 2022 Group of Seven Leaders’ Communique, the Government joined with G7 partners to state our collective intent to reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia, including working to assist countries seeking to diversify their nuclear fuel supply chains.

To this end, the Government has led discussions within the ‘Sapporo 5’ group of nuclear energy leaders Canada, France, Japan, and the United States to identify potential areas of collaboration on nuclear fuels, with the goal of reduced global dependence on Russian supply chains. UK regularly raises the topic of dependency on Russia for civil nuclear goods and materials with likeminded international partners and supports efforts to diversify.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the yearly revenue earned by Russian state-owned entities from the sale of nuclear fuel products to (1) EU countries, (2) NATO countries, (3) Japan, and (4) the Republic of Korea.

In the June 2022 Group of Seven Leaders’ Communique, the Government joined with G7 partners to state our collective intent to reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia, including working to assist countries seeking to diversify their nuclear fuel supply chains.

To this end, the Government has led discussions within the ‘Sapporo 5’ group of nuclear energy leaders Canada, France, Japan, and the United States to identify potential areas of collaboration on nuclear fuels, with the goal of reduced global dependence on Russian supply chains. UK regularly raises the topic of dependency on Russia for civil nuclear goods and materials with likeminded international partners and supports efforts to diversify.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to (1) sanction, and (2) ban, the use of Russian nuclear fuel products, including mined uranium, uranium conversion, uranium enrichment, and nuclear fuel.

In the June 2022 Group of Seven Leaders’ Communique, the Government joined with G7 partners to state our collective intent to reduce reliance on civil nuclear and related goods from Russia, including working to assist countries seeking to diversify their nuclear fuel supply chains.

To this end, the Government has led discussions within the ‘Sapporo 5’ group of nuclear energy leaders Canada, France, Japan, and the United States to identify potential areas of collaboration on nuclear fuels, with the goal of reduced global dependence on Russian supply chains. UK regularly raises the topic of dependency on Russia for civil nuclear goods and materials with likeminded international partners and supports efforts to diversify.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how they can ascertain whether oil sold by India to the UK and other countries has not been refined from Russian oil, thereby circumventing sanctions.

The import, acquisition, supply and delivery of Russian oil and oil products into the UK has been banned since 5 December 2022. The ban uses the well-established non-preferential rules of origin under which products are regarded as originating from a country if there has been substantial, and economically justified, processing in that jurisdiction. Processing is regarded as substantial if it results in the manufacture of a new product such as the refining of crude oil into fuels.

In the three months to February 2023, since the ban came into effect, there has been no marked change in the volume of imports from India compared to the year before.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to semiconductor supply in determining their national security policy.

His Majesty’s Government recognises the vital role that semiconductor components play across the UK’s defence and other critical sectors.

Semiconductor supply chains are inherently global. The Government is already in initial talks with like-minded nations, including through multilateral fora, in order to safeguard the security and resilience of our chip supply.

Our forthcoming UK Semiconductor Strategy will set out our plans to assess and act on emerging supply chain threats, and to build on our existing protective levers.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Centre for Policy Studies Cashing in our Chips: How to strengthen the UK’s semiconductor sector, published on 10 February.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) has been leading a review of the semiconductor sector. DSIT has worked with departments across Whitehall to highlight the importance of semiconductors, and of working together to improve the resilience and security of UK supply chains and to deliver economic growth.

The Government regularly monitors publications relating to high-priority sectors such as the semiconductor sector. The Government recognises the importance of the semiconductor industry to the UK and our forthcoming strategy will set out our approach to it.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when their Semiconductor Strategy will be published.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has been reviewing the Government’s approach to the UK’s semiconductor sector and intends to set out its support for the sector in the forthcoming UK Semiconductor Strategy. The Strategy will be published in due course.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to build nuclear power stations at Wylfa Newydd.

Great British Nuclear is being set up to develop a resilient pipeline of nuclear new builds in the UK. Wylfa is recognised as a strong site, among others, and will be considered as part of this process. Once decisions have been made on which sites to develop, timelines for build and operations will be established.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government who is responsible for coordinating protection of (1) oil and gas installations, (2) pipelines, (3) offshore windfarms, (4) undersea electrical cables and interconnectors, and (5) fibreoptic cables, in (a) UK territorial seas, and (b) UK exclusive economic zones; and where this coordination takes place.

The Government takes the protection and resilience of subsea and offshore infrastructure seriously and departments work together to protect it from malicious and other hazards such as accidental damage. The Cabinet Office is responsible for coordinating interdepartmental efforts. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy infrastructure. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including telecommunications subsea cables. The Ministry of Defence is responsible for defending UK interests within the UK Marine Area (UK Territorial Waters and Exclusive Economic Zones) and forms part of HMG’s efforts to counter state threats.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government to what extent the decision regarding the merger of Nexperia and Newport Wafer Fab will be based on (1) the risk of Chinese ownership of the UK semiconductor industry, or (2) the risk of damage to the UK semiconductor industry.

On 25 May, the Secretary of State called in the acquisition by Nexperia of Newport Wafer Fab for a full national security assessment under the National Security and Investment Act. That process is underway and will proceed in line with statutory timescales. It would not be appropriate to comment further on the Government’s assessment at this stage.

Separately to this case, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is undertaking a review of the semiconductor sector, working closely with industry experts and representative bodies. The outcome of that review will be concluded later in the year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the decision of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regarding the merger of Nexperia and Newport Wafer Fab will be taken prior to the publication of their Semiconductor Strategy.

On 25 May, the Secretary of State called in the acquisition by Nexperia of Newport Wafer Fab for a full national security assessment under the National Security and Investment Act. That process is underway and will proceed in line with statutory timescales. It would not be appropriate to comment further on the Government’s assessment at this stage.

Separately to this case, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is undertaking a review of the semiconductor sector, working closely with industry experts and representative bodies. The outcome of that review will be concluded later in the year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to make the Government Investment Decision for Sizewell C before the summer recess; and what assessment they have made of the impact if that decision were delayed.

The Government is in constructive negotiations with the developer over the proposed Sizewell C project. The Department cannot comment on negotiations given the commercially sensitive nature of discussions. The project is also subject to an ongoing application for development consent, entirely separate from the commercial negotiations.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the Galileo PRS system to be fully operational.

The UK no longer receives information from the European Commission on the expected date by which the Galileo system and its different services will become fully operational.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in the (1) design, and (2) implementation, of a UK Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) at Medium Earth Orbit which (a) delivers secure PNT signals, and (b) meets UK security requirements, as a result of the UK GNSS research programme; and whether the Space Based PNT Programme (SBPP) continued that work.

The SBPP has now reported on options for improving the resilience of space-based PNT services and Government is considering the findings to determine the next steps as part of the business planning process.


The Government is committed to strengthening PNT resilience. Departments across Government are now looking at their resourcing for greater coordination of PNT requirements and risk appetite in relevant CNI sectors.


Once appropriate mechanisms are established, the outputs from GNSS and SBPP will provide a solid foundation to take forward further PNT resilience work.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what their fallback system is for OneWeb in the event that the GPS is disrupted by (1) an enemy, or (2) malicious entity; and what consideration they have given to a ground based system.

OneWeb’s first generation satellites were not designed with Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in mind.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether OneWeb satellites held in Russia have been returned.

This is a commercially sensitive matter for OneWeb.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the first full satellite constellation for OneWeb to be in orbit.

There will be a delay to the completion of OneWeb’s constellation due to the suspension of launches using Russian Soyuz launch vehicles in early March. However, OneWeb has made encouraging progress on alternative launch arrangements by securing an agreement to launch with SpaceX. Conversations are ongoing with alternative launch providers to complete launching the constellation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the national PNT strategy will be released.

The Government has not yet produced a national PNT strategy.

In 2021 Cabinet Office produced a draft document presenting PNT use cases across CNI sectors and identifying requirements for greater resilience. Government departments are now establishing coordination mechanisms for sector requirements, risk appetite and mitigation options and the findings of the Cabinet Office work will form part of their work going forward.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward the Clean Steel Fund, which is due to begin in 2023.

As my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State stated in his evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee on 20 July 2021, the Government is keen to have a more sustainable, long-term approach to the sector. The Department is continuing to work with the sector through the Steel Council to understand how the industry achieves decarbonisation and what support is appropriate and proportionate to assist with that.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 30 June (HL1218), what assessment they have made of the risks of issues at the Taishan nuclean power plant in China delaying the start-up of Hinkley Point C.

The Government understands that the inspections at Taishan are ongoing. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) remains in contact with the Chinese, French and Finnish regulators on this issue. The ONR will ensure that the developer of Hinkley Point C considers and addresses the learning from Taishan.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusions from the Maritime Resilience and Integrity of Navigation (MaRINav) study.

MArRinav was funded by the UK Space Agency, through the ESA NAVISP Innovation programme. It was led by UK industry as a collaboration of 8 organisations and completed in 2020. The outputs can be viewed on MArRinav's website.

The UK Government welcomed the project outcomes, and the detail was incorporated into the evidence assessment during the development of a UK PNT Strategy, in particular the need for maritime integrity and a system-of-systems approach to PNT resilience in the UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the extra costs in terms of (1) people, and (2) storage, to allow the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to handle Top Secret and Strap material from the agencies on a regular basis, rather than occasionally under the Osmotherly rules.

As has been the case under successive administrations, the Government does not comment on departmental security matters.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the exclusion of nuclear power from the Green Financing Framework means that they no longer see nuclear power as a crucial part of delivering the net zero carbon emissions policy by 2050.

The Government has been clear that nuclear has a key role in delivering net zero, confirming in the Energy White Paper in December 2020 that it is committed to bringing forward “at least one large-scale nuclear project” this parliament and entering negotiations with EDF on Sizewell C. The White Paper also included plans for £385m in an Advanced Nuclear Fund with up to £215m investment to develop a domestic Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design by the early 2030s.

The role of nuclear in delivering net zero was reiterated in the Green Financing Framework policy document to which the noble Lord refers, which said that “nuclear power is, and will continue to be, a key part of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix”. The policy document is available at:

http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-government-green-financing

Furthermore, eligibility under the Framework is not a determinant of what the government considers to be ‘green’ – that is the role of the UK Taxonomy, which the Government has committed to developing by 2023. In June the Government announced the formation of a Green Technical Advisory Group to advise on the Taxonomy’s development. As part of this, an Energy Working Group will consider how to address nuclear power in the Taxonomy.

HM Treasury intends, where possible, to adhere to best practices in the market and will review the Green Financing Framework’s alignment with updated versions of the ICMA Green Bond Principles as and when they are released, as well as the UK Taxonomy as it develops. As such, this Framework may be updated and amended.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what licensing requirements network operators need to have for repair solutions when landing cables in the UK and going under UK waters.

Offshore renewable projects are required to hold a Marine License for the repair and maintenance of subsea cables, except when undertaking emergency works.

There are no licensing requirements on other electricity infrastructure operators for the maintenance and repair of subsea cables.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the similarities in design between the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong, China, and the plant being built at Hinkley Point C; and whether any changes to the Hinkley Point C design are being planned as a result of the recent problems at Taishan.

The site at Hinkley Point C will operate two European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPR), the same reactor design as the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant.

Any reactor deployed in the UK must meet the UK’s robust and independent regulatory requirement with the developer of Hinkley Point C applying relevant lessons learnt from other EPR projects during the construction of Hinkley Point C. The developer is working with the Office for Nuclear Regulation to ensure construction of the plant is delivered on time and to the required quality standards.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of the current nuclear plants they expect to be operating in 2030.

There are currently 15 nuclear reactors operating at 8 stations across England and Scotland, all operated by EDF. On the basis of current scheduled closure dates, all 14 of the advanced gas cooled reactors (AGR) will close between 2022 and 2030. Of the current generating fleet, only Sizewell B power station with its pressurised water reactor (PWR) is expected to continue generation past 2030. The developer of Hinkley Point C is forecasting that it will also be generating before 2030.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether nuclear plants are currently able to provide one fifth of UK electricity supplies.

The total installed nuclear capacity in the UK is 8.9 GW and if all stations were fully operational they could provide more than a fifth of UK electricity supplies. However, a proportion is likely to be unavailable at any given point due to routine inspections, maintenance and technical issues.

In 2020 nuclear power stations generated around 16% of the electricity generated in the UK. This figure is provisional and final figures will be published in July in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES: the annual energy statistics publication produced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect Sizewell B to return to service.

Sizewell B was brought offline on 16 April 2021 for planned refuelling and maintenance work. The outage has been extended to 30 August 2021 to allow for additional work to be carried out. The reactor will not be returned to service without the permission of the regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they expect Dungeness B to close this year.

The decision to close a nuclear power station is a matter for the operator (EDF) and the regulator (Office for Nuclear Regulation). The current scheduled closure date for Dungeness B is 2028.

Currently EDF forecast the station’s reactors to return to service in July and August 2021.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they expect EDF to close (1) Hinkley Point B, and (2) Hunterston B, permanently by next year; and if so, on what grounds they would be closed.

The decision to close a nuclear power station is a matter for the operator (EDF) and the regulator (Office for Nuclear Regulation). On 27 August 2020 EDF announced that Hunterston B power station would end generation by January 2022. On 19 November 2020 EDF announced that Hinkley Point B would end generation by July 2022. The grounds for closure are because of end-of-life of components which cannot be replaced, which is expected as a station ages.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their target for the percentage of the UK’s electricity to be met by nuclear sources in 2030.

We do not have a specific target for the amount of nuclear we will need in 2030 to meet our electricity demand. As set out in the Energy White Paper (EWP) and the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, the government believes in the importance of a diverse mix of energy sources to support a low carbon, secure and affordable electricity system. This includes nuclear and recognises the important role which can be played by both large and small scale reactors.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what research and development support they are giving to further phases of the Marrinav project.

The MarRinav project was funded through the European Space Agency NAVISP scheme, which the UK contributes to. The industrial consortia are proposing additional activity to follow on from MarRinav but this has not been submitted for approval and evaluation at the time of this response.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Japan about facilitating a transfer of ownership of Horizon and its sites to another development company or other relevant commercial business.

Japan is a significant strategic partner for the UK and we regularly discuss a range of issues, including nuclear energy. It would not be appropriate to comment on the detail of these discussions.

The sites at Wylfa and Oldbury are owned by Horizon Nuclear Power and the future ownership of it and its assets is a matter for Hitachi, its parent company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Positioning, Navigation and Timing Strategy Group led by the Deputy National Security Adviser has produced a strategy; and if so, (1) when the strategy will be published, and (2) who will be responsible for the implementation of the strategy.

The UK PNT Strategy Group is in the process of developing a national PNT Strategy. Publication and an SRO for implementation are subject to a wider governance review being led by the current Senior Responsible Officer.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the governance arrangements for sharing Positioning, Navigation and Timing data in the UK; and what assessment they have made of the need for an organisation that would promote the benefits of the Global Navigation Satellite System in a similar way to the Civil Global Positioning Service Interface Committee in the United States.

The Deputy National Security Advisor is currently the Senior Responsible Officer for PNT. Future governance arrangements for the development of resilient PNT arrangements for UK users, including the promotion of GNSS and other PNT sources are the subject of a cross-Whitehall review being undertaken by the Cabinet Office.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the distinction between commercial and military offshore unexploded ordnance disposal by deflagration, and (2) the effectiveness of deflagration in the offshore disposal of unexploded ordnance.

The Government recognise the potential for significant impact of underwater noise from unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance on vulnerable marine species and is taking active steps to manage and reduce the risk. Two phases of a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funded project to characterise and contrast the acoustic fields generated by UXO clearance using high order detonation and using low-order deflagration have been completed and reported on.

It is our understanding that there is no appreciable distinction between the deflagration technique used by commercial and military clearance of marine UXO.

A third phase has now been initiated to further improve the information base, allowing further assessment of the clearance options. A potential 4th phase of the work involving offshore field work is also being actively explored in which comparative noise measurements would be made during actual UXO clearance campaigns using both deflagration and high order detonations. This would require cooperation and active support from industry (windfarm developers) and the regulatory authorities.

The outcomes from the 3rd and 4th phases would allow an informed discussion and consideration of the adequacy of evidence by regulatory authorities and the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the closure of the Barnoldswick Rolls-Royce factory.

Rolls-Royce has not proposed the closure of the Rolls-Royce factory at Barnoldswick. The company is undergoing a global restructuring and footprint review; they announced in August that they would be reducing manufacturing activity across the company’s sites globally, including in Barnoldswick. Rolls-Royce also announced that they will retain key capabilities in Barnoldswick, including a fan blade product development and technical centre.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish a new cross-departmental National Space Strategy.

The UK’s space sector can strengthen our national capabilities, create high-skilled jobs and drive future economic growth across the UK. In order to support this, the Queen’s Speech on 19 December set out the Government’s intent to establish a new National Space Council and launch a comprehensive UK Space Strategy. The Council will consider its strategy in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how governance of the UK’s equity investment in OneWeb will be structured to maintain the competitive market and level playing field for all UK satellite operators.

The Government is mindful of its responsibility to the?Space sector. The commercial operation of?OneWeb will be kept separate from?the Government’s duties to ensure the transparent and effective operation of markets.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the current generation of OneWeb satellites are solely for communications services; and what plans they have for a second generation of satellites capable of providing secure positioning data.

The current generation of?OneWeb?satellites deliver?satellite communications services. We are currently assessing the wider use of their capabilities.

Dedicated work is ongoing across Government to determine the UK’s positioning, navigation and timing requirements and assess options for meeting them.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to expand the Hydrogen Advisory Council as part of the formation of a wider UK hydrogen strategy.

We are committed to developing hydrogen as a decarbonised energy carrier and are developing our strategic approach to growing the UK hydrogen economy.?In order to support this, we established?the?Hydrogen Advisory Council, which first met on 20th July 2020. The Council will enable Government to work in?partnership with Industry to ensure the UK is at the forefront of low carbon hydrogen production and supply, which will have a key role to play in supporting clean growth and tackling climate change.

The Council will initially focus on actions to enable the scale up of hydrogen production, and its membership reflects this. The Council will oversee a range of workstreams in support of its objectives.?If deemed appropriate, some of the workstreams may be delivered by working groups, membership of which may come from the organisations represented on the Council and/or more widely according to need.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to utilise OneWeb in their future defence and commercial strategies; and how many jobs they estimate will result from their investment in OneWeb in the UK.

OneWeb and its capabilities will be considered as part of the Space Strategy under the direction of the National Space Council. As the?OneWeb?offering matures, we will monitor its utility to critical national infrastructure,?as we do with a variety of capabilities and providers.

The agreement we have secured with Bharti?secures 70 existing UK jobs in?OneWeb,?and?we?will be looking to?expand the company and its supply chain in the UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Callanan on 8 July (HL Deb, col 1119), how long they estimate it will take OneWeb to provide the UK with sovereign-controlled satellite capabilities.

We are working with the company and our partners, and the capability will be available once the constellation reaches minimum viable service.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate the development consent order for the proposed nuclear power station at Wylfa Newydd will be approved.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State is considering the Examining Authority’s Recommendation Report regarding development consent for the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station. This Report is being reviewed alongside the further information received following the Government’s post-examination consultation on the application. The deadline for the Secretary of State’s decision is 30 September 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with ACU Strategic Partners about the future construction of nuclear power stations.

The Government engages in discussions with numerous companies in the nuclear sector. I am unable to comment on any specific discussions due to commercial sensitivities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate the construction of Sizewell C nuclear power station will begin; and what funding model will be used for that construction.

It is for individual developers to consider milestones, such as estimates of when construction will commence. Any funding model would be agreed as part of a negotiation, should the Government enter into one.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the speech by the Prime Minister on 24 July 2019, what steps they have taken to establish a UK satellite navigation system.

The UK’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Programme is currently in its Engineering, Design and Development Phase to research and understand what would best suit the UK’s positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) requirements. The Programme is taking the appropriate time to investigate the requirements, design specifications and costs as fully as possible. This includes assessing value for money, scope for innovation, new markets and how much a system could meet the UKs assured PNT requirements.

We recently proceeded with a number of technical contracts from April to September to deliver key engineering work whilst protecting skills and technical GNSS sector jobs. We are now considering workstreams past September in addition to looking at wider PNT requirements, bringing together expertise from across Whitehall, industry and the PNT community to consider the requirements across military, civil and Critical National Infrastructure sectors.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the feasibility study carried out by the UK Space Agency concluded that it was feasible for the UK to establish its own satellite navigation system.

The UK’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is still undergoing the Engineering Design and Development Phase which will determine the requirements for delivering the capability, looking at cost, design specifications, scope for innovation and potential for new markets.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what part, if any, the UK is playing in the EU’s Galileo satellite system.

During the implementation period, UK companies and other UK entities can continue to take part in the EU’s space programmes, except in the security-related sensitive aspects of Galileo where UK participation has been excluded by the European Commission since January 2018. UK companies continue to deliver contracts for the EU’s space programmes, such as the construction of Galileo payloads by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL). The UK now does not have a level of access to Galileo that would enable us to assure the system and use it for purposes such as defence and security. As such, the UK will not seek to continue participation in the Galileo programme at the end of the implementation period.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the classified output from their proposed UK satellite navigation system would be shared with the Five Eyes intelligence community.

Five Eyes partners are aware of proposals for a UK Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). The Programme is currently in its Engineering, Design and Development Phase to research and understand what would best suit the UK’s positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) requirements. The services that a system would offer and their potential users are being determined as part of that work.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what classified output from the EU’s Galileo satellite system will be made available to the Five Eyes intelligence community.

It is possible under EU rules for third countries, including the Five Eyes intelligence community, to request access to the Galileo secure navigation signal, known as the Public Regulated Service (PRS), from the EU. The EU has excluded the UK from the security-related sensitive aspects of Galileo, including the PRS, since January 2018. This led to the UK stating that we do not intend to use the Galileo PRS for defence or security as we are unable to assure ourselves of the system because of this exclusion from the security-related elements.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 3 February (HL829), what was the peak electricity requirement in 2019; and how much they estimate it will be in 2032.

The peak electricity requirement for Great Britain in 2019 was estimated by National Grid in their Future Energy Scenarios to be 989 -1051 TWh/year and in 2032 it is estimated to be 755 – 1000 TWh/year. Actual peak demand for 2019 will be available at the end of February 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 3 February (HL829), whether they expect the UK to require less energy in 2032 than at present.

National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios (2019) estimate that GB is likely to require less energy in 2032 than at present. For 2019 the forecast energy requirement is estimated to be between 989 and 1051 TWh/year, in 2032 the amount of energy required falls to 755 – 1000 TWh/year. Actual peak demand for 2019 will be available at the end of February 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what level of low carbon produced electricity they expect to be required by 2050.

It is likely that electricity demand will grow significantly by 2050 as other sectors of the economy such as transport and heat are electrified, potentially doubling from today’s levels. In order to meet this increasing demand, whilst reducing emissions to low levels, there will need to be a substantial increase in low carbon generation – the Committee on Climate Change estimate a four-fold increase may be needed.

The forthcoming Energy White Paper will address the transformation of our energy system in the context of delivering net-zero by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they expect the requisite level of low carbon electricity will be produced in 2050.

The generation mix in 2050 will be affected by the approach to decarbonisation in other sectors, technology costs, the emergence of new technologies and the flexibility of the electricity system. It is not for government to prescribe the proportion of generation that will come from any specific technology in 2050; rather the role of government is to enable the market to deliver the levels of deployment required whilst minimising both emissions and systems costs.

The Energy White Paper will address the transformation of our energy system in the context of delivering net-zero by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what method produces the greatest quantity of low carbon electricity in the UK at present.

UK electricity generation data are published by the department in Energy Trends tables 5.1 and 6.1. Wind produced the most low carbon electricity in the latest published 12 month period, from October 2018 to September 2019.

Provisional figures for 2019 will be published in Energy Trends on Thursday 26th March.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much power can currently be supplied to the UK National Grid by nuclear power stations; and what percentage of the total power available to the National Grid that represents.

In 2018, nuclear power stations provided 9.3 GW of installed capacity to the GB electricity system, equating to 9.2%. They also provided 65 TWh of electricity which is 20.1% of the electricity generated in Great Britain and 19.5% of the electricity generated in the UK.

Currently, 7.2 GW of the installed nuclear capacity is generating power for the grid.

27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the current peak energy requirements of the UK; and what such requirements are predicted to be in 2032.

National Grid has estimated energy demand for four different future scenarios in the latest version of the future energy scenarios 2019, these are presented in Figure 4.1 on pages 46 and 47. Current (2020) estimated peak annual energy requirements for Great Britain range from 900 to 1,100TWh, depending on the scenario. The same scenarios are used to predict total annual energy requirements for 2032 of between 700 and 1,000TWh.

4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the governments of other countries regarding the resilience of the UK's subsea cables.

By their nature, sub-sea telecommunications cables are international. The Government engages with international partners and organisations on a wide range of cable issues to inform our national arrangements and to ensure the effective operation of the global telecommunications network.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the resilience of subsea cables will be considered in the new National Resilience Strategy; whether they plan to designate subsea cables as critical national infrastructure; and if not, what steps they are taking to increase the resilience of the UK's subsea cables.

Due to their sensitivity, the Government does not comment on assets, facilities, systems, networks or processes that are classified as Critical National Infrastructure. However, the Government takes the security and resilience of sub-sea cables very seriously and work is ongoing to take these considerations into account throughout the development of a National Resilience Strategy, as set out in the Integrated Review published earlier this year.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for sub-sea telecommunications cables and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for sub-sea energy cables. Both departments consider, on a case-by-case basis, assets considered critical infrastructure, including sub-sea infrastructure. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure there are appropriate resilience and mitigation measures in place.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) Australian, and (2) Canadian, subsea cable maintenance regimes.

The Government maintains an interest in subsea cable operating regimes to inform our national arrangements.

By their nature, subsea telecommunications cables are international, and the UK engages with international partners on a range of issues pertaining to cables, including environmental, fishing, trade and regulatory aspects.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made as to whether  Global Marine Group is the only UK-based company that (1) lays, and (2) maintains, communications cables; and what discussions, if any, they have had with the firm about this capability.

Cable laying and operation is a global enterprise which includes UK-based companies. The Government has regular contact with the industry including Global Marine Group. The government understands that the US-owned Global Marine Group is the only UK-based company that can both lay and maintain subsea telecommunications cables.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with organisations responsible for repairing critical subsea cable infrastructure.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK supply chain for submarine cable maintenance; and what steps they are taking to protect that supply chain.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a requirement for a sovereign capability to repair and maintain undersea cables in UK waters; and how many UK companies are able to conduct such operations.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing mandatory UK sovereign repair coverage 24/7, 365 days a year, to protect critical subsea cable infrastructure.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which organisations have responsibility for the maintenance of subsea cables into the UK; and what steps they have taken to ensure that such services are available in a time of crisis.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk to subsea communication and energy cables, and the likely impact on the UK economy, of a disruption to subsea cable infrastructure.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which department is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of subsea communication and energy cables.

The government takes the security and resilience of cables very seriously and we focus on the full range of threats and risks, including supply chain and repair arrangements. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables.

Subsea cables are privately owned and operated. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities (such as installation and repair), are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents. We keep these capabilities and the regulatory framework under review and engage with industry as part of this.

Information on cable repairs is not held but departments regularly engage with industry to keep informed.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the significance of BBC Monitoring to (1) UK, and (2) global, security will be a factor when they make decisions about the future funding level of the licence fee at the next spending review.

The BBC is responsible for the funding, staffing and administration of Monitoring, which is provided under a specific agreement between the BBC and government. The monitoring service is funded through the licence fee and there are no plans to change this arrangement.

It is the Licence Fee Settlement, not the spending review, which will determine the BBC’s public funding for at least 5 years from April 2022. On 10 November the government announced the formal opening of the process and subsequently the Secretary of State has received evidence from the BBC about its financial needs.

Negotiations for the 2022 Licence Fee Settlement are ongoing and the Secretary of State will update the house in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are planning any legislation to ensure that laws relating to cyber-insecure products are aligned with product safety laws; and what steps they are taking to (1) warn customers about cyber-insecure products, or (2) remove cyber-insecure products from circulation.

As announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill will make sure all consumer connected products sold in the UK, adhere to minimum cyber security standards. This legislation will align with existing product safety laws.

The government has published advice on how to use smart devices safely in the home (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/smart-devices-in-the-home) and has regularly highlighted the issue of insecure devices, for example with the National Cyber Security Centre's guidance on how to secure internet-connected cameras in the home. In addition, the Cyber Aware campaign offers consumers advice on how to keep their devices secure.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their commitment in The Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto 2019, published on 24 November 2019, to invest "£500 million in youth services for young people", what plans they have to make this investment; and why this investment did not appear in the Spending Review 2020, published on 25 November.

The Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review,, £30m of this was committed as capital investment for 2021-22. This will provide an important additional investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support from youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any department monitors loss of wild plant, insect and animal life, such as butterflies, and if so, who; and what steps they have taken to ensure maintenance of biodiversity.

Defra uses a number of indicators to track changes in the abundance and distribution of species. A summary of these indicators is available in the England Biodiversity Indicators publication available at GOV.UK. The indicators include data from a number of different species monitoring schemes, which are carried out by a range of organisations including Defra and its arm’s length bodies, research institutes, non-governmental organisations and private individuals (often as part of citizen science initiatives)


In England we have set four legally binding targets for biodiversity:

- By 2030: to half the decline in species abundance

- By 2042: to reverse declines; to reduce the risk of species extinction; and restore or create more than 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat.

These targets will drive actions to support biodiversity in Hertfordshire and every other county across England. We have set out our plan to deliver on these ambitious targets, along with our other environmental targets, in the Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23) published on 31 January 2023. The EIP23 revises the 25-Year Environment Plan as part of our obligations under the Environment Act. Included, we link the different objectives, plans and mechanisms for recovering nature.


Progress towards the species abundance targets will be measured using an indicator that tracks changes in the relative abundance of widespread and priority species that are characteristic of different broad habitats in England. The indicator will include abundance data for 1,195 species, including mammals, birds, fish, plants, butterflies, moths, and other invertebrates.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to banning super trawlers such as the FV Margiris from fishing in UK waters.

We are considering our policies for large pelagic trawlers, commonly known as supertrawlers, working to develop more robust management of the non-quota species which these vessels are targeting alongside quota stocks. Any action needs to be evidence-based and in line with the UK/EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) continues to monitor fishing activity in English waters – with dedicated enforcement and surveillance work to protect fisheries, including offshore patrol vessels for at-sea surveillance.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 1 July (HL1216), what is the breakdown by type and ownership of the "15 vessels from the Royal Navy Overseas Patrol Squadron and Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities".

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) can call upon the Royal Navy Overseas Patrol Squadron who have three batch 1 Patrol Vessels (HMS Tyne, HMS Severn and HMS Mersey) available for fishery protection duties. In addition, patrol vessels under the Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) provide coverage around England’s coast. The IFCAs operate a range of craft which the MMO can call upon to assist with fulfilling its at-sea duties of: boarding vessels and inspections, intelligence gathering and the issuing of directions to vessels. The vessels range from small Rigid Inflatable type boats suitable for estuarine and close inshore through to more substantial craft more able to work ‘near’ offshore waters. The table details the IFCA vessels currently able to be called upon.

IFCA

Vessel Name

Location

Type of Vessel

North Western

North West Protector

Whitehaven

FPV

North Western

Protector Charlies

Whitehaven

RIB

North Western

Protector Bravo

Whitehaven

RIB

North Western

Bay Protector

Liverpool

RIB

North Western

Protector Gamma

Barrow

RIB

North Western

Zodiac Bravo

Carnforth

RIB

Northumberland

St Aidan

North Shields

FPV

Northumberland

Robert Arckless MBE

Amble

RIB

North Eastern

NE Guardian III

Whitby

FPV

North Eastern

Bravo 1

Whitby

RIB

North Eastern

Protector III

Whitby

RIB

Eastern

Sebastian Terelinck

Sutton Bridge

FPV

Eastern

Three Counties

Sutton Bridge

Survey Vessel

Eastern

John Allen

Wisbech

FPV

Eastern

Sea Spray

Levington

RIB

Kent and Essex

Nerrisa

Ramsgate

FPV

Kent and Essex

Tamesis

Brightlingsea

FPV

Kent and Essex

FPV Vigilant

Brightlingsea

RIB

Sussex

Watchful

Shoreham

FPV

Sussex

Merlin

Shoreham

RIB

Southern

Stella Barbera

Southampton

RIB

Southern

Protector

Portland

RIB

Southern

Endeavour

Poole

RIB

Devon and Severn

David Rowe

Brixham

RIB

Devon and Severn

Enforcer

Brixham

RIB

Cornwall

St Piran

Newlyn

FPV

Cornwall

Lyonesse

Newlyn

RIB

Cornwall

Avalon

Newlyn

RIB

Cornwall

Tiger Lily

Newlyn

Survey Vessel

Isles of Scilly

Vigilant

St Mary’s Bay

RIB

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many ships are used by (1) the Marine Management Organisation, and (2) Marine Scotland, to enforce fishery rules in United Kingdom waters, broken down by type of vessel.

Fisheries protection is a devolved matter. Nonetheless, Defra, the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive continue to work together to share information and ensure a coordinated approach to monitoring, compliance and enforcement across UK waters. In England, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has significantly increased its maritime surveillance assets dedicated to fisheries protection. This includes two offshore MMO patrol vessels for at-sea surveillance, supplemented by up to 15 vessels from the Royal Navy Overseas Patrol Squadron and Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authorities.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons for the decline in fish populations, in particular eels, in UK rivers.

Freshwater fisheries and aquaculture policy are devolved in the UK.

In England, the status of fish populations, and reasons for any declines, are assessed through an extensive monitoring programme covering a wide range of species, undertaken by the Environment Agency.

The reasons for the eel's decline are complex and not fully understood but human impacts and oceanic factors are assumed to have major impacts on the stock. These factors will likely affect local production differently throughout the eel's continental range. Human factors may include fisheries (legal and illegal), habitat loss and blockage to migratory pathways, mortalities at hydropower turbines and water pumps, contaminants, non-natives and various climate change factors.

The state of the European eel stock across the UK and the level of man-made impacts are assessed every three years, with a UK report prepared and reported to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) for international assessment of this stock. The next report for 2018-2020 is expected later this year.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to encourage consumption of British shellfish in (1) hospitals, (2) schools, and (3) other public institutions.

The Government will always champion greater consumption of our excellent British food and drink, including seafood, within public sector settings. The Government's public sector food procurement mandatory and best practice guidance, including the Balanced Scorecard and Government Buying Standards for Food (GBSF), encourages the procurement of UK seasonal and locally produced food.

Defra will be consulting on a refreshed version of the GBSF this summer. We will be seeking views on how the standards could be used to promote even greater uptake of locally produced food by public procurers and their suppliers.

Defra is also working closely with the Crown Commercial Service to develop the Future Food Framework which will create significant new opportunities for small businesses to contribute to regional public sector bodies. The trial will include a focus on local fisheries as one of the key food categories. The pilot is due to launch in the South West in 2022 with a national rollout planned for 2023.

Defra is also partnering with Seafish (the public body that supports the UK seafood industry) to encourage greater domestic consumption of seafood, to support and enhance our domestic fishing industry. The Love Seafood campaign will run throughout this spring and will promote the wide range of fish and shellfish caught in UK waters.

8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the size of the UK Fishery Protection Squadron fleet that will be needed in the event that a trade agreement is not reached with the EU by 31 December.

Defra and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) are prepared to respond to the challenges of controlling fisheries in English waters at the end of the transition period. The MMO is ready to deploy its assets, personnel and enforcement plan. As this is a devolved policy area, Defra and the MMO are working closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure there is a consistent and robust UK-wide approach.

In England, the MMO has assessed, and continues to assess, the number of maritime surveillance assets dedicated to fisheries protection in preparation for the end of the transition period. Current provision includes two MMO offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and two OPVs from the Royal Navy Overseas Patrol Squadron, with a further two Royal Navy OPVs available for surge capacity if required. This strong presence will deter against fisheries infringements, while also enabling our agencies to take robust action where they may occur. The MMO is extensively testing its end of transition period operational approach based on a range of potential scenarios, working closely with the Ministry of Defence, Department for Transport and Home Office as well as the Devolved Administrations, to ensure a comprehensive approach to maritime security.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) possible sites in the United Kingdom for the dismantling of ships and the disposal of any hazardous materials that they might contain, and (2) the potential global demand for, and value of, such operations.

Defra conducted an assessment of UK ship recycling facilities in 2015 as part of the preparation of a public consultation on the UK’s implementation of European Union Regulation 1257/2013 on ship recycling. Defra wrote to all of the UK ship recycling facilities that held valid permits and approvals required under existing legislation to undertake ship recycling activities in the UK at that time to make them aware of the new EU Ship Recycling Regulation and to discuss compliance with its requirements. A total of 18 suitably authorised facilities were identified.

Defra has made no assessment of the global demand for, and value of, ship recycling facilities. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a report on ship recycling in April 2019 which includes an assessment of the global market for ship recycling. It is available on the OECD iLibrary website (www.oecd-ilibrary.org).

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether overseas territories which are eligible for Official Development Assistance will be able to apply for large-scale project funding that is equivalent to that provided through Darwin Plus.

Those UK Overseas Territories that are Official Development Assistance eligible are now able to apply for funding via the main Darwin Initiative programme, rather than through the Darwin Plus scheme.

4th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the National Maritime Information Centre shares all intelligence data with the government departments and agencies involved.

The National Maritime Information Centre (NMIC) is an integral part of the Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC) and not a separate entity. The JMSC is responsible for providing Maritime Domain Awareness and Understanding to all of government and UK law enforcement: this is underpinned by the Royal Navy’s Maritime Domain Awareness Programme which provides the essential data layer to JMSC.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 19 July (HL9306), what assessment they have made of whether the ships of the Russian Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research are responsible for surveys and operations involving seabed infrastructure.

As a matter of long-standing policy, the Government does not comment on the specific detail of classified intelligence matters.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 10 July (HL8794), whether the National Maritime Information Centre records incursions into the UK's territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zone by ships of the Russian Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research; and if so, how many have been made during the past two years.

The National Maritime Information Centre is a part of the Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC). JMSC does not routinely record and archive the number of entries by foreign vessels into the UK's Exclusive Economic Zone. The number of instances JMSC utilises aviation assets to identify specific Vessels of Interest is, however, recorded. In the last two years, JMSC has flown 21 flights to identify 18 Russian vessels.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Joint Maritime Security Centre and National Maritime Information Centre are up to complement; and who has operational command.

JMSC is jointly sponsored by the Home Office and Department for Transport, with support in kind provided by the Ministry of Defence. It is led by the Head of JMSC, currently James Morgan, a Border Force officer. Border Force exercises management responsibility over the JMSC on behalf of the Sponsoring Departments. It is expected to reach full complement later this year.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many (1) ships or craft, and (2) aircraft, are allocated by each department for security and enforcement operations in the UK's Territorial Seas and Exclusive Economic Zone.

There are more than 100 surface vessels and 10 crewed aircraft available in the HMG inventory to deliver maritime security. The Government does not confirm exact numbers for operational and security reasons. The number available on any given day is based on operational readiness profiles; for example, requirements for maintenance and training, and use for wider operational tasking. The Joint Maritime Security Centre maintains a record of the HMG inventory, which is regularly reviewed and updated.

In delivering maritime security in the UK Marine Area, the UK operates a layered approach to coastal and maritime defence, including on-shore resources, intelligence and surveillance capabilities, to detect those seeking either to smuggle illicit goods or to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2023
To ask Her Majesty's Government, other than the Ministry of Defence, which departments monitor shipping, potential illegal imports by sea, and other sea-based threats.

The Department for Transport is responsible for policy and compliance relating to the security of UK shipping and ports, in line with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. Many departments play a role in wider maritime security activity, including the monitoring of potential illegal imports by sea and other sea-based threats.

The National Strategy for Maritime Security, published in August 2022 by the Secretaries of State for the Department for Transport, Home Department, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Ministry of Defence and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, sets out the full spectrum of responsible departments, agencies and other organisations.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 21 March (HL6375), whether the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service is on a par with the fire service, ambulance service and police meritorious service medals in the Order of Wear; and if not, why.

The Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service is placed in the category of Efficiency and Long Service Decorations and Medals. It is set out in the Royal Warrant that “in the official list showing the order in which Orders, Decorations and Medals shall be worn, The Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service shall be placed immediately after the Jersey Honorary Police Medal for Long and Meritorious Service”.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which Government department maintains an up-to-date list of all UK merchant seafarers, officers and ratings.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency holds data on the number of Officers and Ratings who hold UK seafarers’ certificates and recognised qualifications.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many merchant ships over 3000 tons by category are UK registered; how many merchant ships over 3000 tons by category are owned by UK companies but not UK flagged; and whether an up-to-date list is maintained by the Ministry of Defence or another Government department.

Currently, there are 249 UK Flagged vessels over 3000 Gross Tons (GT).

There are currently 660 Internationally trading UK owned vessels over 3000 GT operating under a different flag to the UK.

A list does not exist outside of the Maritime Coastguard Agency in any other Government Department in relation to these figures.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there has been any change to the inclusion of the Merchant Navy Meritorious Service medal with the ambulance service, fire service and police meritorious service medals in order of wear; if so, why this change was made; and whether the Princess Royal was informed of this change.

Government has not made any changes to the status of the Order of Wear since it was instituted as a State Award in 2015. Any changes to the Order of Wear, which is set in the Royal Warrant, would have to be agreed and implemented by the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have made any contingency plans to divert shipping to alternative ports should major ports in Europe be made unusable for whatever reason.

The ports and shipping sector is a flexible, dynamic and commercial sector that will take operational decisions on diversion and re-routeing of vessels in the event of disruption. Such decisions will be made with regard to the capability and capacity of vessels and of alternative ports, and to other factors such as delay, cost or convenience for the users of their services. This flexibility has been demonstrated repeatedly over the last few years throughout the pandemic and other occurrences, for example regular diversion of vessels, or changed service plans, to avoid container freight congestion at European ports, delays from industrial action, or weather conditions.

Some shipping routes, potentially with bespoke infrastructure and vessels, are less flexible in nature, but the competitive UK ports and shipping sector offers a varied choice of routes for freight and passengers. On this basis, the Government does not ordinarily plan to intervene in the operational and commercial decision-making of shippers, port, or ship-operators.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what powers they have to requisition UK-owned but not UK-flagged merchant ships.

There is a prerogative power to requisition in times of war or acute national emergency any merchant ship within United Kingdom jurisdiction. The powers apply only to British ships whether or not they are within the United Kingdom jurisdiction. The powers do not apply to British owned ships not registered on the British flag.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether (1) Masters of UK flagged ships, and (2) Masters of UK owned but not UK flagged ships, are required to hold the latest Naval Control of Shipping documents.

There is no requirement for a Master of a UK flagged ship or UK owned, but not UK flagged ship, to hold the latest “Naval Control of Shipping documents”.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the M20 three lane carriageway speed limit will be raised from 50 miles per hour given the suspension of Operation Brock and the removal of motorway barriers; and if not, why not.

The moveable barrier remains in place on the London-bound carriageway to allow contractors to resume improvement works that were in place prior to Operation Brock being needed. Both the London-bound and coast-bound carriageways of the M20 continue to operate with two lanes at a 50mph speed limit. Lane three of the coast-bound carriageway is closed until November 2022 to protect the workforce carrying out the works in the central reservation.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to prevent the Harbour Revision Order being used by AB Ports and DP World to fast track planning and control of the Southampton port area without formal consultation.

Harbour Revision Orders (HROS) are devolved to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which handles all aspects of the process, except for their final laying in Parliament. All HROS must include a formal consultation process which is overseen by the MMO, and the department is a statutory consultee on all HROS, along with other relevant bodies. These procedures for handling HROs, alongside legal checks and normal policy checks prevent HROS being used a fast-track process, as it is noted by the MMO that HROS commonly take at least a year to process.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 31 January (HL5653), whether there is no comparability between the Jubilee Medal and the Merchant Navy Medal for meritorious service.

The Platinum Jubilee Medal is a one-off commemorative medal awarded to all eligible public servants who are serving front-line members of the police, fire, emergency services, prison services and the Armed Forces. The Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service is a state award for those who have served in the Merchant Navy and fishing fleets of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the British overseas territories. It is awarded to those who have shown devotion to duty and exemplary service which has been of particular value and an outstanding example to others. It is awarded annually and limited to a maximum of twenty medals per year.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the lifeboat accident on the research ship Sir David Attenborough, whether they plan to review legislation relating to (1) hook release problems, and (2) wire and brake failures, leading to difficulties of recovering free-fall life boats once they have been launched onto the water.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is currently investigating this incident. Their world-class inspectors will uncover its causes and make recommendations to prevent reoccurrence. The Government will consider its response once the investigation is complete.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether members of the Merchant Navy other than those in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary service will be eligible for the Platinum Jubilee Medal.

Platinum Jubilee Medal will be awarded to serving frontline members of the police, fire, emergency services, prison services and Armed Forces with five years’ service. Those in the Merchant Navy, apart from eligible members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, are not eligible. The Merchant Navy and fishing fleets will of course continue to be recognised through the Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service state award.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the letter from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport to the Chair of the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee on 1 March 2018, whether the UK is now fully compliant with its maritime international convention obligations; and if not, how many of the 381 amendments to UK law are outstanding.

Her Majesty’s Government recently confirmed to the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, that any outstanding obligations arising from amendments to international maritime conventions, will be implemented into UK law in 13 Statutory Instruments; all of these will be made by early 2023. Since that commitment was made in October, one more Statutory Instrument has entered into force, leaving 12 outstanding.

A total of 381 amendments to the international conventions were identified as outstanding in 2017. Since then, the Her Majesty’s Government has completed 45 maritime legislative packages. We are confident that completion of the remaining 12 Statutory Instruments by early 2023 will fully implement all of the outstanding amendments.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the extent to which the UK's maritime legislation relies on other countries implementing international convention on marine safety, and (2) whether a failure to transpose international convention requirements into domestic law has inhibited the enforcement of marine safety in UK waters.

The UK does not rely on enforcement of maritime legislation by other countries. In a case of non-compliance with an international convention requirement that has not yet been implemented into domestic law, the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 provides other means of enforcement if the breach of the convention requirement comprises a safety risk.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) may detain a ship, under section 95 of the above Act, if it is considered to be dangerously unsafe, or it is undermanned, under section 49. Non-compliance with a detention notice is an offence under section 284.

Where an owner of a ship fails to take all reasonable steps to operate the ship in a safe manner, a prosecution may be brought under section 100; where the owner and master operate a dangerously unsafe ship, under section 98; and for undermanning, under section 49. In addition, anyone going to sea as a qualified officer or seaman where they are not so qualified, is also guilty of an offence, under section 52. These provisions are regularly relied on by the MCA.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the new national strategy for maritime security.

Following the publication of the first UK National Strategy for Maritime Security in 2014, the cross-government process to refresh the National Strategy for Maritime Security is underway and is being led by the Department for Transport.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many vessels by (1) size, and (2) type, are operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Maritime and Coastguard operates one tug, the IVEOLI BLACK, which is 70 metres in length at 2,283 gross tonnage. In addition, they have two training vessels, the MCA HUNTER at 14 metres and the MCA HAWK at 9.75 metres.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to UK ports to develop their shore power facilities.

Shore power has a role to play in immediately reducing emissions from vessels visiting ports. Shore-side low and zero carbon fuelling, including bunkering of such fuels, are in scope of the £20m Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which will fund feasibility studies and initial technology trials, to support the transition to zero emission shipping and cleaner, greener ports. As set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, published on 14 July, we will consult in winter 2021 on how Government can support the wider deployment of shore power, including consideration of regulatory interventions, for both vessels and ports, that could drive deployment as we transition to a net zero world, and bring forward appropriate measures.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the expected final (1) completion date, and (2) cost, of Crossrail; and what lessons are there, if any, for the HS2 project.

Crossrail comes under the remit of the Mayor of London.

In August 2020, Crossrail Limited announced that the central section of the railway will open in the first half of 2022. Following the opening of the central section, full services across the Elizabeth line from Reading and Heathrow in the west and between Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east, will be introduced.

Crossrail Ltd.’s overall cost forecast of completing the programme is up to £18.9 billion. This includes Network Rail On-Network Costs for the surface works but excludes the new trains and depot.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to conduct a review to ensure adequate monitoring and protection of the UK’s exclusive economic zone, territorial seas and coastline.

The monitoring and protection of UK waters is a priority for maritime security leads across Whitehall including the Ministry of Defence, Home Office and the Department. As part of this joined up, multilayered approach, the Joint Maritime Security Centre (JMSC) monitors UK waters using a range of maritime domain awareness technology such as sensors, radar and aerial surveillance. This capability, as well as the level of data and awareness it provides, is reviewed regularly by officials and Ministers.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a contingency plan in place for British Ship Owners in the event of war or disaster causing the total loss of communications with British merchant shipping.

The Department for Transport routinely assesses and monitors the risks posed to British-flagged shipping worldwide, using intelligence assessments and reporting from a range of HMG partners. Guidance and advice is updated and shared with industry on a regular basis; emergent risks and associated advice are distributed through a resilient communications system.

In the event of war or disaster, causing the total loss of communications with British-flagged vessels, appropriate contingency plans and proven structures are in place to ensure ship owners have access to the required guidance and full range of support available from HMG.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to contribute to accelerating the decarbonisation of the maritime industry; and whether they expect to contribute to this initiative through (1) the UK Infrastructure Bank, or (2) alternative means.

To support the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, Government is investing £20 million in a Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition. This competition will support the UK design and development of clean maritime technologies as part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. Launched on 22 March 2021, this programme builds on the vision set out in the Department’s Clean Maritime Plan and underlines our commitment to addressing emissions from this sector. Further plans for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector will be set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which will be published this spring.

The UK Infrastructure Bank’s core objectives are to help tackle climate change, particularly meeting our net zero emissions target by 2050, and to support regional and local economic growth through better connectedness, opportunities for new jobs and higher levels of productivity. The Bank will be operationally independent and will invest to meet these objectives.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 12 March (HL Deb, col 1977), what steps they are taking to contribute to decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

For a greener maritime sector, Government is investing £20 million into a Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, to support the UK design and development of clean maritime technologies. This programme builds on the vision set out in the Department’s Clean Maritime Plan and underlines our commitment to addressing emissions from this sector.

Further plans for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector will be set out in the forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 23 February (HL13331), whether there are any high frequency coast stations in the UK.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency operates Very High Frequency (VHF) and Medium Frequency (MF) coast stations, in line with our declared commitments for the provision of maritime safety and search and rescue services in the United Kingdom’s Search & Rescue Region.

There are no declared High Frequency (HF) coast stations in the UK, other than access to specific HF frequencies via the Ministry of Defence network for aeronautical rescue.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have identified a clear timeline for allowing the cruise industry to restart.

The Prime Minister set out the Roadmap out of lockdown on 22 February which will take place over four steps. The Roadmap includes plans for a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce, which will consider a safe and sustainable return to international travel.

The timelines for international cruise restart will be determined through the Taskforce, which will report on 12 April. The report’s recommendations will be aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as is possible, while still managing risk from imported cases and variants of concern. Following that, the Government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May.

We will seek to align domestic cruises with the resumption of wider domestic tourism and indoor hospitality.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 5 February (HL12745), whether, in the event of the failure of satellite-based and radio-based navigation provisions, ships’ officers should use navigation methods that were in place before the introduction of those provisions.

Merchant ships’ navigation officers, under part of their certificates of competency, are provided practical training both ashore and on board to detect and adequately respond to failures of satellite-based and radio-based navigation systems. These responses already include reverting to use of navigation methods other than the satellite and radio-based navigation provisions.

In addition, merchant ships’ navigation watchkeeping procedures contain explicit instructions to routinely employ alternative navigations systems - such as radar for harbour and coastal waters, and celestial navigation for oceans – so as to not rely solely on the satellite and radio-based navigation provisions.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 10 December 2020 (HL10934), what assessment they have made of whether UK ocean-going merchant ships will be able to use the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) in the event of the failure of satellite-based communications, and whether those ships will be able to use the GMDSS to communicate in the event that commercial coast stations are closed.

UK-registered ocean-going merchant ships operate under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention which contains common rules for radio equipment installations. The International Maritime Organization’s view is that it is important to maintain medium frequency (MF)/ high frequency (HF) communication systems in case of failure of satellite systems.

The UK relies on the IMO’s assessment of the availability of maritime HF communications in its ongoing review and modernisation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). The availability of coast stations for general communications is considered adequate.

Should a coast station close, nation State search and rescue services will continue to respond to HF GMDSS Distress, Urgency and Safety radio traffic. Should the IMO consider the provision of service through HF GMDSS coast stations to be a concern and that could only be addressed at the international level, then it would take action.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 15 January (HL11793), what assessment they have made of the resilience of UK merchant ships’ ability to receive position, navigation and timing data in the event of a failure of satellite provision.

Merchant ships’ navigation officers, under part of their certificates of competency, are provided adequate practical training both ashore and on board to detect and respond to failures of satellite-based position, navigation and timing provisions.

They are, therefore, equipped to employ alternate methods and equipment, such as visual and radar lines of positions, and celestial navigation techniques for the coastal and oceanic phases of ships’ voyages respectively.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 10 December 2020 (HL10934), what tests they have conducted with British merchant ships contacting UK maritime authorities using (1) High Frequency, or (2) Single Side Band, radio communications from the (a) North Atlantic, (b) South Atlantic, (c) Indian, and (d) Pacific, oceans since the closure of Portishead radio station.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has not conducted any specific testing of radiocommunications with UK merchant ships.

Under the Safety of Life At Sea Convention, it is the responsibility of operators of merchant ships to ensure that those ships carry communications equipment that is consistent with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which provides an internationally operated maritime communications service.

UK-registered and regulated ships must have radio installations capable of GMDSS communications to shore for their sea areas of operation. In ocean regions they may choose to have either High Frequency (HF) radio or satellite communications, and in polar regions HF is mandatory.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to remain a member of the EU–US Open Skies Agreement.

The EU-US Air Transport Agreement will cease to apply to the United Kingdom on 31 December 2020, after the end of the transition period. The UK and US have concluded negotiations on a new bilateral Air Transport Agreement, which will apply from that point and ensures the continuity of air services between our two countries.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States about remaining part of the EU–US Open Skies Agreement.

The EU-US Air Transport Agreement will cease to apply to the United Kingdom on 31 December 2020, after the end of the transition period. The UK and US have concluded negotiations on a new bilateral Air Transport Agreement, which will apply from that point and ensures the continuity of air services between our two countries.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of the package of measures to ensure freight capacity support announced by the Secretary of State for Transport on 24 April, consideration was given to building a new Penzance to Scilly Islands ferry to be used to ensure the ongoing supply of critical freight.

The package of measures announced on Friday 24 April provides support for the continuation of vital services to the Isles of Scilly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The building of a new vessel was not part of those considerations and would be a decision for the operators to take.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to building a new Penzance to Scilly Islands ferry at the Appledore shipyard.

The package of measures announced on Friday 24 April provides support for the continuation of vital services to the Isles of Scilly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The building of a new vessel was not part of those considerations and would be a decision for the operators to take.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the difference in carbon footprint of using a ship versus aircraft for travel to and from the Isles of Scilly.

No assessment has been made by the Government on the difference in carbon footprint of using a ship versus aircraft for travel to and from the Isles of Scilly.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the implications for the Isles of Scilly of no longer having a ferry.

A regular passenger service is provided commercially by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group during the summer season. The Scillonian III vessel is currently being prepared for the new season and is scheduled to resume service on 23 March 2020.

No assessment has been made by Government on the implication for the Isles of Scilly of the ferry service ceasing.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of exempting seafarers from the requirement for anyone travelling to the UK from a country on the travel ban list to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seamen and masters, maritime pilots and inspectors and surveyors of ships, where they have travelled to the United Kingdom in the course of their work and live in the UK, do not need to self-isolate. If they live overseas, they must self-isolate in their accommodation while in England, except while undertaking the exempt activity or travelling as part of their work. They are permitted to enter the UK and do not need to quarantine in a Government approved hotel, even if they have been in any country on the travel ban ‘red list’ in the previous 10 days. This is to reflect the critical role that seafarers play in ensuring the continued supply of goods in and out of the UK.

14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many GP surgeries in the Folkestone area are not delivering a full range of services; whether this is occurring in other parts of the country; and whether such surgeries not delivering a full range of services is puruant to any NHS strategy.

General practitioner (GP) practices in Kent and elsewhere across the country have been allowed to reduce delivery of some services as part of the health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some contractual requirements were suspended from March 2020 onwards to free up time in general practice, with GPs advised that they could defer some types of routine care, where needed. To reduce pressures on GPs we have simplified requirements for medical evidence and found alternative ways to provide information required for various services.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 13 May (HL3564) and Lord True on 1 June (HL4540), whether there is a record of total government spending on preparations to counter the risk of a pandemic.

The United Kingdom’s influenza pandemic preparedness is based on a ‘defence in depth’ strategy to minimise spread of infection and treat individual cases. In addition to plans to surge National Health Service provision, including critical care, the strategy involves measures to reduce the demand on those NHS services by reducing the risk of transmission and minimising serious illness, including through the stockpiling of personal protective equipment and antivirals.

As this strategy is multi-faceted and it involves many organisations and departments, including the NHS, it is not possible to identify a single source of expenditure that accurately represents our pandemic preparedness. Since 2016-17, NHS England’s funding has increased every year in real terms. NHS England’s mandate is £129.7 billion this year, reaching £137.5 billion in 2023-24.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures that were recommended following the Swine flu pandemic in 2009 relating to future pandemics were subsequently implemented in the UK.

The United Kingdom Government commissioned a publicly available, independent review of the 2009 pandemic response chaired by Dame Deirdre Hine, reflecting on what aspects of the response worked well and what would have had to change in the event of a more severe pandemic. The report of this review made 28 recommendations to the Government on how the response to a future influenza pandemic might be strengthened.

These recommendations, along with robust clinical, scientific and operational advice, were considered and reflected in The UK Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011. This Strategy sets out how the UK will treat individual cases of influenza and minimise the spread of infection in the event of a future pandemic.

7th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the situation between Venezuela and Guyana.

The UK is concerned by the recent steps taken by Venezuela with respect to the Essequibo region of Guyana. We consider the unilateral actions of Venezuela unjustified and have said they should cease. The UK is clear that the border was settled in 1899 through international arbitration.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Americas, Caribbean and Overseas Territories) visited Guyana on 18 December to show UK support for its territorial integrity.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the numbers of semiconductors from manufacturers such as Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Texas Instruments and others still reaching Russia despite the bans imposed after its invasion of Ukraine, and of the routes they have taken there.

The Government has prohibited the export from the UK to Russia of goods and technology, including semiconductors, that are critical to Russia's military-industrial complex.

The Government recognises that Russia is circumventing sanctions measures, including smuggling goods through back channels to restock supplies. We are working with partners, including the US and EU, to tackle routes that Russia is potentially using to circumvent our sanctions.

On 20 April the Government laid further legislation containing a new package of trade measures, including export prohibitions on items Russia has been found using on the battlefield to date.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government at what level discussions by the Partners in the Blue Pacific in Washington on 23 June were held; and whether the EU were present at that meeting as observers.

The governments of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States dispatched high-level officials to Washington, D.C. on June 23 and 24 for consultations with the Pacific Heads of Mission and other partners, including France. The European Union were present as observers. The meeting followed consultations with Pacific Island Countries, and the Pacific Islands Forum. The Partners of the Blue Pacific (PBP) was launched at the meeting as an inclusive, informal mechanism to support Pacific priorities more effectively and efficiently. The countries will continue to work together in partnership as plans for the PBP develop.

27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they plan to use their membership of the Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) to support UK priorities; and what the reaction of the government of China has been to the formation of the PBP.

The Partners in the Blue Pacific (PBP) is a new initiative between Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and our Pacific partners. It builds on our longstanding commitment to the region to help better coordinate our approach and support the Pacific Island Countries line with the Pacific Islands Forum's upcoming 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. This will ensure our support is properly informed by what Pacific Islands Countries themselves need, and that our governments have stronger and regular engagement on Pacific issues and priorities.

Many countries have expressed interest in the PBP since its launch, including China.

5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Russia to lessen the risk of miscalculation leading to use of nuclear weapons.

The UK takes its responsibilities as a nuclear weapon state seriously and will continue to encourage other states to do likewise.

We consider the avoidance of war between Nuclear-Weapon States and the reduction of strategic risks as our foremost responsibilities. The joint statement by the leaders of the five Nuclear-Weapon States - including Russia - issued on 3 January underscores our collective commitment to work together to reduce the risk of nuclear conflict and enhance mutual trust and security. This is the first time the leaders of the five Nuclear Weapon States have made such a high-level political declaration. It shows our resolve to work together, despite differences, to increase mutual trust and understanding and work together towards nuclear disarmament.

The UK is committed to taking steps to reduce the likelihood of nuclear war, including resolving issues peacefully and diplomatically wherever possible. With our partners, we will continue to make use of a number of international mechanisms that allow us to engage with Russia to support risk reduction and military transparency, including the NATO-Russia Council (which will next meet on 12 January 2022) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

12th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the Courage Foundation on the investigation by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons into the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma, Syria, published on 11 March; and what steps they intend to take in response.

We welcome the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Fact-Finding Mission's thorough and evidenced report on the incident in Douma on 7 April 2018. The Fact-Finding Mission concluded that a toxic chemical, likely chlorine, was used as a weapon. We have confidence in the report's methodology and conclusions.

The Director-General of the OPCW has confirmed that that the OPCW Technical Secretariat took all views and evidence into account in reaching its conclusions. The Director-General answered fully questions put to him at sessions of the United Nations Security Council in December 2020, May 2020 and November 2019.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the publication date for the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy; and whether publication will occur before 31 May 2021.

The Integrated Review will cover all aspects of international and national security policy - defence, diplomacy, development and national resilience. Uniting development and diplomacy in one department brings together Britain's international effort to have even greater impact and influence on the world stage as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The Review will assess what will be needed to deliver our new strategy, in addition to seizing the opportunities offered by the new Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. The publication date will be announced in due course.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Russia about its plans to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty.

Her Majesty’s Government have continually highlighted their willingness to discuss Russia’s concerns around the Open Skies Treaty (OST) via the appropriate channel of the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC) in Vienna. The UK responded to the government of Russia bilaterally on 31 December, reasserting our commitment to the OST and welcoming further discussion at the OSCC. States parties to the Treaty, including Russia, discussed the issue on 19 January, when the UK expressed its disappointment at the Russian decision, and again at the recent OSCC meeting on 25 January when the UK called on Russia to engage constructively with other signatories. The senior responsible official in London also speaks regularly with Russian diplomats about issues surrounding the Open Skies Treaty, and the UK Delegation to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) maintain regular dialogue with their Russian counterparts

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing the government of Tristan da Cunha with the establishment of the islands’ marine protection zone.

The UK Government has been supporting Tristan da Cunha to enhance marine protection in their waters since 2016, as part of the Blue Belt initiative. This has included two major multi-disciplinary surveys to improve knowledge of inshore, seamounts and open ocean ecosystems to inform management decisions; provided a new vessel for inshore biodiversity monitoring and refurbished the existing fisheries patrol vessel; expert advice on the design of the marine protection zone including recommendations for 'Area To Be Avoided' around the islands to protect vulnerable habitats; assistance with putting in place effective legislation and management strategies to underpin the designation; extensive training (sea-survival, vessel maintenance, enforcement training, fisheries observer training) to build capacity on island; and targeted satellite surveillance to ensure Tristan's waters are effectively monitored and enforced.

Since the designation, the Blue Belt programme has also provided some additional support to assist Tristan diversify its economy from offshore commercial fishing revenue.

30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to continue to fund the eradication of invasive mice on Gough Island.

Over 90% of UK's biodiversity is in the Overseas Territories. Gough Island is a UNESCO natural World Heritage site and the UK Government continues to support the RSPB's efforts to eradicate invasive non-native mice from the Island to save critically endangered seabirds from extinction. The RSPB has announced that the final eradication stage can now proceed in 2021. The UK Government has provided over £2 million in funding to support this project and will give further consideration to providing additional funding for the next financial year

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the importance of limiting the number of nuclear warheads held by Russia and the USA.

The Foreign Secretary holds regular discussions with his US counterpart on a range of issues, including on arms control and strategic stability. These discussions are reflected and supported by daily cooperation at official level between the UK and the US, as well as by wider cooperation with NATO Allies. As a fellow Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, we engage with Russia on matters of international peace and security, including arms control. Through our Embassy in Moscow we have had a number of discussions with the Russian authorities on this topic.

US strategic arms, along with those of Russia, are limited by the New START Treaty. We recognise the contribution New START has made to international security and strategic stability by increasing transparency and mutual confidence among the two largest Nuclear Weapons States. However, New START does not include new Russian systems, nor does it place any limits on China's growing nuclear arsenal. We therefore support extension of New START while a successor agreement is negotiated.

14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had any discussions with (1) the government of Russia, and (2) the government of the United States, about a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The Foreign Secretary holds regular discussions with his US counterpart on a range of issues, including on arms control and strategic stability. These discussions are reflected and supported by daily cooperation at official level between the UK and the US, as well as by wider cooperation with NATO Allies. As a fellow Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, we engage with Russia on matters of international peace and security, including arms control. Through our Embassy in Moscow we have had a number of discussions with the Russian authorities on this topic.

US strategic arms, along with those of Russia, are limited by the New START Treaty. We recognise the contribution New START has made to international security and strategic stability by increasing transparency and mutual confidence among the two largest Nuclear Weapons States. However, New START does not include new Russian systems, nor does it place any limits on China's growing nuclear arsenal. We therefore support extension of New START while a successor agreement is negotiated.

20th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that the government of the United States has plans to conduct a demonstration nuclear test explosion.

The US Government has assured us that they have no intention of conducting a demonstration nuclear test explosion. On 16 July, in a White House speech, President Trump noted that '[s]ince 1992, the US observed a moratorium on such testing and have relied on the scientific and technological expertise of our weapons complex to ensure our deterrent is safe, secure, and effective. True to our word, we maintain our moratorium'.

18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Turkey's drilling for energy in Cyprus’ sovereign waters; and whether they have received any request to join an EU maritime force in those waters.

The UK has been clear from the start that we deplore Turkish drilling in the waters around Cyprus. We will continue to call for de-escalation. We have consistently stated our support for the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the oil and gas in its internationally agreed Exclusive Economic Zone. We continue to consider that Cyprus' oil and gas should be developed for the benefit of all Cypriots. Ultimately, the most enduring way of resolving difficult issues such as this is to achieve a Cyprus settlement and we encourage all parties to redouble their efforts in pursuit of that.

We judge that it is critical for stability in the Mediterranean and for the integrity of the rules-based international system that disputes such as this are resolved, not through force, militarisation or coercion, but through dialogue and in accordance with international law. We will continue to work with the Republic of Cyprus and the wider region to that end. The UK has not been invited to participate in an EU Mediterranean maritime operation in the waters around Cyprus.

18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any agreement with the government of Cyprus that the UK would aid Cyprus if its sovereignty were threatened.

The UK, as a Guarantor Power, has a responsibility for protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. The UK's principal responsibility under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee is to recognise and guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Cyprus. The Government fulfils this responsibility through supporting the UN-facilitated settlement process, which is aimed at achieving a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant Security Council resolutions. We are also the largest troop contributor to the UN Peacekeeping Force on the island, UNFICYP.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK’s responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, in particular with regard to the military enforcement of UN resolutions; and what assessment, if any, they have made of the military capability required by a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

As one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, the UK takes its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security very seriously. Through the Council we work hard to achieve constructive solutions to international crises, to promote British values and to confront threats to UK security.

While there are no requirements placed on permanent members of the Security Council by the UN Charter to maintain a particular level of military capability, the UK is fully committed to spending at least 2% of GDP on defence. We have participated in a number of missions authorised to use force by the Security Council, including the UN Protection Force in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. We are the fifth largest contributor to the UN's peacekeeping budget, and contribute around 600 peacekeepers to UN operations. The UK is the lead contributor to the UN mission in Cyprus. In March 2020 we concluded a four-year troop deployment to South Sudan. Later this year, we will deploy a Long Range Reconnaissance Task Group to MINUSMA, the UN peacekeeping operation in Mali.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of the United States about the possible renewal of the New START Treaty next year.

We recognise the contribution the New START Treaty has made to international security by increasing transparency and mutual confidence amongst the two largest Nuclear Weapons States. The Treaty has delivered a reduction of strategic nuclear arsenals, enhanced notably by its robust verification mechanism. However, we are also clear that New START has limitations. It does not include new Russian systems. Nor does it place any limits on China's growing nuclear arsenal. We therefore support the US Government's trilateral strategic arms control initiative.

We have regular discussions with the Government of the United States on these issues and have made clear that we support the continued implementation of New START. We have also encouraged the US to extend the Treaty while negotiating any successor agreement.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to whether the government of China should be party to any future New START Treaty.

We recognise the contribution the New START Treaty has made to international security by increasing transparency and mutual confidence amongst the two largest Nuclear Weapons States. The Treaty has delivered a reduction of strategic nuclear arsenals, enhanced notably by its robust verification mechanism. We support its continued implementation and have encouraged the US to extend New START while negotiating any successor agreement. However, we are also clear that New START has limitations. It does not include new Russian systems. Nor does it place any limits on China's growing nuclear arsenal. We therefore support the US Government's trilateral strategic arms control initiative.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken to try and establish confidence building measures between nuclear powers since the termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

During our coordination of the P5 Process, the UK hosted a range of discussions between the five Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Nuclear Weapon States, including a dialogue aimed at increasing our mutual understanding of each other's nuclear doctrine, and hosting a conference of the five Nuclear Weapon States in London on 12-13 February 2020. At that meeting, all five states underlined the importance of reducing nuclear risk and promoting stability, and agreed that dialogue on strategic risk reduction should continue.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of China about that government's naming of 80 reefs, seamounts, shoals and ridges and other geographical features in the South China Sea, 55 of those submerged at all states of the tide; and what assessment they have made of that government's claims to sovereignty on underwater features more than 12 nautical miles from Chinese land.

The position of Her Majesty's Government is to oppose any activity which raises tensions or seeks to alter the facts on the ground in the South China Sea. We take no position on sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea and encourage all parties to settle their disputes peacefully through the existing legal mechanisms, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We have frequent discussions with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and several other nations on the South China Sea, including as part of high-level political dialogues. Officials have raised our concerns about recent incidents in the South China Sea, including the creation of new administrative territories, with Chinese authorities.

China is a party to UNCLOS and ratified it in 1996. The UK challenges China where their interpretation differs from ours. For example, the UK has objected to China's claims based on "historic rights" in the South China Seas on the basis that such claims are not founded in law, insofar as it would be inconsistent with international law as reflected in UNCLOS.

The UK's position with regard to the classification of maritime features is that States may classify as islands those features which meet the definition of islands in Article 121(1) of UNCLOS. The UK's position is also that, as provided in Article 121(3) of UNCLOS, rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. In addition, the UK's position is that under UNCLOS, low tide elevations which are situated beyond the breadth of the territorial sea from the mainland or an island, are not entitled to a territorial sea, and cannot be appropriated by any State.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the government of China has ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; and if so, what assessment they have made of that government’s compliance with that convention.

The position of Her Majesty's Government is to oppose any activity which raises tensions or seeks to alter the facts on the ground in the South China Sea. We take no position on sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea and encourage all parties to settle their disputes peacefully through the existing legal mechanisms, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We have frequent discussions with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and several other nations on the South China Sea, including as part of high-level political dialogues. Officials have raised our concerns about recent incidents in the South China Sea, including the creation of new administrative territories, with Chinese authorities.

China is a party to UNCLOS and ratified it in 1996. The UK challenges China where their interpretation differs from ours. For example, the UK has objected to China's claims based on "historic rights" in the South China Seas on the basis that such claims are not founded in law, insofar as it would be inconsistent with international law as reflected in UNCLOS.

The UK's position with regard to the classification of maritime features is that States may classify as islands those features which meet the definition of islands in Article 121(1) of UNCLOS. The UK's position is also that, as provided in Article 121(3) of UNCLOS, rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. In addition, the UK's position is that under UNCLOS, low tide elevations which are situated beyond the breadth of the territorial sea from the mainland or an island, are not entitled to a territorial sea, and cannot be appropriated by any State.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of (1) Vietnam, (2) The Philippines, (3) Malaysia, (4) Indonesia, (5) Brunei, and (6) other nations, about the government of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The position of Her Majesty's Government is to oppose any activity which raises tensions or seeks to alter the facts on the ground in the South China Sea. We take no position on sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea and encourage all parties to settle their disputes peacefully through the existing legal mechanisms, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). We have frequent discussions with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and several other nations on the South China Sea, including as part of high-level political dialogues. Officials have raised our concerns about recent incidents in the South China Sea, including the creation of new administrative territories, with Chinese authorities.

China is a party to UNCLOS and ratified it in 1996. The UK challenges China where their interpretation differs from ours. For example, the UK has objected to China's claims based on "historic rights" in the South China Seas on the basis that such claims are not founded in law, insofar as it would be inconsistent with international law as reflected in UNCLOS.

The UK's position with regard to the classification of maritime features is that States may classify as islands those features which meet the definition of islands in Article 121(1) of UNCLOS. The UK's position is also that, as provided in Article 121(3) of UNCLOS, rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. In addition, the UK's position is that under UNCLOS, low tide elevations which are situated beyond the breadth of the territorial sea from the mainland or an island, are not entitled to a territorial sea, and cannot be appropriated by any State.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what diplomatic action they have taken in response to unlawful actions by China in the South China Sea.

We regularly encourage all parties, including China, to settle their disputes peacefully through the existing legal mechanisms, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and to uphold the 2016 Arbitration ruling. The British Government's position is to oppose any action which changes the facts on the ground in the South China Sea, raises tensions, or hinders the chance of peaceful settlement of the disputes. We regularly make this position clear to the Chinese authorities and will continue to do so. We have also set out our position publicly alongside partners such as France and Germany, with whom we made a joint statement in August 2019.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the final judgement of the China Tribunal set out in its report Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China Final Judgement and Summary Report, published on 17 June 2019, which concluded “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply’, whether their proposals for new Magnitsky-style legislation will include known organ harvesting perpetrators; and if not, why not.

The Foreign Secretary has announced that the UK will establish a global human rights sanctions regime under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. We will lay secondary legislation to establish this sanctions regime in the coming months. It would be inappropriate to comment on potential designations before these regulations come into force.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many vessels by type are operated by HMRC.

No vessels are operated by HMRC.

Responsibility for customs and revenue work at the border was transferred from HMRC to the UK Border Agency (UKBA) – now Border Force – in 2009. From that time, Border Force has been responsible for the prevention of smuggling, frontier controls on the movement of goods, and clearing goods and people across the UK border, collecting taxes and duties where appropriate.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Making Tax Digital programme on the productivity of the self-employed.

The Government expects the Making Tax Digital programme to have a positive impact on the productivity of self-employed businesses, as set out in the Financial Secretary to the Treasury’s written ministerial statement on 21 July (HCWS400) and HMRC and HM Treasury’s publication “Building a trusted, modern tax administration” of the same date.

About 1.4 million businesses, some of whom are self-employed, have already joined Making Tax Digital (MTD) for their VAT affairs and many of these are already experiencing productivity gains associated with more digital ways of working, as set out in HMRC’s Evaluation of the MTD for VAT service published in March.

The Enterprise Research Centre (2018) found that for micro-businesses, web-based accounting software delivered productivity increases of over 10%.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they have in place for anyone (1) without access to computers, and (2) who is not online, when the Making Tax Digital programme comes into operation

The Government understands that some people with disabilities, those in rural locations with poor broadband services, and those who are digitally excluded for other reasons may find it more difficult to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. MTD exemptions have operated successfully since the introduction of MTD for VAT in April 2019 for businesses with taxable turnover in excess of the VAT threshold. These exemptions will continue to be available to businesses within the expanded scope of MTD.

There will be no specific allowances or payment made to those using MTD for time spent complying with MTD requirements. However, the Government accepts that there will be time spent in familiarisation with the new MTD obligations (digital record keeping and quarterly submission of information). The Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 found that those who are the most digitally engaged save a day a week in administration by going digital. Once businesses are used to operating the new MTD processes, the Government anticipates that they will find that MTD makes it easier for them to get things right, reducing errors and saving time in administering their tax affairs.

MTD is not a response to any changes in HMRC workforce. It is a key part of the Government’s long term goal for HMRC to become one of the most digitally advanced tax authorities in the world, and forms part of the Government's 10-year strategy to build a trusted, modern tax administration system. As well as helping to tackle the part of the tax gap arising due to error and failure to take reasonable care, MTD will help to make the tax administration system more resilient and effective in responding to future shocks, while also providing businesses with access to real-time data and a more accurate overview of their financial position.

The Government will not be funding specialist software or training, but will continue to work to ensure that any additional costs to business are minimised. Free Income Tax software will be available for businesses with the simplest tax affairs. For VAT, there are already over a dozen free packages available as part of a highly competitive market with over 500 products for different business needs. On training, the HMRC customer support model includes a multi-layered approach stretching across agents, third party software support, through to telephony support, webchat, and HMRC’s Extra Support service, as well as signposting to information and guides and to local or third party providers of digital skills courses or support already offered by external providers.

For those with slow speeds and no access to other commercial alternatives, the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) came into force in March 2020. The USO gives people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. The Government has pledged £5 billion to support the rollout of gigabit-capable networks to the hardest to reach 20% of the country.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what (1) allowances will be available, or (2) payment will be made, to anyone who is self-employed for the time spent complying with the requirements of the Making Tax Digital programme.

The Government understands that some people with disabilities, those in rural locations with poor broadband services, and those who are digitally excluded for other reasons may find it more difficult to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. MTD exemptions have operated successfully since the introduction of MTD for VAT in April 2019 for businesses with taxable turnover in excess of the VAT threshold. These exemptions will continue to be available to businesses within the expanded scope of MTD.

There will be no specific allowances or payment made to those using MTD for time spent complying with MTD requirements. However, the Government accepts that there will be time spent in familiarisation with the new MTD obligations (digital record keeping and quarterly submission of information). The Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 found that those who are the most digitally engaged save a day a week in administration by going digital. Once businesses are used to operating the new MTD processes, the Government anticipates that they will find that MTD makes it easier for them to get things right, reducing errors and saving time in administering their tax affairs.

MTD is not a response to any changes in HMRC workforce. It is a key part of the Government’s long term goal for HMRC to become one of the most digitally advanced tax authorities in the world, and forms part of the Government's 10-year strategy to build a trusted, modern tax administration system. As well as helping to tackle the part of the tax gap arising due to error and failure to take reasonable care, MTD will help to make the tax administration system more resilient and effective in responding to future shocks, while also providing businesses with access to real-time data and a more accurate overview of their financial position.

The Government will not be funding specialist software or training, but will continue to work to ensure that any additional costs to business are minimised. Free Income Tax software will be available for businesses with the simplest tax affairs. For VAT, there are already over a dozen free packages available as part of a highly competitive market with over 500 products for different business needs. On training, the HMRC customer support model includes a multi-layered approach stretching across agents, third party software support, through to telephony support, webchat, and HMRC’s Extra Support service, as well as signposting to information and guides and to local or third party providers of digital skills courses or support already offered by external providers.

For those with slow speeds and no access to other commercial alternatives, the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) came into force in March 2020. The USO gives people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. The Government has pledged £5 billion to support the rollout of gigabit-capable networks to the hardest to reach 20% of the country.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Making Tax Digital programme has been introduced due to reductions in the HMRC workforce.

The Government understands that some people with disabilities, those in rural locations with poor broadband services, and those who are digitally excluded for other reasons may find it more difficult to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. MTD exemptions have operated successfully since the introduction of MTD for VAT in April 2019 for businesses with taxable turnover in excess of the VAT threshold. These exemptions will continue to be available to businesses within the expanded scope of MTD.

There will be no specific allowances or payment made to those using MTD for time spent complying with MTD requirements. However, the Government accepts that there will be time spent in familiarisation with the new MTD obligations (digital record keeping and quarterly submission of information). The Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 found that those who are the most digitally engaged save a day a week in administration by going digital. Once businesses are used to operating the new MTD processes, the Government anticipates that they will find that MTD makes it easier for them to get things right, reducing errors and saving time in administering their tax affairs.

MTD is not a response to any changes in HMRC workforce. It is a key part of the Government’s long term goal for HMRC to become one of the most digitally advanced tax authorities in the world, and forms part of the Government's 10-year strategy to build a trusted, modern tax administration system. As well as helping to tackle the part of the tax gap arising due to error and failure to take reasonable care, MTD will help to make the tax administration system more resilient and effective in responding to future shocks, while also providing businesses with access to real-time data and a more accurate overview of their financial position.

The Government will not be funding specialist software or training, but will continue to work to ensure that any additional costs to business are minimised. Free Income Tax software will be available for businesses with the simplest tax affairs. For VAT, there are already over a dozen free packages available as part of a highly competitive market with over 500 products for different business needs. On training, the HMRC customer support model includes a multi-layered approach stretching across agents, third party software support, through to telephony support, webchat, and HMRC’s Extra Support service, as well as signposting to information and guides and to local or third party providers of digital skills courses or support already offered by external providers.

For those with slow speeds and no access to other commercial alternatives, the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) came into force in March 2020. The USO gives people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. The Government has pledged £5 billion to support the rollout of gigabit-capable networks to the hardest to reach 20% of the country.

23rd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to fund appropriate standards of broadband connection for those who live in areas with poor broadband connectivity to ensure that they can participate in the Making Tax Digital programme.

The Government understands that some people with disabilities, those in rural locations with poor broadband services, and those who are digitally excluded for other reasons may find it more difficult to comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) requirements. MTD exemptions have operated successfully since the introduction of MTD for VAT in April 2019 for businesses with taxable turnover in excess of the VAT threshold. These exemptions will continue to be available to businesses within the expanded scope of MTD.

There will be no specific allowances or payment made to those using MTD for time spent complying with MTD requirements. However, the Government accepts that there will be time spent in familiarisation with the new MTD obligations (digital record keeping and quarterly submission of information). The Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2019 found that those who are the most digitally engaged save a day a week in administration by going digital. Once businesses are used to operating the new MTD processes, the Government anticipates that they will find that MTD makes it easier for them to get things right, reducing errors and saving time in administering their tax affairs.

MTD is not a response to any changes in HMRC workforce. It is a key part of the Government’s long term goal for HMRC to become one of the most digitally advanced tax authorities in the world, and forms part of the Government's 10-year strategy to build a trusted, modern tax administration system. As well as helping to tackle the part of the tax gap arising due to error and failure to take reasonable care, MTD will help to make the tax administration system more resilient and effective in responding to future shocks, while also providing businesses with access to real-time data and a more accurate overview of their financial position.

The Government will not be funding specialist software or training, but will continue to work to ensure that any additional costs to business are minimised. Free Income Tax software will be available for businesses with the simplest tax affairs. For VAT, there are already over a dozen free packages available as part of a highly competitive market with over 500 products for different business needs. On training, the HMRC customer support model includes a multi-layered approach stretching across agents, third party software support, through to telephony support, webchat, and HMRC’s Extra Support service, as well as signposting to information and guides and to local or third party providers of digital skills courses or support already offered by external providers.

For those with slow speeds and no access to other commercial alternatives, the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) came into force in March 2020. The USO gives people in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection. The Government has pledged £5 billion to support the rollout of gigabit-capable networks to the hardest to reach 20% of the country.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding was allocated for preparations to counter the National Security Risk Assessment Tier 1 risk of pandemic in each year from 2010 to 2019.

Her Majesty’s Government announces government spending through various fiscal events. Departments have jurisdiction to set their own budgets according to their budgetary priorities. It is for individual Departments to determine how much funding to allocate to pandemic preparedness, taking into account their specific circumstances and requirements.

16th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 13 July (HL1749), how many vessels by (1) size, and (2) type, are operated by UK Border Force.

Border Force Maritime Command’s fleet includes five cutters and six coastal patrol vessels as well as niche capability in the form of tactical watercraft (TWC) and dedicated mobile RHIB capability. Each cutter carries a jet driven RHIB capable of delivering a boarding team. The type of asset deployed will reflect the operational task and may be deployed as a standalone asset or as a combination, to allow for a broad range of tactical options, that can respond to a specific threat or event.

Border Force Vessels undertake strategic patrols, tactical surveillance and enforcement activity in support of Border Force and other government agencies providing a law enforcement capability at sea.

As a minimum a Cutter and two CPV’s will be permanently deployed to the south east to the 30-mile stretch of coast covering the Dover Straits with additional vessels deployed as operationally required.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many vessels by type are operated by UK Border Force.

Border Force Maritime Command’s fleet includes five cutters and six coastal patrol vessels as well as niche capability in the form of tactical watercraft (TWC) and dedicated mobile RHIB capability. Each cutter carries a jet driven RHIB capable of delivering a boarding team. The type of asset deployed will reflect the operational task and may be deployed as a standalone asset or as a combination, to allow for a broad range of tactical options, that can respond to a specific threat or event.

Border Force Vessels undertake strategic patrols, tactical surveillance and enforcement activity in support of Border Force and other government agencies providing a law enforcement capability at sea.

As a minimum a Cutter and two CPVs will be permanently deployed to the south east to the 30-mile stretch of coast covering the Dover Straits with additional vessels deployed as operationally required.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have suspended the registration of births during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) has advised that birth registration appointments should, where possible, be deferred while the current measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 are in place. Where there is an urgent need for a birth to be registered, GRO and Local Authority registrars are considering how this can be achieved on a case-by-case basis within public health guidance and local authority policy.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the absence of a birth certificate would prevent a mother travelling abroad with her new-born baby.

The absence of a birth certificate for a new born does not prevent a passport application being submitted to enable travel, however alternative evidence will need to be provided.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how long the suspension of registration of births will continue; and what measures have been put in place to allow babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic to travel on their mother’s passport until such time as a birth certificate and passport can be obtained.

The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) has advised that birth registration appointments should, where possible, be deferred while the current measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 are in place.

There are no plans to allow babies to travel on their mother’s passport. The absence of a birth certificate for a newborn does not prevent a passport application being submitted, however alternative evidence will need to be provided.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many times have HMS Spey and HMS Tamar visited the war graves of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse in the past 12 months.

We continue to work closely with the relevant authorities in the region to afford these sites suitable protection. The wrecks of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are designated as protected places under the UK's Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

HMS Spey recently visited the wreck sites of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse to conduct patrol/presence operations. The Ship also held a memorial service for those who lost their lives in the sinking of both ships as part of the UK's remembrance events in November 2023.

Based on records available from 1 December 2022 - 1 December 2023, this has been the only visit by HMS Spey or HMS Tamar to the wreck sites of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Autumn Statement which notes that £4.6 billion was given to Ukraine in military aid over 2022–23 and 2023–24, how much will be given in fiscal year 2024–5.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Armed Forces (James Heappey), in the House of Commons on 28 November 2023 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Deane (Mr John Healey) in response to his Urgent Question on the war in Ukraine.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether their policy has changed as regards plans for defence spending, given that the Spring Budget stated an aspiration to invest 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product in defence but this is not mentioned in the Autumn Statement.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my hon. Friend, Minister of State for Defence (James Cartlidge), in the House of Commons on 27 November 2023 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Deane (Mr John Healey) in response to Question number 3090.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to require the design, manufacture and testing of future military satellite communications used by the Armed Forces to be done in the UK.

Future military satellite communications are being secured though a programme called SKYNET 6. The Ministry of Defence has already contracted UK companies to develop the first new satellite (Airbus Defence & Space Ltd) and to provide ground and flight control services for the entire constellation (a consortium led by Babcock).

Subsequent SKYNET satellites are being acquired through two separate competitive procurements. The first of these is for a more widely available Narrowband Satellite System, and thus it is being procured via an open competition. The second is for up to three highly technological wideband satellites. There is a clear requirement in the competition invite that the key design, manufacture and testing activities for the wideband satellites are undertaken in the UK, in accordance with the aims of the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy (publishing.service.gov.uk).

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for the UK to maintain full sovereign control of the Skynet satellite constellation into the future.

SKYNET 6 is the UK MOD’s strategic highly assured and protected satellite communications (SATCOM) capability. The criticality of maintaining Freedom of Action and Operational Independence, and therefore ‘sovereign control’ of this national capability, has been a firm requirement and has been verified every year since programme inception. To meet all known threats and to provide assured positive Command and Control of UK Armed Forces and support to other Government departments necessitates an appropriate level of UK ‘ownership’, as defined in the Defence Space Strategy and the MOD’s Assured Capability framework. This is delivered by balancing UK-led activities with the use of allied networks and the global commercial market, where appropriate.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the member of Parliament for Portsmouth North regarding the plan to build three ships in that constituency to assist in disaster relief and other operations.

There are no plans for the Ministry of Defence to build any disaster relief vessels in the constituency of Portsmouth North and there have been no Ministerial discussions on the matter.

18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many UK F35B and Crowsnest aircraft HMS Queen Elizabeth is carrying on her current deployment.

We do not disclose information on, or comment on, current Royal Navy operations as to do so could prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Armed Forces. However, I can confirm that the scale of UK carrier deployments is tailored to the task, threat, location and is kept under constant review.

18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many UK F35B and Crowsnest aircraft HMS Prince of Wales is carrying on her current deployment.

We do not disclose information on, or comment on, current Royal Navy operations as to do so could prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Armed Forces. However, I can confirm that the scale of UK carrier deployments is tailored to the task, threat, location and is kept under constant review.

18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the cannibalisations of Wildcat parts from aircraft undergoing maintenance and front-line squadrons is part of the "hollowing out" noted by the outgoing Defence Secretary in his resignation letter to the Prime Minster on 30 August.

The reuse of any component or piece of equipment is closely managed and only done when strictly necessary to ensure capabilities are able to meet defence outputs. Whilst not planned, it is a valid engineering technique that can mitigate shortfalls in the supply of components that emerge for a whole host of reasons and is a useful management choice to expedite the return to flight of an aircraft faster than the supply chain.

18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what change to the global geostrategic situation outlined in the Integrated Review Refresh 2023: Responding to a more contested and volatile world, published on 13 March, has led to the decision to have no operational Landing Platform Dock ships in the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy will continue to operate a credible Landing Platform Dock (LPD) capability, through its Bay class Landing Ship Dock (Auxiliary) (LSD(A)), until the operational return of the Albion class Landing Platform Dock (LPD) ships, with HMS Bulwark.

The LPD and LSD(A) platforms are interchangeable in function by degrees of scale, each complements the other and both together constitute our core amphibious delivery capability when combined for maximal amphibious effect. To enable the sustained forward presence of the Littoral Response Group’s (LRG) in the coming years, both classes of ship will be pulsed into the deployment of the LRGs around their respective refit cycles.

12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of progress being made in agreeing tri-national tasks of (1) vetting, (2) legal framework, and (3) standards, as AUKUS moves forward.

Good progress is being made on AUKUS Pillar 2, the Advanced Capabilities Pillar, on quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, artificial intelligence and cyber, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities, and electronic warfare capabilities, supported by two enabling workstreams covering innovation, and information sharing. Substantial progress is being made in accelerating the near-term delivery of certain capabilities that will meet our militaries' requirements earlier: the first AUKUS artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy trial, held in Wiltshire this April, achieved several world firsts, including the live retraining of models in flight and the interchange of AI models between AUKUS nations. AUKUS Principals met in London for the Advanced Capabilities Executive Group where they had productive discussions on Pillar 2 progress and endorsed a trilateral plan for engagement with industry ahead of the next meeting in November.

Whilst the Defence Secretary is the overall minister responsible for AUKUS, he is supported by the Permanent Secretary who is the most senior official on AUKUS, covering both Pillars 1 and 2. In the two years following the AUKUS announcement, the UK continues to work well on a trilateral basis, developing and implementing ambitious plans to streamline defence trade, whilst also strengthening our ability to protect sensitive technologies that underpin our security. Vetting, legal frameworks and establishing standards are an important part of wider AUKUS activity planned, with good progress being made overall.

12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, who is responsible for coordinating work on AUKUS Pillar 1, is also able to coordinate work on Pillar 2 across His Majesty's Government and industry.

Good progress is being made on AUKUS Pillar 2, the Advanced Capabilities Pillar, on quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, artificial intelligence and cyber, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities, and electronic warfare capabilities, supported by two enabling workstreams covering innovation, and information sharing. Substantial progress is being made in accelerating the near-term delivery of certain capabilities that will meet our militaries' requirements earlier: the first AUKUS artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy trial, held in Wiltshire this April, achieved several world firsts, including the live retraining of models in flight and the interchange of AI models between AUKUS nations. AUKUS Principals met in London for the Advanced Capabilities Executive Group where they had productive discussions on Pillar 2 progress and endorsed a trilateral plan for engagement with industry ahead of the next meeting in November.

Whilst the Defence Secretary is the overall minister responsible for AUKUS, he is supported by the Permanent Secretary who is the most senior official on AUKUS, covering both Pillars 1 and 2. In the two years following the AUKUS announcement, the UK continues to work well on a trilateral basis, developing and implementing ambitious plans to streamline defence trade, whilst also strengthening our ability to protect sensitive technologies that underpin our security. Vetting, legal frameworks and establishing standards are an important part of wider AUKUS activity planned, with good progress being made overall.

12th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how work on AUKUS Pillar 2 is progressing.

Good progress is being made on AUKUS Pillar 2, the Advanced Capabilities Pillar, on quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, artificial intelligence and cyber, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic capabilities, and electronic warfare capabilities, supported by two enabling workstreams covering innovation, and information sharing. Substantial progress is being made in accelerating the near-term delivery of certain capabilities that will meet our militaries' requirements earlier: the first AUKUS artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomy trial, held in Wiltshire this April, achieved several world firsts, including the live retraining of models in flight and the interchange of AI models between AUKUS nations. AUKUS Principals met in London for the Advanced Capabilities Executive Group where they had productive discussions on Pillar 2 progress and endorsed a trilateral plan for engagement with industry ahead of the next meeting in November.

Whilst the Defence Secretary is the overall minister responsible for AUKUS, he is supported by the Permanent Secretary who is the most senior official on AUKUS, covering both Pillars 1 and 2. In the two years following the AUKUS announcement, the UK continues to work well on a trilateral basis, developing and implementing ambitious plans to streamline defence trade, whilst also strengthening our ability to protect sensitive technologies that underpin our security. Vetting, legal frameworks and establishing standards are an important part of wider AUKUS activity planned, with good progress being made overall.

11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Service Inquiry into the loss of the F-35B Lightning ZM152 (BK-18) of 617 Squadron, embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth on 17 November 2021, what steps they are taking to address the findings that 617 Squadron "was under strength, morale was low, there were insufficient Quality Assurance checks being conducted at Marham and general readiness for FORTIS was lower than COMUKCSG had been led to believe".

As a direct result of the lessons identified during and post Operation FORTIS, embarked engineering workforce levels were significantly increased, in recognition of the additional workload and fatigue associated with embarked operations. Since 2021, RAF Marham has been subject to two external third-party audits, with the most recent concluding that previously identified shortfalls had been resolved, or that appropriate corrective action plans were in place. The unit maintains a full internal quality audit programme with regular continuous-improvement events and independent engineering standard evaluations. Readiness for embarked operations is constantly scrutinised, and optimised where required, during regular Carrier Strike multi-disciplinary meetings.

11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to speed up delivery of the Type 26 frigates so as to avoid any decrease in the number of Royal Navy frigates.

The delivery rate for the Type 26 ships is the optimum that can be achieved considering all relevant factors. Four of the Type 26 ships are now in construction on the Clyde. On current plans, HMS GLASGOW is forecast to achieve Initial Operating Capability in 2028 and construction of all eight frigates is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s.

The Type 26 Batch 2 deal introduces further investment in BAE Systems’ facilities on the Clyde, most obviously demonstrated by the start of work on a new shipbuilding hall at Govan. The new hall will allow two frigates to be built under cover simultaneously and allow the ships to be built faster, improving efficiency in the programme, and expanding the facilities for future work at the yard.

11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the reason that none of the Royal Navy’s six commissioned SSNs was at sea at the end of August, as shown by open source reporting, relates to inadequate material state, support infrastructure issues, crew shortages, or a combination of those; and whether Project Resolution will resolve such long-standing issues.

We can confirm that we are meeting all our operational commitments, and will continue to ensure we have the workforce, support arrangements and facilities required to maintain availability in the future. For operational security reasons we do not comment on the availability of Royal Navy submarines.

11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether maintaining a fleet of a minimum of 19 operational Destroyers and Frigates is still realistic and sufficient; and, if not, what the new minimum will be.

The government is committed to modernising the Royal Navy's escort fleet through the transition of the existing Type 23 frigate force to the Type 26 and Type 31 classes. This will bring the number of destroyers and frigates to 19.

This is a realistic programme which will enable the Royal Navy to maintain its operational commitments.

17th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the new environmental, social and governance rules on (1) defence companies' costs and ability to access financial services, and (2) Ministry of Defence procurement costs.

Trade associations and individual companies have raised the issue of ESG in discussions with Ministers and officials from across government.

While we have so far seen no evidence that ESG criteria are leading to increased procurement costs, we are aware of instances where companies, particularly SMEs, have found obstacles to accessing financial services.

Officials across Government are working closely with trade associations and the financial sector to understand the nature and extent of the issue, and agree mitigating actions where appropriate. The Government is unequivocal that there is nothing unethical about investing in and providing financial services to the UK defence sector and the financial services sector should not be disadvantaging companies based on their association with defence. On the contrary, a strong national defence is a pre-requisite for the freedoms and rule of law that we often take for granted.

Industry and Government are also showing leadership on all aspects of the ESG agenda as illustrated by the recent launch of the Defence Aviation Net Zero Strategy. We will continue this work with our industrial partners to explore and champion the wider environmental and social benefit of the defence sector.

26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their current assessment of the number of fast jet pilots now coming out of training.

We continue to have sufficient aircrew to meet our operational commitments. A range of measures have been introduced to address challenges in the aircrew training pipeline, including the continued impact of the Hawk T2 engine issues which have reduced UK Sovereign pilot training capacity. To mitigate this, a small number of UK students will be trained overseas in partnership with our allies and partners to ensure Front Line demands are met.

26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many incursions into the UK's Exclusive Economic Zone have been made by ships of the Russian Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research during the past two years.

Defence does not routinely record and archive the number of entries by foreign vessels into the UK's Exclusive Economic Zone. The number of instances that the Royal Navy is employed to escort a foreign vessel is, however, recorded. In 2021 the Royal Navy escorted 66 Russian warships through UK waters; 41 such warships were escorted in 2022. During the same period the Royal Navy also located and tracked several Russian submarines in the UK's marine area to guard against intrusion into UK sensitive waters.

26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what Royal Navy (1) ships or boats, and (2) aircraft, are allocated for security and enforcement operations in the UK's Territorial Seas and Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Royal Navy operates a flexible and responsive approach to the allocation of resource to address national security threats to the UK. In terms of vessel types, the Royal Navy allocates frigates, Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels, and minehunters, as well as helicopters (Wildcat, Merlin, and Chinook) to UK security operations. Additionally, the Royal Air Force supports operations in the UK maritime area with P8 maritime patrol aircraft.

It would be misleading to provide a numerical answer on the numbers of vessels and aircraft available for maritime security purposes as allocations may change on a daily basis, affected by, amongst other things, operational readiness profiles, maintenance, training and exercise requirements, as well as the activity of other nations in and around the UK's Economic Exclusion Zone.

26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when HMS Prince of Wales will start sea trials after defect rectification work.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer that I gave to him on 3 April 2023 to Question HL6891.

21st Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Goldie on 20 June (HL Deb col 100), whether the Ministry of Defence will raise with the Treasury the case for having a multi-year rolling programme of warship orders.

The Royal Navy (RN) has ambitious plans to ensure its fleet remains modern and capable of dealing with evolving threats. Regular discussions take place between the RN, the Ministry of Defence and His Majesty's Treasury to ensure this is funded in a way that provides value for money for taxpayers and the best capability for the RN.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh, published on 10 March 2022, sets out the ambition for the pipeline of more than 150 new naval and civil vessels for the UK Government and Devolved Administrations over the next 30 years.

13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the annual cost of keeping RFA Wave Ruler and RFA Wave Knight in reserve status.

The annual cost for the safe keeping and upkeep of Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) WAVE RULER and RFA WAVE KNIGHT is circa £4 million in total. These costs include care and protection, dehumidification and continuation of mandatory maintenance to remain in class.

13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are their estimated sale prices for RFA Wave Ruler and RFA Wave Knight.

On current plans, RFA WAVE RULER and RFA WAVE KNIGHT are not for sale. Therefore, no assessment has been made regarding a potential sales price.

13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the current status of RFA Fort Victoria.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary FORT VICTORIA is not in planned maintenance and is therefore available.

13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, what were the expected service lives of (1) RFA Wave Ruler, and (2) RFA Wave Knight, when they were introduced.

The WAVE class ships were built with a design service life of 25 years. Material condition of all platforms are carefully monitored and, if required, service life can be adjusted based on service need and appropriate evidence.

13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect the first fleet solid support ship to replace RFA Fort Victoria.

The approved In Service Date for the first Fleet Solid Support ship is 2031. The Royal Navy expects to manage RFA Fort Victoria's operational status as necessary to maintain solid support ship availability during the capability transition period.

23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what ships the Royal Navy currently have on order.

The Royal Navy currently has the following vessels on order :

Class

On Order/Contract

Type 26 Frigate

8

Type 31 Frigate

5

Fleet Solid Support

3

Autonomous Minehunting – Mission System

3

Autonomous Minehunting – Logistic Support Vessel

1

Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship (Seabed Warfare)

1

23rd May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether RAF fast jet pilots are now being trained in Italy.

The Royal Air Force have signed a technical arrangement with the Italian Air Force to send a small number of RAF trainee pilots to the International Flight Training School in Italy, commencing in July 2023.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Tempest supersonic stealth fighter is a replacement for the F35 as well as for the Typhoon.

The UK capability to deliver 'Control of the Air' beyond Typhoon out of service date has been described in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Concept of Employment and supporting documents. This requirement describes an integrated system of systems, in which the core platform is currently referred to as Tempest. Analysis is ongoing to determine specific quantities of platforms needed to satisfy the UK defence needs. This includes crewed and uncrewed collaborative platforms.

In line with the Integrated Review, we are continuing to develop Future Combat Air System (FCAS) as a replacement for the capabilities provided by our Typhoon aircraft. Advances in technology mean it is being designed to deliver an even larger range and depth of capabilities than current platforms to address emerging threats, including greater networked interoperability with uncrewed aircraft and F-35. FCAS will therefore replace the UK Typhoon roles and will complement the F35 fleet but not replace it.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there is a Ministry of Defence staff requirement for the Tempest supersonic stealth fighter; and if so, how many are in that requirement.

The UK capability to deliver 'Control of the Air' beyond Typhoon out of service date has been described in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) Concept of Employment and supporting documents. This requirement describes an integrated system of systems, in which the core platform is currently referred to as Tempest. Analysis is ongoing to determine specific quantities of platforms needed to satisfy the UK defence needs. This includes crewed and uncrewed collaborative platforms.

In line with the Integrated Review, we are continuing to develop Future Combat Air System (FCAS) as a replacement for the capabilities provided by our Typhoon aircraft. Advances in technology mean it is being designed to deliver an even larger range and depth of capabilities than current platforms to address emerging threats, including greater networked interoperability with uncrewed aircraft and F-35. FCAS will therefore replace the UK Typhoon roles and will complement the F35 fleet but not replace it.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the status of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships Wave Knight and Wave Ruler.

Both Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Wave Knight and RFA Wave Ruler are currently in Extended Readiness (ER) until 2028 in His Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth and Liverpool respectively, under the care and custody of RFA Cluster management.

RFA Cluster management are providing care and maintenance to ensure the ships remain within Lloyds Register classification requirements and can be regenerated at some point in the future if required.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect to have more than 13 frigates in the Royal Navy.

On current plans, the last Type 23 frigate will transition out of service in 2035.

To avoid compromising operational security, the Ministry of Defence does not routinely disclose individual out of service dates for warships or reveal elements of the Fleet's long-term schedule. However, the Royal Navy continues to ensure that it has sufficient assets available to deliver operational outputs.

We expect to have 13 new frigates, eight Type 26 and five Type 31, in service by the early 2030s. Plans for the Type 32 Frigate continue to be developed.

19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have any plans to decommission further Type 23 frigates before 2027.

On current plans, the last Type 23 frigate will transition out of service in 2035.

To avoid compromising operational security, the Ministry of Defence does not routinely disclose individual out of service dates for warships or reveal elements of the Fleet's long-term schedule. However, the Royal Navy continues to ensure that it has sufficient assets available to deliver operational outputs.

We expect to have 13 new frigates, eight Type 26 and five Type 31, in service by the early 2030s. Plans for the Type 32 Frigate continue to be developed.

17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they still plan to replace amphibious shipping with Multi-role Support Ships.

The Multi-Role Support Ship (MRSS) programme will replace the current mixed fleet of amphibious and Casualty Receiving vessels in the 2030s. These vessels will enable the projection of littoral strike capability worldwide and ensure that a modernised amphibious capability is available to the Commando Force.

17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any new frigates will achieve Initial Operating Capability before 2026.

The Royal Navy (RN) continues to ensure that it has sufficient assets available to deliver its operational outputs. In the coming years, the make-up of the RN will change as it transitions from Type 23 Frigates to Type 26 Anti-Submarine Warfare and Type 31 General Purpose Frigates.

The first Type 31 frigate, HMS VENTURER, is scheduled to be ready for operations in 2027 while the first Type 26 frigate, HMS GLASGOW, is scheduled to be ready for operations in 2028.

17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether assessment they have made of their previous commitment not to reduce numbers of destroyers and frigates below 19.

The Royal Navy (RN) continues to ensure that it has sufficient assets available to deliver its operational outputs. In the coming years, the make-up of the RN will change as it transitions from Type 23 Frigates to Type 26 Anti-Submarine Warfare and Type 31 General Purpose Frigates.

The first Type 31 frigate, HMS VENTURER, is scheduled to be ready for operations in 2027 while the first Type 26 frigate, HMS GLASGOW, is scheduled to be ready for operations in 2028.

17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many fully trained F35B pilots they expect to employ by 2030.

Workforce planning for the second tranche of Lightning is ongoing. However, I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the RAF is solely responsible for training Royal Navy fast jet pilots; and what is their assessment of asking the US Marine Corps to help train Royal Navy pilots at times when RAF training may not be running as intended.

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is not solely responsible for the training of Royal Navy (RN) Fast Jet (FJ) pilots. The UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS), contracted to Ascent, delivers aircrew training of elementary, basic and advanced flying training phases for all three Services, in order to prepare them for their arrival at their designated operational aircraft units.

The RN has maintained a limited programme to train FJ pilots with the United States Navy (not US Marine Corps) to sustain a cadre of maritime FJ pilots following the withdrawal of Joint Force Harrier.

17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the average length of time between trainee pilots completing armed forces-flying training and joining an operational conversion unit in relation to (1) fast jets, (2) multi-engine heavy lift aircraft, and (3) rotary wing aircraft.

As of March 2023, the average length of time between trainee pilots completing the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) and joining an operational conversion unit is:

Fast Jet - 22 months.

Multi-engine - 11 months

Rotary Wing - 14 months.

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when HMS Prince of Wales will be operational and at sea again.

We remain committed to ensuring HMS Prince of Wales commences her operational programme, as planned, in autumn 2023. This will include operational flying training and trials.

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the UK's tilt towards the Indo-Pacific region described in the Integrated Review Refresh 2023, whether (1) they will speed up the order for F35B fighter aircraft, (2) Crowsnest will be fully accepted into service, (3) the successor to Crowsnest will be expedited, and (4) the planned deployment of HMS Prince of Wales will be brought forward to 2024.

The Department has announced the intention to buy a further tranche of Lightning. However, details including the delivery profile remain subject to negotiation.

Turning to the CROWSNEST programme, which delivers Merlin Mk2 Airborne Surveillance and Control to the Royal Navy (RN), I can confirm that the capability was accepted into service in February 2021. CROWSNEST will fulfil the RN's organic Airborne Surveillance and Control capability until its current out-of-service date in 2029, to be replaced by a follow-on capability.

The Department continually assesses and reviews the effectiveness of its capabilities to inform decisions about where resources should be committed to treat the most pressing risks. The development of a successor to CROWSNEST is designed to ensure the continued delivery of Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Airborne Early Warning to the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) beyond its planned out of service date, and will be coherent with both developments in Uncrewed Air Systems, and other technologies maturing through the Future Combat Air System and the RN's Future Air Dominance System.

Finally, regarding HMS PRINCE OF WALES (PWLS), the UK maintains a Very High Readiness CSG whose planned and reactive deployments can be adjusted to achieve His Majesty's Government's objectives. The department does not comment on the detail or evolution of those plans, however, I can confirm that we remain committed to ensuring PWLS commences her operational programme, as planned, in Autumn 2023.

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the equipment spend planned for the army over the next five years is the largest of all the services.

Equipment spend forecasts are published in the annual Defence Equipment Plan and the supplementary data tables published alongside show the planned yearly spend for each Front-Line Command. Some equipment budgets are held outside the Front-Line Commands. These include Strategic Programmes (including Complex Weapons and the Global Combat Air Programme) and the Defence Nuclear Organisation. Army Command does not have the largest spend over the next five years.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-defence-equipment-plan-2022-to-2032

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what defence assets they are sending to the Indo-Pacific region aside from the aircraft carriers; and whether the two offshore patrol vessels stationed in the region and the AUKUS agreement on nuclear submarines are part of the UK's tilt towards the Indo-Pacific region.

We will continue to utilise a variety of assets as appropriate in the Indo-Pacific, alongside other deployments, joint exercises and training programmes with partner nations to strengthen our regional defence cooperation. The forward deployment of two Offshore Patrol Vessels and the recent announcement of the AUKUS nuclear submarine programme are clear demonstrations of our increased engagement in the region. We continue to deepen and enhance our relationships in the area to place our approach to the Indo-Pacific on a long-term strategic footing.

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Integrated Review Refresh 2023, whether the UK army, the Royal Air Force, and most of the Royal Navy will remain in Europe so that the UK’s defence and security efforts remain focused on the Euro-Atlantic through NATO.

As set out in the Integrated Review Refresh 2023, the Euro-Atlantic will remain the UK's priority theatre of focus. NATO will remain the cornerstone of UK security, with the UK at the heart of the Alliance and offering the full spectrum of Defence capabilities.

Any specific policy changes or updates required related to Defence capability and force design will be determined following the publication of the Defence Command Paper.

27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether a Royal Navy carrier battlegroup can redeploy from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific within four weeks.

It is possible to redeploy a Royal Navy Carrier Led Maritime Task Group from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific Region within four weeks.

8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 6 March (HL5734), on which ships of the Littoral Response Groups the (1) Merlin Mk4, and (2) Wildcat, helicopters of the Commando Helicopter Force will be embarked.

Both the Merlin MK4 and Wildcat Mk 1 helicopters will embark on the Landing Platform Dock, Landing Ship Dock (Amphibious) and RFA ARGUS (as an Amphibious Support Ship) as necessary for Littoral Response Group operations.

21st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps the Submarine Delivery Agency will take to ensure that mistakes made in the HMS Vanguard refit will not be repeated in HMS Victorious.

The Submarine Delivery Agency is working with Babcock and the Royal Navy to fully review and ensure lessons learned from HMS Vanguard's Deep Maintenance Period will be applied to all subsequent Vanguard Class Deep Maintenance Projects.

20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide aviation facilities to the Littoral Response Groups.

Littoral Response Groups (LRG) will be supported by Merlin Mk4 and Wildcat helicopters from the Commando Helicopter Force and can also be supported with Chinook and Apache to increase the lift and strike capability of LRG.

20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they intend to retire the Albion-class Landing Platform Dock vessels from active service; and whether these vessels are necessary for the formation of Littoral Response Groups until the entry into service of any Multi-Role Support Ships purchased.

The Integrated Review 21 identified Multi Role Support Ships (MRSS) as the platforms to deliver Littoral Strike. The Littoral Strike concept is centred around two Littoral Response Groups (LRG) to deliver a sovereign capability, which can be combined into larger task group formations.

The MRSS programme remains in the concept phase, and the programme and procurement strategies will be decided following phase completion. The Royal Navy will continue to assess plans and are still working to the intended in-service dates.

On current plans, the Landing Platform Dock vessels are due to be retired in the early 2030s but will form part of the LRG until the MRSS come into service.

20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to purchase Multi-Role Support Ships for the Royal Navy; and whether such vessels are necessary for the future formation of Littoral Response Groups following retirement of the Albion-class Landing Platform Dock vessels.

The Integrated Review 21 identified Multi Role Support Ships (MRSS) as the platforms to deliver Littoral Strike. The Littoral Strike concept is centred around two Littoral Response Groups (LRG) to deliver a sovereign capability, which can be combined into larger task group formations.

The MRSS programme remains in the concept phase, and the programme and procurement strategies will be decided following phase completion. The Royal Navy will continue to assess plans and are still working to the intended in-service dates.

On current plans, the Landing Platform Dock vessels are due to be retired in the early 2030s but will form part of the LRG until the MRSS come into service.

6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the steel for the Fleet Solid Support, Type 26 and Type 31 ships will be sourced from UK suppliers.

I refer the noble Lord to the answers provided by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Alex Chalk), in the House of Commons on 22 November 2022 and 14 February 2023 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey), in response to Question numbers 88822, 140032 and 140033.

6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much they are paying Ascent each year for ghost helicopter training courses without any student pilots on them.

There are no 'ghost' helicopter training courses. There are, however, occasions when a course may be cancelled for a number of reasons, which could include a change in demand for student output or a slower than expected progress of students.  When reasons for course cancellation are directly related to Ascent, the company is not paid. When the reasons for course cancellation are Ministry of Defence related, Ascent are remunerated in accordance with contract terms.

6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the total value of the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) contract with Ascent.

The total value of the UK Military Flying Training System contract with Ascent is £3.5 billion.

6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many F35B are in 617 squadron; and how many are effectively in an Operational Control Unit or in trials.

Of the 26 F-35B Lightning aircraft currently based at RAF Marham, 13 are allocated to 207 Squadron, eight are allocated to 617 Squadron and five are undergoing maintenance. A further three are based in the USA with 17 Squadron.

6th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many UK owned F35B are stationed permanently in the US.

Of the 26 F-35B Lightning aircraft currently based at RAF Marham, 13 are allocated to 207 Squadron, eight are allocated to 617 Squadron and five are undergoing maintenance. A further three are based in the USA with 17 Squadron.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many ammunition and missile supply firms have commenced 24-hour, 7-day operations since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The UK currently stores a significant amount of ammunition and missiles to meet the operational and training requirements of our Armed Forces. It is not however possible to comment on specific stockpile levels, as this information is operationally sensitive.

The UK’s stockpile levels are continually assessed, and the Department is looking at the lessons that can be learned from the conflict in Ukraine.

The UK Government remains fully engaged with industry to ensure both the continuation of supply to Ukraine, and that all equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks are replaced as expeditiously as possible. It is up to industry to implement the working patterns they deem appropriate to meet the delivery schedule of each contract.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many of the stockpiles of ammunition and missiles are at the 100 per cent-level that plans require.

The UK currently stores a significant amount of ammunition and missiles to meet the operational and training requirements of our Armed Forces. It is not however possible to comment on specific stockpile levels, as this information is operationally sensitive.

The UK’s stockpile levels are continually assessed, and the Department is looking at the lessons that can be learned from the conflict in Ukraine.

The UK Government remains fully engaged with industry to ensure both the continuation of supply to Ukraine, and that all equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks are replaced as expeditiously as possible. It is up to industry to implement the working patterns they deem appropriate to meet the delivery schedule of each contract.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many types of ammunition and missiles are stored in UK.

The UK currently stores a significant amount of ammunition and missiles to meet the operational and training requirements of our Armed Forces. It is not however possible to comment on specific stockpile levels, as this information is operationally sensitive.

The UK’s stockpile levels are continually assessed, and the Department is looking at the lessons that can be learned from the conflict in Ukraine.

The UK Government remains fully engaged with industry to ensure both the continuation of supply to Ukraine, and that all equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks are replaced as expeditiously as possible. It is up to industry to implement the working patterns they deem appropriate to meet the delivery schedule of each contract.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the stockpile levels of ammunition and missiles held by the UK armed forces have been reassessed in light of the levels of Ukrainian and Russian expenditure during fighting in Ukraine.

The UK currently stores a significant amount of ammunition and missiles to meet the operational and training requirements of our Armed Forces. It is not however possible to comment on specific stockpile levels, as this information is operationally sensitive.

The UK’s stockpile levels are continually assessed, and the Department is looking at the lessons that can be learned from the conflict in Ukraine.

The UK Government remains fully engaged with industry to ensure both the continuation of supply to Ukraine, and that all equipment and munitions granted in kind from UK stocks are replaced as expeditiously as possible. It is up to industry to implement the working patterns they deem appropriate to meet the delivery schedule of each contract.

9th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 23 December 2022 (HL4271), which squadrons will provide the 36 F35B Lightning aircraft to meet the Full Operating Capability of the Carrier Strike operating within a Maritime Task Group configuration.

No Squadrons, either fixed wing or rotary wing, are permanently assigned. It remains the case that each Queen Elizabeth-class carrier has been designed for the flexible usage necessary in a modern defence capability, including transporting a mix of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. However, the composition and size of an embarked air group in a deploying carrier will be tailored to meet the operational requirement.

20th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many NLAW anti-tank missiles (1) have been, and (2) are planned to be, provided to Ukraine; and how many (a) have been, and (b) will be, delivered from the manufacturers to the UK Army in (i) 2022, and (ii) 2023.

As of 21 December 2022, we have delivered approximately 5,500 NLAW anti-tank missiles to Ukraine. We do not comment on future plans for donations of military aid for operational security reasons.

No new NLAW missiles were delivered to the British Army in 2022. However, as announced by the Defence Secretary on 7 December 2022, the UK signed a contract with Saab and Thales for several thousand NLAW units which will be delivered to the UK between 2024-2026. This is in addition to an earlier delivery of around 500 units to be delivered in 2023.

13th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 12 December (HL3834), what is the definition of Full Operational Capability of Carrier Strike.

The Full Operating Capability (FOC) of the Carrier Strike is defined as a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier able to operate with 24 F35B Lightning and supporting ships and helicopters. This increases to 36 F35B and four Crowsnest Airborne Early Warning helicopters when the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers are operating within a Maritime Task Group configuration. These will continue to be the defining features of any future FOC declaration.

6th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, additional to the purchase of the Naval Strike Missile, to increase the Royal Navy’s offensive firepower capacity.

The Royal Navy is committed to improving lethality across the Fleet. This requirement is brought into sharp focus by conflict in Europe and Russia's unacceptable invasion of Ukraine.

In addition to the purchase of the Naval Strike Missile, there has also been investment to ensure the Royal Navy is capable of offensive strike against our most capable adversaries.

5th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the announcement that the equipment plan to fund the Type 32 Frigate and Multirole Support Ships programme has been withdrawn, what is the status of that programme.

There are no current plans to withdraw either the Type 32 Frigate or Multi Role Support Ships programme. Both remain in the concept phase, and the programme and procurement strategies will be decided following phase completion. We continue to assess plans and are still working to the intended in-service dates.

29th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to fitting the Mk 41 vertical launch system to Type 45 destroyers.

There are no current plans to fit Mk 41 vertical launch silos to the Type 45 Destroyers. However, the Government continually assesses operational requirements to ensure warships are equipped with an appropriate array of offensive and defensive weapons to enable them to fulfil their operational roles.

28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they still intend that carrier strike will achieve full operating capability by December 2023; and whether this means one carrier fully operational with 24 F35s embarked and a functioning Crowsnest AEW system.

At present the definition and timing of Full Operational Capability of Carrier Strike remains unchanged and on current plans will be declared December 2023.

28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the projected cost of the new Typhoon radar; and when it will enter frontline service.

In July 2022, the Ministry of Defence announced a further £2.35 billion investment in Typhoon, including fitting an electronically scanned radar, the European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2, as well as other improvements under the Phase 4 Enhancement aircraft upgrade package.

The ECRS Mk2 radar is currently forecast to achieve an initial operating capability on the Typhoon aircraft fleet by the end of the decade, although opportunities to accelerate the programme are being explored.

28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the embarked trials for F35B shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) have been successfully achieved; and if not, when they will be completed.

The Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing trials have not yet been completed. Planning is underway to identify a suitable period for the trials to be undertaken but a date has not yet been confirmed.

28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the primary reason for the purchase of F35B fighter aircraft is to provide an air wing for the new aircraft carriers

I refer the Noble Lord to the response I gave to him on 8 September 2022 (House of Lords Debate, column 269).

28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when Tempest (Future Combat Air System-FCAS) is due to enter service.

The 2021 Defence Command Paper said that we will invest more than £2 billion out to 2025. This is part of a UK budget of over £10 billion over the next ten years, although the ultimate amount we invest will depend on key programme choices.

We are now in the Concept and Assessment Phase (2021-25), during which key work is being undertaken to define and begin design of the capability we require. The design of the aircraft will be a key factor in determining the number we seek to acquire and this should be clearer by the end of the Concept and Assessment Phase.

28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the planned cost of the Tempest Programme; and how many platforms it is based around.

The 2021 Defence Command Paper said that we will invest more than £2 billion out to 2025. This is part of a UK budget of over £10 billion over the next ten years, although the ultimate amount we invest will depend on key programme choices.

We are now in the Concept and Assessment Phase (2021-25), during which key work is being undertaken to define and begin design of the capability we require. The design of the aircraft will be a key factor in determining the number we seek to acquire and this should be clearer by the end of the Concept and Assessment Phase.

24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 22 November (HL Deb cols 1272 to 1275), whether British steel will be used in the construction of the ships.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer provided by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Alex Chalk), in the House of Commons on 22 November 2022 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey), in response to Question number 88822.

24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 22 November (HL Deb cols 1272–5), what is the size of the current Harland & Wolff workforce; and when it last built a ship for the Royal Navy.

The size and distribution of the current Harland and Wolff workforce is a matter for the company.

Harland and Wolff was last awarded a Ministry of Defence contract to build RFA Fort Victoria in 1986. The ship was launched in 1990 and completed in 1994.

24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 22 November (HL Deb cols 1272–5), whether (1) pre-built, and (2) fitted, modules from Spain will be put together in Harland & Wolff.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer provided by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Alex Chalk), in the House of Commons on 24 November 2022 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey), in response to Question number 89737.

24th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 22 November (HL Deb cols 1272–5), what is the total cost of the contract; and how much of that will be spent in the UK accruing (1) corporation tax, (2) National Insurance contributions, and (3) income tax.

No contract has yet been signed. His Majesty's Government anticipates that the value of the contract will be £1.6 billion. The majority of this sum will be spent in the United Kingdom. As with any contract it is for the contractor to agree a price that takes into account its costs, including normal business costs such as taxes and national insurance payments.

17th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 17 November (HL3222), whether the delivery rate of Type 26 frigates to initial operating capability, after HMS Glasgow, will be once every 12 months.

Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is only declared once for ship classes. The Type 26 Class's IOC is forecast to be October 2028.

While delivery rates for the following hulls 2-8 may vary, all ships are expected to enter service between 2028 and 2035.

8th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the current status of HMS Bristol; and what plans they have for the future of HMS Bristol.

HMS Bristol was decommissioned in 2020 and the process for disposal is still under consideration.

3rd Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when HMS Glasgow will become operational in the Royal Navy; and when the remaining seven Type 26 frigates will enter service.

I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement I made on 2 November 2022 entitled ‘Type 26 Batch 1 Update’.

The Initial Operating Capability for the Type 26 Class is forecast to be October 2028. All ships are expected to enter service between 2028 and 2035.

25th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether there is any evidence of BAE Systems being involved with the UK ex-military aircrew flying in China.

While we are aware that a number of the pilots recruited had previously worked in defence industry, we have no reason to believe that any British companies were directly involved in the practice of UK ex-military aircrew flying in China. We have issued an alert to industry to make them aware, requesting that they communicate the threat to their personnel, to ensure that the alert is as widely disseminated as possible to any potential recruitment targets.

10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to (1) the Written Answer from Baroness Goldie on 22 September (HL2312), and (2) programme data released by the Ministry of Defence indicating a reduction in tonnage of 65,000 tons, whether they can now provide a detailed breakdown of how they calculated an increase of 59,000 tons.

Tonnage was calculated in 2020 as 799,000, with a total of 88 platforms.

By 2030, we expect growth in tonnage to increase to 858,000 with a total of 83 platforms.

Increases in tonnage is expected for eight platforms by 2030. Decreases in tonnage is expected for nine platforms by 2030.

10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made with the AUKUS agreement; and in what areas such progress has been made.

We are more than one year into the 18-month feasibility study period for AUKUS, with work advancing on training for Australian submariners, information sharing on nuclear naval propulsion, and adherence to the highest non-proliferation standards in consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

We are also making substantial progress in the four original areas of advanced capabilities, with workstreams on artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, undersea capabilities, and cyber. A further four additional workstreams, introduced in April 2022, in hypersonics and counter-hypersonics capabilities, electronic warfare capabilities, information sharing and innovation have also made strides.

26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer from Baroness Goldie on 20 September (HL2197), how many days at sea (1) HMS Queen Elizabeth, and (2) HMS Prince of Wales, have had since their acceptance by the Royal Navy; and on how many of those days operational F-35 jets have embarked.

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH has had 603 days at sea since vessel acceptance date, with operational F-35 jets embarked on 278 of those days.

HMS PRINCE OF WALES has had 267 days at sea since vessel acceptance date, with operational F-35 jets embarked on 13 of those days.

The normal operating cycle of every ship involves them entering different readiness levels depending on their programmes, periods of refit and Departmental planning requirements. In addition, these figures represent days at sea and it should be noted that, while deployed away from the UK, ships will spend both days at sea and alongside in ports around the world.

26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the current status of their proposed order of three Fleet Solid Support ships; whether they still intend that these ships will be built in the UK; and when they intend to launch the Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme.

With reference to the first element of the Noble Lord’s question relating to the Fleet Solid Support ships, I refer the noble Lord to the answers provided by my hon. Friend, the then Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin), in the House of Commons on 4 July 2022 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey), in response to Question HC27511; and on 29 June 2022 to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Kevan Jones) to HC24549.

I can also confirm that the Government intends to launch the Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme later this year, subject to final Ministerial and HM Treasury approvals. This scheme will provide transactional cover for UK companies to underwrite the finance of new commercial vessel contracts. This will stimulate the industry by increasing the competitiveness of UK commercial shipbuilding.

26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what calculation they have made, if any, of the minimum number of F35s the UK requires to ensure that in a major war or an emergency the full complement of 36 aircraft can be embarked in the designated carrier.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave him on 8 September 2022, volume 824 during the debate in the House of Lords main chamber.

26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when the last aircraft carrier was lost by the Royal Navy; and whether she had her airwing embarked.

Chronologically the last aircraft carrier lost by the Royal Navy was the Escort Carrier HMS DASHER which sank as a result of an internal explosion in the Clyde on 27 March 1943.

The aircraft embarked were Sea Hurricanes from 891 Naval Air Squadron and Swordfish from 816 Naval Air Squadron.

8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when 809 Squadron will be formed.

809 Naval Air Squadron is due to stand up on 1 April 2023.

8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether all UK F35 jets deployed for UK carrier operations off the Eastern seaboard of the USA will be embarked in the ship with their maintainers and aircrew.

The next period of F-35B Lightning activity on UK Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers off the Eastern seaboard of the USA will be a four-week test period conducted by the Joint Programme Office (JPO) Integrated Test Force (ITF) using embarked ITF aircraft, maintainers, support personnel and pilots.

Whenever UK F-35B Lightning aircraft are embarked on Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers the required complement of maintainers, support personnel and pilots are embarked to meet the directed operational output.

8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when the order for the five remaining Type 26 frigates will be placed.

As negotiations for Type 26 Batch 2 are still in progress, it would not be appropriate to release any further information. The House will be updated in due course.

8th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how much the Royal Navy will increase in tonnage between 2020 and 2030.

It is anticipated that the Royal Navy will increase in tonnage by 59,000 between 2020 and 2030, rising from 799,000 in 2020 to 858,000 by 2030.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many fully trained F35B pilots are in (1) the Royal Navy, and (2) the Royal Air Force; and how many are night-qualified for carrier operations.

The UK Lightning Force is fully capable of meeting its currently mandated operational outputs including commitments to support the Very High Readiness Carrier Strike Group. However, I am withholding the number of personnel, as disclosure would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness, or security of the Armed Forces.

F-35B Lightning aircraft are operated jointly within the UK Lightning Force, with all units manned by both Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel. There is no delineation between Services.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government for how many days in the first six months of 2022 were UK F35s embarked on (1) HMS Queen Elizabeth, and (2) HMS Prince of Wales, at sea; what numbers were embarked on each ship each day; how many flying hours were conducted each day; and how many pilots were of the (a) Royal Navy, and (b) Royal Air Force, for each day.

Assuming the question relates to embarked flying hours, in the first six months of 2022, zero F-35s have been embarked on Queen Elizabeth Carriers (QEC) at sea. Therefore, zero flying hours have been conducted and pilots from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have not been required.

The composition and size of an embarked air group in a deploying carrier will be tailored to meet operational requirement - the operational tasking of the QEC in the first six months of 2022 has not required F-35s to be embarked.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by the Secretary of State for Defence in an interview with Sky News on 26 July, whether they estimate that defence spending on present plans will drop below two per cent of GDP by 2026.

The Department does not routinely publish forecast figures. The current Spending Review (SR2021) will last until 2025. Future spending decisions are for the next spending review.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government who, if anyone, in the UK plays the equivalent role to that played by Mr Abraham Denmark, who was appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence in the United States of America to "coordinate efforts across the Department delivering the AUKUS partnership to help Australia establish a conventionally armed, nuclear powered submarine capability and to accelerate development of advanced capabilities to serve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific".

The UK welcomes the appointment of Mr Denmark to the Department of Defense. The National Security Adviser is the Senior Responsible Officer for AUKUS in the UK and the Cabinet Office is responsible for coordinating cross-departmental efforts.

The Ministry of Defence's Permanent Secretary, as the Defence accounting officer, is responsible for AUKUS capability development objectives.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of President Putin’s Decree No. 512 on the UK’s maritime strategy.

The 2021 Integrated Review (IR) of Defence outlined Russia as the most acute threat to our security. We continue to assess the threat posed by Russia, and beyond. Russia's recent maritime activity, as set out in Decree No. 512, presents challenges which impact upon the interests of the UK, our Allies and partners.

Growing our maritime capabilities will enable the projection of power further afield and the conduct of operations from increased range. We continue to remain vigilant that Russia continues to invest in and is developing significant underwater capabilities, including deep-sea capabilities which can threaten undersea cables, as well as a torpedo capable of delivering a nuclear payload to coastal targets.

5th Sep 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Royal Navy pilots are currently in advanced flying training to fly F35Bs.

The Royal Navy currently has less than five pilots on the advanced flying course at Royal Air Force Valley. This course is the prerequisite to progressing to the F-35 Operational Conversion Unit.

The Lightning Force qualified F-35 pilot strength is sufficient for its Very High Readiness status and all current operational requirements.

5th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 4 July (HL1126), whether there are existing arrangements in place to train foreign officers in operating Royal Navy submarine nuclear power plants.

The Royal Navy (RN) routinely provides training to foreign Nationals through International Defence Training arrangements. Under the AUKUS arrangements, this now includes the attendance of Australian personnel on RN Nuclear Propulsion training courses. The operation of RN nuclear submarine propulsion plants by Australian personnel remains subject to further enabling work.

4th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Eurofighter/Typhoon fighter jets were originally planned for in the defence programme; and on what basis that number was calculated.

At the time initial approvals were given in the mid-1990s, the number of Eurofighter Typhoon originally planned for in the defence programme was 232. However, this had reduced to 160 firm orders by the time that the final Tranche 3 contract was signed in 2009 under a previous Government.

The basis used to calculate that planned number in the 1990s would now be a matter of public record and any remaining records would be held in the National Archives.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 20 June (HL692), whether the RAF Tempest jet will be a carrier-capable aircraft.

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is being designed to replace the capabilities provided by the RAF’s Typhoon aircraft, which will leave service by 2040. This includes roles such as quick reaction alert with the ability to be fully interoperable with F-35B. It is therefore being designed to operate from airfields on the land.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to train Australian naval officers in the Royal Navy nuclear programme in a similar way to the US Navy with their Australia–U.S. Submarine Officer Pipeline Act.

There are existing arrangements for training non-UK national Navy personnel, including the Royal Australian Navy, as part of Royal Navy training programmes.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 20 June (HL691), whether there has been a change to the agreement that two squadrons would have Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm designation.

Three F35 Squadrons are designated as Royal Air Force. A fourth, 809 Naval Air Squadron will carry Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm designs. The fifth Lighting Force squadron has yet to be designated, with a timeline on identity and ownership yet to be established.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 20 June (HL693), when the UK will be able to deploy a carrier with its full load of 36 F-35B UK aircraft, should the operational requirement demand it.

On current plans, by the end of 2025, the UK will have procured 48 F-35Bs.

The Queen Elizabeth Class carriers have been designed to be able to embark 40 aircraft, a mix of fixed wing and rotary wing. The composition and size of the any embarked air group in a deploying carrier will be tailored to meet the operational requirement.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 20 June (HL695), what representations they have made, if any, to the government of the United States regarding the (1) manufacture, and (2) delivery profile, of F-35 combat aircraft, given the changes to the orders made for that aircraft by other governments.

We have informed the US led F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) of our Tranche 2 purchase intention. However, we are subject to our internationally agreed manufacture and delivery schedules, and capacity limitations in the overall F-35 development programme with its many global customers.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in light of the AUKUS agreement, what decisions they have made regarding the provision of nuclear-trained submariners to the Royal Australian Navy.

Initial steps are underway to ensure Australia has a workforce with the necessary skills, training, and qualifications to build, operate, and sustain a conventionally-armed nuclear-powered submarine capability.

20th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to train Australian naval officers in the Royal Navy nuclear programme, in a similar way to the US Navy with the Australia–US Submarine Officer Pipeline Act.

There are existing arrangements for training non-UK national Navy personnel, including the Royal Australian Navy, as part of Royal Navy training programmes.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for (1) speeding up delivery of F-35Bs, and (2) training more (a) pilots, and (b) ground crew.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave to him on 30 March 2022 to Question HL7316.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they still plan to form four F-35B squadrons; and if so, how many of those will have Royal Air Force squadron designation and how many will have Royal Navy squadron designation.

The Lightning Force will be formed of five Squadrons, jointly crewed by Royal Navy and RAF personnel. Three Squadrons have been designated RAF (617 (The Dambusters) Sqn, 207 Sqn (Operational Conversion Unit, and 17 Sqn (Test & Evaluation)), and one Royal Navy (809 Naval Air Sqn). The final one has yet to be considered for a Squadron designation.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the UK will be able to deploy a carrier with its (1) designated, and (2) planned for, load of 36 F-35B UK aircraft, plus helicopters.

The composition and size of the embarked air group in a deploying Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) carrier will be tailored to meet the operational requirement.

The QEC carriers have been designed to be able to embark 40 aircraft, a mix of fixed wing and rotary wing.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the 26 aircraft in the second tranche of F-35B will be ordered; and when the last is forecasted to be delivered.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 May 2022 to Question 1104 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr Healey).

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when is the delivery date for the last of the 48 jets presently on order.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 18 May 2022 to Question 1103 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (Mr Healey).

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Tempest squadrons (1) will be flown by the Royal Air Force, and (2) will have Royal Air Force squadron designations.

We are developing concepts for a Future Combat Air System (FCAS), to be operated by the RAF. FCAS is intended to replace the capabilities provided by our Typhoon aircraft, as set out in the Integrated Review. As such, any decisions on squadron designations will not need to be taken until later in the next decade.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to replicate the USN Growler capability in any UK aircraft form.

The F-35 Lightning aircraft undertake the Electronic Attack roles similar to the E/A-18 Growler. Fitted with the AN/APG-81 radar and AN/ASQ-239 system, the F-35 has robust electronic warfare (EW) Capabilities and can operate in the EW role utilising the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-function radar. Additionally, the Typhoon radar will be upgraded later this decade with ECRS Mk2 which will also possess EA capabilities.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the national flagship will be manned by the Royal Navy; and whether there will be a consequent uplift in Royal Navy manpower ceilings.

The National Flagship will be crewed by the Royal Navy.

Details of the composition of the crew of the National Flagship are still being developed as part of the concept and assessment phase of the project. The ship's company is anticipated to be small and this will be absorbed within current personnel figures.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the ocean research ship will be ordered; and whether it will be built in a UK shipyard.

The new Multi Role Ocean Surveillance programme is in its concept and assessment phase. Options for the procurement strategy and the project schedule are under development, but no firm decisions have yet been made.

No precise date has yet been set for the entry into service of the Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship.

The National Shipbuilding Office will seek to maximise the opportunity for UK Industry with this programme, within our international and legal obligations.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether replacements for (1) RFA Argus, and (2) HMS Scott, will be built in UK shipyards.

The replacement medical capability for RFA ARGUS is being considered in the scope of the Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) which is due to enter Service in the early 2030s.

Regarding the replacement for HMS SCOTT, the new Multi Role Ocean Surveillance (MROS) programme is in its concept and assessment phase. Options for the procurement strategy and the project schedule are under development, but no firm decisions have yet been made.

The National Shipbuilding Office will seek to maximise the opportunity for UK Industry within both of these programmes, within the boundaries of our international and legal obligations.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the three Fleet Solid support ships will be ordered from UK shipyards.

I refer the noble Lord to the answers given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin), in the House of Commons on 26 January 2022 to the hon. Member for Birkenhead (Mick Whitley) in response to Question number 108625: and on 23 September 2021 to the Rt Hon. Member for North Durham (Kevan Jones) in response to Question number 51616.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the national flagship will be ordered; and whether it will be built in a UK shipyard.

The National Flagship programme remains in its Design Stage, with a competitive procurement process in progress. A separate competition for the construction of the National Flagship will be launched in due course. The detailed construction schedule will be subject to the successful bidder's build strategy. It is the intention to build the National Flagship in the UK.

16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the planned procurement costs of the Tempest programme.

The 2021 Defence Command Paper said that we would invest over £2 billion in Future Combat Air System over the following four years. This includes funding for the Concept and Assessment Phase, which was launched in summer last year, with an initial investment of £250 million in a contract with Team Tempest industry partners to deliver it. The total ultimately invested thereafter will be contingent on decisions made towards the end of the Concept and Assessment Phase.

16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a sixth generation manned fighter and its accompanying Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) would be seen as replacing the F35B in its role as part of the carrier air-group.

In line with the Integrated Review, we are continuing to develop Future Combat Air System (FCAS) as a replacement for the capabilities provided by our Typhoon aircraft. Advances in technology mean it is being designed to deliver an even larger range and depth of capabilities, including greater networked interoperability with uncrewed aircraft and F-35.

16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is an approved staff requirement for a sixth generation manned fighter; and if so, whether the number of (1) manned aircraft, and (2) supporting Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs), has been accepted as part of the defence programme.

The Future Combat Air System (FCAS) is being designed to deliver sixth-generation capabilities for UK combat air, to meet the requirement for a replacement for Typhoon. The FCAS programme entered the Concept and Assessment Phase in summer 2021. This phase will define and begin design of the system, mature key technologies and invest in the skilled workforce and advanced industrial capabilities needed to deliver it, helping us to identify an optimal future force mix and enable major programme choices by 2024.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the timescales for building the new multi-ocean surveillance ship referred to in the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

The Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance Ship (MROS) programme will provide several capabilities, including those currently provided by HMS SCOTT.

Funding was provided for that programme in the Integrated Review as part of the uplift to the Royal Navy's shipbuilding pipeline; the nature of the shipping and systems that will deliver the capabilities are being developed, along with the timeline for implementation.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to replace HMS Scott when it ceases service in 2023.

The Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance Ship (MROS) programme will provide several capabilities, including those currently provided by HMS SCOTT.

Funding was provided for that programme in the Integrated Review as part of the uplift to the Royal Navy's shipbuilding pipeline; the nature of the shipping and systems that will deliver the capabilities are being developed, along with the timeline for implementation.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to replace RFA Argus when it ceases service in 2024.

Royal Fleet Auxiliary ARGUS is due out of service in 2024. In the longer term, the Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) programme will offer an enduring solution to afloat medical support. In the interim, a range of potential options are being explored to mitigate the gap, including a potential short extension in service of RFA ARGUS.

6th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 5 April (HL7240), whether there are enough UK merchant sailors to man the merchant ships assessed necessary to conduct overseas operations, in addition to the Royal Fleet Auxiliaries.

In addition to Royal Fleet Auxiliaries, there are sufficient UK seafarers currently resourced by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to conduct overseas operations to meet current operational commitments. This arrangement includes four Roll-on Roll-Off vessels which are operated by Foreland Shipping Limited under an MOD contract.

During periods of conflict which demand resource above current MOD capacity, the UK Merchant fleet is used to meet this requirement. The MOD is unable to comment on the size and employment status of UK seafarers working outside the MOD as this is the responsibility of the Maritime Coastguard Agency, which is an executive agency of the Department of Transport.

4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the refreshed Shipbuilding Strategy intends to (1) enhance, and (2) grow, the UK ship repair capability.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh sets out a vision that by 2030, we will be a globally successful, innovative and sustainable UK shipbuilding enterprise. Ship repair is a key part of this enterprise and the Refresh aims to tackle barriers to growth, further develop our capability and support the creation of skilled jobs across the UK shipbuilding enterprise.

1st Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the war in Ukraine, whether acceptance of Crowsnest into service will be accelerated.

Initial Release to Service was achieved in February 2021 and the programme successfully delivered a baseline capability to support the Carrier Strike Group deployment.

On current plans, Initial Operating Capability is expected to be reached this year and Full Operating Capability in 2023.

1st Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the war in Ukraine, whether the (1) Type 26, and (2) Type 31, frigate programmes will be accelerated.

The Department continually reviews its shipbuilding programme schedules within the related constraints.

All three ships of the first batch of Type 26 frigates are currently in build in Govan. The first Type 26 frigate, HMS GLASGOW, is expected to be in service with the Royal Navy in 2027.

The procurement of Batch 2 (Ships 4-8) was confirmed in 2021. The dates for the construction of each ship will be set during commercial negotiations with BAES. The in service dates for Batch 2 ships will be determined and approved when the programme achieves its main investment decision point.

There are five Type 31 frigates on contract with Babcock. The first Type 31 frigate HMS VENTURER is expected to be in service with the Royal Navy in 2027.

1st Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the war in Ukraine, whether the planned paying off of Type 23 frigates will be delayed.

There are no plans to delay the out of service dates of Type 23 frigates. The current schedule will see the class retired from service incrementally through to 2035, to be replaced by more capable ships as they go out of service.

1st Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the war in Ukraine, whether the Type 45 PIP programme will be accelerated.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin), in the House of Commons on 21 March 2022 to the right hon. Member for Rayleigh and Wickford (Mark Francois) to Question 141925.

1st Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in view of the war in Ukraine, whether they have re-assessed the gap in Royal Navy surface to surface missile capability.

We continue to scope options for the Royal Navy's next surface to surface guided weapon system, alongside wider lethality requirements, to allow us to deliver on the commitments outlined in the Integrated Review. No final decisions have yet been made. This position has not altered as a result of the war in Ukraine.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to speed up (1) delivery of F35B fighters, and (2) the formation of the second squadron.

Due to other operational commitments and engineering training pipelines there are no plans to accelerate our personnel Force Growth plan at present. We are constrained by our internationally agreed manufacture and delivery profile; there are capacity limitations in the overall F-35 development programme with many global customers.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect the first Fleet Solid Support ship to operate with the carrier battlegroup.

The date for Fleet Solid Support Initial Operating Capability and individual ship in service dates will not be determined until the Full Business Case is submitted and will be reliant on the delivery schedule agreed when the manufacture contract is awarded. The contract requirement is for three ships to be delivered by 2032; the competition rewards bids that deliver to the earliest schedule, balanced against value for money.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many reservists have been called to the colours since the start of the war in Ukraine.

In the period from 24 February to 25 March 2022, a total of 165 Reservist personnel were accepted into permanent service (routinely known as mobilisation) under the terms of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, supporting various single Service and Defence operations.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all operational warships have their full complement of personnel, as per the Watch Bill.

Warships are crewed to meet the requirements of their tasking.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any warship deployed outside UK waters has its full holding of (1) ammunition, and (2) missiles.

Any disclosure detailing the current holdings of ammunition and missiles on deployed Royal Navy warships would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability and effectiveness of the Armed Forces and compromise operational security.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with UK defence manufacturers to enhance production to ensure (1) the continued supply of weapons to Ukraine, and (2) the restocking of weapons held by UK armed forces.

The MOD continually reviews its weapons and munitions stocks to ensure it can meet its commitments, including to Ukraine, whilst maintaining sufficient stocks for the UK Armed Forces.

Delivery schedules for weapons are continually reviewed, including with defence manufacturers, and subject to adjustment in accordance with evolving Defence requirements. Ministers and senior officials are in frequent contact with key suppliers.

22nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure there are sufficient UK seafarers to operate the ships necessary for overseas military operations.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to monitor situations globally to ensure our planning and delivery mechanisms remain agile and support Integrated Review priorities.

We remain confident that the Royal Navy has sufficient military personnel, and civilian UK seafarers within the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, to operate the current MOD fleet of vessels necessary for overseas military operations.

18th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in response to the war in Ukraine, what plans they have, if any, (1) to fill shortages in weapons stocks held by UK armed services, (2) to bring ships, aircraft and any vehicles up to their latest state of modification and maintenance in order to be ready for operations, (3) to speed up delivery of platforms and weapons systems already in procurement pipelines, (4) to call up reserves for certain specialist tasks that are currently gapped, and (5) to strengthen the training pipeline in preparation for a greater volume of recruits.

The MOD proactively manages its stocks of weapons and munitions to ensure that existing and new Armed Forces’ commitments can be met, including any provision to Ukraine.

The Government recognises the need for rapid modernisation of our Armed Forces. The Defence Command Paper outlined the Department’s commitment to rapid modernisation, shipbuilding, and accelerated Research and Development and plans to achieve strategic advantage. Our Armed Forces will become more agile and adaptable, to respond at pace to emerging threats.

Delivery schedules for platforms and weapons are under continual review and subject to adjustment in accordance with evolving Defence requirements.

As an integral part of the Armed Forces, Reservists are routinely used for military commitments whenever it makes sense to use the capability that they provide.

Military workforce levels are set in line with capability requirements as set out in the Defence Plan and are reviewed on this basis. This in turn sets the requirement for recruitment and training pipelines which are adjusted to ensure Defence Plan commitments are met.

10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current timetable for phase 2 of the rollout of Veteran’s ID Cards to all veterans who left the armed forces before 2018.

The Veterans’ Recognition Scheme has a two-phase rollout. Phase one is complete, with Service leavers receiving a HM Armed Forces Veterans’ Recognition Card as part of the discharge process; since December 2018, over 45,000 such Cards have been issued to Service leavers. Phase two will extend the scheme to existing veterans so they can more quickly, easily and securely prove they served in the UK Armed Forces.

In the Veterans' Strategy Action Plan (2022-2024), the Government committed to exploring the secure, digital verification of veterans’ status. This work is now complete, and the Ministry of Defence and Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to work with veterans and other stakeholders to develop a future-proof product, ensuring that Recognition Cards are given only to those with verified service, guarding against fraudulent use as a wider range of benefits become accessible. The Government remains committed to delivering Veterans’ Recognition Cards and will advise of a timescale for final delivery when this work is complete.

Veterans do not require a Recognition Card to prove their status or to access veteran-related services or discounts. Veteran status can be verified by the veteran themselves or any veterans' service by contacting Veterans UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterans-uk

4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 26 January (HL5599), whether the first Type 26 (1) passed Main Gate in 2015, (2) was ordered July 2017, (3) will enter operational service 2027; and whether they expect the last of the eight ships in that class will enter service in 2041.

In November 2015 the Strategic Defence and Security Review confirmed that eight Type 26 frigates would be manufactured. In 2016 the Demonstration Phase for the Type 26 frigates was extended to June 2017. A contract for the manufacture of the first batch of three Type 26 frigates was awarded to BAE Systems in June 2017.

All three ships of the first batch of Type 26 frigates are currently in build in Govan, with the first Type 26 frigate (HMS GLASGOW) expected to be in service with the Royal Navy in 2027.

The procurement of the Batch 2 (Ships 4-8) Type 26 frigates was confirmed in 2021 and will be subject to a separate approval and contract, which is expected to be awarded early in the 2020s. The dates for the construction of each ship, and its price, will be set during commercial negotiations with BAES. The in-service dates for the Batch 2 ships will be determined and approved when the programme achieves its main investment decision point.

4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 18 November 2021 (HL3743) in which she said that the Refresh to the National Shipbuilding Strategy would be published "later this year", when they now expect to publish that Strategy.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh will be published early this year.

4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Power Improvement Project conversion work has commenced on HMS Daring.

HMS DARING is currently at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, with conversion work to be carried out during 2022.

4th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Power Improvement Project for HMS Dauntless has taken 21 months so far, instead of the planned six to eight months.

HMS DAUNTLESS is the first of class to undergo Power Improvement Project (PIP) conversion. The next phase of the programme will see HMS DAUNTLESS undertake a rigorous harbour trials programme, before returning to sea later this year for sea trials.

The PIP conversion is a complex engineering project and delivering it against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a significant challenge which has impacted the schedule.

The lessons learned from the first of class PIP conversion will be applied to subsequent ships, whilst taking into account that the programme is balanced against the Royal Navy's standing and future operational commitments. It is planned that all six Type 45 ships will have received the PIP conversion by 2028.

20th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with (1) BA Systems, or (2) Babcock, regarding the build rate of the (a) Type 26 frigates, or (b) Type 31 frigates.

Ministers and officials hold regular meetings with defence contractors and suppliers, including BAE Systems and Babcock to discuss a variety of subjects, including frigate programmes.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the first Type 31 Frigate will first enter naval service.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin), in the House of Commons on 5 March 2020 to the right hon. Member for North Durham (Kevan Jones) in response to Question 22373.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when HMS Daring will return operationally to the Fleet.

HMS DAUNTLESS is in the test and commissioning phase of her Power Improvement Programme (PIP). All three new diesel generators have been run and initial load trials completed successfully. The next phase of the programme will see HMS DAUNTLESS undertake a rigorous harbour trials programme, before returning to sea later this year for sea trials.

HMS DARING is currently at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead and will be the second Type 45 Destroyer to undergo PIP, with conversion work carried out during 2022.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when HMS Dauntless will return operationally to the Fleet.

HMS DAUNTLESS is in the test and commissioning phase of her Power Improvement Programme (PIP). All three new diesel generators have been run and initial load trials completed successfully. The next phase of the programme will see HMS DAUNTLESS undertake a rigorous harbour trials programme, before returning to sea later this year for sea trials.

HMS DARING is currently at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead and will be the second Type 45 Destroyer to undergo PIP, with conversion work carried out during 2022.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HMS Lancaster is due to be decommissioned in 2024; and whether HMS Iron Duke is due to be decommissioned in 2025.

I refer the noble Lord to the response given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 October 2021 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey) to Question 58732.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HMS Argyll is due to be decommissioned in 2022.

I refer the noble Lord to the response given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 October 2021 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey) to Question 58732.

10th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HMS Monmouth has been decommissioned; and whether HMS Montrose will be decommissioned later this year.

I refer the noble Lord to the response given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin) in the House of Commons on 19 October 2021 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey) to Question 58732.

5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there is a senior UK official attached to the US Submarine Advisory Committee; and what relationship the Advisory Committee has to US Defence's Nuclear-Powered Submarine Task Force currently working with UK to identify the best way for Australia to acquire a nuclear submarine fleet.

We are unaware of a US Submarine Advisory Committee and therefore cannot offer further information in response.

5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the new national flagship (1) will be crewed by Royal Naval personnel, and (2) will fly the White Ensign.

The National Flagship will be crewed by the Royal Navy and is expected to fly the White Ensign.

13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people are serving in the Ministry of Defence's diversity and inclusion directorate; what are their (1) grades, and (2) salaries; what is their reporting chain; and who is the responsible Secretary of State for their work.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Directorate brings together a number of teams who deliver work related to the creation of an inclusive culture; the Service Discipline, Conduct, Complaints, and Legislation team (DCCL), Service Justice Complaints and Behaviours Transformation team (CJBT), the Defence Serious Crime Capability team (DSCC) and the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team. This Directorate is part of the wider Defence People Transformation team, led by a 2-star Senior Civil Servant reporting to the Chief of Defence People, and was announced in the Defence Command Paper as a public statement of the MOD’s commitment to change. The D&I Directorate brings together the existing Service Justice and Complaints process with the teams charged with transforming these processes. This allows a coordinated, consistent, and cross-cutting approach to tackle fairness, equality, and justice across Defence and make real change to the experiences of our people.

The grades and salary bands of the Directorate’s staff can be found in the separate Excel workbook accompanying this answer. The Directorate is part of the MOD and is, therefore, responsible to and the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Defence

2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries have committed to acquiring the Type 26 frigate; how many frigates each country ordered; whether the expected level of acquisitions has led to a drop in the unit price; and whether this will this affect the in-service dates of ships planned for the Royal Navy.

Two nations have committed to building frigates based on the Type 26 design; Australia and Canada. Both nations will design and build their own variants of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship at their national shipyards in Adelaide and Halifax respectively.

We do not comment on unit pricing for reasons of commercial sensitivity. There will be no impact on in-service dates for the Royal Navy Type 26 frigates.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries have committed to acquiring the Type 31 frigate; how many frigates has each country ordered; whether the expected level of acquisitions has led to a drop in the unit price; and whether will this affect the in-service dates of ships planned for the Royal Navy.

The design of the Type 31 frigate (marketed as Arrowhead 140) has been exported under licence to Indonesia by Babcock International and two vessels will be built in an Indonesian shipyard.

We do not comment on unit pricing for reasons of commercial sensitivity. There will be no impact on in-service dates for the Royal Navy Type 31 frigates.

2nd Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the UK last had the steel production capability to supply all the types of steel necessary for the deterrent submarine programme; and what steps they plan to take to re-establish that capability.

United Kingdom (UK) submarine steel requirements continue to be sourced by our prime contractors from a range of UK and international suppliers. This reflects the need to source specific grades of steel, not all of which are available in the UK, and ensures competitive procurement in terms of cost, time and quality. The types of steel produced in the UK is a commercial decision for our steel manufacturers.

4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took in developing their plans for a new Royal Navy Surveillance Ship; when it will be ordered; when they expect it will enter service; whether it will have the capacity to repair subsea cables; and whether it will be built in the UK.

The new Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship is in its concept and assessment phase. Options for the procurement strategy are being explored, but no firm decision has yet been made.

The vessel will primarily undertake survey work and will also enable us to better protect our undersea cables and energy supplies. It will form part of the 30-year cross-Government shipbuilding pipeline which will be published in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh later this year.

4th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the National Shipbuilding Office regarding the development of the refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy; and when the Strategy will be published.

The National Shipbuilding Office is working across Government to develop the Refresh to the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which will be published later this year.

18th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Baroness Goldie on 14 October (HL Deb, cols 1915–18), when the last of the eight planned Type 26 frigates will be accepted by the Royal Navy.

I am unable to provide the information requested by the noble Lord as it remains commercially sensitive. I refer the noble Lord to my previous response to question number HL14017, answered on 17 March 2021.

11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the transfer of two Type 23 Frigates to the Hellenic Navy for (1) overall frigate numbers, and (2) the minimum level of frigates committed to be held by the Royal Navy.

As part of the Integrated Review the decision was taken to decommission two Type 23 frigates, HMS MONMOUTH and HMS MONTROSE. They had been due to enter planned maintenance cycles from 2023. Frigate availability will be maintained through the life extension of three other General-Purpose Type 23s, and the new Type 26 and Type 31 frigates entering service. No decision has been made regarding the disposal of HMS MONMOUTH and HMS MONTROSE.

11th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the 'Crowsnest' Airborne Early Warning helicopter programme is on schedule to meet its intended operational date; and what assessment they have made of challenges associated with the F-35B fighter jet programme, in particular regarding personnel.

The CROWSNEST programme has successfully delivered a baseline capability to support the Carrier Strike Group deployment in 2021.

The F-35B is a developing capability across Defence and, as such, challenges surrounding Suitable Qualified and Experienced Personnel are constantly monitored to ensure delivery of Strategic effect.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to supply the Royal Navy with (1) surface-to-surface, and (2) land attack, missiles to (a) Type 45 destroyers, (b) Type 26 frigates, and (c) follow-on ships.

Type 45 Destroyers are currently supplied with the Harpoon Surface-to-Surface Guided Weapons (SSGW) system when operational demands require. In the future, there is no intent to continue to fit a SSGW system to Type 45 Destroyers.

The current intent is that the Type 26 Frigate will be fitted with Future Cruise Anti-Ship Weapon Systems, which include a land attack capability.

We continue to scope options for the next generation of SSGW system, alongside wider lethality requirements, allowing us to deliver on the commitments outlined in the Integrated Review. No final decisions have yet been made.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the difficulties associated with incorporating Australian radar systems and United States combat systems into the Hunter class frigates that the UK and Australia are designing and building have been resolved.

Her Majesty's Government does not comment on the progress of another sovereign nation's defence programme and is therefore unable to provide a response to this question.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the agreement with Australia to cooperate on building Type 26 and Hunter class frigates has been amended since it was signed.

The agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between Her Majesty's Government and the Government of Australia, to share information on the Hunter Class and Type 26 Frigate Programmes, has not been amended since it was signed in October 2020.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to stripping laid-up (1) Hunt class, and (2) Sandown class, Mine Counter Measure Vessels and using them as patrol vessels in UK waters.

There are currently no plans to repurpose Mine Counter Measure Vessels for UK Maritime Security duties, which are delivered by a range of assets including Royal Navy vessels assigned to operations within the United Kingdom Marine Area.

4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to enhance the (1) armament, and (2) defensive, capability of the Royal Navy's Forth class offshore patrol vessels.

In line with procedures for any deploying ship, the armament and defensive capabilities of the Batch 2 River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels are adjusted as required to ensure the ships can operate safely in accordance with their intended tasking.

8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the new planned acceptance date is for HMS Dreadnought.

There is no new planned acceptance date for HMS Dreadnought. The Dreadnought submarine programme remains on track for first of Class, HMS Dreadnought to enter service in the early 2030s.

8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the cost of HMS Vanguard's Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOP(R)) is.

I am withholding information regarding the completion date of the Deep Maintenance Project (Refuel) of HMS Vanguard as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces. I am also withholding the estimated cost as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HMS Vanguard's Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOP(R)) has been completed;  and if not, when it will be completed.

I am withholding information regarding the completion date of the Deep Maintenance Project (Refuel) of HMS Vanguard as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our Armed Forces. I am also withholding the estimated cost as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what UK military equipment was abandoned in Afghanistan after the withdrawal.

During Operation PITTING and the withdrawal of the UK military from Afghanistan spare capacity was used on flights to return as much equipment to the UK as possible. However, people were prioritised over equipment at all times to evacuate UK nationals and eligible persons under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP). Consequently, a small amount of equipment was left behind or gifted to partner nations.

All sensitive equipment and anything considered attractive to criminal and terrorist organisations was recovered during withdrawal.

8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to place the order for the three new Fleet Solid Support ships.

The Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ship competition was launched on 21 May 2021 with the issue of a contract notice. The manufacture contract award is expected to be made within two years of the competition launch, following approvals. As announced on 1 September 2021, four consortia, all of which include significant UK involvement, have been awarded Competitive Procurement Phase contracts. The award of these contracts means the FSS ship competition has successfully moved to the next stage.

8th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the next ballistic missile submarine will enter its Long Overhaul Period and Refuel (LOP(R)).

The Government does not disclose operational information about Royal Navy submarines as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the status of HMS Diamond.

The repair to HMS DIAMOND was completed at the end of August. She is currently sailing to re-join the main Carrier Strike Group to resume her operational duties.

16th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 13 July (HL1582), whether the Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship will be used as a subsea cable repair ship; and, if so, whether any such ships will be in the 30-year cross-government shipbuilding pipeline to be published later this year.

The Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship will primarily undertake survey work and will also enable us to better protect our undersea cables and energy supplies. It will form part of the 30-year cross-government shipbuilding pipeline which will be published in the National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh later this year.

12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what investment they are providing to support the growth of green shipbuilding in the UK.

The Secretary of State for Defence, in his role as Shipbuilding Tsar, is working across Government to support the shipbuilding enterprise. The National Shipbuilding Strategy Refresh will set out our comprehensive support for green shipbuilding, which offers a significant opportunity for driving the renaissance of the sector.

On 22 March 2021 the Department for Transport launched the £20 million Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which has now closed. This will fund feasibility studies and initial technology trials in clean maritime technologies including green shipbuilding, placing the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vessels.

12th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether subsea cable repair ships should be classified as warships.

For a subsea cable repair ship to be classed as a warship, it would need to meet the definition of a warship under Article 29 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

8th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to nationalise Sheffield Forgemasters; and what assessment they have made of the importance of Sheffield Forgemasters to the supply of the UK's nuclear submarine fleet.

Sheffield Forgemasters is a strategic supplier to Defence; therefore, officials are in regular dialogue with company representatives. I have seen the media speculation about the company, and it would be inappropriate to comment further.

5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the majority of work on the three new Fleet Solid Support ships will be undertaken at UK shipyards.

The contract for the manufacture of the Fleet Solid Support ships will be awarded to a UK business, either solely or as part of a consortium. A significant proportion of the build work will be carried out in the UK.

The competition seeks to maximise the economic and social contribution shipbuilding can make in the UK, including encouraging investment in domestic shipyards, whilst balancing the need to deliver value for money and an overall compliant solution to meet the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's needs.

5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish the National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh.

The National Shipbuilding Strategy refresh will be published later this year.

5th Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ring fence money for the next five Type 26 frigates in the forthcoming spending review.

Resources have been allocated by the Ministry of Defence to build and support the next five Type 26 Frigates. Funding lines are continually reviewed as part of routine programme management to ensure value for money is maximised for the taxpayer, drive the schedule and manage risk and opportunity.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the proposed naval cable monitoring and repair ship is intended to replace the sophisticated ships currently looking after undersea cables.

The Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship will be included in the 30-year cross-Government shipbuilding pipeline which will be published in the National Shipbuilding Strategy later this year. This new capability will enhance our ability to protect our underwater critical national infrastructure and our ability to detect threats in the North Atlantic and beyond.

29th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to include the building of subsea cable repair ships within the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship will be included in the 30-year cross-Government shipbuilding pipeline which will be published in the National Shipbuilding Strategy later this year. This new capability will enhance our ability to protect our underwater critical national infrastructure and our ability to detect threats in the North Atlantic and beyond.

28th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the new acceptance date for delivery of HMS Glasgow.

On current plans, HMS GLASGOW will be floated-up in BAE System's Govan shipyard in the second half of 2022 and then transferred to its Scotstoun shipyard. There, she will be fitted-out with complex weapons and other systems. After completion of sea trials and Royal Navy training and preparations, she is currently expected to enter service in 2027.

17th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to increase the size of the Royal Navy Overseas Patrol Squadron.

The Royal Navy has no plans at present to expand the size of the Overseas Patrol Squadron once the fifth Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel is declared in service later this summer.

24th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they anticipate that the number of Royal Navy frigates will drop below 10 this decade.

Her Majesty's Government does not anticipate that the number of Royal Navy frigates will drop below ten this decade. Frigate numbers are forecast to grow from 2025, when the first Type 26 and Type 31 frigates are scheduled to be delivered.

11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether HMS Medway has visited St Vincent since the volcano eruptions on 9 and 12 April.

HMS Medway has not visited St. Vincent since the eruptions on 9 and 12 April, and the Ministry of Defence have not received any requests for UK military support from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

11th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) in what location, and (2) at what notice, was HMS Medway when the volcano erupted in St Vincent on 9 and 12 April.

Between 9 and 12 April HMS Medway was at Naval Station Mayport, United States, undergoing unscheduled repair work for hull damage sustained from a tug during a berthing incident. As a result, she was not available for tasking.

26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries were visited by ships from the Ocean Wave task group of 1997.

A total of 18 ships were included in the Ocean Wave task group of 1997. Ships from the task group visited 30 countries and three British Overseas Territories during the deployment.

26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many ships were included in the Ocean Wave task group of 1997.

A total of 18 ships were included in the Ocean Wave task group of 1997. Ships from the task group visited 30 countries and three British Overseas Territories during the deployment.

25th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the trained personnel strength of the Royal Marines on (1) 1 April 2010, (2) 1 April 2016, and (3) what do they estimate will be the trained personnel strength on 1 April 2025.

As at 1 January 2021, the current Full Time Trained Strength of the Royal Marines is 5,968. On 1 April 2010 and 1 April 2016, the Full Time Trained Strength of the Royal Marines was 7,082 and 6,921 respectively.

The recent Defence Command Paper announced that the Royal Marines will transition into the Future Commando Force and adopt new and autonomous capabilities. As a result, force structures will change but decisions are yet to be made on the future size of the Royal Marines.

24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they next plan to order F35B aircraft; and how many they plan to order.

The Defence Command Paper confirms our intention to continue the growth of our F-35B Lightning Force, beyond the 48 we have already ordered. We will now undertake a period of detailed analysis to evaluate the scale and timeline for procurement of our second tranche of F-35B Lightning Aircraft, associated infrastructure, equipment and support requirements.

24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 23 March (HL Deb, col 811), what meetings they have had with the board of BA Systems to discuss the Type 26 frigate programme.

Ministerial colleagues and Ministry of Defence officials have regular meetings with BAE Systems board members on a range of matters, including the Type 26 Frigate programme.

24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Baroness Goldie on 23 March (HL Deb, col 811), whether the review of reserves by Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton will cover the provision of soldiers for 'Military Aid to the Civil Power', including (1) resilience, and (2) disaster relief, following the recent cut in the size of the armed forces.

The Reserve Forces 2030 (RF30) review was initiated by the Chief of the Defence Staff in February 2020. Lord Lancaster was invited to prepare an independent report on the reserve forces and how their likely future employment will contribute to defence and wider Government out to 2030.

The RF30 review has yet to be published, but is a welcome and thorough review of reserves’ contribution to the Armed Forces including resilience. The MOD will carefully consider all of the review’s recommendations and report back to Parliament in due course.

24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many frigates they plan to be in commission on (1) 1 April 2026, and (2) 1 April 2027.

Shipbuilding investment will double over the life of this Parliament rising to over £1.7 billion a year; this investment will allow us to increase the number of Frigates and Destroyers beyond the 19 we currently have by the end of the decade. Orders for the Type 26 and Type 31 Frigates have already been placed and will be introduced from around the mid-late 2020s.

10th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 9 March (HL13634), when the (1) second, and (2) third, ship will enter service

On current plans, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast will enter service in the late 2020s.

8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 16 December 2020, to which specific year or years "early 2020s" refers.

As the contract award for the Batch 2 Type 26 Frigates is subject to commercial negotiation and Her Majesty's Treasury approval, I am unable at this stage to provide a more precise timescale.

8th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have ordered any new ships for the Royal Navy since the Prime Minister's statement on the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy on 19 November 2020.

There have been no new contracts since 19 November, but with the construction of the Type 26 progressing on the Clyde and the Type 31 frigates beginning later this year, we will have, for the first time in 30 years, two classes of frigate simultaneously under construction in UK shipyards.

1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Royal Naval ships were in commission on (1) 1 March 2009, (2) 1 March 2015, and (3) 1 March 2021.

The following figures reflect Royal Navy ships and submarines in commission on the dates shown:

1 March 2009 - 86

1 March 2015 - 74

1 March 2021 - 78

These figures exclude HMS VICTORY.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission about (1) changes to employment contracts, and (2) the redundancy terms of EU-based staff.

The Ministry of Defence has been in regular contact with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission regarding the changes to the contractual arrangements for 30 UK staff based in Belgium and France. The Commission have advised that 21 staff have elected to remain in Europe, seven will return to new positions in the UK, and two have chosen to retire. As a result of this engagement, including between the Secretary of State for Defence and the Commission, the support package for all staff has been considerably enhanced.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Type 45 Power Improvement Project will be completed in all ships of the class.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin), in the House of Commons on 8 June 2020 to the hon. Member for Dunfermline and West Fife (Douglas Chapman), in response to Question numbers 53459 and 53460.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Prime Minister on 19 November 2020 that they are “taking forward … plans for eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates, and support ships to supply our carriers” (HC Deb, col 488), why they have not yet ordered the remaining planned Type 26 frigates.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave him on 16 December 2020, in response to Question HL11193.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the first Type 26 frigate was ordered; when the first steel was cut; what is the planned launch date of that frigate; and when it is expected to be accepted into service by the Royal Navy.

The £3.7 billion contract to manufacture the first batch of three Type 26 Frigates was awarded in June 2017 and steel cut on the first ship, HMS GLASGOW, in July 2017.

I have interpreted the Noble Lord's use of the term 'launch date' to mean when HMS GLASGOW will be in the water. On current plans, HMS GLASGOW will be floated-up in BAE System's Govan shipyard in the second half of 2022 and then transferred to its Scotstoun shipyard. There, she will be fitted-out with complex weapons and other systems. After completion of sea trials and Royal Navy training and preparations, she is currently expected to enter service in 2027.

11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations play in delivering the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) create and maintain excellent links to business and the wider community through their regional engagement groups. As such, the RFCAs have an important role in delivering wider engagement with society and encouraging businesses and other institutions to sign the Armed Forces Covenant. Through their network of Employer Engagement Directors, RFCAs are well placed to discuss with businesses and other stakeholders, the tangible benefits which can accrue from demonstrating support to the Armed Forces Community, including recognition through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award.

11th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the review of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) has concluded that unpaid non-executive positions of the RFCAs, including chairmanships, should remain unpaid; whether any of the review's conclusions on such unpaid executive positions reflect the voluntary ethos of the RFCAs; and whether the review has considered (1) a potential role for unpaid independent advisory councils in shadowing the current regional and national arrangements of the RFCAs, and (2) the extent to which the current organisation of the RFCAs offers value for money.

The 2019 Review of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations (RFCAs) was published on 24 March 2020 and placed in the Library of the House. The Review can be found at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-the-reserve-forces-cadets-associations-2019

The Review identified a clear need for fully independent non-executive directors with appropriate corporate competencies to bring a level of constructive challenge currently lacking due to the insular way business is conducted. In addition, it also recommended that some roles should be advertised on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website and consideration should be given to remunerating RFCA Board and Regional Council members to attract applicants with a diverse mix of military and professional knowledge, skills and experience.

The Review is not explicit on the role of independent advisory councils but recommends that the wider RFCA membership should be retained in an advisory ‘associate’ capacity and any independent regional Chairs of any organisations/sub-committees that sit under the overarching National Board should be appointed in accordance with Government public appointments policy.

The Review also found that the RFCAs deliver a great deal on tight resources, proving strong value for money but also identified a number of areas for improvement. The Ministry of Defence has established a programme team to take forward the Review’s recommendations in conjunction with the RFCAs.

27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 25 January (HL12034), how many aircraft carriers they plan to deploy in cases of a national emergency after 2023.

The number of carriers deployed in response to a national emergency will very much depend on the situation at the time. The level of response would be determined by an operational assessment. The QEC long-term carrier policy and reason for bringing two carriers into service is to ensure that there will always be at least one carrier available, either at sea or in port, at very high readiness to deploy.

27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 25 January (HL12036), how many F35B aircraft they will possess by 2026; and whether they will be able to deploy the 35 aircraft that are required for high end operations.

We do not recognise the 35 figure the Noble Lord quotes in any Departmental planning. I refer the Noble Lord to the answer I gave on 25 January to Question HL12036 and the answer I gave on 16 December 2020 to Question HL11192.

27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Goldie on 25 January (HL Deb, col 1377), what discussions there have been as part of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy on separating the capital costs of nuclear deterrent submarine replacements from the defence budget.

There have been no discussions on removing the capital costs of the Dreadnought submarine build programme from the defence budget. The Dreadnought programme is rightly funded as part of the Ministry of Defence’s budget, as it has always been.

27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the long separation periods allowed by Royal Navy harmony rules allow greater periods deployed without rotation of personnel.

Royal Navy Harmony rules govern the time personnel spend deployed using the two measurable factors of Separated Service and Minimum Time Ashore. In most cases, the maximum period of Separated Service allowed is 660 days over a rolling three-year period, while Minimum Time Ashore limits the duration of any individual posting to a deployed unit.

The use of three-year rolling Separated Service rather than an annual limit does allow for longer periods deployed. However, career management of individual personnel allows rotation within units and ensures that periods of deployment are alternated with assignments ashore.

27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 25 January (HL12037), whether the use of "different harmony guidelines" applies to personnel in squadrons of F35B combat aircraft embarked in carriers.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer I gave on 25 January 2021 to Question 12037.

19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 19 January (HL12039), whether any of those witnesses have ever served in the British Armed Forces on a (1) carrier, or (2) warship, conducting military operations.

The witnesses of the Carrier Strike oral evidence hearing to the Public Accounts Committee on 28 September 2020, have not served in the British Armed Forces on a carrier, or warship, conducting military operations.

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the government of France about their new planned nuclear strike carrier.

We have had no formal discussions with the government of France specifically about its plans for a new nuclear strike carrier to replace the Charles de Gaulle in 2038.

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what witnesses with maritime warfare expertise they provided to the Public Accounts Committee's oral evidence session on delivering Carrier Strike on 28 September 2020.

The witnesses to the Public Accounts Committee oral evidence session on Delivering Carrier Strike on 28 September 2020 were Sir Stephen Lovegrove, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Defence; Air Marshal Richard Knighton CB, Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) for Carrier Enabled Power Projection and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff - Military Capability, Charlie Pate, Director General Finance; Sir Simon Bollom, Chief Executive Officer, Defence Equipment Services.

Their full biography can be found at the links below.

Sir Stephen Lovegrove

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/stephen-lovegrove

Charlie Pate

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/charlie-pate

Air Marshall Richard Knighton

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/richard-knighton

Sir Simon Bollom

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/simon-bollom

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement by the Prime Minister on the Integrated Review of Foreign, Defence, Security and Development policy on 19 November (HC Deb, col 495), how many F-35B combat aircraft could be embarked in a national emergency on each of the two new carriers by 2023.

It has been longstanding policy that by bringing two aircraft carriers into service we will ensure that there will always be at least one carrier available 100 per cent of the time, either at sea or in port at very high readiness to deploy. The Carrier Enabled Power Projection (CEPP) programme remains on track to deliver the second operational squadron of F-35 by December 2023. This will provide two squadrons (a total of up to 24 aircraft) available to embark as directed by operational tasking.

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether personnel in squadrons of F35B combat aircraft embarked in the carriers will be working to the same harmony rules.

Jointly manned UK Lightning air squadrons will operate to the same harmony guidelines. The overall principle is that we will manage all embarked UK air squadrons - which will include Fixed and Rotary Wing forces and personnel from all three Services - to ensure that the different harmony guidelines which the Services routinely apply, do not adversely affect operational output.

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to form a (1) third, and (2) fourth, F35B combat aircraft squadron.

The guiding principle of the Integrated Review is to identify the threat and the appropriate capability to meet it. Any decisions on the future direction of the Lightning programme as a result of the Integrated Review will be firmly based on those principles.

11th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether 48 F35B combat aircraft would meet the requirement for 35 embarked aircraft that were originally considered essential for initial war-entry Carrier Strike operations.

48 Lightning aircraft will be available when the Carrier Enabled Power Projection Full Operational Capability milestone is reached in 2026. The future composition of the UK Lightning Force will be determined by the requirements identified in the Integrated Review.

8th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the likelihood that tensions between Russia and NATO will lead to military confrontation; what plans they have put in place to deal with such a scenario; and whether such plans include (1) re-establishing military to military dialogue, (2) establishing stabilising measures in contact zones in the (a) High North, (b) Black Sea, and (c) Baltic Sea, regions, and (3) codifying confidence-building measures in border areas.

The UK is committed to holding Russia to account for its aggression and destabilising behaviour, collectively with our Allies and partners. We can only have a different relationship with Russia if it changes its behaviour in line with the rules based international system.

The UK and NATO continuously track and assess hostile state activity. NATO has a range of crisis management mechanisms and contingency plans in the event of military confrontation with Russia. These are supported by the UK as a core member of the Alliance. For the purposes of transparency and in order to reduce the risk of miscalculation, the UK engages Russia through diplomatic and military channels, and supports conflict resolution and confidence-building measures through the OSCE. NATO also has channels in place, both military and civilian, for the purposes of risk reduction.

UK and NATO military activity in the High North, Baltic, and Black Sea regions is conducted in a safe and professional manner in accordance with international law and United Nation Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS). A bilateral Incidents at Sea Treaty promotes practical mechanisms to reduce risk during interactions between UK and Russian units.

7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Evans of Bowes Park on 23 November (HL Deb, cols 30–31), whether they still intend to order at least 90 F-38B aircraft.

We are committed to 48 F-35B Lightning by 2025, with two operational frontline Squadrons formed by 2023. Further decisions on procurement beyond the 48 aircraft will follow the ongoing Integrated Review.

7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will extend the current order of 48 F38B aircraft to ensure that the aircraft carriers due to be operational by 2023 will be equipped with a full airwing.

We are committed to 48 F-35B Lightning by 2025, with two operational frontline Squadrons formed by 2023. Further decisions on procurement beyond the 48 aircraft will follow the ongoing Integrated Review.

7th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will place the order for the remaining five Type 26 frigates; how long each ship will take to build; at what intervals they will be delivered; and whether BAE Systems will be expected to reduce the price for each subsequent ship as the programme develops.

The procurement of the Batch 2 Type 26 Frigates will be subject to a separate approval and contract, which is expected to be awarded in the early 2020s. Dates for the construction of each ship, and its price, will be set during commercial negotiations with BAE Systems.

It is anticipated that our batch buy procurement strategy will enable lessons learned to be implemented in the building of later ships resulting in lower unit cost and achieving overall better value for money.

1st Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement on the Integrated Review of Foreign, Defence, Security and Development policy by the Prime Minister on 19 November (HC Deb, col 495), when they plan to order the three fleet solid support ships.

I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement (Jeremy Quin), in the House of Commons on 30 November 2020 to the right hon. Member for Wentworth and Dearne (John Healey) in response to Question 120779.

30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reasons behind the recent increase in the number of applications to join the Royal Navy; and whether this rise reflects an increase in that service’s overall personnel capacity.

The Royal Navy (RN) does not collect information on the reasons behind individual applications to join the Service.

There has been an increase in initial training capacity during 2020/21 and the RN is currently on track to deliver approximately 95% of its regular recruiting target. This will facilitate full crewing of all current and future operational platforms and the Future Commando Force. Recruiting targets for 2021/22 are more ambitious and the RN will draw upon the increased interest in joining to meet those higher targets.

30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UK’s ability to communicate with deep sea (1) military, and (2) civilian, vessels in the event of a total satellite blackout.

For Defence related communications to Military deep-sea vessels the Ministry of Defence would revert to Line of Sight (where feasible) or atmospheric bounce Radio services of a specific wavelength and frequency.

These capabilities are tested at periodical intervals in line with the Defence Exercise Programme.

For communications with civilian vessels, the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) provides an internationally operated maritime communications service. Regulated UK vessels have radio installations capable of GMDSS communications to shore for their areas of operation. In ocean regions they may choose to have either High Frequency (HF) radio or satellite communications, but in polar regions HF is mandatory.

30th Nov 2020
AWE
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to renationalise management of the Atomic Weapons Establishment.

I refer the noble Lord, to the written statement I laid in the House on 2 November, HLWS537 .

AWE plc will become a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), wholly owned by the MOD, on the 1st July 2021 following the appointment of a new Board. While NDPBs are distanced from Government, the Secretary of State for Defence will be accountable to Parliament for the degree of independence and levels of expenditure delegated to the AWE plc NDPB.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Goldie on 4 November (HL Deb, col 695), what discussions they have had with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue nations about the potential for future interactions with the Five Power Defence Arrangements.

The UK Government has made no representations to Quadrilateral Security Dialogue nations about future interactions with the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). Any representations of this nature would require the involvement and consensus of all five FDPA members. As we look towards FPDA's 50th Anniversary in 2021, the UK looks forward to continuing and enhancing our FPDA engagement as a demonstration of our steadfast commitment to the Arrangements.

14th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for the Tempest programme of the announcement of an American sixth generation fighter.

The 2018 Combat Air Strategy confirmed the UK's commitment to a strong and sustainable Combat Air Sector. The Strategy reinforced the importance of effective international partnering in delivering next generation combat air and building on mutual strengths. The Strategy also confirmed that we will seek to maximise interoperability, especially with the United States, wider NATO, European and global allies and partners. The Department will shortly submit the future combat air outline business case, which will down-select the acquisition route.

15th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 14 September (HL7741), whether the Merchant Navy Reserve was disbanded on (1) 15 December 2003 upon the implementation of SI 2003/2861, or (2) another date.

The Explanatory Note to The Merchant Shipping (Merchant Navy Reserve) (Revocation) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2861), that came into force on 15 December 2003, states that, following a series of Ministry of Defence reviews, the Merchant Navy Reserve scheme was disbanded on 23 May 2000.

I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the advice provided in my earlier answer. All Merchant Navy Reservists would have had the opportunity to apply to join the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR). However, the Merchant Navy Reserve did not fold, as an organisation, in to the RNR.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Golden Jubilee Medals, issued in 2003, were awarded to (1) the Reserve Forces, and (2) the Merchant Navy Reserve.

Based on the available records, it is assessed that in the region of 2,513 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medals were issued to Reservists in 2003.

No Queen's Golden Jubilee Medals were issued to the Merchant Navy Reserve (MNR) as the medal was instituted after the MNR was formally disbanded in May 2000 and folded into the Royal Naval Reserve.

18th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports of Turkish military actions against a French warship on a NATO mission.

We are concerned by the reporting of the Maritime incident in the Mediterranean on 10 June. It is important that we first establish the facts and we welcome the NATO Maritime Command investigation of the incident. We continue to encourage bilateral engagement between France and Turkey in parallel.

9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Goldie on 18 May (HL4067) and 20 May (HL4194), what plans they have to release the response to the request made on 3 May 1943 by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen to Flag Officer in Command Greenock to supply a further list of recovered bodies, following the sinking of the HMS Dasher.

This information is potentially available in records relating to Western Approaches Command War Diary for 1943, Information and Instructions (General Regulations) for shipping at Greenock, the Records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen within the records of the Board of Trade, Casualty Branch files, or a file containing information about the sinking given to next of kin. All of those files, under references ADM 116/4539, ADM 199/631, ADM 358/3214, ADM 358/1512 and ADM 1/15419, are open to the general public at The National Archives, Kew. The Naval Historical Branch holds no records of this nature in their collections.

No papers and reports relating to the loss of HMS DASHER are embargoed. They are freely available at The National Archives.

21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to maintain present planned levels of defence spending, as part of their commitment to NATO’s deterrence and defence capability.

Her Majesty's Government is committed to spending at least 2% of GDP on Defence each year of this Parliament, as per the Defence Investment Pledge. The UK is one of only a handful of nations that meets, and in our case exceeds, the 2% target and remains the largest European Defence spender in NATO.

14th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Goldie on 11 May (HL3566 and HL3735), whether COVID-19 safety measures have caused any delay to ASTUTE hulls 5, 6 and 7; and what were the expected planned approximate dates for the commissioning of ASTUTE hulls 5,6 and 7.

We are working closely with our industry partners to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our submarine programmes. The planned in-service dates of submarines are withheld as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

The individual commissioning dates of the remaining three Astute class submarines are yet to be determined.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Goldie on 5 May (HL3163), whether only 23 servicemen out of the 379 servicemen lost on board HMS Dasher when it sank on 27 March 1943 were recovered from the sea.

Records show that, of the servicemen tragically lost on board HMS DASHER when she sank on 27 March 1943, 22 were recovered from the sea and a further serviceman who was recovered alive subsequently succumbed to his injuries.

6th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether all papers and reports relating to the loss of HMS DASHER are embargoed for release until 2043; and if so, why.

No papers and reports relating to the loss of HMS DASHER are embargoed. They are freely available at The National Archives, Kew.

29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to accelerating shipbuilding programmes in the UK to assist with economic revival following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Secretary of State for Defence continues to work closely with the maritime industry in his capacity as Shipbuilding Tsar. Current Government shipbuilding programmes are progressing, with the shipbuilding industry following Government social distancing guidance. Future shipbuilding plans remain under close review.

29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the commissioning dates are for (1) HMS Audacious, and (2) Astute hulls 5, 6 and 7.

HMS AUDACIOUS was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 3 April 2020.

The commissioning dates for the remaining Astute Class submarines are yet to be determined.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether surface warship and submarine shipbuilding is continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is crucial that defence operations and programmes, on which our national security relies, continue uninterrupted. We are working closely with our industry partners to ensure that essential work in the shipyards continues while adhering to the latest safety guidelines to protect the workforce.

Where specific work is required, instructions have been implemented locally by management to confirm that due consideration and briefing has been put in place to manage the risk in an appropriate way, protect employees and ensure priority activities are still undertaken as far as is possible.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Secretary of State for Defence on 9 May 1996 (HC Deb, vol 277, cols 225–6W), how many bodies were recovered after the sinking of HMS Dasher on 27 March 1943; how many of those lie in marked graves, whether as a sailor known unto God, or named; and where those gravestones are.

HMS DASHER tragically sank in March 1943 following an explosion onboard where no enemy action was involved. Records show that 23 servicemen are buried in marked graves at the following locations, Ardrossan Cemetery (13), Greenock Cemetery (7), Frizington Roman Catholic Cemetery (1), Mearns Cemetery (1) and at Paisley (Hawkhead) Cemetery (1).

It is Government policy that, where a wreck of a ship is the final resting place for our Service men and women, they should be allowed to lie undisturbed. As DASHER is the last known resting place for 356 servicemen, the wreck is designated as a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986; this means the site can only be accessed under a licence granted by the Secretary of State for Defence. The lives of those lost are commemorated on war memorials around the country.

21st Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by the Secretary of State for Defence on 9 May 1996 (HC Deb, vol 277, cols 225–6W), how families can claim the bodies of those that died as a result of the sinking of HMS Dasher on 27 March 1943; what steps they have taken to support families that could not claim their relatives bodies as a result of war time security measures; and what further information they have provided to those families about the whereabouts of their relatives’ bodies.

HMS DASHER tragically sank in March 1943 following an explosion onboard where no enemy action was involved. Records show that 23 servicemen are buried in marked graves at the following locations, Ardrossan Cemetery (13), Greenock Cemetery (7), Frizington Roman Catholic Cemetery (1), Mearns Cemetery (1) and at Paisley (Hawkhead) Cemetery (1).

It is Government policy that, where a wreck of a ship is the final resting place for our Service men and women, they should be allowed to lie undisturbed. As DASHER is the last known resting place for 356 servicemen, the wreck is designated as a controlled site under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986; this means the site can only be accessed under a licence granted by the Secretary of State for Defence. The lives of those lost are commemorated on war memorials around the country.

24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when HMS Vanguard will re-join the Fleet; and what is the final cost of the present refit and refuelling.

I am withholding details of when HMS VANGUARD will re-join the Fleet as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces. I am also withholding the estimated cost of the present refit and refuelling, as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they remain committed to maintaining a force of 19 operational destroyers and frigates by the 2030s, as stated in their report National Shipbuilders Strategy, published in September 2017.

We remain committed to ensuring that the Royal Navy will have the ships required to fulfil Defence commitments now and in the future.

The Prime Minister has committed to undertake the deepest review of Britain's security, defence and foreign policy. This review will examine how we strengthen and prioritise our alliances, diplomacy and development and will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities, including our approach to procurement and maintaining our technological edge.

11th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many frigates that are available for operations they estimate will be in the Royal Navy order of battle in (1) 2024, (2) 2025, and (3) 2026.

We remain committed to ensuring that the Royal Navy will have the ships required to fulfil Defence commitments now and in the future.

The Prime Minister has committed to undertake the deepest review of Britain's security, defence and foreign policy. This review will examine how we strengthen and prioritise our alliances, diplomacy and development and will consider all aspects of our defence and security capabilities, including our approach to procurement and maintaining our technological edge.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a fleet solid support ship will be available for HMS Queen Elizabeth's first operational deployment East of Suez.

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH's first operational deployment will be in 2021. The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will operate as part of a Maritime Task Group that will be tailored to meet the required tasks. The precise composition of a Task Group will depend on the operational circumstances at that time; and we will be able to draw from a range of modern and highly capable vessels.

For operational security reasons, it is our policy to not comment on specific capabilities as this would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the remaining five Type 26 frigates of the planned purchase of eight will be ordered.

The procurement of the Batch 2 Type 26 Frigates will be subject to a separate approval and contract which is expected to be awarded in the early 2020s.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the agreement on the EU Concept for Military Command and Control, agreed by the EU Military Committee on 23 April 2019, has any application to the UK.

The EU Concept for Military Command and Control applies to all forces under the operational control of the EU operation and mission commanders including those provided by EU Member States and third country partners. However, UK personnel remain under UK sovereign command at all times.

If the UK continues to contribute to EU military operations and missions as a third country partner, the Concept would continue to apply to the UK as it does to all other third country participating nations.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the number of Royal Navy frigates in commission will rise above the present total of 13; and whether that number will drop below 13 at any stage in the next ten years.

The Government remains committed to a surface fleet of at least 19 Frigates and Destroyers, and the Royal Navy will have the ships required to fulfil their Defence and Policy commitments. The intent remains to grow the Destroyer and Frigate force by the 2030s, and the Type 31 Frigates will provide the opportunity to do this. It is not uncommon to have planned, temporary, small fluctuations in overall numbers during the transition from any class of ship or submarine to another.

13th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to increase the number of frigates in the Royal Navy; and if so, when they intend to start expanding that fleet.

The Government remains committed to a surface fleet of at least 19 Frigates and Destroyers, and the Royal Navy will have the ships required to fulfil their Defence and Policy commitments. The intent remains to grow the Destroyer and Frigate force by the 2030s, and the Type 31 Frigates will provide the opportunity to do this. It is not uncommon to have planned, temporary, small fluctuations in overall numbers during the transition from any class of ship or submarine to another.

7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they decided to establish Southampton as a freeport whether they had any discussions with AB Ports regarding the powers and charges of Harbour Revision Orders relating to users of the harbour waters.

Freeports were selected through an open and transparent process based on consideration of the criteria in the Freeports Bidding Prospectus [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/freeports-bidding-prospectus] and in accordance with the Freeports Decision-Making Note [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/freeports-bidding-prospectus/english-freeports-selection-decision-making-note].

Harbour Revision Orders (HRO) (which is a devolved process handled by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for English ports) can be used to alter a range of port powers. Any initial discussions regarding a possible HRO would take place with the MMO initially, with other departments only becoming involved at the consultation stage of the order.

11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Greenhalgh on 5 January (HL Deb, col 567) that "an announcement will be happening very soon" regarding £3.5 billion being made available for replacing the cladding on buildings over 18 metres, when will (1) applications be invited, and (2) payments start to be processed.

To make sure that every remaining dangerous high-rise building has the necessary cladding remediation to make it safe, we will open up the next phase of the Building Safety Fund early this year and focus relentlessly on making sure it is risk driven and delivered more quickly.