Andrew Percy Portrait

Andrew Percy

Conservative - Brigg and Goole

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)
17th Jul 2016 - 14th Jun 2017
Regulatory Reform
12th Oct 2015 - 16th Jan 2017
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016
Panel of Chairs
25th Jun 2015 - 18th Jul 2016
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
5th Nov 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Health and Social Care Committee
29th Oct 2012 - 30th Mar 2015
Regulatory Reform
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Procedure Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 31st Oct 2011


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 13th September 2022
13:00
Standing Orders (Private Bills) Committee (Commons) - Oral evidence
Subject: High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Hybrid Bill
13 Sep 2022, 1 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Monday 18th July 2022
Ambulance Pressures
I spent this weekend on duty, in my role with the Yorkshire ambulance service. I remind my right hon. Friend …
Written Answers
Thursday 30th June 2022
Energy Company Obligation
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 9th September 2014
Service Charges, Gratuities and Cover Charges (Hospitality, Leisure and Service Sectors) (Statutory Code) Bill 2014-15
A Bill to establish a code relating to service charges, gratuities and cover charges in the hospitality, leisure and service …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 14th March 2022
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
Address of donor: Qatar Embassy, 1 South Audley St, London W1K 1NB …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 17th March 2021
Education Employment (Accompaniment to Hearings) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to provide that teachers and other education staff may choose to be accompanied to disciplinary or grievance hearings …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Andrew Percy has voted in 408 divisions, and 12 times against the majority of their Party.

14 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 340 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 349
14 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative No votes vs 329 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 340 Noes - 263
2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
4 Mar 2020 - Flooding - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 321 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 227 Noes - 328
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
22 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 269 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 272 Noes - 246
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 268 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
25 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Andrew Percy voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 280 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 183
View All Andrew Percy 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(15 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Christian Wakeford (Labour)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(14 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Andrew Percy's debates

Brigg and Goole Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Andrew Percy has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Andrew Percy

Andrew Percy has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Andrew Percy, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

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


Andrew Percy has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Andrew Percy has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Andrew Percy


A Bill to establish a code relating to service charges, gratuities and cover charges in the hospitality, leisure and service sectors; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 9th September 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to give grandparents rights of access to their grandchildren in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 23rd November 2010

137 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
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help minimise disruption to the wider supply chain during the transition from Energy Company Obligation 3 to Energy Company Obligation 4.

The Government introduced ECO3 Interim Delivery to help with the transition between ECO3 and ECO4 and to prevent a supply chain hiatus,. As suppliers and installers are familiar with ECO3 requirements, this has provided greater certainty prior to the regulations and final guidance.

In discussions, energy suppliers have confirmed that they have been using ECO3 Interim Delivery.

In addition, Ofgem has published the Full Project Scores and Partial Project Scores in advance of ECO4. This gives industry certainty on what ECO4 activities will be commercially worthwhile, helping to guide suppliers in planning and contracting.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of Government policies on achieving net zero on the cost of energy for the poorest households.

In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government set out four key principles of Net Zero Fairness including ensuring that the most vulnerable are supported by Government during the energy transition.

In the Sustainable Warmth Competition, published in February 2021, the Government outlined its approach to tackling fuel poverty in England. It also recognised that improving the energy efficiency of homes is the most effective way of permanently reducing consumer energy bills and tackling fuel poverty in the long term. The Government is providing £3 billion of funding over this Parliament for low carbon heating and energy efficiency measures to those who need it most. Examples of these schemes include the Local Authority Delivery scheme, the Home Upgrade Grant and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

The Government is also consulting on expanding the Energy Company Obligation Scheme to £1 billion a year from April 2022. This will help an extra 305,000 families with green measures such as insulation and heating, with average energy bill savings of around £290 a year.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department will take to ensure that a transition to net zero remains affordable for people on lower incomes.

The Government has outlined its plans to transition to net zero. Its plans include growing the economy, benefiting everyone by securing home-grown energy supply, establishing new industries and creating jobs in former industrial heartlands.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential role of nuclear energy in achieving the Government's net zero emissions targets.

Nuclear energy will be essential to achieving net zero.

Analysis published by BEIS with the Energy White Paper[1] in 2020 shows that, alongside significant amounts of wind and solar, a stable, low-cost electricity system to meet net zero will also require other forms of low-carbon power, including nuclear, to complement the intermittency of those technologies. As outlined in the Net Zero Strategy[2], the Government needs to continue to deploy all known low-carbon technologies at scale over the next decade to ensure optionality is maintained, whilst developing new options to mitigate delivery risk and reduce costs.

The Government has confirmed that it aims to reach a Final Investment Decision on at least one large-scale nuclear project this Parliament and recently announced £210m for Rolls-Royce’s Small Modular Reactor design.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/energy-white-paper-powering-our-net-zero-future.

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will (a) bring forward the review of the UK ETS benchmark for lime production and (b) instruct that the benchmark be based on plants in the UK.

As stated in the Government Response to the Consultation on The Future of UK Carbon Pricing, as part of the Free Allocation Review, we will be looking at possible future changes to benchmarks used within the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS). The review will consider which benchmarks could be best suited for the UK ETS. A call for evidence was launched on 17 March as part of the review and is currently live.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that airlines and travel companies provide customers with full refunds for cancelled flights and holidays.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Further information on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses was published on 30 April by the Competition and Markets Authority who have also set up a covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take against travel companies and airlines refusing to refund customers for cancellations.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Further information on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses was published on 30 April by the Competition and Markets Authority who have also set up a covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether it is her Department's policy that Non-Fungible Tokens or any aspect of the mechanisms of their transfer are considered to be user-to-user regulated content under the terms set out in the Online Safety Bill.

We introduced the Online Safety Bill to Parliament on 17 March 2022 and it passed its second reading in the House of Commons on 19 April.

The Bill will apply to a range of services that allow users to interact with each other and post content online. Companies will have duties to take action to prevent the proliferation of illegal content and to protect children from harmful content. This will include taking action against harmful content within Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), such as preventing users from encountering them where these are shared on in scope services.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many black and white TV licences have been paid for in each of the last five years.

The BBC is responsible for administration of TV licences and, therefore, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not hold this information. However, the below figures from the BBC’s Annual Reports show the number of monochrome TV licences in force for each of the last five financial years, to the nearest thousand.

2020/21: 4,000

2019/20: 5,000

2018/19: 5,000

2017/18: 6,000

2016/17: 6,000

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to hold social media platforms accountable for content promoting eating disorders and self-harm on their platforms.

The strongest protections in the Online Safety Bill will be for children. Services in scope of the Bill which are likely to be accessed by children will need to do much more to protect them from harmful content. This includes content promoting eating disorders or self-harm content.

Major platforms will also need to address legal but harmful content accessed by adults.

The Government will set out in secondary legislation priority categories of harmful material for children and adults. If platforms fail in their duties under the Bill, they will face tough enforcement action including fines of up to 10% of global annual qualifying turnover.

The Government asked the Law Commission to review current legislation on harmful online communications. It has now published final recommendations, which includes a proposed new offence to address the encouragement of self-harm. The Government is considering the Law Commission’s recommendations and will set out our position in due course.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what proportion of properties have access to superfast broadband in Brigg and Goole constituency.

According to the independent website Thinkbroadband, over 94.5% of premises in the constituency of Brigg and Goole have access to superfast broadband (>= 30 Mbps).

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with stakeholders on the potential merits of bringing voice recognition services within the scope of the proposed Online Safety Bill.

Broadcasting content regulation applies to television, video-on-demand and radio services in the UK. While some content delivered through voice recognition devices may be regulated by Ofcom (such as live radio), voice recognition services themselves are not subject to broadcasting regulation.

Under current legislation, online platforms, including those that use voice recognition software, must remove illegal content expeditiously once they are aware of its presence, or face civil or criminal liability.

The new online harms regulatory framework will apply to services which host user-generated content or enable user interaction, and to search engines, regardless of how the service is accessed. Therefore, some services that use voice recognition software may fall in scope. All in-scope companies will need to assess the risk of harm to users of their services, and take appropriate steps to mitigate that risk.

We have engaged with a wide range of stakeholders including industry, civil society, academics and parliamentarians and will continue to do so as we move towards legislation.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to take steps against (a) universities and (b) other bodies receiving funding from his Department who (i) refuse to accept the IHRA definition of antisemitism and (ii) take insufficient action to protect Jewish students on campus.

On 10 November 2021, the Office for Students (OfS) published a list of higher education (HE) providers who have adopted the definition. I am pleased to report good progress in the last year: an increase from around 30 to over 200 providers have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition. This includes the vast majority of universities and I continue to urge all providers to adopt this definition.

The government has also asked the OfS to undertake a scoping exercise, to identify providers that are reluctant to adopt the definition and find out why. The department has asked them to consider introducing mandatory reporting of antisemitic incident numbers by providers, with the aim of ensuring a robust evidence base, which the OfS can then use to effectively regulate in this area.

Adoption of the IHRA definition is only a first step towards ridding HE of antisemitism. I want to be very clear that, whilst the government considers that adoption of the definition is crucial, it is not enough on its own. That is why I will continue to work with the sector to ensure it better understands antisemitism and does more to end it.

Universities also have clear responsibilities to ensure that there is no place for antisemitism.  All HE providers should discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to address hate crime, including any antisemitic incidents that are reported.

The department and I are keen to hear from Jewish groups about what more can be done to make Jewish students and staff feel safe on campus. As part of this, we intend to set up a round table in the new year, specifically focused on tackling antisemitism in HE.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the accuracy of statistics on (a) employment and (b) further education used by private higher education providers when advertising their courses to self-funded students.

The government is clear that we expect providers to ensure they are fully complying with their consumer law obligations, including ensuring any advertisement of courses is accurate and transparent.

Where a private higher education (HE) provider chooses to register with the Office for Students (OfS), the regulator plays an important role in ensuring students are better able to exercise their consumer rights. It is an OfS registration condition that providers have due regard to relevant guidance about how to comply with consumer protection law. It is a further condition that all registered providers co-operate with the requirements of the student complaints scheme run by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, and that they make students aware of their ability to use the scheme.

In addition, the OfS aims to ensure that all students can access, succeed in, and progress from higher education by ensuring students have access to relevant information to help them make choices that are right for them, and to also ensure students will receive a baseline level of quality. Statistics about student outcomes at OfS regulated providers are included in ‘Discover Uni’, which is owned and operated by the UK higher education funding and regulatory bodies and is an official, reliable source of information to guide student choices.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published advice on consumer law for all HE providers (including those not on the OfS register), setting out its view on how the law operates to help students understand their rights and help providers treat their students fairly. This is available via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-consumer-law-advice-for-providers. The CMA has been clear that there are obligations under the law and providers must ensure they are meeting them.

The Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independent self-regulator of advertising across all media. Its work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking the media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements that contravene its Advertising Codes. The Advertising Codes cover advertising and marketing communications, which are likely to include HE providers’ course information on websites, leaflets and posters directed at prospective students.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle bullying in schools.

The government has sent a clear message that bullying should never be tolerated and we are committed to supporting schools to tackle it. All schools are legally required to have a behaviour policy, with measures to prevent all forms of bullying, and have the freedom to develop their own anti-bulling strategies and monitoring approaches, to best suit their environment.

The department provides advice for schools, which outlines schools’ responsibilities. The advice makes clear that schools should make appropriate provision for a bullied child's social, emotional, and mental health needs. It is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preventing-and-tackling-bullying.

Where bullying is reported to the school, it is important that school staff take prompt action to support the bullied pupil and prevent the bullying from happening again. On 7 June, we announced more than £750,000 for the Diana Award, the Anti-Bullying Alliance and the Anne Frank Trust in order to help hundreds of schools and colleges build relationships between pupils, boost their resilience, and continue to tackle bullying both in person and online. Further information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

We are also making sure that all children in England will learn about respectful relationships, in person and online, as part of new mandatory Relationships, Sex and Health Education. This includes content on the different types of bullying, the impact it has, the responsibility of bystanders, and how to get help.

In our drive to tackle behaviour issues and bullying, we have strengthened teachers' power to enforce discipline and promote good behaviour. This includes giving teachers powers to discipline pupils for poor behaviour which takes place outside of the school gates, and extending their searching powers so they can search for, and in certain circumstances delete, inappropriate images (or files) on electronic devices, including mobile phones.

We are investing £10 million through behaviour hubs. Schools with exemplary positive behaviour cultures can work closely with schools that want to turn around their behaviour, alongside a central offer of support and a taskforce of advisers. The aim is to improve their culture and spread good practice across the country. The first hubs are planned to launch in Spring 2021 and will run for an initial period of 3 years.

The hubs programme builds on Tom Bennett’s independent review of behaviour in schools, Creating a Culture: how school leaders can optimise behaviour (2017). In November 2018 we published Respectful School Communities, a self-review and signposting tool to support schools to develop a whole-school approach which promotes respect and discipline. This can combat bullying, harassment and prejudice of any kind, including sexual bullying and sexual harassment. It will help schools to identify the various elements that make up a whole school approach, consider gaps in their current practice and get further support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to encourage deposit return schemes for cans and bottles.

A second consultation on introducing a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was held last year. The Government is analysing the responses to that consultation, with a view to publishing a Government response early this year.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to increase enforcement against littering.

In recent years we have bolstered councils’ enforcement powers by almost doubling the maximum fixed penalty for littering from £80 to £150 and giving councils in England (outside London) new civil penalty powers to tackle littering from vehicles. Councils also have powers to prosecute anyone caught littering which can lead to a fine of up to £2,500. It is up to local councils to decide how they use their enforcement powers

We have published improved guidance to councils and others on the use of their fixed penalty powers for littering. New powers under the Environment Act will allow us to ensure these powers are always used with a high degree of professionalism.

We will continue to review any new evidence regarding the effectiveness of the current enforcement regime.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date he plans to launch his consultation on food labelling; whether he plans to (a) include questions on associated regulatory provisions on enforcement and monitoring of agreed food labelling and (b) indicate a preference for mandatory or voluntary requirements for participation in that consultation; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has committed to consult on what can be done through labelling to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market following the transition period. The consultation is currently being prepared ahead of a planned launch in the first half of this year. This will feed into the Government's wide-ranging review on food labelling to ensure that consumers can have confidence in the food they buy and to facilitate the trade of quality British food at home and abroad.

The consultation will seek stakeholder and public views on how consumer information should be presented and on a range of policy options including mandatory/voluntary labelling reforms and enforcement.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to facilitate the re-opening of zoos and wildlife parks.

As announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June, outdoor areas of zoos and safari parks will be allowed to reopen from 15 June, subject to appropriate social distancing measures being in place.

This includes keeping indoor exhibitions, such as reptile houses and those in aquariums, closed, and ensuring other amenities like cafes offer take-away services only.

The move follows close work by the Government with the zoo industry to ensure visitor numbers can be managed and safeguards are put in place.

The decision to relax restrictions on these select outdoor attractions is part of the Government’s careful approach to easing the lockdown in phases, guided by the advice of scientific and medical experts and the fact the risk of transmission is much lower outdoors.

Officials continue to meet weekly with BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and with the CEOs of the largest charitable zoos and aquariums in England providing a valuable forum to monitor concerns and seek insights from key sector representatives on current issues.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether additional support will be provided to farmers and agricultural businesses impacted by the covid-19 outbreak.

Coronavirus continues to represent a significant challenge to daily life and every part of the economy. The agricultural sector plays a vital role in maintaining the UK’s food security and has done a fantastic job of feeding the nation during this challenging period.

The Government took a number of early emergency steps to support farmers and the wider sector. These included designating employees in the food sector as key workers and temporarily relaxing the normal rules on drivers’ hours, enabling the sector to keep supply chains running, including deliveries from farm gate to processors. The department worked closely with banks to ensure farmers have access to financial support, including the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan scheme. We have also worked closely with the dairy and horticulture sectors to address supply chain and labour issues.

On 6 May, Defra announced a new fund to support English dairy farmers who have seen decreased demand because of the loss of the food service sector. Dairy farmers access this funding for those qualifying months, with no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available. Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May because of coronavirus disruptions will be eligible for funding of up to £10,000 each, to cover around 70% of their lost income during the qualifying months to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare. The Welsh Government announced the opening of a similar scheme on 12 May.

The availability of this funding followed the launch on 5 May of a joint Government and Devolved Administrations backed £1 million campaign aiming to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock. This 12-week campaign is being led by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Dairy UK. This follows a similar ongoing campaign led by AHDB and retailers to promote the consumption of beef products.

We remain in regular contact with representatives of our food and farming sector and will continue to monitor the situation to assess and respond to emerging issues as they arise.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help assist the establishment of new international markets for English farm produce.

Our farmers and food producers produce world-class food and drink. We are rightly proud of our high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards, and we have the opportunity to increase overseas demands for our fantastic products.

With regards to opening new markets, exports are an important driver of growth in the food and drink sector, allowing it to become more resilient, competitive and profitable. Defra's 'Food is GREAT' campaign is raising the profile and reputation of British food and drink overseas, by building global demand and increasing positive perceptions of the UK's food and drink products. For example, the campaign showcased British beef and English Sparkling Wine to Japanese consumers, trade and media in events coinciding with the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.

In 2019, the UK also signed an agreement with Japan that opened the Japanese market to UK exports of lamb and beef for the first time in two decades. This market opening is estimated by industry to be worth £127 million in the first 5 years of access. Further UK export success in 2019 included the export of £822 million of salmon an increase of 27% from 2018, whilst in March this year we agreed the market opening of UK exports of wheat to Mexico.

With the Department for International Trade and representatives of the food and drink sector, Defra will be setting out future export ambitions for the sector. This will include the support that we offer in-market.

As set out in the Government’s election manifesto, we have ambitious goals for British trade. The Government aims to have 80 per cent of UK trade with countries covered by free trade agreements within the next three years, starting with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, which will further present new routes to market for British farmers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of networks for peer-to-peer advice and support for farmers to promote and share best practice of nature-friendly farming.

Defra has reviewed a range of evidence to understand the effectiveness of networks for peer-to-peer advice and support for farmers to promote and share best practice of nature-friendly farming. There is an increasing recognition in the agriculture sector of the value of peer-to-peer learning and there are already several initiatives that encourage these practices. Defra is considering a range of different models for the provision of advice and support in the Environmental Land Management scheme, including peer-to-peer learning.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential for environmentally responsible farming to deliver (a) healthy soils, (b) long-term food security, (c) clean water and (d) a stable climate; and what support the Government is providing to farmers to deliver those outcomes.

The Government is committed to supporting farmers to deliver environmental outcomes. Our Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy. Founded on the principle of “public money for public goods”, the ELM scheme is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

The ELM scheme is due to be in place from 2024. Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following public goods:

  • Clean and plentiful water
  • Clean air
  • Thriving plants and wildlife
  • Reduction in and protection from environmental hazards
  • Adaptation to and mitigation of climate change
  • Beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment

Farmers and land managers will be able to decide for themselves how they deliver environmental benefits from their businesses and their land, and how they integrate this into their food, timber and other commercial activities.

Meanwhile, Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides a stepping stone to the future scheme, paying for environmental enhancements now as area-based payments are phased out.

CS supports Defra’s strategic objective of “a cleaner, healthier environment, benefitting people and the economy”. Through the scheme, farmers can apply for funding to improve their local environment – from restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands to managing flood risk.

We know that soil is an essential natural asset and that its careful management can lead to multiple public goods. Having soil specifically named in the Agriculture Bill will mean we can help farmers to protect soil and improve its quality. Soils and food security and production are being considered as part of the development of the ELM scheme. Both clean and plentiful water, and mitigation of and adaptation to climate change have been identified as two of the public goods that the ELM scheme will pay for. We are in the process of determining exactly what actions we will pay for under ELM.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the merits of nature-friendly farming for the environment.

Nature-friendly farming is fundamental to our new approach to England’s agricultural system. We want to create new business opportunities alongside producing the great British food we all rely on, by paying farmers to adopt more environmentally sustainable farming practices and enhance our natural capital. [45117]

Our Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy. Founded on the principle of “public money for public goods”, ELM is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following public goods set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan:

  • clean air;
  • clean and plentiful water;
  • thriving plants and wildlife;
  • protection from and mitigation of environmental hazards;
  • mitigation of and adaptation to climate change;
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment.

Where nature-based solutions contribute towards the delivery of these public goods, they may be funded by ELM. We will determine in more detail what ELM will pay for as we further develop the scheme and are engaging with stakeholders to inform this.

The ELM scheme is being designed collaboratively with stakeholders. We are considering how more environmentally-sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within ELM where these contribute towards the delivery of environmental public goods.

Meanwhile, Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides a stepping stone to the future scheme, paying for environmental enhancements now as area-based payments are phased out.

CS supports Defra’s Strategic Objective of ‘a cleaner, healthier environment, benefitting people and the economy’. Through the scheme, farmers can apply for funding to improve their local environment – from restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands to managing flood risk.

We will continue to offer CS agreements in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

However, because CS is insufficient in scale to deliver the ambitious goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan, it will eventually be replaced with the new ELM scheme.

Those signed up to CS who secure a place in the ELM pilot, or join the scheme when it is fully rolled out, will be able to leave their agreements at agreed exit points, without penalty. [45118]

a) The merits of agro-ecology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

The Government is committed to taking action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impact. Defra is looking at ways to reduce agricultural emissions controlled directly within the farm boundary, considering a broad range of measures including improvements in on-farm efficiency.

One of the public goods incentivised by ELM will be mitigation and adaption to climate change. ELM is about giving farmers and land managers an income stream for the environmental public goods they provide. We are considering how more environmentally-sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within ELM.

Additionally, agroforestry can play an important role in addressing some of the key issues of climate and land use change in England, through the ecosystem services it provides. Tree planting can provide significant carbon storage benefits.

b) The merits of agro-ecology to the UK’s food and farming industry:

Our new approach to the English agricultural system will create new income opportunities for farmers and land managers, by rewarding them for providing public goods and adopting more environmentally-sustainable farming practices.

We know that environmentally-friendly farming and food production can go hand in hand.

c) The merits of agro-ecology to support a healthy rural economy:

Our new ELM scheme is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

We are committed to co-designing the ELM scheme with stakeholders to produce the best outcomes for both the environment and our farmers and managers.

As we continue to design ELM, we will assess the impact of our proposals on a wide range of things such as the environment, our rural economies, and on England’s ability to continue to produce food. [45119]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support farmers and land-users using agroecological approaches to their land and operations.

Nature-friendly farming is fundamental to our new approach to England’s agricultural system. We want to create new business opportunities alongside producing the great British food we all rely on, by paying farmers to adopt more environmentally sustainable farming practices and enhance our natural capital. [45117]

Our Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy. Founded on the principle of “public money for public goods”, ELM is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following public goods set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan:

  • clean air;
  • clean and plentiful water;
  • thriving plants and wildlife;
  • protection from and mitigation of environmental hazards;
  • mitigation of and adaptation to climate change;
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment.

Where nature-based solutions contribute towards the delivery of these public goods, they may be funded by ELM. We will determine in more detail what ELM will pay for as we further develop the scheme and are engaging with stakeholders to inform this.

The ELM scheme is being designed collaboratively with stakeholders. We are considering how more environmentally-sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within ELM where these contribute towards the delivery of environmental public goods.

Meanwhile, Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides a stepping stone to the future scheme, paying for environmental enhancements now as area-based payments are phased out.

CS supports Defra’s Strategic Objective of ‘a cleaner, healthier environment, benefitting people and the economy’. Through the scheme, farmers can apply for funding to improve their local environment – from restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands to managing flood risk.

We will continue to offer CS agreements in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

However, because CS is insufficient in scale to deliver the ambitious goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan, it will eventually be replaced with the new ELM scheme.

Those signed up to CS who secure a place in the ELM pilot, or join the scheme when it is fully rolled out, will be able to leave their agreements at agreed exit points, without penalty. [45118]

a) The merits of agro-ecology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

The Government is committed to taking action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impact. Defra is looking at ways to reduce agricultural emissions controlled directly within the farm boundary, considering a broad range of measures including improvements in on-farm efficiency.

One of the public goods incentivised by ELM will be mitigation and adaption to climate change. ELM is about giving farmers and land managers an income stream for the environmental public goods they provide. We are considering how more environmentally-sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within ELM.

Additionally, agroforestry can play an important role in addressing some of the key issues of climate and land use change in England, through the ecosystem services it provides. Tree planting can provide significant carbon storage benefits.

b) The merits of agro-ecology to the UK’s food and farming industry:

Our new approach to the English agricultural system will create new income opportunities for farmers and land managers, by rewarding them for providing public goods and adopting more environmentally-sustainable farming practices.

We know that environmentally-friendly farming and food production can go hand in hand.

c) The merits of agro-ecology to support a healthy rural economy:

Our new ELM scheme is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

We are committed to co-designing the ELM scheme with stakeholders to produce the best outcomes for both the environment and our farmers and managers.

As we continue to design ELM, we will assess the impact of our proposals on a wide range of things such as the environment, our rural economies, and on England’s ability to continue to produce food. [45119]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the merits of agroecology to (a) reduce greenhouse gas emissions, (b) the UK'sfood and farming industry, and (c) support a healthy rural economy.

Nature-friendly farming is fundamental to our new approach to England’s agricultural system. We want to create new business opportunities alongside producing the great British food we all rely on, by paying farmers to adopt more environmentally sustainable farming practices and enhance our natural capital. [45117]

Our Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy. Founded on the principle of “public money for public goods”, ELM is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following public goods set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan:

  • clean air;
  • clean and plentiful water;
  • thriving plants and wildlife;
  • protection from and mitigation of environmental hazards;
  • mitigation of and adaptation to climate change;
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the natural environment.

Where nature-based solutions contribute towards the delivery of these public goods, they may be funded by ELM. We will determine in more detail what ELM will pay for as we further develop the scheme and are engaging with stakeholders to inform this.

The ELM scheme is being designed collaboratively with stakeholders. We are considering how more environmentally-sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within ELM where these contribute towards the delivery of environmental public goods.

Meanwhile, Countryside Stewardship (CS) provides a stepping stone to the future scheme, paying for environmental enhancements now as area-based payments are phased out.

CS supports Defra’s Strategic Objective of ‘a cleaner, healthier environment, benefitting people and the economy’. Through the scheme, farmers can apply for funding to improve their local environment – from restoring wildlife habitats and creating woodlands to managing flood risk.

We will continue to offer CS agreements in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

However, because CS is insufficient in scale to deliver the ambitious goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan, it will eventually be replaced with the new ELM scheme.

Those signed up to CS who secure a place in the ELM pilot, or join the scheme when it is fully rolled out, will be able to leave their agreements at agreed exit points, without penalty. [45118]

a) The merits of agro-ecology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

The Government is committed to taking action to mitigate climate change and to adapt to its impact. Defra is looking at ways to reduce agricultural emissions controlled directly within the farm boundary, considering a broad range of measures including improvements in on-farm efficiency.

One of the public goods incentivised by ELM will be mitigation and adaption to climate change. ELM is about giving farmers and land managers an income stream for the environmental public goods they provide. We are considering how more environmentally-sustainable farming approaches, including organic farming and agro-ecological approaches, may fit within ELM.

Additionally, agroforestry can play an important role in addressing some of the key issues of climate and land use change in England, through the ecosystem services it provides. Tree planting can provide significant carbon storage benefits.

b) The merits of agro-ecology to the UK’s food and farming industry:

Our new approach to the English agricultural system will create new income opportunities for farmers and land managers, by rewarding them for providing public goods and adopting more environmentally-sustainable farming practices.

We know that environmentally-friendly farming and food production can go hand in hand.

c) The merits of agro-ecology to support a healthy rural economy:

Our new ELM scheme is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

We are committed to co-designing the ELM scheme with stakeholders to produce the best outcomes for both the environment and our farmers and managers.

As we continue to design ELM, we will assess the impact of our proposals on a wide range of things such as the environment, our rural economies, and on England’s ability to continue to produce food. [45119]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations he has received on the inclusion of nature-based solutions in the (a) Agriculture Bill and (b) Environment Bill.

Nature-based solutions are key to tackling societal challenges, such as climate change, while simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits. The Government is deploying such solutions to improve our natural environment.

We have received representations on including certain types of nature-based solutions in the Agriculture Bill. However, clause 1(1) of the Bill is broadly drafted and already enables the Secretary of State to support the delivery of environmental outcomes through nature-based solutions. For example, we will use the powers in the Agriculture Bill to introduce our ambitious new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, which is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan. Under the ELM, farmers and land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering a range of public goods. This could include nature based solutions that contribute towards reducing the instances of, and provide protection from, environmental hazards such as flooding.

Likewise, the Environment Bill introduces a powerful package of new policies and tools to support nature's recovery. Biodiversity net gain, Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRSs), conservation covenants and a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities will work together to drive local action on the ground, creating or restoring rich habitats to enable wildlife to recover and thrive.

Notably our net gain measures create an approach to development which means that habitats for wildlife must be left in a measurably better state than they were in pre-development. These measures will be supported by LNRSs to guide smooth and effective delivery of mandatory biodiversity net gain. They will help local authorities to best understand where investment in new habitat creation or restoration will achieve best outcomes for biodiversity and wider environmental benefits.

We will continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders as we move towards implementing these measures.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to ensure the adequacy of resources available to the Environment Agency for the maintenance of (a) flood defences and (b) drainage systems.

The Government is investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to deliver more than 1,000 flood defence projects to better protect 300,000 homes by 2021.This is on top of £1 billion to maintain flood defence assets between 2015 and 2020. This includes investing in developing technology and direct maintenance work such as managing drainage systems, inspecting assets and carrying out repairs. This is a real-terms increase when compared with the average annual capital investment of £812 million over the previous five years. Defra will continue to work with the Environment Agency to consider future investment needs ahead of the Budget announcement on future floods funding on 11 March 2020.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with representatives from the Environment Agency on additional resources for the maintenance of flood and drainage systems.

The Government is investing £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to deliver more than 1,000 flood defence projects to better protect 300,000 homes by 2021.This is on top of £1 billion to maintain flood defence assets between 2015 and 2020. This includes investing in developing technology and direct maintenance work such as managing drainage systems, inspecting assets and carrying out repairs. This is a real-terms increase when compared with the average annual capital investment of £812 million over the previous five years. Defra will continue to work with the Environment Agency to consider future investment needs ahead of the Budget announcement on future floods funding on 11 March 2020.

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of recent reports by NGO Monitor that UK aid dispensed by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs to support coronavirus relief efforts in the West Bank and Gaza has been sent to organisations with links to terrorism.

The UK maintains robust measures to ensure that UK aid is not diverted. DFID’s funding agreements also commit partners to understand and comply with UK and international counter terrorism legislation.

No UK funds have been provided to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs for COVID-19 relief efforts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The UK has provided £840,000 to WHO and UNICEF to help respond to COVID-19 in the OPTs. This funding did not go to any other partners and was used to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with her international counterparts on reports by NGO Monitor that funds from the Covid-19 emergency response plan for the West Bank and Gaza have been allocated to NGOs with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The UK maintains robust measures to ensure that UK aid is not diverted. DFID’s funding agreements also commit partners to understand and comply with UK and international counter terrorism legislation.

No UK funds have been provided to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs for COVID-19 relief efforts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The UK has provided £840,000 to WHO and UNICEF to help respond to COVID-19 in the OPTs. This funding did not go to any other partners and was used to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the implications for value for money of reports by NGO Monitor that UK aid distributed by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs to support covid-19 relief efforts in the West Bank and Gaza has been allocated to organisations involved in political activism for the purpose of funding politically motivated letters and press releases.

The UK maintains robust measures to ensure that UK aid is not diverted. DFID’s funding agreements also commit partners to understand and comply with UK and international counter terrorism legislation.

No UK funds have been provided to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs for COVID-19 relief efforts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The UK has provided £840,000 to WHO and UNICEF to help respond to COVID-19 in the OPTs. This funding did not go to any other partners and was used to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the implications for the efficacy of UK aid of reports by NGO Monitor that the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs has distributed funds for Covid-19 relief efforts to organisations that employ members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

The UK maintains robust measures to ensure that UK aid is not diverted. DFID’s funding agreements also commit partners to understand and comply with UK and international counter terrorism legislation.

No UK funds have been provided to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs for COVID-19 relief efforts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). The UK has provided £840,000 to WHO and UNICEF to help respond to COVID-19 in the OPTs. This funding did not go to any other partners and was used to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has plans to negotiate the removal of US tariffs on UK steel and aluminium.

My Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has spoken with the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, most recently on 12 November, to press for a quick resolution to the Section 232 tariffs. The removal of additional US tariffs on steel and aluminium is a key priority for the Government. We are engaging with the US Administration regularly on this issue and continue to push for the start of negotiations and the removal of 232 tariffs as soon as possible.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her US counterparts on removing US tariffs on UK steel and aluminium.

My Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade has spoken with the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, most recently on 12 November, to press for a quick resolution to the Section 232 tariffs. The removal of additional US tariffs on steel and aluminium is a key priority for the Government. We are engaging with the US Administration regularly on this issue and continue to push for the start of negotiations and the removal of 232 tariffs as soon as possible.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Israeli government on a UK-Israel free trade deal.

The United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement was signed on 18th February 2019. This Agreement will enter into force at the end of the Transition Period on 1st January 2021 and will allow businesses to trade as freely as they do now, without additional tariffs or barriers.

Total trade between the United Kingdom and Israel increased by 15 per cent in 2019 to £5.1bn. We value this trade relationship and are committed to strengthening it, so we will seek to work with counterparts in the new Israeli government to host a bilateral trade and investment summit in London.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to promote Yorkshire and Lincolnshire based businesses and produce in international markets.

Businesses across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have access to Department for International Trade (DIT) support through International Trade Advisers, HM Trade Commissioners and their teams overseas, the GREAT digital export services hub and UK Export Finance. Our trade missions, including those centred on trade shows and exhibitions, have enabled them to showcase their products overseas and connect with live opportunities. In response to COVID-19, we are adapting our support, for example through webinars and ‘virtual’ trade missions. Additional funding this year will enhance our support through more trade advisers, new overseas regional champions, a new export growth programme and other activities delivered with regional partners.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to encourage airlines to no longer require mandatory mask wearing on domestic and international flights.

In England face coverings are no longer required by law.

Airlines and operators set their own conditions of carriage, including decisions on the wearing of face coverings and when to lift this requirement. The majority of airlines continue to opt to retain face coverings following up-to-date guidance from international aviation regulators, including both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EUASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and due to continued differences in national COVID-19 restrictions around the world, which have made retaining the requirement simpler operationally in the short-term.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much has been spent by police forces on enforcing mandatory mask wearing on TFL services since the end of Plan B covid-19 restrictions.

Face covering enforcement has been incorporated into business as usual patrolling. There is therefore no dedicated funding since the end of Plan B restrictions.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for airlines lifting mask mandates on domestic and international flights.

Airlines and operators set their own conditions of carriage, including decisions on the wearing of face coverings and when to lift this requirement. The majority of airlines continue to opt to retain face coverings following up-to-date guidance from international aviation regulators, including both the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EUASA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and due to continued differences in national COVID-19 restrictions around the world.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to tackle littering on motorways and to ensure more regular litter picking on the network.

National Highways is committed to keeping the Strategic Road Network free from litter, without compromising safety and it being delivered affordably. As outlined in its Litter Strategy, National Highways delivers this through communication campaigns, improving the delivery and effectiveness of litter picking, ensuring responsiveness to customer feedback, and improving partnership working.

Government has committed to updating the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse which sets out the expected standards of cleanliness and timeframes for litter picking on the road network.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what data informed his Department's decision to place Nigeria on the Government's travel red list.

Nigeria was added to the travel red list from 4am on Monday 6 December following 21 cases of Omicron reported in England which were linked to travel from Nigeria. Decisions on red list assignment and associated border measures are taken by ministers, who take into account UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors. A summary of the UKHSA methodology is published on gov.uk, alongside key data that supports Ministers' decisions.

Nigeria was removed from the red list at 4am on Wednesday 15 December. As Omicron cases rise in the UK and in countries around the world, the travel red list is less effective in slowing the incursion of this variant from abroad and managed quarantine measures are no longer proportionate. Additional temporary testing measures remain in place to help prevent additional cases of Omicron from entering the UK.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will place in the Library a copy of the Mott McDonald work referred to in the Integrated Rail Plan.

Mott MacDonald were commissioned by the Department for Transport to support the Integrated Rail Plan by assessing strategic alternatives to the previously planned HS2 Eastern Leg. I intend to publish the report soon and will place a copy of this report in the Library.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much of the £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan is for upgrading the East Cost Mainline.

Within the £96bn set out in the Integrated Rail Plan, up to £3.5 billion has been allowed for upgrading the East Coast Main Line (within the East Core Network figure)

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of how the Humber sub-region (East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire) will benefit from the Transpennine Route Upgrade.

The Transpennine Route Upgrade (TRU) is enhancing rail infrastructure from Manchester to York. However, it will provide better connectivity across the Pennines for a range of centres beyond these points, by reducing journey times and providing room for extra trains. This includes doubling the frequency of direct trains on the Hull to Leeds route from one to two trains per hour. The Integrated Rail Plan published last week sets out further benefits for the region through other projects.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of upgrading the Hull to Liverpool train line to high speed specifications.

The Department will soon publish its Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) which will look at how best to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail, alongside other major rail investments in the North and Midlands including HS2 Phase 2b, so that the benefits of these investments are delivered to passengers and communities more quickly.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the Canadian Government on resuming leisure travel with that country during the covid-19 pandemic.

Department for Transport ministers and/or officials have met with Canadian counterparts on several occasions this year to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and the safe, sustainable resumption of international travel. These discussions have been fruitful and we welcome further exchanges as we seek to cautiously balance the reopening of international travel with managing the public health risks.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with his US counterparts on resuming trans-Atlantic leisure travel during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Secretary of State for Transport has discussed the resumption of trans-Atlantic travel with his US counterpart Secretary Pete Buttigieg, including at the UK-chaired G7 Transport Ministerial meeting on 5 May 2021.

The Prime Minister and President have also agreed to form the joint UK-US Experts’ Working Group, which will share expertise and provide recommendations to leaders on the return of safe and sustainable trans-Atlantic travel.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Government's financial support package for coach businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a range of measures available to support UK businesses, including coach operators. These include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and I am pleased to note that there has been a high uptake of this scheme across the coach sector.

We continue to work closely with representatives from the coach sector to understand the ongoing risks and issues the sector faces and how these can be addressed.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional support the Chancellor is providing to coach businesses unable to operate as a result of covid-19 restrictions in Tier 3 alert level areas.

The Government has announced several measures available to UK businesses, including the coach sector, to support them through this challenging time, and launched a ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

As of 2 December, councils in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas of England are receiving funding to provide grants to closed businesses and run local discretionary grant schemes to support affected businesses. These grants could be available to businesses that supply the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, including coaches. These allocations will be published shortly and are in addition to the £2.3 billion already provided to local councils since the start of the pandemic. Local Authorities will administer this scheme and determine on a case-by-case basis where to allocate funding.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to guarantee refunds for flights and holidays cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.

There have been no changes to consumer law, and airlines are expected to abide by this and honour consumer rights. We have been clear with industry that when consumers are entitled to a refund and ask for one, refunds must be paid in a timely manner, and the process should not be unduly difficult for consumers.

My department is working to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the ATOL Scheme, proposals for vouchers, and the payment of refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. We are working to reach a position on this issue that balances the need to protect consumer rights whilst recognising the continuing pressure on industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority are responsible for enforcing European Regulation 261/2004. My department works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and has regular discussions with them about the range of issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis – including issues relating to enforcement action in respect of refund payments.

On 1 July 2020 the Civil Aviation Authority provided an update on its website about its review into the refund policies of airlines during the coronavirus pandemic. They are reviewing the refund policies of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The review is considering how airlines are handling refunds for flight-only bookings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Civil Aviation Authority on progress on refunding passengers for flights cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak; and whether refund credit notes for package travel are financially protected under the Atol scheme.

There have been no changes to consumer law, and airlines are expected to abide by this and honour consumer rights. We have been clear with industry that when consumers are entitled to a refund and ask for one, refunds must be paid in a timely manner, and the process should not be unduly difficult for consumers.

My department is working to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the ATOL Scheme, proposals for vouchers, and the payment of refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. We are working to reach a position on this issue that balances the need to protect consumer rights whilst recognising the continuing pressure on industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority are responsible for enforcing European Regulation 261/2004. My department works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and has regular discussions with them about the range of issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis – including issues relating to enforcement action in respect of refund payments.

On 1 July 2020 the Civil Aviation Authority provided an update on its website about its review into the refund policies of airlines during the coronavirus pandemic. They are reviewing the refund policies of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The review is considering how airlines are handling refunds for flight-only bookings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that airlines refund passengers for flights cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.

There have been no changes to consumer law, and airlines are expected to abide by this and honour consumer rights. We have been clear with industry that when consumers are entitled to a refund and ask for one, refunds must be paid in a timely manner, and the process should not be unduly difficult for consumers.

My department is working to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the ATOL Scheme, proposals for vouchers, and the payment of refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. We are working to reach a position on this issue that balances the need to protect consumer rights whilst recognising the continuing pressure on industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority are responsible for enforcing European Regulation 261/2004. My department works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and has regular discussions with them about the range of issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis – including issues relating to enforcement action in respect of refund payments.

On 1 July 2020 the Civil Aviation Authority provided an update on its website about its review into the refund policies of airlines during the coronavirus pandemic. They are reviewing the refund policies of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The review is considering how airlines are handling refunds for flight-only bookings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to support the aviation industry to fulfil its legal obligations on passenger refunds during the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to introduce a Travel Guarantee Fund to support travel companies during that outbreak.

There have been no changes to consumer law, and airlines are expected to abide by this and honour consumer rights. We have been clear with industry that when consumers are entitled to a refund and ask for one, refunds must be paid in a timely manner, and the process should not be unduly difficult for consumers.

My department is working to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on the ATOL Scheme, proposals for vouchers, and the payment of refunds for cancelled holidays and flights. We are working to reach a position on this issue that balances the need to protect consumer rights whilst recognising the continuing pressure on industry.

The Civil Aviation Authority are responsible for enforcing European Regulation 261/2004. My department works closely with the Civil Aviation Authority and has regular discussions with them about the range of issues that have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis – including issues relating to enforcement action in respect of refund payments.

On 1 July 2020 the Civil Aviation Authority provided an update on its website about its review into the refund policies of airlines during the coronavirus pandemic. They are reviewing the refund policies of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The review is considering how airlines are handling refunds for flight-only bookings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to provide local authorities with new powers in relation to the creation of new cycle and walking routes which are objected to by landowners.

On the 9th May the Government published fast-tracked statutory guidance to local authorities on reallocating road space to encourage cycling and walking and enabling social distancing. The guidance highlights the importance of consultation and engaging with local businesses. There are no plans to provide any additional powers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to introduce additional train services to the timetable in the former Northern Rail franchise area.

We are working with Northern Trains Ltd to identify the improvements for rail services and performance. Work is also underway to consider the impact of passenger demand due COVID-19, which is currently subject to a great deal of uncertainty.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to replace the Service Option Fund on the former Northern Rail franchise.

Under the new agreement with Northern Trains Ltd, there is no longer a formal Service Options Fund to help capture the aspirations for additional services however the operator is required to continue this development work through its ongoing discussions with stakeholders. Aligned with this is the work to understand passenger demand as a result of COVID-19. Although there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this, we always welcome suggestions to help better connect our towns and cities.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
7th May 2020
To ask the Right hon. Member for East Hampshire representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, what assessment he has made of the merits of including (a) swift bricks, (b) bird boxes, (c) beehives, and (d) others in the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.

The Restoration and Renewal Programme has conducted preliminary assessments of the potential benefits of promoting biodiversity as part of the restoration works, including the introduction of swift bricks and bird boxes, and the desirability of such measures will be subject to the requirements of both Houses. The potential inclusion of beehives will require more careful consideration, including the health and safety implications, while other measures could include ensuring that all planting is pollinator friendly. The Sponsor Body has also agreed a strategic objective for the Programme to optimise the environmental impacty of the Palace in its construction and operation, which has been endorsed by the Commissions of both Houses and will be kept under review as the Programme progresses.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of offering the hepatitis A and B vaccinations as routine vaccinations rather than for high-risk groups.

The approach of vaccinating high-risk groups for both hepatitis A and B vaccination programmes is based on the government expert immunisation advisors, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The JCVI keeps the eligibility criteria of all vaccination programmes under review and considers new evidence as it emerges.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making the yellow fever vaccine available on the NHS.

Yellow fever occurs in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Africa and South and Central America. There is no risk of transmission in the United Kingdom (UK) from imported cases of yellow fever since the mosquito vector does not occur in the UK. Therefore, there are no current plans make this vaccine available on the National Health Service.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prepare for a future pandemic caused by non-flu and non-coronavirus family viruses.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the new public health body focused on health protection and security, became fully operational on 1 October 2021 and includes the Centre for Pandemic Preparedness (CPP). Working with the CPP, the UKHSA will focus on protection from all future health threats, including pandemics, building on the enhanced capabilities deployed to tackle COVID-19 and other infectious disease outbreaks.

The UKHSA and the CPP will work across Government through the newly established Pandemic Diseases Capability Board to identify critical capabilities across the United Kingdom for pandemic disease preparedness which should be maintained, developed or initiated.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to make up for the shortfall of NHS staff who may leave the NHS after refusing to take the covid-19 vaccine.

We continue to encourage all health workers to make the positive choice to take up the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the people they care for, themselves and their colleagues. We have implemented a 12-week grace period, allowing time for both workforce planning, and for those colleagues who are not yet vaccinated who may now wish to do so. The enforcement date of 1 April 2022 will assist providers over the winter and help to minimise workforce pressures. We are also increasing the range of opportunities for staff to receive the vaccine through walk-in and pop-up sites as part of the booster vaccination campaign.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to all providers providing early guidance on vaccination as a condition of deployment to ensure smooth implementation and have provided guidance to assist providers in preparation and planning. Guidance has also been provide on the use of one to one conversations for all unvaccinated National Health Service staff with line managers. We are also increasing engagement with targeted communities where uptake is lowest, including with ethnic minority and faith networks to encourage healthcare workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the covid-19 infection rate was for each month following the removal of the requirement to wear face coverings in England on 19 July 20201; and what the comparable rates in (a) Scotland and (b) Wales were in those months.

The information is not available in the format requested. However, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) publishes weekly COVID-19 case rates for England which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports-2021-to-2022-season

The UKHSA does not monitor COVID-19 infection rates for the devolved administrations.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients are fully informed about the risks of procedures involving implanted materials and provide fully informed consent to those procedures.

The General Medical Council’s revised guidance ‘Decision making and consent’ came into effect in November 2020. The guidance specifies that doctors must give patients the information, time and support needed to make an informed decision about their treatment.

As part of its consultation on the reform of medical device regulation in the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is currently considering what information should be provided to the patient at the point of consent and on receipt of the implant. The new regulatory approach is not yet finalised but the information considered includes warnings, precautions or measures to be taken by the patient or a healthcare professional and a caution that risk may emerge during use of an implantable device, including, where appropriate, on autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia. More information on the outcome of the consultation is expected to be published in early 2022.

The Department is putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the patient voice is routinely heard. This includes the creation of a statutory role of the Patient Safety Commissioner.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will hold a public consultation on the health effects of implanted materials in patients.

The Department currently has no plans to hold a consultation on the health effects of implanted materials in patients. However, we are ensuring that the patients’ voice is routinely heard. This includes the creation of a statutory role of the Patient Safety Commissioner to promote the safety of patients in the use of medicines and medical devices and the importance of the views of patients and the public on the safety of medicines and medical devices.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government intends to add the Sputnik V Gamaleya covid-19 vaccine to the approved list of vaccines for the purposes of quarantine free travel to the United Kingdom.

From 22 November, the United Kingdom will recognise vaccines listed on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Emergency Use Listing for quarantine free travel to the UK. Sputnik V Gamaleya is not currently on the WHO’s Emergency Use List.

We continue to explore the expansion of our inbound vaccination policy to more countries and territories where it is safe to do so.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making the Johnson and Johnson one shot covid-19 vaccine available to NHS and care workers.

The Janssen vaccine - the commercial name of the Johnson and Johnson manufactured vaccine - was authorised for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on 28 May 2021.  At the time of authorisation, no supply was available and none was expected until the end of the year. On 30 October 2021 the Government announced that it would donate all 20 million Janssen vaccines doses it had ordered to COVAX.

Given the maturity of the United Kingdom vaccination programme and strength of existing supplies to meet domestic requirements, the Government was able to identify the Janssen vaccine supply for donation, to be distributed to those most in need overseas. We remain confident that existing stocks of authorised vaccines meet the current requirement for National Health Service and care workers for both the primary course and booster vaccinations.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department may take against nursing homes who refuse to allow family visits in response to covid-19 infection rates.

The Department’s guidance is clear that blanket bans on visiting in care homes are not acceptable. All care home residents can choose to nominate an essential care giver who may visit the home to attend to essential care needs, with no limits to the number of named visitors a resident can nominate.

If a resident or their family have concerns that a care home is not following visiting guidance appropriately, it should be raised with the home in the first instance. The Care Quality Commission can also investigate complaints where providers do not appropriately support people to have access to visits.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is providing to nursing homes to allow residents to see their loved ones over winter 2021.

We have recently reviewed our guidance on visiting care homes and expect to publish updated guidance shortly. The guidance will help care home providers ensure visits can take place over the winter months.

The third Infection Control and Testing fund, announced in October, will provide £388.3 million to support infection prevention and control and testing in adult social care. We have made available more than £2.5 billion for adult social care during the pandemic. We have also provided free personal protective equipment and testing to care home staff, residents and visitors and will continue to do so throughout the winter.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including people under the age of 50 in the covid-19 vaccine booster programme.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) assessment of including people under the age of 50 years old in the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme is ongoing. On 14 September 2021, the JCVI advised that individuals who received COVID-19 vaccinations in phase one of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in priority groups one to nine should be offered a booster vaccine. This includes those aged 16 to 49 years old with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19.

The JCVI has advised that it will continue to review data as it emerges and consider further advice on booster vaccinations in younger adult age groups, children aged 12 to 16 years old with underlying health conditions and women who are pregnant.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to limit the supply of dermal fillers to licenced professionals.

The Department is working with stakeholders to assess the need for strengthened safeguards around the regulation of providers who offer invasive non-surgical cosmetic procedures. We continue to explore whether restrictions on the supply and administration of dermal fillers are necessary to safeguard the public.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is working to develop a robust, world-leading regulatory regime for medical devices that prioritises patient safety. It plans to run a formal public consultation on future medical device regulation this summer which will cover whether the scope of United Kingdom medical device regulations should be extended to cover certain devices with a non-medical purpose, such as dermal fillers.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the safety of cosmetic procedures being undertaken by non-licenced healthcare professionals.

In England cosmetic surgery may only be performed by doctors registered with the General Medical Council. Providers of surgery must also register with the Care Quality Commission and meet its fundamental standards of safety and quality.

The Government is evaluating the existing education and qualification frameworks for practitioners of non-surgical cosmetic procedures operating in England and assessing options for improving standards. This includes consideration of whether increased oversight of practitioners performing some of the most invasive non-surgical procedures is needed and how to achieve a proportionate system of practitioner regulation that protects the public.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has been made on the ability to transmit covid-19 by people who have (a) contracted covid-19 and recovered, and (b) been vaccinated against it; and if he will make a statement.

Public Health England (PHE) has made no such assessment. Due to the time taken to develop antibodies after vaccination, PHE does not yet hold data to determine the ability to transmit COVID-19 by people who have been vaccinated against it.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated to delivering the commitments on respiratory health in the NHS Long Term Plan for (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21; and how much of that funding will be reallocated to long-covid related services.

The National Respiratory Programme is a sub-programme of the wider Cardiovascular Disease and Respiratory programme. The Cardiovascular Disease and Respiratory Programme was allocated NHS Long Term Plan funding as follows:

- 2019/20: £8.4 million; and

- 2020/21: £15 million.

During the initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic all national programmes were asked to prioritise their programmes to ensure they reflected the needs of patients with COVID-19 and to adapt work projects for the new infection control measures.

To support and strengthen respiratory services, an investment of £2 million was made to establish respiratory clinical networks for the first time in England and £46,000 was also used to contribute to the development of the Your COVID-19 Recovery online platform. The Cardiovascular Disease and Respiratory programme also reprioritised £3.5 million to support people recovering from long COVID-19.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the effectiveness of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

We remain committed to delivering the core proposals of the children and young people’s mental health Green Paper, including the introduction of senior leads in mental health and mental health support teams in schools and colleges, as well as the piloting of a four-week waiting time for specialist NHS services.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health set a target of at least 35% of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition receiving treatment from an NHS-funded community mental health service by 2020/21. We are currently meeting this target with 36.8% of children and young people with such a need accessing treatment in 2019/20.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to review the provision of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) across England.

We are committed to expanding all age-mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan – this includes services for children and young people.

Through the Long Term Plan, we are investing at least £2.3 billion of extra funding a year into all age mental health services by 2023/24. This funding underpins our aim for an additional 345,000 children and young people every year to access support through National Health Service-funded services or school- and college-based mental health support teams, if they need it.

We remain committed to implementing the core proposals of the children and young people’s mental health Green Paper, including the introduction of senior leads in mental health and mental health support teams in schools and colleges, and the piloting of a four-week waiting time for specialist NHS services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to seek a continuation of the European Health Insurance Card scheme for UK citizens after the transition period.

From 1 January 2021, under the Withdrawal Agreement some groups will be entitled to a United Kingdom issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for travel in the European Union. These include:

- UK state pensioners living in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland at the end of Transition Period,

- Individuals who are frontier workers at the end of the Transition Period, for as long as they continue to be covered by the Agreement, and

- EEA or Swiss nationals residing in the UK by the end of the Transition Period.

UK nationals already living in the EU who hold a Member State EHIC may use this when accessing healthcare within the EU and UK.

For people not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the future of reciprocal healthcare arrangements between the UK and EU are subject to negotiations, which are ongoing.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the incidence of malnutrition in covid-19 patients outside hospital settings.

NHS Digital does not hold any data on COVID-19 patients outside hospital settings.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the incidence of malnutrition in covid-19 patients in hospital settings.

NHS Digital advises that within Hospital Episode Statistics data it is not possible to determine if a patient that was admitted with COVID-19 also went on to develop malnutrition.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the trends in the level of A&E attendances for (a) asthma and (b) other respiratory conditions in each of the last 12 months.

Respiratory disease is a clinical priority within the NHS Long Term Plan. The respiratory interventions proposed in the NHS Long Term Plan include early and accurate diagnosis of respiratory conditions, which help prevents avoidable emergency admissions.

The following table shows the data for bronchial asthma and respiratory (non-asthma) related hospital episodes for each month since April 2019.

Month

Bronchial Asthma

Respiratory, non-asthma

April 2019

11,804

83,842

May 2019

12,436

73,477

June 2019

12,385

64,847

July 2019

11,757

66,566

August 2019

9,448

60,097

September 2019

16,036

78,657

October 2019

17,589

105,935

November 2019

19,106

130,188

December 2019

19,351

169,210

January 2020

14,613

116,642

February 2020

12,605

100,841

March 2020

12,800

97,692

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics, NHS Digital. This data is provisional and may be incomplete or contain errors for which no adjustment have yet been made.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many items of personal protective equipment have been delivered to North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Trust in each of the last eight weeks.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) delivery statistics are published online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ppe-deliveries-statistics-england-weekly-reports

This is updated on a weekly basis. The total number of PPE items distributed for use by health and social care services (which includes National Health Service trusts) has been published as part of this statistics release since 30 June. These are experimental statistics that the United Kingdom Government continues to develop in line with the requirements of those using the data.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many items of personal protective equipment have been delivered to the Humber Local Resilience Forum in each of the last eight weeks.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) delivery statistics are published online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ppe-deliveries-statistics-england-weekly-reports

This is updated on a weekly basis. The total number of PPE items authorised for release to local resilience forums has been published as part of this statistics release since 14 July. These are experimental statistics that the United Kingdom Government continues to develop in line with the requirements of those using the data.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of tensions in the Republic of Moldova between the Moldovan government and Transnistrian separatists.

The UK supports a sustainable resolution of the Transnistrian conflict, with a special status for the Transnistrian region. Wendy Morton MP, former Minister for Europe and Americas, discussed Transnistria with Moldovan Prime Minister Gavrilita in London in November, and reaffirmed the UK's support for Moldova's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Our Ambassador to Moldova regularly discusses developments in meetings with Moldovan President Maia Sandu and in meetings with the de facto leader of Transnistria, most recently on 7 February. The UK continues to support the efforts of the OSCE 5+2 format, the high level working group of which meets regularly in order to discuss the conflict. We note the recent appointment of a Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration, enabling Chisinau and Tiraspol to each have a Chief Negotiator to discuss a range of issues directly.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of recent unrest in Kazakhstan.

The Government continues to follow events in Kazakhstan closely. We greatly regretted the loss of life and injuries sustained as a result of unrest in January and condemned the violence and destruction of property that occurred. We await a full account of what led to these unprecedented events. We have taken note of President Tokayev's characterisation of what happened as an 'attempted coup' and his decision to establish an investigative commission. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister of State responsible for Central Asia and Human Rights, was assured by President Tokayev's Special Representative, Ambassador Kazykhan, that the work of the commission would be transparent and effective.

As well as being crucial for accountability, a comprehensive understanding of events will be important to securing public support for the programme of social, economic and political reforms outlined by President Tokayev following the January events. The UK supports the aims of the reforms that President Tokayev seeks to bring about, in the context of the close ties we have developed with Kazakhstan over the 30 years since diplomatic relations were established

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the tensions between Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The UK supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) territorial integrity. Threats from within the Republika Srpska to withdraw from BiH State institutions are dangerous. We have called on those responsible to cease this destabilising and divisive rhetoric. We condemn Russian interference in the crisis, which undermines stability. The UK is committed to upholding the Dayton Peace Agreement. The UK, along with our Allies, is offering visible and practical support to BiH's territorial integrity, to maintain the Office of the High Representative, and the peace stabilisation mission (EUFOR). The Prime Minister's appointment of Sir Stuart Peach as Special Envoy to the Western Balkans, demonstrates the UK's ongoing commitment.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent progress she has made on discussions with her French counterpart on stopping illegal crossings of the English Channel by migrants.

The UK and France agree on the need to cooperate closely to stop people traffickers. Working together we stopped over 23,000 illegal migration attempts in 2021. The Foreign Secretary underlined the need for a practical and pragmatic approach to migration with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' Meeting in December. The Prime Minister has discussed his commitment to work with France on the shared challenge of illegal migration in the Channel with President Macron, most recently on 5 February.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of LGBT rights in Chechnya.

The UK Government has raised the issue of LGBT rights repeatedly with the Russian Government and made clear that Russia must abide by its international human rights obligations.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of LGBT rights in Russia.

The UK Government has raised the issue of LGBT rights repeatedly with the Russian Government and made clear that Russia must abide by its international human rights obligations.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the political situation in (a) Tibet and (b) Xinjiang.

The FCDO monitors closely the situations in Tibet and Xinjiang. We are deeply concerned by the human rights situation in Tibet, including reports of severe restrictions on freedom of religion of belief, Tibetans dying in custody, coercive control, and labour transfer schemes.

We also have serious concerns about the human rights violations occurring in Xinjiang, including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps" since 2017, systematic restrictions on Uyghur culture and the practice of Islam, and extensive and invasive surveillance targeting minorities.

The UK Government continues to raise concerns about the human rights situation in China directly with the Chinese authorities at the highest levels. Most recently, the Prime Minister did so in a telephone call with President Xi on 29 October, as did the Foreign Secretary in her introductory call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on 22 October. I personally raised the situation with the Chinese Ambassador to London in our meeting on 15 December.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment the Government has made of the long-term financial implications of the UN Relief and Works Agency’s entitled beneficiaries.

The UK is a long-term supporter of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). We are working with UNRWA to improve their financial viability. This includes broadening UNRWA's donor base, encouraging the full disbursement of pledges and encouraging support through multi-year funding. I reiterated this at the International Conference on UNRWA on 16 November.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what mechanisms are in place to assess the suitability of educational materials used in schools operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency in (a) the West Bank and (b) Gaza.

We strongly condemn all forms of violence and incitement to violence. We accompany our support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) with stringent attention to implementation of their neutrality policy, including how they apply this to textbooks and other learning material to ensure they reflect UN values. In Gaza and the West Bank, UNRWA uses the PA's curriculum in their schools after rigorously reviewing that it is in line with UN values.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has met with her French counterpart to discuss military and diplomatic cooperation between the UK and France in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

The UK and France regularly discuss military and security cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. As chair of the G7 the Foreign Secretary invited colleagues from Australia, the Republic of Korea and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to join our meeting in Liverpool 11-12 December. We reaffirmed our strong engagement and co-operation in the region and discussed regional and security issues, in addition to maritime cooperation and state behaviour in cyberspace.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Government of Benin in response to the jailing of opposition figures in recent weeks.

The UK supports freedom of expression as both a human right in and of itself, and as an essential element for the enjoyment of other human rights. Following the May 2020 local elections in Benin, we were concerned at the low rate of participation and that only one opposition party took part. This was despite the provisional ruling of the African Court of Human and People's Rights that the Government of Benin should take steps to avoid the exclusion of opposition parties. The UK was also concerned to see the violence that marked the presidential elections in April 2021.

Freedom of expression is an essential quality of any functioning democracy; people must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make informed decisions. The UK hopes President Talon's recent dialogue with his predecessor Thomas Boni Yayi in September 2021 will lead to a formal dialogue with opposition parties in Benin.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the strength of democratic institutions in Benin.

The UK supports freedom of expression as both a human right in and of itself, and as an essential element for the enjoyment of other human rights. Following the May 2020 local elections in Benin, we were concerned at the low rate of participation and that only one opposition party took part. This was despite the provisional ruling of the African Court of Human and People's Rights that the Government of Benin should take steps to avoid the exclusion of opposition parties. The UK was also concerned to see the violence that marked the presidential elections in April 2021.

Freedom of expression is an essential quality of any functioning democracy; people must be allowed to discuss and debate issues freely, to challenge their governments, and to make informed decisions. The UK hopes President Talon's recent dialogue with his predecessor Thomas Boni Yayi in September 2021 will lead to a formal dialogue with opposition parties in Benin.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what specific issues in relation to LGBT rights in Brunei were raised between the Minister of State and the Foreign Minister of Brunei in their meeting of 9 December 2021; and what the response from Foreign Minister II Erywan was.

The UK is committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people. We continue to raise human rights and respect of individual freedoms as part of our bilateral discussions with Brunei. In my meeting with the Foreign Minister of Brunei on 9 December I discussed LGBT+ issues, including in the context of the implementation of Brunei's Sharia Penal Code Order. The Foreign Minister of Brunei welcomed discussions on these areas.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of PRC Chinese interference with the internal affairs of the Solomon Islands following that country's switch to recognising the PRC as the representative government of China.

The UK and Solomon Islands have a strong bilateral relationship with shared priorities including security, stability, economic development and tackling climate change. Bilateral relations between China and Solomon Islands are a matter for those two countries.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that citizens in the British Overseas Territories receive booster shots of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has been supporting the Overseas Territories since the outset of the pandemic. This includes the provision of vaccines which have been provided on a population proportionate basis with the United Kingdom. The UK Overseas Territories have some of the highest vaccination rates globally and the roll out of booster vaccines began in October 2021. To date, eleven (Anguilla, Ascension Island, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Turks & Caicos Islands Overseas Territories) have received booster vaccines. Plans are in hand to deliver boosters to the remaining three Overseas Territories (Pitcairn, Tristan da Cunha and staff at the British Antarctic Territory) in early 2022.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will hold discussions with the Government of Brunei on the penalties in place in that country against LGBT people.

The UK is committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Human rights are universal and should apply equally to all people. We continue to raise human rights and respect of individual freedoms as part of our bilateral discussions with Brunei. I discussed LGBT rights in my meeting with Foreign Minister II Erywan on 9 December.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the political dispute between Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina; and whether she has made representations to her respective Bosnian and Serbian counterparts to encourage cooperation between the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the framework of the Dayton Agreement.

The UK is deeply concerned at the deteriorating political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The Foreign Secretary met BiH Foreign Minister Turkovic at the OSCE Ministerial meeting on 1 December, and High Representative Schmidt in London on 2 December.

The UK remains committed to ensuring peace and stability in BiH, and upholding its sovereignty and state integrity. We continue to work closely with political parties, civil society, and community leaders in BiH to support reconciliation efforts, tackle legacy issues, and build common purpose around a brighter future for all citizens.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department will take to assist Bougainville towards independence in line with that region’s agreement with the Government of Papua New Guinea.

The UK has consistently supported implementation of the 2001 Bougainville Peace Agreement. This includes sharing our experience of conflict resolution and devolution, and providing almost £200,000 to UN programmes supporting the non-binding 2019 independence referendum and subsequent consultations on Bougainville’s final political status. We will continue to support international efforts to help the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville reach an agreed settlement.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much her Department has spent protecting endangered languages from extinction in Papua New Guinea; and what assessment she has made of the importance to indigenous communities of speaking their native languages and the wider linguistic diversity of that country.

The UK Government acknowledges the importance of Papua New Guinea's rich cultural and linguistic diversity, with almost 850 spoken languages. In partnership with the Leverhulme Trust and British Library, we are funding a three year project - True Echoes - to connect communities in Papua New Guinea with the earliest recordings of their local languages and song, dating from 1898 to 1918, and to make the archive available online for all, including Papua New Guinea's cultural institutions and future generations.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to sanction businesses that are complicit in the use of forced labour in Xinjiang, China.

On the 12th of January, the UK Government announced a series of robust measures in respect of UK supply chains to help ensure that no British organisations - government or private sector, deliberately or inadvertently - are profiting from or contributing to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities in Xinjiang. These measures include a review of export controls as they apply to Xinjiang, the introduction of financial penalties for organisations that fail to comply with their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act, and new, robust guidance to UK businesses on the specific risks faced by companies with links to the region.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the recent tensions between China and Taiwan.

Her Majesty's Government considers the Taiwan issue one to be settled peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait through constructive dialogue. We are concerned by any activity which raises tensions and risks destabilising the status quo and have been clear that the numerous Chinese military flights near Taiwan at the beginning of October were not conducive to peace and stability in the region. We underscored the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait alongside partners in the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' communique in May and G7 Leaders' communique in June.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the prospects of a settlement in relation to Kosovo and Serbia.

We continue to believe that a settlement between Kosovo and Serbia is both possible and essential. The UK supports the EU-facilitated Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, with the aim of a comprehensive and sustainable normalisation agreement to the benefit of both countries' people. We welcome the recent interim agreement reached under the Dialogue on the car number plate issue, and encourage both sides to maintain their commitment to the Dialogue process.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made on the prospects of Cypriot reunification.

The UK remains committed to supporting the UN process to reach a Cyprus Settlement in line with UN parameters based on the model of a Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federation with political equality - a model that we believe to be broad enough to address the concerns of both sides. UK Ministers and Officials continue to engage all sides to urge flexibility and compromise to that end.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of joining Australia, India, Japan and the United States in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

As the UK continues to deliver our tilt to the Indo-Pacific, we are building and strengthening partnerships bilaterally, multilaterally and in minilateral groupings across the region. The Indo-Pacific Quad is increasingly important to four of the UK's closest partners in the region (Australia, India, Japan and the US). The UK welcomes the outcomes of the two leaders' level Quad summits in March and September 2021 which echo many of the UK's priorities, including climate change, COVID-19 response and emerging technology and we are looking at options for closer practical cooperation with Quad members in these areas, supplementing our important bilateral engagement with each of these key partners.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on events marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban in 2001.

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. Some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Durban conference and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. We will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

The Foreign Secretary recently reaffirmed the UK's condemnation to anti-Semitism during a debate in the House of Commons on 20 April 2021, and I raised my opposition to anti-Semitism during a Westminster Hall Debate on 26 November 2020. We also delivered a statement at the United Nations General Assembly in November expressing concern about the rise of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in the wake of Covid-19.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the upcoming events marking the 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban in 2001.

The United Kingdom is committed to combatting all forms of racism, including anti-semitism, both at home and abroad. We believe that one of the most effective ways to tackle injustices and advocate respect among different religious and racial groups is to encourage all states to uphold their human rights obligations. Some of the anti-Semitic actions and speeches in and around the Durban conference and its various follow-up events gave rise to serious concerns. We will consider UK attendance in the light of developments between now and the commemoration event, including the likelihood of any recurrence.

The Foreign Secretary recently reaffirmed the UK's condemnation to anti-semitism during a debate in the House of Commons on 20 April 2021, and I raised my opposition to anti-Semitism during a Westminster Hall Debate on 26 November 2020. We also delivered a statement at the United Nations General Assembly in November expressing concern about the rise of anti-semitism and other forms of discrimination in the wake of Covid-19.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to refer Iran’s non-compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal to the United Nations Security Council.

The UN Secretary-General issues a six-monthly report on the implementation of UNSCR 2231, which underpins the JCPoA. The most recent report, the tenth, was discussed by the Security Council in December 2020. We continue to engage closely with the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council to address Iran's non-compliance and stand ready to bring the issue to the Council as necessary. We strongly urge Iran to return to compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action commitments without delay.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on the Middle East peace process of the February 2021 International Criminal Court ruling on the situation of Palestine.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the International Criminal Court on that Court’s determination that it has jurisdiction over East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

We respect the independence of the ICC, and we expect it to exercise due prosecutorial and judicial discipline.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Palestinian Authority following reports that a Palestinian university has named its new entrance gate after Salah Khalaf, known as Abu Iyad, who planned the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972 in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered.

Our partnership with the Palestinian Authority includes a commitment from the Palestinian leadership to adhere to the principle of non-violence and to tackle language and actions that could incite violence or hatred. We have a regular dialogue with the Palestinian Authority in which we reiterate the need for both sides to prepare their populations for peaceful coexistence, including by promoting a more positive portrayal of each other. We continue to urge both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to avoid engaging in, or encouraging, any type of action and language that makes it more difficult to achieve a culture of peaceful coexistence and a negotiated solution to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the level of risk for LGBT people in Chechnya.

We remain deeply concerned about the continuing persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya. Persecution for being LGBT, anywhere in the world, is abhorrent. As we state in our Travel Advice, there are credible reports of arrest, torture and extrajudicial killing of LGBT people in Chechnya.

In December 2018 the UK was one of 16 countries to invoke the OSCE's Moscow Mechanism, requiring an independent OSCE investigation. The OSCE Moscow Mechanism's independent 2018 report confirmed allegations of serious human rights violations in Chechnya against LGBT people and other groups including unlawful detention, torture, and extrajudicial killings. We continue to urge Russia to implement the recommendations made in the Moscow Mechanism report and to end the climate of impunity for human rights abusers in Chechnya.

We continue to raise our concerns about the persecution of LGBT people in Chechnya with the Russian Government at all levels. On 17 June 2020, I raised this with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Titov.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to put in place for people who are (a) experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the rise in energy bills and (b) residing in properties with a council tax band of D or above.

The Government is providing significant financial support – up to £350 – to the majority of households. Households in England residing in properties in bands A-D will receive the £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate. Local authorities will also receive £144m to provide targeted support to lower income households in bands E-H and those exempt from council tax. Domestic electricity customers in Great Britain will also receive a £200 cash rebate on their electricity costs this October, paid back automatically over the next 5 years, spreading the increased costs of global prices over time in a way that is more manageable for households. This is alongside the wider support available, such as the Warm Home Discount, the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payment.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to support Internal Drainage Boards negatively affected as a result of the removal the the withdrawal of the red diesel fuel duty rebate from April 2022.

The Government recognises that the changes to the tax treatment of red diesel from April 2022 may affect some public sector bodies, including Internal Drainage Boards, but these changes are designed to incentivise greater energy efficiency and the switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives in the public and private sectors. The Treasury will discuss spending pressures that may arise in the public sector as part of the next Spending Review.

The Government takes flood risk very seriously. That is why it has doubled the amount it invests in flood and coastal defences to £5.2 billion by 2027.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of whether additional financial support is required by the travel industry due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The travel industry, along with other businesses, may also benefit from a range of support measures including:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding (SBGF) of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • The retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

The Government’s economic strategy will be closely coordinated with the public health strategy to ensure a safe return to economic activity. We will continue to monitor developments to understand the economic impacts of COVID-19, including on industries and sectors, and consider how the Government can best support their recovery.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking in preparation for a potential increase in channel crossings in the Spring.

We expect to see increased attempts by criminal gangs to facilitate these dangerous and unnecessary Channel crossings as the weather and sea conditions improve. Our focus is on prevention, and our ongoing support to the French Government provides for additional police patrols, improved detection technology and strengthened border security infrastructure on the French side. And at home, we are overhauling our broken asylum system to ensure people smugglers cannot profit from this vile trade.

We are exploring with Ministry of Defence partners how best we can use the full range of HMG’s capabilities to intercept and manage those that cross the Channel more effectively, safely and securely.

We have already improved the facilities at the Port of Dover. We have also set up a new, secure site at Manston to hold small boat arrivals for up to five days as security and identity checks are completed.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential level of risk to the UK Parliament arising from Christine Lee's reported attempted interference in UK politics on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.

The Home Secretary made the Government’s position on this issue clear in a statement to the House on 17 January.

Investigations are ongoing, and it would be inappropriate to comment further on intelligence matters. However, the interference alert was used in this case by our intelligence agencies to mitigate and prevent further risk to Parliament.

Unfortunately, we must face the reality that some foreign states will seek to operate covertly and below current criminal thresholds in an attempt to interfere with our democracy. We can expect to see these kinds of alerts become more commonplace as a result of the work our world class intelligence agencies who have adapted to counter these threats.

The Government intends to bring forward new legislation to further enhance our ability to counter threats from foreign states when Parliamentary time allows.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of making Holocaust denial a criminal offence.

There are no plans to make Holocaust denial a criminal offence.

The Government believes that Holocaust denial is both immoral and factually wrong. However, legislation reflects the enormous value this country rightly places upon free speech. It enables people to engage in debate freely, while protecting people from criminal activity including threatening and abusive behaviour or behaviour which is intended to, or is likely to, stir up hatred.

I am clear that antisemitism in any form is inexcusable and this Government has taken a number of steps to help eliminate it over the last five years. In 2016 we became the first country in the world to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. We’ve since had organisations such as the Premier League and over three-quarters of councils adopt the definition.

In July 2019 we also appointed Lord John Mann as an independent antisemitism advisor, to provide advice to the Government on the best ways to tackle antisemitism. Finally, we have provided £14m in funding this financial year (2021/22) for protection of Jewish institutions through the Jewish Community Protective Security (JCPS) Grant, administered through the Community Security Trust (CST).

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with her French counterpart on (a) preventing human traffickers operating in France sending migrants to the UK across the channel and (b) increasing security in the Port of Calais.

The Home Secretary maintains regular contact with her French counterpart, Interior Minister Darmanin, on the issue of illegal migration and small boats crossings. They last met in person at the G7 Interior & Security Minister’s meeting in September.

The UK and France maintain a longstanding relationship on tackling illegal migration at the shared border; the UK has committed several funding packages to supporting this work. Most recently, a bilateral funding arrangement was reached between the UK and France on 20 July 2021. Aspects of this funding are invested in infrastructure to increase border security at key border crossings points along the Channel coastand as a result Minister Darmanin has committed to stopping 100% of small boats crossing the Channel illegally.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of ending online anonymity on abuse against (a) hon. Members and (b) other public figures.

We are considering this issue as part of our work with DCMS on the Online Safety Bill, which is currently going through pre-legislative scrutiny.

Harmful online abuse is unacceptable, and the online safety framework will require companies to take robust action to improve the safety of their users. The Bill will introduce a Duty of Care which will apply to all online services that allow user generated content. Companies will need to have systems and processes in place to keep their users safe, and Ofcom will have tough enforcement powers to use against those which do not comply.

We need to take a balanced approach given that anonymity can be important for a range of cases – such as pro-democracy movements. Pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Online Safety Bill provides an opportunity to hear a range of views on the topic.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much the NHS surcharge will be for EU migrants arriving after the transition period.

Under the new UK Points-Based Immigration System, EU citizens arriving from 1 January 2021 will be treated equally to non-EU citizens. EU citizens resident in the UK before the end of December 2020 will be able to access healthcare as they do now and will be able to secure these rights by obtaining status through the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Government is committed to agreeing a future partnership with the EU by December 2020. The details, including any agreement on reciprocal healthcare, remain a matter for negotiation.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the definition of a STEM course is in relation to the proposed immigration rules.

PHD qualifications relevant to the occupation will be a tradeable characteristic with additional points awarded for a PHD in a STEM subject. This will cover PhD qualifications in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Further guidance for applicants and employers will be provided before the introduction of the new system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to ensure political impartiality among magistrates and judges in judicial proceedings.

An independent and impartial judiciary is one of the cornerstones of the United Kingdom’s constitution and vital to the proper functioning of our democracy based on the rule of law.

There is a statutory prohibition on salaried judges undertaking any kind of political activity or having ties with a political party. This prohibition includes holding political office. The Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals set out guidance for judicial conduct in the Guide to Judicial Conduct which applies to judges, coroners and magistrates. The basic principles guiding judicial conduct are judicial independence, impartiality and integrity and the Guide to Judicial Conduct explains that judges should avoid any appearance of political ties.

As the judiciary is independent of government, it is not appropriate for the government to comment on the actions of a judge during a case. Complaints of judicial conduct may be referred to the independent Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO). What does and does not constitute a question of misconduct is for the JCIO to determine.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps his Department has taken to help clear the backlog of cases in rural courts.

We continue to take action to tackle the impact the pandemic has had on our criminal justice system, and we are seeing the impact of our actions.

The backlog in the Crown Court has reduced from around 61,000 cases in June 2021 to around 58,700 cases at the end of November 2021 and in the magistrates’ court, the caseload is close to recovering to pre-pandemic levels. In the civil courts, volumes of final hearings increased from around half of pre-Covid levels in June 2020 to around 80% in May 2021. While the family courts’ sitting day figures for 2021 are yet to be published, 2020 saw us sit our highest ever number of days. The volume of disposals also increased significantly in both public and private family law between Q2 2020 and Q2 2021. In public law there were 6,229 disposals and in private law there were 26,672 disposals in Q2 2021, a 20% and 23% increase on Q2 2020 respectively.

We have continued to ensure our court buildings are safe, rolled out new technology for remote hearings, recruited additional staff and we will be retaining 32 Nightingale Crown Court rooms until the end of March 2022. Furthermore, we are now extending magistrates’ court sentencing powers from 6 to 12 months for a single Triable Either Way offence to allow more cases to be heard in the magistrates' court. This measure will provide vital additional capacity in the Crown Courts to drive down the backlog of cases over the coming years. We estimate that this will save nearly 2,000 Crown Court sitting days per year.

To ensure the regions most at need get the resources required, we are working with the judiciary to move cases across regional boundaries to areas with spare capacity where appropriate, and using a national, flexible pool of judges for regions to draw from as required. We are also taking steps to extend Nightingale Court arrangements, on a case-by-case basis, dependant on local need.

We are investing £477 million in the Criminal Justice System over the next three years to help reduce the backlog and deliver the swift access to justice that victims deserve.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to prevent violence against women in prisons.

Violence against any prisoner or member of staff is unacceptable and we continue to take action to reduce violence across the entire prison estate.

Staffing levels are important to managing prison violence. Our Offender Management in Custody (OMiC) model is transforming how we support prisoners and significant investments have been made to recruit an additional 2,500 prison officers to improve safety and deliver key work. In April 2021 we began implementing a gender specific Offender Management in Custody (OMiC) model in the women’s estate.

We continue to deliver on our £100m investment in security to reduce crime in prison, clamping down on weapons, drugs and phones that fuel violence behind bars.

We have also introduced the Challenge, Intervention and Support Plan (CSIP) to case manage those who pose a raised risk of violence towards others.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the impact of rural court closures on crime and policing.

Impact assessments are conducted and published alongside all court closure proposals. These are then updated and considered to take into account any additional potential impacts identified through the public consultation process. These assessments include careful consideration of journey times to alternative courts, the challenges of rural access and the needs of vulnerable users.

Consultations on proposed court closures invited the views of a wide range of stakeholders, including local residents and those directly involved in delivering justice, such as police forces and professional court users. All views were carefully considered before final decisions were made.

The decision to close any court is not taken lightly; it only happens following full public consultation and only where sufficient capacity existed in other nearby courts to accommodate the work of the closing courts. Courts that have closed were either underused, dilapidated or too close to one another.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the potential cost to the public purse arising from the closure of courts in rural communities.

All court closure proposals must meet our key estates principle of providing value for money and are subject to full public consultation. Impact assessments are conducted and published alongside all court closure proposals and any potential impacts, including those on rural communities, are carefully considered before final decisions are made.

Since 2015, HMCTS has raised over £210m in sales proceeds from the disposal of underused and dilapidated buildings. This funding is being reinvested into the HMCTS £1.2bn Reform Programme to transform the justice system, including introducing 21st Century technology and online services to increase access to justice and improve efficiency.

The decision to close any court is not taken lightly; it only happens following full public consultation and only where sufficient capacity existed in other nearby courts to accommodate the work of the closing courts. Courts that have closed were either underused, dilapidated or too close to one another.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to encourage junior barristers to specialise in criminal law.

Criminal defence lawyers play a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and ensuring access to justice is maintained, and the Government greatly values the work they do.

As part of the Criminal Legal Aid Review, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) worked with the Bar Council and other stakeholders to combine key datasets which were summarised in a published Data compendium. This data shows that, in 2019-20, of the barristers who carried out some publicly-funded criminal work and reported themselves as specialising in crime, 87% were junior barristers and 13% were QCs (Table 5.13).

Sir Christopher Bellamy QC is leading an independent review of the criminal legal aid market, seeking to ensure it is sustainable into the future. Supporting a diverse workforce and ensuring a pipeline of new entrants and career progression within the professions is an objective within the review’s Terms of Reference. I understand the review is close to completing and the Government aims to publish Sir Christopher's report together with its response as soon as possible.