Anthony Mangnall Portrait

Anthony Mangnall

Conservative - Totnes

Regulatory Reform
2nd Mar 2020 - 20th May 2021
Procedure Committee
9th Mar 2020 - 20th Jul 2020


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
09:45
International Trade Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: COP26 and international trade
27 Oct 2021, 9:45 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP - Secretary of State for International Trade at Department for International Trade
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
15:15
International Trade Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: UK trade negotiations
27 Oct 2021, 3:15 p.m.
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP - Minister for Trade Policy at Department for International Trade
Victoria Prentis MP - Minister of State at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Chris Heaton - Deputy Director in International Trade Policy at Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oliver Phillips - Senior Civil Service Lead for Agriculture at Department for International Trade
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
09:45
International Trade Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: UK-EU trading relationship
3 Nov 2021, 9:45 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Robert Hardy - Director at EORI (UK) Limited
James Russell - Senior Vice President at British Veterinary Association
Sarah Laouadi - Head of International Policy at Logistics UK
Mr Andrew Opie - Director of Food and Sustainability at British Retail Consortium
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Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 313 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Investment Industry Exposure to Modern Slavery

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Robertson. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Grantham …

Written Answers
Thursday 27th May 2021
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the potential of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 2nd September 2020
Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to enable the recall of Members of the House of Commons who voluntarily change their political party affiliation; …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 20th September 2021
1. Employment and earnings
14 September 2021, received £120. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 14 September 2021)

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Anthony Mangnall has voted in 306 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Anthony Mangnall voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Anthony Mangnall voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Anthony Mangnall voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Anthony Mangnall 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
View All Anthony Mangnall 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
(25 debate interactions)
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
(10 debate interactions)
Emily Thornberry (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(33 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(30 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Anthony Mangnall's debates

Totnes 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).

Anthony Mangnall has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Anthony Mangnall

Anthony Mangnall has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Anthony Mangnall, 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.


Anthony Mangnall has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Anthony Mangnall has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Anthony Mangnall


A Bill to enable the recall of Members of the House of Commons who voluntarily change their political party affiliation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 2nd September 2020
(Read Debate)

Anthony Mangnall has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


151 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
2 Other Department Questions
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government has made on publishing the findings of the Dunlop Review into UK Government Union capability.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office stated to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on 10 September, we will publish the Dunlop Review before the end of the year.

We are in the process of implementing many of Lord Dunlop’s recommendations and we will set out this work when we publish the report.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government has taken to tackle (a) homophobic, (b) biphobic and (c) transphobic bullying in schools.

This government is clear that no child should be bullied for any reason at all. Since 2016, we have invested £4m to support schools in preventing and addressing homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, reaching 2,250 schools in England.

We are currently evaluating this programme to increase our evidence base on what works in schools. In June, the Department for Education announced it was extending its anti-bullying programme until March next year.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September 2020 to Question 90271, when the Government plans to publish the findings of the Dunlop Review into UK Government Union capability.

In reference to the answer on 22 September 2020, we had intended to publish the Dunlop report by the end of last year, however, in the context of wider events, this was not possible. We will publish Lord Dunlop’s review, alongside a full response, in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Sep 2020
G7
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government’s priorities are for the UK presidency of the G7 in 2021.

The Government is developing an ambitious agenda for the UK’s G7 Presidency which will focus on strengthening international cooperation on key health, economic and climate challenges, and ensuring that we build back better for all.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Sep 2020
G7
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will invite India, Australia and South Korea to attend the G7 summit in the UK in 2021.

The UK is preparing an ambitious and unifying G7 agenda that will promote international leadership and collaboration as we respond to and recover from Covid-19. No decision has been taken on which guest nations to invite to the 2021 Leaders Summit.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the Government has made on its review of intergovernmental relations between the UK Government and the devolved Administrations.

Substantial progress is being made on the review of intergovernmental relations.

I have met with Ministers from the devolved administrations in both August and earlier this month to discuss proposals for dispute avoidance and resolution, future intergovernmental machinery and measures to improve transparency of intergovernmental relations. We agreed to work on a final package of recommendations in the coming weeks.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will allow the reopening of private physiotherapy practices in line with the reopening of non-essential shops as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

Private physiotherapy practices were not required to close by law as part of the restrictions introduced to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts on best practice for preventing business takeovers by hostile state actors.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 14th July 2020 to Question 69694. The Government engages frequently with its closest allies on a range of subjects, including investment screening.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on introducing a UK emissions trading scheme.

We intend to establish a UK Emissions Trading System (UK ETS), which will increase our ambition on carbon pricing.

The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020 draft Order in Council required to set up the UK ETS was laid on 13 July 2020 in the UK and Scottish Parliaments, and on 15 July 2020 in the Welsh Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly. Further UK ETS legislation is on track to be laid by the end of 2020, in all four legislatures.

Work on the technical systems required for a UK ETS is also proceeding as planned.

in order to ensure a carbon price remains in place in all scenarios, the UK published a consultation in July 2020 on the design of a Carbon Emission Tax as an additional alternative to a UK ETS.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the reliance on China for (a) pharmaceuticals, (b) microchips and (c) cobalt batteries.

The Government is working hard to ensure we have resilient and diverse supply chains in place to ensure the continued flow of essential goods for UK consumers. This includes looking at our trading relationships with a range of international partners, as well as considering domestic initiatives to promote our economic recovery.

The Government committed £146 million through the first Life Sciences Sector Deal to grow medicines manufacturing in the UK. We have established the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership with industry to ensure that the UK is recognised as a world-class advanced centre for medicines manufacturing.

The Government has also committed £274 million to the Faraday Battery Challenge to support the research, development, and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK. The Faraday Battery Challenge is funding research to reduce our dependency on raw mineral supply and make better use of global resources such as cobalt.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will review the level of involvement of state-owned Chinese companies in the UK’s critical energy infrastructure.

The Department works very closely with industry and other government departments to maintain a detailed picture of ownership and foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure.

The Department ensures protection of infrastructure and critical services through a broad range of mitigations, including legislative and regulatory powers. Foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest levels of scrutiny.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Written Statement of 22 June 2020, Official Report, HCWS305, Business Update, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) Australia, (b) Canada, (c) New Zealand and (d) the United States on best practice for preventing business takeovers by potentially hostile state actors.

The Government engages frequently with its closest allies on a range of subjects, including investment screening. A number of our Five Eyes partners, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand have – like the UK – made changes to their investment screening regimes in response to Covid-19.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the findings of the Telecommunications Diversification Taskforce, what plans he has to create an international digital infrastructure recommendations and standards alliance.

Increasing UK representation and participation in the international standards setting environment is vitally important in promoting secure, open and interoperable standards. To achieve these objectives, the Government is working closely with industry, the NCSC, Ofcom and a wide range of international partners.

Through the UK’s G7 Presidency, the Government led positive conversations on standards with international partners, and will continue to work closely with like-minded partners in order to forge a consensus on these issues.

The Telecommunications Diversification Taskforce has provided detailed recommendations to government as it takes forward this work, and we will set out next steps in due course.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the findings of the Telecommunications Diversification Taskforce, what steps he plans to take to attract small-scale vendors to the UK market.

The Government is working with mobile operators and suppliers to build an open, flexible, and diverse telecoms supply market, following the recommendations of the Diversification Taskforce, published on 20 April on GOV.UK.

The Taskforce recommendations are helping to guide our approach delivering the Diversification strategy, including its central pillar of attracting new suppliers. The Government is designing a programme of targeted R&D to level the playing field for smaller suppliers, and we continue to consider all options.

Suppliers are themselves taking positive steps to support this agenda and a number of smaller suppliers have already announced new research facilities in the UK.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure couriers can resume regular shipments of (a) retail art and (b) antiques currently suspended due to customs complications in several EU states.

We are working closely with businesses in the art and antiques sector to support them in trading with, and shipping goods to and from, EU member states.

We recognise that leaving the EU means a period of change for businesses, at a time when everyone has been responding to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, but this is an unparalleled opportunity for the UK to do things differently and better, and create the blueprint for our growing prosperity through the 21st century.

The deal we have negotiated secures preferential market access to the EU for UK businesses whilst securing the UK’s status as an independent and sovereign country. It ensures that there will be no tariffs or quotas for trade in goods with the EU.

We have taken steps to facilitate the export of cultural goods to EU countries. We developed a new inland pre-clearance process for export licences for works of art, and we are in the process of digitising the export licencing system for cultural goods. These steps reduce border friction and avoid delays and security risks.

We will continue to engage with businesses in sectors that are affected by our changing relationship with the EU to help them adjust and continue to successfully compete on the global stage.

5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 94546, and with reference to the report entitled Video Unavailable: Social Media Platforms Remove Evidence of War Crimes, published by Human Rights Watch in September 2020, what steps he is taking to ensure that online platforms preserve evidence of alleged war crimes when taking down extremist and hateful social media content.

The Government is not working specifically on this issue, however it is committed to increasing online safety. As outlined in the Online Harms White Paper, this Government intends to introduce a duty of care on online companies to ensure they have appropriate systems and processes in place to deal with harmful content on their services, overseen by an independent regulator. The regulator will need to build strong working relationships with law enforcement and other bodies in order to ensure effective action against a range of illegal harms.Further details on online harms will be set out in the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper, which will be published shortly.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Foreign Secretary’s Oral Statement of 28 January 2020, what progress he has made on attracting established telecommunications vendors to the UK.

We are continuing to work at pace to deliver a targeted diversification strategy to rebalance the supply chain. We will be bringing this strategy forward in the autumn, alongside the Telecoms Security Bill.

The strategy will be based around three core elements; securing incumbent vendors, attracting new vendors and accelerating the development of open interface solutions. It will also focus on building UK capability and influence within the supply chain.

To support the development of the strategy, the Government has recently announced the establishment of a Telecoms Diversification Taskforce. The Taskforce, which is composed of leading figures from industry and academia, will provide independent and expert advice to the Government - turbocharging our work on these three core elements of our strategy.

Throughout the development of the strategy, we have continued to look for opportunities to make progress on market diversification. In the coming weeks we will set out plans and details of some of the first Government supported ‘OpenRAN’ 5G trials in the UK. These will accelerate the delivery of the strategy and create opportunities for disruptive new entrants in the UK market.

We are also continuing to speak with a range of vendors about how we can support them to enter the market and accelerate diversification. We have actively engaged with major players and emerging vendors and we will continue to work with any vendor - big or small - who can help us achieve our aim to rebalance the supply chain.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the report entitled Video Unavailable: Social Media Platforms Remove Evidence of War Crimes, published by Human Rights Watch in September 2020, what recent discussions he has had with social media companies on preserving evidence of war crimes.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including social media companies, on a variety of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support the Connecting Devon and Somerset scheme to ensure that all parliamentary constituencies in that area gain improved broadband coverage.

Good progress has been made in Devon and Somerset, with 93% of premises having access to superfast broadband. To date, Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) have directly provided superfast access to more than 300,000 homes and businesses. Their current live contract with Airband will have delivered connectivity to c.21,000 premises across the two counties by the end of summer.

Building Digital UK (BDUK) officials are in regular contact with CDS, and are committed to delivering connectivity to those parts of the two counties that are currently unserved as quickly as possible. A £38 million procurement to target up to 89,000 premises is underway, with initial bids for this procurement now received. BDUK will continue to provide support and guidance to CDS during this procurement process, as well as during the delivery stages.

In the meantime for those still struggling, the Universal Service Obligation (USO) gives eligible premises in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable connection. For those rural areas across Devon and Somerset, voucher funding may be available to rural SMEs and residents where they can claim up to £3,500 and £1,500 respectively.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that schools have clear guidance on exams in summer 2021 before students have to submit applications to UCAS.

The Government is working hard to minimise the impact of COVID-19 and the disruption it has caused to young people’s education, including those who will be taking exams and applying to university next year.

The Department is working closely with Ofqual, the exam boards, regulators in the devolved administrations, and groups representing schools, colleges and higher education to consider the best approach to ensure that students taking exams next summer receive the qualifications they deserve and that next year’s exam series proceeds fairly and efficiently and commands public confidence.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has set out that a further announcement on 2021 exams will be made in October.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support (a) Outward Bound, (b) the Field Studies Council and (c) other school residential providers during the covid-19 outbreak while those providers are unable to function in their usual capacity.

As of 4 July providers offering out-of-school activities to children have been able to open for both indoor and outdoor provision with safety measures in place. Providers are also able to resume non-overnight domestic educational visits and the Department has updated our protective measures guidance for these providers to support them to do so as safely as possible, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

We continue to advise against domestic overnight or overseas educational visits and residential provision for the time being. This is consistent with the latest government guidance on meeting people from outside your household, which advises that you should not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households. We continue to keep this position under review, and will continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice, to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the right time. This guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/meeting-people-from-outside-your-household-from-4-july.

The Government has also made financial support available to employers and the self-employed, including sole traders and limited company directors. Residential providers that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 can find out what financial support is available for their business here: https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

They may be eligible for the Job Support Scheme, tax relief, loans or cash grants depending on their circumstances. Information on the Job Support Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-support-scheme.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of permitting UK-based school residential trips to take place where the venues hosting those trips are able to provide evidence that they are covid-19 secure.

The guidance for full school opening enables schools to resume educational day visits but continues to advise against overnight educational residential visits. The Department’s educational visits advice is in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and will be reviewed again in November 2020.

The full guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that all pupils are able to access physical education outdoors.

It is important that children continue to remain fit and active and take part in the 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by the Chief Medical Officers wherever possible. The Department encourages schools to offer outdoor opportunities for physical activity, but it is for them to decide whether they are satisfied that it is safe to do so given their circumstances and facilities.

Schools have the flexibility to decide how physical education (PE), sport and physical activity will be provided for their own students, following the measures in their system of controls. The Department has published guidance on how schools can provide outdoor PE and opportunities for pupils to be active, including links to detailed advice from subject organisations. Schools can offer outdoor curricular and extra-curricular team sport, including contact sport, where there is approved guidance from national governing bodies. Further guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

2nd Mar 2020
What steps his Department is taking to ensure a balance between academic and vocational training in the development of further education courses.

This Department takes very seriously the need to deliver further education courses that serve the needs of learners and employers alike.

New employer-designed T Levels will launch in September, combining classroom learning with a meaningful industry placement. The Department is also taking steps to improve other qualifications available to students post-16, ensuring that they will have access to high quality provision that is truly valued by employers.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve water quality in shellfishing areas to meet class A standards.

A review of shellfish waters undertaken by the Food Standards Agency has resulted in 15 sites securing seasonal Class A status for between three and ten months of the year, and an additional 3 harvesting areas were upgraded to a year-round Class A status. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is also considering changes to the classification system to ensure that classifications are awarded in a proportionate and pragmatic way while continuing to ensure high levels of public health protection. The FSA’s focus is on proposals that could impact harvesting areas that would allow more businesses to export live bivalve molluscs to the EU from Class A waters.

Longer term improvements to the quality of shellfish waters are set out in Environment Agency’s Shellfish Action Plans. The EA assesses the reason for waters not achieving the microbial standard and develops a programme of appropriate measures to address the failures. These improvement measures are then taken forward by working with water companies and the agricultural sector in the relevant catchment.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what safeguards he is putting in place to prevent the overuse of neonicotinoids.

The Government remains committed to the neonicotinoid restrictions put in place in 2018 to protect bees and other pollinators. We will only consider exceptions in special circumstances where emergency authorisation for limited and controlled use appears necessary because of a danger that cannot be contained by any other reasonable means and where the risk to people, animals and the environment is considered acceptably low.

The emergency authorisation that was recently granted for Cruiser SB (containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam) meets all these requirements. It only allows use on the 2021 sugar beet crop to address a serious threat from viruses transmitted by aphids. The use of this product will be tightly limited and controlled. A threshold of predicted disease level must be met before the use of treated seeds is allowed and the application rate of the product will be below the previously authorised commercial rate. There is also a prohibition on any flowering crop being planted within 22 months of the drilling of the sugar beet crop. This period is extended to 32 months for oilseed rape, which is attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to increase domestic consumption of UK-caught seafood

We are committed to encouraging consumers to buy and eat more locally caught fish and shellfish from UK waters, thereby increasing domestic consumption.

Through the Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme, we provided funding for projects that helped to increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets and help to increase consumption of locally caught seafood in the UK.

Additionally, we have worked in partnership with Seafish on the 'Sea for Yourself' consumer facing campaign to inspire the UK to eat more locally caught seafood. The launch of their 'Love Seafood' brand in October 2020 will help consumers across the UK reconnect with the enjoyment of seafood by promoting the choice, convenience and balanced living that it provides. 'Love Seafood' represents an ambitious long-term initiative to reframe the nation's view of seafood and encourage consumers in the UK to eat more seafood over the next 20 years.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2020 to Question 21397 on Waste Management, when he plans to announce the two waste streams for which his Department will consult on introducing extended producer responsibility schemes by 2022.

We are continuing to review our evidence base to inform our prioritisation of these waste-streams for consultation on the basis of environmental impact. We will confirm our priorities in due course.

We also continue to progress extended producer responsibility reform for packaging and will undertake a second consultation on proposals in 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister’s speech to the UN General Assembly of 26 September 2020, what steps his Department plans to take to use the UK G7 presidency to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

The UK plays a leading role in driving the global response to eradicate illegal wildlife trade. We intend to invest over £66 million between 2014 and 2024 on work to directly tackle the illegal wildlife trade in animals and plants, including to reduce demand, strengthen enforcement, ensure effective legal frameworks and develop sustainable alternative livelihoods.

We are working across Government to define the objectives for the UK’s G7 Presidency in 2021. These objectives will be shared in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support upskilling in the fishing sector.

Defra works with a range of organisations on supporting upskilling, including Seafish who provide opportunities such as skills and compliance training courses. Defra also strongly supports the ‘Seafood 2040: A Strategic Framework for England’ initiative, which aims to deliver a single cross-sector seafood training and skills plan. The purpose of this plan is to support businesses in the seafood supply chain to recruit and retain workers with suitable skills.

The Government has also committed to putting in place new funding after the end of the Transition Period comparable to the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund which will go towards funding skills training and supporting economic regeneration.

As skills policy is a devolved matter, the Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government and Welsh Government are responsible for taking forward actions in their jurisdictions on this policy area.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress the Government has made on undertaking a consultation on food labelling requirements relating to animal welfare standards.

The Government has committed to a serious and rapid examination of what can be done through labelling to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market. The consultation is currently being drafted for a planned launch at the end of the transition period.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the recommendations set out in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion's report, Making the UK a Global Leader in Sustainable Fashion, published in September 2020.

We have noted the report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion on 15 September, and we are considering its recommendations carefully in line with our Resources and Waste Strategy.

Our existing plans for textiles were outlined in the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 17 June 2020 [PQ UIN 58081]. We intend to set out our detailed plans in a new Waste Prevention Programme to be published for comment later this year.

[https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-06-10/58081]

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help prepare the farming sector for the possibility of the transition period ending with the UK trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms.

The UK Government intends to achieve an FTA with the EU by December 2020. We therefore do not expect the UKGT to apply to EU imports. The Political Declaration sets an aim for “a zero tariff and zero quota FTA”. We would like to achieve that. Reducing the cost pressures and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK.

On 31 December 2020, the transition period will end and there will be a guaranteed series of changes and opportunities for which business and the Government need to prepare. Many of these changes will be required regardless of the agreement we reach with the European Union on our future trade relationship because the UK will be leaving the single market and customs union and regaining its political and economic independence.

Through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group (UKAMMG), Defra and the Devolved Administrations continue to monitor the market situation across various agricultural commodities. The group will enable us to remain agile and to identify, and respond as required, to any unforeseen impacts at the end of the transition period.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 2 September 2020 to Question 77811, whether his Department holds the data supporting the WRAP’s claim on their Sustainable Clothing Action Plan website that the 2020 commitment currently has over 90 signatories and supporters representing more than 48 per cent of UK retail sales by volume.

WRAP keeps Defra informed of the overall proportion of UK fashion retail sales by volume covered by the fashion retailers who are part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. The data used by WRAP was collected by Kantar Wordpanel and is commercially available from them. Defra does not hold the data.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to support populations of water voles in the South West.

Water vole are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 meaning it is an offence to kill, injure or take a wild water vole as well as damage or destroy places it uses for shelter, as well as disturb them while occupying these. In addition water vole are a priority conservation species listed under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 which requires public authorities to have regard to the species when carrying out their day to day functions.

Natural England published ‘A Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals’, which identifies and confirms areas of work where continued resource should be placed to conserve and enhance water vole populations.

The Environment Agency works with partners to deliver water vole recovery projects at a number of sites across the South West, including habitat improvements, mink control, surveying and reintroductions. The Agency has partnered with the Westland Countryside Stewards and Biffa to repopulate the Bude catchment. Since summer 2012, approximately 550 water voles have been released. The reintroduction programme is promising with sightings in almost all release sites, as well as sites where they have moved into. Field sightings suggest that the water vole population is stable and the project has been successful. In addition, the River Tale in East Devon now also supports a stable population of water vole following a recovery project in the area.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of Official Development Assistance is being made available to help reduce the reliance of communities in developing countries on poaching.

The UK Government is at the forefront of international efforts to protect endangered animals and plants from poaching and illegal trade. Defra’s current Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) budget is approximately 7% of Defra’s SR15 ODA budget. This includes an uplift of £2.5m from FCDO in 2019 and 2020.

In addition, at the UN Climate Action Summit (UNCAS) in September 2019, the PM announced a new £220 million international biodiversity fund, which will include £30 million in further funding to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade. This commitment almost doubles Defra’s IWT budget over the next three years. FCDO have also committed a further £3.5m uplift to Defra’s IWT budget over the next Spending Review period.

Defra has also invested £92m into the Global Environment Facility (GEF) during the SR15 period. The GEF is a multilateral organisation that delivers a wide range of programmes to tackle global environmental issues including the Global Wildlife Program which is a global partnership on wildlife conservation and crime prevention for sustainable development.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the names of the retailers that have least 1 per cent of UK retail sales by volume who are not signatories to the WRAP Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 commitment.

Defra does not hold the information requested. The signatories to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 are listed on the WRAP website.

We believe that addressing the environmental impacts of the sector requires collective action on the part of brands, manufacturers and retailers, and Government. We are working with WRAP on a new phase of the voluntary agreement for 2021-2030. We encourage all brands, manufacturers, and retailers to get involved.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a reduction in the rate of VAT on clothing repair services on trends in the level of the reuse of clothing.

The Government is committed to working towards reducing textiles and clothing sent to landfill and incineration. For all materials, including textiles and clothing, prioritising waste prevention, reuse, and recycling ahead of landfill and incineration is embedded in the waste hierarchy and legislation is in place to support this.

In our Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS, 2018), we highlighted our commitment to support reuse, recycling and the diversion of clothing from landfill and incineration. We are working with the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) and industry on a new voluntary agreement and are seeking enabling powers in the Environment Bill to introduce product design and information requirements. The RWS also identified textiles as one of five priority waste streams to consult on for an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme. VAT and taxation are matters for HM Treasury (HMT) and Defra will continue to work with other Government Departments, including HMT, on the development of policies.

We are supporting the textiles reuse and recycling sector, which has experienced challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, through the WRAP-administered Resource Action Fund. The textiles fund makes a total of £1.5 million available, for small grants of £20 000 to £170 000.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to prevent the use of (a) incineration and (b) landfill for unsold clothing suitable for (i) reusing and (ii) recycling.

The Government is committed to working towards reducing textiles and clothing sent to landfill and incineration. For all materials, including textiles and clothing, prioritising waste prevention, reuse, and recycling ahead of landfill and incineration is embedded in the waste hierarchy and legislation is in place to support this.

In our Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS, 2018), we highlighted our commitment to support reuse, recycling and the diversion of clothing from landfill and incineration. We are working with the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) and industry on a new voluntary agreement and are seeking enabling powers in the Environment Bill to introduce product design and information requirements. The RWS also identified textiles as one of five priority waste streams to consult on for an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme. VAT and taxation are matters for HM Treasury (HMT) and Defra will continue to work with other Government Departments, including HMT, on the development of policies.

We are supporting the textiles reuse and recycling sector, which has experienced challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, through the WRAP-administered Resource Action Fund. The textiles fund makes a total of £1.5 million available, for small grants of £20 000 to £170 000.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Benyon Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas, published on 8 June 2020, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that historic fishing rights are maintained.

We welcome the publication of the Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) on 8 June 2020, which is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/highly-protected-marine-areas-hpmas-review-2019. We will consider Richard Benyon’s report and issue a formal response to him in due course.

We recognise the importance of fishing especially to coastal communities and we are seeking thriving and sustainable fisheries. HPMAs would not affect historic fishing rights as these rights can be exercised outside of any HPMAs. In considering the recommendations of the review, we will be engaging extensively with the fishing industry.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on best practice for food labelling schemes for the provision of information on animal welfare standards.

During the recent Finnish EU Council presidency, we responded to a questionnaire on the issue of a pan-European animal welfare label sent to all Member States’ Chief Veterinary Officers. Voluntary animal welfare labelling systems that had already been established in some countries had been well received by consumers and enabled consumers to base their purchasing decisions on compliance with animal-welfare criteria. The Council concluded that, at the same time, animal welfare labels had opened up a market to producers for products produced to higher animal welfare standards.

We already have some of the highest welfare standards in the world, as well as a number of voluntary labelling schemes which provide assurances as to the welfare of the animals. The Government has committed to a serious and rapid examination of what can be done through labelling, to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market, and to consult on this.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits on enabling (a) sheep and (b) goat farmers to access the Dairy Response Fund 2020.

We continue to monitor the impact of the Covid-19 disruption on all sectors and dairy producers and are committed to providing support. Dairy producers are eligible for a range of support, including the Covid-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, deferral of VAT payments, and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme will ensure that the smallest businesses can access up to £50,000 loans with a Government 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country. We will also cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender.

Businesses in England can also apply for the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, which supports small and micro businesses with fixed property costs that are not eligible for other grant schemes, and which have suffered a significant fall in income due to Covid-19.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring that consumer information is provided to promote the sale of durable, repairable and recyclable textiles.

The Government committed in the Resources & Waste Strategy to support ecodesign standards for products and to improve labelling schemes, as well as to address challenges in the textiles sector.

We are seeking powers in the Environment Bill that will enable the Government to mandate the provision of relevant information to help consumers make more sustainable purchasing decisions. This information must be relevant to a product’s impact on the natural environment and can include information relating to a product’s durability, reparability and recyclability, as well as its recycled content.

The textiles sector remains a priority area for potential future regulations, including but not limited to making use of those powers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will conduct a public consultation on the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to ban the commercial sale of fur in the UK after the end of the transition period.

The Government shares the British public's high regard for animal welfare. There are restrictions on some skin and fur products, which cannot be legally imported into the UK. These include fur from cats and dogs, seal skins and products from commercial hunts. Legislation has prohibited farming of animals for their fur since 2000 in England and Wales, and 2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In addition, we do not allow imports of fur from wild animals caught using methods which are non-compliant with international humane trapping standards. Where fur is from an endangered species protected through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), its import or trade will be subject to CITES controls.

During the transition period it is not possible to introduce restrictions relating to the fur trade. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established, we will have the opportunity to consider further steps we could take in relation to fur sales.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support environmental sustainability in the fashion and textile industries.

In the landmark Resources and Waste Strategy for England (2018), the Government committed to develop policy measures to promote sustainable practices in the clothing and textiles industries. We are continuing to work with industry through WRAP on the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), and are currently engaged in developing an ambitious new phase of the voluntary agreement for 2021-2030. The most recent figures show that between 2012 and 2018 signatories to the SCAP reduced their water and carbon footprints by 18.1% and 13.4% respectively.

We are seeking enabling powers in the Environment Bill to introduce ecodesign and product information requirements, subject to consultation. Through secondary legislation these requirements could be applied to support durable, repairable, and recyclable textiles. We also identified textiles in the Resources and Waste Strategy as a priority area on which to consult for an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme.

We are supporting the textiles reuse and recycling sector, which has experienced particular challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, through the WRAP-administered Resource Action Fund. The textiles fund makes a total of £1.5 million available, for small grants of £20 000 to £170 000. Our plans to promote sustainable practices in the textiles sector will be built on and enhanced in a new Waste Prevention Programme, which is currently in development.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage the practice of regenerative agriculture.

Countryside Stewardship is delivering on the Government’s ambition of protecting and improving the natural environment by supporting 30,000 farmers, foresters and land owners to carry out environmental works.

The focus of the scheme is on conserving and restoring wildlife habitats, managing flood risk, reducing water pollution and planting woodland.

As of December 2019, 2.83 million hectares of land was under an agri-environment agreement and 2,700 hectares of new woodland had been planted under the scheme.

Farmers and other land managers who sign up to new Countryside Stewardship agreements during the Transition Period will be well-placed in the future to participate in the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, subject to successfully applying.

ELM 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, 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

Beyond agriculture, nature-based solutions are key to tackling climate change and averting its impacts. The UK Government is deploying such solutions to improve our 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.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department's timetable is for the implementation of the provisions of the Ivory Act 2018.

We welcome the Court of Appeal’s ruling last month upholding the world-leading Ivory Act against a claim brought by a part of the antiques industry. The Government is committed to bringing the ivory ban into force as soon as practicable.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's consultation entitled Non-elephant ivory trade: call for evidence which closed on 22 August 2019, what progress his Department has made on responding to that consultation.

We received 35 responses to the call for evidence on the non-elephant ivory trade. We are currently considering the evidence on the non-elephant ivory trade. A summary of the responses will be published in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (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 plans to take to support fishermen who have missed out on the Fisheries Response Fund as a result of delays caused with registering boats due to new software at the Registry of Shipping and Seaman.

We are in the process of finalising an appeals process with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), which is responsible for delivering the scheme. The appeals process will allow those who meet the eligibility criteria but who have not been identified in the original contact period, due to data being unavailable, to contact the MMO and request their case be reviewed.

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 steps his Department is taking to allocate covid-19 funding to charter-boat businesses.

The Government has provided an unprecedented package of support measures to help businesses across the UK impacted by COVID-19, and at this stage we do not feel that specific support for the waterways sector would be appropriate. However, because the COVID-19 impacts felt in some sectors may be, or become, more acute than others, we are monitoring the impact that measures are having in supporting public services, businesses and individuals. We are also keeping all decisions under review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has to raise the matter of gender-based violence at the next meeting of the G7.

COVID-19 has reinforced the urgency of the need to tackle the pervasive and endemic “shadow pandemic” of violence against women and girls, including conflict-related sexual violence. We have been working closely with our G7 partners on this important agenda and will continue to do so.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on girls’ education in developing countries.

The COVID-19 crisis has removed 1.3 billion children - 650 million girls - from primary and secondary education, putting the most disadvantaged girls at risk of dropping out of school permanently. As the effects of the COVID-19 crisis play out, the socio-economic impact on girls’ education in developing countries is becoming increasingly clear. From a learning perspective, closures – even with mitigating actions - will significantly reduce learning hours. School closures in Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis resulted in the loss of roughly 780 hours per pupil. We also understand that the effects of school closures in developing countries are much wider than reduced learning. For many disadvantaged children in developing countries, school closures expose them to increased hunger and malnutrition as well as increased risk of violence against women and girls.

The UK’s response to the pandemic is two-fold, firstly to ensure preventative measures are taken to keep girls learning and returning to education, mitigating short term risks by focussing on safety, nutrition, wellbeing and the continuity of learning whilst schools are closed. Secondly, by supporting countries to protect and maintain their education budgets and ensuring that we build back better. DFID is adapting its bilateral education programmes in 18 countries. The Global Partnership for Education, to which the UK is the largest donor, is flexing over £200 million to support education sector stability in response to the pandemic. The UK has also announced £20 million for UNICEF’s crisis appeal, which includes education, and a further £5 million to the Education Cannot Wait fund to support emergency education in fragile contexts.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to prevent female genital mutilation in countries overseas.

The UK leads the world in our support to the Africa-led movement to end FGM. In 2018 we announced a £50 million UK aid package – the biggest single donor investment worldwide to date – to tackle this issue across the most-affected countries in Africa.

UK aid is continuing to support efforts to tackle FGM during the COVID-19 pandemic, including through increased remote working and using media platforms. For example, our £15 million programme in Sudan continues to support advocacy and in April we saw a significant step towards the outlawing of FGM in Sudan.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much and what proportion of the UK’s Official Development Assistance was spent on projects tackling gender-based violence in each financial year since 2009-10.

The UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) data is collected and reported in line with internationally agreed OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) definitions and standards. These standards include sector codes that are allocated to programmes.

In 2015, following lobbying by the UK and others, the DAC introduced a new sector code to improve the tracking of ODA that contributes to ending of violence against women and girls (VAWG). The UK started reporting on the new code for 2016 ODA spend. Before changes were made to our aid management platform in 2018, however, there were several technological barriers which meant that it was very difficult to track spend accurately.

Our Statistics on International Development: Final Aid Spend 2018 publication shows that we tracked £32.6 million bilateral aid on ending VAWG for 2018. We also estimated a further £12.4 million UK ODA was spent on ending VAWG through our partnerships with multilaterals. This amounts to 0.31% of UK ODA for that year.

We are doing more to improve the quality and transparency of our data on VAWG spend. For example, we are working to improve the way we track the impact of other sectoral programming, such as humanitarian, health, economic or education programmes that also contribute to ending VAWG, and which may not yet be fully captured as part of our published data.

We are also continuing to scale up our investment in tackling VAWG, for example our new £67.5 million programme What Works to Prevent Violence: Impact at Scale, is the largest investment by any donor government in programming and research to prevent VAWG globally.

Note: Imputed Multilateral Shares are estimates of how multilaterals spent the UK’s core contributions to multilaterals. For more detail on these estimates please see the ‘Statistics at DFID’ gov.uk page

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she plans to take to ensure that adequate funding is allocated to the protection of women and girls and gender-based violence services, as part of her Department’s response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The UK is deeply concerned about the surge in violence against women and girls (VAWG) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are using?significant investment?and influence within the?international system?to?ensure that women and girls have access to the vital services they need.

We have already provided £10 million of UK aid to the UN Population Fund and £20 million to UN Children’s Fund to scale up protection and support services for women and girls. We have contributed £20 million of UK aid to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’s COVID-19 response for refugees and internally displaced people, which includes support for essential VAWG and child protection services. We launched a call for proposals under our Rapid Response Facility, which required all projects to mainstream gender, protection and safeguarding. This year we will also launch a new £67.5 million programme to scale up violence prevention, which is the largest investment by any donor government in programming and research to VAWG globally.

We are also urgently reorienting existing bilateral programmes to ensure that women and girls can continue to access support during the lockdown. For example, in Nepal, the UK is financing 14 Women’s and Children Service Centres across the country and 62 One Stop Crisis Centres.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the potential of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership to help influence future global trade standards.

Joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will see the UK secure its place in a network of countries committed to free trade as part of the rules-based international system. Accession will demonstrate the UK’s place as a nation that champions the removal of barriers in world trade.

CPTPP is designed for expansion, meaning that its rules have the potential to become even further established across key economies in the Asia-Pacific region. This will allow the UK to play a key role in shaping standards for an ambitious agreement that has the potential to increase in global prominence over time.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to strengthen the UK's trade relationship with Taiwan.

The UK remains committed to strengthening its rich and wide-ranging trading relationship with Taiwan. Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Taiwan was £7.0 billion [in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2020]. We are working with Taiwan to increase this further, including through our annual Trade Talks, ministerial engagement, and through engagements by the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Taiwan.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to strengthen investment ties between the UK and the Indo-Pacific region.

Strengthening investment ties forms a strategic pillar of the Government’s strategy towards the Indo-Pacific region and will build upon the existing c. £180bn of UK investment in the region, and c. £151bn of Indo-Pacific investment in the UK, both of which deliver jobs and opportunity across the United Kingdom.

Alongside the existing network of dedicated investment support officers, the new Office for Investment provides an improved level of service for the most impactful and complex inward investments from the region. In addition, the UK’s ambitious Free Trade and Market Access activities in the region will foster a more favourable bilateral investment environment.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made on negotiating the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Pursuing potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a priority for the HM Government and is a key part of our trade negotiations programme. We have engaged with all eleven member countries, at both ministerial and official level. Most recently, on 9th September 2020, my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade addressed a United Kingdom-CPTPP Senior Officials’ meeting and all CPTPP members have welcomed our interest in accession. Prior to that, on 10th July 2020, the Secretary of State convened Heads of Mission from all CPTPP countries to discuss the United Kingdom’s potential accession. We will continue to engage all members as we consider our application, an approach that aligns with the accession process for new CPTPP members, which encourages countries to engage informally with every CPTPP member.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to improve trading links between the UK and other Commonwealth countries.

The Commonwealth includes some of our closest friends and greatest allies. We share many bonds and I hope the Hon. Gentleman will welcome our commitment to work closely with Commonwealth countries to remove barriers and liberalise the global trading environment.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2018, chaired by the United Kingdom, we committed to boosting intra-Commonwealth trade beyond $2 trillion (approximately £1.5 trillion) by 2030. Commonwealth leaders also adopted the ‘Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ to enhance cooperation amongst ourselves.

In October 2019, the Secretary of State chaired the sixth Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, which reaffirmed the Commonwealth’s support for free trade and the rules based multilateral trading system. HM Government is also funding several projects including the Commonwealth Trade Facilitation Programme, the Commonwealth Standards Network and the SheTrades Commonwealth Programme.

My department aims to go further in the months and years ahead.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what the Government's timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals to end the practice of conversion therapy for members of the LGBT community.

The Government takes this issue very seriously and fundamentally disagrees with attempts to forcibly change someone’s sexuality.

In order to end conversion therapy practice for good, we are thoroughly considering all legislative and non-legislative options. As my honourable friend will know, there are certain abhorrent and violent practices which may be classed as conversion therapy, which are already covered by existing criminal offences. Where such practices are already unlawful, we will ensure the law is clear, well understood and enforced. Where dangerous conversion therapy practices are not already unlawful, we are examining the best ways to prevent them being conducted, without sending such practices underground.

We have also commissioned research that looks at the scope of practices and experiences of those subjected to conversion therapy. Once the findings have been reviewed, we will continue engaging other key stakeholders, and ensure we quickly progress an effective approach.

My officials are working at pace on the matter, and we will outline plans to end its practice in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans her Department has to explore UK labelling approaches that could be used to promote the standards of agricultural import produce.

HM Government is committed to world-class food standards. We will consider the full range of measures available to maintain our current levels of protection for consumers and the environment – and enhance consumer choice, including the possibility of labelling, where appropriate. In doing so, we will respect our WTO obligations to make sure that any technical regulations do not create unnecessary obstacles to international trade. British food regulators, such as the Food Standards Agency, will continue to make sure that all food imports comply with British standards.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will reimburse independent lifeboats for costs incurred during the covid-19 outbreak.

I recognise the valuable services provided by independent lifeboats in ensuring the safety of local communities, and appreciate the scale of the challenge facing smaller maritime operators from Covid-19.

The financial impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic cannot be underestimated. To support businesses and employees, HMG has responded with an unprecedented £330 billion of financial measures.

Charities, including independent lifeboats, are playing a crucial role in the national fight against Covid-19, backed up by an army of volunteers. In recognition of the vital services that charities provide, HMG has also made substantial funding available to ensure they can continue to deliver key services that many people rely upon.

Comprehensive guidance has been published to highlight these grant opportunities for charities, and to ensure that volunteers can continue to undertake their roles safely.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support and develop the UK's shipping sector.

The maritime sector plays an important role for the UK economy, facilitating 95% of our global trade, and has continued to do so throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by enabling the delivery of critical goods, including medicine and personal protective equipment. However, it has also faced significant disruption and the government has provided financial support to ensure that lifeline services and critical freight services continue to operate.

Maritime 2050, which was published in January 2019, sets out an ambitious joint plan between the government and the maritime industry for how the UK will continue to be a world leading maritime nation and develop to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Given the changes that Covid-19 has caused, we are working with the maritime sector to consider where new recommendations could be made in addition to Maritime 2050, or existing recommendations accelerated, to help the maritime sector recover from Covid-19 and continue to grow. We will publish a route-map setting out these actions later in the year.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on rural communities of reductions in the level of rural bus services during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 23 May, the Transport Secretary announced a further £254 million to help increase bus services across England as quickly as possible as we begin to re-open our economy. This is in addition to the £397 million the Government announced on 3 April 2020 to keep England’s buses running to serve those who need to rely on them.

In addition, the Government allowed local authorities to use the extra £30 million in 2020/21 to support essential bus services and provided £20 million through the Rural Mobility Fund to support demand responsive services in rural communities.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on garages of the six-month extension to MOT tests in the event that the covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

The loss of MOT fee income has been estimated at £664 million, which is based on the average cost of an MOT of £40 multiplied by the number of MOTs due over the next 6 months. This will be mitigated in part by Government support for industries affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to further encourage cycling as a form of commuting.

On the 9th May the Government announced a £2bn package of funding for cycling and walking. This includes £250m which will encourage cycling to work through the provision of pop up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, safer junctions as well as vouchers for cycle repairs and greater provision for bike fixing facilities. This builds on the refreshed Cycle to Work Scheme Guidance published in 2019 which made it easier for employers to provide bicycles and equipment including e-bikes and adapted bikes worth over £1,000.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve the service personal independence payment claimants receive.

In response to the Covid crisis, DWP put in place significant easements to support customers, including pausing reviews, stopping face to face assessments, introducing telephony assessments and providing customers with more time to return their PIP 2 forms. We are constantly seeking to improve the service further, currently testing a new digital claim form option with a view to wider implementation later this year.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress she has made in evaluating the findings of her Department’s pilot on video recording personal independence payment assessments.

The evaluation of the VR pilot has shown the importance of improving trust and transparency in the assessment process, and DWP remains committed to this. We had begun work to develop an approach to provide consistency for claimants across audio recording of Work Capability Assessments and PIP assessments. However, due to the impact of Covid-19, staff across DWP have been redeployed to support claimants and as a result, this work has been paused.

9th Mar 2020
What assessment she has made of the effectiveness of personal independence payment assessors.

We set our assessment providers challenging targets, we monitor performance closely and manage contracts robustly. All Health Professionals are subject to on-going quality checks to ensure they continue to deliver high quality assessments. A quality assurance audit process, following the consultation, is in place. The department is continually working alongside assessment providers to further improve the quality of assessments.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reopen town-based minor injuries units that were closed in the initial response to the covid-19 outbreak.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of type 3 and 4 services have been temporarily closed or reconfigured due to a number of issues related to the outbreak. For example, reduction in footfall, requirement to redeploy staff due to system pressures elsewhere or sites unable to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Taking into consideration pressures associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, the re-opening and reconfiguration of services is being led locally and reviewed on an ongoing basis, supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement regions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve vaccination rates in areas of the UK where they are below the national average.

Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement are undertaking a range of actions to improve vaccination coverage across all the routine immunisation programmes in England. This includes targeted initiatives where rates are below the national average, informed by data that identifies underserved populations, as well as improvements being rolled out nationally, such as improved access to appointments, better communication with the public, and additional training for healthcare professionals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle disinformation about vaccinations.

We take the issue of disinformation and misinformation about vaccines extremely seriously and are working across Government to tackle this. There is high confidence in the routine vaccine programmes, and we know that the National Health Service rightfully remains the most trusted source of information on immunisation. However, the influence of anti-vaccine misinformation on vaccine uptake rates is hard to quantify, so we are working to address this with colleagues from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Public Health England.

The Department continues to work closely with Public Health England and with NHS England and NHS Improvement to promote the positive value of vaccines in social media campaigns.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the trends in the level of (a) closures and (b) reduction in the opening hours of rural pharmacies; and what assessment he has made of the effect on access to pharmacy services of reductions in the level of public transport services.

Whilst the Department does not track closures of rural pharmacies, we track the closure of those pharmacies that are more than a mile from their next nearest pharmacy. Since 2017, there have been 18, with no discernible trend in the closures. No assessment has been made of reduced opening hours or the effect of any reduction in public transport on access. NHS England and NHS Improvement closely monitor closures to ensure that National Health Service pharmaceutical services continue to be provided. Depending on the area, this maybe through other pharmacies that patients can access in the area, dispensing doctors and/or distance selling pharmacies.

The Government also paid for a medicines delivery service for people while shielding and, during the peak of the pandemic, enabled pharmacies to close to the public for two hours a day to help deal with the increased number of telephone calls, for advice on health and medicines, from the public, who preferred not to visit the pharmacy in person.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will allow the reopening of dental practices in line with the reopening of non-essential shops as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

To meet the Government social distancing measures and to contain the spread of COVID-19 all routine dentistry was suspended at the start of the pandemic.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that National Health Service dentistry outside urgent care centres could begin to gradually restart from 8 June where practices assess that they have the necessary personal protective equipment and infection prevention and control. The aim is to increase levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety.

A copy of the letter that was published can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/Urgent-dental-care-letter-28-May.pdf

We still expect all NHS dental practices to provide urgent telephone advice and triage. Dentists are giving urgent advice remotely and, if needed, prescriptions for painkillers or antibiotics. All urgent face to face treatment that is clinically necessary will still be available for patients who are triaged by their dentist or NHS 111 into one of over 600 urgent dental centres set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

To support dentists and teams to reopen safely NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Chief Dental Officer have published a standard operating procedure covering the recovery transition.

This can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/dental-standard-operating-procedure-transition-to-recovery/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide mental health support to people who are living alone during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 22 April 2020, the Government announced a guaranteed £5 million boost for national loneliness organisations to help them continue and adapt their work to ensure that staying at home does not lead to loneliness. A number of charities, businesses and public figures will join the Government’s ‘Tackling Loneliness Network’ to help connect those at risk of isolation. Volunteers from the NHS Volunteer Responder programme are also available to support people isolating at home, including making regular check in and chat phone calls.

Mental health services remain open and are working around the clock to support people. We have published official guidance on mental health and wellbeing on GOV.UK and are promoting this through Every Mind Matters. For those with severe needs or in crisis, NHS England has instructed all National Health Service mental health trusts to establish 24 hours a day, seven days a week mental health crisis lines.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the covid-19 tracing app will work in rural areas with poor access to mobile networks and broadband.

The National Health Service COVID-19 app uses Bluetooth technology to detect proximity contacts between app users, access to a mobile network or broadband is not required for this. The times when the user is required to use mobile data or broadband are downloading and registering the app, submitting symptoms if the user becomes symptomatic, and receiving alerts for self-isolation. We expect the vast majority of the population will be able to use the app using their existing mobile network or home broadband service. Mobile coverage is improving, with 91% of the United Kingdom landmass covered by a good 4G signal from at least one operator. The recently announced Shared Rural Network programme will go further and see Government and industry jointly invest to increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the UK to 95% by the end of 2025.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that rural communities have adequate access to health care facilities.

Although overall health outcomes are better in rural than urban areas, the Government recognises the specific challenges that rural areas face and the potential for certain health inequalities to develop. The Department continues to take a systematic approach to tackling health inequalities and is committed to engaging with a range of stakeholders including the devolved administrations; encouraging spread of best practice and considering the wider drivers of ill-health in remote settings.

Within England, the NHS Long Term Plan sets out how the National Health Service will develop over the coming years and take stronger action surrounding health inequalities, including eliminating variation in quality of care across the country, building a workforce for the future, and embracing the opportunities of technology for rural communities.

NHS England has committed to continuing to ensure a higher share of funding goes towards geographies with high health inequalities than would have been allocated using solely the core needs formulae. This funding is estimated to be worth over £1 billion by 2023/24. Clinical commissioning groups benefiting from this health inequalities adjustment have been asked to report on how they are targeting that funding to improve the equity of access, experience and outcomes, and they will start to report later this year. As part of the Long Term Plan process all local health systems have been asked, as part of their overall delivery plans, to set out how they will specifically reduce health inequalities by 2023/24 and 2028/29 and their plans will be published shortly.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he will support Taiwan’s attendance at the forthcoming 74th session of the World Health Assembly as an observer.

The UK has been consistently clear that it supports Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite. This includes at the World Health Assembly, where Taiwan can make a valuable contribution.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress his Department has made in delivering a three-year strategy to support the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative remains a top priority for the FCDO. We continue to develop a three-year strategy, with clear deliverables and performance indicators, which will be underpinned by an evidence-based Theory of Change, with embedded monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas of 28 January 2021, Official report, col 655, what his objectives are for the forthcoming G7 summit, in relation to the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.

The Foreign & Development (F&D) Track will have three key priorities: to promote open societies; to lead a sustainable recovery; and to renew global outreach. Gender equality will fall under the second of these priorities, and we are clear that success is a recovery that leaves no one behind, and places gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at its core. To do this, the F&D Track will be guided by the framework of the '3 Es' - Educating girls, Empowering women, and Ending violence against women and girls. Within the Foreign & Development track, we will seek to strengthen the G7's commitment to women's political and economic empowerment and ending violence against women and girls. We also aim to secure G7 agreement on ambitious new access and learning targets for girls' education, demonstrating the continued importance we place upon tackling gender inequality, one of the root causes of Conflict-related Sexual Violence.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions his Department has had with its counterparts in the US on preventing sexual violence in conflict.

We continue to engage with international partners, including the United States, on the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative in our efforts to end conflict-related sexual violence. Promoting gender equality and advancing women and girls' rights on the international stage are core elements of the UK's role as a force for good in the world.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 94544 on Armed Conflict: Sexual Offences, what progress has been made on rescheduling the postponed Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative conference, Time for Justice: Putting Survivors First.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) International Conference, Time for Justice: Putting Survivors First, was postponed in early 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We will revisit our plans when the international situation allows.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the UK Government seeking participation within the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

As part of preparation to deliver a meaningful tilt towards the Indo-Pacific through the Integrated Review, the Government has been looking at options for closer dialogue and practical cooperation with the countries part of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Australia, India, Japan and the US). The UK deep partnerships already established with these countries covering security issues and many other sectors that we will build on. The Foreign Secretary's visit to India in December, for example, enabled agreement on the key elements of a 10 year UK-India roadmap so that we can deliver a step change in ambition for the relationship between our two countries, including our commitment to building a stronger defence and security partnership with India. No decisions have yet been made on the form UK engagement with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue could take.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of Chinese interference in the internal affairs of Commonwealth nations.

China plays an important role as a development partner for some Commonwealth nations. However, we are also clear-eyed about the risks this poses in terms of China's economic and political influence. It has always been the case that where we have concerns we raise them. We continue to work with Commonwealth member states in close partnerships bilaterally, within the Commonwealth, and in other international fora across a wide range of issues. This work includes protecting and promoting the rule of law, democracy and human rights, addressing global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, and advocating for small and vulnerable states.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of the UK’s Official Development Assistance spending went to Commonwealth nations in each year since 2010.

Information on annual UK bilateral aid to Commonwealth nations over the period 2009 to 2019 is contained in table A4g of the 2019 UK Statistics on International Development, published on Gov.UK (www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-international-development-final-uk-aid-spend-2019).

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will support the Government of the Netherland's attempt to hold the Syrian Government responsible under the United Nations Convention against Torture for gross human rights violations and torture.

The UK welcomes the action taken by the Netherlands Government to hold the Assad regime responsible for human rights violations under international law. We are deeply concerned about the ongoing gross human rights violations in Syria and support all efforts on accountability for the regime's crimes. The UK has provided £11 million to support accountability work for war crimes committed in Syria since 2012.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what his timescale is for rescheduling the postponed Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative conference, Time for Justice: Putting Survivors First.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) International Conference, Time for Justice: Putting Survivors First, was postponed in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We will revisit plans when the international situation allows.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support negotiations between the United States and the Russian Federation on the extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The Foreign Secretary holds regular discussions with his US counterpart on a range of issues, including on arms control and strategic stability. These discussions are reflected and supported by daily cooperation at official level between the UK and the US, as well as by wider cooperation with NATO Allies.

US strategic arms, along with those of Russia, are limited by the New START Treaty. We recognise the contribution New START has made to international security and strategic stability by increasing transparency and mutual confidence among the two largest Nuclear Weapons States. As we have stated publicly, both in multilateral fora and in this House, we support its continued implementation and have encouraged the US to extend New START while negotiating a successor agreement.

However, we recognise that New START has its limits. It does not include new Russian systems, nor does it place any limits on China's growing nuclear arsenal. We therefore urge China to engage seriously with US calls for a new trilateral arms control agreement.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the US Department of Defense report entitled, Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China, published 1 September 2020, what steps the UK is taking to support nuclear arms controls on China.

While US and Russian strategic arms are limited by the New START Treaty, China's growing nuclear arsenal is not. We recognise the contribution New START has made to international security by increasing transparency and mutual confidence among the two largest Nuclear Weapons States. We support its continued implementation and have encouraged the US to extend New START while negotiating a successor agreement. However, New START does not place any limits on China's growing nuclear arsenal. We therefore urge China to engage seriously with the US calls for a new trilateral arms control agreement.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to support freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

In the South China Sea, our commitment is to international law, particularly the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and to freedom of navigation and overflight. We encourage all parties to settle their disputes peacefully through the existing legal mechanisms, particularly UNCLOS.

Given the importance we attach to UNCLOS, on 3 September, I (Minister Adams) set out in full our legal analysis on the South China Sea for the first time. I (Minister Adams) made clear that the group of rights generally considered under "freedom of navigation", including innocent passage and overflight, apply in the South China Sea, regardless of sovereignty claims. On 16 September, we issued a joint Note Verbale with France and Germany to the UN Secretary General in response to assertions in Chinese Notes Verbale that we consider inconsistent with UNCLOS. We underlined the importance of unhampered freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

As part of the UK's consistent presence in the region, five Royal Navy ships have transited the South China Sea since April 2018, most recently HMS Enterprise in early 2020. These deployments serve to reinforce our commitment to regional security and to upholding UNCLOS. Wherever the Royal Navy operates, it does so in full compliance with international laws, norms and rights to freedom of navigation provided for by UNCLOS.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help reform OECD guidance on the use of Official Development Assistance in funding peacekeeping operations.

Peace and security are the basis for all development - as recognised in Sustainable Development Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions. Peacekeeping plays a vital role.

In 2017, UK leadership at the OECD Development Assistance Committee helped deliver important reforms on the use of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for peacekeeping. This included doubling the percentage of contributions to UN peacekeeping missions in ODA eligible countries that count as ODA.

We continue to review potential for reform and are looking at how our aid budget can be used most effectively and strategically through the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether it remains Government policy to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on Official Development Assistance.

The Government is committed to spending 0.7% of our national income on development assistance. It is a manifesto commitment and is enshrined in law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Amnesty International report on torture in Iran, published on 2 September 2020, what steps he is taking to help reduce human rights abuses in that country.

The findings in Amnesty International's report about the November 2019 protests are deeply worrying. Iran's human rights record continues to be of serious concern to the UK. As we said at the time, we unreservedly support the right to peaceful protest, and call on Iran to uphold its commitments under international law to protect freedom of assembly and speech. The UK is committed to holding Iran to account on a wide range of human rights issues, through contact with the Iranian Government and internationally through the UN and our likeminded partners. We regularly raise human rights with the Iranians at all levels and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record on all human rights issues.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to co-ordinate the use of the Global Human Rights sanction regime with his counterparts overseas.

The UK is a global leader on sanctions, based on the smart, targeted use of sanctions, as part of wider political and diplomatic strategies. The UK will look to coordinate with international partners, like the US and Canada, who use sanctions to address human rights issues, to ensure there is no safe haven for torturers, killers, enslavers, and their enablers. As sanctions are most effective when applied in concert with partners, we look forward to continuing to coordinate with partners in the future.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he plans to take to increase the involvement of British embassies in humanitarian work as part of the merger if the Department for International Development with his Department.

Merging the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) will bring together the best of what we do in development and diplomacy. As the world becomes ever more complex, we need single cross-government strategies implemented on the ground by the Ambassador or High Commissioner heading all of HMG's work in-country. There is already very close co-ordination between the DFID's provision of life-saving humanitarian aid and the FCO's work to enable humanitarian responses politically and support humanitarian processes, and we expect this to continue and improve in the new structure.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to improve the quantity and quality of evidence collected to secure prosecutions related to sexual violence in conflict.

The UK remains at the forefront of global efforts to tackle conflict-related sexual violence through our Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). The UK launched the draft Murad Code on documenting conflict-related sexual violence to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, on 19 June. Developed together with Nobel Peace Laureate and campaigner against sexual violence, Nadia Murad, this code of conduct will respect survivors' rights and ensure investigation of sexual violence crimes is safer, more ethical, and more effective. By adhering to the Code, governments, international organisations, civil society, and other actors will uphold international standards, which in turn will strengthen the collection of evidence in order to secure prospections.

The Murad Code is part of the UK's commitment to strengthening justice for all survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, also demonstrated by UK-funded efforts of TRIAL International to improve access to legal support for survivors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the work of UNITAD in gathering evidence of Daesh crimes in Iraq.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to raise the matter of gender-based violence at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda.

Unfortunately, in light of Covid-19, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda 2020 has been postponed. The Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon looks forward to attending the next CHOGM when it takes place in Kigali. Gender equality remains as important as ever in these times given the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on women and girls. We are working hard to ensure that they are at the forefront of our response. The UK is proud to be a world leader on efforts to prevent Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), and we are committed to eliminating it in all its forms.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to raise the matter of gender-based violence at the next meeting of the UN Security Council.

COVID-19 has reinforced the urgency to tackle pervasive and endemic gender-based violence. The UN Security Council will be an important platform to demonstrate the UK's continued leadership on Violence against Women and Girls and Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict as part of our broader ambitions on gender equality. This includes the upcoming UN Security Council Open video-conference on Women, Peace and Security on 17 July, which will focus on conflict-related sexual violence.

The UK has led efforts to strengthen language on conflict-related sexual violence through UN Security Council Peacekeeping Mandates and Resolutions. In April 2019, we advocated and voted for UN Security Council Resolution 2467 on sexual violence in conflict. This specified the importance of a survivor-centric approach in response to conflict-related sexual violence, highlighted the need to support children born of sexual violence, promoted specific language on sexual violence in sanction regimes, and also referenced the Mukwege Foundation/Nadia Initiative Global Survivors Fund.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing sanctions against those committing human rights abuses in Hong Kong through the Government's proposed global human rights sanctions regime.

We have announced our intention to establish a UK autonomous Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky-style') sanctions regime. The regulations will come into force once secondary legislation is laid in Parliament in the coming months.

The purpose of a global human rights sanctions regime will be to promote compliance with international human rights law and respect for human rights and in particular, to provide accountability for and deter serious violations or abuses of human rights. It would not be appropriate to speculate on who may be designated under the sanctions regime; to do so could reduce the impact of designations under the regime.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 39744, on Armed Conflict: Sexual Offences, whether his Department’s forthcoming strategy will include specific measures to support male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.

The UK is fully committed to supporting all survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. As stated in my [Minister Adams] answer to PQ 39744, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's forthcoming three-year strategy on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) will be a priority for the UK Government. We are committed to ensuring that this strategy is survivor-centred throughout, and will work closely with the UK's PSVI Survivor Champion Kolbassia Haoussou to ensure that the needs of all survivors and children born of conflict-related sexual violence, including men and boys, remain at the centre of PSVI policy and programming.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he plans to make to the recently appointed Prime Minister of Iraq on support for Yazidi people in Iraq.

We welcome the appointment of Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Prime Minister of Iraq. The UK is committed to supporting the new Government to address the significant economic, security, health and human rights challenges facing Iraq. As part of this we will urge the protection of minorities, including the Yezidi people, in our engagements with the new Government and emphasise the importance of reconstruction and reconciliation in those areas liberated from Daesh.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterparts on the Chinese Government’s use of so-called exit bans.

FCO Travel Advice highlights the possibility of travel bans being imposed on those suspected of committing a crime. If an individual is subject to a travel ban, the level of assistance the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can provide is set out in our publically available guidance 'Support for British nationals abroad'. This includes raising individual cases with the Chinese authorities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions officials of his Department have had with the UN Department of Peace Operations on increasing the proportion of female UN peacekeepers.

The UK strongly supports efforts to increase the proportion of female uniformed peacekeepers, as directed by the UN Department of Peace Operations' Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy. Through negotiations on mandates in the Security Council and in other fora, such as this year's Special Committee on UN Peacekeeping Operations, we ensure the UN works to increase the numbers of women peacekeepers in its missions. In the last financial year the UK provided £1m from the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund for the Elsie Initiative to help troop-contributing countries overcome practical barriers preventing further deployment of uniformed female peacekeepers to operations. UK officials also raise this regularly with the UN Secretariat. More broadly, the UK is a leader among UN Member States championing Women, Peace and Security issues in peacekeeping, and encourages all troop contributors to fulfil their commitments made under the UN Secretary-General's Action for Peacekeeping initiative.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Independent Commission for Aid Impact's report, The UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, published on 9 January 2020, whether he plans to waive his Department's rule that 80 per cent of programme funds must be spent by December of the financial year of disbursement in respect of that initiative.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office published a response to the recommendations of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)'s review of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) on 20 February. The UK is committed by law to spending 0.7% of its gross national income (GNI) each year on Official Development Assistance (ODA). To ensure this target is met, HM Treasury requires all ODA-spending government departments to spend at least 80% of their ODA funding by the end of a calendar year (i.e. 31 December). The FCO is therefore required to spend 80% of its ODA allocation before the end of December, and all funds (ODA and non-ODA) must be spent by the end of the financial year.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the January 2020 report of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, what steps he is taking to support a longer-term funding cycle for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative projects.

Funding for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) projects comes from a variety of sources. FCO-funded programmes within PSVI moved to a two-year programming cycle between 2018/19 and 2019/20 to allow for more strategic programming, although individual projects were contracted for one financial year to ensure effective learning and deliver value for money. Conflict Stability and Security Fund PSVI projects on the FCO baseline already operated multi-annually. The FCO will consider future funding cycles for FCO funded programmes as part of its preparation for the Spending Review, when that resumes.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much financial support the Government has made available for projects relating to China’s Belt and Road Initiative in each financial year since 2012-13.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a Chinese foreign policy initiative. There is no formal definition of what is or is not a 'BRI' project, but it is generally seen as comprising Chinese-led infrastructure projects in Asia, Eurasia, and Africa. I can confirm the UK government has not directly funded Chinese-led infrastructure projects in Asia, Africa or Eurasia since 2012-13. The UK government contributes to overseas infrastructure development in many ways, including direct financial support, and export credits for UK companies, and funding for multilateral development banks. The UK's engagement with China on overseas infrastructure development is focused on practical steps and collaboration to help ensure that projects are delivered in line with the highest economic, environmental, social and financial standards in order to deliver sustainable development outcomes and deliver opportunities for UK and international businesses.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he plans to make to his international counterparts to secure a global ban on wet markets.

Research into COVID-19's origins is ongoing, and the UK is working with the international scientific community to determine the source of the outbreak. The sale of wildlife has been suspected as the source, but conclusive evidence about the mode of transmission is not yet available. Wet markets can be found globally and the majority of such markets do not sell wild animals. We agree with the advice of the World Health Organisation that strict food hygiene and health standards should apply to wet markets and that they should be closed if those standards are not met. The UK is at the forefront of international efforts to regulate global trade in wild animals. Once the immediate challenge presented by the virus has been overcome, we will be looking to make use of all relevant fora and opportunities to press for international action to avoid a repeat of this pandemic, including within the G7/G20, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), CITES. The World Animal Health Organisation, of which the UK is a member, will be addressing wildlife trade at the next general session in October 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of a longer-term funding cycle for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative projects.

Funding for Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) projects comes from a variety of sources. Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded programmes within PSVI moved to a two-year programming cycle between 2018/19 and 2019/20 to allow for more strategic programming, although individual projects were contracted for one financial year to ensure effective learning and deliver value for money. Conflict Stability and Security Fund PSVI projects on the FCO baseline already operate multi-annually. The FCO will consider future funding cycles for FCO funded programmes as part of its preparation for the Spending Review when it resumes.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made on developing a three-year strategy for the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.

The Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI) is part of the UK's Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan (NAP), which includes our strategy for tackling and preventing conflict-related sexual violence. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will be developing an additional three-year strategy on PSVI, which remains a top priority for the British Government.

The FCO, Department for International Development (DFID) and the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will all contribute to this strategy, not only in London but across the network of Embassies in countries where conflict-related sexual violence issues are acute, and in doing so will closely consult civil society organisations and other key stakeholders. This work will be overseen by the joint FCO-DFID Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth and Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon.

Our PSVI objectives will remain to champion wider restorative justice for survivors and hold perpetrators to account; support all survivors and children born of conflict-related sexual violence, and tackle the stigma they face; and prevent sexual violence in conflict. The Government will ensure the three-year strategy is survivor-centred, working closely with the UK's PSVI Survivor Champions throughout its development.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the next Prevention of Sexual Violence Initiative conference is planned to take place; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign Secretary will host the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative International Conference, Time for Justice: Putting Survivors First, in 2020, alongside the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon. We will confirm the exact date with the House in due course.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what funding his Department has allocated to grassroots organisations for the (a) prevention and (b) tackling of sexual violence in (i) conflict and (ii) post-conflict countries; and if he will make a statement.

Since 2012, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has committed over £46million to end sexual violence in conflict. This funding has supported civil society and international organisations in conflict and post conflict countries to further Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative objectives. These include strengthening justice and support for survivors and holding the perpetrators to account; tackling the stigma faced by survivors; and preventing sexual violence in conflict.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made as to the potential merits of designating Northern Ireland as a freeport.

We want to ensure that the whole of the UK can benefit. We continue to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to establish a Freeport in Northern Ireland as soon as possible.

Our priority is to ensure we design a Freeport model which meets our international legal obligations and provides an attractive and competitive offer for ports, businesses and communities in Northern Ireland.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the number of businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors that have benefited from the temporary cut in Value Added Tax.

The Government has temporarily applied a reduced rate of VAT (5 per cent) to tourist attractions and goods and services supplied by the hospitality sector. It came into effect on 15 July 2020 and will end on 12 January 2021 and applies across the UK.

The temporary reduced rate will support over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs following the lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown.

21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 19 April 2021 to Question 176048 on Modern Slavery Act 2015, when she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to update the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the new Emergency Services Network will include lifeboats.

The option to join the Emergency Service Network (ESN) will be available to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). ESN will be available up to12 nautical miles out to sea and will provide air coverage up to 10,000 feet making it a viable option for the organisation. The RNLI already use the existing Airwave system, which is organised locally or regionally, either through the Resilience Forum or directly with the Emergency Services. We are currently engaging with the RNLI and will work with them to prepare them for transition to the network, however the ultimate decision to join the network will sit with the RNLI based on their organisational requirements.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Preventing modern slavery and human trafficking - An agenda for action across the financial services sector, published on 18 January 2021, what steps the Government is taking to support businesses to undertake due diligence on modern slavery as part of their investment decisions.

The UK was the first country in the world to require businesses to report on the steps they have taken to tackle modern slavery. The landmark provision in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires businesses, with a turnover of £36m or more, to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The Government expects businesses to determine the most appropriate methods to assess and tackle modern slavery based on the nature of their operations and supply chains. We encourage businesses to be transparent about the instances or indicators of modern slavery and prioritise their due diligence activity based on risk, and on where they can have most impact. To support businesses in reporting on their modern slavery risks, the Government has produced guidance on the Transparency in Supply Chains legislation, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transparency-in-supply-chains-a-practical-guide.

On 11 March 2021, the Home Office launched the Government-run registry for modern slavery statements. The new registry will enhance transparency by making modern slavery statements available in one place for the first time. It will provide greater visibility of the steps businesses are taking to prevent modern slavery in supply chains and will empower investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise the action businesses are taking.

To improve the quality and detail of reporting and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government has committed to introduce a range of measures to strengthen the reporting requirements on businesses. These measures require legislative change and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows. Following legislative change, organisations in scope of the Act will be required to report against specific areas, including due diligence. The Government will publish updated guidance to support businesses in meeting the new reporting requirements, in line with the timing of these measures coming into force.

The UK Government also supports ShareAction’s Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI), providing £200,000 of funding to support this in 2020/21. The initiative has mobilised investors with $6.5 trillion of assets under management to call for transparency from multinational companies on how they manage workers.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to bring forward proposals to update the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Government is committed to continuously strengthening our approach to modern slavery and building on the world-leading legislation introduced in 2015.

In 2018, the Home Office commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act to look at where the Act has worked well and where it could be more effective. The Government published a detailed response to the Review and accepted the majority of the recommendations (see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act).

As part of its response to the Independent Review, the Home Office conducted a public consultation on potential changes to the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation (section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act). As a result, the government committed to introducing an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the legislation. In particular, the Government has committed to extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more; mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover; requiring statements to be published on the new Government-run registry for modern slavery statements; setting a single reporting deadline; and introducing financial penalties for organisations that fail to meet their obligations under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act. These measures require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.


The Home Secretary announced a New Plan for Immigration on 24 March, which is available at the gov.uk website. This included a range of proposals on modern slavery. The New Plan for Immigration consultation is now open, after which the Government will look to introduce relevant legislation.

The proposals included a commitment to review the 2014 Modern Slavery Strategy. A revised strategy will allow us to build on the considerable progress we have made to date, adapt our approach to the evolving nature of these terrible crimes, and continue our international leadership in tackling modern slavery.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of using blockchain technology to increase the transparency of supply chains and help prevent modern slavery.

The UK was the first country in the world to require businesses to report on the steps they have taken to tackle modern slavery. The landmark provision in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires businesses, in all sectors, including the textiles industry, with a turnover of £36m or more to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. To improve the quality and detail of reporting and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government has committed to strengthen the reporting requirements on businesses and to introduce financial penalties for those that fail to meet their obligations under section 54.

The Government expects businesses to determine the most appropriate methods to assess and tackle modern slavery based on the nature of their operations and supply chains. We encourage businesses to be transparent about the instances or indicators of modern slavery and prioritise action based on risk, and where they can have most impact. Our guidance suggests that they should include the risk assessment and due diligence they undertook to prevent and tackle modern slavery in their modern slavery statements and demonstrate their progress by setting and reporting against clear targets.

The Government regularly engages with businesses, civil society and industry experts in the sector to understand emerging best practice, evidence and innovations which might support businesses in their efforts to tackle modern slavery

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the 2019 Independent review of the Modern Slavery Act, what plans she has to introduce penalties for non-compliance with Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Government accepted the majority of the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act. The details are set out in the Government response to the Independent Review, published on 9 July 2019 at www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act.

As part of its response to the Independent Review, the Home Office launched a public consultation on potential changes to the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation on 9 July 2019. The Government response to the consultation, published on 22 September 2020, committed to introducing an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the legislation, including:

extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more;

mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover

requiring statements to be published on the new Government digital reporting service

setting a single reporting deadline; and

taking forwards options for penalties for non-compliance in line with the ongoing development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights.

These measures require legislative change and as such will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the 2019 Independent review of the Modern Slavery Act, if she will amend the Companies Act 2006 to include a requirement for companies to refer to their modern slavery statement in their annual reports.

The Government accepted the majority of the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act. The details are set out in the Government response to the Independent Review, published on 9 July 2019 at www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act.

As part of its response to the Independent Review, the Home Office launched a public consultation on potential changes to the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation on 9 July 2019. The Government response to the consultation, published on 22 September 2020, committed to introducing an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the legislation, including:

extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more;

mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover

requiring statements to be published on the new Government digital reporting service

setting a single reporting deadline; and

taking forwards options for penalties for non-compliance in line with the ongoing development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights.

These measures require legislative change and as such will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the 2019 Independent review of the Modern Slavery Act, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to (a) fulfil modern slavery statement reporting requirements or (b) act when instances of slavery are found an offence under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

The Government accepted the majority of the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act. The details are set out in the Government response to the Independent Review, published on 9 July 2019 at www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act.

As part of its response to the Independent Review, the Home Office launched a public consultation on potential changes to the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation on 9 July 2019. The Government response to the consultation, published on 22 September 2020, committed to introducing an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the legislation, including:

extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more;

mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover

requiring statements to be published on the new Government digital reporting service

setting a single reporting deadline; and

taking forwards options for penalties for non-compliance in line with the ongoing development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights.

These measures require legislative change and as such will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that companies consider the entirety of their supply chains when fulfilling their obligations under section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

The Government accepted the majority of the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act. The details are set out in the Government response to the Independent Review, published on 9 July 2019 at www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-independent-review-of-the-modern-slavery-act.

As part of its response to the Independent Review, the Home Office launched a public consultation on potential changes to the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation on 9 July 2019. The Government response to the consultation, published on 22 September 2020, committed to introducing an ambitious package of measures to strengthen and future-proof the legislation, including:

extending the reporting requirement to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more;

mandating the specific reporting topics that statements must cover

requiring statements to be published on the new Government digital reporting service

setting a single reporting deadline; and

taking forwards options for penalties for non-compliance in line with the ongoing development of the Single Enforcement Body for employment rights.

These measures require legislative change and as such will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 69698, what estimate he has made of the number of extradition requests made by the USA to the UK during the period 1 January 2004 to 31 July 2020, and of those requests what was the (a) nationality of the defendant for each extradition request (b) number of successful extraditions by the nationality of the defendant and (c) number of rejected requests by the nationality of the defendant.

As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, we do not disclose whether an extradition request has been made or received until such time as a person is arrested in relation to the request. We therefore cannot provide the total number of extradition requests made by the USA to the UK or vice versa.

Statistics showing the nationality of the subject of requests which led to an extradition are available from January 2010 as nationality was not centrally recorded for all cases before this time. Statistics showing the nationality of the subject of requests which were refused are available from 1 January 2004 and are set out below.

US EXTRADITION REQUESTS TO THE UK LEADING TO EXTRADITION (Jan 2010 – July 2020)

NATIONALITY

NUMBER

British *

51 (*includes 10 individuals with dual nationality)

US *

20 (*includes 5 individuals with dual nationality)

Somali

2

South African

1

Jamaican

3

Indian

1

Irish

2

Mexican

1

Egyptian

2

Saudi Arabian

1

Romanian

5

Pakistani

5

Chinese

1

Ghanaian*

2 (*includes 1 individual with dual nationality)

Colombian

2

Ukrainian

3

Iranian

1

Lithuanian

1

Italian

1

Latvian

1

Nigerian

3

Vietnamese

1

Dutch

1

German

1

Danish

1

Bangladeshi / Belizean (Dual national)

1

UK REFUSALS OF US EXTRADITION REQUESTS BY NATIONALITY SINCE 2004

NATIONALITY

NUMBER

British *

11

US *

6

Chinese

2

Iranian

1

Israeli

1

Total

21

* includes individuals who hold dual nationality

In relation to the difference in the numbers of unsuccessful requests, the Answers given to Questions 4307 and 69698 covered different time periods. All figures are taken from local management information and are not quality assured to the level of published National Statistics. As such they should always be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change as officials refresh and revise the available data. The figures do not include Scotland, which deals with its own extradition cases.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 69698 on Extradition: USA, for what reason the number of refused extradition requests from the US to the UK is different to the number of unsuccessful requests given in the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 4307.

As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, we do not disclose whether an extradition request has been made or received until such time as a person is arrested in relation to the request. We therefore cannot provide the total number of extradition requests made by the USA to the UK or vice versa.

Statistics showing the nationality of the subject of requests which led to an extradition are available from January 2010 as nationality was not centrally recorded for all cases before this time. Statistics showing the nationality of the subject of requests which were refused are available from 1 January 2004 and are set out below.

US EXTRADITION REQUESTS TO THE UK LEADING TO EXTRADITION (Jan 2010 – July 2020)

NATIONALITY

NUMBER

British *

51 (*includes 10 individuals with dual nationality)

US *

20 (*includes 5 individuals with dual nationality)

Somali

2

South African

1

Jamaican

3

Indian

1

Irish

2

Mexican

1

Egyptian

2

Saudi Arabian

1

Romanian

5

Pakistani

5

Chinese

1

Ghanaian*

2 (*includes 1 individual with dual nationality)

Colombian

2

Ukrainian

3

Iranian

1

Lithuanian

1

Italian

1

Latvian

1

Nigerian

3

Vietnamese

1

Dutch

1

German

1

Danish

1

Bangladeshi / Belizean (Dual national)

1

UK REFUSALS OF US EXTRADITION REQUESTS BY NATIONALITY SINCE 2004

NATIONALITY

NUMBER

British *

11

US *

6

Chinese

2

Iranian

1

Israeli

1

Total

21

* includes individuals who hold dual nationality

In relation to the difference in the numbers of unsuccessful requests, the Answers given to Questions 4307 and 69698 covered different time periods. All figures are taken from local management information and are not quality assured to the level of published National Statistics. As such they should always be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change as officials refresh and revise the available data. The figures do not include Scotland, which deals with its own extradition cases.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals for a foreign agents registration Act.

The risks posed to the UK from hostile state activity have both grown and diversified. We are committed to providing our law enforcement and security services with the tools they need to tackle the evolving threats to the UK, both domestically and overseas.

The Home Office is working at pace to review the legislation relating to hostile state activity to assess whether additional powers are required to clamp down on the activities of hostile states which threaten the UK.

As part of this review we are examining the different laws that govern foreign agent registration in like-minded countries to understand whether these have been effective in tackling the threats they face from hostile states. We will use this learning to ensure that any new legislation is effective and addresses the threats we face in the UK.

This work is ongoing and has not yet reached its conclusions.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of renegotiating the UK-US Extradition Treaty to require the US Administration to provide greater evidence when requesting extradition.

There is no current intention to renegotiate the UK-US Extradition Treaty.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2020 to Question 4307, on Extradition: USA, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the difference in the level of successful extradition requests by the (a) UK and (b) US.

The US sends more extradition requests to the UK than the UK does to the US - in the UK, the decision whether to send a request is a matter for the prosecuting authority. Requests to the UK are dealt with in accordance with extradition law, and the decisions on most issues are taken by the courts. There is also a difference in the number of unsuccessful requests. Since 2004, the UK has refused 21 requests from the US, while the US has refused one request from the UK.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to prevent human trafficking.

Government is committed to tackling the heinous crime of modern slavery. We are identifying more victims of modern slavery and doing more to bring perpetrators to justice than ever before.

The Home Office works with range of partners to deliver effective prevention activity including successful awareness raising initiatives like the ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ campaign which targeted frontline professionals in healthcare, recruitment and financial sectors to spot the signs of modern slavery.

We are committed to improving our understanding of this rapidly evolving threat. In July 2019 the Government announced a £10 million investment to create a new Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights to transform the evidence base underpinning our policy response to modern slavery.

In May, at the Prime Minister’s Virtual Summit on Hidden Harms, the Government reiterated the absolute priority that we prevent and protect those at risk from hidden harms. This year we have provided a further £1.4 million funding to the Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Unit to support the police to tackle modern slavery and build capacity to crack down on organised immigration crime.

We are also continuing work to prevent modern slavery in public and private sector supply chains. On 26 March 2020, we became the first country to publish a Government Modern Slavery Statement setting out the steps we have taken to identify and prevent modern slavery in our own supply chains. To make it easier for consumers, investors and others to scrutinise the steps that businesses are taking address their risks the Home Office is creating a new gov.uk registry for modern slavery statements. We have also consulted on proposals to strengthen the transparency in supply chains legislation and will publish a response to this consultation in the Summer.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that (a) police and (b) local authorities have adequate enforcement powers to disperse illegal encampments.

On 5 November 2019, the Government launched a consultation seeking views on measures to strengthen police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments. The consultation closed on the 5 March. We will announce the outcome of this consultation in due course.

Local authorities are best-placed to determine when it is appropriate to use their powers to evict unauthorised encampments under Sections 77 and 78 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) and should work with the police and magistrates’ courts in their local areas.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his departmental press release of 24 May 2019 on UN peacekeeping operations, what progress he has made in (a) conducting and (b) acting on the results of a study to identify barriers to women joining peacekeeping operations.

The Department continues to explore ?options for conducting the UK study into the barriers preventing women from deploying on UN Peacekeeping Operations. The UK currently meets or is close to meeting the UN Secretary-General's Gender Parity targets for 2020. We remain committed to acting fully on our policy commitment; the Gender Barrier Study will provide an evidence base for future initiatives as we work to meet the year-on-year increases for the participation of uniformed women peacekeepers set out by the UN.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward the date of the next Submariner remuneration, which is next planned to be undertaken in 2024, to help improve the retention of Submarine Watch Leaders.

The Royal Navy assesses that there is no merit in bringing forward the date of the next Submariner remuneration review.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will bring back charge pay for Submarine Watch Leaders to help improve retention of those personnel.

Recruitment and Retention Pay (Submariner) Level 5, which is sometimes referred to as 'charge pay', is currently paid to suitably qualified officers who meet the qualifying criteria.

The eligibility criteria for the allowance are periodically reviewed and will be part of the Submariner remuneration review which is next planned to be undertaken in 2024.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to (a) speed up and (b) streamline the recruitment process of military personnel.

The Armed Forces have recently introduced measures to improve recruiting performance. These include improved candidate relationship management, a review of medical procedures and policies, and prioritisation of recruitment for key areas. Our re-joiner programmes also aim to expedite the return of skilled and experienced personnel. Officer recruitment is healthy in all three Services and the Financial Year 19/20 has seen an improvement on the previous year in Other Ranks intake by 14% for the Naval Service, 77% for the Army and 25% for the RAF. At Single Service level, we are exploring initiatives to streamline and accelerate recruitment from Commonwealth countries.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) systems and (b) processes are required to be introduced to ensure that Veterans UK is able provide its full portfolio of benefit services while staff are working from home.

Officials have been working together with the Trades Union to ensure there is a safe system of work in place to enable as many staff as possible who are unable to work remotely to safely to return to the office. Protocols have been agreed and staff that need to be in the workplace are returning to work. These protocols are in accordance with Government guidelines.

Over the next three years, Veterans UK is undergoing a £30 million transformation and modernisation programme to digitise its pension and compensation schemes and to drive innovation and modernisation, including the development of self-serve systems for claimants. This transformation will enable staff to access the required information and work remotely without the need for hard copy files.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to strengthen the role of neighbourhood plans in planning decisions.

The National Planning Policy Framework is clear about the important role that neighbourhood plans play in our plan-led system and neighbourhood plans continue to have real statutory weight in planning decisions. The Government is committed to retaining neighbourhood planning as an important part of the reformed planning system, and we will set out our decisions on the proposed way forward.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2021
What steps he is taking to ensure that neighbourhood plans continue to be prioritised as part of the reformed planning system.

Neighbourhood plans are a valuable tool that empower communities to proactively shape what their areas will look like.

As we set out in the Planning White Paper – neighbourhood plans will continue to play a key role in our reformed planning system.

Indeed under the new system neighbourhood planning groups will have a stronger role in producing local design codes – setting out the preferences of the local community and the high standards that new development will be expected to meet.

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when coastal communities will be able to reapply for the (a) Coastal Communities Fund and (b) Coastal Revival Fund.

The Government is committed to levelling up all parts of the UK. Coastal communities will be able to benefit from funding announced in the recent budget. This includes £220 million funding for UK Community Renewal and the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund which will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. In addition, the UK Government is launching a new £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help ensure that communities across the UK are prepared for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his Department's Rough Sleeping Strategy, published in 2018, what progress he has made on researching the needs and experiences of LGBT homeless people.

We recognise that LGBT homelessness is an important issue, and that LGBT people who find themselves homeless may have a different experience of homelessness due to their protected characteristics.

To help us better understand LGBT homelessness and the experience of LGBT people who find themselves homeless, as well as to ensure any interventions are tailored and effective, we are conducting research with the Government Equalities Office.

The first stage of this research includes a review of existing evidence on LGBT homelessness and interviews with LGBT people with lived experiences of homelessness and the second may include a review of services working with LGBT homeless people. This work is ongoing and the research will be published in due course.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what further support he will allocate to Parish Councils who have used a large proportion of their budgets responding to the covid-19 outbreak.

We applaud the assistance that many parish councils are providing to their local communities in the current crisis. The government does not have powers to offer financial support to parish councils, which are funded through a precept collected from within the overall council tax paid by the residents of the parish. We encourage parish councils to speak to their principal authority.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made on considering responses to the 2018 consultation on the business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation.

The Government is considering the responses to the consultation and what further steps might be appropriate, taking into account a range of factors including the impact of coronavirus on the UK's tourism industry.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the number of second homes that are (a) liable to pay council tax and (b) liable to pay business rates.

Second homes are liable for council tax rather than business rates. 253,000 properties were treated as second homes for council tax purposes as at September 2019. 56,000 properties that are available commercially as self-catering holiday accommodation are subject to business rates.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury