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Written Question
Ukraine: International Red Cross and United Nations
Wednesday 28th June 2023

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had discussions with his Russian counterparts on allowing the Red Cross and UN to have access to flooded areas in the Kherson region.

Answered by Leo Docherty - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam has had major humanitarian consequences for Ukrainian citizens living in the vicinity and beyond. The UK's humanitarian commitment to Ukraine and the region stands at £347 million, including £16 million pledged on 10 June to help aid partners such as the Ukraine Red Cross evacuate civilians affected by the flooding. Our aid partners stand ready to respond on the left bank in Russian-held territory, but Russia has not facilitated access or provided security guarantees. Without these, they cannot safely operate. We call all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law; giving aid workers rapid, unimpeded access and allowing vulnerable communities access to vital humanitarian assistance.


Written Question
Hong Kong: Official Visits
Wednesday 19th April 2023

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his Department's policies on the charging of Jimmy Lai under the National Security Law in Hong Kong of the potential visit in April 2023 of Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Hong Kong Government.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We have been clear that the deliberate targeting of journalists and businessmen such as Mr Lai under the National Security Law (NSL) is unacceptable. The Minister for the Indo-Pacific met with Mr Lai's international Legal team on 10 January and diplomats at the Consulate-General in Hong Kong will continue to attend Mr Lai's court proceedings. We have taken a number of measures in response to the situation in Hong Kong, including the bespoke immigration route for BN(O)s, the suspension of the UK-Hong Kong extradition treaty and the extension of the arms embargo applied to China to Hong Kong. We will continue to use our channels with the Hong Kong and Chinese Governments to raise our strong objection to the NSL and the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.


Written Question
Russia: Banks
Tuesday 21st February 2023

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary for State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of (a) seizing Russian Central Bank reserves and (b) repurposing those reserves as aid for Ukraine.

Answered by Leo Docherty - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government is actively considering all possible options for seizing Russian linked assets in the UK that could be used to pay for reconstruction in Ukraine. While the UK is pursuing this at pace, ensuring any policy implemented is safe, robust, and compliant with the rule of law is of paramount importance.


Written Question
Sanctions: Civil Proceedings
Monday 25th April 2022

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the Government's policy is on individuals subject to sanctions pursuing legal action in the UK courts.

Answered by Vicky Ford

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) provides sanctioned individuals with a right to review of their designation, and designated persons are able to challenge that decision in UK courts.


Written Question
Russia: Ukraine
Wednesday 12th January 2022

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made for the implications of her policies of the essay by President of Russia Vladimir Putin entitled On the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians published on 12 July 2021.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris - Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The UK Government has noted and carefully considered Russia's statements on this issue, including President Putin's 2021 article. The Foreign Secretary's statement to the House of Commons on 6 January set out clearly the Government's position, our concerns about Russia's intentions and aggressive rhetoric, and our support for Ukrainian sovereignty.

We have made clear to Russia that any military incursion into Ukraine would be a strategic mistake and would have severe cost in response. Russia's military build-up on the borders of Ukraine is unprovoked and unjustified. Russia should take concrete steps to reduce tensions. Russia needs to step back, abide by its international commitments, report troop movements and return to diplomacy for serious talks. The UK will continue to respond to Russia's actions with our allies and partners.

The UK and our allies are unwavering in our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We are committed to ensuring the people of Ukraine are able to define their own future.


Written Question
Democracy: International Cooperation
Tuesday 20th April 2021

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

What plans he has to develop a forum for the world's ten leading democracies.

Answered by Nigel Adams

As set out in the Integrated Review, the Prime Minister’s ambition is to work with like-minded democracies to support open societies and work together internationally. We will use our G7 Presidency to intensify this cooperation. The Prime Minister has invited Australia, India, the Republic of Korea, and South Africa to attend the G7 Summit as guest countries to deepen the expertise and experience around the table.


Written Question
Overseas Aid
Friday 21st December 2018

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the amount of funding allocated to programmes overseas which are not part of Official Development Assistance.

Answered by Alan Duncan

Information on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) programme spend is available in its Annual Report and Accounts. Detail of the FCO’s Official Development Assistance is also routinely published on the gov.uk website. Expenditure in the remaining year(s) of this spending period will be subject to the normal departmental business planning process, or programme allocation process. Expenditure in the next spending period will be determined at the next Spending Review.


Written Question
BBC World Service: Departmental Responsibilities
Friday 13th October 2017

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will transfer governmental responsibility and funding of the BBC World Service to the Department for International Development.

Answered by Mark Field

​There are no plans to transfer governmental responsibility and funding of the BBC World Service to the Department for International Development (DfID). The BBC World Service is primarily funded through the licence fee. An additional £291m is being invested by the FCO over four years to support the development and implementation of 12 new language services and other enhancements to existing services.

The new services are tangible proof of a truly Global Britain – making the most of the UK's soft power to help the world's poorest while also projecting the UK's values around the world. Further information on the implementation of the services is available from the BBC World Service.


Written Question
BBC World Service
Friday 13th October 2017

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress is being made in enabling access to BBC World Service in (a) North Korea, (b) Russia and (c) other countries where the service is not currently easily available, and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Mark Field

The BBC World Service is delivering 12 new language services and enhancements to existing services with an investment of £291m from Government over 4 years. The Foreign Secretary agreed the funding and the new language services proposed by the BBC. Good progress has been made in delivering these services including:

  1. New radio services in the Korean language (launched 25 September 2017).
  2. Enhanced services for Russian speakers (further expansion in October 2017).
  3. Other new high quality and impartial news programmes for global audiences, including in places where free speech is limited. This includes some of the most remote places in the world, providing a link to the UK for individuals and societies who would otherwise not have this opportunity.

I was in New Delhi on 3 October 2017 at the inauguration of the foreign language Indian service.

The new services are tangible proof of a truly Global Britain – making the most of the UK's soft power to help the world's poorest while also projecting the UK's values around the world. Further information on the implementation of the services is available from the BBC World Service.


Written Question
Responsibility to Protect
Wednesday 11th October 2017

Asked by: Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on the UN's Responsibility to Protect policy; and if he will make representations to his Russian counterpart to request their unequivocal support for that policy.

Answered by Rory Stewart

​The UK is fully committed to the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) which was endorsed by all UN Member States in 2005. We regularly remind all states of their commitment to protect populations from atrocity crimes and to use all three pillars of the concept to uphold the responsibility to protect. Additionally, by signing up to the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) group's Code of Conduct we have committed to never vote against credible Security Council action to stop mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. We urge all present and future Security Council members to support the Code.