Gareth Thomas Portrait

Gareth Thomas

Labour (Co-op) - Harrow West

Shadow Minister (International Trade)

(since April 2020)
International Trade Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 8th Jun 2020
International Trade Committee
8th May 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Party Chair, Co-operative Party
1st Jul 2000 - 8th Jun 2019
Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)
9th Oct 2016 - 15th Jun 2017
Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
7th Oct 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
7th Oct 2011 - 7th Oct 2013
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Shadow Minister (International Development)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Minister of State (Department for International Development)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade, Investment and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development)
5th Oct 2008 - 5th Jun 2009
Parliamentary Under-Secretary(Department for International Development) (Trade Policy) (also Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform)
2nd Jul 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development)
2nd Jul 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Development)
13th Jun 2003 - 28th Jun 2007
Environmental Audit Committee
12th Nov 1997 - 25th Nov 1999


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Tuesday 15th June 2021
Compensation (London Capital & Finance plc and Fraud Compensation Fund) Bill (Second sitting)

On a point of order, Ms Ghani. You were very good at the end of the evidence session with the …

Written Answers
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
Menopause
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps his Department will take to reduce …
Early Day Motions
Monday 24th February 2020
Assaults on shopworkers
That this House deplores the rise in verbal and physical abuse of shopworkers, notes that according to research conducted by …
Bills
Tuesday 16th March 2021
Goods and Services of UK Origin Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a presumption in public sector procurement in favour of purchasing goods and services from businesses based …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: GMB
Address of donor: John Cope House, 152 Brent Street, Hendon, London NW4 2DP
Amount of donation …
EDM signed
Wednesday 21st April 2021
Immigration
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Immigration (Guidance on Detention of Vulnerable Persons) Regulations …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies (Environmentally Sustainable Investment) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to enable co-operative and community benefit societies to raise external share capital for the purpose of making environmentally …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Gareth Thomas has voted in 257 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Gareth Thomas 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
Greg Hands (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
(54 debate interactions)
Bill Esterson (Labour)
Shadow Minister (International Trade)
(50 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for International Trade
(114 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(23 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(13 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Gareth Thomas's debates

Harrow West 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).

Petitions with highest Harrow West signature proportion
Petitions with most Harrow West signatures
Petition Open
1,548
of 386,656 signatures (0.40%)
Petition Open
857
of 194,881 signatures (0.44%)
Petition Open
759
of 354,572 signatures (0.21%)
Gareth Thomas has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Gareth Thomas

24th March 2021
Gareth Thomas signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st April 2021

Immigration

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Immigration (Guidance on Detention of Vulnerable Persons) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 184), dated 23 February 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 25 February 2021, be annulled.
82 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Apr 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 40
Scottish National Party: 24
Liberal Democrat: 8
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Alliance: 1
Green Party: 1
14th January 2021
Gareth Thomas signed this EDM on Monday 18th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Gareth Thomas's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Gareth Thomas, 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.


Gareth Thomas has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Gareth Thomas has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

11 Bills introduced by Gareth Thomas


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to provide that any Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union shall not have effect without a vote by the electorate of the United Kingdom and Gibraltar to that effect; to make arrangements for the holding of such a public vote; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 8th February 2019
(Read Debate)

A Bill to establish a presumption in public sector procurement in favour of purchasing goods and services from businesses based in the UK; to require the Secretary of State to publish data on the value of Government contracts awarded to such businesses, and estimates of jobs created as a result, by region and nation; to make provision for a kitemark scheme for goods of predominantly UK origin; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 16th March 2021
(Read Debate)

A Bill to transfer the ownership of the Royal Bank of Scotland to its customers and employees; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 13th December 2016
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to make provision for extending the autonomy of the government of London, in particular in relation to duties and powers for the Greater London Authority (GLA) in respect of income tax, property tax and valuation, other fiscal matters, economic management including a London minimum wage and its enforcement, housing policy and planning, the regulation of rents chargeable within the private residential housing sector and skills and employment training; the devolution of responsibilities for health and the NHS in London to the GLA and appropriate London authorities; the Secretary of State to consult the Mayor about decisions on justice and education expenditure, administration and policy as they relate to London and mandatory membership for the Mayor or his representative of the boards of certain public bodies with responsibilities affecting London; to require proposals for extending the autonomy of the government of London to be approved by the residents of Greater London in a referendum before they may come into force; to make provision for such a referendum; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 8th September 2015
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

A Bill to make provision about the entitlement of employees to benefit from profits made by their employers in certain circumstances; to require a company to allocate one seat on its board to an employee representative; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 26th January 2016


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th November 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to provide for the establishment of a credit union for members of the armed forces and family members who live in the same household; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 18th December 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to amend section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 to extend the use of local occupancy clauses to certain urban areas with the permission of the Secretary of State; to increase the qualifying period of local occupancy clauses from three years to either five or ten years; to place a duty on the Homes and Communities Agency and local authorities with housing and planning responsibilities to promote co-operative and mutual housing options and report annually in this regard; to require the Homes and Communities Agency, local authorities and the Land Registry to identify land available for housing development which has not been developed and to publish a report on the available options for development of housing on such land; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 30th January 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require new energy generation companies to offer a proportion of shares for purchase by residents in local communities; to provide that residents in local communities have the right to invest in ownership of local electricity distribution grids; to establish an agency called Community Power Direct to advise local communities on matters relating to energy generation; to require local planning authorities to consult Community Power Direct when considering planning applications involving energy generation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 6th March 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require firms offering regulated private pensions services to exercise a fiduciary duty of care to consumers and other users of financial services, to exercise due diligence when making decisions on behalf of consumers, to provide clear information to consumers on all charges and costs paid by the consumer or the pension fund on the consumer’s behalf and to disclose any conflict of interest and potential conflict of interest including commercial relationships that might result in or be perceived to result in financial detriment to consumers or undermine the integrity of financial markets; to make provision for disclosure by postcode of the location of investors in private pension funds; to make provision for an Annual General Meeting for each private pension fund; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 1st March 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for the establishment of a Royal Commission to consider the future challenges facing London in housing, transport, the environment, population, equality, the City and the wider economy, and such other matters as the Royal Commission considers appropriate; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 12th October 2010

476 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
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Attorney General, whether she plans to require her Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if she will make a statement.

The Attorney Generals’ Office (AGO), the Government Legal Department (GLD), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) have taken no steps to promote the use of credit unions within their organisations and have no immediate plans to do so.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

The Cabinet Office is continuing to investigate various financial wellbeing options. Announcements will be made in due course.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to establish an independent public inquiry on the Government's handling of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has always been clear that there will be opportunities to look back, analyse and reflect on all aspects of COVID-19. As the Prime Minister has said, this will include an independent inquiry at the appropriate time. For now the Government is focused entirely on responding to the pandemic and saving lives. Further details will be set out in due course and announced in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether people who held senior management posts at the Post Office from 2006 to date will be called to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT public inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

I announced to the House on 19 May that, with the agreement of the Prime Minister, I will put the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry on to a statutory footing on 1 June 2021. This change will give Sir Wyn Williams powers to compel organisations to provide documents and witnesses to give evidence, under oath if necessary to ensure the Inquiry can get to the bottom of what happened and get the postmasters the answers they are looking for.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of my Department and so my Department does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of local authorities have included dry cleaning businesses in their Additional Restrictions Grant schemes; and if he will make a statement.

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a discretionary fund managed by Local Authorities. Local Authorities are free to put in place the support schemes they deem appropriate to their local economic circumstances. They may also spend ARG until the end of the 2021/22 financial year. The Department does not collate details of which sectors and sub-sectors are eligible for support in each Local Authority area.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether providers of complementary medicine teaching who have been unable to deliver practical training in close contact services since 5 January 2021 are eligible to apply for Local Restrictions Support Grants; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant provided grants of up to the equivalent of £4,500 for each 6 weeks of closure for those businesses mandated to close during the National Restrictions. Local Authorities are responsible for managing grants schemes locally and determining eligibility.

For those businesses who did not qualify for the Local Restrictions Support Grant further support maybe available through the Additional Restrictions Grant. The Chancellor has announced an additional £425m will be made available via the Additional Restrictions Grant meaning that more than £2bn has been made available to Local Authorities since November 2020. Local Authorities are free to provide support that suits their local area including to support those businesses not required to close but which have had their trade severely affected by the restrictions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of UK businesses which have relocated to outside of UK territory since (a) 23 June 2016, (b) 31 January 2020 and (c) 1 January 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The Department works closely alongside other Government Departments such as HM Treasury to monitor economic metrics like Foreign Direct Investment, however these statistics do not provide a comprehensive assessment of where a business has chosen to set up a site outside UK territory as opposed to instances where businesses have chosen to fully relocate.

Internationally, the UK will operate an independent trade policy for the first time in 50 years. Our focus now is on making sure that any business that is still facing challenges gets the support they need to trade effectively with the EU, and that all businesses benefit from the new free trade agreements we are striking around the world.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will attempt to negotiate a reduction in the cost of business visas for working in (a) Spain, (b) France and (c) Germany, and if he will make a statement.

The costs of visas is an exclusive competence of EU Member States. They are not negotiated with other trade partners, and the UK respects the rights of other countries to set their visa-pricing policy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is committed to providing a strong employee benefit offer to staff. At present, there are no plans to introduce access to a credit union via a payroll deduction service.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to create jobs in renewable energy as the UK recovers from the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has over 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains and many of the actions we need to take to reach our target of net zero emissions by 2050 will support the future growth of our economy.

In his Summer Economic Statement, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer emphasised the Government’s intention to make this a green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart and announced a package of over £3 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which will support up to 140,000 green jobs.

On 6th October, the Government set out new plans to Build Back Greener by making the UK the world leader in clean wind energy. Under these plans, a target has been set to support up to double the capacity of renewable energy in the next Contracts for Difference auction; £160 million is to be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure; and a new target was announced for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030. This will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and associated supply chains, manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines and delivering clean energy to the UK.

The Government will also establish a £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help halt biodiversity loss and tackle climate change through local conservation projects, connecting more people to the outdoors by delivering up to 5,000 jobs.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he will plans to extend the Groceries Supply Code of Practice to include developing country suppliers; and if he will make a statement.

Developing country suppliers are protected by the Groceries Supply Code of Practice where they are directly supplying UK supermarkets covered by the Code. These suppliers are supported by the work of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, who ensures they are treated lawfully and fairly, as required by the Code.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority to require all Energy providers to offer at least one Zero Standing Charge tariff for each fuel they supply; and if he will make a statement.

Setting energy tariffs is a commercial matter for individual suppliers. There are fixed costs in the supply of gas and electricity, such as meter costs and providing an emergency service, so any tariff with a zero standing charge would need to levy the fixed cost via a higher unit rate. This could benefit some low consumption households but could also make higher consumption households worse off, such as those with children or people who need to use more energy due to ill health. The price cap on default and prepayment meter tariffs ensures that all households pay a fair price for gas and electricity.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to ensure that online retail businesses that are able to remain open during the covid-19 outbreak are implementing social distancing measures that maximise the safety of (a) their staff, (b) the families of their staff and (c) customers.

Everyone must comply with the rules issued by the Government in relation to coronavirus, in order to protect both themselves and others.

We have published guidance for employers and businesses to assist them in the safe operation of their business:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19.

Additionally, the British Retail Consortium have published guidance for social distancing in warehouse and distribution settings:

http://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/social-distancing-in-warehouse-and-distribution-settings/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to ensure that employees are not placed under pressure to continue working to complete contracts for their employers when they should self-isolate or follow social distancing measures as a result of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

Government is clear that we must support people in work to do the right thing.

We have already made plans to temporarily change the rules on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), ensuring that, for those that are eligible, SSP will be available from day 1 in the event of a severe outbreak of Covid-19. People who are eligible for SSP but unable to work because they are following Government advice, for example on self-isolation, are also entitled to SSP.

Those who aren’t entitled to SSP, including those who are self-employed, may be able to claim Universal Credit and/or new-style Employment and Support Allowance.

If employees can work from home, we urge employers to enable them to do so. We must all play our part to reduce the spread of the virus.

In this unprecedented time, we would urge employers to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their workforce. Employers and employees should come to a pragmatic agreement about these arrangements. If individuals need advice they should approach ACAS where they can get impartial advice about in work dispute.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide direct payroll subsidies to ensure that no businesses will need to terminate the contracts of (a) directly and (b) indirectly employed staff; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is clear that we must support people in work to do the right thing during this Covid-19 outbreak.

It is essential that we support businesses who are experiencing increased costs and disrupted cashflow as a result of Coronavirus. The Government has introduced a host of new measures to help businesses in this period, with £330 billion worth of Government-backed and guaranteed loans to support UK businesses. Businesses can ring the Business Support Helpine for further advice on the support available.

Alongside this, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will help to pay people’s wages. Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover 80% of wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500, for their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to end maternity discrimination; and if she will make a statement.

The Government recognises the importance of tackling pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

That is why we committed in our Manifesto to reform the law so that women returning from maternity leave receive additional protection from redundancy.

We will extend the redundancy protection period for six months once a new mother has returned to work and provide similar protections for those parents taking adoption leave and shared parental leave.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2021 to Question 2176 on events industry: coronavirus, what physical evidence was required of attendees at those events that they had conducted a Lateral Flow Test and were covid-19 negative before they were granted entry to those events.

Admission of participants to Event Research Programme events—including the FA Cup final—is, and has been, subject to evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result for Covid-19, generally carried out in person at an Asymptomatic Test Site (ATS) either on the day, or on the day before, an event.

Following taking a test, participants receive a text or email from NHS Test and Trace which they need to present to staff at each event in order to gain entry. A negative LFD test result, taken within the timeframe specified, is required for entry, and results are validated by the event organisers before ticket-holders are admitted to the venue. Entry is denied to those that cannot provide evidence of a negative test result.

Pre-event communications inform attendees that ID checks can take place upon entry, and spot photo ID checks have taken place to check that names on negative tests match ID.

Event organisers only hold the standard data required for ticket purchasing and processing. The personal data that Government collects includes first name, last name, address, date of birth, postcode, and email address.

Event organisers send a list of all individuals who attend an event to Public Health England (PHE), using secure transfer methods. Attendee information—including an attendee’s self-reported name, date of birth, sex, and full address—is linked to NHS number, and the NHS number is then used to link to a testing dataset; this allows testing data to be obtained for the purposes of the research study conducted by PHE, more details of which can be found on GOV.UK. The aim of this study is to provide evidence on the feasibility of pre-event rapid antigen testing with LFDs in mitigating the risk of Covid-19 transmission amongst spectators, participants, or audiences.

Any positive tests are reported through NHS Test and Trace, with contact tracing undertaken to ascertain details of activity during the day of the event, including travel, seating, and activity at the venue.

Records are not kept of attendees who are denied entry to an event for not providing evidence of a negative test result. The research findings from the first phase of pilots of the Event Research Programme will be published on GOV.UK shortly.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2021 to Question 2177, what physical evidence those attending the FA Cup Final in Wembley on 15 May 2021 were required to show to the NHS evidencing a negative covid-19 test result before they received their text or email granting them admission to that event; how the event organisers validated those results before attendees were admitted to the stadium; what records are held to confirm that all those who were granted entry had tested negative for covid-19; and how many people were not granted entry because they were not able to prove that they were covid-19 negative.

Admission of participants to Event Research Programme events—including the FA Cup final—is, and has been, subject to evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result for Covid-19, generally carried out in person at an Asymptomatic Test Site (ATS) either on the day, or on the day before, an event.

Following taking a test, participants receive a text or email from NHS Test and Trace which they need to present to staff at each event in order to gain entry. A negative LFD test result, taken within the timeframe specified, is required for entry, and results are validated by the event organisers before ticket-holders are admitted to the venue. Entry is denied to those that cannot provide evidence of a negative test result.

Pre-event communications inform attendees that ID checks can take place upon entry, and spot photo ID checks have taken place to check that names on negative tests match ID.

Event organisers only hold the standard data required for ticket purchasing and processing. The personal data that Government collects includes first name, last name, address, date of birth, postcode, and email address.

Event organisers send a list of all individuals who attend an event to Public Health England (PHE), using secure transfer methods. Attendee information—including an attendee’s self-reported name, date of birth, sex, and full address—is linked to NHS number, and the NHS number is then used to link to a testing dataset; this allows testing data to be obtained for the purposes of the research study conducted by PHE, more details of which can be found on GOV.UK. The aim of this study is to provide evidence on the feasibility of pre-event rapid antigen testing with LFDs in mitigating the risk of Covid-19 transmission amongst spectators, participants, or audiences.

Any positive tests are reported through NHS Test and Trace, with contact tracing undertaken to ascertain details of activity during the day of the event, including travel, seating, and activity at the venue.

Records are not kept of attendees who are denied entry to an event for not providing evidence of a negative test result. The research findings from the first phase of pilots of the Event Research Programme will be published on GOV.UK shortly.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many people have taken part in his Department’s covid-19 testing trials for the return to events with large numbers of people; where those trials took place; how many people were tested before each event; how were those people required to present the evidence of a negative covid-19 test before they were allowed access to events; what steps were taken to ensure that access was allowed only to those who could prove they had a negative covid-19 test; and how many people took part in post-event testing.

Over 80,000 people have taken part in the ERP’s first phase of events in total, covering:

  • FA Cup Semi Final, Wembley Stadium (18 April)

  • World Snooker Championship, Sheffield Crucible Theatre (17 April-3 May)

  • Carabao Cup Final (25 April)

  • ACC Business Event, Liverpool (28 April)

  • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool (30 April-1 May)

  • The Sefton Park Pilot, Liverpool (2 May)

  • BRIT Awards, London (11 May)

  • Mass Participation Run, Kempton (15 May)

  • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (15 May)

Public safety is our main priority and proof of a negative lateral flow test was required for entry to all these ERP events. Throughout the ticket purchase and consent form process, all attendees were informed and reminded of the negative Lateral Flow Test being a condition to entry. To aid research, participants are also requested to undertake a PCR test as close as possible to their attendance at an event, and again five days after attendance at an event. The scientific research teams are still collating the data on post-event testing.


The ERP’s research findings, including the independent scientific reports, will be published shortly.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many people attended the FA Cup Final in Wembley on 15 May 2021; and whether those people were required to (a) provide a negative Lateral Flow Test and (b) confirm their identity with photographic ID linked to a negative covid-19 test result before they were allowed access to the stadium.

The number of attendees at the FA Cup Final in Wembley on 15 May 2021 was 18,720 people.

Admission to the event was subject to evidence of a negative Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result for Covid-19. Participants receive a text or email address from NHS Test and Trace which they present to staff at each event in order to gain entry.

Results were then validated by the event organisers before ticket-holders were admitted to the venue. Pre-event communications stressed to attendees that ID checks would take place upon entry. Spot photo ID checks took place across all operating entrances to check that the name on the negative test matched the ID.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what additional covid-19 testing capacity will be provided to support the return of fans to Wembley Stadium; and if he will make a statement.

The Events Research Programme aims to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely. To achieve this, the programme will explore how a combination of testing and non-pharmaceutical interventions (actions that people can take to mitigate the spread of coronavirus) can inform decisions on safely lifting restrictions at events.

As part of the Events Research Programme, there will be three events taking place at Wembley Stadium: an FA Cup Semi Final, the FA Cup Final and the Carabao Cup final.

To test transmission of COVID-19 at the event itself and effectiveness of pre-event LFD testing in detecting those infected with COVID-19, participants will also be asked to provide a PCR test on the day of the event and a home PCR test five days after the event.

Testing will largely be delivered through the existing community testing network, with results validated by the event organisers before ticket-holders are admitted to the venue.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is planning to take to prevent the potential for fraudulent negative covid-19 test results being used by travelling football fans seeking to gain access to the Carabao cup final; and if he will make a statement.

All attendees will be asked to provide consent to enter the research programme, prior to being invited to attend the event. The consent will be specific to each event.

Our Science Board has agreed that testing will be required to take place both before and after the event in order to ensure event safety and to gather evidence on the pilots.

Attendees will take a LFD test at an assisted testing site within 24 hours before an event, as well as an at-home PCR test before the event which will be posted to attendees.

Participants will receive a text or email address from NHS Test and Trace which they will need to present to stewards upon entry to the stadium footprint. A negative test, taken within the timeframe specified, is required for entry. Results will be validated by the event organisers before ticket-holders are admitted to the venue.

Details of testing requirements have been published and are included in the initial consent document, to ensure those invited to attend ERP pilots are informed of testing procedures.

The ERP delivery team is working closely with the event operators, local Directors of Public Health, local authorities and police to ensure each pilot is conducted safely.

All events will be supported by highly capable safety teams and have the full support and buy-in from the relevant local authorities, police and Directors for Public Health.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department made of the effectiveness of the (a) National Citizen Service, (b) Scout Association and (c) cadets prior to deciding on funding allocations for those organisations; and if he will make a statement.

NCS has been subject to multiple independent evaluations that have consistently demonstrated the positive impacts that NCS delivers to both its participants and the communities where they live. In the most recent evaluation, conducted by Kantar, analysis showed for every £1 spent on NCS there was a return on investment of £3.49. Including increased leadership skills, volunteering levels and wellbeing.

The last funding provided directly from DCMS to uniformed youth groups (including the Scouts) came in the £5m, 2018/19 Uniformed Youth Fund (UYF), administered by the Youth United Foundation (YUF) and resulted in the creation of 10,892 new places for young people in disadvantaged areas and 1,643 new adult volunteers.

The Ministry of Defence is responsible for any funding allocations made to cadet groups, therefore DCMS has made no such assessment.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that (a) CCTV and (b) other measures taken in workplaces to keep workers safe are not used inappropriately to monitor employees; and if he will make a statement.

All organisations in the UK that process personal information must comply with the requirements of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and is responsible for providing advice and guidance on compliance with the UK’s data protection laws.

The ICO has published specific guidance for employers on the rules in relation to monitoring of employees. Section 3 of its Employment Practices Code deals with the monitoring of electronic communication, video and audio recordings: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1064/the_employment_practices_code.pdf.

Employees who have concerns about the way employers are using their data can contact the ICO’s helpline on 0303 123 1113 or their livechat at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/live-chat/ for further advice.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance his Department has issued to employers on the appropriate use of information accumulated from surveillance technology; and if he will make a statement.

All organisations in the UK that process personal information must comply with the requirements of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and is responsible for providing advice and guidance on compliance with the UK’s data protection laws.

The ICO has published specific guidance for employers on the rules in relation to monitoring of employees. Section 3 of its Employment Practices Code deals with the monitoring of electronic communication, video and audio recordings: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1064/the_employment_practices_code.pdf.

Employees who have concerns about the way employers are using their data can contact the ICO’s helpline on 0303 123 1113 or their livechat at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/live-chat/ for further advice.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of recent trends in the number of hauliers based in the UK on the UK music event supply sector; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sports recognises the leading position of the UK concert hauliers sector and its importance for the UK music sector.

We are aware that the new provisions in the TCA will require the sector to adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State.

Under the TCA, UK operators will be able to undertake up to two additional movements within the EU, with a maximum of 1 cabotage movement. We understand the impact these new arrangements will have on concert hauliers when seeking to tour in the EU.

We are committed to continuing to help the sectors understand and adapt to these changes. This issue is being looked at as part of the DCMS-led working group on creative and cultural touring, which involves sector representatives and other key government departments, including the Department for Transport.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of changes in the visa regime for UK nationals seeking to play paid music engagements in the EU from December 2020 to January 2021 will have on (a) the number of gigs played by UK musicians in the EU, (b) the ability of up and coming UK talent to play in EU and (c) the prevalence of UK music in the EU music landscape in the future; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the world-leading position of the UK music sector and the rich breadth of musical talent across the UK. According to UK Music’s 2020 report, the sector contributed £5.8bn GVA to the UK economy in 2019 and generated £2.9bn in export revenue.

The Government is committed to supporting the sector to maintain its world-leading position, and to help it recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic. We recognise that the new provisions in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) will require the sector to adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State. UK cultural professionals seeking to tour within the EU will be required to check domestic immigration and visitor rules for each Member State in which they intend to tour.

When travelling for tours, cultural professionals will need to take goods in and out of the EU, including musical instruments, technical equipment and merchandise. This is likely to involve additional import/export customs documentation, including ATA carnets.

For EU talent seeking to perform in the UK, our offer is more generous than many EU Member States, as UK domestic rules allow musicians, entertainers and artists (and their technical staff) from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, to perform visa-free in the UK.

We are committed to continuing to help the music sector understand and adapt to these changes. These issues are being looked at as part of the DCMS-led working group on creative and cultural touring, which involves sector representatives and other key government departments, to ensure the sector gets the clarity and support it needs.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of new carnet requirements for DJs and musicians taking their equipment to the EU on the number of European gigs that will be played by up-and-coming UK talent; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the world-leading position of the UK music sector and the rich breadth of musical talent across the UK. According to UK Music’s 2020 report, the sector contributed £5.8bn GVA to the UK economy in 2019 and generated £2.9bn in export revenue.

The Government is committed to supporting the sector to maintain its world-leading position, and to help it recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic. We recognise that the new provisions in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) will require the sector to adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State. UK cultural professionals seeking to tour within the EU will be required to check domestic immigration and visitor rules for each Member State in which they intend to tour.

When travelling for tours, cultural professionals will need to take goods in and out of the EU, including musical instruments, technical equipment and merchandise. This is likely to involve additional import/export customs documentation, including ATA carnets.

For EU talent seeking to perform in the UK, our offer is more generous than many EU Member States, as UK domestic rules allow musicians, entertainers and artists (and their technical staff) from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, to perform visa-free in the UK.

We are committed to continuing to help the music sector understand and adapt to these changes. These issues are being looked at as part of the DCMS-led working group on creative and cultural touring, which involves sector representatives and other key government departments, to ensure the sector gets the clarity and support it needs.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the UK's electronic scene and music venues are able to bring in EU talent at short notice for events and gigs; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the world-leading position of the UK music sector and the rich breadth of musical talent across the UK. According to UK Music’s 2020 report, the sector contributed £5.8bn GVA to the UK economy in 2019 and generated £2.9bn in export revenue.

The Government is committed to supporting the sector to maintain its world-leading position, and to help it recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic. We recognise that the new provisions in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) will require the sector to adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State. UK cultural professionals seeking to tour within the EU will be required to check domestic immigration and visitor rules for each Member State in which they intend to tour.

When travelling for tours, cultural professionals will need to take goods in and out of the EU, including musical instruments, technical equipment and merchandise. This is likely to involve additional import/export customs documentation, including ATA carnets.

For EU talent seeking to perform in the UK, our offer is more generous than many EU Member States, as UK domestic rules allow musicians, entertainers and artists (and their technical staff) from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, to perform visa-free in the UK.

We are committed to continuing to help the music sector understand and adapt to these changes. These issues are being looked at as part of the DCMS-led working group on creative and cultural touring, which involves sector representatives and other key government departments, to ensure the sector gets the clarity and support it needs.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support recorded and live music exports to the EU for DJs and other artists in the future; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises the world-leading position of the UK music sector and the rich breadth of musical talent across the UK. According to UK Music’s 2020 report, the sector contributed £5.8bn GVA to the UK economy in 2019 and generated £2.9bn in export revenue.

The Government is committed to supporting the sector to maintain its world-leading position, and to help it recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic. We recognise that the new provisions in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) will require the sector to adapt to new requirements and ways of working with the EU now we are no longer a Member State. UK cultural professionals seeking to tour within the EU will be required to check domestic immigration and visitor rules for each Member State in which they intend to tour.

When travelling for tours, cultural professionals will need to take goods in and out of the EU, including musical instruments, technical equipment and merchandise. This is likely to involve additional import/export customs documentation, including ATA carnets.

For EU talent seeking to perform in the UK, our offer is more generous than many EU Member States, as UK domestic rules allow musicians, entertainers and artists (and their technical staff) from non-visa national countries, such as EU Member States and the US, to perform visa-free in the UK.

We are committed to continuing to help the music sector understand and adapt to these changes. These issues are being looked at as part of the DCMS-led working group on creative and cultural touring, which involves sector representatives and other key government departments, to ensure the sector gets the clarity and support it needs.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on financial support for the Scouts through the covid-19 outbreak to ensure that they can continue providing (a) young people with life skills and (b) support to communities; and if he will make a statement.

Government recognises the important role that uniformed youth groups play in communities, which is why we recently announced the £16.5 million Youth Covid-19 Support Fund (YCSF) that will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. The YCSF opened on Friday 15 January 2021 and will remain open until 12 February. It will help to mitigate the impact of lost income during the winter period due to the coronavirus pandemic, and ensure services providing vital support can remain viable.

The Scout Association has also received £1 million through the £85 million Community Match Challenge, which is benefiting a number of youth organisations - including UK Youth and Girlguiding UK - heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

We don't currently offer a general payroll deduction service, but we keep our employee offer under review to ensure it continues to meet the needs of staff.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the (a) Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and (b) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential merits of permitting amateur and semi-professional sports clubs to continue to train outdoors throughout the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown period.

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. Therefore, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December indoor and outdoor leisure will need to close. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.

In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do, for a short period of time. As soon as we're in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

People are still allowed to leave their homes for exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own, or with one person from another household or support bubble. The difficulty is that, when you unpick one thing, the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial assistance he is providing to clubs in the (a) Spartan South Midlands Football League and (b) Southern Football League; if he will make a statement.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses throughout this period, including a comprehensive and sizable package of direct fiscal support for business through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. Many football clubs have benefited from these measures.

The Football Foundation has also provided financial support to grassroots clubs through its Matchday Support Fund, helping clubs to prepare for the resumption of football, as well as the safe return of supporters to stadiums where permitted. This investment follows the Foundation’s Pitch and Club Preparation Funds, which also saw grants for local clubs.

Importantly, under government guidance these clubs are able to admit spectators, whilst adhering to COVID-19 guidance, generating crucial revenue that is vital for their survival.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on (a) allocating capital grants to assist with the cost of (i) commercial rent, (ii) lease payments, (iii) insurance costs, (iv) business rates and (v) tax breaks, (b) longer mortgage holidays, (c) extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (d) extending the Self-employed Income Support Scheme for the creative industries supply chain; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers meet regularly with their Ministerial colleagues to discuss a variety of issues.

On 5 July, the government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside recovery grants, and a repayable finance option for the largest organisations, the package includes £120m of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), business rates relief, a reduction in VAT to 5% for tourism and hospitality firms for six months, and the Bounce Back Loan schemes in particular are providing support to organisations across the arts and creative industries sector.

Our world-beating creative industries are nothing without the people who work in them, and we are working hard to help provide financial support to freelancers in those sectors.

Arts Council England has made £95m available for individuals - which includes £75m in project grants to maximise employment opportunities, £18m in “Developing your Creative Practice” program, for individuals looking to develop new creative skills and £2m in benevolent funds to support the likes of stage managers and technicians.


Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will provide funding to local councils to coordinate community volunteering efforts during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement,.

DCMS is responsible for the voluntary, charity and social enterprise sector, which includes volunteering.

We recognise and appreciate how much local communities have contributed towards volunteering efforts during the covid-19 outbreak. We advise that all volunteers do not enter the homes of vulnerable people and can provide support by assisting with food shopping, collecting medication and staying in touch via social media. Further information can be found on GOV.UK in the volunteering safely guidance published last week.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has outlined the support available to local authorities on its website.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2021 to Question 168825 on Languages: GCE A-level and GCSE and with reference to the data in provided in the Other modern languages category for each of the years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, how many entries there were for pupils studying (a) Arabic, (b) Bengali, (c) Chinese, (d) Gujarati, (e) Japanese, (f) Punjabi, (g) Persian and (h) Urdu at A-level; and if he will make a statement.

The number of A level entries1 by students in England aged 16 to 182 in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Japanese, Punjabi, Persian and Urdu between 2015/16 – 2019/20 are provided in the table below:

Subject entries5

2015/163

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/204

Arabic

460

485

504

615

276

Bengali

34

38

23

28

7

Chinese

2445

2517

2816

1924

1402

Gujarati

9

11

11

10

6

Japanese

179

170

202

177

78

Persian

129

121

137

150

51

Punjabi

87

91

106

97

59

Urdu

317

325

341

339

188

1. Covers A level examination results for the academic year specified in England in all schools and colleges.

2. Covers students aged 16, 17 or 18 at the start of the relevant academic year, i.e. 31 August.

3. Final data; data for all other years is revised data except 2019/20

4. Provisional data; data for all other years is revised data except 2015/16

5. Where more than one A level is taken by a student in the same subject ‘discounting’ rules have been applied to ensure performance measures only give credit once for teaching a single course of study.

Note: the number of A level entries is influenced by the overall population of students at the end of 16 to 18 study, which was around 16,000 fewer in 2019/20 than 2018/19, or a decrease of 2.6%.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 23 March 2021 to Question 168825 on Languages: GCE A-level and GCSE and with reference to the data in provided in the Other modern languages category for each of the years from 2015-16 to 2019-20, how many entries there were for pupils studying (a) Arabic, (b) Bengali, (c) Chinese, (d) Gujarati, (e) Japanese, (f) Punjabi, (g) Persian and (h) Urdu at GCSE level; and if he will make a statement.

The number of GCSE entries[1] by pupils[2] in all schools in England at the end of Key Stage 4 in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Japanese, Punjabi, Persian and Urdu between 2015/16 – 2019/20[3] are provided in the table below:

Number of entries

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Arabic

3,481

3,575

3,870

2,443

2,965

Bengali

797

718

693

445

454

Chinese

3,575

3,654

3,629

2,190

2,774

Guajarati

617

503

542

431

144

Japanese

751

810

750

455

557

Persian

413

400

394

394

132

Punjabi

853

827

870

508

646

Urdu

4,005

3,797

3,800

3,038

3,317

[1] Covers GCSE level entries for the academic year specified in England in all schools. All schools include state-funded schools, independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision.

[2] Includes entries and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years and includes pupils who were absent, whose results are pending and results which are ungraded or unclassified.

[3] The latest year figures are revised, all other years are final.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many widowers of female teachers who belonged to the Teachers' Pension Scheme are receiving smaller survivor pensions than they would have received if they had been the widower of a male teacher; and what proportion of those widowers will receive improved survivor pensions following the Goodwin Tribunal; and if he will make a statement.

There are 12,852 widowers of female scheme members who are, or may be, receiving a pension lower than they would if they were the widower of a male member. All affected widowers have been identified and will have their benefits corrected, with arrears if appropriate, as soon as practicable. The scheme administrator will soon begin writing to widowers who are affected to notify them of the change.

A Written Ministerial Statement following the Goodwin Employment Tribunal case was made on 20 July 2020 by the Chief Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-07-20/hcws397.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many entries there were for exams in foreign languages at (a) GCSE and (b) A-level by each language in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

The number of pupils, in England[1][2], at the end of Key Stage 4, who entered into GCSE by each language between 2015/16 – 2019/20[3] are provided in the table attachment.

We know that employers value languages and they are increasingly important in realising the ambitions of Global Britain. We recently launched a consultation on reforming the GCSE in French, German, and Spanish to make it more accessible. Our £4.8 million pilot led by the National Centre for Excellence in Language Pedagogy at the University of York aims to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4, and to share best practice in pedagogy.

For A level results of all students aged 16-18 by foreign language subject please see table attachment. Note, the number of A level entries is influenced by the overall population of students at the end of 16 to 18 study, which was around 16,000 fewer in 2019/20 than 2018/19, or a decrease of 2.6%.

In addition, some of the decline in language entries in 2019/20 is due to private candidates, who make up a disproportionate number of entries in these subjects, not being able to get a Centre Assessment Grade.

[1] All schools include state-funded schools, independent schools, independent special schools, non-maintained special schools, hospital schools, pupil referral units and alternative provision.

[2] Includes entries and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years.

[3] Total number of entries include pupils who were absent, whose results are pending and results which are ungraded or unclassified.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 104028 on Primary Education: Harrow West, how much additional funding for unavoidable costs incurred during the covid-19 outbreak has been disbursed to (a) Hatch End School and (b) other schools in Harrow West; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has thoroughly assessed all claims to the COVID-19 exceptional costs fund where schools claimed for costs other than the standard categories set out in the guidance and have determined there were no additional categories of extraordinary costs that we are able to reimburse. As a result, the funding Hatch End School and other schools in Harrow West have received from the COVID-19 exceptional costs fund remains unchanged from the figures provided in my answer to Question 104028 here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-15/104028.

The Department has opened a second claims window for schools to claim from the fund for any costs that fell between March and July in the same approved categories, for which they did not claim during the first window. Information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/claiming-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19/exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19--2.

In addition to this, the Department has announced a new COVID-19 workforce fund for schools and colleges to help them to remain open. It will fund the costs of teacher absences over a threshold in schools and colleges with high staff absences that are also facing significant financial pressures. Guidance on the claims process will be published shortly so schools and colleges have confidence in the costs they can incur and be eligible to reclaim.

To support schools in making up for lost teaching time, there is a £1 billion catch up package for schools, which includes a universal £650 million ‘Catch Up Premium’. An initial payment of the premium (25% of the total) has been made to schools. Data published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-catch-up-premium-provisional-allocations shows that Hatch End School received £18,300 in the autumn payments, and schools in Harrow West received £280,920 in total.

Alongside this, the catch up package includes a National Tutoring Programme (NTP) which will provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged 5-16 year olds who need the most help to catch up. The programme has two pillars which can be accessed by schools. Firstly, schools will be able to access high quality, subsidised tuition from a selection of approved Tuition Partners. Schools can access information about Tuition Partners here: https://nationaltutoring.org.uk/ntp-tuition-partners. The second pillar supports schools in the most disadvantaged areas to employ in-house Academic Mentors who can provide small group and one-to-one tuition to selected pupils. If schools in Harrow West would like to check their eligibility and register their interest for a Mentor, they can do so here: https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/hire-academic-mentors. In addition to the 5-16 programme, the NTP will provide funding to support small group tuition for 16-19 years olds: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/16-to-19-funding-16-to-19-tuition-fund. The NTP will also provide funding to support an early language skills programme for reception-aged children: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/catch-up-premium-coronavirus-covid-19/the-reception-year-early-language-programme-neli.

The Department will continue to review the pressures schools are facing into next term and what further actions might be needed.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November to Question 106214 how many and what proportion of pupils in receipt of free school meals have been given laptops in each school in Harrow since March 2020.

As part of over £195 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care, over 340,000 laptops and tablets are being made available this term to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Year 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted.

This supplements over 220,000 laptops and tablets which have already been delivered during the summer term. This represents an injection of over 500,000 laptops and tablets by the end of the year.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts or local authorities who can lend these to children and young people who need them the most in the event that they experience disruption to face-to-face education due to COVID-19. In many cases, this will be children who are also eligible for free school meals.

Data about the number of laptops and tablets delivered and provided as of 27 August 2020 is published here, which includes those delivered to Harrow Council and trusts in the Harrow region: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912888/Devices_and_4G_wireless_routers_progress_data_as_of_27_August_2020.pdf.

Information on the devices provided this term to schools, local authorities and academy trusts, as of 23 October 2020, is published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/929064/Ad-hoc_stats_note_shipped_data_231020_FINAL.pdf.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 7 October 2020 to Question 96748, what recent estimate he has made of the number of disadvantaged (a) primary and (b) secondary school children (i) with and (ii) still without access to appropriate information technology equipment in their homes; and if he will make a statement.

The Government wants to do everything it can to support schools to deliver remote education. The Department has invested over £195 million to support remote education and access to online social care, delivering over 220,000 laptops and tablets during the summer term for disadvantaged children who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

The Department is adding to this support by making over 340,000 additional laptops and tablets available to support disadvantaged children that might face disruption to their education. Since September over 100,000 of these have been delivered to schools.

The Department has allocated a number of devices to each school. To arrive at this allocation, the Department used data on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals in each school. The Department expects that pupils’ device needs will be met to some extent by the device endowments of schools and colleges. The Department has used the British Educational Suppliers Association ICT 2019 survey data on the average number of laptops and tablets in primary and secondary schools.

Schools, local authorities and academy trusts are able to request additional devices if their original allocation from the Department does not meet their needs.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 2 October 2020 to Question 94998, how many people took (a) a GCSE and (b) an A-level qualification in the Hindi language in each year between 2009 and 2015.

Hindi is not currently offered at GCSE or A Level. The Department has no record of entries in Hindi at either GCSE or A level in the period 2009 to 2015.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much covid-19-related financial support Pinner Park School in Harrow has (a) applied for and (b) received from his Department; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much covid-19-related financial support Hatch End High School in Harrow has (a) applied for and (b) received from his Department; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each primary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the universal catch-up premium; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each secondary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the universal catch-up premium for schools; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each primary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the National Tutoring Programme; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each secondary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the National Tutoring Programme; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each primary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the additional funding for unavoidable costs incurred between March and July due to the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each secondary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the additional funding to schools to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March and July due to the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The attached table shows the claims submitted and payments made for COVID-19 related funding to date for Hatch End High School and primary and secondary schools in Harrow West constituency. The funding shown is from the COVID-19 exceptional costs schools fund and the COVID-19 catch-up premium.

The exceptional costs schools fund first claims window closed on 21 July for costs incurred between March to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets. The payment values in the table relate to those costs claimed within the published scope of the fund (additional cleaning costs arising from confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, additional premises costs related to opening during the Easter and summer half term holidays and free school meals costs incurred outside of the national voucher scheme). Where the claimed figure is higher than the payment, a claim will have been made which includes costs outside of the published scope of the fund. These claims are in the process of being assessed and we will inform schools of the outcome of this part of their claim later in the autumn term.

The COVID-19 catch-up premium does not operate on an application or claim basis but is a formulaic grant automatically paid to all eligible schools. The values represented in the attached table are the initial payments based on a proportion of an interim allocation calculated using the published rates and school census data from October 2019. The final allocations will be re-calculated once the October 2020 school census data is available and a further payment made in early 2021. The remaining allocation will be paid in a final instalment later in 2021.

There is no data in the attached table relating to the National Tutoring Programme (NTP). The NTP is not yet live and so we do not have any information about participants. We expect our first group of tutors to be working with schools from November, with provision ramping up into the spring term. The Department will announce a list of approved Tuition Partners in November. Schools will be able to approach these partners to access subsidised tuition. At the same time, will also be appointing our first wave of academic mentors, matching suitable candidates to schools that have expressed an interest in working with a mentor.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each primary school in Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the fund to support remote education; and if he will make a statement.

It is vital that students have access to high quality and consistent remote education. The Department believes that through the hard work of teachers and staff, pupils will continue to receive the education they deserve, whatever the circumstances.

The Department is providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March to July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets.

Schools have been eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who were not in school, where schools were not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

To support remote education, the Government has invested over £160 million to provide schools with laptops, tablets and connectivity, peer-to-peer support and digital learning platforms. This includes providing over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers during the summer term for disadvantaged children in Year 10, children receiving support from a social worker and care leavers.

Local authorities and academy trusts were allocated a number of devices based on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals. A breakdown of the number of devices delivered to each local authority and academy trust can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

The Department is now supplementing this support by making an additional 250,000 laptops and tablets available to schools in the event that face-to-face schooling is disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This Department is also working with the major telecommunications companies to improve internet connectivity for disadvantaged and vulnerable families who rely on a mobile internet connection.

The Government is funding expert technical support to help schools set up secure user accounts for Google and Microsoft’s education platforms. We are also investing £1.5 million of additional funding to expand the EdTech Demonstrator programme, which provides peer-to-peer support for schools and colleges.

New resources for staff, including a good practice guide and school-led webinars, will also be made available. This builds on the universal package already in place through the Oak National Academy, which provides video lessons across a broad range of subjects for every year group from Reception to Year 11. Children will have the flexibility to access free remote education in addition to their own school’s offer this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding each secondary school Harrow West constituency has (a) applied for and (b) received as part of the fund to support remote education; and if he will make a statement.

It is vital that students have access to high quality and consistent remote education. The Department believes that through the hard work of teachers and staff, pupils will continue to receive the education they deserve, whatever the circumstances.

The Department is providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March to July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets.

Schools have been eligible to claim for: increased premises related costs associated with keeping schools open over the Easter and summer half term holidays; support for free school meals for eligible children who were not in school, where schools were not using the national voucher scheme; and additional cleaning costs required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, over and above the cost of existing cleaning arrangements.

To support remote education, the Government has invested over £160 million to provide schools with laptops, tablets and connectivity, peer-to-peer support and digital learning platforms. This includes providing over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers during the summer term for disadvantaged children in Year 10, children receiving support from a social worker and care leavers.

Local authorities and academy trusts were allocated a number of devices based on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals. A breakdown of the number of devices delivered to each local authority and academy trust can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

The Department is now supplementing this support by making an additional 250,000 laptops and tablets available to schools in the event that face-to-face schooling is disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This Department is also working with the major telecommunications companies to improve internet connectivity for disadvantaged and vulnerable families who rely on a mobile internet connection.

The Government is funding expert technical support to help schools set up secure user accounts for Google and Microsoft’s education platforms. We are also investing £1.5 million of additional funding to expand the EdTech Demonstrator programme, which provides peer-to-peer support for schools and colleges.

New resources for staff, including a good practice guide and school-led webinars, will also be made available. This builds on the universal package already in place through the Oak National Academy, which provides video lessons across a broad range of subjects for every year group from Reception to Year 11. Children will have the flexibility to access free remote education in addition to their own school’s offer this year.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy for schools to be compensated for the full costs incurred from purchasing free school meal vouchers direct from a retailer other than Edenred; and if he will make a statement.

We are providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred between March to July due to the COVID-19 outbreak that could not be met from their budgets.

Schools have been eligible to claim for costs including support for free school meals for eligible children who were not in school, where schools were not using the national voucher scheme.

The first claims window for the fund closed on 21 July. All claims for funding within the published cost categories and up to the maximum limit have already been paid. We are assessing all other claims, which will be paid later in the autumn if approved.

There will be a further opportunity in the autumn for schools to claim for exceptional costs that fell between March to July, in the same approved categories as for the first window. Schools will be able to use this second window to claim for any costs in the approved categories, including for support for free school meals eligible children where not using the national voucher scheme, which they did not claim during the first window. Schools will also be able to claim in the autumn for costs relating to the summer holidays that are not covered by the COVID-19 Summer Food Fund.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) primary and (b) secondary school age children who do not have access to appropriate IT equipment at home; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has modelled schools’ requirements for support with laptops and tablets to enable pupils to learn at home in case of disruption to face to face education due to COVID-19. To do this, the Department has used data on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals in each school, alongside modelling how the device needs of pupils will be met to some extent by the device endowments of schools and colleges.

During the summer term, over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers had been delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts. This information can be viewed here:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/912888/Devices_and_4G_wireless_routers_progress_data_as_of_27_August_2020.pdf.

In addition to devices already held by schools, the Department has made a further 250,000 laptops and tablets available to support disadvantaged children during the autumn term. Schools will be able to lend the devices to children and reallocate them between pupils as they require.

Devices are available to schools to support the most disadvantaged pupils in year 3 to year 11 who would not otherwise have access to a device and whose face to face education is disrupted. Schools will also be able to support disadvantaged children across all year groups who might be shielding at home on official or medical advice due to one of their household being clinically extremely vulnerable. Where education is disrupted in hospital schools, they will be able to order devices for children in all year groups. Further education colleges registered to teach 14-16 year olds may also apply for devices for disadvantaged children in Key Stage 4.

Schools, local authorities and academy trusts are able to request additional devices if their original allocation by the Department does not meet their needs.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people took a (a) GCSE and (b) A-Level qualification in the Hindi language in each of the last five years.

Hindi has not been offered at GCSE or A level in the last five years.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools have dropped the teaching of one or more GCSE subjects in response to the situation caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

The majority of Key Stage 4 pupils are expected to continue to study all of their examination subjects. This is more likely to secure their preferred route to further study. Schools and academy trusts should not have a blanket policy of reducing the number of GCSEs being studied.

In exceptional circumstances, it may be in the best interest of a Year 11 pupil to discontinue an examined subject because the school judges that, for example, they would achieve significantly better in their remaining subjects as a result, especially in GCSE English and mathematics. School leaders are expected to make such decisions in discussion with pupils and parents, using the existing discretion that schools already apply on these matters.

During the autumn term, Ofsted inspectors will visit a sample of schools to have collaborative discussions with them, taking into account the curriculum expectation on the breadth of GCSE study.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary schools have dropped teaching of one or more foreign languages at GCSE in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance for the full opening of schools makes clear that, for pupils in Key Stage 3, the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including languages. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE, AS and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take examinations in languages, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

In exceptional circumstances, schools may consider it appropriate to suspend some subjects for some pupils to support catch up. Schools should be able to show that this is in the best the interests of these pupils and this should be subject to discussion with pupils and parents during the autumn term.

Since the introduction of the English Baccalaureate performance measure, the proportion of GCSE entries from pupils in state-funded schools in a modern foreign language (MFL) has increased from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2019. The Department is due to publish GCSE entry data for 2020 later this year.

The Government has every confidence that GCSE entry in MFL will continue to improve over the coming years. No specific discussions have taken place between Ministers with schools or university leaders on the take up of GCSEs in a MFL since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department are continuing to invest in a range of programmes to further increase uptake of languages at GCSE. Our £2.41 million MFL Pedagogy Pilot commenced in December 2018 and is designed to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4. In May 2020, the programme was extended to December 2021, receiving an additional £1.45 million funding.

A review into the subject content for GCSEs in MFLs was announced on 5 November 2019. The review will seek to align the subject content with the recommendations of the 2016 MFL Pedagogy Review, making languages more accessible at GCSE and encouraging more students to study a foreign language at A level and undergraduate level.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with (a) school and (b) university leaders on the effects of reduced numbers of students being offered a GCSE in a modern foreign language as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The guidance for the full opening of schools makes clear that, for pupils in Key Stage 3, the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including languages. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE, AS and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take examinations in languages, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

In exceptional circumstances, schools may consider it appropriate to suspend some subjects for some pupils to support catch up. Schools should be able to show that this is in the best the interests of these pupils and this should be subject to discussion with pupils and parents during the autumn term.

Since the introduction of the English Baccalaureate performance measure, the proportion of GCSE entries from pupils in state-funded schools in a modern foreign language (MFL) has increased from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2019. The Department is due to publish GCSE entry data for 2020 later this year.

The Government has every confidence that GCSE entry in MFL will continue to improve over the coming years. No specific discussions have taken place between Ministers with schools or university leaders on the take up of GCSEs in a MFL since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department are continuing to invest in a range of programmes to further increase uptake of languages at GCSE. Our £2.41 million MFL Pedagogy Pilot commenced in December 2018 and is designed to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4. In May 2020, the programme was extended to December 2021, receiving an additional £1.45 million funding.

A review into the subject content for GCSEs in MFLs was announced on 5 November 2019. The review will seek to align the subject content with the recommendations of the 2016 MFL Pedagogy Review, making languages more accessible at GCSE and encouraging more students to study a foreign language at A level and undergraduate level.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to increase the number of students who study a modern foreign language to (a) GCSE, (b) A-Level, and (c) undergraduate degree level.

The guidance for the full opening of schools makes clear that, for pupils in Key Stage 3, the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including languages. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE, AS and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take examinations in languages, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

In exceptional circumstances, schools may consider it appropriate to suspend some subjects for some pupils to support catch up. Schools should be able to show that this is in the best the interests of these pupils and this should be subject to discussion with pupils and parents during the autumn term.

Since the introduction of the English Baccalaureate performance measure, the proportion of GCSE entries from pupils in state-funded schools in a modern foreign language (MFL) has increased from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2019. The Department is due to publish GCSE entry data for 2020 later this year.

The Government has every confidence that GCSE entry in MFL will continue to improve over the coming years. No specific discussions have taken place between Ministers with schools or university leaders on the take up of GCSEs in a MFL since the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department are continuing to invest in a range of programmes to further increase uptake of languages at GCSE. Our £2.41 million MFL Pedagogy Pilot commenced in December 2018 and is designed to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4. In May 2020, the programme was extended to December 2021, receiving an additional £1.45 million funding.

A review into the subject content for GCSEs in MFLs was announced on 5 November 2019. The review will seek to align the subject content with the recommendations of the 2016 MFL Pedagogy Review, making languages more accessible at GCSE and encouraging more students to study a foreign language at A level and undergraduate level.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring that supply teachers that are employed through umbrella companies receive 80 per cent of their average wage, rather than 80 per cent of their basic pay, while furloughed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Officials at all levels are working collaboratively across Government to meet the extraordinary challenges of these unprecedented times.

Employers can claim for any regular payments they are obliged to pay their employees. This includes wages, past overtime, fees, and compulsory commission payments. However, discretionary bonus, commission, and non-cash payments, including tips, should be excluded.

Full guidance on how to calculate 80% of employees’ wages can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that health and social care workers are able to access childcare through schools when required; and if he will make a statement.

Schools are open for children of critical workers, including health and social care workers, to that they are able to access childcare while they play their vital role in our COVID-19 response.

The full list of critical workers eligible for a school place is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve access to education of refugees; and if he will make a statement.

Refugee children in the UK must be treated as UK residents for the purposes of admission to schools in England. The School Admissions Code contains provisions to ensure that refugee children are able to secure a suitable school place.

All schools are required to give highest priority in their admissions criteria to looked after children and previously looked after children. Unaccompanied refugee children are looked after children and will therefore have highest priority for admission.

Outside the normal admissions round, every local authority is required to have a Fair Access Protocol to ensure that unplaced children, especially the most vulnerable, which specifically includes refugees, are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 19 February 2020 to Question 620 on Food Poverty: Academic Year, what the combined value was of the bids received by his Department to provide free school meals during school holidays; and whether his Department received bids from organisations covering the London Borough of Harrow.

School summer holidays can be a difficult time for some families due to increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes. We have therefore announced £9 million of funding for the 2020 summer school holidays to again support children and their families with free access to holiday clubs across the country.

This follows our £9 million investment in 2019 which explored a model of local coordination of free holiday provision in 11 local authority areas.

We held a competitive bidding round for the summer 2020 fund which closed on 13 December. All bids will be assessed against our published criteria and applicants needed to demonstrate that they could coordinate high-quality holiday clubs for children across their areas.

The combined value of the bids received by the department in 2020 is £41,397,841.78 and no bids were received covering the London Borough of Harrow.

Successful bids will be announced in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of teacher vacancies in the subject areas of (a) foreign languages, (b) computing, (c) science and (d) economics; and if he will make a statement.

Information on the number of unfilled or temporarily filled teacher vacancies in state-funded secondary schools by subject area is shown in Table 15 of the publication, ‘School workforce in England: November 2018’, which is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-workforce-in-england-november-2018.

Information on vacancies by subject area is not available for other school phases.

The teacher vacancy rate continues to be low at 0.3%. However, there are no great schools without great teachers, and the Government wants to ensure that teaching remains an attractive and rewarding profession. In 2019, we launched the Department’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy to ensure that we have enough teachers to deliver excellent teaching for every child, particularly as the economy improves, pupil numbers grow and the demand for talented graduates increases.

The Recruitment and Retention Strategy sets out our priorities to attract and retain the most talented and able teachers in the profession. This includes transforming support for early career teachers through the Early Career Framework, backed by up to £130 million in funding once fully rolled out. Early career teachers will experience improved support across their first two years of teaching once the Early Career Framework is rolled out nationally from September 2021.

The strategy sets out how the Department is developing clearer career pathways for teachers, is taking steps to support flexible working, and is helping school leaders establish more supportive school cultures with a new Ofsted framework designed to reduce teacher workload. We will also make it easier for great people to join the profession, through introducing a new one-stop application system.

In 2019, the Department launched the Teaching Vacancies service to make it easier for schools to promote vacancies. The Teaching Vacancies website is now available for all publicly funded schools in England to use. Over two-thirds of publicly funded schools in England have signed up to use this free, online service.

Last autumn, the Government set out plans to raise teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000 by September 2022, ensuring that the teacher pay offer is positioned at the top of the graduate labour market.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of vacancies for permanent science and maths teachers at high schools in London; what steps he is taking to fill those vacancies; and if he will make a statement.

The Department’s latest statistics show that in London in 2018, there were 87 unfilled or temporarily filled full-time classroom teacher vacancies in science (including biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, general science and other science) and 55 full-time classroom teacher vacancies in mathematics. This is a 15% decrease in the number of vacancies in science and an 11% decrease in the number of vacancies in mathematics compared to 2017.

It is a top priority of the Department to ensure there are excellent teachers for every child which is why we launched the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy last year. We understand the challenge of filling vacancies is not just of recruitment, but it is also of retaining the teachers we do have. The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy includes the biggest teaching reform in a generation, the Early Career Framework (ECF). The ECF provides new teachers across all subjects with the solid foundations for a successful career in teaching, backed by £130 million a year in funding when fully rolled out in 2021.

As the economy improves, we know that the demand for talented graduates increases. To put teaching on a par with the top graduate professions, we have committed to plans to raise starting salaries for new teachers to £30,000 by 2022-23.

The Department understands that recruitment and retention challenges are more pronounced in some subjects than others, which is why we have targeted initiatives aiming to improve recruitment and retention in our priority subjects – including physics, chemistry, biology, computing and mathematics.

We have announced tax-free bursaries of £26,000 for physics, chemistry, biology, computing and mathematics trainees with a 2:2 or higher starting their teacher training 2020-21. Teachers in physics, chemistry and mathematics will also receive three early-career payments totalling £6,000 spread across years two, three and four of teaching.

The Department is also offering prestigious scholarship schemes to those starting their teacher training in 2020-21 for priority subjects including mathematics, physics, chemistry and computing. These scholarships are delivered in partnership with professional bodies and successful scholars will receive a bursary of £28,000 tax-free, as well as the same early-career payments as those who receive a bursary. All successful scholars will also receive a package of support provided by the professional bodies including free membership, resources and early career support.

In addition to this, the Department has set aside £30 million in tailored support for schools struggling with teacher recruitment and retention. This support is designed to help schools improve existing recruitment and retention plans, join national programmes, build local partnerships or fund new initiatives. 27 schools in London are currently receiving this support.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of Export Health Certificates to be used in total for 2021; and if he will make a statement.

Estimates of the total number of Export Health Certificates (EHC) required following the end of the Transition Period, indicated that up to 300k additional EHCs would be needed for GB-EU trade, and up to 480k per annum when GB-NI and GB-Rest of World Trade were included.

From 01 Jan 2021 to 25 May, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has issued in the region of 71k EHCs for GB-EU trade and in the region of 88k in total. For the same period there were c.11k certificates issued for GB-NI.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the (a) income, (b) expenditure and (c) grant income of the Animal and Plant Health Agency for the 2021-22 financial year; and if he will make a statement.

The budgeted income, expenditure and grant income for APHA is as follows:

Estimate (£m)

2021/22

a) Operating Income

76

b) Operating Expenditure

289

c) Grant Income

0

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the (a) the income, (b) expenditure and (c) grant income was for the Animal and Plant Health Agency in each of the last five financial years; and if he will make a statement.

The income, expenditure and grant income for APHA is as follows:

Actuals (£m)

2020/21

2019/20

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

a) Operating Income

64

72

72

74

62

b) Operating Expenditure

263

248

245

227

217

c) Grant Income

0

0

0

0

0

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to disincentivise the production, sale and use of single-use plastics; and if he will make a statement.

It is illegal under retained EU law to export UK waste for disposal to countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Area. Individuals and businesses found to be exporting waste in contravention of the requirements of the UK legislation can face a two-year jail term and an unlimited fine. In addition, the export of UK waste for disposal to EU/ EFTA countries is generally prohibited, save for the strictly limited exceptions which are laid out in the UK Plan for Shipments of Waste. Proposed updates to the Plan were consulted upon earlier this year and the revised UK Plan will be published next month. The UK Government is committed to banning the export of plastic waste for recycling to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Government will consult on this measure and work is underway to make this happen.

The UK environmental regulators take a pro-active, intelligence led approach to checking compliance with the legislation on waste shipments, targeting exports which pose a high risk and intervening to stop illegal exports taking place. In 2019-20 the Environment Agency (EA) stopped 1,889 containers at ports and intervened at waste loading sites, preventing the illegal export of 463 containers comprising 22,688 tonnes of waste.

In addition, the regulators undertake rigorous checks to ensure businesses accredited as exporters of packaging waste under the Packaging Waste Regulations comply with their conditions of accreditation, this includes verifying evidence that exported waste is recycled. Conditions of accreditation have been tightened to require an exporter to provide the EA with full details of the final overseas reprocessing sites receiving packaging waste it exports and to provide access to export documentation to prove that the material reached or was accepted by these overseas reprocessing sites. In 2020 the EA cancelled the accreditation of 4 exporters and suspended 7 accreditations Government is consulting currently on reforms to the packaging producer responsibility system which includes proposals for new requirements on those exporting packaging waste for recycling.

We are also taking action to reduce the volume of waste generated in the first place. The Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) for England, published in December 2018, sets out the Government’s plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the life of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - which is why we have committed to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. We also committed to introducing electronic waste tracking to help us understand where waste is within the system. That will help to tackle illegal movements and misdescription of waste.

We have made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and have significantly reduced the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarket retailers by 95% with our 5p charge. The charge increased to 10p and was extended to all businesses on 21 May 2021. In October 2020, we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and/ or materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products, including problematic packaging materials. Furthermore, from April 2022, plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content will be subject to a tax of £200/tonne. Further details on the development of this tax can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-plastic-packaging-tax/plastic-packaging-tax#detailed-proposal.

Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and implement proposals from the Resources and Waste Strategy. The Bill includes powers to create extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes; introduce deposit return schemes (DRS); establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Our approach is focused on encouraging greater uptake of reusable alternatives and increasing supply and demand for secondary materials to be recycled in the UK. We have set new targets for plastic packaging to be recycled (to 2023) and we are currently consulting on a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for packaging, and our proposals for greater consistency in household and business recycling.

Statistics on Plastic Packaging Data (tonnes)

Total placed on the market (PoM)

Total recycling

UK recycling

Export

% Exported

2019

2,472,317

1,141,316

447,078

690,631

61%

2018

2,361,000

1,034,410

384,848

649,562

63%

2017

2,260,000

1,044,363

358,467

685,896

66%

2016

2,260,000

1,015,226

330,731

684,495

67%

2015

2,260,000

891,141

327,591

563,550

63%

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to reduce the amount of UK plastic waste that is exported for disposal; and if he will make a statement.

It is illegal under retained EU law to export UK waste for disposal to countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Area. Individuals and businesses found to be exporting waste in contravention of the requirements of the UK legislation can face a two-year jail term and an unlimited fine. In addition, the export of UK waste for disposal to EU/ EFTA countries is generally prohibited, save for the strictly limited exceptions which are laid out in the UK Plan for Shipments of Waste. Proposed updates to the Plan were consulted upon earlier this year and the revised UK Plan will be published next month. The UK Government is committed to banning the export of plastic waste for recycling to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Government will consult on this measure and work is underway to make this happen.

The UK environmental regulators take a pro-active, intelligence led approach to checking compliance with the legislation on waste shipments, targeting exports which pose a high risk and intervening to stop illegal exports taking place. In 2019-20 the Environment Agency (EA) stopped 1,889 containers at ports and intervened at waste loading sites, preventing the illegal export of 463 containers comprising 22,688 tonnes of waste.

In addition, the regulators undertake rigorous checks to ensure businesses accredited as exporters of packaging waste under the Packaging Waste Regulations comply with their conditions of accreditation, this includes verifying evidence that exported waste is recycled. Conditions of accreditation have been tightened to require an exporter to provide the EA with full details of the final overseas reprocessing sites receiving packaging waste it exports and to provide access to export documentation to prove that the material reached or was accepted by these overseas reprocessing sites. In 2020 the EA cancelled the accreditation of 4 exporters and suspended 7 accreditations Government is consulting currently on reforms to the packaging producer responsibility system which includes proposals for new requirements on those exporting packaging waste for recycling.

We are also taking action to reduce the volume of waste generated in the first place. The Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) for England, published in December 2018, sets out the Government’s plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the life of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - which is why we have committed to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. We also committed to introducing electronic waste tracking to help us understand where waste is within the system. That will help to tackle illegal movements and misdescription of waste.

We have made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and have significantly reduced the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarket retailers by 95% with our 5p charge. The charge increased to 10p and was extended to all businesses on 21 May 2021. In October 2020, we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and/ or materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products, including problematic packaging materials. Furthermore, from April 2022, plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content will be subject to a tax of £200/tonne. Further details on the development of this tax can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-plastic-packaging-tax/plastic-packaging-tax#detailed-proposal.

Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and implement proposals from the Resources and Waste Strategy. The Bill includes powers to create extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes; introduce deposit return schemes (DRS); establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Our approach is focused on encouraging greater uptake of reusable alternatives and increasing supply and demand for secondary materials to be recycled in the UK. We have set new targets for plastic packaging to be recycled (to 2023) and we are currently consulting on a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for packaging, and our proposals for greater consistency in household and business recycling.

Statistics on Plastic Packaging Data (tonnes)

Total placed on the market (PoM)

Total recycling

UK recycling

Export

% Exported

2019

2,472,317

1,141,316

447,078

690,631

61%

2018

2,361,000

1,034,410

384,848

649,562

63%

2017

2,260,000

1,044,363

358,467

685,896

66%

2016

2,260,000

1,015,226

330,731

684,495

67%

2015

2,260,000

891,141

327,591

563,550

63%

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of plastic packaging used in the UK has been exported in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

It is illegal under retained EU law to export UK waste for disposal to countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Area. Individuals and businesses found to be exporting waste in contravention of the requirements of the UK legislation can face a two-year jail term and an unlimited fine. In addition, the export of UK waste for disposal to EU/ EFTA countries is generally prohibited, save for the strictly limited exceptions which are laid out in the UK Plan for Shipments of Waste. Proposed updates to the Plan were consulted upon earlier this year and the revised UK Plan will be published next month. The UK Government is committed to banning the export of plastic waste for recycling to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Government will consult on this measure and work is underway to make this happen.

The UK environmental regulators take a pro-active, intelligence led approach to checking compliance with the legislation on waste shipments, targeting exports which pose a high risk and intervening to stop illegal exports taking place. In 2019-20 the Environment Agency (EA) stopped 1,889 containers at ports and intervened at waste loading sites, preventing the illegal export of 463 containers comprising 22,688 tonnes of waste.

In addition, the regulators undertake rigorous checks to ensure businesses accredited as exporters of packaging waste under the Packaging Waste Regulations comply with their conditions of accreditation, this includes verifying evidence that exported waste is recycled. Conditions of accreditation have been tightened to require an exporter to provide the EA with full details of the final overseas reprocessing sites receiving packaging waste it exports and to provide access to export documentation to prove that the material reached or was accepted by these overseas reprocessing sites. In 2020 the EA cancelled the accreditation of 4 exporters and suspended 7 accreditations Government is consulting currently on reforms to the packaging producer responsibility system which includes proposals for new requirements on those exporting packaging waste for recycling.

We are also taking action to reduce the volume of waste generated in the first place. The Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) for England, published in December 2018, sets out the Government’s plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the life of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - which is why we have committed to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. We also committed to introducing electronic waste tracking to help us understand where waste is within the system. That will help to tackle illegal movements and misdescription of waste.

We have made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and have significantly reduced the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarket retailers by 95% with our 5p charge. The charge increased to 10p and was extended to all businesses on 21 May 2021. In October 2020, we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and/ or materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products, including problematic packaging materials. Furthermore, from April 2022, plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content will be subject to a tax of £200/tonne. Further details on the development of this tax can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-plastic-packaging-tax/plastic-packaging-tax#detailed-proposal.

Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and implement proposals from the Resources and Waste Strategy. The Bill includes powers to create extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes; introduce deposit return schemes (DRS); establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Our approach is focused on encouraging greater uptake of reusable alternatives and increasing supply and demand for secondary materials to be recycled in the UK. We have set new targets for plastic packaging to be recycled (to 2023) and we are currently consulting on a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for packaging, and our proposals for greater consistency in household and business recycling.

Statistics on Plastic Packaging Data (tonnes)

Total placed on the market (PoM)

Total recycling

UK recycling

Export

% Exported

2019

2,472,317

1,141,316

447,078

690,631

61%

2018

2,361,000

1,034,410

384,848

649,562

63%

2017

2,260,000

1,044,363

358,467

685,896

66%

2016

2,260,000

1,015,226

330,731

684,495

67%

2015

2,260,000

891,141

327,591

563,550

63%

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of plastic packaging used in the UK has been recycled in the UK in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

It is illegal under retained EU law to export UK waste for disposal to countries outside the European Union and the European Free Trade Area. Individuals and businesses found to be exporting waste in contravention of the requirements of the UK legislation can face a two-year jail term and an unlimited fine. In addition, the export of UK waste for disposal to EU/ EFTA countries is generally prohibited, save for the strictly limited exceptions which are laid out in the UK Plan for Shipments of Waste. Proposed updates to the Plan were consulted upon earlier this year and the revised UK Plan will be published next month. The UK Government is committed to banning the export of plastic waste for recycling to countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Government will consult on this measure and work is underway to make this happen.

The UK environmental regulators take a pro-active, intelligence led approach to checking compliance with the legislation on waste shipments, targeting exports which pose a high risk and intervening to stop illegal exports taking place. In 2019-20 the Environment Agency (EA) stopped 1,889 containers at ports and intervened at waste loading sites, preventing the illegal export of 463 containers comprising 22,688 tonnes of waste.

In addition, the regulators undertake rigorous checks to ensure businesses accredited as exporters of packaging waste under the Packaging Waste Regulations comply with their conditions of accreditation, this includes verifying evidence that exported waste is recycled. Conditions of accreditation have been tightened to require an exporter to provide the EA with full details of the final overseas reprocessing sites receiving packaging waste it exports and to provide access to export documentation to prove that the material reached or was accepted by these overseas reprocessing sites. In 2020 the EA cancelled the accreditation of 4 exporters and suspended 7 accreditations Government is consulting currently on reforms to the packaging producer responsibility system which includes proposals for new requirements on those exporting packaging waste for recycling.

We are also taking action to reduce the volume of waste generated in the first place. The Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) for England, published in December 2018, sets out the Government’s plans to reduce, reuse, and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the life of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - which is why we have committed to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. We also committed to introducing electronic waste tracking to help us understand where waste is within the system. That will help to tackle illegal movements and misdescription of waste.

We have made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and have significantly reduced the use of single-use carrier bags by the main supermarket retailers by 95% with our 5p charge. The charge increased to 10p and was extended to all businesses on 21 May 2021. In October 2020, we introduced measures to restrict the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. We will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and/ or materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products, including problematic packaging materials. Furthermore, from April 2022, plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content will be subject to a tax of £200/tonne. Further details on the development of this tax can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/introduction-of-plastic-packaging-tax/plastic-packaging-tax#detailed-proposal.

Our Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and implement proposals from the Resources and Waste Strategy. The Bill includes powers to create extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes; introduce deposit return schemes (DRS); establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Our approach is focused on encouraging greater uptake of reusable alternatives and increasing supply and demand for secondary materials to be recycled in the UK. We have set new targets for plastic packaging to be recycled (to 2023) and we are currently consulting on a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme for packaging, and our proposals for greater consistency in household and business recycling.

Statistics on Plastic Packaging Data (tonnes)

Total placed on the market (PoM)

Total recycling

UK recycling

Export

% Exported

2019

2,472,317

1,141,316

447,078

690,631

61%

2018

2,361,000

1,034,410

384,848

649,562

63%

2017

2,260,000

1,044,363

358,467

685,896

66%

2016

2,260,000

1,015,226

330,731

684,495

67%

2015

2,260,000

891,141

327,591

563,550

63%

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of official (a) vets and (b) inspectors available to certify export health certificates; and if he will make a statement.

The numbers of Official Veterinarians (OVs) authorised to carry out export certification under each Official Control Qualification (Veterinary) (OCQ(V)), as recorded by the Animal and Plant Health Agency on 19/05/21, are listed below. Note that an OV must hold the relevant OCQ to carry out export health certification for a particular commodity type, and that OVs may hold more than one qualification.

Course

England

Wales

Scotland

Total

AX - Avian Exports

155

6

34

195

CA - Companion Animals

6257

458

648

7363

EQ - Equine Exports

509

21

21

551

EX - Exports General

212

29

41

282

FA - Farm Animal Exports

8

0

2

10

GX - Germinal Products Exports

100

8

12

120

PX - Product Exports

1518

176

224

1918

SX - Small Animal Exports

331

40

83

454

UX - Ungulate Exports

584

89

161

834

There are also 1505 Food Competent Certifying Officers working across Local Authorities who can certify some exports and therefore contribute towards certification capacity.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the potential effect on sales of organic goods of EU requirements for proof of compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary rules after 1 January 2020; and if he will make a statement.

EU requirements for proof of compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary rules after 1 January 2020 affect all products regardless of whether they are organic or not. All organic imports from third countries, except from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, must be accompanied by a GB Certificate of Inspection (COI) from 1 January 2021.

Organic imports from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland will need to be accompanied by a GB COI from 1 July 2021. We are implementing this phased approach for COIs from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland to provide additional time for ports to adjust to the new GB organic import process from 1 January 2021. This decision is in line with a number of other phased approaches designed to simplify import procedures in the short term.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of securing an equivalency agreement with the EU for sales of organic food and drink products into (a) Northern Ireland and (b) the EU from 1 January 2021; and if she will make a statement.

On 2 December 2020, the European Commission confirmed that the UK’s six organic control bodies will be recognised as equivalent for the purpose of trade in organics. It will allow British businesses to export organic food, drink, ingredients and feed to Northern Ireland and the EU until 31 December 2021.

On 12 October, Defra notified the European Commission of its intention to recognise the EU as equivalent for the purpose of trade in organics until 31 December 2021. These arrangements will allow EU and British consumers to continue to have access to the wide choice of organic food they currently enjoy, and British businesses will be able to continue to produce the high quality organic foods for which we are internationally renowned.

While this is a temporary solution, we remain of the view that a bilateral organics equivalence agreement is the best basis for our future organics trading relationship with the EU.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

Defra does not currently have the facility for employees to join a credit union through payroll deductions. Staff can make arrangements to contribute to a credit union via direct debit.

The department is currently investigating options for updating the employee benefits offer for staff, including the potential for payroll deducted savings and affordable borrowing through credit unions.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the environmental damage caused by fast fashion; and if he will make a statement.

In line with the Resources and Waste Strategy for England (2018) we are taking a range of actions to tackle environmental damage and promote greater circularity in the fashion and textiles sector.

Through the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) we are supporting an industry-led voluntary agreement - the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) 2020. This has seen SCAP signatories reduce their water and carbon footprints by 18.1% and 13.4% respectively per tonne of clothing between 2012 and 2018. Work is currently underway to develop an ambitious new phase of the voluntary agreement for the future, focussed on enhancing the circularity of the sector.

We have committed to consult on extended producer responsibility and other policy measures for five priority waste streams, including textiles, by 2025, with two of these to be completed by 2022. We are also exploring regulatory requirements on product design and consumer information in order to support durable, repairable, and recyclable clothing and textiles. The Environment Bill includes clauses that will enable resource efficient product design and information requirements to be set through secondary legislation.

In addition, 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.

Our detailed plans to promote sustainable practices in the textiles sector will be included in a new Waste Prevention Programme, to be published for comment in the next few months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to take steps to help prevent single use personal protective equipment from (a) polluting the sea and (b) affecting marine life; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is taking a number of steps to tackle marine litter. The Government has introduced a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, and the supply of cotton buds, stirrers and plastic straws (with some exemptions). The Government’s 5p plastic carrier bag charge has significantly reduced the use of these bags by 95% in the main supermarket retailers, and we have decided to increase the minimum charge to 10p and extend it to all retailers. The Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in December 2018, sets out our plans to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, working towards our 25 Year Environment Plan target to reduce all types of marine plastic pollution.

Marine litter is a transboundary issue that requires international cooperation. In 2018, the UK launched the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance (CCOA) alongside Vanuatu, now a community of 34 member states who have pledged action on reducing plastic pollution in the ocean. A number of programmes worth up to £70 million in total have been set up across Government to support the CCOA's ambitions. The UK has committed to establishing a £500 million Blue Planet Fund, resourced from the UK's Official Development Assistance budget, that will help eligible countries protect their marine resources from key human-generated threats, including marine pollution.

The Government has published guidance on the disposal of face coverings and other PPE during the coronavirus pandemic. This is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste. We have also been circulating these messages widely on social media and urging people to not recycle or litter used PPE and instead to put it in the normal waste bin.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government is taking steps to encourage manufacturers to (a) reduce and (b) end use of palm oil in their products; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to tackling deforestation and supporting sustainable supply chains.

Oil palm is a very efficient crop, producing more oil per hectare than other vegetable oil crops, so we do not believe that encouraging manufacturers to end use of palm oil is the right approach. Encouraging companies to end their use of palm oil would encourage substitution with other oils (e.g. soybean, rapeseed, sunflower) which typically require significantly more land to produce, and may lead to greater deforestation, as more land is converted to agricultural use. According to a 2016 WWF report, palm oil replacements shift the problem and may make things worse.

However, the Government is strongly committed to achieving sustainably sourced palm oil, and we are working with the private sector and non-governmental organisations to create a UK market for sustainably sourced palm oil and reduce the environmental impact of palm oil production overseas. This approach has been successful in reducing the amount of unsustainably sourced palm oil imported to the UK. The UK’s latest progress report shows that we achieved 77% certified sustainable palm oil in 2018, up from 16% in 2010.

The Government has also consulted on the introduction of a new law to make sure businesses are not using products grown on illegally deforested land, helping to tackle climate change and prevent biodiversity loss. Our proposal would make it illegal for larger businesses to use forest risk commodities that have not been produced in accordance with relevant local laws, and they would need to take steps (undertake due diligence) to show that they have taken proportionate action to ensure this is the case. We believe this approach would facilitate partnership with producer countries around the world to uphold forest laws, supporting a greener, more resilient and inclusive global recovery. This is just one of the measures that the Government is considering in response to the findings of the Global Resource Initiative which reported in March 2020. The ‘due diligence’ consultation closed on 5 October 2020, and we will publish a response to it within 12 weeks on gov.uk summarising the feedback that we have received.

As one of over 75 nations to sign up to the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2020, the UK is driving action internationally as well as domestically. We will also champion sustainable supply chains as hosts of the international climate conference ‘COP26’ in 2021, and we are a signatory to the Amsterdam Declarations Partnership which aims to reverse forest loss by strengthening the protection of intact forests and supporting large scale forest restoration.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to restrict the use of pesticides by farmers; and if he will make a statement.

A strict system is in place in the UK for regulating pesticides to ensure that they will not harm people or pose unacceptable risks to the environment. A pesticide may only be placed on the market if the product has been authorised by our expert regulator, the Health and Safety Executive, following a thorough risk assessment. Pesticides that pose unacceptable risks are not authorised.

This strict, science-based regulation is supplemented with policies to encourage safe and minimal use. The 25 Year Environment Plan promotes reducing reliance on chemical methods of pest control over time. Our approach to this will be set out in the revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides which we will be consulting on later in the year. Encouraging the development and uptake of Integrated Pest Management, which is about designing farming systems to minimise the need for pesticides and to make use of alternative approaches, is central to the Plan.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of levels of air pollution in areas surrounding schools in (a) Harrow West and (b) London; and if he will make a statement.

The Mayor of London is responsible for air quality in the capital and has reserve powers under the 1995 Environment Act to enable this.

Local authorities are required to review and assess local air quality and to take action where there are high levels of air pollution. Local authorities have discretionary powers to restrict car access to schools and enforce anti-idling laws outside schools.

The Government’s Air Quality Grant Programme provides funding to local authorities for projects in local communities to tackle air pollution and reduce emissions which may include action targeting schools. The Government has awarded over £64 million in funding since the air quality grant started in 1997.

The Government has put in place a £3.8 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions. Our Clean Air Strategy sets out measures we are taking to improve air quality and reduce emissions of pollution, improving public health.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to encourage the public use of reusable face coverings to reduce the potential effect of disposable single-use personal protective equipment on the environment; and if he will make a statement.

While our priority is rightly to protect public health during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this does not dilute our existing commitment to tackling single-use plastics.

We have published guidance on the GOV.UK website on how to correctly dispose of waste during the coronavirus pandemic and how to make, wash and reuse cloth face coverings to prevent and reduce waste. This guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering

We have also been circulating these messages widely on social media and urging people not to recycle or litter used PPE and instead to put it in the normal waste bin. We recently released a video highlighting the issue of improperly discarded face coverings and gloves, which encourages people to consider wearing a reusable face covering. This can be found at:

https://twitter.com/DefraGovUK/status/1309045391724351489

We remain committed to eliminating avoidable plastic waste and delivering the manifesto commitment to be a world leader on tackling plastic pollution.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to encourage a more circular fashion and textile industry; and if he will make a statement.

In line with the Resources and Waste Strategy for England (2018) we are taking a range of actions to tackle environmental damage and promote greater circularity in the fashion and textiles sector.

Through the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) we are supporting an industry-led voluntary agreement - the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) 2020. This has seen SCAP signatories reduce their water and carbon footprints by 18.1% and 13.4% respectively per tonne of clothing between 2012 and 2018. Work is currently underway to develop an ambitious new phase of the voluntary agreement for the future, focussed on enhancing the circularity of the sector.

We have committed to consult on extended producer responsibility and other policy measures for five priority waste streams, including textiles, by 2025, with two of these to be completed by 2022. We are also exploring regulatory requirements on product design and consumer information in order to support durable, repairable, and recyclable clothing and textiles. The Environment Bill includes clauses that will enable resource efficient product design and information requirements to be set through secondary legislation.

In addition, 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.

Our detailed plans to promote sustainable practices in the textiles sector will be included in a new Waste Prevention Programme, to be published for comment in the next few months.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what further steps his Department will take to prevent the decline in the bee population after the end of the transition period; and if he will make a statement.

Protecting pollinators is a priority for this Government. The National Pollinator Strategy is a 10-year plan published in November 2014, developed after a thorough review of the evidence base and wide consultation. It sets out how Government, conservation groups, farmers, beekeepers and researchers can work together to improve the status of pollinating insect species in England.

In 2019, alongside our research partners, we updated the evidence base supporting our action. We are therefore confident that we are focusing on the key risks to insect populations, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, inappropriate pesticide use, pests and disease and climate change.

Our Agriculture Bill introduces an ambitious new land management scheme, based on the principle of “public money for public goods”, which will allow us to reward farmers and land managers who protect our environment. The scheme will provide a powerful vehicle for achieving biodiversity and other natural environment goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan, including to improve the overall status of species groups such as pollinators. Our existing agri-environment scheme packages include measures to support pollinators, which have proved popular. We are looking to build on this popularity in the design of our new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme so that many more farmers and land managers can take positive action for pollinators and other farm wildlife.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many trees have been planted under the Urban Tree Challenge Fund (a) nationally and (b) in Harrow West constituency to date; and if he will make a statement.

To date 18,717 Government-funded trees have been planted under the Urban Tree Challenge Fund nationally, of which 93 trees have been planted in the Harrow West constituency.

The planting of a further 160,130 trees is planned under the Urban Tree Challenge Fund nationally by the end of March 2021, of which 54 are planned to be planted in the Harrow West constituency. Some may be planted by charities or private organisations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce use of single use plastics; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran on 8 October 2020, PQ UIN 99014.

[questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-10-05/99014]

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to take steps to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the sea; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is taking a number of steps to tackle marine litter. The Government has introduced a ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, and the supply of cotton buds, stirrers and plastic straws (with some exemptions). The Government’s 5p plastic carrier bag charge has significantly reduced the use of these bags by 95% in the main supermarket retailers, and we have decided to increase the minimum charge to 10p and extend it to all retailers. The Resources and Waste Strategy for England, published in December 2018, sets out our plans to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste, working towards our 25 Year Environment Plan target to reduce all types of marine plastic pollution.

Marine litter is a transboundary issue that requires international cooperation. In 2018, the UK launched the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance (CCOA) alongside Vanuatu, now a community of 34 member states who have pledged action on reducing plastic pollution in the ocean. A number of programmes worth up to £70 million in total have been set up across Government to support the CCOA's ambitions. The UK has committed to establishing a £500 million Blue Planet Fund, resourced from the UK's Official Development Assistance budget, that will help eligible countries protect their marine resources from key human-generated threats, including marine pollution.

The Government has published guidance on the disposal of face coverings and other PPE during the coronavirus pandemic. This is available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste. We have also been circulating these messages widely on social media and urging people to not recycle or litter used PPE and instead to put it in the normal waste bin.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 59339, whether there is not a statute or other legal restriction which inhibits the common law rights to navigate freely the inland rivers of England and Wales.

It is not the Government’s role to offer advice on such legal matters, and only the courts can determine whether a public right of navigation exists on a particular stretch of river.

My answer of 23 June 2020, to which the Hon. Member refers, sets out the current position with regards to navigation of inland rivers for recreational purposes where there is no navigation authority.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, under which statutes are users of small craft restricted from any Common Law rights to navigate freely the inland rivers of England and Wales.

Those seeking to navigate inland rivers for recreational purposes where there is no navigation authority should establish that they have a legal right to do so, either through voluntary agreement with riparian landowners or otherwise.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential for dumping of agricultural products onto the UK market following the transition period; and if he will make a statement.

In November 2017 the Government issued a call for evidence to UK producers and product users, including on agriculture. The call for evidence sought to identify which of the EU’s existing trade remedy measures including anti-dumping should be maintained under the UK’s independent trade remedies framework. All maintained measures will be reviewed by the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate, and adjusted if necessary, to ensure they are suitable for the UK market.

The Government has also established an independent UK trade remedies framework to protect the UK’s agriculture industry from dumping of agriculture products onto the UK market. This framework establishes an approach, consistent with WTO obligations, for the investigation of complaints of dumping and the imposition of additional duties where dumping is found to have taken place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is planning to take to prevent the dumping of agricultural products onto the UK market after the transition period; and if he will make a statement.

In November 2017 the Government issued a call for evidence to UK producers and product users, including on agriculture. The call for evidence sought to identify which of the EU’s existing trade remedy measures including anti-dumping should be maintained under the UK’s independent trade remedies framework. All maintained measures will be reviewed by the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate, and adjusted if necessary, to ensure they are suitable for the UK market.

The Government has also established an independent UK trade remedies framework to protect the UK’s agriculture industry from dumping of agriculture products onto the UK market. This framework establishes an approach, consistent with WTO obligations, for the investigation of complaints of dumping and the imposition of additional duties where dumping is found to have taken place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with OFWAT on reducing ammonium nitrate from fertilisers from entering the water supply.

The Secretary of State has not discussed this with Ofwat. The Drinking Water Inspectorate is the regulator for drinking water quality in England and the Environment Agency monitors drinking water protected areas. Drinking water quality in England is very high. In 2018 99.95% of water supplies complied with our drinking water quality regulations, which include standards for ammonium and nitrate. The Government is committed to maintaining these high standards and reducing fertilisers entering the water supply through regulations, incentives and advice to farmers.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government taking to discourage (a) farmers and (b) others from using fertilisers containing ammonium nitrate.

Defra is committed through the 25 Year Environment Plan to achieve clean and plentiful water. Agriculture is a significant contributor to water pollution. We use a number of different mechanisms to combat this including regulations, enforcement, agri-environment schemes and agricultural advice. The Farming Rules for Water were introduced in 2018. These require farmers to prevent soil being removed from the land, match nutrients to crop and soil needs and keep livestock fertilisers and manures out of the water.

We also target fertiliser use in high risk areas. Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) are areas designated as being at risk from agricultural nitrate pollution. They include about 55% of land in England. Those within NVZs must follow rules which restrict the use of nitrogen based fertiliser, and therefore reduce the risk of associated pollution.

Our regulations are supported by a series of incentives and advice. Catchment Sensitive Farming operates in the 45% of England posing the highest risk of water pollution from agriculture. The programme offers free training, advice and access to grants to farmers to reduce water and air pollution.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to encourage water companies to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The Government is committed to protecting and enhancing our natural environment and reducing carbon emissions plays an important part in this commitment. The UK is the first major economy in the world to set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the economy by 2050. The Government is leading the way and engaging with industry, including the water industry, local government and the public to meet our targets.

Last year, English water companies became the first industry to make a collective commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, as part of the Public Interest Commitment by the industry body, Water UK. The Government welcomes the industry’s ambitious target and will be working closely with them to provide support to deliver on it.

Over the next five years, many water companies have made commitments in their business plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and increase renewable energy. For example, Yorkshire Water will increase the amount of renewable energy it generates from biogas by 15%, and South East Water will reduce its carbon emissions by 68%.

Ofwat, the independent water regulator, has also challenged the industry to be more innovative and made available up to £200 million through an innovation competition. This is to incentivise water companies to collaborate with each other and with other companies in their supply chains to effectively address the challenges facing the sector in a cost-effective and sustainable way, such as reducing emissions and reaching net zero targets.

We hope the progress made by the water industry, as an energy-intensive infrastructure industry, will lead the way for other sectors to develop their own commitments through cross-sector collaboration and mutual learning.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with the National Farmers Union on plans on potential tariffs on (a) grains, (b) eggs, (c) fruit and (d) vegetables and (e) other dairy products; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State regularly meets the National Farmers Union (NFU) to discuss a range of issues. The Government is developing a new UK Most Favoured Nation tariff schedule which will enter into force on 1 January 2021.

The Department for International Trade launched a public consultation to inform the UK’s new independent global tariff policy on 6 February. The consultation will be open online for four weeks from 6 February, closing on 5 March, and all views will be considered before the Global Tariff Policy is finalised.

This is the first time in almost 50 years that the UK will be free to set its tariff rates on all imported goods. This consultation represents a unique and historic opportunity for every business, every person and every civil society group, in every part of the UK including the NFU, to have their say.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the potential effect on the price of agricultural imports of concluding trade negotiations with the EU without an agreement on 31 December 2020.

Modelling conducted by Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) showed that under a Most Favoured Nation scenario there is a firming in agricultural commodity prices which would likely boost farm incomes. However, modelling carried out by the Resolution Foundation also showed that a similar scenario would increase consumer prices by around 4%.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many responses have been received to the National Food Strategy’s Call for Evidence; and if she will make a statement on the progress of the independent review led by Henry Dimbleby.

The National Food Strategy independent review, led by Henry Dimbleby, was launched in June 2019. A Call for Evidence was held from 17 August 2019 to 25 October 2019. 1979 responses were received and these responses are currently being analysed.

Since the review’s launch, Henry and his team have engaged extensively across the food system, academia, industry, civil society and citizens. This engagement will continue as the work progresses in order to ensure that the review’s recommendations are based upon robust analysis of evidence and diverse insights from across the food system. This includes a number of public engagement events in 2020, ensuring that citizens’ voices are heard as part of the process. An Interim Report will be published in early 2020 and the review’s final report and recommendations will be published in winter 2020/21.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what organisations the Government Food Waste and Surplus Champion has met with; and if she will make a statement on policies to reduce food waste.

The UK Government’s Food Surplus and Waste Champion, Ben Elliot, has met with a wide range of stakeholders since taking up the role at the end of 2018. From small and large businesses across the hospitality, food manufacturing and grocery retail sectors to surplus food redistribution charities. In May 2019, The Champion hosted a major symposium Step up to the plate where key players from the food sector, along with social media influencers and well-known chefs, joined forces to pledge ground-breaking action to reduce food waste.

The Resources and Waste Strategy Our waste our resources, a strategy for England published in 2018 sets out a range of policy actions to reduce food waste. This includes a £15 million food waste fund, a consultation on the mandatory annual reporting of food waste by businesses of an appropriate size as well as continued support of the cross sector collaboration through the Courtauld 2025 agreement.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he is taking to improve access to education for refugees in other countries; and if he will make a statement.

DFID is a world leader in global education and the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 4. In particular, the UK prioritises education in conflict and crises for the world’s most vulnerable children, supporting quality education as well as the protection of children.

We are the largest donor to Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies, which the UK helped found. Our unprecedented £85 million contribution announced by the Prime Minister last year will support 600,000 children living in conflict areas and areas of protracted crises. We also run major country-level programmes supporting refugee education in countries including Bangladesh, Uganda, Lebanon, and Jordan.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department plans to take as a result of the ruling by the International Labour Organisation that UNAids had failed in its duty of care towards a former staff member; and if she will make a statement.

In 2019 following a review by the Independent Expert Panel, the governing body of UNAIDS, of which the UK is a member, approved a Management Action Plan (MAP) to tackle harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power in UNAIDS. Full implementation of the MAP is a condition of DFID’s Performance Agreement with UNAIDS. 50% of DFID’s annual funding to UNAIDS depends on successful implementation of the Performance Agreement. The UK remains committed to driving up safeguarding standards across the aid sector. We have been clear that organisations have a duty of care to staff and must always protect people. The UK has a zero tolerance approach to harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power in any organisation.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to help to tackle global poverty through Fairtrade principles.

The UK government is committed to tackle global poverty through the Fairtrade principles of decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. These principles are included throughout our work and show that between 2015/16 and 2018/19 we have supported 3.9 million people to raise their incomes or obtain or maintain better jobs or livelihoods.

The UK government has also been a strong supporter of the Fairtrade Foundation. DFID provided £20 million to Fairtrade International between 2010 and 2016 to make the global Fairtrade system stronger, including activities to improve traceability and transparent reporting within Fairtrade tea, coffee and cocoa supply chains. DFID also supported Fairtrade through the £30.3 million Responsible Accountable and Transparent Enterprise programme, funding Fairtrade to help them develop Fairtrace, a supply chain mapping tool. The UK government continues to be a vocal champion of their work.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many market access disputes for exporters to the European Market have been recorded since 1 January 2021; and if she will make a statement.

Market access barriers between the United Kingdom and other trading partners, including the EU, are recorded on the Digital Market Access Service (DMAS), an internal digital platform used by government officials to support efforts to remove barriers for British businesses where it is possible to do so.

Barriers are recorded on DMAS when an issue is raised by a company or identified by Post or officials in other government departments. Official statistics, including data showing a breakdown of recorded barriers in overseas regions during the 2020 – 2021 financial year will be published in the coming weeks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how the Government records access disputes between UK exporters and the EU; and if she will make a statement.

Market access barriers between the United Kingdom and other trading partners, including the EU, are recorded on the Digital Market Access Service (DMAS), an internal digital platform used by government officials to support efforts to remove barriers for British businesses where it is possible to do so.

Barriers are recorded on DMAS when an issue is raised by a company or identified by Post or officials in other government departments. Official statistics, including data showing a breakdown of recorded barriers in overseas regions during the 2020 – 2021 financial year will be published in the coming weeks.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential (a) merits and (b) risks of including investor state mechanisms in trade deals with (i) Australia and (ii) New Zealand; and if she will make a statement.

The precise details of the Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreements are a matter for formal negotiations, and the Department would not seek to pre-empt these discussions.

If it is deemed that a legal mechanism is appropriate for resolving investment disputes, the mechanism will reflect modern practice, deliver fair outcomes of claims, require high ethical standards for arbitrators, and include transparent proceedings.

There has never been a successful Investor State Dispute Settlement claim against the United Kingdom, nor has the threat of potential claims affected our legislation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to measure the potential effects of trade agreements that her Department has negotiated on (a) differing sectoral interests in the UK and (b) developing nations; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government is committed to an inclusive and transparent trade policy.

Scoping Assessments are published to provide a preliminary assessment in advance of negotiations. Following the conclusion of negotiations, a full Impact Assessment (IA) is published prior to implementation. These documents set out the Government’s assessment of the potential long run effects of new free trade agreements, including on sectors and developing nations.

The Government has already published Scoping Assessments for agreements with the United States, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. An IA for the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has also been published.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect on UK producers of providing duty and tariff free access to agricultural goods from (a) Australia (b) New Zealand and (c) the United States of America; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government has always been clear that any deals it signs will include protections for the agricultural sector, and will not undercut UK farmers or compromise our high standards. The Government is seeking deals that work for UK farmers and producers.

The Government carried out public consultations and scoping assessments for each FTA negotiation, which can be found on the Government’s website. These preliminary scoping assessments considered two different scenarios. Following the conclusion of negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the cumulative effect on UK producers of providing duty- and tariff-free access to agricultural goods to (a) Australia and New Zealand, (b) Australia and the United States, (c) New Zealand and the United States and (d) Australia, New Zealand and the United States; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government has always been clear that any deals it signs will include protections for the agricultural sector, and will not undercut UK farmers or compromise our high standards. The Government is seeking deals that work for our farmers and producers.

The Department for International Trade is carefully considering the individual and combined effect of the agreements that are being negotiated, including enhanced export opportunities for UK agricultural producers. The Department is working closely across government to ensure that our trade policy does not undermine UK farmers and producers of agricultural goods.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of UK Export Finance; and if she will make a statement.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is a separate ministerial government department and is not funded by the Department for International Trade. It operates at no net cost to the taxpayer. It has received the following funding for the last five years, as voted for by Parliament:

Budget Type

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Resource (DEL) Gross

40.0

40.0

40.7

40.7

43.1

43.1

44.8

44.4

57.3

56.8

75.1

Resource AME

164.0

120.0

85.0

148.0

102.4

133.4

124.8

124.8

376.5

753.4

748.4

Capital AME

1936.0

936.0

1289.0

525.0

671.4

725.4

936.9

836.8

2787.0

1487.0

1881.1

Further information on UKEF’s funding is available in its Annual Report and Accounts, which can be accessed online at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-export-finance-annual-reports-and-accounts

UKEF charges a premium for its support (see table for annual amounts1) and its budget is fully funded through the income earned. In the past 4 years (2016-17 to 2019-202) UKEF has transferred £541.1m1 into the consolidated fund and has generated, after department costs, an operating profit of £499.0m1.

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Gross premium earned £000(1)

120,061

129,930

381,189

207,169

Not yet published


1 Data source - UKEF Annual Report and Accounts.

2 The Annual Report and Accounts for 2020-21 will be published in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much funding her Department allocated to UK Export Finance in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is a separate ministerial government department and is not funded by the Department for International Trade. It operates at no net cost to the taxpayer. It has received the following funding for the last five years, as voted for by Parliament:

Budget Type

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Supp’ Est £m

Main Est £m

Resource (DEL) Gross

40.0

40.0

40.7

40.7

43.1

43.1

44.8

44.4

57.3

56.8

75.1

Resource AME

164.0

120.0

85.0

148.0

102.4

133.4

124.8

124.8

376.5

753.4

748.4

Capital AME

1936.0

936.0

1289.0

525.0

671.4

725.4

936.9

836.8

2787.0

1487.0

1881.1

Further information on UKEF’s funding is available in its Annual Report and Accounts, which can be accessed online at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-export-finance-annual-reports-and-accounts

UKEF charges a premium for its support (see table for annual amounts1) and its budget is fully funded through the income earned. In the past 4 years (2016-17 to 2019-202) UKEF has transferred £541.1m1 into the consolidated fund and has generated, after department costs, an operating profit of £499.0m1.

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Gross premium earned £000(1)

120,061

129,930

381,189

207,169

Not yet published


1 Data source - UKEF Annual Report and Accounts.

2 The Annual Report and Accounts for 2020-21 will be published in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of (a) the Tradeshow Access Programme, (b) the Music Export Growth Scheme, (c) the Internationalisation fund and (d) the E-exporting programme; and if she will make a statement.

The Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) is monitored as part of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) collective assessment of the support it offers to exporters. The latest TAP-specific Business Satisfaction figures are from the Export Client Survey, published July 2020, found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trade-export-client-survey-ecs.

DIT has appointed Ipsos MORI to deliver an evaluation of the Music Export Growth Scheme, the final report of which will be presented to DIT later in the year. This will form an important set of evidence for any future assessments of the scheme.

The Internationalisation Fund (IF) has commissioned an independent contractor to evaluate IF over the lifetime of the project. The Fund opened in December 2020 so it is too early to assess its effectiveness, but a final assessment will be made when funding comes to an end in 2023.

The E-Exporting Programme is monitored as part of DIT’s collective assessment of the support it offers to exporters. It is also evaluated by the overall number of companies it has supported including via its Selling Online Overseas tool, and customer feedback.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what funding her Department has allocated to (a) the Tradeshow Access Programme, (b) the Music Export Growth Scheme, (c) the Internationalisation fund and (d) the E-exporting programme in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

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

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much funding her Department allocated to UK Export Finance in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

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

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of UK Export Finance; and if she will make a statement.

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

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department made of the credentials of speakers invited to speak at the Sri Lanka: The Gateway to Asia event on 4 November; and if she will make a statement.

Speakers were selected because of their knowledge and insight into opportunities in or out of Sri Lanka in infrastructure and financial services. They included the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, the State Minister of Finance & Capital Markets, the Director General of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and others including the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Sri Lanka and my honourable friend, the Minister for International Trade.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many arms export licences were issued to Avant Garde Maritime Services since January 2013; and if she will make a statement.

No such licences have been issued.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans Department has to engage with stakeholders from the higher education and research sector on potential free trade agreements with (a) Australia and (b) New Zealand; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Minister for Exports on 23rd March 2021, UIN: 168823.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with stakeholders in the higher education sector on the needs of that sector with regard to future trade deals; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) engages regularly with key higher education stakeholder groups to seek their views on free trade agreements and to understand the needs of the sector. The Education Sector Advisory Group, jointly chaired by myself and the Universities Minister, brings together industry, government and relevant partners and is regularly updated on the progress of trade negotiations.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect of the decision to reduce funding for Official Development Assistance on (a) securing and (b) enhancing future trade relationships; and if she will make a statement.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA).

We remain a world leading aid donor, spending 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI), which means we will spend more than £10 billion next year on ODA, with trade remaining one of our priorities for our ODA spend.

We remain committed to enhancing our trading relationships with developing countries, including through implementing and improving both our Economic Partnership Agreements and the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences.

We will return to spending 0.7% of GNI on ODA when the fiscal situation allows.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Treasury Ministers on future funding allocations to the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS); and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has not held discussions with Treasury Ministers on future funding of the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS). DIT’s business planning continues for 2021-22, including export support we can provide for the UK music sector.

On 10 February, DIT, through the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) who administer the scheme, awarded MEGS grants totalling £100,000 to ten UK small and medium-sized music businesses which will go towards growing audiences internationally through digital marketing and other forms of overseas promotion.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when tariff free trade with Ghana will resume; and steps her Department has taken to facilitate provisional implementation of the recent interim Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman for Harrow West to the answers I gave him on 26th January (UIN: 138852) and 11th February (UIN: 149722).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the reimbursement or the implementation of a tariff rebate scheme for UK Businesses who have suffered losses as a result of tariffs paid on imported goods from Ghana between the period of the UK leaving the EU and the implementation of the Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement announced on the 4 February 2021; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman for Harrow West to the answers I gave him on 26th January (UIN: 138852) and 11th February (UIN: 149722).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 16 February 2021 to Question 150659 on International Trade: Trade Promotion, if she will publish the performance indicators for each contract; and how many trade advisors are employed on each contract.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for these contracts are included in already published information regarding the government’s most important contracts.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/key-performance-indicators-kpis-for-governments-most-important-contracts

Reporting the number of International Trade Advisors (ITAs) is not stipulated in the contracts. The approximate total number of ITAs (275) is published in the Department for International Trade (DIT) Annual Report and Accounts.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-international-trade-annual-report-and-accounts-2019-to-2020

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her policy position is on current discussions at the World Trade Organisation on reducing fishing and agriculture subsidies; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom is engaged in multilateral negotiations on agriculture through the WTO’s Committee on Agriculture Special Session. The UK is committed to a meaningful outcome on domestic support consistent with the development of the UK’s independent agricultural policies.

At the WTO Informal Ministerial Gathering on the 29th January 2021, my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade made a clear statement that the UK believes it is imperative that the WTO delivers on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 14.6 mandate, that will help protect the world’s fish stocks and end harmful fisheries subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, overcapacity, and overfishing.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2021 to Question 142762 on Department for International Trade: Trade Promotion, which companies are delivering those contracts; how those companies were chosen to deliver those contracts; and how the performance of those companies is monitored by her Department.

The Department for International Trade has contracts for trade advisor services with the following companies:

South East

Newable Ltd

London

Newable Ltd

South West

GWE Business West Ltd

East Midlands

East Midlands Business Ltd

West Midlands

West Midlands International Trade LLP

East of England

Exemplas Trade Services Ltd

North East

North East Worldwide Ltd

North West

Chamberlink Ltd

Yorkshire & Humber

Enterprise Growth Solutions Ltd

The companies were selected via a competitive open procurement procedure in April 2015 that was advertised on OJEU (Official Journal for the European Union) and Contracts Finder, the government’s procurement portal.

Performance is monitored through monthly contract review meetings to track delivery against targets and key performance indicators, as well as via qualitative survey feedback. Targets/Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are reviewed annually to ensure they align with government priorities.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of the benefit of the data chapter in the UK-Japan free trade agreement to UK GDP; and if she will make a statement.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) does not contain a bespoke data chapter; data provisions sit within the E-Commerce section under Chapter 8 of the Agreement. The CEPA E-Commerce provisions go further than the existing EU-Japan agreement on many aspects of digital trade with a number of cutting-edge rules that reflect the status of the UK and Japan as digital leaders. Examples of CEPA provisions that were not included in the EU-Japan agreement include an agreement to avoid unjustified restrictions on the flow of data between the UK and Japan, a commitment to uphold world-leading standards of protection for individuals’ personal data, a commitment to uphold the principles of net neutrality, and a ban on unjustified data localisation.

Many of the new E-Commerce provisions in CEPA on digital and data are likely to have a positive economic impact. Digitally delivered trade accounted for around one third of trade between the UK and Japan in 2019. Digital and data provisions are cross cutting, thereby supporting the whole of UK trade with Japan.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to her Department's press release, Ghana-UK Joint Statement: Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement, published on 4 February 2021, if she will publish a timetable for the full restoration of tariff free trade between Ghana and the UK; what plans her Department has to refund tariffs paid by UK importers from Ghana once that deal takes effect; what the planned timescale is for such refunds; and if she will make a statement.

As set out in the Joint Statement of 4th February, negotiations with Ghana have been finalised. We are working with Ghana to put the deal in place as soon as possible, and this requires both sides to work at pace. As with any trade agreement, there are a number of internal processes that need to take place on both sides to allow the terms of the agreement to be applied.

The collection of tariffs is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs, but the Hon. Gentleman will know that imports from Ghana are currently receiving the correct tariff treatment under the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences. We are focused on putting a trade deal in place as quickly as possible so that tariffs are lifted on a lasting basis.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department takes to model economically the potential effects of any trade deals under consideration; and what steps her Department takes to consult experts in its preparation of economic models used in trade deals.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has published scoping assessments that set out a preliminary DIT analysis of the potential long-run economic impacts of trade deals with the US, Australia, New Zealand, and an impact assessment providing analysis of the agreement with Japan, which includes both external modelling commissioned from Prof. Joe Francois as well as DIT’s own analysis.

The published analysis uses Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling. This approach is widely used internationally for trade analysis. The Department also operates a Partial Equilibrium trade model that was developed for DIT by InterAnalysis at Sussex University, which is used to inform policy development. The Department initiated a review of its approach to modelling in September 2020, which is led by Prof. Tony Venables, and we expect to conclude in September 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions her Department had with UK asparagus producers before resizing the Tariff Rate Quota on fresh asparagus from Mexico; and if she will make a statement.

The UK’s continuity mandate and negotiating strategy, and in particular the necessary resizing of all Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs), has been informed by the government’s economic analysis, alongside other evidence, strategic priorities, and consultation with businesses and other stakeholders.

As the Government progresses with negotiations, it brings together the best evidence from across Whitehall, insight from external stakeholders, and a range of data and analytical tools. The Department for International Trade (DIT) maintains regular contact with businesses, including frequently meeting with business representation organisations, and trade and industry associations, across a range of sections to keep them informed on the developments in our work.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many trade advisors her Department employs; and how many of those advisors provide advice on trade with the EU.

The Department’s International Trade Adviser (ITA) service, delivered through nine English regional contracts, is made up of c. 300 trade advisors. It does not cover the Devolved Administrations, who provide their own services. The ITA network advises businesses on trading with both EU and non-EU markets and provides support to companies to trade internationally and make the most of opportunities around the world.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate her Department has made of the number of British companies that have paid tariffs on imports of goods from Ghana since 1 January 2021; what the value of those tariffs were; and if she will make a statement.

Since 1st January, Ghana has been eligible for preferential tariff rates under the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) scheme. The collection of any tariffs is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs, but details of the GSP scheme and associated preferences are available at: gov.uk/government/publications/trading-with-developing-nations

Over a year ago, we proposed a deal to Ghana on the same terms as they have in force with the EU, which would have maintained their duty-free, quota-free access, but they chose not to take this take up. To put this in context, we reached agreements with 63 countries around the world on this basis, covering trade flows worth £217 billion in 2019. This included a deal with Côte d’Ivoire, a member of ECOWAS alongside Ghana.

On 31st December 2020, the United Kingdom and Ghana issued a joint Ministerial statement announcing that a consensus had been reached on the main elements of a trade agreement. Negotiations are progressing and, with willingness in Ghana, the agreement can be finalised and brought into force quickly, restoring tariff-free trade for Ghanaian exporters.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her Department's policy is on excluding existing and future investments in fossil fuels from the scope of investment protection in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT); what assessment she has made of the effect of such an exclusion on the modernisation of the ECT; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom supports the renegotiation of the investment protection provisions in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which seek to bring the Treaty in line with modern investment treaty practices. We have not made a policy decision to seek the exclusion of fossil fuel investments from coverage by the ECT nor have we assessed the likely effect if such an exclusion was made.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans her Department has to expand the scope of investment protection in the Energy Charter Treaty to include hydrogen, biomass or other new technologies; what assessment she has made of the implications of such an expansion; and will she make a statement.

Member States of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) are currently engaged in a process to modernise the Treaty. The UK will ensure that, as the modernisation process develops, the Treaty delivers for the Government’s priorities and will consider, together with ECT members, the case for extending the scope of the ECT to include additional forms of energy and energy technologies.

We welcome the role of the ECT in ensuring consistent legal protection for UK investors operating abroad. This means that UK companies investing in other countries that have signed the Treaty have more protection for their assets, including renewable energy production.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government will honour its commitment in the joint interpretive instrument in the UK-Canada trade agreement to review the sustainable development commitments in that agreement in consultation with civil society including trade unions to ensure that those commitments are effectively enforceable; and if she will make a statement.

As set out in the Joint Interpretative Instrument, the UK and Canada are committed to an early review of the sustainable development provisions in the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement (TCA), including with a view to the effective enforceability of the TCA provisions on labour and the environment.

The Joint Interpretative Instrument sets out that both Parties are committed to seeking the advice of stakeholders, including employers and business organisations, in the implementation of these provisions.

This replicates the commitment that was set out in the Joint Interpretative Instrument to the EU and Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that Turkey upholds international labour and human rights standards as a condition of any trade deal with the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom’s priority this year is to seek to replicate the effects of existing EU trading arrangements with Turkey, as far as possible, into a bilateral arrangement between the United Kingdom and Turkey by the end of the Transition Period.

HM Government has a strong history of promoting our values globally. We are clear trade does not come at the expense of our record in upholding rights and responsibilities, which are a key part of our foreign policy, and HM Government will continue to engage the Turkish Government on these issues.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had, as part of trade negotiations, with her New Zealand counterpart on pharmaceutical patent extensions; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for International Trade has not had any discussions, as part of trade negotiations, with her New Zealand counterpart on pharmaceutical patent extensions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the UK-Japan Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, what assessment she has made of the implications of that agreement for the organisation of postal services; and if she will make a statement.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement ensures that both parties have the right to operate a universal postal service and to define the Universal Service Obligation they wish to maintain.

The agreement also safeguards opportunities for UK and Japanese postal and courier service suppliers to operate in each other’s market on a fair basis, through reciprocal obligations on transparency, independence of the regulator and prevention of cross-subsidisation.

These rights and obligations are standard practice for UK Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and mirror the approach taken in the FTAs the UK has been party to whilst a member of the European Union.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she will take to protect public funded health data from data control from outside the UK during trade negotiations; and if she will make a statement.

In Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations, HM Government is seeking provisions that provide the right balance between removing barriers to the free flow of data, and not lowering the standard of protection afforded to the personal data of the British people – which includes health data.

Our data protection laws, enshrined in the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), remain unchanged. HM Government is clear that health and care data should only ever be shared if it is to be used lawfully, treated with respect and held securely, and only where the right safeguards are in place.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps producers of British agricultural goods seeking geographical indication status in Japan have to take to secure UK ministerial support; and if she will make a statement.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) includes a new provision allowing more world-famous British products to receive protected recognition in Japan.

Under CEPA, it has been agreed that all Geographical Indicators (GIs) put forward by the UK will undergo Japan’s GI examination processes.

UK businesses will not need to navigate the Japanese administrative system on their own to get their iconic UK goods protected under the CEPA. The UK government will put forward all additional GIs (excluding Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSGs) and the seven GIs that will already be protected under the agreement), for protection in Japan on behalf of UK producers, saving time and money for UK businesses.

There are no additional steps that agricultural producers need to take to ensure they have ministerial support. The Department for International Trade and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are in regular contact with GI producers and Devolved Administrations and will continue to be throughout the process.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason she has taken the decision not to use the Economic Community of West African States Economic Partnership Agreement as the starting point for negotiations on a rollover trade deal with Ghana; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government has now signed, or agreed in principle, trade agreements with 55 countries – accounting for £170 billion of the United Kingdom’s bilateral trade in 2019. We are working to make further progress before the end of the Transition Period, and beyond.

The United Kingdom proposed a deal three years ago to provide Ghana with continuing access to our market, on the same basis as they currently enjoy. This deal remains on the table. The Hon. Gentleman will know that the ECOWAS Partnership Agreement he refers to does not provide the basis for our trade flows today. We continue to engage with the Government of Ghana to this effect. If a deal cannot be reached, Ghana will be eligible for the General Framework of the United Kingdom’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences from 1st January 2021.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the terms of reference of the review of trade impacts modelling with an external panel chaired by Professor Tony Venables announced on 1 July 2020; and if she will make a statement.

The?Modelling Review Expert Panel (MREP)?will support the development of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) modelling capability by making sure that decisions related to the modelling of trade policies meet our mandate and objectives – and are informed by the best possible academic perspective.

The terms of reference specify the following objectives:

  1. To determine what modelling capability will best support DIT’s trade policy objectives;
  2. To explore what economic impacts from trade should and can be feasibly captured in a trade modelling framework; and
  3. To evaluate whether DIT’s current modelling capability sufficiently meets DIT’s needs and to identify where alternative or complimentary approaches may be required.

The MREP will serve solely as an external advisory panel and will not have authority or oversight on DIT research or policy. The MREP will not be asked to actively model a live agreement.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the UK–Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, what steps agricultural producers will be required to take to apply for a Geographical Indicator for products entering the Japanese market; whether there will be an additional process for Japanese approval of geographical indicated status of those products; and will if she will make a statement.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) includes a new provision allowing more world-famous British products to receive protected recognition in Japan.

Under CEPA, it has been agreed that all eligible British products will be put through Japan’s Geographical Indicator (GI) approval process automatically.

UK businesses will not need to navigate the Japanese administrative system on their own to get their iconic UK goods protected under the CEPA. The UK government will put forward new GIs for protection in Japan on behalf of UK producers, saving time and money for UK businesses.

The UK will provide Japan with our list of around 70 UK GIs in January. All of these GIs will go through examination and opposition procedures as set out in the domestic law of Japan. Unless there are exceptional circumstances this should only take about 5 months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she plans to require her Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

I can confirm that the Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Export Finance currently do not offer a payroll deduction service to enable staff to join a credit union. Staff can still make arrangements to contribute to a credit union via direct debit.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has secured a specific Tariff Rate Quota access for UK dairy products exported to Canada as part of the recently announced continuity agreement; and if she will make a statement.

The UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement will provide certainty and security for UK and Canadian businesses. This includes cheese producers who will still be able to export cheese to Canada tariff-free after the 1st January 2020.

The UK has secured continued access to the “European Union (EU) reserve” part of Canada’s World Trade Organisation (WTO) quota. This maintains the main route to market in Canada for UK cheese exporters and provides scope for exports to grow over time. There is no bilateral quota in the agreement.

Full details will be released once the agreement has been signed.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish an assessment of the effect on produce traded between the UK and the EU which has been processed from developing country products, in the event of a trade deal between the EU and the UK not being concluded by 31 December 2020; and if she will make a statement.

We continue to negotiate with the European Union (EU) at pace to work to get an agreement, but we are preparing for all outcomes.

We are on track to provide continuity for developing countries to the fullest extent possible. We have announced the Generalised Scheme of Preference (GSP) recently and provide regular updates on progress on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

The EPAs and GSP will allow for developing countries to cumulate with the EU to preserve existing supply chains. Goods that transit through the EU on their way to the United Kingdom will still be eligible for preferential treatment, subject to the requirements set out in these agreements.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the minutes of the inaugural meeting of the Trade Union Advisory Group.

Ministers discussed the Trade Union Advisory Group’s remit during the first meeting on 16th October and will continue to discuss it with members bilaterally. A summary of the meeting on 16th October will be published in due course.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with members of the Trade Union Advisory Group on the terms of reference of the Trade Union Advisory Group.

Ministers discussed the Trade Union Advisory Group’s remit during the first meeting on 16th October and will continue to discuss it with members bilaterally. A summary of the meeting on 16th October will be published in due course.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of (a) the potential for the UK-Kenya trade deal to lead to different tariff arrangements in Kenya to other nations in the East Africa Community customs union and (b) the potential effect of that deal on regional integration and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in East Africa; and if she will make a statement.

The UK-Kenya agreement is an exciting first step towards a UK-East African Community (EAC) agreement. All other EAC members will benefit from our preference scheme announced 10 November 2020, providing them with duty free access. There will be no change in the access that UK exporters have to the other EAC members after 1 January.

Providing Kenya with guaranteed long-term access will help to boost the whole region. The UK-Kenya agreement is not only open to all EAC Partner States to join at any time, but will also immediately allow Kenya to include inputs from other EAC states in its exports, supporting regional integration.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when she plans to publish Annex 1 of the recently agreed UK-Japan trade deal.

In the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement annexes are numbered according to the chapters they reference. As Chapter 1 does not require an annex, the agreement does not include an Annex 1.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will allow Trade Unions to be a part of the Sectorial Trade Advisory Groups; and if she will make a statement.

As part of the Department’s ongoing engagement, we have established the Trade Union Advisory Group (TUAG) to provide insight into views and priorities of trades unions on important issues across various sectors. The TUAG will meet on a regular basis to inform the development of a trade policy that works for workers in every corner of the country.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when she plans to publish an impact assessment of the UK’s recently agreed trade deal with Kenya.

As continuity agreements seek to replicate the effects of the existing of EU agreements, we do not publish impact assessments alongside these agreements.

The volume of trade impacted varies between different trading partners. Our Parliamentary Reports published alongside signed agreements contain detailed information about the volume of trade, composition of imports and exports, and wider economic impact for each agreement.

We will continue to voluntarily lay these Parliamentary Reports, with Explanatory Memoranda, alongside agreements.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she had with representatives of trade unions as part of her Department’s recent negotiations on the UK-Kenya trade deal; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade regularly engages with representatives of trade union organisations on trade with developing countries, including Kenya, as part of the Department’s wider external engagement framework.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much funding she plans to provide to the trade show access programme for 2021-22; and if she will make a statement.

Departmental budgets for 2021-22 are subject to HM Treasury’s ongoing spending review.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will list every trade mission organised by her Department in each of the last five years.

The Department for International Trade has run 660 Trade Missions in the last 5 years. A count of missions per year is included, and a full list of these missions can be found in the attached Annex.

Year

Trade Missions run

2016

141

2017

192

2018

182

2019

112

2020 (As of 11th November)

33

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish her Department's long term strategy to increase exports; and if she will make a statement.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many companies were in receipt of UK export finance in each of the last five years by (a) region of the UK, (b) type of business (c) size of the business by annual turnover and (d) in total; and if she will make a statement.

The number of businesses that UK Export Finance (UKEF) supported over the last five years is shown in the table below. UKEF does not hold information about individual companies’ annual turnover centrally, but the table shows the numbers and proportions of supported businesses that were small and medium-sized enterprises. It should be noted that the figures in the table refer to individual companies that received help. Some of those companies may have received more than one instance of UKEF support throughout the year in question but are only counted in the table once.

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

Total exporters supported, of which:

279

221

191

262

339

  • Direct support under a UKEF product

176

148

145

142

135

  • Companies who secured business with a project supported by UKEF

N/A*

N/A*

N/A*

81

140

  • Private market assist

100

71

45

34

62

  • Direct support and private market assist

3

2

1

5

2

Number of SMEs

215

174

147

207

261

%age of SMEs

77%

79%

77%

79%

77%

*Information not collected for these years

The volume of business that UKEF supports year-on-year is a reflection of private sector liquidity and risk appetite as much as of its activity and success. UKEF complements rather than competes with private sector finance and insurance providers. If support is available from a commercial bank or insurer, UKEF does not seek to displace this. In many cases, UKEF will work with companies and financial service providers to find a solution from the commercial sector (which UKEF reports as a ‘private market assist’)

The breakdown of UKEF’s support by business sector is included in the Annual Report and Accounts for each year, which are available online. The relevant information for the various years can be find at the following locations:

Year

URL

Page

2019/20

www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-export-finance-annual-report-and-accounts-2019-to-2020.

13

2018/19

www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-export-finance-annual-report-and-accounts-2018-to-2019.

15

2017/18

www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-export-finance-annual-report-and-accounts-2017-to-2018.

13

2016/17

www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-export-finance-annual-report-and-accounts-2016-to-2017

20

2015/16

www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-export-finance-annual-report-and-accounts-2015-to-2016.

18

The regional breakdown of businesses that received direct support under a UKEF product is only collated centrally in respect of short-term business deals. The figures held are shown in the attached table.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 102656 on Trade Agreements: Ghana and Kenya, when she plans to publish full details of the (a) eligibility criteria and (b) tariffs available to nations to trade through the (a) UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences and (b) Enhanced Framework of the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences; and if she will make a statement.

At the end of the Transition Period, we will launch our own Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP), which will replicate the three levels of market access provided by the EU Generalised Scheme of preferences.

The regulations that bring the UK GSP into effect will be laid in Parliament before the end of the year. Guidance is available on gov.uk that explains the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences’ eligibility criteria and tariffs, including for the Enhanced Framework.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that high ethical standards for arbitrators are secured as integral features of Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms in future trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom supports recent trends in Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that seek high ethical standards for arbitrators.

Arbitrators are bound by rules governing conflicts of interest and other ethical issues, such as impartiality. These can be set in trade agreements themselves, through the International Bar Association Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration, and through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Convention.

Should ISDS be included in a future trade agreement, the United Kingdom supports a modernised mechanism that takes account of this international best practice.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that (a) transparency and (b) efficiency are secured as integral features of any Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanisms when included in future trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom supports recent trends in Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that seek high ethical standards for arbitrators.

Arbitrators are bound by rules governing conflicts of interest and other ethical issues, such as impartiality. These can be set in trade agreements themselves, through the International Bar Association Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration, and through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes Convention.

Should ISDS be included in a future trade agreement, the United Kingdom supports a modernised mechanism that takes account of this international best practice.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what changes to domestic legislation she plans to propose to implement the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed on 23 October. On 23 October, the full treaty text and supporting documents were made available to Parliamentarians before they were published on GOV.UK. The Explanatory Memorandum details how the CEPA will be implemented in the UK, including any changes to domestic UK law.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when she plans to publish proposals for changes to primary and secondary domestic legislation required to implement trade agreement agreed by the UK.

Parliament already has a statutory role in the scrutiny of treaties under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act. This allows Parliament to approve or resolve against any treaty.

HM Government will always negotiate Free Trade Agreements that will best serve the interests of British businesses, consumers and communities. We will bring forward legislation to implement future such agreements, where existing powers do not exist on the statute book. Parliament is able approve or reject legislation.

The work of HM Government remains subject to scrutiny from Parliament. The Department for International Trade will continue to make sure that future Free Trade Agreements are negotiated and implemented subject to such scrutiny, whilst protecting the national interest.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether it is her Department's policy to bring forward implementing legislation for trade agreements that are not roll-over deals.

Parliament already has a statutory role in the scrutiny of treaties under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act. This allows Parliament to approve or resolve against any treaty.

HM Government will always negotiate Free Trade Agreements that will best serve the interests of British businesses, consumers and communities. We will bring forward legislation to implement future such agreements, where existing powers do not exist on the statute book. Parliament is able approve or reject legislation.

The work of HM Government remains subject to scrutiny from Parliament. The Department for International Trade will continue to make sure that future Free Trade Agreements are negotiated and implemented subject to such scrutiny, whilst protecting the national interest.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on the retail supply chain for (a) food and (b) flowers in the event that a continuity trade deal is not agreed with (i) Ghana and (ii) Kenya by 31 December 2020; and if she will make a statement.

The government is working with partner governments to secure continuity trade agreements. If the relevant EU-partner country trading arrangement has not yet been transitioned into a UK-partner country trade agreement, low and lower-middle income countries will be able to get trade preferences through the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences from 31 December 2020.

Under the General Framework of the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences, Ghana and Kenya are eligible to receive preferential access on some product lines.

Under the Enhance Framework of the UK Generalised Scheme of Preferences, further tariff reductions are available to countries that are considered economically vulnerable and low level of integration with the international systems. These countries are required to ratify and effectively implement 27 international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of providing Kenya with duty and quota free access to the UK on the same terms as least developed countries under the EU’s Everything but Arms trade scheme; and if she will make a statement.

The Everything But Arms Framework is for countries that are classified by the United Nations (UN) as Least Developed Countries. Kenya is not eligible as it is not currently classified as a Least Developed Country.

The UK fully recognises the impact that a loss of duty and quota free access to UK markets after the transition period could have on Kenya and is engaging with Kenya and other East African Community states to secure a trade agreement that will provide this duty and quota free access.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, on what date her Department plans to publish the full details and text of the trade agreement recently agreed between the UK and Japan; and is she will make a statement.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will be finalised and signed in the coming weeks, before the full text is laid in parliament and made publicly available.

Furthermore, a parliamentary report, setting out in detail any areas where there are material differences between the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the CEPA, will be published, alongside a full Impact Assessment. Both the International Trade Committee and the International Agreements Sub-Committee will have the opportunity to scrutinise the deal and produce an independent report on the agreement.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her counterparts in (a) Australia and (b) New Zealand on (i) quotas and (ii) tariff free quotas for trade in agricultural products after the transition period; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom’s updated goods schedule was circulated at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for certification on 24 July 2018, including tariff rate quotas for a range of agricultural goods.

Australia and New Zealand were among the countries that expressed reservations. On 21st December 2018, the United Kingdom opened a process under Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to negotiate these tariff rate quotas with affected WTO Members. Officials have been engaging with concerned parties in this process. In addition, officials have been engaging with both Australia and New Zealand in Free Trade Agreement negotiations, which were launched in June.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential level of unfair competition from (a) Russian and (b) Chinese state-owned companies in (i) UK and (ii) overseas markets; and if she will make a statement.

We will back British businesses against unfair competition through our new, independent, trade remedies regime – and we will continue to work with both British businesses and our international partners to raise concerns about foreign state-owned enterprises where they unfairly distort the market.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what contingency preparations she plans to make for a continuity trade agreement with Turkey in the event of not reaching a deal with the EU by the end of the transition period; and if she will make a statement.

Turkey remains an important trading partner. HM Government is conscious of the need to plan for all scenarios and will continue working with Turkey to make sure goods continue to flow.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress her Department has made in agreeing a continuity trade agreement with the Government of Kenya.

The United Kingdom is exploring a trade agreement with Kenya to avoid disruption to trade between our two nations, as part of a wider commitment to keeping trade flowing with the whole East African Community.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department made of the EU-ACP European Partnership Agreements before completing continuity trade agreements with countries that took part in the EU-ACP European Partnership Agreement; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government is seeking to secure continuity with our African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partners, as part of our work to provide as much certainty as possible to businesses and consumers. As such, any new bilateral agreements with ACP partners will replicate, as far as possible, the effects of the current EU trade agreements.

Economic Partnership Agreements have been shown to have a positive effect on two-way trade flows, development and production for both Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and non-LDCs. These range from creating new business, trade and investment opportunities, to good new jobs, with protections for farmers and producers.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with her South African counterparts on the liberalisation of poultry exports to South Africa; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government continues to seek improved access to global markets for British businesses – including for British poultry in South Africa. We continue to seek the liberalisation of the South African poultry market through direct engagement with the Government of South Africa.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether businesses that are members of the Trade Advisory Group have seen the final text of the recently agreed UK-Japan free trade agreement.

The text of the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is still undergoing legal checks. After it is finalised, the agreement will be signed and then the full text will be laid in parliament. Furthermore, a parliamentary report, setting out in detail any areas where there are material differences between the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the UK-Japan CEPA, will be published.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanisms were included in the recently agreed trade deal with Japan; and if will she make a statement.

Investor State Dispute Settlement is not included in the UK-Japan agreement.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the required level is of (a) UK inputs and (b) cumulative UK and EU inputs to meet rules of origin thresholds for goods for export to Japan under the recently agreed UK-Japan free trade agreement; and if she will make a statement.

After the agreement is signed, the full text will be laid in parliament. Furthermore, a parliamentary report, setting out in detail any areas where there are material differences between the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), will be published.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the differences in the tariff free quotas between (a) the trade agreement agreed by the UK and Japan and (b) the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan; and if she will make a statement.

After the agreement is signed, the full text will be laid in parliament. Furthermore, a parliamentary report, setting out in detail any areas where there are material differences between the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), will be published.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what visa-free quotas have been agreed to exempt Japanese employees or family members from visa quotas under the recently agreed UK-Japan trade agreement; and if she will make a statement.

After the agreement is signed, the full text will be laid in parliament. Furthermore, a parliamentary report, setting out in detail any areas where there are material differences between the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), will be published.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with her Chinese counterpart on the liberalisation of poultry exports to China; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government continues to seek improved access to global markets for British businesses – including for British poultry in China. We continue to seek the lifting of China’s ban on British poultry and poultry products, which has been in place since 2014.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to her oral contribution of 14 September 2020, Official Report, column 28, if she will publish an example of a standard chapter on the subsidies in a free trade agreement; and if she will make a statement.

The chapter on subsidies that has been agreed between the United Kingdom and Japan is an example of the commitments that are appropriate in a free trade agreement between two sovereign nations with developed economies. On publication, I refer the Hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the Rt Hon. Lady for Islington South and Finsbury by my Rt Hon. Friend the Minister for Trade Policy on 21st September 2020 (UIN 90979).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanisms will be included in a future trade deal with Japan; and if will she make a statement.

The precise details of a Free Trade Agreement with Japan are a matter for formal negotiations, and we would not seek to pre-empt these discussions.

However, Britain has negotiated investment agreements with investment protections and Investor-State Dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions with over 90 existing treaty partners. HM Government recognises the important role that these provisions can play in protecting British investors abroad, including small- and medium-sized enterprises, and pensioners across the country through their pension funds.

Where ISDS is included in future agreements, we will seek to ensure fair outcomes of claims and high ethical standards for arbitrators, with increased transparency and efficiency of proceedings.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of (a) the existing level of UK demand for steel and (b) the potential merits of reducing the proposed UK tariff free quotas for steel imports from 1 January 2021; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government has been working closely with the British steel industry, including on steel safeguards to protect industry from unforeseen surges in imports. Current data shows that steel demand was down 24 per cent in the United Kingdom during the first four months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

Our priority is to make sure that, at the end of the transition period, our domestic industry retains appropriate trade remedy protections. That is why we have committed to carrying across existing measures where there is a British interest, including steel safeguards, and are then reviewing them to make them tailored to the needs of the United Kingdom.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect of potential difficulties in collecting tariffs on EU imports from 1 January 2021 on the (a) operation of the UK’s trade policy and (b) negotiations on free trade deals with non-EU countries.

HM Government is committed to meeting our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, whilst ensuring that there is minimal disruption to the everyday lives of people across the province.

The discussions with the European Union on the Protocol have begun; the first Northern Ireland Specialised Committee took place on the 30th April. We will continue to engage constructively in those fora to ensure a pragmatic and proportionate implementation of the Protocol.

We expect the European Union tariff to only be payable on goods that are deemed to be at risk of subsequently moving into the European Union. The criteria for determining which goods are ‘not at risk’ is a matter for consideration at the Joint Committee.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the level of risk that EU tariffs will be applied by default to all goods travelling to Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU in the event that the system for applying both (a) UK and (b) EU tariffs is not operational by 1 January 2021.

HM Government is committed to meeting our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, whilst ensuring that there is minimal disruption to the everyday lives of people across the province.

The discussions with the European Union on the Protocol have begun; the first Northern Ireland Specialised Committee took place on the 30th April. We will continue to engage constructively in those fora to ensure a pragmatic and proportionate implementation of the Protocol.

We expect the European Union tariff to only be payable on goods that are deemed to be at risk of subsequently moving into the European Union. The criteria for determining which goods are ‘not at risk’ is a matter for consideration at the Joint Committee.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the differences in the rules of origin agreed between the (a) UK and third countries in continuity Trade Agreements and (b) EU/third country trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the differences in the tariffs agreed between the (a) UK and third countries in continuity trade agreements and (b) EU/third country trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the differences in the recognition of Authorised Economic Operators agreed between the (a) UK and third countries in continuity Trade Agreements and (b) EU/third country trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the differences in the tariff free quotas agreed between the (a) UK and third countries in continuity Trade Agreements and (b) EU/third country trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which continuity trade agreements contain (a) investor protection clauses; and which of those agreements include the potential for access to a separate tribunal to resolve investment disputes; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the continuity trade agreements that have been signed off that allow for increased movement of (a) personnel, (b) professionals and (c) business visitors; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the differences in the digital trade provisions agreed between the (a) UK and third countries in continuity trade agreements and (b) EU/third country trade agreements; and if she will make a statement.

The Continuity Trade Programme seeks to replicate, as far as possible, the effects of existing trade agreements when they no longer apply to the United Kingdom following the Transition Period. This includes ensuring that tariff rate quotas are resized to reflect historic usage and the United Kingdom’s share of EU trade.

Reports have been laid before Parliament alongside each continuity trade agreement to explain our approach in securing continuity with each of our partners, now that the United Kingdom has left the EU. These reports are laid voluntarily, but we believe it is important for Parliament to be as informed as possible.

If we have made any significant changes to the provisions of our existing agreements through entering into United Kingdom specific agreements, we have explained these changes in these reports. Textual changes are sometimes necessary to maintain maximum continuity of effect.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on the economy of not concluding a trade agreement between the UK and (a) Canada, (b) Japan and (c) Turkey by 31 December 2020; and if she will make a statement.

Brazil

The United Kingdom values Brazil as an important trading partner. Brazil is part of the Mercosur trade bloc, alongside Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. We will continue to work together to develop our trade relationship and consider options for future agreements.

Mexico, Canada, Japan and Turkey

The United Kingdom’s ambition is to sign continuity trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, Japan and Turkey by the end of the transition period, which would make sure that existing trade flows are protected. If we do not reproduce the effects of an existing EU agreement, trade with these partners would take place on British terms – in line with the “UK Global Tariff” that we have published – after the end of the transition period. The volume of trade that would be impacted by such a change varies between different trading partners and we are working closely with businesses to ensure preparedness for any scenario.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made on agreeing a trade agreement between the UK and (a) Brazil and (b) Mexico; and if she will make a statement.

Brazil

The United Kingdom values Brazil as an important trading partner. Brazil is part of the Mercosur trade bloc, alongside Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. We will continue to work together to develop our trade relationship and consider options for future agreements.

Mexico, Canada, Japan and Turkey

The United Kingdom’s ambition is to sign continuity trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, Japan and Turkey by the end of the transition period, which would make sure that existing trade flows are protected. If we do not reproduce the effects of an existing EU agreement, trade with these partners would take place on British terms – in line with the “UK Global Tariff” that we have published – after the end of the transition period. The volume of trade that would be impacted by such a change varies between different trading partners and we are working closely with businesses to ensure preparedness for any scenario.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she is seeking side letters to enable the UK to derogate from elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership during negotiations to accede to that agreement; and if she will make a statement.

Any final decision to join CPTPP will consider the progress of bilateral negotiations with CPTPP members and our confidence that we will be able to negotiate accession on terms compatible with the UK’s broader interests and domestic priorities. If the UK Government decides to formally apply for accession, we will publish our negotiation objectives, an economic scoping assessment, and a formal response to the Government’s public consultation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the first round of negotiations for a UK-US Free Trade Agreement that took place between 5 May and 15 May 2020, if she will publish the text proposals for consideration by the US States tabled by the Government; and if she will make a statement.

As part of the UK-US Free Trade Agreement negotiation process, the negotiating teams are required to exchange information. As is standard practice, letters from the UK Chief Negotiator, Oliver Griffiths, and Assistant USTR, Daniel Mullaney, pertaining to the handling of information and other facets of the negotiation, and agreed by both negotiating teams, have been exchanged. These letters can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exchanging-information-during-uk-us-trade-agreement-negotiations

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2020 to Question 43823, when her Department plans to commence trade negotiations with Turkey; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government places a great deal of importance on protecting the strong trading relationship between the United Kingdom and Turkey.

The United Kingdom-Turkey Trade Working Group was established in January 2017 and is working to secure a bilateral trade agreement as soon as possible. The Group met most recently in Ankara in February, and productive conversations are continuing through this challenging time.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2020 to Question 43823, which (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) trade unions and (c) businesses her Department plans to consult prior to commencing trade negotiations with Turkey.

My Department continues to engage with a range of interested parties to understand their priorities and inform the United Kingdom’s approach to trade with countries where trade arrangements may change once we have left the European Union, including Turkey.

Many have been clear in their message that HM Government’s priority should be to secure continuity, as far as is possible, in our trading relationships by the end of the transition period. Doing so has been the central focus of the United Kingdom-Turkey Trade Working Group, through which productive bilateral discussions continue in this challenging time.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the UK will join the multi-party interim appeal arbitration arrangement established by the EU; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom is committed to a fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system, with an appeal function, to ensure that the rules we have negotiated are enforceable.

We believe that reform discussions must progress and should not prevent parties from reaching binding resolution to disputes in the meantime. We are continuing to follow developments on the interim appeal arrangement, recently notified by nineteen WTO members, very closely.

This does not replace the need for a system that is supported by all Members and we welcome the continued commitment of Members supporting this arrangement to ‘resolving the impasse of the Appellate Body appointments as a matter of priority’.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect on the (a) manufacturer finances and (b) employment figures in the UK motor manufacturing industry of proposed post-transition customs arrangements with Turkey.

The UK’s manufacturing and motor manufacturing industry plays a vital role in the UK’s economy by driving exports, innovation, job creation and productivity. We want to ensure that it continues to succeed.

At the end of the transition period, the UK will no longer be a member of the partial EU-Turkey customs union. We are preparing to negotiate a trade agreement with Turkey that would allow businesses in both the UK and Turkey to continue to trade with each other under preferential terms and deliver continuity of current arrangements as far as possible.

This department continues to engage with businesses in the automotive industry to understand their priorities and inform the UK’s approach.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of confidentiality for proposals by US negotiators in relation to a future UK-US trade deal for (a) 5 years and (b) until that trade deal is concluded; and if she will make a statement.

We are committed to an open and transparent approach to trade negotiations and will report on the outcome of every negotiation round to ensure the public, Parliament and interest groups are informed of progress.

The exchange of letters between DIT and USTR setting out information sharing arrangements, including the confidentiality of information, is standard practice ahead of trade negotiations. Similar arrangements were published for the UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group in 2017. The arrangement we have reached does not supersede the government’s duty under the Freedom of Information Act, and is compatible with the Cabinet Office guidance on how the government should exchange classified or sensitive information internationally, with other government or organisations

The five year classification period for confidential information is also in line with both UK and US guidance.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of the (a) level of decline in the availability of global freight services and (b) the effect of that decline on costs to UK exporters; and if she will make a statement.

The Government recognises that freight operators and their workforce (including all those working in supply chains) are vital to the continued flow of critical goods. Freight is currently moving effectively across borders into and out of the UK, but Covid-19 continues to present significant risks and we are working across Government and the devolved administrations, with industry, to mitigate and manage these risks.

The Government continues to engage with UK exporters to understand the challenges that they are facing as a result of Covid-19, that affect their ability to trade with countries. To assist exporting businesses through these challenging times, the Government has announced an unprecedented package of measures which include the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), business rate holidays and the newly launched Bounce Back loans. In addition to this, UK Export Finance (UKEF) is providing support to exporting businesses facing disruptions through export finance and insurance.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the potential merits of removing the requirement for physical signatures under the (a) Bills of Exchange Act 1882 and (b) Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 to (i) help facilitate paperless trade and (ii) mitigate the effects of covid-19 on international trade; and if she will make a statement.

This Department is closely engaged and working alongside the Ministry of Justice, and a number of other key Government Departments on improving the processes for handling of both customs and maritime documents.

We are committed to the interests of traders in the UK’s future trading arrangements and to ensure the best possible outcome for UK businesses and consumers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions the Government has had with the Chinese Government on the two million covid-19 antibody tests ordered from AllTest Biotech and Wondfo Biotech (a) before and (b) after those tests were discovered to be insufficiently accurate by a University of Oxford laboratory; and if she will make a statement.

The UK Government engages regularly with the Chinese Government through our extensive diplomatic network in China. In more recent times, this has included dialogue on our response to Covid-19, including on testing.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her Indian counterpart to help secure the import of essential medical supplies to the UK; and if she will make a statement.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade spoke with her Indian counterpart, Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, on the 23 March, 30 March and 17 April. They also both attended an extraordinary virtual G20 Trade ministerial meeting on the 30 March. The Secretary of State highlighted the importance of ensuring supply chains remain open and any trade restrictive measures introduced in response to Covid-19 are proportionate, transparent and time limited. They also discussed export approval for essential shipments of medical supplies and medicines bound for the UK from India, including 2.8 million packets of over-the-counter Paracetamol tablets.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has held with her German counterpart to secure the import of essential medical supplies to the UK; and if she will make a statement.

This department’s ministerial team and I have held conversations with a wide range of international partners during the global response to Covid-19, including the European Commission and EU member states. The UK has provided much needed leadership on sustaining vital supply chains, as well as lobbying against any export restrictions which may impact on the import of medical supplies to the UK.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her Turkish counterpart to secure the import of essential medical supplies to the UK; and if she will make a statement.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State and the Ministerial team have regular ongoing discussions with the Turkish Government on a variety of issues. Most recently, the Secretary of State held a discussion with her counterpart in Turkey, Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of Trade, on COVID-19, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and our ongoing bilateral trade relationship. The Government wishes to place on record its thanks for the support received by the Turkish Government in securing vital PPE equipment for the NHS.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with her Spanish counterpart on the import of essential medical supplies to the UK from that country; and if she will make a statement.

This department’s ministerial team and I have held conversations with a wide range of international partners during the global response to Covid-19, including the European Commission and EU member states. The UK has provided much needed leadership on sustaining vital supply chains, as well as lobbying against any export restrictions which may impact on the import of medical supplies to the UK.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions her Department has had with commissioners in the European Commission to secure the import of essential medical supplies to the UK; and if she will make a statement.

This department’s ministerial team and I have held conversations with a wide range of international partners during the global response to Covid-19, including the European Commission and EU member states. The UK has provided much needed leadership on sustaining vital supply chains, as well as lobbying against any export restrictions which may impact on the import of medical supplies to the UK.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her Emirati counterpart to help secure the import of essential medical supplies to the UK; and if she will make a statement.

My Rt Hon Friend for Bournemouth West, the former Minister of State for Trade Policy, held discussions with H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy for the United Arab Emirates, on 6 April 2020, discussing the UK and UAE response and collaboration in relation to Covid-19, and our wider trading relationship. The Minister of State highlighted the immediate challenges facing nations around the globe due to Covid-19, particularly around medical supplies. This forms part of our wide-ranging healthcare partnership with the UAE.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions ministers in her Department have had with ministers in the Department for Health and Social Care on the two million covid-19 antibody tests ordered from AllTest Biotech and Wondfo Biotech (a) before and (b) after those tests were discovered to be insufficiently accurate by a University of Oxford laboratory; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade is working closely with the Department for Health and Social Care in relation to the UK’s response to Covid-19. It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department plans to publish a response to its consultation entitled The UK Global Tariff, which ended on 5 March 2020; and if she will make a statement.

To inform the development of the UK Global Tariff, the Government launched a four-week public consultation, beginning on 6 February 2020 and closing on 5 March 2020 at 23:59 GMT. The Government encouraged everyone with an interest to take part and provide their views.

The Government is now carefully considering the available evidence, including consultation responses, and HMG will communicate a response, on what is a market sensitive issue, to parliament, stakeholders and the public as soon as possible.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions her Department has had with the Department of Health on the export of personal protective equipment from the UK; and if she will make a statement.

This Department has engaged regularly with the Department for Health and Social Care in relation to the UK’s response to Covid-19. This has included assistance to establish their export authorisation processes under the European Commission’s Regulation for the export of Personal Protective Equipment. The Government’s policy is now outlined here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-protective-equipment-ppe-export-control-process.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions (a) she and (b) other Ministers in her Department have had with their Turkish counterparts on facilitating the departure from that country of the RAF aircraft containing personal protective equipment that arrived in the UK on 22 April 2020; and if she will make a statement.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State and the Ministerial team have regular ongoing discussions with the Turkish Government on a variety of issues. Most recently, the Secretary of State held a discussion with her counterpart in Turkey, Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of Trade, on COVID-19, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and our ongoing bilateral trade relationship. The Government wishes to place on record its thanks for the support received by the Turkish Government in securing vital PPE equipment for the NHS.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the attendance of her Department's Covid international procurement meetings.

Department for International Trade Ministers have been working with officials throughout the Covid-19 crisis to ensure that disruption to the UK economy, industry and supply chains are kept to a minimum. It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal departmental meetings.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, on what date the proposed deal with AllTest Biotech and Wondfo Biotech was discussed at the Covid international procurement meeting.

Department for International Trade Ministers have been working with officials throughout the Covid-19 crisis to ensure that disruption to the UK economy, industry and supply chains are kept to a minimum. It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal departmental meetings.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with G20 Trade Ministers on (a) maintaining trade routes and (b) avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. Free trade and resilient supply chains will be crucial to the global economic recovery as the crisis passes. The UK is continuing to provide economic leadership to protect the global economy from permanent damage through regular dialogue with international partners among the G7, G20 and the EU.

We have taken a key role in discussions with G20 counterparts, including the EU and its Member States, both leading up to and following the G20 Trade Ministers Statement on 30 March. This statement included a commitment to avoiding disruption to global supply chains and agreed that any trade restrictive measures put in place as a result of Covid-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary. We will continue to drive forward this important work, engaging our key trading partners to raise ambition and maintain momentum.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with her counterparts in (a) France and (b) Germany on (i) keeping global trade routes open and (ii) avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. Free trade and resilient supply chains will be crucial to the global economic recovery as the crisis passes. The UK is continuing to provide economic leadership to protect the global economy from permanent damage through regular dialogue with international partners among the G7, G20 and the EU.

We have taken a key role in discussions with G20 counterparts, including the EU and its Member States, both leading up to and following the G20 Trade Ministers Statement on 30 March. This statement included a commitment to avoiding disruption to global supply chains and agreed that any trade restrictive measures put in place as a result of Covid-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary. We will continue to drive forward this important work, engaging our key trading partners to raise ambition and maintain momentum.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the European Commission on (a) keeping global trade routes open and (b) avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced in decades. Free trade and resilient supply chains will be crucial to the global economic recovery as the crisis passes. The UK is continuing to provide economic leadership to protect the global economy from permanent damage through regular dialogue with international partners among the G7, G20 and the EU.

We have taken a key role in discussions with G20 counterparts, including the EU and its Member States, both leading up to and following the G20 Trade Ministers Statement on 30 March. This statement included a commitment to avoiding disruption to global supply chains and agreed that any trade restrictive measures put in place as a result of Covid-19 must be targeted, proportionate, transparent, and temporary. We will continue to drive forward this important work, engaging our key trading partners to raise ambition and maintain momentum.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions (a) she, (b) Ministers and (c) officials of her Department have had with the International Air Transport Association on (i) maintaining existing global airline-based trade routes to and from the UK and (ii) reopening other such trade routes (A) during and (B) after the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

This Department has not been in communication with the International Air Transport Association.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, on what date her Department’s COVID international procurement meetings (a) were established and (b) became twice daily events.

Department for International Trade Ministers have been working with officials throughout the Covid-19 crisis to ensure that disruption to the UK economy, industry and supply chains are kept to a minimum. It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal departmental meetings.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure the maintenance of International Labour Organization conventions ratified by the UK in any future trade agreement with the US; and if she will make a statement.

The UK upholds its international labour standard commitments through domestic legislation and any Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which the UK finalises with other countries will not change those commitments.

In our publication ‘Public Negotiating Objectives’ we made clear that both parties reaffirm their commitment to international labour standards, as is common practice in FTAs. We will include measures which allow the UK to maintain the integrity, and provide meaningful protection, of our world-leading labour standards.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether it is her Department's policy to exclude contracts for the delivery of (a) NHS and (b) other public services from future trade negotiations with the US; and if she will make it her policy to (a) commit to a positive list approach and (b) not commit to an investor-state dispute settlement in those negotiations.

As outlined in the Government’s approach to trade negotiations with the US published on 2 March 2020, ‘The Government has been clear that when we are negotiating trade agreements, the NHS will not be on the table.’­

The UK’s public services, including the NHS, are protected by specific exclusions, exceptions and reservations in the trade agreements to which the UK is a party, which make use of both positive and negative listing approaches. The UK will continue to ensure that the same rigorous protections are included in future trade agreements.

The UK’s international procurement obligations specifically exclude Health and Social care services. This will not change in any future trade deal.

Regarding listing and dispute resolution, these are for formal negotiations and we would not seek to pre-empt these discussions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans she has to enable UK trades unions to (a) have sight of and (b) comment on the text of negotiations on a trade agreement with the UK; and if she will make a statement.

This Government is committed to seeking views from the widest range of stakeholder groups to create an inclusive and transparent trade policy that works all parts of the UK. We must balance the need for transparency with ensuring that the United Kingdom’s economic interests are protected in what are, after all, sensitive negotiations.

We have established engagement mechanisms to ensure a broad range of stakeholders have the opportunity to inform the UK’s trade policy. This includes the Strategic Trade Advisory Group and network of Expert Trade Advisory Groups that bring together a wide variety of stakeholders, from businesses to civil society organisations, to help inform our trade policy. Any further opportunities for engagement during negotiations will be set out in due course.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she plans to maintain UK membership of the EU GSP+ Trade Scheme; and if she will make a statement.

After the Transition Period, the UK will have a trade preference scheme which at least maintains the preferential market access we currently offer to developing countries.

We intend that the scheme will have three tiers:

• The General Framework for low and lower-middle income countries that receive the EU’s standard Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP)

• The Enhanced Framework for vulnerable low and lower-middle income countries that are part of the EU’s GSP+.
• The Least Developed Country Framework for least developed countries which currently benefit from the EU’s Everything But Arms.

10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2020 to Question 21133 on Overseas Companies: India, how much funding was allocated to the South Asia Network for staff and non-pay expenditure in (a) 2017-18 and (b) 2018-19; and if she will make a statement.

The final budget delegated to the South Asia region for the financial year 2018-19 was £4.30m, comprising £3.25m for local staff and non-pay expenditure and £1.05m relating to salary costs for civil servants based in the region.

The final budget delegated to the South Asia region for the financial year 2017-18 was £2.85m for local staff and non-pay expenditure. In 2017-18 budgets for salary costs relating to civil servants based in overseas regions were not delegated but held centrally.

These figures do not include elements of wider Department for International Trade budgets, which are not set at an overseas regional level but do support the delivery of trade in overseas regions, including in South Asia.

We regularly change departmental budgets to align with progress against delivery plans.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what sector-specific steps she is taking to increase the export of UK goods and services to India; and if she will make a statement.

As outlined by the South Asia regional trade plan, the department connects UK businesses to buyers using sector-specific expertise both in the UK and our overseas network, including experts across our nine teams within our Deputy and High Commissions in India. The team covers all priority sectors, including healthcare and life sciences, digital technology, infrastructure, energy and financial and professional services. Through the UK-India Joint Working Group we are also addressing market access barriers to increase sectoral trade in food and drink, ICT, life sciences, chemicals and services.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will open negotiations with her Indian counterpart on a UK-India free trade agreement; and if she will make a statement.

We are not yet negotiating a free trade agreement with India, but we are in discussion about how to develop a deeper trade relationship. India is a key trading partner to the UK, with total bilateral trade rising by 6.4% to £22.5bn in the year to end of Q3 2019. We are committed to increasing trade and opening markets, including through the annual Secretary of State led Joint Economic and Trade Committee. The latest statement can be found here.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many times the Joint Economic Trade Committee has met in each year since 2005; and if she will make a statement.

Since 2005, we have successfully conducted 13 UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committees, to help boost bilateral trade and investment between the UK and India. The next annual dialogue is due to take place later this year.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much funding she has allocated to supporting UK businesses in India; and if she will make a statement.

The department’s budget for the South Asia Network, for the financial year 2019/20, is £4.4 m for staff and non-pay expenditure. There is no specific budget for India.

Wider DIT budgets, which are not set at a regional level, also support the delivery of trade.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of the number of (a) British and (b) European businesses who have not received payment (a) six, (b) 12 and (c) 24 months after the completion of their contracts in Cuba; and if she will make a statement.

DIT Havana are aware of 5 UK companies who have not been paid. The team is working with all parties to address payments issues. We do not hold information on European businesses.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what further steps she is planning to take to promote trade with Cuba.

The Department of International Trade (DIT) is committed to building our relationships across the world as part of our Global Britain agenda.

We have appointed Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to Latin America and the Caribbean (LatAC) to promote UK trade interests across the region including Cuba where we have a team based at the British Embassy. A LatAC Roadshow is planned in March for several UK regions to promote trade opportunities to UK companies.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department has issued to airports and airlines on ensuring that social distancing measures are implemented while passengers (a) enter and exit aircraft and (b) wait in airport waiting rooms and lounges; and if he will make a statement.

The government has introduced a range of measures such as social distancing and the wearing of face coverings to help reduce the risk of transmission on aircraft and at airports, as well as issuing clear guidance for both passengers and operators. Where social distancing is not possible, airlines are advised to carry out a risk assessment and implement appropriate risk controls. For example, wearing a face covering can play a role in helping us to protect other passengers, which is why it is mandatory to wear one on board aircraft.

Additionally, operators are encouraged to introduce clear signage and one-way passenger flows where appropriate. Arrangements may vary depending on the port or airport and the guidance is available to support port operators. The government continue to engage with the aviation sector to ensure they are supported in implementing best practices.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to require the Department of Transport or its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service as described.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to promote active travel to (a) school and (b) work; and if he will make a statement.

On 28 July the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking, with the aim that half of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked by 2030. This included a £2 billion package of funding for active travel over the next 5 years, which is the largest ever boost for cycling and walking, and will deliver transformational change. The plan included a number of steps which will support active travel to school and work including the roll-out of segregated cycle lanes in towns and cities; cycle training for everyone who wants to undertake it, whether free or at a nominal charge; and increasing the number of school streets.

The Department recently announced £2m to enable more children to cycle and walk to school. This will support the roll out of Doctor Bike clinics which will deliver cycle repair workshops in primary schools through Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival programme and further expansion of the Walk to School Outreach programme delivered by Living Streets.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to (a) temperature test people (i) arriving at and (ii) departing from airports and ports for covid-19 and (b) introduce quarantine arrangements for people arriving at those airports and ports whose temperature indicates that they may have that infection; and if will he make a statement.

Airports are following Public Health England’s (PHE) guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as following their existing internal protocols on preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

The UK Government is not mandating arriving and exit health screening currently. This is under constant review and if there is a change in policy, all ports and airports will be notified accordingly.

The advice for travellers is the same as for the rest of the population: they are advised to reduce their social contacts by staying at home and following the same social distancing measures as the rest of the country. If they begin to show symptoms, they should self-isolate. All airports are required to identify specific isolation areas to be used in case a passenger becomes ill until the local health response arrives.

17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure the security of people's jobs in the aviation sector.

Following the Chancellor’s recent announcement, we are working urgently to develop proposals to support the UK aviation industry - we are committed to ensuring the sector and its employees continue to thrive.

10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2020 to Question 18496 on Ports: Finance, how much funding was allocated to (a) Dover and (b) Felixstowe; and what that funding was spent on.

Through the Ports and Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity Fund, grants were awarded to 16 ports, including the Ports of Dover and Felixstowe. £1m was allocated to the Port of Dover, for a project to increase the number of freight vehicle spaces on assembly lanes. £0.8m was allocated to Felixstowe, for a project to deliver additional trailer storage bays.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who the recipients were and what the purpose was of each (a) grant and (b) loan of funding under the Ports Infrastructure Resilience and Capacity Fund in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

The recipients of grants under the Ports and Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity Fund were: Bristol, Dover, Felixstowe, Harwich, Heysham, Hull, Immingham, Liverpool, London Gateway, Newhaven, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Sheerness, Southampton and Teesport. These grants were for a range of infrastructure projects contributing to more resilient handling of traffic and freight at maritime ports. This fund was set up in 2019, so no grants were awarded in previous years.

No loan funding has been awarded through this fund.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase capacity for (a) freight and (b) passenger traffic at (i) each UK ferry port, (ii) Heathrow and (iii) Gatwick; and if he will make a statement.

UK ports are successful private enterprises, with a long history of private sector investment, that operate on a commercial basis delivering the capacity and capability required to serve their markets. As such the Government does not routinely intervene to increase capacity for either freight or passenger traffic. The Government is supportive of ambitions for Port growth, and has set out its vision and ambitions for the future of the British maritime sector in the Maritime 2050: navigating the future.

This Government has over the last 12 months, provided significant investment worth £30 million to our national ports infrastructure, including the Ports Infrastructure Resilience and Capacity fund which has been granted to ensure that UK ports are not only prepared for growth, but they are ready and eager for it.

The Airports National Policy Statement was designated as government policy in June 2018 following a vote in the House of Commons. It sets out that there is a need to increase airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030 by constructing one new runway and that this need is best met by the Northwest runway scheme at Heathrow Airport. It requires that at least 740,000 air transport movements are delivered at Heathrow per annum.

The Northwest runway scheme would enable Heathrow to nearly double its current freight capacity, it would also lead to better domestic connectivity by securing at least 14 domestic routes.

The Government is also supportive of airports making best use of their existing capacity, subject to the assessment of the merits of individual applications, including consideration of their environmental impacts. The Government set out its policy position for the South East of England in Beyond the Horizon: The future of UK aviation: Making best use of existing runways.

These policies make clear that the government considers that potential airport growth applications should be considered under the appropriate planning regime and should take careful account of all relevant considerations, particularly economic and environmental impacts and proposed mitigations.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason contributors to SERPS have not been given full transitional protection in the changeover to the new state pension; and if she will make a statement.

No one who qualifies for the new State Pension will receive less than they would have done under the previous system, based on their National Insurance record to 6 April 2016.

Amounts of additional State Pension (formerly State Earnings Related Pensions and Graduated Retirement Benefit) built before 2016 are carried forward into the new system, as part of the calculation of the Starting Amount for new State Pension.

Where the amount of additional State Pension already built up at 6 April 2016 exceeded the full rate of new State Pension (when combined with basic State Pension eligibility) the excess will be paid to the individual as a ‘Protected Payment’ when they reach State Pension age.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what direct notification was given to people who retired after April 2016, having paid into SERPS, that their survivor benefits were to be (a) reduced for the second time or (b) eliminated; and if she will make a statement.

Since 2014, DWP has run a comprehensive communications campaign, raising awareness of the new State Pension. This has included signposting people to resources that provide personalised information, so they can see what it might mean for them. This has included information on Gov.uk at www.gov.uk/new-state-pension and www.gov.uk/state-pension-through-partner about the new State Pension inheritance rules, including how these apply to different circumstances.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to require her Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if she will make a statement.

Payroll savings schemes are available to DWP employees.

DWP has existing arrangements with three of the UK’s leading credit unions; COMMSAVE, HEY (Hull and East Yorkshire) and VOYAGER. These credit unions offer a savings facility and a range of ethical financial services to everyone who works for DWP.

The payroll savings scheme with credit unions is part of DWP’s wider financial wellbeing toolkit, which is readily available to all employees through the staff intranet, and is promoted as part of our wider wellbeing offer.

DWP has no agencies, this response covers only DWP and does not extend to ALBs

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department is providing to universal credit claimants infected by covid-19.

The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are receiving the support they need. These changes include increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by over £1000 a year.

We have also increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

We are also temporarily relaxing the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

New Claims Advances are available to support those in immediate financial need until their first Universal Credit payment is made and the Department is committed to delivering advances as soon as possible to people who have requested them.

The Universal Credit assessment period and payment structure are fundamental parts of the design and the current advance system works, and works quickly.

It is not possible to award a Universal Credit payment as soon as a claim is made, as the assessment period must run its course before the award of Universal Credit can be calculated. In order to allow the Universal Credit system to cope with the unprecedented demand, we must limit the changes made to its framework.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to shorten or bypass the universal credit assessment period for people who (a) need to self-isolate or (b) are out of work due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are receiving the support they need. These changes include increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by over £1000 a year.

We have also increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

We are also temporarily relaxing the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

New Claims Advances are available to support those in immediate financial need until their first Universal Credit payment is made and the Department is committed to delivering advances as soon as possible to people who have requested them.

The Universal Credit assessment period and payment structure are fundamental parts of the design and the current advance system works, and works quickly.

It is not possible to award a Universal Credit payment as soon as a claim is made, as the assessment period must run its course before the award of Universal Credit can be calculated. In order to allow the Universal Credit system to cope with the unprecedented demand, we must limit the changes made to its framework.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research his Department has commissioned on (a) long covid and (b) other autoimmune conditions and their treatment; what assessment he has made of the potential correlation between long covid and gender; and if he will make a statement.

The National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation have funded a post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study to understand and improve long-term health outcomes for people hospitalised with COVID-19 and four research studies specifically looking at the long-term effects in non-hospitalised individuals. In addition, a second ‘long’ COVID-19 research call is currently underway.

Part of the research studies will be investigating possible risk factors including any possible correlation with gender.

There is a range of active research on a range of auto immune conditions and their treatments. In the past three years, 91 research awards have been made.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to support Huntington’s Disease awareness month; and if he will make a statement.

We are committed to improving the lives of those who live with rare diseases including Huntington’s disease. We published the new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework in January 2021. The new Framework provides the high-level direction for rare diseases in the UK over the next five years and increasing awareness of rare diseases among healthcare professionals is identified as a key priority.

The Framework will be followed by nation-specific action plans, developed in close consultation with stakeholders, including patient representative groups such as Genetic Alliance UK, of which Huntington’s disease Association are a member.

Patients with Huntington's disease have access to a range of services, including the services of their general practitioner, associated health professionals, neurology services, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, local mental health services for patients and their families, palliative care where appropriate and online resources. NHS England also commissions neuropsychiatry services for adults and children which provide assessment and treatment for patients with conditions such as young onset dementia including Huntington’s disease.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of Huntington's Disease UK; and if he will make a statement.

We are committed to improving the lives of those who live with rare diseases including Huntington’s disease. We published the new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework in January 2021. The new Framework provides the high-level direction for rare diseases in the UK over the next five years and increasing awareness of rare diseases among healthcare professionals is identified as a key priority.

The Framework will be followed by nation-specific action plans, developed in close consultation with stakeholders, including patient representative groups such as Genetic Alliance UK, of which Huntington’s disease Association are a member.

Patients with Huntington's disease have access to a range of services, including the services of their general practitioner, associated health professionals, neurology services, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, local mental health services for patients and their families, palliative care where appropriate and online resources. NHS England also commissions neuropsychiatry services for adults and children which provide assessment and treatment for patients with conditions such as young onset dementia including Huntington’s disease.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) raise awareness of Huntington’s Disease among (i) NHS leaders and (ii) general healthcare professionals and (b) help them to provide services that support people with that disease.

We are committed to improving the lives of those who live with rare diseases including Huntington’s disease. We published the new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework in January 2021. The new Framework provides the high-level direction for rare diseases in the UK over the next five years and increasing awareness of rare diseases among healthcare professionals is identified as a key priority.

The Framework will be followed by nation-specific action plans, developed in close consultation with stakeholders, including patient representative groups such as Genetic Alliance UK, of which Huntington’s disease Association are a member.

Patients with Huntington's disease have access to a range of services, including the services of their general practitioner, associated health professionals, neurology services, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, local mental health services for patients and their families, palliative care where appropriate and online resources. NHS England also commissions neuropsychiatry services for adults and children which provide assessment and treatment for patients with conditions such as young onset dementia including Huntington’s disease.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in Leicester had been identified as carrying the covid-19 Indian variant prior to 14 May 2021; and how many people have contracted that variant to date.

Data prior to 14 May is not available in the format requested. As of 16 June, 954 cases of the Delta variant have been recorded in the Leicester local authority area.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional steps his Department will take to reduce the stigma of menopause; and if he will make a statement.

From September 2020, relationships, sex education and health education became compulsory in all state funded schools. As part of this, pupils are taught about menstrual health and the menopause.

On 8 March, we launched a 14-week call for evidence as part of the first Government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England. The online survey within the call for evidence seeks information on the menopause. By better understanding women’s experiences, we can ensure key parts of the health service are meeting their needs. We will respond to the call for evidence after the summer and we aim to publish the Women’s Health Strategy before the end of the year.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ameliorate the potential effect of new medicines being restricted in Northern Ireland as a result of being placed under the EU regulatory framework as a result of the Northern Ireland Protocol; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has published guidance on the regulation of human medicines in the United Kingdom from 1 January 2021. This guidance also sets out mitigations to help ensure the continuous supply of medicines to patients in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health and Social Care, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Northern Ireland Department of Health have been working closely with industry to support them in their preparations to comply with the Northern Ireland Protocol and to support the availability of medicines for patients in Northern Ireland.

We are continuing to engage with the European Commission on the practical application of the Protocol. This includes immediate resolution of outstanding practical issues, and a long-term approach that ensures no barriers to the movement of medicines into Northern Ireland.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on the supply of medicines in Northern Ireland of the Northern Ireland Protocol; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has published guidance on the regulation of human medicines in the United Kingdom from 1 January 2021. This guidance also sets out mitigations to help ensure the continuous supply of medicines to patients in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health and Social Care, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Northern Ireland Department of Health have been working closely with industry to support them in their preparations to comply with the Northern Ireland Protocol and to support the availability of medicines for patients in Northern Ireland.

We are continuing to engage with the European Commission on the practical application of the Protocol. This includes immediate resolution of outstanding practical issues, and a long-term approach that ensures no barriers to the movement of medicines into Northern Ireland.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what systems does the NHS have in place to monitor the potential effect on the levels of covid-19 infections in parts of the country that are trialling the return of events for large numbers of people.

The National Health Service monitors the levels of COVID-19 infections in all parts of the country, including locations where event pilots are taking place, via the NHS Test, Trace and Isolate system. This system is key to identifying local outbreaks and variants of concern.

The Events Research Programme explores how different approaches to social distancing, ventilation and test-on-entry protocols could ease opening and maximise participation in larger events. Evidence from these pilots will inform and shape the Government’s policy to bring about the phased return of fuller audiences to venues and events. All pilot event attendees are encouraged to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test five days after attendance, to identify any positive cases associated with that event. Anyone with a positive PCR test should self-isolate and be contract traced through the NHS Test, Trace and Isolate system.

The NHS are now using mobility data to show travel patterns and highlight where the virus is at risk of spreading and wastewater analysis is taking place in 70% of the country, helping to identify communities where there are COVID-19 infections.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of training provided to staff at hotels providing covid-19 quarantine stays to ensure that those quarantining and hotel staff remain safe; and if he will make a statement.

All staff have been fully trained in COVID-19 secure practices and all contractors have been instructed to ensure their facilities and services are provided in a secure way. Staff are trained to deal with medical emergencies that may involve close contact with guests and take appropriate safety steps. Medical staff are also available at the hotel.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what provisions are in place for people in covid-19 hotel quarantine to obtain prescription medicines; and if he will make a statement.

Those in a managed quarantine facility will be able to access National Health Service healthcare via 111 or their general practitioner to seek medical attention, including for prescription medicines. They are asked to inform the medical staff at the hotel on arrival if they anticipate any issues.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has undertaken an assessment of the potential correlation between the (a) mortality rates of people with learning disabilities and (b) complaints from patients with those disabilities in each NHS trust.

No such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has undertaken an assessment of the potential correlation between the (a) lengths of stay for patients with learning disabilities and (b) number of learning disability nurses in each NHS trust.

No such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has undertaken an assessment of the potential correlation between the number of (a) failed and cancelled appointment in outpatients with learning disabilities and (b) learning disability nurses in each NHS trust.

No such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many nurses were employed by the NHS in learning disabilities care settings in each year since 2010; and if he will make a statement.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in social care, primary care, local authorities or private sector providers commissioned by the NHS.

The following table shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) HCHS nurses working in learning disability care settings from September 2010 to September 2020.

Nurses (FTE)

September 2010

5,137

September 2011

4,667

September 2012

4,311

September 2013

4,035

September 2014

3,776

September 2015

3,577

September 2016

3,442

September 2017

3,305

September 2018

3,234

September 2019

3,171

September 2020

3,221


Source: NHS Digital, NHS HCHS workforce statistics.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the ability of people with learning disabilities to receive annual health checks; and if he will make a statement.

The delivery of annual health checks for people with a learning disability remains a priority for the National Health Service. During the pandemic there has been regular communication and guidance to local systems and general practitioner practices to support national expectations and requirements. For the rolling 12 month period to the end of December 2020, 167,919 annual health checks took place, compared with 165,326 for the same 12 month period to the end of December 2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 137116 tabled on 13 January by the Member for Harrow West.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 137116 tabled by the hon. Member for Harrow West on 13 January 2021.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of creating a communications package for local public health teams, food poverty alliances and food partnerships to help increase the uptake of healthy start vouchers.

From April 2021 the Healthy Start voucher value will increase from £3.10 to £4.25. We will work closely with Healthy Start beneficiaries, retailers, local authorities and healthcare professionals to prepare for this.

The Healthy Start scheme continues to be promoted through the Healthy Start and Start4Life websites. All eligible beneficiaries receive a letter inviting them to apply for Healthy Start, together with a pre-populated application form.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the two recommendations for best practice by the NHSX set out in the report entitled Foundations of Fairness, Where next for NHS health data partnerships, published in March 2020.

The Centre for Improving Data Collaboration is working with Understanding Patient Data to operationalise the findings from the Foundations of Fairness report, working with a range of other partners in the data-driven innovation space to best understand how these recommendations can be put into practice.

It will also lead the drive for transparency by reporting annually on the partnerships it has supported, and the research enabled through its work - detailing the impact on patients, the National Health Service and the taxpayer. In addition, the Centre will ensure equity across the innovation ecosystem by making sure partnerships do not exacerbate health inequalities, and where possible mitigate them, through building capability, facilitating collaborative working and determining approaches for fair value distribution.

NHSX has also produced clear information governance guidance to empower health and care professionals to share information to support the pandemic which is available on a dedicated online portal.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the six recommendations for best practice set out in the report entitled Foundations of Fairness, Where next for NHS health data partnerships, published in March 2020.

The Centre for Improving Data Collaboration is working with Understanding Patient Data to operationalise the findings from the Foundations of Fairness report, working with a range of other partners in the data-driven innovation space to best understand how these recommendations can be put into practice.

It will also lead the drive for transparency by reporting annually on the partnerships it has supported, and the research enabled through its work - detailing the impact on patients, the National Health Service and the taxpayer. In addition, the Centre will ensure equity across the innovation ecosystem by making sure partnerships do not exacerbate health inequalities, and where possible mitigate them, through building capability, facilitating collaborative working and determining approaches for fair value distribution.

NHSX has also produced clear information governance guidance to empower health and care professionals to share information to support the pandemic which is available on a dedicated online portal.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the length of time it takes for medically qualified and registered individuals to become covid-19 vaccinators; and if he will make a statement.

The vaccination programme includes different training pathways for individuals applying for vaccinator roles depending on their qualifications, experience, clinical training and registration status.

The training is designed to be completed at the individual’s pace and the criteria for completing certain modules will vary. Therefore, the length of time it may take a medically qualified person who is registered will also vary depending on their previous vaccination experience and that relevant training is up to date.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 1 December 2020 to Question 109145, for the three hundred and seventy contracts that have been awarded by his Department for the supply of all types of personal protective equipment (PPE), what the location is of the each supplier by (a) nation and (b) region of the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Contract Award Notices are published for each contract which contain information on the name and address of the supplier.

This includes 27 United Kingdom-based manufacturers who were contracted to manufacture under the personal protective equipment ‘Make’ initiative for facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons, to build and maintain a domestic supply base for the future.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

There are currently no plans to implement a payroll deduction service or require the Department’s agencies to implement such a service. We are continuing to plan further work to explore if payroll deductions will be implemented in the future.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, (a) What is the combined cost of the 11 largest contracts for the supply of Personal Protective Coveralls, (b) what is the total number of Personal Protective Coveralls procured under each contract, and (c) what is the unit price per Personal Protective Coverall by each supplier of the largest 11 contracts; and if he will make a statement.

Three hundred and seventy contracts have been awarded by the Department for the supply of all types of personal protective equipment (PPE). The published Contract Award Notices contain details on the different types of PPE ordered against each contract, information which is not collated centrally prior to publication. Purchase orders have been raised against these contracts for over 29 million coveralls which are in the process of being delivered to the United Kingdom or have already arrived and are then quality checked at our UK warehouses before being distributed to the frontline.

Information on the unit price of PPE ordered under each contract is considered commercially confidential.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) Personal Protective Coveralls have been used throughout the NHS and ancillary services since March 2020, (b) Personal Protective Coveralls were used throughout the NHS and supplied to ancillary services in the 6 months prior to March 2020 and (c) Personal Protective Coveralls will the NHS require to use and to supply to ancillary services in the next year; and if he will make a statement.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 97448, tabled on 30 September 2020.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he took to include (a) anorexia nervosa, (b) bulimia, (c) binge eating disorder and (d) other eating disorders and the effects on the mental health and wellbeing of people affected by those disorders when determining health strategies for tackling obesity; and if he will make a statement.

We have been careful to consider the views of a wide range of experts as we developed our plans for implementing the obesity strategy and we will continue to listen going forwards. This includes feedback from mental health charities, medical and public health professionals in response to our public consultations on specific policy proposals.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment was made as part of the development the NHS Better Health app of the potential effect of that app on people with eating disorders; and if he will make a statement.

Campaigns and tools that promote healthy eating are developed with guidance from Public Health England (PHE) experts. During the development of the Better Health campaign and digital assets, PHE also liaised with appropriate organisations including a consultant psychiatrist, a charity working with people living with obesity and relevant physical activity organisations.

The NHS Weight Loss Plan app asks users to enter their height and weight to calculate their body mass index (BMI). If a user is underweight or a healthy weight according to their BMI, messaging is shown that explains this weight loss tool is not for them.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that agency staff have access to home covid-19 testing kits to enable them to obtain a test result prior to their starting an assignment at a care home.

All bank and agency staff working in care homes are eligible to access weekly COVID-19 PCR testing through the care home they work in, and we have also introduced twice-weekly rapid testing with Lateral Flow Devices.

Domiciliary care workers can access weekly PCR tests via their employer.

Anyone with symptoms can access testing through the self-referral portal system.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress has been made in upgrading the cancer facilities at Mount Vernon Hospital; and if he will make a statement.

The cancer service is not clinically sustainable on its present site and a review is underway to relocate the services. Final options are expected to be decided in April 2021 before the public consultation which is expected to start from June 2021 and a decision expected next autumn.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people in the London Borough of Harrow have been tested for covid-19 in each of the last 12 weeks; and if he will make a statement.

For the 12 week period ending 3 February, 114,853 pillar 2 tests were conducted in Harrow.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the number of anaesthetists working in London hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

As at June 2020, the number of doctors of all grades in the specialty of anaesthetics in the Government Office Region of London is 2,550 full time equivalent (FTE). Of these 1,299 FTE are consultants. This is an increase of 604 of which 356 are consultants since 2010.

We have increased the number of medical school places by 1,500 over the last three years and as part of this record expansion, also opened five new medical schools across the country. This year, we have also agreed to take in over 900 additional students following A-levels assessment – these students will start this year with some choosing to defer until 2021 intake. We have more medical students in training than at any other time in National Health Service history.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimates he has made of the number vacancies for anaesthetists in London hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

NHS Digital publish the total full time equivalent (FTE) adverts placed on NHS Jobs. The data can be found at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-vacancies-survey/april-2015---june-2020-experimental-statistics

NHS Jobs data shows that for anaesthetists in the London there were 80.9 FTE adverts placed in the three-month period April 2020-June 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the data published by NHS Digital entitled Malnutrition admissions, broken down by provider, 2008-09 to 2018-19, published on 23 September 2019, what plans he has to tackle trends in the number in hospital admissions for malnutrition; and if he will make a statement.

Malnutrition is a common clinical health problem, affecting all ages and all health and care settings. The Government is committed to better screening for malnutrition and improved food standards in hospitals.

Recent data produced by NHS Digital suggests an increase in the diagnosis of malnutrition on hospital admission. The reasons for this increase are complex. Partly the rise in diagnoses of malnutrition is likely to be due to improved screening and reporting and an ageing population.

Hospitals and care homes must screen people for malnutrition on admission and meet high standards of nutrition care. The Care Quality Commission Fundamental Standards, which are the standards below which care should never fall, set out that an individual must have enough to eat and drink to keep them in good health while they receive care and treatment. This applies to all health and social care settings

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent guidance he has issued to hospitals on reducing the number of deaths in their care of people with learning difficulties.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have published guidance for healthcare providers in relation to the care of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clinical guidance to support frontline staff in their care of people with a learning disability is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0031_Specialty-guide_LD-and-coronavirus-v1_-24-March.pdf

Guidance in relation to infection control is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/infection-control/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) is planning to have with representatives of the British Association of Private Dentistry to discuss their experience of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has had no direct discussions with representatives of the British Association of Private Dentistry and none are currently planned.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a timetable for the digital rollout of the NHS Healthy Start scheme in order for local health authorities to plan to support applicants during the rollout period; and if he will make a statement.

The NHS Business Services Authority is delivering the project to digitise the Healthy Start Scheme. As part of the project the NHS Business Services Authority holds monthly showcase events for stakeholders, this includes representatives from National Health Service trusts and local authorities. The NHS Business Services Authority will continue to communicate with all appropriate stakeholders in advance of each stage of the rollout of the digital project.

The project is due to begin the private beta phase later this year, followed by a public beta phase starting in early 2021, where new applicants will be able to apply for and use the digital service. The NHS Business Services Authority will also transfer beneficiaries who currently receive the paper-based voucher onto the new digital service from early 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of community and health service closures due to the covid-19 outbreak on people's access to paper vouchers used for the NHS Health Start scheme; and if he will make a statement.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made a number of changes to assist beneficiaries in applying for the Healthy Start Scheme and using their Healthy Start vouchers. This includes the removal for the requirement for a healthcare professional signature on the Healthy Start application form. This supports people to apply for the scheme and reduces pressure on healthcare professionals. All families who are eligible for Healthy Start continue to receive an invitation to apply for the scheme, together with a pre-populated application form. In addition, we have temporarily extended the validity period of three sets of vouchers, from eight weeks to 12 weeks, and will keep this under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what he steps he is taking to accelerate online access to the NHS Healthy Start scheme in order to improve access to healthy food for pregnant women and young children in low-income families during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We are currently developing a digital approach to Healthy Start, which will make it easier for families to apply for, receive and use Healthy Start benefits.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have made a number of changes to assist beneficiaries of the Healthy Start Scheme, such as the removal for the requirement for a healthcare professional signature on the Healthy Start application form. This supports people to apply for the scheme and reduces pressure on healthcare professionals. All families who are eligible for Healthy Start continue to receive an invitation to apply for the scheme, together with a pre-populated application form. In addition, we have temporarily extended the validity period of three sets of Healthy Start vouchers, from eight weeks to 12 weeks, and will keep this under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 37400 on Ventilators: Imports, who the members of the Joint Action Coordination Team are; and if he will publish the minutes of the meetings of that team.

The Joint Assistance Coordination Team was established as a partnership between the Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and the National Health Service to coordinate and facilitate the activity of sourcing medical equipment from overseas on behalf of the NHS.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings, and it is not common practice to disclose the names of officials.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on additional funding for care homes who have experienced increased number of deaths of residents as a result of covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

We have been working with the sector to understand the pressures they are facing at this time, and recognise the potential impact of reduced occupancy in residential settings on provider finances.

To support the sector, on 19 March we announced £1.6 billion to help local authorities deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19, which many councils will have directed towards adult social care services. On 18 April we announced an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support councils delivering essential frontline services.

On 13 May we announced an additional £600 million for an Infection Control Fund for adult social care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how he plans to recruit contact tracers to track cases of covid-19; how many contact tracers will be required; whether he plans to prioritise the recruitment of people who have been furloughed; and if he will make a statement.

We are in the process of recruiting 18,000 staff to support enhanced contact tracing, and that number will be increased if needed. This will be a mix of call handlers (approximately 15,000) and health professionals (approximately 3,000). Call handlers are being sourced from the commercial sector and the recruitment of health professionals is being overseen by NHS Professionals. Recruitment could include staff who are currently furloughed, subject to approval from their employers.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to include (a) Harrow, (b) Barnet and (c) Brent in any future contact tracing pilot to tackle covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

We are developing a new test and trace programme. This will bring together an app, expanded web and phone-based contact tracing, and swab testing for those with potential COVID-19 symptoms.

The first phase of the National Health Service COVID-19 app rollout is taking place on the Isle of Wight. This will ensure the app is functioning as expected and will help us to see how it works best alongside the existing web and phone-based systems and to ensure that it dovetails with the testing programme. National rollout is expected from mid-May. There are no specific plans for Harrow, Barnet and Brent.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Ministers of the Department of International Trade to help secure imports of medical ventilators during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We have been working rapidly to secure additional ventilator capacity through established United Kingdom suppliers and from overseas. The Joint Action Coordination Team was established, which works across the Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide support and assistance for all international procurement work.

The Government is doing everything it can to ensure the National Health Service and care workers have the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. Our overseas diplomatic network is engaged in a massive international procurement effort underway to buy the additional medical equipment the NHS needs. Almost 900 ventilators from overseas have arrived since March. They have been bought or donated from China, US, Germany, and Taiwan. Thousands more are due to arrive over the coming weeks.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to publish figures relating to people that have been discharged from hospital after recovering from covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

The latest available data on the number of COVID-19 cases can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Cumulative case counts include patients who are currently unwell, those that have recovered and those that have died.

Public Health England is not currently publishing ‘patients recovered’ due to limitations in the quality of the data provided.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help secure the import of personal protection equipment during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government effort to expand the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from imports from overseas and improving domestic manufacturing capability.

A cross-Government PPE sourcing unit, staffed by over 400 people, is securing new supply lines from across the world and has published rigorous standards against which purchases will be made. We are identifying new sources of critical PPE from overseas markets, diversifying the United Kingdom’s sources of supply and strengthening the UK’s supply chains for the long term.

Teams from the Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office around the world are seeking new supplies, lobbying governments to lift export restrictions and helping get crucial deliveries back to the UK. The combined Department for International Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for Health and Social Care efforts have resulted in the Department for Health and Social Care raising purchase orders for over 31 billion items of PPE; direct from new relationships in source countries, as well as through our trusted UK suppliers to the National Health Service, who themselves are using their global connections to help us.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Ministers of the Department of International Trade to help secure imports of (a) surgical gowns, (b) masks and (c) other essential personal protection equipment for (i) clinical staff and (ii) other key workers during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Lord Deighton is leading the Government effort to expand the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) from imports from overseas and improving domestic manufacturing capability.

We have set up a cross-Government PPE sourcing unit to secure new supply lines from across the world and we have published rigorous standards against which we will buy. Our teams across the world have ensured local sources are able to deliver the products required. The Department for International Trade has also stood up a global network to coordinate the PPE sourcing.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 April 2020 to Question 30666 on Northwick Park Hospital: coronavirus, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of supply of FFP3 masks at Northwick Park hospital; and if he will make a statement.

There is unprecedented, global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Government, NHS Supply Chain, and the National Health Service are working hard with industry to secure additional supplies and manufacture further PPE. For acute, mental health, community, integrated care and ambulance trusts there is a PPE dedicated supply channel delivering all core PPE products used for managing and treating patients with COVID-19 such as eye protection, aprons, gloves, gowns, masks and hand sanitiser. Pallet deliveries are being made on a regular basis.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of the (a) Chinese and (b) Indian companies selling medical (i) surgical gowns, (ii) masks and (iii) other personal protection equipment that her Department has visited to source such supplies for the UK during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

A cross-Government personal protective equipment (PPE) sourcing unit, staffed by over 400 people, is securing new supply lines from across the world and has published rigorous standards against which purchases will be made. Department for International Development and Foreign and Commonwealth Office teams around the world are seeking new supplies, lobbying governments to lift export restrictions and getting crucial deliveries back to the United Kingdom.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in particular the embassy in Beijing, have supported us in relation to procurement activity in China. However, we do not hold records centrally of visits made by local Department for International Development or Foreign and Commonwealth Office official to individual suppliers of PPE in either China or India.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help secure the import of medical ventilators during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We have been working rapidly to secure additional ventilator capacity through established United Kingdom suppliers and from overseas. The Joint Action Coordination Team was established, which works across the Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to provide support and assistance for all international procurement work.

The Government is doing everything it can to ensure the National Health Service and care workers have the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. Our overseas diplomatic network is engaged in a massive international procurement effort underway to buy the additional medical equipment the NHS needs. Almost 900 ventilators from overseas have arrived since March. They have been bought or donated from China, the United States, Germany, and Taiwan. Thousands more are due to arrive over the coming weeks.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for testing people on their discharge from hospital following treatment for covid-19 to ensure that they are no longer able to transmit covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has published guidance on infection control precautions and discharging of COVID-19 patients which can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-stepdown-of-infection-control-precautions-within-hospitals-and-discharging-covid-19-patients-from-hospital-to-home-settings/guidance-for-stepdown-of-infection-control-precautions-and-discharging-covid-19-patients

All patients being discharged to a care home will be tested prior to discharge to ascertain their COVID-19 status. More information can be found in the COVID-19: adult social care action plan, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-social-care-action-plan

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to requisition (a) private hospitals and (b) testing centres to support efforts to control and respond to the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

As announced by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on Saturday 21 March, the National Health Service has struck a deal with private hospitals to acquire thousands of extra beds, ventilators and medical staff to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

An extra 8,000 hospital beds across England, nearly 1,200 ventilators and almost 20,000 fully qualified staff will be available from next week.

From this week, we plan to increase testing to 10,000 a day (up from 5,000 a day last week). Within four weeks, Public Health England and the NHS expect to be conducting 25,000 tests a day – and we will continue to increase testing capacity, up to 250,000 a day.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to issue guidance to the Chief Executives of all NHS Trusts on the provision of personal protective equipment to all front line staff; and if he will make a statement.

The Department published ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): personal protective equipment (PPE) plan’ on 10 April which sets out the steps taken towards three strands of work: guidance; delivery; and future supply. The plan is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-personal-protective-equipment-ppe-plan

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Northwick Park Hospital is receiving the support it needs to tackle to covid-19 outbreak.

Northwick Park Hospital is one of a group of hospitals chosen to care for COVID-19 patients.

The Government is working around the clock to give the National Health Service and the wider social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak.

In the past two weeks, the NHS Supply Chain have delivered 170 million FFP3 masks, surgical masks and other personal protective equipment to NHS trusts and 58,000 healthcare settings including general practitioners, pharmacies and community providers.

While this is a new coronavirus, Northwick Park Hospital staff have extensive experience of treating infectious diseases. They also have appropriate facilities designed to provide the best care for patients who have the virus whilst keeping everyone else being treated at Northwick Park Hospital safe.

The NHS in London and Public Health England are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ventilators Northwick Park Hospital has; and if he will make a statement.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in March there were more than 8,000 mechanical ventilators in hospitals across the United Kingdom. As of 4 May, we have around 10,900 mechanical ventilators available to National Health Service patients. In addition, there are also 6,291 non-invasive ventilators available to the NHS across the UK which were not available before the start of the crisis in mid-March (plus a further 73 from the private sector).

These figures will continue to rise as we procure further equipment and more products from the PM’s ventilator challenge become available.

Mechanical ventilators are allocated pro rata between England and the devolved administrations, but then within each nation decisions of where to send ventilators are based on clinical need. In England hospitals can make a bid for ventilators and these are discussed and allocated with regional NHS England and NHS Improvement teams. More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/04/C0233-ventilator-consumables-8-april.pdf

Information on distributions of mechanical ventilators to Northwick Park Hospital is not currently available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost of (a) three new theatres, (b) a new recovery area and (c) the refurbishment of the (i) Intensive Treatment Unit and (ii) High Dependency Unit at Northwick Park Hospital; and if he will make a statement.

London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust will be developing appropriate business cases to gain support and funding for these essential improvements at Northwick Park Hospital.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 28 February 2020 to Question 1157, for what purpose the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has identified a requirement for £2.5 million capital funds; and if he will make a statement.

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has identified a requirement for £2.5 million capital funds to fund the replacement of a linear accelerator at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre. This cost includes both the cost of the linear accelerator itself and associated enabling and refurbishment works required.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) digital and (b) paper care records at Northwick Hospital; and if he will make a statement.

We are committed to the digitisation of paper records to enable effective patient care and enhanced patient safety.

Northwick has progressive plans to move all paper records to digital systems over the next three years.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of full-time equivalent vacancies there are for (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) other clinical professionals at Northwick Park Hospital; and if he will make a statement.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to sell off land on the Northwick Park Hospital site; and if he will make a statement.

The latest published data on National Health Service trust surplus land disposals is available online, and reflects the position at 31 March 2019:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-surplus-land/2018-19-england-pas

Within this dataset, the surplus land identified at Northwick Park Hospital is officially recorded as being disposed of in March 2019.

The London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust have confirmed that there are no further plans to sell off land at the Northwick Park Hospital site.’

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost of making safe the asbestos on the Northwick Park Hospital site; and if he will make a statement.

All asbestos on the Northwick Park Hospital site is safely and appropriately managed in compliance with National Regulations and Legislation. Its presence means there are the costs of undertaking works associated with its management and removal and this is reflected in the reported total Backlog liability for the Northwick Park Hospital site of £141 million, of which £51 million is High and Significant Risk.

Prior to June 2017, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust had been supported with investment in a new emergency department, additional theatres, additional inpatient beds and high-risk essential estate infrastructure. Since then, the Trust has invested in a new vascular and interventional centre, expanded critical care capacity and is currently undertaking a replacement programme of diagnostic equipment as well as continuing with its fire safety and site engineering infrastructure works programme.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to improve services at Northwick Park Hospital since June 2017; and if he will make a statement.

All asbestos on the Northwick Park Hospital site is safely and appropriately managed in compliance with National Regulations and Legislation. Its presence means there are the costs of undertaking works associated with its management and removal and this is reflected in the reported total Backlog liability for the Northwick Park Hospital site of £141 million, of which £51 million is High and Significant Risk.

Prior to June 2017, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust had been supported with investment in a new emergency department, additional theatres, additional inpatient beds and high-risk essential estate infrastructure. Since then, the Trust has invested in a new vascular and interventional centre, expanded critical care capacity and is currently undertaking a replacement programme of diagnostic equipment as well as continuing with its fire safety and site engineering infrastructure works programme.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to raise awareness amongst GPs of Giant Cell Arteritis to allow early diagnosis and treatment.

Giant Cell Arteritis (GCA) is one of over 6,000 rare diseases. There are no bespoke measures in place to raise awareness of GCA amongst general practitioners (GPs), however, steps to increase awareness of rare conditions such as Giant Cell Arteritis, and improve outcomes for those living with rare diseases are being taken through the implementation of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rare-diseases-strategy

Measures include, for example, the UK Rare Diseases Forum via its digital platform and an annual conference. The recent ‘national conversation on rare diseases’ survey, sought views from the rare diseases community to understand the major challenges faced by those living and working with rare diseases. Results of the survey will be fed into the development of a new post-2020 Framework to build on the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people with Giant Cell Arteritis who lost their vision as a result of a late diagnosis, in each of the last five years.

The Department does not hold information about the number of people with Giant Cell Arteritis who lost their vision as a result of a late diagnosis.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will hold discussions with the Royal College of GPs on introducing mandatory training on the menopause for trainee GPs; and if he will make a statement.

The curricula for general practitioner (GP) Specialty Training are set by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and must meet the standards set by the General Medical Council (GMC) and be formally approved by them.

The RCGP Curriculum ‘Being a General Practitioner’, has recently been reviewed and a wide range of conditions are covered in the clinical topic guides. The curriculum is designed to integrate with the GMC’s generic professional capabilities framework. The framework prioritises several themes, such as patient safety, quality improvement, safeguarding vulnerable groups, health promotion, leadership, team-working and other fundamental aspects of professional behaviour and practice.

The menopause is emphasized in the clinical topic guides that supplement the curriculum and is listed in the ‘common and important conditions’ section of the topic guide on gynaecology and breast health.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12197 on Mount Vernon Hospital Northwood and Northwick Park Hospital: Radiotherapy, what the cost to the public purse will be of replacing each linear accelerator that is due to be replaced in 2020; whether his Department has allocated funding for those replacements; and if he will make a statement.

The replacement of Linear Accelerators is the responsibility of the providers and should form part of their capital programmes. Costs per Linear Accelerator vary depending on the machine required and the price sourced by the National Health Service supply chain framework, and also on the works necessary to carry out the replacement. A typical replacement machine costs from £1.5 million.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has not yet agreed its capital programme for 2020/21 but has identified a requirement for £2.5 million capital funds which the Board will consider along with other capital priorities when it agrees how to spend its capital budget.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 24 October 2019 to Question 2644 on Northwick Park Hospital: Repairs and Maintenance, what the backlog of maintenance was for each acute hospital in 2018-19 reported to the NHS Estates Returns Information Collection; and if he will make a statement.

The Department collects data on backlog maintenance annually from National Health Service trusts through its Estates Returns Information Collection (ERIC) which is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/estates-returns-information-collection/england-2018-19

The accuracy of the data is the responsibility of the contributing NHS organisations. In the 2018-19 ERIC publication there is site specific data on levels of backlog maintenance for 223 ‘general acute hospitals’ and 33 ‘specialist hospitals (acute only)’. The levels of recorded backlog are attached.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the expected overspend at the end of the 2019-2020 of (a) London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and (b) Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Government has responded to the financial challenges faced by the National Health Service by providing significant increases in funding. A five-year settlement will see Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) funding increase by £33.9 billion per year by 2023-24 that will support the NHS Long Term Plan. In addition new Capital DEL funding is being provided, totalling £4.8 billion, that will support new capital programmes across the NHS, including the Health Infrastructure Plan announced in October 2019.

Key commitments included in the NHS Long Term Plan include: a return to financial sustainability for all organisations and for all systems to become Integrated Care Systems, which will bring together organisations to redesign care, reduce inequalities, deliver financial sustainability and most importantly improve population health.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a cancer strategy for the future of cancer services in North West London; and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to publish a cancer strategy for the future of cancer services in North West London. An ambitious programme of improvements in cancer care across the whole of England were set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. This built on the 2015 National Cancer Strategy, Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the effectiveness of (a) digital and (b) paper care records at Mount Vernon Hospital; and if he will make a statement.

We are committed to the digitisation of paper records to enable effective patient care and enhanced patient safety. A digital transformation plan, which will include digitisation of patient care records, is currently underway for Mount Vernon’s main acute services and is expected to conclude in May 2020. A strategic review of the separate Mount Vernon Cancer Centre is also underway and expected to be completed during 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Mount Vernon Cancer Centre is permitted to provide advanced radiotherapy as recommended by NICE for the treatment of lung cancer; and if he will make a statement.

Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (MVCC) is commissioned to provide advanced radiotherapy as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence for lung cancer.

MVCC’s radiotherapy services provide rapid arc techniques on Linear Accelerators for the appropriate cohort of lung patients, and all external beam treatments use Image Guided Radiotherapy techniques. MVCC also delivers Continuous Hyperfractionated Accelerated radiotherapy, as well as Stereotactic Ablative radiotherapy treatments on Cyberknife for early stage tumours.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) age and (b) estimated remaining working life is of radiotherapy machinery at (i) Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and (ii) Northland Park Hospital; and if he will make a statement.

Mount Vernon Cancer Centre currently has seven linear accelerators and one Cyberknife machine. Three machines are due for replacement in 2020, three in 2022, one in 2027 and one in 2028.

Radiotherapy machinery is normally replaced every 10 years, although some machines can last longer depending on a range of factors, for example, software upgrades. The three machines due to be replaced this year are between 10 and 13 years old.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) nurses and (b) doctors are employed to provide cancer care at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement were able to provide the following data that details the number of whole time equivalent nurses, and doctors, at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.

- Whole time equivalent nurses – 83; and

- Whole time equivalent doctors – 49.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of full-time equivalent vacancies there are for (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) other clinical professionals at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement were able to provide the following data that details the vacancy rates in Mount Vernon Cancer Centre for nurses, medical staff, scientific, therapeutic and technical staff, and clinical support staff.

- Nursing - 25.6% (nursing);

- Medical – 9.4% (medical);

- Scientific, therapeutic and technical - 7.9%; and

- Clinical Support Staff - 29.2%.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to tackle the predicted financial deficits in (a) clinical commissioning groups and (b) acute trusts in north-west London; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has responded to the financial challenges faced by the National Health Service by providing significant increases in funding. A five-year settlement will see Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) funding increase by £33.9 billion per year by 2023-24 that will support the NHS Long Term Plan. In addition new Capital DEL funding is being provided, totalling £4.8 billion, that will support new capital programmes across the NHS, including the Health Infrastructure Plan announced in October 2019.

Key commitments included in the NHS Long Term Plan include: a return to financial sustainability for all organisations and for all systems to become Integrated Care Systems, which will bring together organisations to redesign care, reduce inequalities, deliver financial sustainability and most importantly improve population health.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost of making safe asbestos on the Mount Vernon Hospital site; and if he will make a statement.

Based on a detailed site condition survey undertaken in 2017, the estimated cost of removing all Asbestos Containing Materials at the Mount Vernon Hospital site is almost £12 million.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timetable is for the appointment of the chief executive of London North West University Healthcare NHS trust; and if he will make a statement.

The timetable for the appointment of the chief executive of London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust is managed locally by the Trust.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to sell off NHS land on the Mount Vernon Hospital site; and will he make a statement.

The latest published data on National Health Service trust surplus land disposals is available online, and reflects the position at 31 March 2019:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/nhs-surplus-land/2018-19-england-pas

We understand that the Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is engaged in a comprehensive review and re-formulation of its clinical strategy, which in turn will determine its future estate requirements.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the estimated cost to the public purse is of (a) replacing and (b) relocating the Linear Accelerators on the Mount Vernon site to another location, and if he will make a statement.

The estimated cost to replace a Linear Accelerator in its current location is approximately £1.5 million. Relocation costs vary depending on preparations required and where the Linear Accelerator is being relocated to. Relocation to a site with a ready-to-use bunker could cost around £1.5 million per Linear Accelerator. Relocation to a new site could cost substantially more, and would depend on a number of factors including, acquisition of land and the building of bunkers.

As part of the Mount Vernon Strategic Review, a range of options will be developed to improve travel times for patients requiring radiotherapy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with NHS England on a potential merger of the Hillingdon Hospitals Trusts and North West Hospitals trusts; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers have had no discussions with NHS England and NHS Improvement on a potential merger of The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) raise awareness of the need for stem cell donations from the BAME communities and (b) encourage more people to join the stem cell donor register; and if he will make a statement.

Since 2011 the Department has provided over £26.8 million in financial support to NHS Blood and Transplant and Anthony Nolan to enable the establishment of a unified United Kingdom Stem Cell Registry and improve access to and outcomes of stem cell donation. This includes improving equity of access to unrelated donor stem cell transplantation for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) patients through targeted recruitment to the UK Stem Cell Registry.

Current funding includes very specific stipulations about the numbers of newly registered bone marrow donors, and the proportion of umbilical cords stored in the UK Cord Blood Bank that must be from BAME backgrounds (35-40%). There are now 1.6 million donors on the UK’s aligned stem cell registry and the proportion of BAME donors in the UK registry has gone up from 11% to 14% between 2014 and 2019. In 2018, 22% of newly registered potential donors were from BAME backgrounds.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 13 January 2020 to Question 29 on Members: Correspondence, whether the Chief Executive of the NHS intends to respond to that letter before the February Parliamentary recess.

David Sloman, NHS Regional Director for London responded to the Member’s letter regarding walk in services in Harrow on 10 January 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to (a) increase the number of operating theatres and (b) refurbish the (i) intensive treatment unit and (ii) high dependency unit facilities at Northwick Park hospital; and if he will make a statement.

Individual National Health Service organisations are responsible for maintaining their estates. NHS provider organisations invest in excess of £3 billion of capital annually. Providers should ensure capital investments are consistent with their clinical strategies and the delivery of safe, productive services

We recognise the challenge for providers in maintaining their existing estates and investing in new facilities. To support this, the Government announced £3.9 billion of additional capital funding in the 2017 Spring and Autumn Budgets and a further £2.1 billion boost of funding in 2019 - £1 billion for existing upgrade programmes to proceed and to tackle the most urgent infrastructure projects, £850 million for 20 hospital upgrades and £200 million for new MRI and CT scanners for 78 trusts.

In September, the Government launched a new Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP), which will deliver a long-term, strategic investment in the future of the NHS, including a new hospital building programme – through which the Government plans to build 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years. Critical Infrastructure Risk was a key criterion when considering suitable schemes for the first phase of HIP.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what further steps he will take to tackle the high significant risk maintenance backlog at Northwick Park hospital; and if he will make a statement.

Individual National Health Service organisations are responsible for maintaining their estates. NHS provider organisations invest in excess of £3 billion of capital annually. Providers should ensure capital investments are consistent with their clinical strategies and the delivery of safe, productive services

We recognise the challenge for providers in maintaining their existing estates and investing in new facilities. To support this, the Government announced £3.9 billion of additional capital funding in the 2017 Spring and Autumn Budgets and a further £2.1 billion boost of funding in 2019 - £1 billion for existing upgrade programmes to proceed and to tackle the most urgent infrastructure projects, £850 million for 20 hospital upgrades and £200 million for new MRI and CT scanners for 78 trusts.

In September, the Government launched a new Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP), which will deliver a long-term, strategic investment in the future of the NHS, including a new hospital building programme – through which the Government plans to build 40 new hospitals over the next 10 years. Critical Infrastructure Risk was a key criterion when considering suitable schemes for the first phase of HIP.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Chief Executive of NHS England plans to respond to the letter of 26 September 2019 from the hon. Member for Harrow West on the provision of walk-in services.

NHS England has advised that it apologises for the delay in responding and a reply will be sent to the hon. Member very shortly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's policy is on the future of Mount Vernon Cancer centre; and if he will make a statement.

A Strategic Review of Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (MVCC) is underway and is being overseen by a multi-agency Programme Board, chaired by NHS England and NHS Improvement. The sustainability of services at the MVCC will be determined by clinical options to enable access to the full range of inpatient services over the medium and long term.

Supported by a Clinical Advisory Group, the Board has agreed that the involvement of an existing tertiary cancer provider is key to service development, transition, staff retention and enabling patient access to clinical trials through embedding research within clinical services. In line with this, an alternative NHS tertiary cancer provider is being identified to operate services from the MVCC. The Board will then commence a comprehensive review of future options for service delivery. This review is expected to complete during 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to apply sanctions against (a) General Shavendra Silva, (b) Major General Kamal Gunaratne and (c) others resident in Sri Lanka and elsewhere credibly accused of gross human rights violations and war crimes; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Government remains concerned by the number of appointments in Sri Lanka of military figures implicated in allegations of human rights violations and war crimes to senior positions. The UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime offers a powerful tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. It is not appropriate to speculate on who may be designated in the future as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding the UK has provided to the World Trade Organisation’s Aid for Trade programme in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has funded the Aid for Trade initiative at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for many years, supporting least developed and developing countries to break down barriers to trade and promote economic prosperity. Whilst there isn't a specific WTO aid-for-trade programme - it is a biennial work programme setting out thematic workshops - there are various WTO based funds; most of which the UK has funded. The main Aid for Trade funds at the WTO are: the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), the Doha Development Agenda Trust Fund (DDATF) and the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF). Over the last 5 years the UK has provided approximately £17 million across three different funds.

2016 - £3.5 million

2017 - £3.25 million

2018 - £3.12 million

2019 - £4.25 million

2020 - £2.7 million

Our comprehensive Aid for Trade programmes support critical trade infrastructure like ports and roads; tackle burdensome regulations, high transport costs and delays at customs; and build trade skills so that partner countries are better able to take advantage of trading opportunities and enhance their capacity to negotiate and implement trade agreements. Our Aid for Trade portfolio will continue to deliver the critical support necessary for developing and least developed countries to harness their trading opportunities and take ownership of their overall economic development.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) his counterparts in the G7 and (b) the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential need for ongoing annual financial support to ensure the suppression of covid-19 in low- and middle-income nations; and if he will make statement.

The UK is at the forefront of the international COVID-19 response, committing up to £1.3 billion of new ODA to counter the health, economic, and humanitarian impacts of COVID-19, including £500 million to COVAX to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. We have also adapted over 300 existing programmes to respond to the challenges created by COVID-19.

The UK will continue to play a leadership role, including through our G7 Presidency, to strengthen the international response to, and recovery from COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries. Investing in global health is one of seven ways the UK will prioritise ODA in 2021, to tackle COVID-19 and promote global health security.

We have supported the multilateral development banks to make over $200 billion available to developing countries and will continue to work with the International Financial Institutions and Development Finance Institutions to support a green, inclusive, and resilient recovery globally.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will take steps to build the capacity of trade unions and civil society groups in developing countries to engage in trade negotiations; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Government provides technical advice and skills training to governments in developing countries to build capacity to negotiate and benefit from trade and investment agreements through the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+). We also deliver technical assistance for the African Continental Free Trade Area negotiations through the African Union Support Programme.

We support a range of organisations, including civil society groups, small-scale farmers and small manufacturing units to build technical skills to sustainably grow their businesses and benefit from wider trade opportunities, through, for example, the Trade, Enterprise and Employment programme in sub Saharan Africa, which we co-fund with Comic Relief.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to require his Department and its agencies to provide a payroll deduction service to allow staff to save more easily with a credit union; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office does not have a facility to allow staff to join a credit union through payroll deductions and it is not a service that our staff have requested we consider.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to increase access to medicines in developing countries; and if he will make a statement.

Improving access to medicines is a critical part of our contribution in developing countries. The FCDO works with partners across the value chain to make products more affordable, and improve country level procurement and distribution. We are a leading donor to Unitaid's Medicines Patent Pool, which promotes patent sharing and licensing. We also fund the Access to Medicine Index, which monitors company performance on providing greater access to medicines.

The UK is one of the largest government contributors to global efforts to develop COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. This includes up to £500 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment which is supporting 92 developing countries to gain access to a COVID-19 vaccine, when one becomes available.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the persecution of Christians in Pakistan.

We urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens. We engage at a senior level with the Government of Pakistan on the mistreatment of religious and ethnic groups, including from the Ahmadiyya, Christian, Hazara and Shia communities. Most recently, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister for South Asia, raised our concerns regarding Freedom of Religion or Belief with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August. Lord Ahmad also raised these concerns with the Governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, on 8 September.

The former Foreign Secretary [Jeremy Hunt MP] asked the Bishop of Truro to review what the former FCO could do to better support the plight of Christians globally. The Bishop responded with a report setting out the gravity of the issue, as well as practical recommendations for an enhanced response to the plight of Christians and people persecuted for holding other religions or beliefs. The UK Government has committed to implementing the Bishop's 22 recommendations in full, and work is continuing in the FCDO to implement them in a way that will bring real improvements in the lives of those persecuted because of their faith or belief. More than half of the recommendations have already been implemented, or are in the process of being implemented.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what Official Development Assistance he has allocated to support (a) education and (b) healthcare in Pakistan.

In 2019-20 the UK Government spent between £93-94 million on education and just over £30 million on healthcare (including health and nutrition programmes) in Pakistan.

Revised ODA allocations for 2020/21 will be published by HM Treasury at Autumn Budget. The Statistics for International Development published in 2021 will provide a full breakdown of the UK's ODA spend for 2020.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Vulnerable Supply Chains Initiative in meeting that scheme's objectives; and if he will make a statement.

The Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility seeks to enable vulnerable people and supply chains in agriculture and the garments sectors to recover from and remain resilient to the economic and social impacts of COVID-19. It will leverage the reach and influence of responsible businesses through partnerships with expert organisations such as Fairtrade or the Ethical Trading Initiative.

In just under ten weeks the Facility established partnerships with 16 of the UK's largest retailers and wholesalers. We are already starting to see some of the results, such as the commencement of COVID-19 occupational health and safety training in over 20 garment factories in Bangladesh. Over the coming 12 months the portfolio will benefit over 800,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. I have every confidence the Facility will meet its objectives and ensure Britain is a force for good in the world.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to schedule repatriation flights from Karachi in Pakistan to enable UK residents physically unable to undertake the 752-mile journey to Lahore or the 877-mile journey to Islamabad from Karachi to return home to the UK; and if he will make a statement.

We continue to hold discussions with the Government of Pakistan to arrange further charter flights. On 26 April we announced that the first UK charter flight from Karachi will depart on 30 April. We have advised British nationals in Karachi looking to return to the UK to register interest, which can be found in the 'Return to the UK' page of our Pakistan travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/pakistan/return-to-the-uk.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many meetings the British Ambassador to Cuba has had with the Cuban Government on non-payment by Cuban authorities for work undertaken by (a) UK and (b) European businesses; and if he will make a statement.

Our Ambassador to Cuba has raised the issue of non-payment of debts to British and European businesses in various meetings with Cuban Government ministers and officials on numerous occasions, and we continue to press Cuban authorities to repay all outstanding debts.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will exempt Catholic sixth form colleges from paying VAT; and if he will make a statement.

Under the current VAT rules, the supply of education by an eligible body, including sixth form colleges, without a charge is outside the scope of VAT. Where a charge is applied, it is exempt from VAT. In either case, this means that no VAT is charged on these services. The Government has no plans to review these provisions.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a VAT exemption for building materials used in remediation works on buildings identified as having fire safety defects; and if he will make a statement.

Under the current VAT rules, replacement cladding may qualify for a zero rate when the replacement cladding forms part of the original construction and the person requesting the replacement cladding is either the owner, developer or contractor during the original construction works. Otherwise, remediation work falls under repair and maintenance and attracts the standard rate of VAT.

The Government announced on 10 February 2021 that it would fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres and over in England. It was also announced that for low rise buildings between 11 metres and 18 metres, with a lower risk to safety, there will be new protection from the costs of cladding removal.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether an assessment was made on the effect of the demutualisation of building societies and financial mutuals on the events leading up to the financial crash in 2007-08; and if he w