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


Department Event
Thursday 16th June 2022
09:30
Department for International Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
16 Jun 2022, 9:30 a.m.
International Trade (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 176 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Tuesday 17th May 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
I am sure that the Chief Secretary will agree that, for levelling up to work well, there is a need …
Written Answers
Friday 20th May 2022
Passports: Applications
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to increase the number …
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
Thursday 24th March 2022
P&O Ferries and DP World
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice …
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 377 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
Bill Esterson (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)
(49 debate interactions)
Greg Hands (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(47 debate interactions)
Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for International Trade
(132 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(34 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(28 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 Debates Contributed

Ensure Water companies treat the sewage they are responsible for. Not discharge it into rivers and water courses. After all what goes into the ocean comes back as the fish we eat.


Latest EDMs signed by Gareth Thomas

23rd March 2022
Gareth Thomas signed this EDM on Thursday 24th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
17th January 2022
Gareth Thomas signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 20th January 2022

Tamil Heritage Month 2022

Tabled by: Ed Davey (Liberal Democrat - Kingston and Surbiton)
That this House recognises January as Tamil Heritage Month; acknowledges the tremendous contributions that Tamils make to British society, particularly the vital role the Tamil community has played in helping the UK tackle covid-19 as healthcare workers, teachers, and vaccine researchers; celebrates the richness of Tamil culture; notes that the …
13 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Feb 2022)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 4
Labour: 4
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Independent: 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

1 Adjournment Debate led by Gareth Thomas

Wednesday 15th September 2021

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

780 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
8 Other Department Questions
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will (a) encourage the Planning Inspectorate to review the adequacy of local authorities enforcement powers to ensure appropriate remedy in cases where plans submitted by pub chains were inaccurate, (b) take steps to strengthen accountability of (i) pub chains and (ii) their agents submitting planning applications and (c) make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the planning application submitted by agents on behalf of Fullers of London for enlargement of the garden of the Castle pub in Harrow on the Hill; and if he will make a statement.

While I appreciate the members concerns, and those raised, due to my role within the planning system I cannot comment on the specifics of individual cases.

What I can say is that if a development differs from that shown on the plans approved, and no consent has been given for this change, it may be subject to enforcement action if the local planning authority considers such action to be in the public interest.

The Government has given local authorities a wide range of planning enforcement powers with strong penalties for non-compliance, and that local authorities are best placed to decide what, if any, action to take depending on the particular circumstance of each case

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on Gov.uk.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the competitiveness on price of companies seeking to secure contracts for mandatory building fire safety repairs; and if he will make a statement.

The Building Safety Fund will cover all reasonable costs for eligible works that are necessary to remediate unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings. Reasonable costs must be informed by an industry standard approach to specification and procurement of works, having regard to cost benchmarks established from comparable projects. Higher than expected costs will be challenged and will be subject to further scrutiny, and the level of grant may be reduced.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, for what reason the Building Safety Fund does not cover the cost of garage roof remediation if that work is necessary to make a residential building safe from fire; and if he will make a statement.

Government funding covers all works directly related to the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding systems on residential buildings of 18 metres and above in height. Detailed information on works eligible for funding can be found in the Building Safety Fund prospectus, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#prospectus---outlining-eligibility-for-the-fund . Eligible works can cover other structural and fire safety works but only where it integral to the remediation of the unsafe cladding system.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, for what reason the Building Safety Fund does not cover the cost of balcony deck remediation if that work is necessary to make a residential building safe from fire; and if he will make a statement.

Government funding covers all works directly related to the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding systems on residential buildings of 18 metres and above in height. Detailed information on works eligible for funding can be found in the Building Safety Fund prospectus, available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-of-non-acm-buildings#prospectus---outlining-eligibility-for-the-fund . Eligible works can cover other structural and fire safety works but only where it integral to the remediation of the unsafe cladding system.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he expects the Pearmain House, in Harrow, application to the Building Safety Fund will be determined; and if he will make a statement.

The Department received an application for funding from the Building Safety Fund for Pearmain House in Harrow on 30 June 2021. It has been through technical diligence and been found eligible on the basis of external wall materials and this has been communicated to the applicant. The Department is committed to the safety of residents and will continue to work as quickly as possible to assess applications.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he expects the Harrow 13 (Trident Point) application to the Building Safety Fund will be determined; and if he will make a statement.

The eligibility of the registration to the Building Safety Fund for the Trident Point building in Harrow is currently being assessed. The Department is committed to the safety of residents and will continue to work as quickly as possible to assess registrations and applications to the Fund.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Attorney General, whether her Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting or (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Attorney General’s Office has not had any financial contracts or meetings with Clifford Chance LLP, FTI Consulting or Fenchurch Advisory Partners.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
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
Paymaster General
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Cabinet Office has not identified records of any live financial contracts with Clifford Chance LLP, FTI Consulting or Fenchurch Advisory Partners within the department in the last five years.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.



Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what information he holds on the number of occurrences civil servants in his Department raised concerns regarding the price paid for personal protective equipment from February 2020 to August 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Suppliers’ offers were taken through a number of review stages by the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) team made up of civil servants. At various stages of the review process offers were declined as a result of prices being too high. HM Treasury put in place measures with which the Department of Health and Social Care had to comply in order to protect the taxpayer from mispricing. Measures included comparing the latest spot prices for each offer against market prices and benchmarking prices to make sure the Government was not overpaying.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the compliance with the Special advisers: code of conduct of Ms Munira Mirza in respect of the award of contracts to Pharmaceuticals Direct; and if he will make a statement.

The award of contracts to Pharmaceuticals Direct was subject to a legal challenge that was set aside by the High Court in June 2021. The Government believes that the case was without merit and is contesting an appeal in relation to that decision, so it would not be appropriate to comment further on the matter at this time.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many complaints his Department has received from companies complaining that they were unable to get the attention of officials with respect to the supply personal protective equipment from February 2020 to August 2020; and if he will make a statement.

We rapidly processed over 24,000 offers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from over 15,000 suppliers who approached the National PPE Sourcing team via the online portals the Government established in March 2020. The webform ensured that offers of support were recorded effectively and taken forward as necessary.

Offers were triaged and those which could potentially deliver significant quantities of high-quality PPE quickly were prioritised. All offers then went into exactly the same Technical Assurance, Closing (i.e. contract negotiation) and Procurement (i.e. contract award) process, managed by officials. This process led to the award of 339 contracts by the Department of Health and Social Care. A high number of offers were rejected at different stages of being taken through this process for different reasons.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the level of staffing required to implement the commitments within the Northern Ireland Protocol on checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and checks on goods coming to the UK from the EU under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement; whether those staffing levels have been met; and what additional funding has been allocated to support those staffing requirements.

On staffing, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ31420 on 27 July 2021.

As announced on 14 September, full customs declarations and checks on goods coming to the UK from the EU under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will be introduced as planned on 1 January 2022, although safety and security declarations will not be required until 1 July 2022. The Northern Ireland Protocol is still under review and therefore providing an accurate estimate of the level of staffing would not be substantive.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster 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
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of further increasing funding for tidal energy; and if he will make a statement.

The Government announced in November that the fourth Contracts for Difference allocation round will feature a £20 million annual ringfenced budget for tidal stream energy.

The Government remains open to considering well-developed proposals for harnessing the tidal range energy in the bays and estuaries around the UK’s coastlines, including barrage schemes and other alternatives. Any proposal would need to demonstrate strong evidence of value for money when the Government takes a view on its potential.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the (a) viability and (b) efficacy of increasing the proportion of tidal energy in the UK’s energy mix; and if he will make a statement.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with his cross-departmental counterparts to discuss key national priorities. The Government has committed over £175m in innovation funding to the marine energy sector, as well as a £20m annual budget for the procurement of tidal stream energy via the ongoing Contracts for Difference fourth allocation round, and it is for tidal power developers now to demonstrate the cost efficiency and proof of scalability that is required from the UK's sources of low carbon generation. The Secretary of State has no plans to make a specific statement at this time.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what comparative assessment he has made of the financial cost of developing and producing (a) tidal energy, (b) onshore wind, (c) solar, (d) nuclear energy and (e) fossil fuel extraction; and if he will make a statement.

The Department’s Electricity Generation Cost Report, published at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/energy-generation-cost-projections#2020, sets out levelised cost of electricity estimates for a range of technologies, including renewables, nuclear energy and fossil fuels.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the UK's energy is targeted to be tidal energy by (a) 2025, (b) 2030, (c) 2040 and (d) 2050; and if he will make a statement.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with his cross-departmental counterparts to discuss key national priorities. The Government has no specific target for the proportion of tidal power in the Britain’s energy mix. The Government has committed over £175m in innovation funding to the marine energy sector, as well as a £20m annual budget for the procurement of tidal stream energy via the ongoing Contracts for Difference fourth allocation round. Tidal power developers need to demonstrate the cost efficiency and proof of scalability of this technology.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to prevent price gouging by exploitative vendors at times of national emergency, such as during the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has actively sought to address consumer issues arising from the pandemic and remains committed to tackling consumer rip-offs and bad business practices, including profiteering.

The CMA monitors firms suspected of profiteering to challenge unjustifiable price increases and stands ready to take enforcement action where there is evidence that competition or consumer protection law has been broken.

The Government published its response to last year’s consultation exercise on reforming competition and consumer policy and intends to legislate to give the CMA administrative enforcement powers to tackle those businesses not treating customers fairly.

The Government continues to monitor the operation of consumer markets and keeps all options under review to ensure good value and service for consumers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will require that the chief executive of the Post Office publishes the full list of ATMs being removed from (a) inside and (b) outside community post offices in (i) March and (ii) April 2022; and if he will make a statement.

The decision whether to publish information on the removal of Post Office ATMs is an operational matter for the Post Office.

ATMs that have been removed from the Post Office network are owned and operated by the Bank of Ireland. The Post Office has informed us that the Bank of Ireland ATM contract expires on 31st March 2022 and there are only 48 more ATMs to be removed in their programme between now and the end of March.

Post Office agreed to take over and operate 1,411 ATMs from the Bank of Ireland and are currently in the process of migrating the Bank of Ireland ATMs onto the Post Office network.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many complaints Ofgem has received from British Gas customers on the bereavement services provided by that supplier because of (a) the location of that service in South Africa and (b) all other reasons; and if he will make a statement.

Ofgem monitors energy suppliers’ performance and publishes data on their customer service on its website at https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-data-and-research/data-portal/customer-service-data. The location of call centres is a commercial matter for individual companies. In addition, Ofgem constantly assesses the experience of energy consumers in vulnerable situations, including bereavement and takes action to address the issues they face as energy users.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made in securing bi-lateral mutual recognition agreements with (a) Denmark, (b) France, (c) Germany, (d) Netherlands and (e) Sweden regarding professional service qualifications; and if he will make a statement.

The decision to initiate a mutual recognition agreement or arrangement on the recognition of professional qualifications is one for the relevant regulators or professional bodies to take.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether plans to require Companies House to prosecute Bounty Joy Ltd for not producing publicly available accounts; and if he will make a statement.

All limited companies must file their accounts at Companies House each year. Failure to do so is an offence and can result in a criminal prosecution of each of the company's directors.

The law also imposes an automatic civil penalty on a company if the accounts are filed late. The period allowed for filing is set out in law, although a company may apply to extend this in certain circumstances. The amount of the penalty depends on how late the accounts are when delivered and whether the company is private or public at the date of the balance sheet. Penalties are doubled if the company accounts are filed late in consecutive years.

The filing deadline for this company has not yet been reached.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the Government agreed to (a) keep confidential and (b) hold outside of the UK any dispute with Pfizer on the contract that company holds for producing covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has agreed to keep confidential any dispute(s) that arise with Pfizer because of commercial sensitivity.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when Post Office Horizon IT inquiry 2020 plans to interview the former Managing Director of the Post office; and if he will make a statement.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department. The Inquiry’s forward engagement plans are for Sir Wyn Williams FLSW to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will require all firms taking over a financial services business to disclose advisers fees regardless of the corporate structure governing the business; and if he will make a statement.

While the Companies (Disclosure of Auditor Remuneration and Liability Limitation Agreements) Regulations 2008 require companies to disclose fees payable to the auditor for the audit of their financial statements, there is no requirement to disclose fees payable to professional advisers more broadly. These are properly a matter for the company and its members. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is committed to ensuring that the UK’s regulatory approach is proportionate, targeted, consistent, transparent, and optimised to support opportunities for UK businesses. The regulation of takeovers under the Companies Act and associated regulations is designed to protect the interests of shareholders and to safeguard their rights to information that will allow them to make an informed decision. We are confident the system functions effectively.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will review the effectiveness of the rules on the disclosure of fees for providing lobbying or media advice during takeovers of companies limited by guarantee; and if he will make a statement.

While the Companies (Disclosure of Auditor Remuneration and Liability Limitation Agreements) Regulations 2008 require companies to disclose fees payable to the auditor for the audit of their financial statements, there is no requirement to disclose fees payable to professional advisers more broadly. These are properly a matter for the company and its members. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is committed to ensuring that the UK’s regulatory approach is proportionate, targeted, consistent, transparent, and optimised to support opportunities for UK businesses. The regulation of takeovers under the Companies Act and associated regulations is designed to protect the interests of shareholders and to safeguard their rights to information that will allow them to make an informed decision. We are confident the system functions effectively.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will review the effectiveness of the rules on disclosure of legal advisers’ fees during the takeover of a company limited by guarantee; and if she will make a statement.

While the Companies (Disclosure of Auditor Remuneration and Liability Limitation Agreements) Regulations 2008 require companies to disclose fees payable to the auditor for the audit of their financial statements, there is no requirement to disclose fees payable to professional advisers more broadly. These are properly a matter for the company and its members. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is committed to ensuring that the UK’s regulatory approach is proportionate, targeted, consistent, transparent, and optimised to support opportunities for UK businesses. The regulation of takeovers under the Companies Act and associated regulations is designed to protect the interests of shareholders and to safeguard their rights to information that will allow them to make an informed decision. We are confident the system functions effectively.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many postmasters were dismissed between April 2006 and March 2010 as a result of the failings associated with the Post Office Horizon system.

The Post Office has recently received an FOI request for the same information and that request is currently going through the appropriate process. As the information relates to data which is 10-15 years old, Post Office does not have immediately available information and so in responding to the FOI will seek to identify what, if any, information may be held.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many subpostmasters were (a) dismissed, (b) prosecuted, (c) convicted and (d) received a prison sentence in each year since the Horizon computer system was installed and where evidence generated, at least in part, through Horizon was a factor in decisions; and if he will make a statement.

Over the years Horizon recorded shortfalls in cash which Post Office Ltd alleged were caused by sub-postmasters, leading to dismissals, recovery of losses and in some instances criminal prosecutions. Post Office informed the Court of Appeal in March 2021 that it had prosecuted 736 postmasters. Other prosecuting bodies also carried out prosecutions of postmasters.

As part of the ongoing criminal convictions appeals process in which the Post Office is engaged, the Courts will be examining whether Horizon evidence was essential to a conviction. It is therefore not for Government to comment on how many of these convictions may have been related to Horizon data.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made on extending the UK grace periods for products labelled with the CE mark, but not the new UKCA mark, beyond January 2022; and if he will make a statement.

Since the new UKCA regime was announced, we have worked closely with industry to help them meet their new obligations under the UK’s goods regime. We are aware businesses continue to feel the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made adapting to the new regime more challenging.


Our priority is to support industry and ensure the continued circulation of safe and compliant products on the UK market. Therefore, in order to further support businesses in adapting to the new goods regime, we will introduce legislation which will allows CE-marked goods to continue to be placed on the GB market (England, Scotland, and Wales) for a further year until 1 January 2023.

We appreciate all businesses' efforts in preparing for the UKCA mark so far and strongly encourage them to continue preparing for the new UKCA mark as soon as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made through the available pathways included in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement to increase and enhance the mutual recognition of professional qualifications; and if he will make a statement.

In the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK and the EU agreed a framework under which regulatory and professional bodies from both territories may enter into arrangements for the recognition of professional qualifications for regulated professions covering the UK and all 27 EU Member States.

Such arrangements will be implemented on a profession-by-profession basis and depend upon cooperation from both sides. Once an arrangement is adopted under the framework in the TCA, UK professionals will be able to use the terms outlined in the arrangement to secure recognition of their professional qualifications within EU Member States.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the financial impact to UK businesses of the loss of mutual recognition of professional qualifications between the UK and the EU since January 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The Professional Qualifications (PQ) Bill strengthens the UK’s ability to negotiate and deliver ambitious arrangements on the recognition of professional qualifications with current and future trade partners beyond the European Union. It means we can further empower UK regulators to strike deals on recognition with their overseas counterparts, helping UK professionals get their qualifications recognised internationally. The end of EU-based rules and new trade deals mean the landscape is changing – new transparency requirements, and the continued provision of an Assistance Centre will help professionals to navigate it. This will help spread UK skills, knowledge and innovation across the globe, and boost UK businesses exporting services beyond the EU.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the agreements reached for the recognition of UK professional qualifications in the EU by equivalent regulators; and if he will make a statement.

In the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), the UK and the EU agreed a framework under which regulatory and professional bodies from both territories may enter into arrangements for the recognition of professional qualifications for regulated professions covering the UK and all 27 EU Member States.

Such arrangements will be implemented on a profession-by-profession basis and depend upon cooperation from both sides. Once an arrangement is adopted under the framework in the TCA, UK professionals will be able to use the terms outlined in the arrangement to secure recognition of their professional qualifications within EU Member States.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the efficacy of the Royal Mail's Printed Postage Impressions IT system; and whether the Government was aware of any allegations of fraud by firms under declaring mail using Royal Mail's Printed Postage Impressions product prior to the privatisation of Royal Mail in 2013; and if he will make a statement.

Operational matters, which include matters relating to Royal’s Printed Postage Impressions service, are the direct responsibility of Royal Mail. The Government does not get involved in the day- to- day operations of the company and does not play a role in handling or resolving issues in relation to postage fraud.

Royal Mail has a well-established process in place to deal with suspected postage fraud. This is handled by the Royal Mail Revenue Protection team, who would be best placed to answer any queries in relation to this issue.”

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the scale of fraud that Royal Mail alleges was committed by firms under declaring mail using its Printed Postage Impressions product in the period from May 2008 to May 2018; and if he will make a statement.

Operational matters, which include matters relating to Royal’s Printed Postage Impressions service, are the direct responsibility of Royal Mail. The Government does not get involved in the day- to- day operations of the company and does not play a role in handling or resolving issues in relation to postage fraud.

Royal Mail has a well-established process in place to deal with suspected postage fraud. This is handled by the Royal Mail Revenue Protection team, who would be best placed to answer any queries in relation to this issue.”

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the UK’s statement from the last TRIPS Council meeting on June 9th, what steps he is taking to (a) incentivise UK industries to participate in the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool and (b) encourage further engagement by other World Trade Organisation members with the C-TAP scheme.

The UK has, and will continue to, engage extensively with all interested parties. We are in ongoing, constructive discussions with the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it refines both governance structures and operating model for the Covid Technology Access Pool (C-TAP). The UK has recently worked with the WHO on developing C-TAP, including with key partners such as the United Nations Development Programme and the Medicines Patent Pool, to share our approach to model licenses for IP. We are keen to see, and have facilitated, the WHO working with industry to incentivise participation in the scheme and we have encouraged WTO members to engage with C-TAP.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential to include QR code technology on covid-19 vaccine packaging as a possible route to enable the quick export of surplus vaccines which are redirected to developing nations without the need to repackage those vaccines for the destination market; and if he will make a statement.

When distributing vaccines, our primary concern is that we do so safely.

Barcodes are currently used on COVID-19 packaging and labels; QR codes may also be used, for example in some regions of the world as part of anti-counterfeiting processes. In the UK, the use of a bar code or a QR code format for vaccine distribution is agreed during the vaccine manufacturer’s application for regulatory authorisation.

Barcodes provide an effective, commonly accepted and reliable label format to enable the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines when part of the regulated distribution system. Use of barcodes or the use of QR codes is not the limiting factor in distribution choices. Neither can avoid the planning or re-planning time needed to re-pack or re-label vaccines, if re-packing or re-labelling is required to meet the regulatory requirements for a recipient country.

In order to account for necessary regulatory requirements, we ensure the safe and controlled distribution of vaccines through planning, re-planning, and the use of available, safety-regulated global technologies.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many individual covid-19 vaccine doses the Government (a) has used, (b) has in stock, (c) is due to receive as part of signed contractual agreements with suppliers and (d) has committed to share through Covax.

As of 1 July, the total number of doses that have been administered is 77,592,212.

The UK Government has secured early access to 397 million vaccine doses through supply agreements with six separate vaccine developers, of which four have received regulatory approval and three are currently in deployment. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses (in deployment)
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses (in deployment)
  • Moderna for 17 million doses (in deployment)
  • Janssen for 20 million doses (approved)
  • Novavax for 60 million doses
  • Valneva for 100 million doses

In addition, the Government has a reservation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses and a non-binding agreement with CureVac for 50 million doses.

The Government has announced that the UK will donate at least 100 million surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses within the next year, including 5 million by the end of September 2021 and a further 25 million by the end of 2021.

The Government has committed that 80% of our surplus vaccines will go to COVAX, the multilateral facility responsible for distributing COVID-19 vaccines to ensure equitable global access. The remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need and we will set out further details in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
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)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Royal Mail are pursuing a policy of prioritising the delivery of premium products.

The Universal Service Obligation is set out in the Postal Services Act 2011 and ensures a six-day a week, one price goes anywhere, service for the delivery and collection of letters (and five days a week for parcels) throughout the United Kingdom. Ofcom, as the UK’s designated independent regulator of postal services, monitors the delivery of the universal postal service standards.

Beyond the Universal Service Obligation, the delivery of premium products is an operational matter for Royal Mail.

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
Secretary of State for Education
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
Secretary of State for Education
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.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will hold discussions with the Football Association on its policy in respect of the keeping of transcripts of proceedings for disciplinary hearings covering breaches of regulations by footballs clubs; and if she will make a statement.

The policies with regards to recording meetings between football clubs and competition organisers are independent of the government and a matter for the relevant organiser.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will ask the Football Association to publish details of the number of cases of non-league football clubs penalised under player registration rules that have nonetheless been using the Whole Game System for player registration in each region of England; and if she will make a statement.

The policies and procedures for player registrations within football are independent of the government.

I would encourage anyone interested in player registrations and the Whole Game System to contact the FA in the first instance. If they are not satisfied with the response of the FA or require additional support, Sport Resolutions UK is an independent dispute resolution service available for sport in the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the claim by the YMCA that, adjusted to real terms, Harrow West has experienced a decrease in funding for youth services of 61 per cent in the last decade; and if she will make a statement.

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to allocate funding to youth services in line with local need. This is funded from the Local Government settlement, which was over £12 billion this year.

The government recognises the vital role that youth services and activities play in improving the life chances and wellbeing of young people. The government is investing £560 million over the next 3 years in a new National Youth Guarantee, so that by 2025 every young person will have access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will ask the Football Association to review the effectiveness, utility and accuracy of the its Whole Game System in the context of recent decisions to penalise Rayners Lane FC; and if she will make statement.

The policies and procedures for handling formal complaints within football are independent of the government.

I would encourage Rayners Lane FC to submit a formal complaint to the FA and follow their complaints processes (including any procedures for appeal). If they are not satisfied with the response of the FA or require additional support, Sport Resolutions UK is an independent dispute resolution service available for sport in the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will have discussions with the Football Association on the decision of the Middlesex FA to exclude Rayners Lane FC from the final of the Middlesex Premier Cup; and if she will make a statement.

The policies and procedures for handling formal complaints within football are independent of the government.

I would encourage Rayners Lane FC to submit a formal complaint to the FA and follow their complaints processes (including any procedures for appeal). If they are not satisfied with the response of the FA or require additional support, Sport Resolutions UK is an independent dispute resolution service available for sport in the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the spread of covid-19 infections of thousands of football fans travelling to the Carabao cup final; and if he will make a statement.

The Events Research Programme (ERP) 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

Public safety is our main priority and decisions will be guided by a Science Board of relevant experts including senior PHE representation, who will take into account the latest public health data. All pilots will be designed in a scientifically controlled way, with special consideration to reduce risk of transmission.

Entry will be subject to a negative test result. In practice this will work in much the same way that international travel has taken place in recent months - entry will be denied to those that cannot provide evidence of a negative test result.

The majority of attendees who attend the ERP events will be local to the venue. However attendees with valid ERP tickets can travel to the event in line with HMG guidance. We have already published a public notice on ERP which includes HMG guidance here.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
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.


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.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the details of any contract his Department has entered into with (a) Nuffield or (b) one of Nuffield associated companies that may allow the harvesting of personal data by those companies from families with children in schools in pursuing the completion of those contracts; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Education commercial records system has been checked and there are no records that show Nuffield Hospital as a supplier of goods or services to the department.

All Department for Education contracts with an award value of £20,000 or greater are listed on Contracts Finder. Contracts Finder can be accessed here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the time taken to deliver face masks to secondary schools in (a) Harrow West constituency and (b) England; what steps his Department is taking to ensure that deliveries are made in time to meet demand; and if he will make a statement.

To support the temporary measures recently introduced, the department has worked with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to deliver a contingency supply of face coverings to education providers. These face coverings have been provided by DHSC at no cost to education providers.

We would expect most staff, pupils and students already have access to face coverings. However, we recognise that some individuals may not have access or might forget their face covering. We hope that this extra supply will mean all students, pupils and staff are able to access a face covering when needed.

We delivered the majority of face coverings to secondary schools before the Christmas break, with the remaining deliveries completed in early January, including to those schools in Harrow West.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Officials searched the Department for Education commercial record system and I can confirm that no contracts have been recorded with suppliers (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Officials are unable to check all electronic diaries across the department for meeting with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partner.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the reporting to education professionals of sexual harassment via (a) social media and (b) other means is fit for purpose; and if he will make a statement.

Following Ofsted’s review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, the department considered the effectiveness of reporting mechanisms. Amended statutory safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), came into force on 1 September 2021, alongside revised departmental advice on sexual violence and sexual harassment between children in schools and colleges. The guidance has been strengthened and updated following a public consultation and considering the findings from the Ofsted Review.

KCSIE provides detailed advice on how schools and colleges, generally led by their designated safeguarding lead, should respond to any report of sexual violence or sexual harassment. It sets out the importance of reporting systems that are well promoted, easily understood and easily accessible for children to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be treated seriously. KCSIE and the departmental advice remain under constant review.

Ofsted inspectors will always report on whether arrangements for safeguarding children are effective.

The ‘Reporting Abuse in Education’ helpline was set up on 1 April and is available for those who may not be comfortable reporting abuse via their school or college.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to ensure that schools and other relevant agencies are working with all children and young people to ensure that (a) misogyny and sexism are challenged and (b) such attitudes, actions and behaviours are not normalised or trivialised within schools; what steps his Department is taking to ensure that progress in both those areas is monitored; and if he will make a statement.

The new statutory guidance for relationships, sex and health education (RSHE), which came into force in September 2020, emphasises that schools should be alive to issues such as everyday sexism, misogyny, homophobia and gender stereotypes, and take positive action to build a culture where these are not tolerated, and any occurrences are identified and tackled. The guidance states that schools should make clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment are not acceptable, will never be tolerated and are not an inevitable part of growing up.

Following Ofsted’s review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, the department has committed to developing additional support to help teachers deliver statutory RSHE effectively and confidently. The government’s October 2021 ‘Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy’ emphasises the importance of educational interventions to change harmful attitudes. To ensure consistency of approach, the department will develop non-statutory guidance, monitor and evaluate teacher confidence to deliver these difficult topics, and continue to build a programme of support that meets teachers’ needs.

The department has also recently published revised statutory guidance, ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, which has been strengthened to better support schools and colleges to prevent abuse, identify abuse, and respond appropriately where abuse is reported. The department will be launching a consultation later this year on the non-statutory behaviour and discipline guidance which will provide more practical advice to schools about how to encourage good behaviour and respond effectively to incidents of poor behaviour, including advice on how to create a safe and respectful school culture in which sexual harassment and violence are not tolerated.

Robin Walker
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.

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.

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.

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.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, 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 facility to deduct money and send this to a credit union is not currently offered by the Department or its Executive Agencies. However, the feasibility and costs of doing so would be considered if there were sufficient demand.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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.

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.

10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Export Health Certificates (a) have been issues in each of the last five years and (b) his Department has estimated will need to be issued in each year between 2022 and 2026 inclusive; and if he will make a statement.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) issues Export Health Certificates (EHC) for animals and products of animal origin.

EHCs issued in the last four years

Year

2018

2019

2020

2021

Total EHCs issued

87,618

108,462

112,660

410,529

Due to APHA’s data retention period for export certification, APHA no longer holds any records for export consignments carried out during 2017.

Estimated volumes based on percentage increase from previous years (Figures rounded to nearest 1,000)

Year

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026

EHCs to be issued

427,000

444,000

462,000

480,000

500,000

Percentage increase based on 4% rise from 2019-2020. 2021 data is following EU exit which shows an increase of 264%.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Animal Health Certificates (a) have been issued in each of the last five years and (b) his Department has estimated will need to be issued in each year between 2022 and 2026 inclusive; and if he will make a statement.

For the purposes of the EU Pet Travel Scheme, Great Britain and the Crown Dependencies are considered a Part 2 listed third country which requires an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) for pet travel to the EU and Northern Ireland (NI). AHCs are issued for a maximum of five pets.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) does not issue the actual AHCs but provides Unique Certificate Numbers (UCNs) to Official Veterinarians (OVs), on request, which they then use to issue individual AHCs to their clients.

APHA has issued 38 batches of UCNs (with 50 UCNs in each batch) to OVs since 1 January 2022 to date, allowing for approximately 1,900 AHCs to be issued by vets. Prior to 1 January 2022, AHCs were not required to enter the EU and NI with UK pet passports being issued instead, so the number of AHCs issued for previous years is zero.

APHA is unable to estimate the number of AHCs which will need to be issued in each year between 2022 to 2026 inclusive. APHA has been issuing UCNs since 1 January 2022 so does not have previous year trends to estimate figures, and with the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic it is difficult to predict future numbers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for International Trade regarding the potential merits to the UK’s commitment on sustainable fishing of an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of the Maldives; and if he will make a statement.

Defra and DIT officials work closely together on trade negotiations. The Republic of the Maldives did not have a trade agreement (a Free Trade Agreement or a development-focused Economic Partnership Agreement), with the EU, and therefore, the UK could not include the Maldives as part of its continuity programme. We currently trade on World Trade Organisation terms with the Maldives.

The UK Government is strongly committed to tackling unsustainable fishing and would welcome the opportunity to continue its engagement with the Maldives through the London Stock Exchange Group on raising green and blue bonds and financing options to fund sustainable projects.

Additionally, both the UK and the Maldives are contracting parties to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, where the UK is continuing to seek adoption of new measures for the protection of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Defra has not identified any records of any financial contracts with Clifford Chance LLP, FTI Consulting or Fenchurch Advisory Partners within the last five years.


Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he or his Cabinet colleagues at COP26 had with their international counterparts on the impact of deposit return schemes on tackling plastic pollution.

The consultation held earlier this year proposed the scheme would go live in late 2024, subject to views from the consultation. Final details of the timeline for bringing the deposit return scheme (DRS) into operation, as well as the scope of the scheme for material and size of drinks containers to be included, will be presented in a Government response which will be published in due course.

No specific discussions were had by the Secretary of State or Cabinet colleagues at COP26 regarding DRS. However, we know that successful international schemes have achieved upwards of 90% collection rates for drinks containers which can play a big part in tackling plastic pollution.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many complaints his Department has received on lost or delayed Export Health Certificates since 1 January 2021; and if he will make a statement.

Defra and APHA do not have a record of complaints specifically on lost or delayed Export Health Certificates (EHCs). If an EHC is lost, delayed or incorrect a certifier or exporter may apply to cancel the existing EHC and have it replaced. Between January 2021 to October 2021, 79 requests for cancel and replace certificates for EU exports were received.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with her counterparts in the EU to ensure that there is uniform acceptance of valid Export Health Certificates across all ports in the EU; and if she will make a statement.

The UK Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) has written to the European Commission on several occasions since January, raising technical issues relating to Export Health Certificates. These include issues arising from consistency of interpretation. We have received helpful clarifications from the Commission and these have been sent to all EU Member States, meaning there are fewer incidences of differing approaches. The EU Member State relations team have liaised directly with EU Member States where we have had issues with individual Border Control Posts. The CVO has also had many meetings on this issue.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (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 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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (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 steps his Department has taken to ensure that rubbish exported from the UK to be recycled is not dumped in unregulated and illegal sites; 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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (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
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
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
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
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 (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Answer of 25 April 2022 to Question 153700 on Exports: Arts, which of the international creative sector events listed in that Answer Ministers attended; what their itinerary was at those events; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) Ministers did not attend any of the events listed in the answer to Question 153700 as during the pandemic in 2021/22 support for exporters at key events was overwhelmingly virtual. In person events attended by Ministers were:

  • Launch of the “Made in UK sold to the world” Creative Industries Campaign. London, September 2021. DIT Minister Freer and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Minister Lopez attended.
  • International Trade Week in Birmingham in November. DIT Minister Freer attended.
  • Create Week, Dubai Expo, November 2021; DIT led event attended by DCMS Minister Huddleston.

In 2022/2023 with international markets reopening, DIT is planning work to support more than 600 companies at 30 key events across the globe. Current support planning includes Ministerial presence at key creative industries’ events such as South X South West in the US in March 2023.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate she has made of the value of creative industries exports in 2021; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Sectors Economic Estimates for 2020 for Trade (latest figures available) show that creative industries services exports in 2020 totalled £41.4 billion, an increase of 12 per cent compared to 2019 and accounting for 14 per cent of UK services exports.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what support her Department provides to specifically support and encourage exports from the creative industries; and if she will make a statement.

Last Autumn, the Department for International Trade (DIT) published the refreshed Export Strategy with an action-led 12-point plan to help exporters, including those in the creative industries to thrive in the global market. This includes initiatives such as the Export Support Service (ESS), the UK Export Academy, UK Export Finance, the pilot UK Tradeshow programme, and International Trade Advisers.

In addition, the Department works closely with business to deliver trade missions and UK enhanced presence at major creative sector events such as South by Southwest in Austin, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Saudi Entertainment and Amusement Expo, the IAAPA Expos in Europe and USA, and LeisurUP by MAPIC.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 8 March 2022 to Question 131344 on Trade Agreements: India, what estimate she has made of the impact of (a) a full trade deal with India and (b) an interim trade deal with India on (i) each region and (ii) each nation of the UK; and if he will make a statement.

HM Government is seeking a comprehensive free trade agreement with India, and we will secure the right deal for British businesses and consumers.

At the launch of negotiations with India, we published a scoping assessment on GOV.UK, and a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation of a deal.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, for what reason the following protected UK geographical food and drink names were not included in Annex A of the side letter on geographical indications agreed with Australia on 16 December 2021 (a) Cambrian Mountains Lamb, (b) Darnibole, (c) Gloucestershire Perry, (d) Traditional Bramley Apple Pie Filling, (e) Traditional Farmfresh Turkey, (f) Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork, (g) Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork, (h) Watercress, (i) English Wine and English Regional Wine, (j) Welsh Wine and Welsh Regional Wine and (k) Quality Sparkling Wine and Regional Sparkling Wine.

The UK’s intention, as set out in the side letter on geographical indications (GIs) agreed with Australia, is to submit all eligible UK GIs for protection in Australia if a system for the protection of GIs is established there.

Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (such as Traditional Bramley Apple Pie Filling, Traditional Farmfresh Turkey, Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork and Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork) and Traditional Terms (Quality Sparkling Wine and Regional Sparkling Wine) are not eligible for protection in trade deals in the same way as geographical indications, and were therefore not listed in the letter.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, which of the following protected UK geographical food and drink names were among the 77 proposed geographical indications submitted by her Department to the Japanese authorities on 30 April 2021 (a) Darnibole, (b) Gloucestershire Perry, (c) Traditional Bramley Apple Pie Filling, (d) Traditional Farmfresh Turkey, (e) Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork, (f) Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork, (g) Quality Sparkling Wine and (h) Regional Sparkling Wine.

We cannot comment on specific applications that have been put forward for protection in Japan. However, Traditional Specialities Guaranteed (such as Traditional Bramley Apple Pie Filling, Traditional Farmfresh Turkey, Traditionally Farmed Gloucestershire Old Spots Pork and Traditionally Reared Pedigree Welsh Pork) and Traditional Terms (Quality Sparkling Wine and Regional Sparkling Wine) are not eligible for protection in trade deals in the same way as geographical indications, and would therefore not have been among the eligible protected names put forward.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 10 March 2022 to Question 131039 on Preferential Tariffs: Japan, when her Department plans to publish data related to the Preference Utilisation Rate for the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade has committed to publishing a monitoring report every two years, following entry into force of the United Kingdom-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many staff her Department there have been in (a) in total, (b) based in London, (c) based in regions outside London and (d) based overseas in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade employs several staff within the United Kingdom and overseas. Headcount figures for locations and staff numbers are detailed in a table below:

Date

Total staff

Total staff based in London

Total staff based in U.K. regions

Total staff based overseas

March 2022*

4,974

3,151

199

1,624

April 2021*

4,813

3,114

119

1,585

April 2020

4,442

2,791

197

1,461

April 2019

3,661

2,113

196

1,352

April 2018**

3,779

1,941

115

1,399

*These figures do not include the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), a Reading-based former directorate of DIT who formally became an Arm’s Length Body of DIT in June 2021.

**These figures include U.K. Export Finance (UKEF). Figures after this period exclude UKEF.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will list the macroeconomic measures her Department tracks to assess the UK’s trade performance; and if she will make a statement.

The list of top-level metrics the Department for International Trade (DIT) uses to assess performance on its priority outcomes was published in the Department’s 2021-22 Outcome Delivery Plan (ODP) (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-international-trade-outcome-delivery-plan/dit-outcome-delivery-plan-2021-to-2022). The list of priority outcomes and metrics was updated as part of the 2021 Spending Review (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1029277/Supplementary_Document_on_Outcomes_Metrics.pdf) and will be restated in our 2022-23 ODP. DIT publishes an assessment of performance annually as part our Annual Report and Accounts, including on macroeconomic indicators (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-international-trade-annual-report-and-accounts).

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish any strategic analysis her Department has undertaken on the export opportunities for (a) renewable energy, (b) food and drink and (c) artificial intelligence.

Published last autumn, our refreshed cross-government Export Strategy: Made in UK, Sold to the World focuses on helping businesses reach their exporting potential.

As part of this strategy, the new Food and Drink Export Council will bring together UK Government, the Devolved Administrations and industry, to enable both government and business to best target their efforts. Additionally, we have conducted research into the export opportunities for Renewable Energy which will be published in the summer of this year.

As the UK secures new trade deals, we will include provisions on emerging digital technologies, including AI, and champion international data flows, preventing unjustified barriers to data crossing borders while maintaining the UK’s high standards for personal data protection.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 175773, if she will publish the list of 39 UK products among the 77 provided to the Japanese authorities on 30 April 2021 that are not currently going through Japan's procedures for the designation of geographical indications; and what estimate she has made of when those 39 products will start going through those procedures.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement already protects 7 UK geographical indications (GIs) in Japan, and provides scope to submit more for approval.

On 30 April 2021, the UK submitted a list of 77 UK GIs to Japan. There were 84 GIs registered in the UK at the time. A full list of UK GIs registered domestically is available here: https://www.gov.uk/protected-food-drink-names.

We agreed with Japan that all 77 GIs will undergo procedures in Japan as soon as possible. Due to the large number of GIs, Japan requested they be split into two batches to facilitate the necessary domestic procedures in Japan.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 175773, who was responsible for deciding which 38 UK products among the 77 provided to the Japanese authorities on 30 April 2021 should go through Japan's procedures for the designation of geographical indications during the first tranche; and how those decisions were made.

On 30 April 2021 the UK shared a list of 77 UK geographical indications (GIs) with Japan. Due to the large number of GIs, Japan requested they be split into two batches to facilitate the necessary domestic procedures in Japan. All 77 GIs will undergo procedures in Japan.

The 38 GIs were selected following consultations with Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and a range of stakeholders. The selection took into consideration the views of devolved administrations, potential economic value, current export value, judgements on the potential for misuse and the geographic spread of products across the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Switzerland, (b) Tunisia, (c) Turkey, (d) Ukraine and (e) Vietnam for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Botswana, (b) Eswatini, (c) Lesotho, (d) Mozambique, (e) Namibia, (f) South Africa and (g) the SACUM Trade Bloc as a whole for each of the last 5 years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Fiji, (b) Papa New Guinea, (c) Samoa and (d) Solomon Islands for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Mexico, (b) Morocco, (c) North Macedonia, (d) Palestinian Authority, (e) Serbia and (f) Singapore for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Iceland, (b) Norway and (c) Iceland and Norway together for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Egypt, (b) Faroe Islands, (c) Georgia, (d) Ghana, (e) Israel, (f) Jordan, (g) Kenya, (h) Kosovo, (i) Lebanon and (j) Liechtenstein for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Mauritius, (b) Seychelles, (c) Zimbabwe and (d) the ESA trade bloc as a whole for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Costa Rica, (b) El Salvador, (c) Guatemala, (d) Honduras, (e) Nicaragua, (f) Panama, (g) Chile and (h) Cote d’Ivoire for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Antigua and Barbuda, (b) Bahamas, (c) Barbados, (d) Belize, (e) Dominica, (f) Dominican Republic, (g) Grenada, (h) Guyana, (i) Jamaica, (j) St Kitts and Nevis, (k) Saint Lucia, (l) St Vincent and Grenadines, (m) Suriname, (n) Trinidad and Tobago and (o) for the Cariforum Trade Bloc as a whole in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with (a) Albania, (b) Columbia, (c) Ecuador, (d) Peru, (e) Canada and (f) Cameroon for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with South Korea for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with Japan for each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Data up to the end of January 2020 is publicly available, but no comparable data is available for after this period.

Exports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159047.htm

Imports analysis 2017-19: https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/html/159046.htm

Eurostat preference utilisation data for all periods 2000 to end January 2020: Easy Comext, Adjusted extra-EU imports since 2000 by tariff regime (DS-059281).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Preference Utilisation Rates are in total for UK trade with the EU since the end of the transition period; and if she will make a statement.

Preference utilisation on the EU imports of goods from the United Kingdom was 76% in the period January-November 2021. This rate has increased since the end of the Transition Period, reaching 79% in November 2021. No data is available for preference utilisation on British imports from the EU for this period.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of its proposed free trade agreement with Indian on the ceramics industry in the UK.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade launched trade negotiations between the United Kingdom and India on 13th January, which could create huge benefits for both countries. HM Government is seeking to secure a beneficial and balanced outcome, offering new export opportunities for British businesses in one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to incorporate objectives set out in the Green Grids initiative into the Government's negotiations on the UK-India free trade agreement.

Britain’s free trade agreements protect her sovereign right to regulate for environment, uphold high environmental standards, and encourage environmental cooperation. This includes clean energy and enabling infrastructure technologies, which align with the objectives of the COP26 ‘Green Grids’ initiative, and we will continue to champion global action on climate change.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
8th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that provisions relating to government procurement in the UK-India free trade agreement negotiations support the (a) Green Grids initiative and (b) roll out of (i) super-grids and (ii) mini-grids.

Procurement provisions in free trade agreements promote transparency, non-discrimination and competition. In our negotiations with India, we will seek procurement provisions to improve choice and competition in both markets, including in goods and services, which will support the development and deployment of clean technologies.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will publish an assessment on the potential impact of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership rules of origin on goods (a) produced domestically and (b) on sale in the UK market; and if she will make a statement.

The UK published its strategic approach to the negotiations in June 2021, which outlined how the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Rules of Origin could give British exporters further opportunities to qualify for tariff free market access.

This document included a detailed scoping assessment. Following the conclusion of negotiations, a full Impact Assessment will be published prior to scrutiny by parliament. These publications both set out the Government’s assessment of the potential long run effects of new free trade agreements which includes accounting for the implications of rules of origin.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will propose reforms to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Code of Conduct for Investor State Dispute Settle proceedings during negotiations on accession to that partnership; and is she will make a statement.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pre-existing agreement signed by eleven countries and ratified by eight. It is not possible to re-write the agreement, because this is an accession process, not a brand-new free trade agreement negotiation


The Government cannot comment on the sensitive detail of live negotiations; however, accession will only take place on terms beneficial to the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will seek to secure a special automotive carve out with Japan as part of accession talks to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership; and if she will make a statement.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pre-existing agreement signed by eleven countries and ratified by eight. It is not possible to re-write the agreement, because this is an accession process, not a brand-new free trade agreement negotiation


The Government cannot comment on the sensitive detail of live negotiations; however, accession will only take place on terms beneficial to the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will negotiate a carve out from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on patent law so that the UK can maintain its membership of the European Patent Convention; and if she will make a statement.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pre-existing agreement signed by eleven countries and ratified by eight. It is not possible to re-write the agreement, because this is an accession process, not a brand-new free trade agreement negotiation


The Government cannot comment on the sensitive detail of live negotiations; however, accession will only take place on terms beneficial to the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will sign side letters with members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership to exclude the compulsory use of the Investor State Dispute Settlement Process as part of her proposals to join that partnership; and if she will make a statement.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pre-existing agreement signed by eleven countries and ratified by eight. It is not possible to re-write the agreement, because this is an accession process, not a brand-new free trade agreement negotiation


The Government cannot comment on the sensitive detail of live negotiations; however, accession will only take place on terms beneficial to the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will seek a complete carve out of audio-visual services from the intellectual property chapter of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement as part of her proposals to join that partnership; and if she will make a statement.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership is a pre-existing agreement signed by eleven countries and ratified by eight. It is not possible to re-write the agreement, because this is an accession process, not a brand-new free trade agreement negotiation


The Government cannot comment on the sensitive detail of live negotiations; however, accession will only take place on terms beneficial to the UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will seek membership of the Digital Economy Partnership agreement; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom has no current plans to seek membership of the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. Current members include New Zealand, Singapore and Chile.

Of these, the United Kingdom is currently finalising her Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand and her Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore. Both will include forward-leaning digital provisions. Finally, the United Kingdom-Chile relationship will be enhanced through the roadmap recently agreed at the United Kingdom-Chile Association Council.

The United Kingdom will continue to develop her position as a world-leader in digital trade, as showcased by the G7 Digital Trade Principles agreed under her Presidency and in the ground-breaking aforementioned agreement with Singapore.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much funding the Government has allocated to the (a) Internationalisation Fund and (b) UK Tradeshow Access Programme in (i) 2022 and (ii) each of the next three years; and if she will make a statement.

During the current financial year of 21/22, £15.3m has been awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have applied to the ERDF Internationalisation Fund. A further £16.0m of funding is available until the programme closes at the end of March 2023.

The Exhibit element of the UK Tradeshow Programme was launched on 30th November 2021 and a budget of £1.5m up to the end of March 2022 has been allocated. The Department for International Trade is currently undergoing a Business Planning process so the budget allocation for 2022-23 has not yet been finalised.

Proposals to support to SMEs to export from 2023-24 are being developed.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many complaints her Department received regarding UK Export Finance in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement.

The table below shows the number of complaints received regarding UK Export Finance (UKEF) in the past three calendar years.

Year

Complaints

2019

28

2020

43

2021

13

2022 to date

5

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what proportion of (a) exhibitor and (b) attendee applications for financial support to the UK Tradeshow Programme have been refused since that programme's launch; and if she will make a statement.

Following the launch of the Exhibit element of the UK Tradeshow Programme (UKTP) on 30th November 2021, it has been allocated a budget of £1.5m for the period up to the end of March 2022. The budget for 22/23 has not yet been finalised.

The Attendee element was launched on 20th January 2022. As of 31st January, 12 applications have been received – 8 from exhibitors and 4 for attendees.

Across UKTP, 3 applicants (25%) have been approved for support, 1 (8%) was refused after the application panel review and 5 (42%) failed to meet the base criteria. 3 (25%) applications for support remain under review.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the annual budget is for support available to (a) exhibitors and (b) attendees to the UK Tradeshow Programme; and if she will make a statement.

Following the launch of the Exhibit element of the UK Tradeshow Programme (UKTP) on 30th November 2021, it has been allocated a budget of £1.5m for the period up to the end of March 2022. The budget for 22/23 has not yet been finalised.

The Attendee element was launched on 20th January 2022. As of 31st January, 12 applications have been received – 8 from exhibitors and 4 for attendees.

Across UKTP, 3 applicants (25%) have been approved for support, 1 (8%) was refused after the application panel review and 5 (42%) failed to meet the base criteria. 3 (25%) applications for support remain under review.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many applications the UK Tradeshow Programme has received for funds to support (a) exhibitors and (b) attendees since its launch; and if she will make a statement.

Following the launch of the Exhibit element of the UK Tradeshow Programme (UKTP) on 30th November 2021, it has been allocated a budget of £1.5m for the period up to the end of March 2022. The budget for 22/23 has not yet been finalised.

The Attendee element was launched on 20th January 2022. As of 31st January, 12 applications have been received – 8 from exhibitors and 4 for attendees.

Across UKTP, 3 applicants (25%) have been approved for support, 1 (8%) was refused after the application panel review and 5 (42%) failed to meet the base criteria. 3 (25%) applications for support remain under review.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 17 January 2022 to Question 100400, on Trade Promotion: Food, how many of the more than 100 overseas staff in her Department are assigned specifically to promote food and drink exports; and how many UK based staff in her Department are assigned specifically to promote food and drink exports; and if he will make a statement.

Food and drink exporters are supported by the full breadth of DIT’s trade policy work and export services, as well as officials based across the UK who provide specialist support to businesses in the agriculture, food and drink sector. The specific number of officials will continually evolve, in response to the demands from different parts of the industry and in different overseas markets.

The 100 staff overseas, either on a full or part time basis, who are specifically supporting businesses in the agriculture, food, and drink sector, are part of DIT’s wider presence overseas and will be joined by eight new additional specialist agriculture attachés.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations she has received from UK businesses on a possible Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of the Maldives; and if she will make a statement.

The Maldives is a valued member of the Commonwealth and an important partner for the United Kingdom. HM Government is keen to cooperate with the Maldivian Government on trade opportunities that benefit people and businesses in both our countries.

As the EU did not have any trade agreement with the Maldives, they could not be included in the United Kingdom’s trade continuity programme. Accordingly, whilst Maldivian access to the British market remains as it was prior to 1st January 2021, we will continue explore pragmatic options to enhance bilateral trade relations in areas of mutual interest, such as fishing.

HM Government and the Maldives are contracting parties to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, where the United Kingdom is continuing to seek adoption of new measures for the protection of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean. The United Kingdom’s strength in financial services means she is well placed to support the Maldives secure any necessary capital for sustainable development.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of the Maldives and their fishing methods for catching tuna for the UK’s commitment on sustainable fishing; and if she will make a statement.

The Maldives is a valued member of the Commonwealth and an important partner for the United Kingdom. HM Government is keen to cooperate with the Maldivian Government on trade opportunities that benefit people and businesses in both our countries.

As the EU did not have any trade agreement with the Maldives, they could not be included in the United Kingdom’s trade continuity programme. Accordingly, whilst Maldivian access to the British market remains as it was prior to 1st January 2021, we will continue explore pragmatic options to enhance bilateral trade relations in areas of mutual interest, such as fishing.

HM Government and the Maldives are contracting parties to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, where the United Kingdom is continuing to seek adoption of new measures for the protection of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean. The United Kingdom’s strength in financial services means she is well placed to support the Maldives secure any necessary capital for sustainable development.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with her counterpart in the Republic of the Maldives on strengthening trade ties with that country; and if she will make a statement.

The Maldives is a valued member of the Commonwealth and an important partner for the United Kingdom. HM Government is keen to cooperate with the Maldivian Government on trade opportunities that benefit people and businesses in both our countries.

As the EU did not have any trade agreement with the Maldives, they could not be included in the United Kingdom’s trade continuity programme. Accordingly, whilst Maldivian access to the British market remains as it was prior to 1st January 2021, we will continue explore pragmatic options to enhance bilateral trade relations in areas of mutual interest, such as fishing.

HM Government and the Maldives are contracting parties to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, where the United Kingdom is continuing to seek adoption of new measures for the protection of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean. The United Kingdom’s strength in financial services means she is well placed to support the Maldives secure any necessary capital for sustainable development.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Republic of the Maldives; and if she will make a statement.

The Maldives is a valued member of the Commonwealth and an important partner for the United Kingdom. HM Government is keen to cooperate with the Maldivian Government on trade opportunities that benefit people and businesses in both our countries.

As the EU did not have any trade agreement with the Maldives, they could not be included in the United Kingdom’s trade continuity programme. Accordingly, whilst Maldivian access to the British market remains as it was prior to 1st January 2021, we will continue explore pragmatic options to enhance bilateral trade relations in areas of mutual interest, such as fishing.

HM Government and the Maldives are contracting parties to the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, where the United Kingdom is continuing to seek adoption of new measures for the protection of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean. The United Kingdom’s strength in financial services means she is well placed to support the Maldives secure any necessary capital for sustainable development.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of supporting the exemption of (a) least developed countries from TRIPS Agreement obligations and (b) all low and middle-income countries to not enforce TRIPS during the covid-19 pandemic to enable collaboration and help scale-up access to vaccines, tests and treatments; and if she will make a statement.

The UK supported the Least Developed Countries’ request for an extension of the transition period for compliance with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in June 2021.

While HM Government remains open to initiatives that will help with vaccine production and distribution, there is no evidence that waiving intellectual property protections would advance these objectives.

We must focus on actions that will make a real difference. This includes delivering and administering vaccines globally, as well as ensuring the WTO’s pandemic response package incorporates ambitious trade measures to help vital supplies reach those who need them most.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential effect of a TRIPs waiver on innovation taking into account the contribution of public funding to the development of the Oxford/Astrazeneca and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines; and if she will make a statement.

HM Government has invested 90 million pounds into AstraZeneca’s vaccine development. Investment like this has resulted in 2.5 billion AstraZeneca vaccines being delivered at cost to more than 170 countries, with two thirds going to lower- and middle-income countries. It is because of the legal framework provided by TRIPS that Government and innovators will continue to have the confidence to invest in developing health products and technologies. We must ensure the framework retains its ability to continue doing this. An IP rights waiver would undermine these efforts.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps the Government has taken in line with its support for voluntary licences to encourage (a) Pfizer and (b) Moderna to share their covid-19 vaccine technology with potential mRNA manufacturers across Africa, Latin America and Asia identified by MSF and Human Rights Watch; and if she will make a statement.

The role of the legal framework provided by the TRIPS Agreement has and will continue to provide innovators the confidence to invest in developing health products and technologies and to form collaborative partnerships. This is evidenced with over 300 successful voluntary licensing and technology transfer partnerships, which are contributing to the production of approximately 1.5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses per month.

We encourage industry to continue forming voluntary licensing and technology transfer partnerships. Working with commercial partners within the existing international IP framework is the most effective way to make use of global capacity to produce life-saving medicines at pace.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many complaints her Department has received from interested parties regarding trade remedies since the UK's departure from the EU; and if she will make a statement.

This Department has not received any formal complaints.

The Trade Remedies Authority is the independent body undertaking trade remedies investigations. They have a reconsiderations process for interested parties. Further information on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-uk-trade-remedies-investigations-process/how-we-handle-requests-for-reconsiderations-of-our-decisions.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many letters her Department has received for hon. Members regarding trade remedies and the assembly of bicycles; and if she will make a statement.

Since the end of the transition period, the department has received 9 letters from hon. Members regarding trade remedies on the assembly of bicycles.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what changes have been made to the rules on UK trade remedies since the UK's departure from the European Union; ​and if she will make a statement.

The legislation establishing the UK's trade remedies system and all subsequent amendments are publicly available here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2021/10/contents

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2018/22/contents/enacted

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/secondary?title=Trade%20Remedies/

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when the Trade Remedies Authority plans to report to Parliament on its work; and if she will make a statement.

Under the Trade Act 2021, the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) must prepare a performance report of its functions and include the statement of accounts in respect of each financial year. Under the terms of the Act, the TRA’s first financial year will cover the period from initiation on 1 June 2021 to 31 March 2023.

The TRA will report to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade as soon as reasonably practicable after 31 March 2023 and the Secretary of State will lay the report before Parliament.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many and what proportion of her departmental staff are employed to work directly for the Trade Remedies Authority.

No DIT staff are employed to work directly for the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA).

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will list the trade remedies which are no longer applicable since the UK's departure from the EU; and if she will make a statement.

Since the UK’s exit from the EU, the Trade Remedies Authority has completed four transition reviews covering 6 of the measures leading to the revocation of the measure on PSC wire from China and welded pipes and tubes from Russia.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many meetings have there been of the CPTPP UK Accession Working Group; how many of those meetings Ministers have (a) been invited to and (b) attended; and if she will make a statement.

The first CPTPP UK Accession Working Group meeting which the UK attended took place on 28th September 2021. This was a senior official level meeting attended by Chief Negotiators, without ministerial invitation. There have been no further CPTPP UK Accession Working Group meetings to date but further technical written and oral discussions are continuing in a range of areas to ensure accession takes place smoothly.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish an updated impact assessment of access to the CPTPP; and if she will make a statement.

Following the conclusion of negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published. This will present estimated economic impacts of the agreement, including impacts on UK sectoral output and employment and the potential implications for the UK nations and English regions. This Government is committed to transparency, and we will ensure that parliamentarians have access to the information they need on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) through our robust scrutiny process.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when her Department plans to publish a response to the consultation, Trade with India: call for input, which concluded on 31 August 2021; when she plans to publish an economic impact assessment relating to any future free trade agreement between the UK and India; and if she will make a statement.

A summary of responses to the consultation and the Department’s response was published on 13 January 2022. This was part of a broader suite of documents on the UK-India Free Trade Agreement, including an economic scoping assessment.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade made a Written Ministerial Statement on the 13th of January about the launch of negotiations. Once the provisions of the agreement have been negotiated, HM Government will publish a full impact assessment reflecting the outcome.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many staff are temporarily employed in her Department (a) in total and (b) in positions within the senior civil service; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) interprets ‘Temporarily employed’ staff for the purposes of this response to be those working on DIT objectives under Contingent Labour arrangements. This response does not cover staff on loan from Other Government Departments working on DIT objectives, secondees, Fast Stream employees, Interns, or Fixed Term Appointees.

A total of 217 staff were employed under Contingent Labour arrangements, of which 19 worked within U.K. Export Finance and 198 within the DIT Ministerial department as of June 2021.

Of the above, there are 0 Senior Civil Servants currently employed under Contingent Labour arrangements across both U.K. Export Finance and DIT.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish (a) a list of the contracts for consultancy services her Department has issued in each of the last three years, (b) how much each contract cost and (c) the services that were provided.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search. DIT’s consultancy contracts can be found on here which include the maximum value of the contract and the services provided.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the activities conducted by each trade envoy since their appointment; and if she will make a statement.

The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Programme has 34 Trade Envoys, covering 72 markets, who support the UK Government’s overall strategy to drive economic growth, promote UK trade and encourage inward investment, helping to level up the country. When undertaking their role they meet numerous people, including key government contacts, stakeholders and businesses and undertake to make two visits to their respective market(s) per year, although this varies depending on the market and the commercial opportunities being pursued. A summary of their activity will be published in the Department's annual report.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many staff in her Department are assigned specifically to promote and support exports of UK food and drink manufacturers; and if she will make a statement.

Food and drink manufacturers are supported through the breadth of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) services, including the Export Support Service, the digital GREAT.gov.uk platform, the Export Academy and UK Export Finance. DIT has a team in the UK dedicated to supporting the food and drink sector. Resource levels are kept under regular review to ensure we can meet demand as interest and opportunities grow in new markets.

DIT also has more than 100 staff overseas, either on a full or part time basis, who are specifically supporting businesses in the agriculture, food, and drink sector. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and DIT recently announced that eight new specialist agricultural attachés would be placed in priority markets to tackle trade barriers, building on existing roles in China and the United Arab Emirates.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish (a) details of visits to Canada and (b) other activities conducted by the hon. Member for Bournemouth West whilst he was Trade Envoy to Canada; and if she will make a statement.

My Hon. Friend for Bournemouth West was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Canada on 23rd August 2021. His term ended on 16th September 2021, when he was appointed as Minister of State to Northern Ireland. Due to only having spent a short time as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Canada, there was insufficient time for a visit to Canada or external meetings.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the full day by day itinerary of the Minister of State’s visit to the US in December 2021; and if she will make a statement.

Between 5 and 15 December I visited California; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee, Oklahoma City and Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina.

The visit included productive meetings with Governors, Mayors and Agriculture and Economic Development Commissioners. I also met with business leaders from sectors including fintech, and agriculture. These stakeholders had great interest in doing more on trade with the UK, including Memoranda of Understanding agreements, which we are following up.

I also spoke to Members of Congress from other states including Washington State, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Missouri; building bridges for the UK at federal and state level.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has a contract with Clifford Chance LLP which can be found Here. DIT had a number of meetings with Clifford Chance LLP in order to set up this contract and has ongoing meetings to contract manage it. DIT has no financial contract with FTI Consulting and Fenchurch Advisory Partners.

Since 2015, DIT has interacted with Clifford Chance on at least 65 occasions, FTI Consulting on 97 and Fenchurch Advisory Partners twice. These interactions include meetings with officials and attendance at events.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

In addition, DIT has previously had meetings with these companies as part of our commitment to working hard to promote Financial Services Trade and Investment, and a Partner from Clifford Chance LLP is a member of one of DIT’s Trade Advisory Groups.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many Departmental staff were stationed in each of the 28 states of India in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) employees working overseas are often stationed at a central base, such as a High Commission, but operate across India. DIT has several overseas bases within India as part of the British overseas network, such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Chandigrah and Kolkata. Total workforce numbers have been provided to protect anonymity of individuals working at some of these locations:

Date

Headcount

30-Nov-21

121

30-Nov-20

109

30-Nov-19

110

30-Nov-18

97

30-Nov-17

106

Please note: The headcount figures include overseas UK based staff, country-based staff and country-based staff interns (there are no country-based staff interns in India).

These figures do not include UKEF staff, those on loan from Other Government Departments who remain on their home departments payroll, contractors, military staff, people on secondment from other organisations, those who are on loan or secondment out of DIT, or on unpaid special leave or career break.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if her Department will agree to a temporary waiver of the TRIPS Agreement for the production of mRNA covid-19 vaccines; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the Hon. Member for Harrow West to the answer given by my Hon. Friend, the Minister for Exports, to the Hon. Member for Preston on 17 December, UIN: 90349.

The G7 Trade Ministers’ communique of 22nd October notes our determination to achieve an impactful outcome on trade and health, including how the international IP framework can best support the WTO’s pandemic response.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much her Department spent supporting and promoting food and drink businesses to export to overseas markets (a) in total and (b) per (i) nation and (ii) region of the UK in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) supports food and drink businesses in all parts of the UK, through our overseas network, international events programme and online services. New DIT teams have been established in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North-East of England to boost trade and investment and level-up the country. On 1 October DIT launched a new Export Support Service (ESS), where UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe by accessing cross government information and support all in one place via a new online service and helpline.

DIT’s Annual Reports and Accounts for each of the last five years are available on www.gov.uk. These publications contain detailed commentary on the performance, governance arrangements and expenditure of DIT. Information on expenditure by sector, nation and region is not readily available.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many food and drink businesses her Department supported with funding to help export to overseas markets in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) supports food and drink businesses in all parts of the UK, through our overseas network, international events programme and online services. New DIT teams have been established in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North-East of England to boost trade and investment and level-up the country. On 1 October DIT launched a new Export Support Service (ESS), where UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe by accessing cross government information and support all in one place via a new online service and helpline.

DIT’s Annual Reports and Accounts for each of the last five years are available on www.gov.uk. These publications contain detailed commentary on the performance, governance arrangements and expenditure of DIT. Information on expenditure by sector, nation and region is not readily available.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what support her Department has provided to help British food and drink companies export to overseas markets; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) supports food and drink businesses in all parts of the UK, through our overseas network, international events programme and online services. New DIT teams have been established in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the North-East of England to boost trade and investment and level-up the country. On 1 October DIT launched a new Export Support Service (ESS), where UK businesses can get answers to practical questions about exporting to Europe by accessing cross government information and support all in one place via a new online service and helpline.

DIT’s Annual Reports and Accounts for each of the last five years are available on www.gov.uk. These publications contain detailed commentary on the performance, governance arrangements and expenditure of DIT. Information on expenditure by sector, nation and region is not readily available.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department has taken to (a) ensure that the Domestic Advisory Groups that it is establishing are independent and (b) ensure that there are consequences when nations breach human and labour rights commitments they have agreed to in trade deals with the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom is committed to implementing the ‘Trade and Sustainable Development’ chapters in her trade agreements and, in support of this, HM Government is considering options for setting up the ‘Domestic Advisory Group(s)’.

We will continue to show global leadership in encouraging all states to uphold international rights and responsibilities and will hold those who violate them to account. HM Government takes a balanced and proportionate approach with all international partners, delivering the best outcome for the United Kingdom.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to the Government's proposal to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of requesting an exemption to Investor State Dispute Settlement clause; and if she will make a statement.

The UK’s independent investment policy makes it easier for UK firms to invest overseas and reinforces the UK’s position as the top destination in Europe for investment and the third in the world. Accession to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will help to secure the UK’s already strong position in investment.

The UK has negotiated investment agreements with investment protections and Investor-State Dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions with over 90 existing treaty partners, including CPTPP partners, and recognises the important role that these provisions can play in protecting UK investors abroad.

CPTPP is a high standards agreement. It is in the UK’s interests to meet these standards, not to re-write the agreement, and for future applicants to meet these standards too.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that the Mexican Government takes steps to tackle violations of (a) freedom of association and (b) other International Labour Organisation before finalising a trade deal with that country; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom has a trade deal with Mexico, which is supporting jobs in communities across our country.

HM Government has announced plans to negotiate a new trade deal, so asked the British people, British businesses and other organisations for their views, including on issues such as labour. We are analysing the responses in advance of setting a mandate.

HM Government has made clear that trade does not have to come at the expense of our values, and this is reflected in British trade policy.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of China’s application to join the CPTPP; and if she will make a statement.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a group of economies which promotes free and fair trade and requires members to meet high standards, particularly against unfair trading practices.

As a non-member, the UK is not commenting on the specifics of other economies’ interest in the agreement. It’s for the members to consider China’s application.

Once the UK has joined CPTPP it will have the same rights as other parties in respect of future applicants. There has to be a consensus of all the parties to admit any new economy.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many staff of her Department were based in EU countries in each of the last three years; if she will publish how many such staff were based in each country; and if she will make a statement.

Headcount as of 31st March for those staff working for the Department for International Trade in each of the 27 EU member states for each of the last three years is set out in the table below:

Year

Headcount

2019

253

2020

282

2021

306

The above includes both UK Based Staff working overseas and Country Based Staff employed in country.

The Department for International Trade publishes all workforce transparency returns required by the Cabinet Office. This does not currently include how many staff are based in each country as this number can vary depending on joiners, movers and leavers each month.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, on how many occasions and on what dates did senior officials in her Department (a) meet and (b) hold discussions with the Trump Administration during 2020 on a potential trade agreement with the US; and if she will make a statement.

The UK and US negotiating teams have held five productive rounds of negotiations for the UK-US Free Trade Agreement, beginning in May 2020. A significant proportion of legal text has been agreed across multiple chapters throughout the course of negotiations so far. All rounds were held virtually.

  • Round one took place from 5-15 May 2020
  • Round two took place from 15-26 June 2020
  • Round three took place from 27 July to 7 August 2020
  • Round four took place from 8-18 September 2020
  • Round five took place from 19-30 October 2020

Links to the outcome statement for each of the five rounds are as follows:
Round One: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-05-18/hcws238

Round Two: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-06-30/hcws324

Round Three: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/negotiations-on-the-uks-future-trading-relationship-with-the-us-update--2

Round Four: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-09-22/hcws461

Round Five: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-11-02/hcws545

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will allow low- and middle-income countries to waive intellectual property rights on covid-19 (a) vaccines, (b) therapies and (c) diagnostics in line with Indian and South African government’s proposal at the World Trade Organisation to allow the necessary scale-up in production required.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman for Harrow West to the answer I gave to the Hon. Gentleman for Birkenhead on 17th May 2021 (UIN: 448).

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her Department has identified as strategically sensitive sectors in future trade negotiations and renegotiations with (a) Australia, (b) New Zealand, (c) The United States of America, (d) Canada and (e) Mexico; and if she will make statement.

Negotiations are currently ongoing with Australia, New Zealand, and the United States on deals that will have significant benefits for the whole of the United Kingdom.

In preparation for negotiations with Canada and Mexico, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has just launched a call for input which will help understand business and stakeholder’s interests, as well as strategically sensitive sectors.

DIT is unable to comment on sensitive issues regarding ongoing negotiations, as it would compromise such negotiations. However, as soon as it is possible, DIT will inform Parliament of the progress and outcomes of the negotiations.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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.

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.

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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

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.
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.

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
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.