John Lamont Portrait

John Lamont

Conservative - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Scottish Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Oral Question
Monday 20th September 2021
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral Question No. 13
What steps he is taking to help modernise and strengthen the NATO alliance.
Save to Calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 20th September 2021
14:30
Scottish Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Public broadcasting in Scotland
20 Sep 2021, 2:30 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Alex Mahon - Chief Executive at Channel 4
Deborah Dunnett - Commissioning Editor at Channel 4
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Alan Clements - Managing Director at Two Rivers Media
Jane Muirhead - Managing Director at Raise the Roof Productions
Nicole Kleeman - Managing Director at Firecrest Films
View calendar
Oral Question
Thursday 23rd September 2021
09:30
Cabinet Office
Oral Question No. 5
What recent discussions the Government has had with the devolved Administrations on tackling covid-19.
Save to Calendar
Oral Question
Thursday 23rd September 2021
09:30
Cabinet Office
Topical Question No. 8
If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Save to Calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Information Commissioner (Remuneration)
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 359 Conservative Aye votes vs 0 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 2
Speeches
Wednesday 15th September 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

I am grateful for that response. Many parts of Wales are rural like my own constituency in the Scottish borders. …

Written Answers
Monday 6th September 2021
Hamas
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of Hamas's …
Early Day Motions
Monday 9th October 2017
GLASGOW UNIVERSITY NAMED SCOTTISH UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR
That this House congratulates Glasgow University for recently being named Scottish University of the Year in the Times and The …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th July 2021
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Ian McVeigh
Address of donor: private
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, John Lamont has voted in 262 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All John Lamont 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
Alister Jack (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Scotland
(13 debate interactions)
Elizabeth Truss (Conservative)
Minister for Women and Equalities
(12 debate interactions)
Alison Thewliss (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(39 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
Department for International Trade
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all John Lamont's debates

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 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 Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

Cervical screening needs to be every year.

This is because women are dying, mothers, wives, daughters, granddaughters and sisters are dying.

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.

The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.


Latest EDMs signed by John Lamont

9th October 2017
John Lamont signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 9th October 2017

GLASGOW UNIVERSITY NAMED SCOTTISH UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR

Tabled by: John Lamont (Conservative - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
That this House congratulates Glasgow University for recently being named Scottish University of the Year in the Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018; understands that the university saw improvements in its rankings for graduate prospects, competition rates, teaching quality and student experience and that the university is …
6 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Jan 2018)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 4
Conservative: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
5th September 2017
John Lamont signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 5th September 2017

MR RONALD WILSON AND FARMING IN THE BORDERS

Tabled by: John Lamont (Conservative - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
That this House pays tribute to Mr Ronald Wilson, Secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Society, for his service to the society and to farming in the Borders; notes that Ron has been an outstanding Secretary and Treasurer for the past 20 years and has helped grow the society in …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 5 Sep 2017)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 1
View All John Lamont's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John Lamont, 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.


John Lamont has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John Lamont has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

John Lamont has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

John Lamont has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


103 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
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure timely responses by Departments to Freedom of Information requests during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is important that Departments continue to respond to requests for access to information during this period as a key means of supporting transparency. We recognise that Departments face a range of pressures, and in some cases may not have access to the information requested. The Cabinet Office continues to provide advice to support delivery, in line with guidance issued by the Information Commissioner.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to support the civil service to work securely and safely at home during the covid-19 outbreak.

Where possible civil servants are working from home during the COVID-19 crisis. Departments have been issued with working from home guidance as well as a practical working from home toolkit. This includes information on the safe and secure use of technology and data as well as advice on wellbeing, mental health and staying connected. Departments are creating their own guidance packages specific to their employees and are encouraging employees, their line managers and teams to have regular conversations during this period.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps they are taking to work with the devolved administrations to combat the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the Hon Member to the statement given by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 28 April 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent progress he has made on introducing carer’s leave.

The Government is committed to delivering the manifesto commitment to introduce a new right to an additional week of leave for unpaid carers.

The consultation on Carer’s Leave ran from March to August 2020, setting out detailed policy proposals to create a new employment right for one week’s unpaid leave.

The Government response to the consultation will be published in due course, setting out the way forward.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish an update on the UK’s covid-19 vaccine portfolio, including the number of doses secured with each manufacturer.

The UK Government has secured early access to 407 million vaccines doses through supply agreements with seven separate vaccine developers. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses
  • Moderna ​for 17 million doses
  • Novavax for 60 million doses
  • Janssen for 30 million doses
  • Valneva for 100 million doses

In addition, we announced a non-binding agreement in February 2021 with CureVac ​for 50 million doses and have a reservation agreement with GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been on the establishment of the Centre for Process Innovation that will support the creation of a library of mRNA vaccines to help protect against new variants of covid-19.

It has not proved possible to respond to my Hon. Friend in the time available before Prorogation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many workers in the Scottish Borders will benefit from the increase in the (a) National Living Wage and (b) National Minimum Wage from April 2021.

This Government is committed to building an economy that works for everyone. Through the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and the National Living Wage (NLW) the Government protects the lowest paid within our society. The National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage have increased every year since their introduction – and this extraordinary year is no exception.

On 1 April 2021, the Government will increase that NLW by 2.2% to £8.91. This will be the highest ever UK minimum wage. The NLW currently applies to workers aged 25+, however, from April 2021 it will be extended to those aged 23+, following previous recommendations from the LPC. The government will also introduce inflation-beating increases in the NMW rates for younger workers and apprentices of between 1.5% and 3.6% on 1 April 2021.

Across Scotland, our best estimates suggest that around 100,000 workers will benefit from the planned rise in the National Living Wage, with a further 15,000 benefitting from the planned rise in the National Minimum Wage rates.

Further details on the regional impact of the NLW/NMW rate increase are contained in the NLW/NMW 2021 Impact Assessment. You can find further information here.

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, how many people in Scotland are in receipt of the Warm Home Discount.

In 2018/19, the latest scheme year for which we have data, £341 million was spent on energy bills support for low income and vulnerable households across Great Britain.The scheme provided 2,220,194 rebates, worth £140, to Core Group and Broader Group recipients, and over £30 million worth of support through Industry Initiatives activities across Great Britain.

The breakdown of scheme spend, as well as the report for the 2018/19 scheme year, can be found in the Ofgem scheme reports: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/social-programmes/warm-home-discount/warm-home-discount-reports-and-statistics.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of energy security in relation to the reported early closure of Hunterston nuclear power station.

Hunterston B has been generating low carbon electricity for more than 40 years. Over its lifetime, it has produced enough low carbon energy to power the whole of Scotland for 8 years.

The Capacity Market ensures security of electricity supply by providing all forms of capacity with the right incentives to be on the system and to deliver electricity when needed. It secures the capacity we need, including new capacity to replace aging power stations as they retire, through auctions held either four years or one year ahead of delivery (T-4 and T-1). To date, these capacity auctions have secured the majority of the capacity that Great Britain needs until 2023/.

Hunterston B holds capacity agreements for around 0.9 GW of capacity in 2020/21 and 2021/22. In light of EDF Energy’s decision to end generation at Hunterston B by 7 January 2022, we will have the opportunity to secure replacement capacity in the T-1 auction for 2021/22 if required.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applicants in (a) the Scottish Borders, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK have been granted loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has been introduced to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2000 and £50,000.

As of 10 May, over 268,000 loans have been issued in the UK with a total value of over £8.3 billion.

Issuing new loans is the priority for lenders and the British Business Bank and we are working to ensure that companies receive the full benefits from the support being provided.

At this time, we are unable to provide a breakdown of funding or number of applications by region. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and the lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to bring forward phasing out coal from the energy sector to 2024.

We have confirmed our commitment to put an end to unabated coal power generation from 2025, and on 4 February 2020 my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced the Government’s intention to consult on bringing forward the coal closure date to 1 October 2024. A closure in 2024 would mean that in 10 years we have reduced our reliance on unabated coal generation from around a third of our electricity supply to zero. We will consult on this in due course.

As a result of our existing policies, including carbon pricing and our support for renewables, we have already made great headway in reducing our reliance on coal, which fell from 39% in 2012 to less than 3% in 2019.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has he made of the potential merits of the energy price cap for consumers in (a) the Scottish Borders, (b) Scotland and (c) the rest of the UK.

The Government introduced the Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Act on 1January 2019 to protect GB consumers on default tariffs This followed the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) two-year investigation into the energy market, which concluded that energy customers on default and standard variable tariffs were being significantly overcharged.

The cap currently protects around 11 million households on default tariffs across GB. Ofgem estimate that the tariff cap is saving consumers between £75 and £100 per year on average and a total of £1 billion annually.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to paragraph 2.131 of the Budget 2020 Red Book, how many additional civil servants Ofgem plans to employ in Glasgow.

Ofgem currently employs 385 staff plus 20-40 contractors in its Glasgow office. Ofgem is committed to their presence in Glasgow and are exploring new office premises, but do not have a specific target number of staff to be based there.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has been made of the performance of the energy system in meeting changes in demand due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Great Britain has a reliable energy system and maintaining a safe and secure energy supply is a key priority for this Government.

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been in daily contact with gas and electricity operators, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), National Grid Gas (NGG), and Ofgem, to ensure our energy system is able to respond to changes in demand during this unprecedented time.

The ESO and NGG have procedures in place to manage the effects of a pandemic and are closely monitoring electricity and gas demand over this period. Currently, electricity and gas margins are adequate and there is sufficient supply to meet demand.

The implementation of the Government policies to delay the spread of Covid-19 is resulting in a measurable reduction in the national demand for energy. The ESO recently published its Summer Outlook report to help energy companies with their planning, as well as set out the procedures it has in place to manage the anticipated effects on supply and demand during the pandemic.

We are confident that electricity and gas supplies will keep flowing.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support Companies House is giving to businesses to assist with responding to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 25 March Companies House announced that all businesses could apply for a three-month extension for filing their accounts, with those citing issues around COVID-19 immediately granted an extension. To support this measure Companies House developed a fast-tracked, online system that takes businesses just 15 minutes to complete. There have so far been over 50,000 successful applications. This was supplemented on 28 March when the Government announced it will offer further extensions should circumstances require.

On 16 April Companies House announced that companies issued with a late filing penalty due to COVID-19 will have appeals treated sympathetically and that it has temporarily paused the strike off process to prevent companies being dissolved. This will help ensure businesses struggling to update their records because of the crisis, are not struck off the register.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many successful applications have been made to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme opened for applications on 23 March. As of 21 April, over £2.8bn worth of loans have been issued to over 16,000 businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to rearrange COP 26 in Glasgow.

Dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021, hosted in Glasgow by the UK in partnership with Italy, will be set out in due course following further discussion with parties.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's plans are for decarbonising heating systems in existing residential properties.

The Department is planning to publish a Heat and Building Strategy later this year, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings, including existing residential properties. These include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat. We are developing policies to deliver low carbon heating in the 2020s and put us on the pathway to delivering net zero by 2050.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's plans are for decarbonising heating systems in existing commercial properties.

The Department is planning to publish a Heat and Building Strategy later this year, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings, including existing commercial properties. These include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat. We are developing policies to deliver low carbon heating in the 2020s and put us on the pathway to delivering net zero by 2050. We are spending £2.8bn under the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) between 2018 and 2021 to encourage the deployment of low carbon heating in homes and businesses. The Non-domestic RHI scheme has been open to commercial, industrial, public sector, not for profit and community generators of renewable heat since November 2011.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
22nd Jul 2021
What steps he is taking to increase animal welfare standards.

This Government has an ambitious programme of legislative and non-legislative measures that go further than ever to ensure the highest level of animal welfare standards. Our Action Plan for Animal Welfare provides an overview. As part of this, we have introduced the Animal Sentience and Kept Animals Bills and intend to legislate further in an Animals Abroad Bill.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the environmental benefits of banning microbeads in June 2018.

The ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products in 2018 was developed based on evidence of harm to the marine environment from microplastics, and specifically evidence of microbeads directly entering the marine environment through the water treatment process. It aimed to create a level playing field between businesses that had already taken voluntary action and those that continued to use microbeads. An impact assessment was carried out before the ban was implemented. The impact assessment can be found here:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukia/2017/178/pdfs/ukia_20170178_en.pdf.

More evidence is required to understand the full impact of microplastics, including microbeads, on the marine environment. We have been working to understand other sources of microplastics into the marine environment. This includes a Defra funded study, which investigated the sources and pathways of microplastics from tyres and textiles into the ocean:

http://sciencesearch.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&Completed=0&ProjectID=20110.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking with supermarkets to help vulnerable people to shop for groceries online.

Supermarkets have been working at pace to expand the total number of delivery and click and collect slots.

The Government is working to ensure that approximately 1.8 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus have access to the food they need. We have shared with supermarkets the details of those who have registered as extremely clinically vulnerable and need help accessing food. These details are processed by the supermarkets, who match these names against their own customer databases. They then offer people the option of priority access to online delivery.

We are also working quickly to support people who do not fall into the category of being clinically extremely vulnerable, but still need help getting essential food supplies. This includes those who are elderly, disabled or have health conditions that make it difficult for them to get the food they need. We are speaking to food retailers, delivery organisations and volunteer groups to help prioritise those individuals to access essential food. Most supermarkets are offering prioritised delivery and click and collect slots to those they have identified as vulnerable from their customer databases (for example by age, shopping habits or previous use of vulnerable customer helplines). We are working closely with retailers and local authorities to stand up a service to allow local authorities to refer vulnerable people to supermarkets for a priority delivery or click and collect slot.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking with the food retail sector to ensure continuity of food supply.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. The Government has regular engagement across the industry who continue to monitor the situation closely, taking the necessary steps to address issues where they arise.

Following a significant spike in consumer demand, we have now seen stock levels in supermarkets improve. To support the food sector, the Government temporarily relaxed competition law and regulations relating to driver hours and delivery times so that the sector could work together to keep putting food on the shelves.

We welcome the actions that industry is taking, including hiring more staff, and prioritising delivery slots and shopping times for those that need them most. We are grateful for the extensive support and positive collaboration that the industry has shown. We will continue these conversations to keep food supply chains flowing and make sure people have the food and products they need.

Thanks to rapidly increasing testing capacity, the government has expanded eligibility to all essential workers with symptoms of coronavirus, including those working in the food and drink industry.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions she has had with representatives of international financial institutions on financing potential vaccinations and treatments for covid-19 in developing countries.

The DFID Secretary of State regularly speaks with counterparts in the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) on a range of issues. DFID officials have also been working closely with the IFIs and have had initial conversations on the possibility of financing potential COVID-19 vaccines and treatments in developing countries. We also worked with the World Bank Group, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and others, to launch a brand-new scheme to ensure global vaccine production at the UK-hosted Global Vaccine Summit, on 4 June. The COVAX Advance Market Commitment for COVID-19 vaccines is aimed at incentivising vaccine manufacturers to produce sufficient quantities of a potential COVID-19 vaccine and to ensure future access for low- and middle-income countries. The UK has contributed over £48 million ($60.6 million) to this initiative.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department is providing support to organisations or projects researching a covid-19 vaccine.

The UK is at the forefront of efforts to develop coronavirus vaccines. As agreed by the G20, we support a global approach to the rapid development and scaled up manufacture of vaccines with equitable access to all who need them, including in the poorest countries. We are working with international partners, industry and researchers to support an approach to accelerate research and development, scale up global manufacturing capacity and ensure funding to deliver this aim.

The UK is a strong supporter of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which is supporting the development of vaccines that will be available throughout the world. We have pledged £250 million of UK aid to CEPI, the biggest donation of any country to date. CEPI is supporting the development of 10 COVID-19 vaccine candidates, such as the University of Oxford’s vaccine research.

UK aid has also supported Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for 20 years. We are its biggest donor, helping to immunise over 760 million children and saving over 13 million lives worldwide. Gavi will play a key role in making a new COVID-19 vaccine available and affordable.

UK support, through CEPI, GAVI and others, will help facilitate the end-to-end development and distribution of a successful vaccine.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with the National Farmers Union of Scotland on the free trade agreement with Australia.

Our negotiating strategy is based on the results of one of the largest public consultations in UK history, and we are speaking to businesses and interest groups in every part of the UK to ensure their voice is heard.

On the 19th May I had a one-to-one conversation with NFU Scotland, and on the 26th May I held a joint roundtable with the National Farmers Union (NFU) NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, and Ulster Farmers' Union.

On the 16th June, I held a further joint roundtable with the regional farmers unions to provide an update on negotiations of the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, ahead of the publication of the Agreement in Principle document on the 17th June.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what progress she has made with the US Administration on making the temporary suspension of tariffs on Scotch whisky, cashmere and other products permanent.

HM Government is focused on an ambitious programme of bilateral talks with the US during the four-month tariff suspension, and is making progress towards a settlement that works for the whole of the UK and keeps harmful tariffs off.

The Secretary of State for International Trade engages with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on this issue at every opportunity, and both are committed to finding a fair and permanent settlement to the disputes, that paves the way for an even stronger trading relationship.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when she will next meet with the US Trade Representative; and what will be discussed at that meeting.

The Secretary of State for International Trade looks forward to meeting with the US Trade Representative at the earliest opportunity, date subject to Senate confirmation processes.

We expect the meeting might cover the UK’s ambitious trade agenda with our largest trading partner, promoting free, fair and sustainable trade. We would expect this to include the UK-US Free Trade Agreement; priorities on the global stage such as reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), digital and environmental trade; and the swift resolution of trade disputes that are an unhelpful backdrop to the UK-US trade relationship.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, when she plans to next meet with the US Trade Representative on removing tariffs on (a) cashmere and (b) other products.

The Government takes the negative impact of US tariffs on key UK products, including cashmere, very seriously. These tariffs are unnecessary, unhelpful and harm industry on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Secretary of State for International Trade continues to raise the issue of tariffs with the US administration at every opportunity. Most recently in early August, the Secretary of State visited the US and raised this issue with Ambassador Lighthizer, pressing for the removal of tariffs and a settlement to the Airbus and Boeing disputes as soon as possible.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Transport Scotland on the recommencement of Category F driving tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has had regular discussions with Transport Scotland when making decisions around its testing services.

On 16 March, the First Minister of Scotland introduced an updated Strategic Framework for COVID-19. The Framework sets out the aim to move back to a levels system from the last week of April 2021. If the data allow, in Scotland, category F driving tests will resume on 26 April 2021 at the earliest.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Scottish Government on the easing of domestic travel restrictions during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State for Transport has been and will continue to engage with his counterpart in the Scottish Government to discuss domestic Covid-19 policy.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the Union Connectivity Review.

The Transport Secretary has had discussions with Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Matheson about the Union Connectivity Review ahead of its launch in October 2020.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative estimate he has made of the number of driving tests taken between April and September at (a) Duns, (b) Hawick, (c) Peebles, (d) Galashiels, and (e) Kelso driving test centres, this year and in the previous three years.

Duns

Hawick

Peebles

Galashiels

Kelso

Apr - Sept 2017

66

235

224

496

140

Apr - Sept 2018

64

176

124

442

116

Apr - Sept 2019

63

202

139

426

130

Apr - June 2020 *

0

0

0

0

0

* TO NOTE:

No driving tests were conducted between April and June 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

We cannot provide figures beyond 30 June 2020 as they have not yet been published officially and to release them externally would breach the Statistics and Registrations Service Act 2007.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the reopening of Reston station.

The promotion of railway infrastructure projects in Scotland is a matter for the Scottish Government but the new timetable that Network Rail is developing for the East Coast Main Line will make provision for stops at the proposed new stations at Reston and East Linton.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support hauliers to maintain supply and distribution networks during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has made available £330bn of support through loans and guarantees to support UK businesses. Changes were made on 3 April to ensure that more businesses, particularly those that are SMEs, like many road haulage companies, can benefit from them. Additionally, the job retention scheme which has now been launched will help further by enabling businesses to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

The Government is working with the road haulage industry to identify barriers to accessing the available government support measures.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimates his Department has made of how many drivers in (a) the Scottish Borders, (b) Scotland, and (c) the UK will benefit from the MOT extension due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The MOT data held by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency relates to vehicles, not to the number of drivers who use those vehicles. This data is not disaggregated based on country or region but represents the GB vehicle fleet as a whole.

In April 2020 there are 2,950,295 vehicles due for either a repeat MOT or due for first MOT. In May 2020 there are 3,002,339 vehicles due for repeat or first MOT. In June 2020 there are 2,979,869 vehicles due for repeat or first MOT.

Based on the duration of social distancing measures determined by the Government, the number of vehicles able to benefit from the exclusion to MOT testing will vary. If the legislation allowing the exclusions is no longer required, it may be revoked.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many plug-in car grants have been (a) issued and at (b) at what financial value in (i) the Scottish Borders, (ii) Scotland and (iii) the UK.

The Department holds data on plug-in car grants, however this database does not provide the geographic breakdown requested.

Up to the end of September 2019, the number of plug-in car grant eligible models registered for the first time and their estimated total financial value are outlined below:

Area of registration

(a) Number of registrations for eligible models

(b) Estimated Financial value1

(i) Scottish Borders Unitary Authority

205

£0.8 million

(ii) Scotland

10,561

£40 million

(iii) UK

202,048

£756 million

1 Estimated from vehicle registration data by applying amount of available grant for eligible models at the time of registration. This estimate does not mean that every vehicle registered received the grant or that other vehicles did not receive the grant before the end of September 2019 but had not registered the vehicle yet.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to progress the feasibility study for the extension of the Borders Railway to Carlisle.

The Scottish Government is building the evidence base through their Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR) process, due to report in early 2021. DfT officials and Transport Scotland are discussing the scope of complementary DfT-funded feasibility work on the cross-border benefits and challenges of the options. This work will be commissioned and carried out during 2020 so as to inform and enhance the output of the STPR process.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent progress her Department has made on the roll-out of the Job Entry Targeted Support scheme in the Scottish Borders.

We do not hold data confirming the number of Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) in Scotland starts for the Scottish Borders area. However, so far 6,000 people have started the programme and are being supported to find work across Scotland.

JETS in Scotland successfully went live 25 January 21, delivering a service across Scotland including the Scottish Borders, to support those unemployed more than 13 weeks, primarily impacted by COVID-19, back into employment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people will benefit from the £20 uplift in universal credit; and what the value of that uplift is in monetary terms in (a) the Scottish Borders and (b) Scotland.

The Department for Work and Pensions estimates the six month extension to the Universal Credit £20 uplift will cost around £2.2bn in GB, which can be found here: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-march-2021/. The available information on the number of people with Universal Credit in payment, by geography, is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/. Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support she is providing to Galashiels Job Centre to further assist the unemployed.

Through our Plan for Jobs, the department is providing broad ranging support for all jobseekers. Currently, support includes the Kickstart scheme, Job Finding Support, Sector Based Work Academy Programmes and Job Entry Targeted Support in Scotland.

In addition, the government is investing an additional £150 million into the Flexible Support Fund, which will increase the capacity of the Rapid Response Service, supporting people through redundancy and providing additional local support to claimants by removing barriers to work such as travel expenses for attending interviews and child care.

Our Jobcentre Work Coaches provide support on finding a job, help with retraining or skills advice, CV, job applications and access to the new vacancies we record every day, as well as signposting to our Jobhelp website. We are increasing the number of Work Coaches in Jobcentre Plus by 13,500 by March 2021. With 17 new Work Coaches joining the team at Galashiels Jobcentre in January.

The Galashiels Jobcentre team are working closely with Scottish Borders College to identify and deliver suitable provision for local residents, and have also partnered with employers in the area to deliver Mentoring Circles and Sector-based Work Academy Programmes.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new job placements have been created in the Scottish Borders as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

I refer my Right Honourable friend to PQ 145013

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress has been made on rolling out the Kickstart Scheme; and what discussions he has with the devolved Administrations on that scheme.

As of 20/11/2020, the DWP’s Kickstart scheme has received 4’783 total applications, 1’752 of these being from prospective gateway organisations (this includes bids made across a number of application forms from some organisations each containing different Kickstart placements). So far, applications from Gateways and employers covering 23’934 vacancies have been approved.

Officials meet colleagues in the devolved administrations regularly to discuss Kickstart and to ensure that the benefits of the scheme can be maximised and can complement existing and planned local provision for young people.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking with the Scottish Government to develop plans for a coordinated rollout of covid-19 vaccines.

The Vaccine Taskforce is procuring vaccines for the whole of the United Kingdom, including Scotland. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care meets weekly with counterparts in the devolved administrations for discussions of key COVID-19 issues across all four nations. Throughout, as health is a devolved matter, the UK Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure successful delivery across the whole of the UK.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking with the Scottish Government to develop a communications campaign to promote the uptake of covid-19 vaccines.

We are working closely with the devolved administrations to enable there to be an aligned approach to COVID-19 vaccine communications across the United Kingdom. We are developing communications campaigns to increase confidence in the safety of vaccines and the COVID-19 vaccine in particular and support the operational deployment when a vaccine is ready. We engage with communications teams from Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland directly to coordinate this activity and agree communications coordination.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether each approved covid-19 vaccine will be distributed across the UK according to population.

As health is a devolved matter, the United Kingdom Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure successful deployment of a COVID-19 vaccine across the whole of the UK. This includes considerations of planning and key decisions which will need to be aligned across the devolved administrations. The Government will distribute available COVID-19 vaccines on an equitable basis across the UK.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 testing in Scotland is provided by the UK Government.

Testing capacity through the National Testing Programme is allocated to each nation of the United Kingdom on the basis of population share.

The Government is providing COVID-19 testing and test processing in support of NHS Scotland. This includes six regional test sites, more than 25 test sites in local communities, around 20 mobile testing units and the Glasgow Lighthouse Laboratory. In addition, the Government has provided a million lateral flow devices.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 46771, tabled by the hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk on 13 May 2020.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding the Government has provided to set up NHS Louisa Jordan.

The National Health Service in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and all policy and spending decisions are made in Scotland. The devolved administrations receive funding through the Barnett formula. On 13 April the Chancellor announced almost £2 billion from the COVID-19 emergency response fund will go to the devolved administrations through the Barnett formula.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the IAEA report, Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), what recent assessment his Department has made of whether Iran's uranium enrichment programme is now at levels only countries seeking to make atomic weapons reach.

On 19 August, the UK issued a joint statement with France and Germany underlining our grave concern at the latest reports of the IAEA. These reports confirm that Iran has produced uranium metal enriched up to 20% for the first time, and has significantly increased its production capacity of uranium enriched up to 60%.

60% enrichment constitutes an important step towards developing a nuclear weapon. No State without nuclear weapons has ever before produced Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU). We urge Iran to halt all activities in violation of the JCPoA and return to the negotiations in Vienna as soon as possible with a view to bringing them to a swift, successful conclusion.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of Hamas's military capabilities.

It is the longstanding policy of successive British Governments that we do not comment on intelligence matters.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking following Iran’s decision to suspend application of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Additional Protocol.

Iran's continued systematic non-compliance with its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) is hollowing out the non-proliferation benefits of the deal and jeopardising our efforts to preserve it. On 23 February, the Foreign Secretary, alongside his French and German counterparts, expressed our deep regret at Iran's suspension of the Additional Protocol and urged Iran to return to compliance with its JCPoA commitments. Our priority is now, with the parties of the JCPoA and the new US administration, to find a diplomatic way forward that realises the benefits of the deal.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the basis was for the UK’s financial aid to Iran of £16 million between 2013 and 2017; what assessment he has made of whether a proportion of that aid funded textbooks that reportedly promote extremism; and whether the UK currently provides funds to improve educational links to Iran.

Between 2013 and 2017, total FCO bilateral spending on Iran was approximately £4.4 million. These funds were spent on developing long-term people-to-people educational and cultural links between our two countries, including supporting English teachers, artists and Chevening scholars. Chevening supports exceptional young people all over the world to reach their potential, and remains open for applicants in Iran. We are not aware that any of this spending funded textbooks reportedly promoting extremism. The British Council do not currently operate or fund programmes in Iran.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how the UK is assisting the Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies with the roll-out of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, together with Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care, and the UK Vaccine Taskforce, are coordinating the deployment of vaccines to the Overseas Territories. Vaccines have so far been delivered to Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are currently finalising plans to deliver vaccines to the other inhabited Overseas Territories. Public Health England are coordinating the deliveries to the Crown Dependencies, the governments of which are taking forward the distribution of vaccine in their respective jurisdictions.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support the Government provided to British Overseas Territories to help them tackle the effects of the covid-19 pandemic.

The safety and security of those in the British Overseas Territories (OTs) is a UK Government priority. The UK Government has been working with the OTs to support their healthcare systems throughout the pandemic. To date, we have funded, procured and delivered medical supplies to all inhabited OTs (except Pitcairn, which has had no confirmed cases of COVID-19), delivered testing systems to six territories and boosted testing capabilities in three other OTs. The Government has supported OTs' efforts to source and recruit additional medical personnel, and healthcare professionals from Public Health England continue to provide technical advice and guidance. We have also been working closely with the OTs to assess their exposure and resilience to the economic shock caused by the pandemic and are considering requests from territory governments for additional economic support and funding on a case-by-case basis. We are looking to the territories firstly to make full use of their own financial resources in order to address the needs of their citizens. Economic support from the UK Government will be to complement comprehensive local responses, be subject to need, and require good governance.

We have been working with OT Governments to understand the impact of the pandemic on security and have provided in-Territory support in the form of Security Assistance Teams to a small number of OTs. We stand ready to provide additional tailored support as needed and if requested. The UK brought forward the deployment of RFA Argus to provide resilience to some of our most vulnerable OTs in the Caribbean. Since the start of the pandemic, we have worked with territories to arrange flights to the Caribbean and the South Atlantic, flying residents of the OTs home from the UK as well as repatriating British Citizens and other nationalities from the Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Cayman Islands and St Helena. We have also repatriated people from Ascension and the Falkland Islands using regular RAF flights. As well as providing access routes in and out for the people of the OTs, we are working to mitigate the problems around transport access caused by the pandemic to minimise shortages in food, fuel and medical supplies. The OTs are facing an unprecedented challenge, and in addition to the urgent assistance already delivered, we will support the territories as they deal with the medium and longer-term economic, public health and other impacts of the pandemic.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UN Security Council resolutions (a) 1540, (b) 1701 and (c) 2216 in prohibiting the proliferation of weapons to Hezbollah and the Houthis.

The UK remains concerned by reports that Hizballah continues to amass an arsenal of weapons in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. We regularly raise this at the UN Security Council, and we call on all parties to abide by the provisions of the relevant UNSCRs. The UK is also concerned that, according to the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, military equipment of Iranian origin was introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo, in violation of Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015). This reaffirms our concerns about destabilising Iranian activity in Yemen and the wider region.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the (a) weapons arsenals and (b) origin of weaponry of (i) Hezbollah and (ii) the Houthis.

The UK remains concerned by reports that Hizballah continues to amass an arsenal of weapons in breach of UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. We regularly raise this at the UN Security Council, and we call on all parties to abide by the provisions of the relevant UNSCRs. The UK is also concerned that, according to the UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, military equipment of Iranian origin was introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo, in violation of Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015). This reaffirms our concerns about destabilising Iranian activity in Yemen and the wider region.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that a new UN high seas treaty to protect ocean biodiversity and conservation is negotiated in 2020.

The FCO and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have been closely involved in the negotiation of a new Implementing Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction - the BBNJ Agreement - as an important step forward in addressing the challenges that the ocean faces. The UK is pressing for an ambitious Agreement. It will be a key mechanism in enabling the designation of at least 30 per cent of the global ocean as Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

Unfortunately, due to the impacts of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the fourth session of the Inter-Governmental Conference, scheduled for 23 March to 3 April in New York, was postponed. The UK is supportive of re-scheduling the fourth session for the earliest possible opportunity that will enable all delegations to be present for the negotiations in New York. The UK also strongly supports intersessional work, which is vital to ensure that we maintain momentum towards the successful conclusion of these important negotiations.

James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 49098 on Iran: Arms Trade, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UN Security Council Resolutions 2231, 1540, 2216 and 1701 in tackling Iran’s regional threat.

We have long been clear about our concerns over Iran's continued destabilising activity throughout the region. As part of this, we have significant and longstanding concerns, alongside our international partners, over Iran's ballistic missile programme, which poses a further threat to regional security. Reports that Iran has carried out a satellite launch - using ballistic missile technology - are of significant concern and inconsistent with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. Iran must abide by this.

We remain concerned about the activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the revelation it has developed an independent military space launch capability, and call on Iran urgently to cease all forms of destabilising activity. We regularly examine options and activity to address these issues and call on Iran to fully comply with UNSCRs 2231, 1540, 2216 and 1701.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the level of regional threat posed by Iran re-entering the arms market following the expiration of the UN conventional arms embargo in October 2020.

The UK remains committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), a reciprocal deal that lifts sanctions in exchange for tough nuclear limits. Iran has broken the nuclear limits in the JCPoA and we are working to bring Iran back into compliance through the deal's Dispute Resolution Mechanism.

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231, which underpins the JCPoA, includes a number of clauses designed to allow sanctions to expire on fixed dates: the UN conventional arms embargo is due to expire in October 2020. We have repeatedly set out concerns about Iranian destabilising behaviour, including proliferation to non-state actors. UNSCRs 1540, 2216 and 1701, which prohibit the proliferation of weapons to the Houthis and Lebanese Hizballah, will remain in place after the arms embargo expires. The EU arms embargo and UN ballistic missile restrictions will also remain in place until 2023. We are consulting partners on the broader implications of the UN arms embargo expiry and encourage all states to implement national export control best practice.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many emergency repatriation loans have been paid; and what the total value is of those loans.

British nationals and UK residents who are overseas and wish to return to the UK, but cannot afford travel costs and have exhausted all other options for getting funds to return home, may apply for an emergency loan from the government as a last resort. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) usually issues around 250 emergency repatriation loans per year. We estimate that over 750 loans have been issued this year with an approximate total value of over £100,000. Some loans are still being processed. Since 7 April, the FCO has been working with Corporate Travel Management (CTM), which is authorised to administer such loans on behalf of the FCO, to extend the FCO's capacity to consider loan requests from British nationals.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to ensuring that British travellers around the globe are able to return home.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support the British Overseas Territories during the covid-19 outbreak.

The UK Government is firmly committed to supporting the Overseas Territories in dealing with Covid-19. Baroness Sugg (Minister for the Overseas Territories) is in regular contact with the political leaders and Governors of the Territories, to understand the situation on the ground and identify how the UK Government can best support them. The impact of the pandemic on the Territories varies, and our support is being calibrated accordingly. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development are leading a cross-Whitehall effort, working closely with the Overseas Territories governments to provide support across the key areas we have identified, of healthcare, economy, security and access.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the likelihood that the consultation on the pensions charge cap will lead to higher returns for savers.

This is a matter for the Department for Work and Pensions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many businesses are affected by the VAT reduction for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions in (a) the Scottish Borders and (b) in Scotland.

It is estimated that about 13,000 businesses in Scotland benefit from the VAT reduced rate for hospitality, accommodation and attractions. Estimates are not available for lower level geographic areas.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent progress has been made on the National Savings and Investment's green savings product; and whether the Government has plans to offer that product to savers in summer 2021.

Since the Chancellor’s announcement at Spring Budget 2021 that a Green Savings Bond will be offered through NS&I, work has continued at pace on the development of this product. The Green Savings Bond will be linked to the UK’s sovereign Green Bond framework, due to be published in June 2021, and will give UK savers the opportunity to take part in the collective effort to tackle climate change. Further details on the Green Savings Bond will be published in due course, prior to the product going on sale this summer.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much Gift Aid has been paid to charities in the Scottish Borders in each of the last three years.

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much the Soft Drinks Industry Levy has raised since that Levy was introduced.

Since its introduction in April 2018, the provisional total for revenue raised from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy up to and including December 2020 is £802 million. This consists of the following amounts raised per financial year:

2018-19: £240 million

2019-20: £337 million

2020-21: £224 million (provisional year to date total covering revenue received between April 2020 and December 2020).

The discrepancy of £1 million between the overall total (£802 million) and the sum of financial year subtotals (£801 million) is due to rounding used by HMRC when producing these statistics.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of compensating people who were unable to claim child benefit due to delays in receiving their child's birth certificate as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government announced on 7 April 2020 that, as General Register Offices were closed or operating at a reduced capacity during the COVID-19 outbreak, HM Revenue and Customs would allow parents to claim Child Benefit for their newborns without having to register their child’s birth first, to ensure they did not miss out on Child Benefit payments. Child Benefit can be backdated for up to three months.

The press release announcing these measures is at:

www.gov.uk/government/news/dont-miss-out-claim-child-benefit-by-phone-or-post-hmrc-tells-new-parents

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many discounts were claimed as part of the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme in (a) the Scottish Borders, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK.

HMRC have published constituency level data, on claims received up to 27 August 2020, on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eat-out-to-help-out-scheme-claims-by-parliamentary-constituency. There are also plans to develop a wider official statistics release for the scheme once the Claims Service closes at the end of September.

In addition, HMRC have published data on a weekly basis about registered premises and claims received on GOV.UK.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent comparative assessment he has made of the competitiveness of NS&I and high street bank savings product interest rates.

NS&I has a core remit to deliver cost-effective financing for government. In effect, customers’ deposits with NS&I are a form of government borrowing, and the rates that NS&I offer impact the cost to government of this borrowing. Rates on NS&I products are kept under review and set in accordance with its operating framework to balance the interests of savers; taxpayers; and the broader financial services sector.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of financial support for workers provided by (a) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) governments in other countries that are similarly affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

On 12 May, the Chancellor announced an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of October. The scheme has been extended in full until the end of July, with changes concerning part-time working and employer contributions from August. The Government will keep all policies under review, and monitors the economic support packages for workers implemented by other governments around the world. Several other countries (such as Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada) have announced similar measures.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of people in the Scottish Borders who have been furloughed as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April. As of Thursday 23rd April HMRC had received about 512,000 claims with a total value of around £4.5bn.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people are using Help to Save in Scotland.

HMRC has published the number of opened Help to Save accounts registered to addresses in Scotland to end-January 2020. The following link provides the latest edition of this publication:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/help-to-save-statistics

12,050 accounts had been opened and registered to addresses in Scotland to end-January 2020.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to offer support to Police Scotland during the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

The Home Office are supporting Police Scotland in the planning and delivery of the event whilst respecting operational independence and the devolved nature of policing in Scotland, noting that Counter Terrorism policing policy remains reserved.

The Home Office and the National Police Co-ordination Centre (NPoCC) are working closely with Police Scotland around the resourcing for the event, as well as sharing knowledge and experience in relation to policing operations from other high profile major events.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding has been provided to the Scottish Borders Council as part of the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement programme.

All local authorities receive a 5-year tariff, per refugee resettled, to assist with costs incurred providing support to refugees they have welcomed through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. In year 1 this totals £8,520 per refugee, with additional support for educational and medical needs. In years 2-5 local authorities receive £12,000 per refugee in total: tapering from £5,000 in year 2 to £3,700 in year 3, to £2,300k in year 4 and £1,000k in year 5.

Home Office Immigration Statistics on asylum and resettlement are published on a quarterly basis. This includes a detailed breakdown of the number of refugees resettled to each local authority.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the Scottish Government on the Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa.

Throughout the development of the Hong Kong BN(O) route, the Home Office has had regular discussions with counterparts across the UK government and in the Devolved Administrations. This includes the continued work being led by MHCLG to support the effective integration of BN(O) status holders and their family members arriving in the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions her Department has had with (a) Police Scotland and (b) the British Transport Police on county lines.

The Home Office and its operational partners work closely with both Police Scotland and the British Transport Police, both of whom have a key role in addressing county lines drug dealing. Regular dialogue takes place with the British Transport Police on county lines, and through our investment the British Transport Police has established a dedicated taskforce focusing on county lines operations. We are also funding the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) to co-ordinate the national law enforcement response to county lines and NCLCC regularly engage with Police Scotland. County lines was also discussed at the UK Drugs Ministerial in September, which was attended by HO and Scottish Government ministers and by Police Scotland among others.

This Government is determined to crack down on the county lines gangs who are exploiting our children and have a devastating impact on our communities. That is why, on 20 January the Government announced £40m dedicated investment to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs. This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our existing £25m county lines programme. In September 2020 NCLCC coordinated a county lines ‘week of intensification’ which included all forces, including Police Scotland. This resulted in over 1,000 arrests, drugs worth more than £1m seized and over 1,500 vulnerable individuals safeguarded.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people from the Scottish Borders have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Up until 30 June 2020 a total of 2,560 applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) had been received from applicants in the Scottish Borders local authority area.

Published information on EUSS applications by region and local authority to 30 June 2020, can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, local authority statistics tables, table EUSS_LA_01 (by the applicants nationality) and EUSS_LA_02 (by the applicants age), available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-quarterly-statistics-june-2020.

The latest published information shows 3.81 million (3,805,200) EUSS applications had been received up to 31 July 2020. The latest figures can be found on the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’ web page available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to mark Armed Forces Day in Scotland.

Armed Forces Day provides the opportunity for the nation as a whole to pay tribute to our British Armed Forces and its supporting community for their hard work, dedication and efforts in assuring the UK's safety and security. Armed Forces Week 2021, including Armed Forces Day itself, is led by Local Authorities and is supported by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), across the whole of the UK. The ability to host physical events this year is again impacted by the pandemic, which is the case across all the Devolved Administrations, but the MOD continues to provide support to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in helping them pay tribute to our collectively valued Armed Forces, Reservists, Veterans and Cadets.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much funding has been provided to organisations in the Scottish Borders Council area as part of the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust has made two grants, totalling £44,900, to a charity registered in the Scottish Borders Council area. First Light Trust, was awarded a grant of £9,900 in August 2020 under the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust’s small grants programme ‘Forces Communities Together’, and an additional £35,000 in November 2020 under the Trust’s ‘Positive Pathways’ programme. There has been considerable further funding awarded to organisations with registered offices in Edinburgh, which have a wider remit for the delivery of services across Scotland, including in the Scottish Borders.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory has provided in tackling covid-19.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is a world-class asset which has been supporting the UK's COVID-19 response since the outset, as well as supporting military readiness. This contribution has included laboratory-based research and testing, and the deployment of scientific staff across Government.

Dstl analysts have provided vital evidence to inform SAGE and its subcommittees, Cabinet Office decision making and local resilience planning. Dstl scientists have evaluated a number of prototype COVID-19 related products, identified suitable products to reduce turnaround time for disinfection of Ambulances, carried out diagnostic tests within NHS hospitals, and set up a Defence COVID Laboratory to provide PCR testing on Defence personnel under the national testing programme. Dstl research in a number of fields has been published, either to inform or as a basis for further research by other organisations. Dstl has also been involved in the establishment of the Joint BioSecurity Centre[1].

Dstl continues to provide support across Government and is now conducting longer-term research that will support the UK's ongoing response.

[1] The JBC brings together the UK's leading data analysis and epidemiological expertise with the aim of ensuring that outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) are detected and brought under control quickly (link here)term research that will support the UK's ongoing response.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has offered assistance to the Scottish Government to help tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

Defence is committed to supporting the entirety of the United Kingdom in the battle against COVID-19. Military personnel are active in each of the devolved nations and on standby to meet further requests from their Civil Authorities. Military planners are either already supporting or available to support each of the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

For instance, helicopters detached to Kinloss barracks are providing support as part of the Covid Support Force to conduct medical evacuations from remote areas and distribution tasks.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his plans are for marking VE Day in Scotland.

The Ministry of Defence will be providing support to the Scottish Government's and Royal British Legion Scotland's joint commemorations in Edinburgh of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. Additionally, the British Army's 51 Brigade, in concert with the city's Lord Provost, will organise a People's Parade through Glasgow. Defence will provide Armed Forces bands, parading Service personnel and flypasts for the commemorations in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

18th May 2021
What progress he has made with the Home Secretary on bringing forward legislative proposals to support victims.

This Government is committed to protecting the public and cutting crime. This means ensuring that victims are supported at every stage of the criminal justice system, so that justice can be secured, victims and the public protected, and offenders punished.

The Victims’ Bill, announced in the Queens’ Speech, will enshrine victims’ rights in law, hold agencies to account for delivering those rights and set expectations for the standard and availability of victim support.

I am working closely with the Home Secretary in preparation for the consultation on this Bill which will take place later this year.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of co-operation of (a) the Scottish Government and (b) Transport Scotland in providing technical data to the Union Connectivity Review.

Since the independent Union Connectivity Review (UCR) began in November 2020 it has published a call for evidence, which attracted 145 responses and has led sector specific roundtables with around 100 organisations. The UCR did not receive a submission from the Scottish Government or Transport Scotland. Sir Peter Hendy, who is leading the review, has spoken to Ministers in the Scottish and Welsh Governments and the Northern Ireland Executive.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what steps he is taking to increase local engagement with the Union Connectivity Review.

Reviewing connections between the nations will be critical as we look to recover the economy from the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, I welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister of the Union Connectivity Review, which is being led by Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail, and I look forward to seeing the interim report that is due to be published later this month.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland has worked closely with the Department for Transport on the Union Connectivity Review and has engaged with a number of stakeholders covering a range of industries across the United Kingdom on this.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister Stewart, also wrote to all Local Authorities in Scotland, recommending they submit their suggestions for the review into the Call for Evidence that was held in December.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what staffing resource has been provided by the UK Government to Food Standards Scotland since the end of the transition period.

The UK Government, through the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), have provided two locum vets to Food Standards Scotland (FSS) from 1 February 2021 as requested by FSS. The UK Government has provided all the resource which FSS have requested and will continue to work closely with FSS should any more requests be made.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what covid-19 testing sites have been made available in the Scottish Borders since the beginning of the outbreak; and how long those sites have been operational.

The UK Government has worked with the Scottish Government to ensure that support is there to significantly increase testing capacity in Scotland to respond to Covid-19 in addition to NHS Scotland’s own capacity. This has included funding six drive through centres, 20 mobile testing units, 22 walk in sites and support for mass testing with one million lateral flow test kits so far.

In the Scottish Borders, there has been a Mobile Testing Unit operating in the area since May 2020 where it regularly visits Galashiels and previously Hawick.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what progress has been made in moving civil servants to Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh.

As the new home of UK Government in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth House will house 3,000 civil servants representing a broad range of UK Government activity. Further details will be announced in due course.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of recent trade missions in promoting Scottish exports.

In 2018- 2019, DIT organised 88 Ministerial visits to 49 export markets, to strengthen trading relationships, promote the UK as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and help grow demand for UK exports. A number of Ministerial Trade Dialogues were also held, including with China, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam.

Additionally, the Prime Minister’s 33 Trade Envoys undertook 55 overseas visits in 2018-19 to 42 different markets, supporting the Government’s overall strategy to drive economic growth.

The benefits of DIT’s activities in this sphere reach across the whole of the UK, including for Scottish businesses. HMRC estimated that over 6,700 businesses exported their goods from Scotland in the first quarter of 2019 - more than ever before. Recent work has also resulted in breaking down trade barriers for British businesses in Japan, following successful work by DIT to lift the ban on British beef and lamb.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what steps he is taking to support the offshore decommissioning sector in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK.

The decommissioning of offshore oil and gas and renewables infrastructure on the UK Continental Shelf will be increasingly prominent in the years ahead as assets reach the end of their lifespan. It is the Government’s ambition for the UK to capitalise on the sizeable market opportunity available on our doorstep (within the UKCS and the wider North Sea) and use this advantage to become a global centre of expertise for offshore decommissioning. Industry estimates that £15.2 billion will be spent on decommissioning oil and gas assets on the UKCS over the next decade, with the emerging global market worth $85 billion (£67 billion), in the same period.

To support this ambition, last year the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a call for evidence to identify what more should be done to further strengthen Scotland and the UK’s position as a global hub for decommissioning, examining our areas of expertise and the export potential of our services. The Government response to this call for evidence will be published in due course.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the differences between the financial support available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in Scotland compared to the rest of the UK.

I regularly attend a cross-government Economic and Business Response Group, which discusses how to minimise the impact of Covid-19 and ensure that the UK Government, working in collaboration with the Scottish Government, can best support businesses.

Local business support and grants are a devolved policy. However, as a result of the grants schemes which we have established in England, the Devolved Administrations have received around £2.3bn of additional funding via the Barnett formula.

Through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund in England, the UK Government is providing eligible businesses in these sectors with grants depending on the rateable value of their properties. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000 per property. Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000 per property. In Scotland, businesses can only claim the full grant for one property, and 75% of the grant for any others.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on the adequacy of Government funding to respond to the covid-19 outbreak.

In addition to regular meetings between officials, my colleague the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Scotland Office (Douglas Ross) spoke with the President of COSLA, Councillor Alison Evison, on 14 April.

A range of issues were discussed, including the package of support that has been announced by the Chancellor and how this flows to Scotland through the Barnett formula.

The UK Government has committed £3.5 billion in additional funding to help cope with the covid-19 outbreak in Scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what recent discussions he has had with banks on helping Scottish businesses to respond to the covid-19 outbreak.

My office and I have regular discussions on vital government support to Scottish businesses in light of the global Covid-19 crisis with a very wide range of Scottish stakeholders, including the key Scottish financial sector. The Chancellor is in regular contact with the banking industry to emphasise their importance in supporting businesses at this time.

Through our Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and newly announced Bounce Back Loans Scheme, we’re lending businesses of all sizes the money they need to stay afloat. This week the British Business Bank has announced that it has approved four new lenders for accreditation under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and more than 80% of the UK’s smaller businesses have a finance relationship with CBILS’ 52+ accredited lenders. These loans are an important part of the wide-ranging UK Government package of support the government has put in place to help UK businesses.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what discussions he has had with the National Farmers' Union Scotland in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

My Parliamentary Under Secretary, OSSS officials and I have extremely regular contact with the National Farmers Union, Scotland. I very much value this relationship and we will continue to work together to address the challenging issues that the farming sector in Scotland faces as a result of Covid-19.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much additional testing capacity has been created by regional testing centres in Scotland.

The UK Government has opened regional testing centres at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, and will shortly open one in Perth. As at 28 April 2020, the UK Government’s overall daily testing capacity is over 73,000 and is increasing every day.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland