Kenny MacAskill

Alba Party - East Lothian

Justice Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 25th May 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice Team Member)
7th Jan 2020 - 29th Mar 2021


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Monday 17th January 2022
Elections Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 2 Alba Party Aye votes vs 0 Alba Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 327
Speeches
Wednesday 12th January 2022
Direct Ferry Links: Scotland and Mainland Europe
Does the Minister accept that, even in Northern Ireland, much freight is now heading south to the Republic to take …
Written Answers
Monday 17th January 2022
Tonnage Tax: Scotland
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether any revenue raised by the Tonnage Tax is allocated to Scotland.
Early Day Motions
Monday 17th January 2022
Bronwyn Brodie's charity trek
That this House commends the fundraising efforts of Bronwyn Brodie of Dunbar, a Learning Support Assistant at Musselburgh Grammar School, …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 1st February 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Columnist for the Scots Magazine, DC Thompson & Co Ltd, 1 Albert Square, Dundee DD1 1DD. Until further notice, I …
EDM signed
Wednesday 12th January 2022
Human rights in Bahrain
That this House is concerned by continuing serious human rights violations in Bahrain, including the ongoing arbitrary detention and inhumane …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Kenny MacAskill has voted in 216 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Kenny MacAskill 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
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
(13 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(9 debate interactions)
Chris Philp (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(31 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(14 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Kenny MacAskill's debates

East Lothian 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).

Kenny MacAskill has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Kenny MacAskill

17th January 2022
Kenny MacAskill signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 17th January 2022

Bronwyn Brodie's charity trek

Tabled by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)
That this House commends the fundraising efforts of Bronwyn Brodie of Dunbar, a Learning Support Assistant at Musselburgh Grammar School, who trekked through the Wadi Rum in Jordan, also known as Valley of the Moon, and raised over £1,500 for cancer charity Maggie's; congratulates Bronwyn on completing the 100km journey …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Alba Party: 1
17th January 2022
Kenny MacAskill signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 17th January 2022

Pencaitland Youth Football Club Fundraise for Defibrillator

Tabled by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)
That this House commends Pencaitland Youth Football Club for working alongside Pencaitland Bowling Club to raise funds for a defibrillator; congratulates the club on their success of raising over £1,000 by covering 204 miles by walking round the village's park before Christmas 2021 with their parents and coaches for the …
1 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Alba Party: 1
View All Kenny MacAskill's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kenny MacAskill, 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.


Kenny MacAskill has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Kenny MacAskill

Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Tuesday 20th July 2021

Kenny MacAskill has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Kenny MacAskill has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


467 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
10 Other Department Questions
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions he has had with representatives of local authorities to help ensure that pets are not a barrier to domestic abuse survivors accessing temporary accommodation.

It is absolutely critical that victims of domestic abuse get support and especially when they are in housing need. That is why we legislated through the Domestic Abuse Act to give people who are homeless as a result of being a victim of domestic abuse priority need for accommodation. Housing authorities should be sensitive to the importance of pets to applicants, particularly rough sleepers and domestic abuse survivors who may rely on pets for companionship. Although it will not always be possible to make provision for pets in temporary accommodation, housing authorities should give careful consideration to this aspect when making provision for applicants who wish to retain their pet.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that people fleeing domestic abuse with a pet are given the support they need to find suitable and safe accommodation.

Victims of domestic abuse with pets can face additional barriers to leaving an abusive relationship. Under the new statutory duties in the Domestic Abuse Act which came into force on 1 October 2021, local authorities must provide support for all victims of domestic abuse within safe accommodation when they need it. This includes victims who have a pet.

Associated regulations provide clear definitions of safe accommodation under the duty. This includes dispersed, self-contained accommodation, and sanctuary schemes in which the victim’s own home is made safe. Local authorities can refer to the regulations to help them provide support in safe accommodation suitable for victims with pets fleeing domestic abuse.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what the estimated cost is of (a) berthing and (b) other incidental fees in respect of cruise liners used to host delegates and visitors to COP26.

To bolster the available accommodation for some of our contractors supporting the operational delivery of COP26, we have procured two ferries which will be berthed on the outskirts of Glasgow.

There will be no delegates or accredited visitors staying on the vessels.

COP26 is targeting carbon neutral using the standard PAS206. The carbon footprint analysis for this will incorporate all emissions generated from activities that are integral to hosting the event, including those of the two cruise ships.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what estimate he has made of the amount of emissions that will be produced from cruise liners berthed on the River Clyde during COP26.

To bolster the available accommodation for some of our contractors supporting the operational delivery of COP26, we have procured two ferries which will be berthed on the outskirts of Glasgow.

There will be no delegates or accredited visitors staying on the vessels.

COP26 is targeting carbon neutral using the standard PAS206. The carbon footprint analysis for this will incorporate all emissions generated from activities that are integral to hosting the event, including those of the two cruise ships.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) delegates and (b) accredited visitors that will be staying on cruise liners berthed in Glasgow and on the Clyde while attending COP26.

To bolster the available accommodation for some of our contractors supporting the operational delivery of COP26, we have procured two ferries which will be berthed on the outskirts of Glasgow.

There will be no delegates or accredited visitors staying on the vessels.

COP26 is targeting carbon neutral using the standard PAS206. The carbon footprint analysis for this will incorporate all emissions generated from activities that are integral to hosting the event, including those of the two cruise ships.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether any compensation or payment will be made to local authorities where cruise liners being used to house delegates to COP26 will be berthed.

To bolster the available accommodation for some of our contractors supporting the operational delivery of COP26, we have procured two ferries which will be berthed on the outskirts of Glasgow.

There will be no delegates or accredited visitors staying on the vessels.

COP26 is targeting carbon neutral using the standard PAS206. The carbon footprint analysis for this will incorporate all emissions generated from activities that are integral to hosting the event, including those of the two cruise ships.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether his Department will make a financial contribution to the costs incurred by the Scottish Government or City of Glasgow Council relating to the attendance of its police officers and security service staff at COP26 in Glasgow.

Accommodation and incidental costs for police officers and security staff directly involved in the delivery of COP26 will be drawn from the Cabinet Office COP26 budget.

The UK Government is working closely with the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council across all planning for COP26. Any additional policing or security costs that are directly attributable to COP26 will be met by the UK Government.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, from which departmental or public body's budget the accommodation and incidental costs will be taken of police officers and security service staff assigned to COP26 in Glasgow.

Accommodation and incidental costs for police officers and security staff directly involved in the delivery of COP26 will be drawn from the Cabinet Office COP26 budget.

The UK Government is working closely with the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council across all planning for COP26. Any additional policing or security costs that are directly attributable to COP26 will be met by the UK Government.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent discussions the Government has had with the Scottish Government on the implementation of the Equality Act 2010.

Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the gov.uk website. In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many cases of malicious prosecution the Crown Prosecution Service or any other previous prosecuting has [had upheld against it] since 1999.

In respect of the two prosecuting agencies I superintend – the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) - neither have had any cases of malicious prosecution upheld against them since 1999.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2021 to Question 143130, what the total legal costs were in the (a) Scottish Courts and (b) Supreme Court in respect of litigation relating to the prorogation of Parliament in 2019.

The Government defended a petition for Judicial Review in relation to the prorogation of Parliament in 2019 raised by Joanna Cherry QC MP and others in (1) the Outer House in the Court of Session, (2) the Inner House of the Court of Session, and (3) the Supreme Court where it was joined with R (on the application of Miller) (Appellant) v The Prime Minister (Respondent).

The Office of the Advocate General and Government Legal Department have determined that the total legal costs incurred by the Government in relation to the Cherry litigation in the Outer and Inner Houses of the Court of Session was £83,715 (net of VAT). The total legal costs incurred by the Government in the Supreme Court in relation to Cherry was £83,715 (net of VAT), and in relation to Miller was £142,590. These figures include Counsel fees, Government Legal Department litigator costs and court dues.

The Government also incurred £30,000 in adverse costs in relation to the Cherry proceedings. It is not possible to attribute these costs between proceedings in the different courts.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what the cost to the public purse was of the Government defending cases in the Scottish courts relating to the prorogation of Parliament in 2019.

The Government defended a petition for Judicial Review in relation to the prorogation of Parliament in 2019 raised by Joanna Cherry QC MP and others in (1) the Outer House in the Court of Session, (2) the Inner House of the Court of Session, and (3) the Supreme Court, where it was joined with R (on the application of Miller) (Appellant) v The Prime Minister (Respondent).

The Office of the Advocate General and Government Legal Department have determined that the total costs of defending this litigation were £127,062.33 (net of VAT). This figure includes Counsel fees, Government Legal Department litigator costs and court dues. The Government also incurred £30,000 in adverse costs.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish (a) arrangements for reimbursement of expenses and (b) the financial terms of the retiral of the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government.

Upon her retirement from the Civil Service, the outgoing permanent secretary will receive payments under the terms of the Civil Service Pension Scheme. Details of all relevant payments will be published by the Scottish Government in their 2021-22 annual accounts in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what representations he has received from the Scottish Government on the devolution of powers over the UK Civil Service in Scotland.

Significant engagement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations takes place every day. Officials working for the governments of the UK and Scotland are part of the same Civil Service and share the same culture and values, as set out in the Civil Service Code.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister of the Cabinet Office, how much tax revenue was raised from the (a) North East and (b) South East region of England from (a) tax on dividends, (b) corporation tax and (c) capital gains tax in each of the last 10 years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

Kenny MacAskill MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

20 October 2021

Dear Mr MacAskill,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what the tax revenues raised in Scotland were from (a) tax on dividends, (b) corporation tax and (c) capital gains tax in each of the last 10 years (58513); and how much tax revenue was raised from the (a) North East and (b) South East region of England from (a) tax on dividends, (b) corporation tax and (c) capital gains tax in each of the last 10 years (58514).

Tax revenues by region of the UK are published annually by the Office for National Statistics as part of the Country and Regional Public Sector Finances (CRPSF)1, and these include estimates for corporation tax and capital gains tax. Taxes on dividends are not presented separately within the CRPSF publication and are instead included within estimates of income tax. A breakdown of taxes on dividends is unavailable. I further note that corporation tax amounts quoted exclude Offshore / North Sea corporation tax. Therefore, a table showing income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and offshore corporation tax receipts for Scotland, the North East, and the South East for financial years 2010/11 to 2019/20 has been provided.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

1 Country and Regional Public Sector Finances

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the tax revenues raised in Scotland were from (a) tax on dividends, (b) corporation tax and (c) capital gains tax in each of the last 10 years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

Kenny MacAskill MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

20 October 2021

Dear Mr MacAskill,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what the tax revenues raised in Scotland were from (a) tax on dividends, (b) corporation tax and (c) capital gains tax in each of the last 10 years (58513); and how much tax revenue was raised from the (a) North East and (b) South East region of England from (a) tax on dividends, (b) corporation tax and (c) capital gains tax in each of the last 10 years (58514).

Tax revenues by region of the UK are published annually by the Office for National Statistics as part of the Country and Regional Public Sector Finances (CRPSF)1, and these include estimates for corporation tax and capital gains tax. Taxes on dividends are not presented separately within the CRPSF publication and are instead included within estimates of income tax. A breakdown of taxes on dividends is unavailable. I further note that corporation tax amounts quoted exclude Offshore / North Sea corporation tax. Therefore, a table showing income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and offshore corporation tax receipts for Scotland, the North East, and the South East for financial years 2010/11 to 2019/20 has been provided.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

1 Country and Regional Public Sector Finances

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish Gross Domestic Product on a per capita basis for the population of (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) England, (d) North East of England and (e) North West of England for each year between 2000 and 2019.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Professor Sir Ian Diamond | National Statistician

Kenny MacAskill MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0PW

19 October 2021

Dear Mr MacAskill,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question regarding the publication of Gross Domestic Product on a per capita basis for the population of (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) England, (d) North East of England and (e) North West of England for each year between 2000 and 2019 (58515).

Table 1 shows gross domestic product per head1 of population in pounds (£) for Scotland, Wales, England, North East of England and North West of England for each year between 2000 and 2019. The estimates in Table 1 are chained volume measures, which means the effects of inflation have been removed. These are often referred to as ‘real terms’ figures. Estimates in current prices, which include the effects of inflation, are also available2.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

1 ‘Per head’ is used in this release. ‘Per head’ and ‘per capita’ mean per individual of the population

2 Regional gross domestic product in current prices, along with all our other estimates of regional economic activity are available.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what records are kept on breaches of employment regulations in the offshore sector.

The Government is committed to the protection of workers’ rights for those in offshore employment.

The vast majority of employment rights in the UK are enforced by individuals through employment tribunals. The state enforces certain specific rights (national minimum wage, regulations on employment businesses, employment agencies, and certain labour providers involved in shellfish gathering and fresh produce supply). The relevant enforcement body in each area will take any action necessary to protect the workers within their remit, and to ensure that the records kept by employers, employment agencies, employment business, and labour providers meet the requirements of their respective legislation.

The right to the national minimum wage is enforced by HMRC. Since 2015, the Government has ordered employers to repay £100m to 1 million workers who had been underpaid. Businesses employing offshore workers may come under several Companies House sectors. The Low Pay Commission does not determine offshore workers as being at high risk of underpayment.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to ensure the protection of workers' rights where offshore businesses seek to transition from oil and gas to renewables.

The Government is committed to the protection of workers’ rights for those in offshore employment. In 2020, the Government extended minimum wage entitlement to seafarers on domestic voyages. The Government expects all employers to comply with UK employment law.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) records are kept and (b) action is taken against employers in the offshore sector who breach employment law.

The Government is committed to the protection of workers’ rights for those in offshore employment.

The vast majority of employment rights in the UK are enforced by individuals through employment tribunals. The state enforces certain specific rights (national minimum wage, regulations on employment businesses, employment agencies, and certain labour providers involved in shellfish gathering and fresh produce supply). The relevant enforcement body in each area will take any action necessary to protect the workers within their remit, and to ensure that the records kept by employers, employment agencies, employment business, and labour providers meet the requirements of their respective legislation.

The right to the national minimum wage is enforced by HMRC. Since 2015, the Government has ordered employers to repay £100m to 1 million workers who had been underpaid. Businesses employing offshore workers may come under several Companies House sectors. The Low Pay Commission does not determine offshore workers as being at high risk of underpayment.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will set out what support and resources are provided to a local authority in the event that a nuclear power station is to close.

Following a decision by EDF to close one of their nuclear power stations, which would be taken in consultation with the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the first phase of closure is defueling, and this takes several years with continued use of EDF’s uniquely experienced teams, and specialist supply chain companies, preserving jobs in a local community. A closure decision by EDF does not result in any specific additional support or resource being provided for the local authority in which the power station is located.

Following the defueling phase for the seven EDF-owned Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor power stations (all of which are due to close by 2028), each station will transfer to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to deliver the subsequent decommissioning activity. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has a duty to ensure that decommissioning activities benefit local communities and provide a beneficial legacy once decommissioning work is completed.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to ensure employee and worker rights are supported in the plans for transition from oil and gas to renewables in the offshore work force.

The Government is committed to the protection of workers’ rights for those in offshore employment. In 2020 the Government extended minimum wage entitlement to seafarers on domestic voyages. The Government expects all employers to comply with UK employment law.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to help ensure that sites in the UK are used for oil and gas installation decommissioning.

The North Sea Transition Deal includes a commitment from industry for 50% of decommissioning spend to be within the UK. The Supply Chain and Exports Taskforce, that reports to the North Sea Transition Forum, is currently working to ensure all necessary support and guidance is in place to enable this commitment to be met.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on which body monitors wage rates in the offshore wind sector; and whether data is recorded on that matter.

All workers in UK territorial seas are entitled to employment rights, including the minimum wage. In 2020 the Government extended minimum wage entitlement also to seafarers on domestic voyages. The Government expects that all employers will comply with UK employment law.

The Government uses the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings (ASHE) to estimate minimum wage underpayment by sector. Offshore renewables workers are not well defined by any single standard industry classification (SIC) code and may come under several sectors, e.g. manufacturing or electricity generation. The Low Pay Commission does not define offshore renewables workers as a low-paying sector and therefore we do not expect there to be a large number of low paid workers within the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what requirements are placed on operators to ensure that workers in the offshore wind sector are subject to UK employment law and rights.

All workers in UK territorial seas are entitled to employment rights, including the minimum wage. In 2020 the Government extended minimum wage entitlement also to seafarers on domestic voyages. The Government expects that all employers will comply with UK employment law.

The Government uses the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings (ASHE) to estimate minimum wage underpayment by sector. Offshore renewables workers are not well defined by any single standard industry classification (SIC) code and may come under several sectors, e.g. manufacturing or electricity generation. The Low Pay Commission does not define offshore renewables workers as a low-paying sector and therefore we do not expect there to be a large number of low paid workers within the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that workers' rights are protected as the North Sea transitions from oil and gas to renewables.

All workers in UK territorial seas are entitled to employment rights, including the minimum wage. In 2020 the Government extended minimum wage entitlement also to seafarers on domestic voyages. The Government expects that all employers will comply with UK employment law.

The Government uses the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings (ASHE) to estimate minimum wage underpayment by sector. Offshore renewables workers are not well defined by any single standard industry classification (SIC) code and may come under several sectors, e.g. manufacturing or electricity generation. The Low Pay Commission does not define offshore renewables workers as a low-paying sector and therefore we do not expect there to be a large number of low paid workers within the sector.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has received from the Scottish Government on Scottish Ports and their ownership by companies owning larger and potentially competitor ports in England.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with the Scottish Government on a number of issues. Responsibility for investigating individual and market-wide competition issues falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s independent competition authority. The CMA has discretion to conduct market studies and investigations as it considers most appropriate.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has been made of the effect on competition policy of port operators in Scotland being subsidiaries of larger port companies in England.

Under competition law, responsibility for investigating individual and market-wide competition issues falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s independent competition authority. The CMA, which works independently from BEIS, has discretion to investigate competition cases which it considers most appropriate according to its prioritisation principles. Concerns about a market and evidence that features of a market may prevent, restrict or distort competition in UK markets can be submitted to the CMA via the following page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tell-the-cma-about-a-competition-or-market-problem.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to introduce support for the paper and print industries as result of rising energy prices to ensure the sustainability of print media businesses including magazine and specialist publishers.

The Department continues to engage constructively with energy intensive industries to further understand and to assess the possibility of offering help to mitigate the impacts of high global gas prices. Our priority is to ensure that costs are managed and that supplies of energy are maintained.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact on the sustainability of print media businesses as a result of rising energy costs for the energy-intensive paper and print industries.

The Department continues to engage constructively with energy intensive industries to further understand and to assess the possibility of offering help to mitigate the impacts of high global gas prices. Our priority is to ensure that costs are managed and that supplies of energy are maintained.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the costs that will be incurred from projects to be supported by the Nuclear Energy (Finance) Bill.

Nuclear power is an important part of an affordable, low carbon electricity system which is better protected against the volatility of global gas prices.

Under the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) funding model enabled by the Nuclear Energy (Finance) Bill, consumers would pay an allowed revenue during the construction period of a new nuclear project, which would be an average of less than £1 a month on a typical dual fuel energy bill.

However, we estimate that use of the RAB model will lower the cost of capital and ultimately save consumers more than £30bn on their bills for each new large-scale station, compared with existing funding mechanisms. The Bill’s impact assessment is available here. Granting a RAB licence would also be contingent on a project satisfying a detailed value for money assessment.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of rising energy costs for energy-intensive paper and print industries, and resultant costs for businesses supplied by those industries, on the sustainability of print media businesses.

The Department continues to engage constructively with energy intensive industries to further understand and to assess the possibility of offering help to mitigate the impacts of high global gas prices. Our priority is to ensure that costs are managed and that supplies of energy are maintained.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets to conclude its internal review of Transmission Network Use of System charges.

BEIS officials are engaging with Ofgem on its call for evidence on possible transmission charging reforms, to understand how any decisions can help support delivery of a secure, net zero energy system at lowest cost to consumers. The call for evidence was published on 1 October 2021, and is available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/tnuos-reform-call-evidence. It runs until 12 November 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets on its internal review of Transmission Network Use of System charges.

BEIS officials are engaging with Ofgem on its call for evidence on possible transmission charging reforms, to understand how any decisions can help support delivery of a secure, net zero energy system at lowest cost to consumers. The call for evidence was published on 1 October 2021, and is available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/tnuos-reform-call-evidence. It runs until 12 November 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent representations his Department has received from the Scottish Government on Transmission Network Use of System charges.

BEIS Ministers and officials are in regular contact with colleagues in the Scottish Government on a range of energy related matters, including transmission charges.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of Transmission Network Use of System charges on the (a) investment and (b) operational decisions made by companies on the location of offshore renewable energy projects.

Transmission charging is a matter for Ofgem as the independent regulator, and it published a call for evidence on 1 October 2021 on possible transmission charging reforms. The Department is engaging closely as Ofgem progresses this work, to understand the implications of any decisions for different users, including offshore renewable energy projects.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average zonal tariff across charging zones arising from Transmission Network Use of System charges is in (a) Scotland, (b) England and (c) Wales for each year since 2016.

National Grid Electricity System Operator publishes a report setting out a five year forecast of the tariff by geographic charging zone arising from Transmission Network Use of System charges, the latest version of which is available at: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/191116/download. This covers the period 2022/23 to 2026/27.

It publishes a report setting out final tariffs for each year, usually in the January preceding the start of a charging year in April. These reports are available at: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/charging/transmission-network-use-system-tnuos-charges.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the projected average zonal tariff across charging zones arising from Transmission Network Use of System charges in (a) Scotland, (b) England and (c) Wales is in each year from (i) 2021 to (ii) 2024.

National Grid Electricity System Operator publishes a report setting out a five year forecast of the tariff by geographic charging zone arising from Transmission Network Use of System charges, the latest version of which is available at: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/document/191116/download. This covers the period 2022/23 to 2026/27.

It publishes a report setting out final tariffs for each year, usually in the January preceding the start of a charging year in April. These reports are available at: https://www.nationalgrideso.com/industry-information/charging/transmission-network-use-system-tnuos-charges.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the basis is for the selection of the carbon capture and storage sites; and if he will publish any scoring mechanisms used.

The purpose of Phase-1 of the Cluster Sequencing process was to identify clusters which are best-suited to deployment in the mid-2020s window, these will be sequenced onto Track-1.

Clusters were selected through a transparent and objective assessment process. The details of this were published in May in the Phase 1 documents: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cluster-sequencing-for-carbon-capture-usage-and-storage-ccus-deployment-phase-1-expressions-of-interest.

Clusters submitted a range of detailed information on their structure, estimated costs and benefits, and technical project plans. To be eligible, clusters had to meet three eligibility criteria: that they could be operational by 2030, are located within the UK, and meet our definition of a CCUS cluster. These eligibility criteria were designed to reflect government targets and ambitions, to promote decarbonisation across the UK and to reflect the inherent interdependency of the CCUS chain.

Five clusters met the eligibility criteria and were taken forwards into the detailed assessment stage where they were scored against five criteria, as set out in the Phase-1 launch document: deliverability, emissions reduction potential, economic benefits, cost considerations, and learning and innovation. Scoring was informed by robust, specialist-led scrutiny of the cluster submissions. The clusters selected to be sequenced onto Track-1 were those with the highest combined weighted scores across the criteria.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria is used for the selection of carbon capture and storage sites.

The purpose of Phase-1 of the Cluster Sequencing process was to identify clusters which are best-suited to deployment in the mid-2020s window, these will be sequenced onto Track-1.

Clusters were selected through a transparent and objective assessment process. The details of this were published in May in the Phase 1 documents: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cluster-sequencing-for-carbon-capture-usage-and-storage-ccus-deployment-phase-1-expressions-of-interest.

Clusters submitted a range of detailed information on their structure, estimated costs and benefits, and technical project plans. To be eligible clusters had to meet three eligibility criteria: that they could be operational by 2030, are located within the UK, and meet our definition of a CCUS cluster. These eligibility criteria were designed to reflect government targets and ambitions, to promote decarbonisation across the UK and to reflect the inherent interdependency of the CCUS chain.

Five clusters met the eligibility criteria and were taken forwards into the detailed assessment stage where they were scored against five criteria, as set out in the Phase-1 launch document: deliverability, emissions reduction potential, economic benefits, cost considerations, and learning and innovation. Scoring was informed by robust, specialist-led scrutiny of the cluster submissions. The clusters selected to be sequenced onto Track-1 were those with the highest combined weighted scores across the criteria.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations his Department received from the Scottish Government in support of the application for a carbon capture and storage site to be supported at Peterhead.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy hold regular meetings with counterparts in the devolved administrations to discuss energy and decarbonisation policy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many oil production licences he has issued in each year between 2004 and 2020; and how many such licences are under consideration in the current year.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) issue licences to search and bore for, and get, petroleum in the seabed and subsoil under the area.

These figures are publicly available from the Oil and Gas Authority and in historic annual reports.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications he has received for an oil exploration licence in the North Sea in each calendar year between 2014 and 2021; and how many and what proportion of those applications were (a) approved and (b) rejected.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) issue licences to search and bore for, and get, petroleum in the seabed and subsoil under the area.

These figures are publicly available from the Oil and Gas Authority and in historic annual reports.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the increase in volume of natural gas required to decarbonise the UK supply system by substitution with natural gas-derived hydrogen.

On 19th October, the Government published its Heat and Buildings Strategy, where it commits to a decision by 2026 on the potential role for hydrogen in the gas grid. Low carbon hydrogen can be produced in a variety of ways, and the Government intends to develop further detail on the role of different production technologies in our hydrogen production strategy by early 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what sources his Department uses when reporting gaseous emissions allocated to Scotland prior to those statistics being integration within the statistics for the UK as a whole.

The National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory estimates annual air quality and greenhouse gas pollutant emissions for the UK.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department plans to take steps to support a transition from using animals in scientific research to human specific research methods to ensure parity between the research methods used in the UK and those in other countries.

The use of animals in research is carefully regulated and remains important in ensuring new medicines and treatments are safe.   At the same time, the Government believes that animals should only be used when there is no practicable alternative and it actively supports and funds the development and dissemination of techniques that replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research (the 3Rs).  This is achieved primarily through funding for the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of 3Rs technologies and ensure that advances in the 3Rs are reflected in policy, practice and regulations on animal research.  The NC3Rs is widely recognised as being world leading, supporting research and innovation that provides researchers in academia and industry with technologies that are more predictive, cost-effective and humane than current animal models.

Since the NC3Rs was launched it has committed £100 million through its research, innovation, and early career awards to provide new 3Rs approaches for scientists in academia and industry to use. This includes almost £27 million in contracts through its CRACK IT Challenges innovation scheme to UK and EU-based institutions, mainly focusing on new approaches for the safety assessment of pharmaceuticals and chemicals that reduce the use of animals.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the annual statistics of scientific procedures on living animals in Great Britain for 2020, if she will take steps to ensure that the number of procedures continues to decrease and are replaced with human-relevant methods.

The use of animals in research is carefully regulated and remains important in ensuring new medicines and treatments are safe.   At the same time, the Government believes that animals should only be used when there is no practicable alternative and it actively supports and funds the development and dissemination of techniques that replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research (the 3Rs).  This is achieved primarily through funding for the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of 3Rs technologies and ensure that advances in the 3Rs are reflected in policy, practice and regulations on animal research.  The NC3Rs is widely recognised as being world leading, supporting research and innovation that provides researchers in academia and industry with technologies that are more predictive, cost-effective and humane than current animal models.

Since the NC3Rs was launched it has committed £100 million through its research, innovation, and early career awards to provide new 3Rs approaches for scientists in academia and industry to use. This includes almost £27 million in contracts through its CRACK IT Challenges innovation scheme to UK and EU-based institutions, mainly focusing on new approaches for the safety assessment of pharmaceuticals and chemicals that reduce the use of animals.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the strategies of his Department to increase the number of commercial service providers or research laboratories skilled in New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) data interpretation to deliver the Government’s commitment to reduce and replace animal testing.

We recognise how data from New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) could be used for regulatory decision-making to enable a shift away from using animals in testing.

The commercial capability in this area is increasing and, for example, UK companies such as XCellR8 have developed OECD test guideline compliant NAMs assays for use in skin sensitisation studies.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to (a) prioritise and (b) progress on delivering the recommendations of the 2015 Innovate UK NAT Roadmap.

The recommendations in the Non-Animal Technologies (NATs) roadmap continue to be delivered. For example, the NC3Rs CRACK IT programme which is accelerating the development and commercialisation of NATs.

There is ongoing work led by the NC3Rs to review the impact of the £7m invested as part of the NATs programme for commercial feasibility and collaborative R&D projects. The findings of this review will be used to inform future activities in this area.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his strategy is for delivering onshore employment from offshore wind development; and what effect that strategy will have on Scotland.

The Government published its 10-point plan to build back better in November 2020. This increased the target for offshore wind to 40GW by 2030 and included £160m to support ports and the manufacturing supply chain across the UK. Allocation Round 4 of the Contract for Difference scheme will open later this year, with the aim of up to doubling the renewable energy capacity delivered from the previous round.

In addition, we will imminently be publishing our revised Supply Chain Plan policy guidance and questionnaire, to align developers plans more closely with government priorities, including consequences for non-delivery of commitments.

We have created the largest global market in offshore wind which alongside our actions set out above could deliver up to 60,000 jobs by 2030, right across the United Kingdom.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the efficacy of the evidential basis for guidance on frequently replacing newspapers and magazines in section 5.2 of his Department’s close contact services guidance entitled, Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) for England at the same time as evidence for lifting legal covid-19 restrictions is reviewed.

We continue to keep the guidance for working safely during COVID-19 in close contact services under constant review. Guidance will be updated in advance of step 4.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to review his Department's guidance for close contact services in England entitled Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19), updated on 18 May 2021, that reading materials are replaced frequently; and whether that guidance will be updated when step 4 of the covid-19 roadmap is implemented.

We continue to keep the guidance for working safely during COVID-19 in close contact services under constant review. Guidance will be updated in advance of step 4.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations she has received from the Scottish Government on devolving employment legislation.

While employment law is a reserved matter under the Scotland Act 1998, we continue to work with the Scottish Government respecting their unique settlements to ensure we build a strong economy across the United Kingdom.

Ministers and officials from both the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department of Work and Pensions hold regular meetings with counterparts in the devolved administrations to discuss various employment-related issues, including regular reviews of the legislative framework. We will update Parliament accordingly when there are plans to review legislation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent representations his Department has received from the Scottish Government on transmission charges.

BEIS Ministers and officials are in regular contact with colleagues in the Scottish Government on a range of energy related matters, including transmission charges. I know the Scottish Government has also been engaging closely with Ofgem, which oversees transmission charging as the independent energy regulator. Ofgem is currently progressing a review of network charging arrangements. All parties recognise the significant role that transmission charges play in the Net Zero transition, and Ofgem is taking this into account in its consideration of these matters.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) Heat Batteries and (b) other A+ rated efficient innovative space-saving thermal stores will be included in the Green Homes Grant as (i) secondary measures to enable the effective and efficient utilisation of (A) air source and ground source heat pumps and (B) solar energy for hot water purposes, (ii) primary measures where they replace poorly-insulated hot water cylinders and (iii) primary measures where they replace inefficient night storage heaters or fossil-fuelled boilers for space heating.

Heat batteries are not eligible. Thermal stores as essential ancillary items for low-carbon heating, such as ground and air source heat pumps and solar thermal are eligible. Thermal stores are not eligible as primary measure where replacing fossil-fuelled boilers or night storage heaters for space heating.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he will take steps to preclude employers from entering into consultations on redundancy while furloughing those staff.

Employment law continues to apply to those furloughed on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, alongside protection rights for workers, including the existing redundancy consultation periods for employers.

An employer has a statutory duty to consult when they propose to dismiss 20 or more employees in a single establishment within a rolling 90-day period. If the employer proposes to dismiss 100 or more employees in a single establishment the minimum consultation period is 45 days.

The employer is entitled to start to furlough employees who have agreed to participate in the furlough scheme before or in parallel to conducting any collective consultation which is required, as long as consultation takes place in good time and, in any event, within the statutory minimum periods before any dismissals take effect.

Consultation must be undertaken with a view to reaching agreement, although sometimes agreement may not be possible. The consultation must seek to reach agreement on ways to avoid redundancies, or to reduce or mitigate their impact.

The requirement for a minimum period of consultation is accompanied by the need to notify my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State of potential large scale redundancies so that Government can help assist redundant staff either through payments from the National Insurance Fund, universal credit or finding alternative local job opportunities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the annual statement on emissions required under the Climate Change Act 2008.

The Annual Statement of Emissions for 2018 was laid in Parliament on 21st April 2020 and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-statement-of-emissions-for-2018.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in what statistical form and on what statistical basis he plans to present UK carbon emission reduction targets and results.

The UK follows the agreed international approach for estimating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which is for countries to report the emissions produced within their territories.

Under the Climate Change Act, we are required to publish, by the end of March each year, the Annual Statement of Emissions which reports to Parliament the UK’s latest progress against carbon budgets.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2020 to Question 13075, on Fireworks: Sales, when the Office for Product Safety and Standards plans to publish its evidence base; what evidence that organisation plans to gather in Scotland; and from whom in Scotland that organisation plans to gather evidence.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) work on the fireworks evidence base is ongoing and will be published in due course.

OPSS is engaging with officials in the Scottish Government about their consultation and Fireworks Action Plan for Scotland. Any evidence that has emerged from that consultation will be considered as part of the wider fireworks evidence base.

OPSS invited evidence from a range of stakeholders across the UK including those in Scotland such as the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of devolving powers on the regulation of the sale of fireworks to the Scottish Parliament; and if she will take steps to devolve those powers.

Under the Scotland Act 1998 the regulation of the sale and supply of goods and services to consumers and product safety and liability are reserved matters. The regulation of fireworks for these purposes is covered by the Fireworks Regulations 2004 and the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015, which are the responsibility of this Department. The use and discharge of fireworks is devolved to the Scottish Government which has powers to impose certain restrictions on the use of fireworks. The Scottish Government has legislated in this area through the Fireworks (Scotland) Regulations 2004. There are no plans to devolve this matter further.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has been talking to officials in the Scottish Government about the recent consultation on fireworks undertaken by the Scottish Government. The outcomes of that consultation are being considered as part of OPSS’ work on a fireworks evidence base. This will build a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify what, if any, further action is appropriate.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to restrict the sale of fireworks.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is developing a fact-based evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks including restricting the sale of fireworks. The evidence base is considering data on noise and disturbance, anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This will build a full picture of the data around fireworks in order to identify whether, and what, further action is appropriate.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what representations her Department has received from the Scottish Government on the potential merits of additional devolution of powers to and further input from Scotland.

My Department has not received any formal representations from the Scottish Government on this matter.

The UK Government is committed to devolution and to working constructively with the devolved administrations.

My Department ensures it receives input from, and its work is impactful in Scotland, both with the Scottish Government and directly with an increasing proportion of DCMS staff based in Scotland. Regular formal and informal engagement takes place with the administration and other Scottish bodies and organisations.

I look forward to continuing the valued and positive working relationship that we have with the Scottish Government. It supports and strengthens our digital, media, creative, cultural and sport sectors which benefits people in both Scotland and across the UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has had discussions with or issued guidance to the Performing Rights Society on their issuing of claims for payment from publicans and others for performance rights when premises were closed as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

Neither the Secretary of State at this Department, nor Ministers at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have had discussions with PRS for Music or issued guidance on this matter. The Government is aware that PRS for Music put in place measures at the start of the pandemic to ease licensing requirements at the time. The Government was not involved in these: licensing matters are private and commercial arrangements between PRS for Music and its licensees.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the devolved Administrations on best practice on protecting (a) children, (b) people in recovery from alcohol addiction and (c) other vulnerable populations from alcohol marketing on TV and online.

When making legislation or policy decisions with regard to marketing for TV and online, DCMS officials regularly engage with their counterparts in the devolved administrations. DHSC officials in alcohol policy liaise with their DA colleagues once a quarter.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what requests he has received from the Scottish Government on the devolution of powers in whole or in part over broadcasting.

The Government has not received any requests from the Scottish Government on the devolution of powers in whole or in part over broadcasting.

The UK government is committed to showcasing the importance of the UK’s broadcasters as part of a stronger, global Britain.

Broadcasting is a reserved matter and there are a number of well established structures in place such as the Advisory Committee for Scotland which ensures that Ofcom, the UK’s independent communications regulator which regulates UK broadcasting, takes into account the interests and views of people living in Scotland.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has entered into any memoranda of understanding with the Scottish (a) Government and (b) Parliament on the (i) operation of the BBC and (ii) appointment to the BBC's Board of Governors.

The UK Government has not entered into a memoranda of understanding with the Scottish government or parliament in relation to the operation of the BBC, or appointments to the BBC Board.

The BBC is operationally and editorially independent of government, and the UK government has no say in the BBC’s day-to-day operations. The BBC Charter requires the BBC to represent, reflect and serve audiences, taking into account the needs of diverse communities of all the UK nations and regions, including Scotland. The BBC Board is responsible for ensuring the BBC delivers these Charter obligations.

The Chair and Nations Members of the BBC Board are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen, via Order in Council, following a fair and open competition. This includes the BBC Board Member for Scotland. As per the BBC Charter, no appointment shall be made for the BBC Board member for Scotland without the agreement of the Scottish Ministers.

All other appointments are made by the BBC.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the revenue accruing to the public purse from ticket sales for Festival UK 2022.

There are no plans to sell tickets for any events in Festival UK 2022.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much of the £120 million budget for Festival UK 2022 he plans to allocate to (a) Scotland, (b) the Queen's Platinum celebrations, (c) the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and (d) Coventry City of Culture.

£120 million has been announced for Festival UK 2022. There are Barnett allocations to Scotland and the other home nations from the £120 million budget, which is administered by HM Treasury. None of this funding has been allocated to The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, or Coventry City of Culture.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will undertake a risk assessment of the potential increase in unregulated betting activity on sport as a result of the Gambling Commission’s affordability proposals.

Data released by the Gambling Commission in May 2020 suggested that the scale of the black market had remained low and stable, with little variation in the number of complaints it had received about illegal gambling websites over the previous 12 months. The Commission’s enforcement approach includes working with web hosting companies and search engines to remove sites or prevent them appearing on searches, and working with payment providers to prevent payments to unlicensed operators. It also has powers to prosecute or refer issues to partner agencies such as HMRC where necessary.

The government’s Review of the Gambling Act 2005 has called for evidence on issues around unlicensed gambling, and we are aware of the recent report commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council. We are also consulting on a proposed uplift to Gambling Commission licence fees, which will strengthen the resources it has to identify the scale of and tackle illegal gambling.

The Gambling Commission requires operators to monitor play and to intervene where players may be at risk of harm. Its consultation and call for evidence on Remote Customer Interaction is considering whether further requirements are needed for how operators identify and interact with customers who may be at risk.

The Commission will be led by the evidence it receives in deciding its next steps, and its findings may also inform its advice to government on the Gambling Act Review. Following a one month extension to allow extra evidence to be submitted, the deadline for submissions is now 9 February.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the estimated costs are of holding Festival UK 2022.

The announced budget for the Festival UK 2022 is £120 million, which includes the Barnett share to the devolved nations.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his Answer to the Oral Question asked by the hon Member for East Lothian on 10 December, Official Report, col 980, what assessment the Government made of the level of exposure of people under the age of 18 to alcohol marketing (a) on social media and (b) online more widely.

The Government is committed to working with industry to address concerns over any irresponsible promotions, advertising and marketing relating to alcohol, particularly to ensure that children and young people are suitably protected.

Material in the Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice Codes relating to the advertising and marketing of alcohol products is exceptionally robust, recognising the social imperative of ensuring that alcohol advertising is responsible and in particular that children and young people are suitably protected.

The government is committed to making the UK a safe place to be online. The Online Advertising Programme was established in order to foster fair, transparent and ethical online advertising that works for citizens, businesses and society as a whole.

The Programme is currently reviewing evidence from the relevant literature, stakeholder engagement and responses to its recent Call for Evidence. This Call for Evidence is focussed on ensuring standards about the placement and content of advertising can be effectively applied and enforced online so that consumers have limited exposure to harmful or misleading advertising.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with representatives from the Horserace Betting Levy Board on the (a) value of, (b) timeframe for applications to and (c) transparency of the Racing Relief Fund.

Following the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) decision to suspend racing on 18 March 2020, DCMS officials have been in regular discussions with the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) regarding support to British racing during the coronavirus outbreak.

These discussions did not focus on the details of the Racing Relief Fund, which is an industry-led initiative led by the Racehorse Owners Association, with support from the Racing Foundation, in which the HBLB has no administrative or financial role.

The £2.5 million fund was announced as part of the HBLB and Racing Foundation’s £28 million cashflow and support package announced on 17 April. This support package was developed collaboratively and it was agreed that the HBLB would focus on support for racecourses and the Racing Foundation on support for participants, both human and equine.

The Racing Relief Fund is designed to meet the welfare needs of horses whose owners are suffering financial hardship. The scheme will provide up to £2.5 million of grants to assist with the costs of looking after horses in racing stables and in rehoming centres.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on how many occasions has (a) he, (b) officials from his Department and (c) other Government representatives have met the British Horseracing Authority to hold discussions on (i) race horse welfare during the covid-19 outbreak and (ii) the financial effect of covid-19 on the ability of race horse owners to ensure the welfare of those horses.

Following the suspension of racing on 18 March 2020, DEFRA, which leads on horse welfare, worked with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) on a weekly basis to quickly agree guidance for the care of racehorses during this lockdown period in line with social distancing.

DCMS officials have also been in regular communication with the BHA and the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) regarding the economic impacts of Covid on the industry and the measures being taken to uphold horse welfare. The BHA has also taken part in regular calls with the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage and representatives of the sporting sector on these issues and the resumption of racing and other sports behind closed doors.

The government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, which includes the racing industry, given the acute impacts of COVID-19 on those sectors. A range of measures to support all businesses were made available, including business rates relief, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme. The government has provided access to £10k grants to 700,000 small and medium enterprises who are currently eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief.

On 17 April, the HBLB and Racing Foundation agreed an immediate £22 million cash flow and hardship funding package to support racing. The HBLB has reported on these packages on a weekly basis with the main racing bodies including the BHA.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many cats were imported using the Pet Travel Scheme in (a) August, (b) September and (c) October 2021.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

Cats imported into GB under the pet travel scheme

2021

Aug

Sept

Oct

Cats

3,385

3,318

2,392

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs per vehicle entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme in each year from 2017 to 2020 inclusive.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency has information on how many dogs have entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme but does not have information on how many dogs have entered per vehicle.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra-Trade Animal Health certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK in each month of 2021 to date.

Following departure from the EU, all imports from the EU should be notified via IPAFFS, attaching the relevant health documentation to the notification. The information below has been collated from PIMS (APHA’s Post Import Management System) and does not account for all Imports that may have entered using Traces NT rather than IPAFFS.

The only data APHA can provide from IPAFFS is the number of Importer Notifications that have been submitted for commercial dogs. Intra-Trade Animal Health certificates are no longer issued for imports from the EU.

Number of Importer Notifications received for commercial imports of dogs to the UK in 2021

January

771

February

4089

March

5449

April

5397

May

4893

June

3850

July

4612

August

4235

September

4933

October

4076

November to 16/11/21

2827

The information that APHA have provided from IPAFFS is a true reflection of the information that we have access to. APHA cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as we can only rely on the information that has been input into IPAFFS by a third party.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported using the Pet Travel Scheme in (a) August, (b) September and (c) October 2021.

Dogs imported into GB under the Pet Travel Scheme

2021

Aug

Sept

Oct

Dogs

21,519

19,984

17,051

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the research on responsible dog ownership commissioned by his Department from Middlesex University.

Defra commissioned Middlesex University to examine measures to reduce dog attacks and promote responsible ownership. The research considers different approaches and the effectiveness of current dog control measures. The report will be published shortly and will provide the basis for the consideration of further reform in this area.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2021 to Question 43683 on Horses: Animal Breeding, and with reference to the Government Response to the e-petition entitled Introduce national limits on horse breeding, published on 4 August 2021, which key stakeholders in the equine sector the Government has engaged with; and on which dates it has engaged with each of those stakeholders in the last 12 months.

We continue to engage closely with key stakeholders in the equine sector about a range of equine welfare issues. My department currently meets on a fortnightly basis with equine stakeholders including the British Horse Society, the British Equine Veterinary Association and World Horse Welfare.

The sector keep us regularly updated of the current health of the sector, sharing their surveys particularly with respect to rescue and rehoming rates, and information on cruelty investigations. In order to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, we held monthly meetings with the National Equine Welfare Council during winter 2020/21 and increased our engagement with other equine stakeholders.

Defra remains committed to continued engagement with the sector.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the report published by the Dog's Trust entitled Puppy smuggling, a tragedy ignored, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation in that report that the number of dogs allowed under non-commercial movement rules should be reduced to two per vehicle.

We have introduced measures in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill to reduce the number of pet dogs, cats and ferrets that can be moved under the pet travel rules which apply to non-commercial movements, placing a limit of five pets per vehicle We drew on People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) research and engaged with stakeholders, including authorised pet checkers, carriers, animal welfare organisations and veterinary bodies, to determine a suitable limit that would disrupt the illegal trade whilst minimising the impact of genuine owners travelling with their pets under the pet travel rules. The limit of five pets per vehicle is also current industry practice.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to shorten the window for tapeworm treatment of dogs before entry into the UK from 24-120 hours to 24-48 hours.

The Government has no immediate plans to shorten the window for tapeworm treatment of dogs from 24-120 hours to 24-48 hours. However, we remain aware of the concerns around tapeworm and our future policy will be guided by risk assessment.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 63200 on Dogs: Imports, what the outcomes were of the (a) renewed rabies risk assessment and (b) commissioned assessments to understand the risks posed by tapeworms, ticks and tick-borne disease.

The Government takes the risks of disease seriously and we remain alert to concerns relating to ticks, tick-borne diseases, tapeworm diseases and other diseases. The rabies risk assessment referred to in response to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 63200 on Dogs: Imports has been completed and signed off and shows that despite an increase in the number of dogs entering the UK under both the commercial and non-commercial rules, the declining number of rabies cases in EU Member States has meant that the annual probability of rabies entering the UK from EU Member States is currently very low. The Echinococcus (tapeworm) risk assessment has been completed and is currently at review stage. We are unable to share results at this time. The risk assessment into ticks and tick-borne diseases is ongoing.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) dogs and (b) cats were imported under the Balai Directive in each month of 2021 to date.

The information the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has provided below is a true reflection of the information that we have access to. APHA cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as we rely on information that has been input into IPAFFS and PIMS by traders.

Number of cats and dogs imported from EU under the Balai directive

2021

Dogs

Cats

Jan

1399

87

Feb

5997

479

Mar

8103

554

April

8411

476

May

7383

432

June

6270

371

July

6767

538

Aug

6985

635

Number of cats and dogs imported from third countries under the Balai directive

2021

Dogs

Cats

Jan

266

310

Feb

381

423

Mar

340

552

April

430

494

May

474

449

June

527

474

July

397

464

Aug

485

398

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which countries exported dogs commercially into the UK in the first eight months of 2021.

The information the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has provided is a true reflection of the information that we have access to. APHA cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as we can only rely on the information that has been input into IPAFFS and PIMS by traders.

APHA can only provide data for imports entering Great Britain.

Dogs commercially imported into GB - Country of Origin.

Argentina

Egypt

Lithuania

Russian Federation

Australia

Estonia

Macao

Saudi Arabia

Austria

Ethiopia

Malaysia

Serbia

Bahamas

Finland

Malta

Singapore

Bahrain

France

Mexico

Slovakia

Barbados

Germany

Namibia

Slovenia

Belarus

Greece

Nepal

South Africa

Belgium

Hong Kong

Netherlands

South Korea

Bermuda

Hungary

New Zealand

Spain

Brazil

Iceland

Nigeria

Sweden

Bulgaria

India

Northern Ireland

Switzerland

Canada

Indonesia

Norway

Taiwan

Cayman Islands

Israel

Oman

Thailand

China

Italy

Panama

Turkey

Colombia

Jamaica

Peru

Ukraine

Costa Rica

Japan

Philippines

United Arab Emirates

Croatia

Jordan

Poland

United States of America

Cyprus

Kenya

Portugal

Zimbabwe

Czechia

Kuwait

Qatar

Denmark

Latvia

Republic of Ireland

Ecuador

Lebanon

Romania

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) dogs and (b) cats were imported using the Pet Travel Scheme in each month of 2021 to date.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

Dogs and Cats imported into GB under the Pet Travel Scheme

2021

Jan

Feb

March

April

May

June

July

Aug

Cats

1445

1526

1966

1841

1794

2668

2565

August 2021 data is not yet available

Dogs

6269

7908

10657

10052

10490

14873

12972

August 2021 data is not yet available

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Government Response to the e-petition entitled Introduce national limits on horse breeding, published on 4 August 2021, what steps his Department is taking to monitoring the numbers of foals being born; when that monitoring commenced; for which breeds that monitoring is being conducted; and if his Department will publish those data from that monitoring.

To promote responsible ownership, there is clear guidance available to educate and remind horse owners of their responsibilities to provide for the welfare needs of their animal. The statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids makes clear that you should consider buying or rehoming a youngster before taking the decision to breed. The foal’s individual future must also be considered before breeding from your equine, and the code highlights the UK’s overpopulation problem at the time of publication. The Code can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/700200/horses-welfare-codes-of-practice-april2018.pdf

Further information on responsible breeding is available to the public, including World Horse Welfare’s “Need to Breed” initiative which can be found here: https://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/advice/management/do-you-need-to-breed.

The Government considers that key the issue at stake here is how well equines are cared for after they have been born, and existing protections address this. We continue to engage closely with key stakeholders in the equine sector about these issues. The Government currently has no plans to monitor more closely the number of foals being born.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Government Response to the e-petition entitled Introduce national limits on horse breeding, published on 4 August 2021, what estimate his Department has made of the number of equine sanctuaries and rescue centres that are operating in Great Britain; how many and what proportion of those centres his Department has been in communication with; how often his Department has communicated with them in the last three years; and when that communication began and what form it took.

We continue to have close engagement with the equine sector to support our positive action to protect and improve the welfare of animals.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had regular contact with equine stakeholders such as World Horse Welfare and the British Horse Council to assess the health of the sector.

A group of animal welfare charities released a report titled “Britain’s Horse Problem” in December 2020 which raised a number of issues including overbreeding. Recommendations from the report include the need for responsible ownership of equines as well as the enhanced promotion of the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids. We continue to engage with the sector on the issues presented in the report. The Code of Practice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-practice-for-the-welfare-of-horses-ponies-donkeys-and-their-hybrids

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare demonstrates our commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad. Our reform programme includes pursuing the licensing of animal sanctuaries and rescue and rehoming centres including for horses. This mirrors a recommendation from “Britain’s Horse Problem”. Defra has been engaging with rescue and rehoming organisations to understand their views and the possible impacts of regulating the sector. Any proposals to bring forward licensing regulations will be subject to a consultation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) role of the US Centre for Computational Toxicology in advancing the development of New Approach Methodologies and (b) potential benefits to the UK of establishing a counterpart.

We are not aware of the work that the US Center for Computational Toxicology (USCCT) is doing in advancing the development of New Approach Methodologies. We plan to get in touch with USCCT to find out more about its role in taking forward that work and how that links in with what we are doing on this issue.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who will have responsibility for ensuring that duties created by clause 133 and schedule 20 on the amendment of the REACH regulation in the Environment Bill are enforced; and what methods will be used to assess compliance.

The Government intends to fully consider any advice provided by the OEP. The OEP will build up comprehensive expertise and therefore a Minister may regularly ask it for advice. Clause 29(1) of the Environment Bill states that the Minister can ask the OEP to provide advice on proposed changes to environmental law, including any relevant amendments to the UK REACH Regulation. The Environment Bill states that the OEP must provide advice at the request of a Minister. The OEP may also provide advice on its own initiative to any proposed changes to environmental law as defined in clause 45. To maintain transparency and independence, the OEP must publish its advice as stated in clause 29(5). If a Minister required the OEP to provide advice, the OEP must also publish the request, along with any matters it was required to consider.

The regulation-making powers and associated duties contained in Schedule 20 to the Environment Bill are also subject to parliamentary scrutiny through the affirmative resolution procedure and potentially to judicial review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what weight his Department plans to give to advice from the Office for Environmental Protection given under Clause 29(3) of the Environment Bill; and whether that advice will be (a) requested and (b) published (i) in the event that any changes to the REACH Regulation are under consideration by his Department and (ii) in advance of any statutory change being laid.

The Government intends to fully consider any advice provided by the OEP. The OEP will build up comprehensive expertise and therefore a Minister may regularly ask it for advice. Clause 29(1) of the Environment Bill states that the Minister can ask the OEP to provide advice on proposed changes to environmental law, including any relevant amendments to the UK REACH Regulation. The Environment Bill states that the OEP must provide advice at the request of a Minister. The OEP may also provide advice on its own initiative to any proposed changes to environmental law as defined in clause 45. To maintain transparency and independence, the OEP must publish its advice as stated in clause 29(5). If a Minister required the OEP to provide advice, the OEP must also publish the request, along with any matters it was required to consider.

The regulation-making powers and associated duties contained in Schedule 20 to the Environment Bill are also subject to parliamentary scrutiny through the affirmative resolution procedure and potentially to judicial review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) his Department’s and (b) the Health and Safety Executive's progress in connecting their toxicologists with specialist providers of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) and professionals who can interpret and apply the results of NAMs to inform decision making on the safety of chemicals and products.

UK REACH sets out what information is needed to satisfy each hazard endpoint. This includes specifying in some, but not all cases, what studies are required, including non-animal methods where they are available. New test methods will be included through amendments to the Test Methods Regulation after development and validation through the OECD. The responsibility then lies on registrants to commission any studies they need to fulfil their UK REACH information requirements, following Good Laboratory Practice.

The responsibility to reduce and replace animal testing with alternative methods, including New Approach Methodologies (NAMs), lies with industry (within the confines of the appropriate legislation). We would anticipate that commercial service providers will develop and expand their services accordingly, as and when demand for these methods increases. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has an active role with a number of organisations to advise, influence and support those looking to develop and apply these alternative methods. Where animal studies are unavoidable the Home Office is responsible for licensing testing houses and individual procedures.

HSE regulatory scientists, including toxicologists, are actively involved in monitoring and influencing the development of NAMs at both the domestic and international level which involves discussions and engagement with external experts in this field. HSE has recently appointed several independent experts who are familiar with NAMs to its UK REACH Independent Scientific Expert Pool to provide independent expert advice on the safety and regulation of chemicals and support its scientific opinions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the strategies of (a) his Department and (b) the Health and Safety Executive to increase the number of commercial service providers or research laboratories skilled in New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) data interpretation to deliver the Government’s commitment to reduce and replace animal testing for UK REACH.

UK REACH sets out what information is needed to satisfy each hazard endpoint. This includes specifying in some, but not all cases, what studies are required, including non-animal methods where they are available. New test methods will be included through amendments to the Test Methods Regulation after development and validation through the OECD. The responsibility then lies on registrants to commission any studies they need to fulfil their UK REACH information requirements, following Good Laboratory Practice.

The responsibility to reduce and replace animal testing with alternative methods, including New Approach Methodologies (NAMs), lies with industry (within the confines of the appropriate legislation). We would anticipate that commercial service providers will develop and expand their services accordingly, as and when demand for these methods increases. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has an active role with a number of organisations to advise, influence and support those looking to develop and apply these alternative methods. Where animal studies are unavoidable the Home Office is responsible for licensing testing houses and individual procedures.

HSE regulatory scientists, including toxicologists, are actively involved in monitoring and influencing the development of NAMs at both the domestic and international level which involves discussions and engagement with external experts in this field. HSE has recently appointed several independent experts who are familiar with NAMs to its UK REACH Independent Scientific Expert Pool to provide independent expert advice on the safety and regulation of chemicals and support its scientific opinions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many animals were exported from the UK for the purpose of (a) breeding, (b) fattening and (c) slaughter in each of the last five years.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) using data provided by third parties, and as such, is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

The following has been extracted from TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System). TRACES is a European Commission system employed by EU member states to facilitate and record animal/animal product movements into and throughout the EU.

Below is the number of live animals exported to the EU from 2016:

Reason for export

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Breeding

9,037,232

11,073,789

9,998,318

8,415,229

9,577,278

Fattening

93,778

92,193

76,915

80,934

87,936

Production

25,146

28,783

25,521

34,295

6,248

Slaughter

3,950,414

5,315,978

4,820,894

5,277,047

4,657,365

Exports to the rest of the world require an Export Health Certificate (EHC). APHA’s data retention period for export certification is three years. Subsequently, APHA does not hold records for export consignments carried out before 2018.

The below information shows the number of EHCs issued. The APHA records do not hold the number of animals exported; numerous animals can travel on one EHC. Many of the EHCs agreed with countries are for breeding, fattening or production combined on one document so this data cannot be segmented by export reason.

Reason for export

2018

2019

2020

Breeding/Fattening/Production

1805

1812

2185

Slaughter

227

484

263

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) birds, (b) pigs, (c) wild boar, (d) bulls and (e) cows have been exported from the UK for the purposes of (i) breeding, (ii) fattening and (iii) slaughter in each of the last five years.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) using data provided by third parties, and as such, is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

The following has been extracted from TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System). TRACES is a European Commission system employed by EU member states to facilitate and record animal/animal product movements into and throughout the EU.

Below is the number of live animals exported to the EU from 2016:

Reason for export

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Bull/Cow

Breeding

6,143

4,184

5,632

6,042

2,407

Production

24,974

28,485

25,234

15,597

6,128

Slaughter

10,318

9,616

8,672

4,673

3,551

Wild Boar

Breeding

0

3

0

0

0

Pigs

Breeding

1,763

3,055

3,370

6,056

12,919

Production

2

125

1

418

Slaughter

8,910

8,056

13,081

14,969

15,446

Birds, other than poultry

Breeding

79

51

3

49

110,548

Slaughter

0

750

0

0

0

Poultry

Breeding

9,022,269

11,059,627

9,981,653

8,397,890

9,446,174

Slaughter

3,551,225

4,875,861

4,349,451

4,865,515

4,257,736

Exports to the rest of the world require an Export Health Certificate (EHC). APHA’s data retention period for export certification is three years. Subsequently, APHA does not hold records for export consignments carried out before 2018.

The below information shows the number of EHCs issued. The APHA records do not hold the number of animals exported; numerous animals can travel on one EHC. Many of the EHCs agreed with countries are for breeding, fattening or production combined on one document so this data cannot be split by export reason. The EHCs are based on commodities, and as such cannot be segmented into specific species.

Reason for export

2018

2019

2020

Cattle

Breeding/Fattening/Production

568

553

696

Slaughter

210

201

79

Pigs

Breeding/Fattening/Production

21

28

35

Slaughter

8

282

181

Poultry

Breeding/Fattening/Production

0

0

10

Slaughter

0

0

0

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Government's legislative proposals on animal welfare on the number of animals that will continue to be exported from the UK.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill will ban exports of livestock and equines for slaughter and fattening from Great Britain. The numbers of live animals exported for slaughter and fattening have decreased in recent years, so that last year only around 6,300 sheep were exported for slaughter and around 38,000 sheep were exported for fattening from Great Britain to the EU[1]. This accounted for around 58% of exports of livestock and equines (excluding poultry) from Great Britain to the EU in the same year. The remaining 42% of livestock and equine exports were for purposes other than slaughter and fattening, such as breeding, which will continue to be permitted.

[1] Figures referenced are from the EU Trade and Control Expert System for year 2020

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason birds have not been included in the list of animals to be prohibited from live export under section 42(7) of The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.

We consulted earlier this year on the Government’s commitment to end long journeys of livestock and equines going for slaughter or fattening and the provisions in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill implement the consultation proposals.

Poultry exports primarily consist of significant numbers of recently hatched chicks, exported for breeding purposes from the UK to EU and non-EU countries. Moreover, there were no exports of poultry for slaughter or fattening from Great Britain to the EU in 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs entering Great Britain via the Pet Travel Scheme held British pet passports in each year from 2012 to 2020.

The information requested is not held by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers the number of pets entering Great Britain, which is provided by checkers, employed by approved carriers of pet animals. The type of passport is not a requirement of data submitted to APHA and therefore this information is not held.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the value of rabbit fur, produced in the UK, in each year since 2015.

The Government does not hold this information centrally. Under existing domestic legislation is it an offence to keep animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the value of rabbit meat produced in the UK in each year since 2015.

The Government does not hold this information centrally.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department holds on the number of rabbits bred and killed in Great Britain for their (a) meat and (b) fur.

The Government does not collect this information. According to the RSPCA, any rabbit farming industry in the UK is fairly small-scale, with greater numbers reared in other European countries.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will take steps to prevent rabbit fur from being sold as a by-product of rabbit meat; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, which clearly reflect public attitudes to the treatment of animals.

Fur farming is a cruel practice that has been banned in England and Wales following the introduction of The Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act of 2000, and since 2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Under this legislation it is an offence to keep animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur. The Government has made clear its commitment to raising animal welfare standards now that the UK has left the EU, and we are actively considering further steps that can now be taken in relation to fur.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason the Answer to Question 155409 of 24 February 2021 advised that 17,984 dogs were imported under the Pet Travel Scheme in July 2020 but the Answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 85115 stated that 5,423 dogs were imported under the Pet Travel Scheme in July 2020.

The number of dogs imported under the Pet Travel Scheme in July 2020 was 17,984.

In answer to question 85115, the figure of 5,423 was based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) advised at the time that the information supplied was a true reflection of the data that had been provided.

APHA is unable to guarantee the accuracy of this data, as it can only rely on the information provided by third parties. Subsequently, figures may be amended as third parties submit new data, as occurred in this instance.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to 130 horses dying on course in 2020, what steps he plans to take to ensure that horses are not killed as the result of racing.

Ensuring the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards is a priority. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), British racing’s governing and regulatory body, is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses. The BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible.

The Government welcomed the creation of the racing industry’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB), which was formed in March 2019. The Board is chaired by Barry Johnson, former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (who is independent of the BHA) and includes members from across the racing industry, veterinarians and animal health and welfare experts. The Board has assured Defra that it is committed to doing all it can to make the sport safer and improve welfare outcomes. The HWB published its five-year horse welfare strategy “A life well lived” last year:

http://media.britishhorseracing.com/bha/Welfare/HWB/WELFARE_STRATEGY.pdf.

The strategy contains 20 recommendations for the industry aimed at ensuring the best possible safety and quality of life for racehorses.

One of the plan’s five identified outcomes (outcome 3 - 'Best possible safety') aims to reduce and minimise, as far as reasonably possible, avoidable injuries and fatalities to racehorses. This targets a reduction in injuries and fatalities on racecourses but also those that occur in, or as a result of, training or pre-training methods, or which are linked to breeding. The HWB has underlined the importance of data to better understand the causes of injuries and fatalities to help achieve this outcome.

Defra does not hold any information related to racehorse fatalities including those that have occurred during training. However, as well as collating and publishing data on racing fatalities, the BHA, following the recommendations contained within the HWB’s strategy, is working to improve data gathering in relation to thoroughbred racehorse fatalities in training. This includes analysis of data and reporting mechanisms which already exist regarding horses in training, and how these can be improved to provide additional data on fatal injuries.

The Secretary of State has not met representatives of either the BHA or the HWB between 2019 and now. I can confirm that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at that time met with the BHA’s Director of Equine Health and the HWB’s Independent Chair in May 2019 where both sides agreed that further action was required to make the sport safer and to improve animal welfare standards across the industry. My officials plan to meet with the BHA in due course and will continue to engage with the sector to ensure that the welfare of racehorses, and reducing the fatalities and injuries that result from racing, remain at the forefront of the BHA’s priorities in delivering the plan’s outcomes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many times he has met the (a) British Horseracing Authority and (b) Horse Welfare Board on matters relating to race horse welfare in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021 to date.

Ensuring the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards is a priority. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), British racing’s governing and regulatory body, is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses. The BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible.

The Government welcomed the creation of the racing industry’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB), which was formed in March 2019. The Board is chaired by Barry Johnson, former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (who is independent of the BHA) and includes members from across the racing industry, veterinarians and animal health and welfare experts. The Board has assured Defra that it is committed to doing all it can to make the sport safer and improve welfare outcomes. The HWB published its five-year horse welfare strategy “A life well lived” last year:

http://media.britishhorseracing.com/bha/Welfare/HWB/WELFARE_STRATEGY.pdf.

The strategy contains 20 recommendations for the industry aimed at ensuring the best possible safety and quality of life for racehorses.

One of the plan’s five identified outcomes (outcome 3 - 'Best possible safety') aims to reduce and minimise, as far as reasonably possible, avoidable injuries and fatalities to racehorses. This targets a reduction in injuries and fatalities on racecourses but also those that occur in, or as a result of, training or pre-training methods, or which are linked to breeding. The HWB has underlined the importance of data to better understand the causes of injuries and fatalities to help achieve this outcome.

Defra does not hold any information related to racehorse fatalities including those that have occurred during training. However, as well as collating and publishing data on racing fatalities, the BHA, following the recommendations contained within the HWB’s strategy, is working to improve data gathering in relation to thoroughbred racehorse fatalities in training. This includes analysis of data and reporting mechanisms which already exist regarding horses in training, and how these can be improved to provide additional data on fatal injuries.

The Secretary of State has not met representatives of either the BHA or the HWB between 2019 and now. I can confirm that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at that time met with the BHA’s Director of Equine Health and the HWB’s Independent Chair in May 2019 where both sides agreed that further action was required to make the sport safer and to improve animal welfare standards across the industry. My officials plan to meet with the BHA in due course and will continue to engage with the sector to ensure that the welfare of racehorses, and reducing the fatalities and injuries that result from racing, remain at the forefront of the BHA’s priorities in delivering the plan’s outcomes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to ensure that horses in the racing industry are not abused, subjected to cruelty or die as a result of training or racing.

Ensuring the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards is a priority. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), British racing’s governing and regulatory body, is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses. The BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible.

The Government welcomed the creation of the racing industry’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB), which was formed in March 2019. The Board is chaired by Barry Johnson, former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (who is independent of the BHA) and includes members from across the racing industry, veterinarians and animal health and welfare experts. The Board has assured Defra that it is committed to doing all it can to make the sport safer and improve welfare outcomes. The HWB published its five-year horse welfare strategy “A life well lived” last year:

http://media.britishhorseracing.com/bha/Welfare/HWB/WELFARE_STRATEGY.pdf.

The strategy contains 20 recommendations for the industry aimed at ensuring the best possible safety and quality of life for racehorses.

One of the plan’s five identified outcomes (outcome 3 - 'Best possible safety') aims to reduce and minimise, as far as reasonably possible, avoidable injuries and fatalities to racehorses. This targets a reduction in injuries and fatalities on racecourses but also those that occur in, or as a result of, training or pre-training methods, or which are linked to breeding. The HWB has underlined the importance of data to better understand the causes of injuries and fatalities to help achieve this outcome.

Defra does not hold any information related to racehorse fatalities including those that have occurred during training. However, as well as collating and publishing data on racing fatalities, the BHA, following the recommendations contained within the HWB’s strategy, is working to improve data gathering in relation to thoroughbred racehorse fatalities in training. This includes analysis of data and reporting mechanisms which already exist regarding horses in training, and how these can be improved to provide additional data on fatal injuries.

The Secretary of State has not met representatives of either the BHA or the HWB between 2019 and now. I can confirm that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at that time met with the BHA’s Director of Equine Health and the HWB’s Independent Chair in May 2019 where both sides agreed that further action was required to make the sport safer and to improve animal welfare standards across the industry. My officials plan to meet with the BHA in due course and will continue to engage with the sector to ensure that the welfare of racehorses, and reducing the fatalities and injuries that result from racing, remain at the forefront of the BHA’s priorities in delivering the plan’s outcomes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many horses in the racing industry have died in training, as opposed to on course as a result of racing, in the UK in each of the last five years; and what the (a) ages of those horses and (b) causes of death were.

Ensuring the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards is a priority. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), British racing’s governing and regulatory body, is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses. The BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible.

The Government welcomed the creation of the racing industry’s Horse Welfare Board (HWB), which was formed in March 2019. The Board is chaired by Barry Johnson, former President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (who is independent of the BHA) and includes members from across the racing industry, veterinarians and animal health and welfare experts. The Board has assured Defra that it is committed to doing all it can to make the sport safer and improve welfare outcomes. The HWB published its five-year horse welfare strategy “A life well lived” last year:

http://media.britishhorseracing.com/bha/Welfare/HWB/WELFARE_STRATEGY.pdf.

The strategy contains 20 recommendations for the industry aimed at ensuring the best possible safety and quality of life for racehorses.

One of the plan’s five identified outcomes (outcome 3 - 'Best possible safety') aims to reduce and minimise, as far as reasonably possible, avoidable injuries and fatalities to racehorses. This targets a reduction in injuries and fatalities on racecourses but also those that occur in, or as a result of, training or pre-training methods, or which are linked to breeding. The HWB has underlined the importance of data to better understand the causes of injuries and fatalities to help achieve this outcome.

Defra does not hold any information related to racehorse fatalities including those that have occurred during training. However, as well as collating and publishing data on racing fatalities, the BHA, following the recommendations contained within the HWB’s strategy, is working to improve data gathering in relation to thoroughbred racehorse fatalities in training. This includes analysis of data and reporting mechanisms which already exist regarding horses in training, and how these can be improved to provide additional data on fatal injuries.

The Secretary of State has not met representatives of either the BHA or the HWB between 2019 and now. I can confirm that the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at that time met with the BHA’s Director of Equine Health and the HWB’s Independent Chair in May 2019 where both sides agreed that further action was required to make the sport safer and to improve animal welfare standards across the industry. My officials plan to meet with the BHA in due course and will continue to engage with the sector to ensure that the welfare of racehorses, and reducing the fatalities and injuries that result from racing, remain at the forefront of the BHA’s priorities in delivering the plan’s outcomes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK in (a) November 2020 and (b) December 2020.

In November 2020, there were 4,944 Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates issued for dogs entering the UK. In December 2020, there were 4,424 Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates issued for dogs entering the UK.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency from data provided by third parties, and as such is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported under the Balai Directive in each month of 2020.

The figures for dogs imported under the Balai Directive for 2020 are as follows:

Month

Dogs imported

January

4181

February

4078

March

2721

April

654

May

4828

June

5072

July

5789

August

3815

September

2386

October

4108

November

3411

December

5446

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported using the Pet Travel Scheme in each month of 2020.

The number of dogs imported using the Pet Travel Scheme for 2020 are as below:

Month

Dogs imported

January

22454

February

12160

March

13281

April

1554

May

4433

June

7470

July

17984

August

33413

September

23037

October

16605

November

12477

December

17231

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK from Romania in 2020; and what discussions officials in his Department have had with their Romanian counterparts on ensuring that dogs entering the UK from Romania are (a) bred in conditions similar to UK standards, (b) vaccinated according to the health certification required and (c) transported appropriately.

There were 24,499 Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates issued for dogs entering the UK from Romania in 2020.

Regarding contact with colleagues in Romania, Defra has been in routine contact at an official level with the relevant authorities in Romania, on matters concerning the movement of puppies and dogs, including on issues relating to biosecurity and animal health. Defra is committed to working constructively with our counterparts internationally to safeguard the welfare of these animals and protect the biosecurity of our country.

All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes under the Pet Travel Regime undergo 100% documentary and identity checks to ensure they are compliant with all the relevant vaccination, other health and documentary requirements. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) presently carry out post import checks at destination on commercial cats and dogs from the European Union (EU) on a risk-based approach. Defra has opted to implement this approach to protect our rabies-free status and the health of pets and people in the UK.

Regarding transportation, Defra has provided comprehensive information about the new requirements for transporting live animals into Great Britain to our counterparts in the EU and has encouraged them to share this with their own transporters.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK in 2020; which countries those dogs originated from; and how many dogs were imported under the Pet Travel Scheme during the same period.

45,447 Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates (ITAHCs) were issued for dogs entering the UK in 2020 from the following countries:

Country of Origin

ITAHCs

Austria

8

Belgium

13

Bulgaria

16

Croatia (Local Name: Hrvatska)

135

Cyprus

4,277

Czech Republic

108

Denmark

2

Estonia

8

Finland

7

France

13

Germany

86

Greece

355

Hungary

3,739

Ireland

2,804

Italy

230

Latvia

6

Lithuania

94

Malta

4

Poland

3,415

Portugal

242

Romania

24,499

Slovakia (Slovak Republic)

83

Slovenia

4

Spain

5,268

Sweden

12

Switzerland

1

The Netherlands

18

There were 165,890 dogs imported under the Pet Travel Scheme during the same period. Figures for December 2020 will be confirmed once all relevant information has been submitted by pet checkers and carriers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many instances of avian flu were identified in sites in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales in the last six months; how many birds died of avian flu in that time period; how many birds were actively culled in response to an avian flu outbreak; how many birds were actively culled in response to a suspected avian flu outbreak; and what methods were used to cull those birds.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency recorded the following number of instances of avian flu within each nation during the last six months:

England - 17

Scotland - 1

Wales - 1

245,342 birds died of avian flu during this time. This data is only available for the captive birds at the 19 premises where disease was identified. This figure includes the birds culled as part of disease control operations.

In addition, we have recorded the following wild bird positive results for highly pathogenic avian influenza as part of the avian influenza survey of dead wild birds:

2020 – 277

2021 – 19

Avian influenza in wilds birds data is available on GOV.UK at the following link:- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-in-wild-birds.

212,646 birds were actively culled in reaction to avian flu outbreaks.

There were four premises declared as Slaughter on Suspicion cases, which were all recategorised as Infected Premises upon CVO confirmation of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8, and therefore data for these is included above.

There are different methods used to cull birds with avian flu. These are:

  • Exposure to CO2/Argon gas mix gas in Containerised Gassing Units
  • Percussive blow to the head using percussive poultry killers
  • Lethal Injection
  • Cervical dislocation
  • Free bullet by trained marksmen
Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many animal welfare inspections of game bird farms in England and Wales were undertaken by (a) the Animal and Plant Health Agency and (b) local trading standards in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020; how many of those visits resulted in action being taken against a (A) farm or (B) person; whether improvement notices were issued as a result of those visits; and whether those visits resulted in a second inspection.

The data held only relates to Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) welfare inspections undertaken. APHA conducted inspections to game birds and the subsequent actions were taken:

Inspections

Holdings Inspected

Issued Letter

Follow Up Visit

2019

10

7

3

0

2020

14

9

6

4

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many inspections of game bird farms for compliancy with avian flu measures were undertaken by (a) the Animal and Plant Health Agency and (b) local trading standards in (i) 2020 and (ii) 2021.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) do not undertake specific compliance inspections for Avian Influenza. This is the responsibility of local authorities under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), which ensures birds are housed or kept separate from wild birds. Local authorities are currently completing reactive inspections following complaints, and using a risk based approach during such inspections.

There is no requirement for local authorities to record or inform Scottish Government, Defra or Welsh Government of any inspections they have conducted. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the local authority to provide the details requested.

APHA do hold data as part of its disease management response. This is on behalf of Defra, Welsh Government and the Scottish Government and relates to disease surveillance visits in the 3km Protection Zones and 10km Surveillance Zones, and any direct and indirect contact tracing visits which are identified upon confirmation of disease.

This includes a census of premises and stock within the zones, and subsequent inspection and sampling to prove freedom from disease prior to lifting the legal Declaratory Orders in place around infected premises (usually 3km and 10km). An interactive map of current zones can be found on GOV.UK: https://defra.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=8cb1883eda5547c6b91b5d5e6aeba90d

Outside of avian influenza outbreaks, APHA undertake a routine avian influenza survey on a random and risk based stratification of registered premises.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many inspections of poultry farms for compliancy with avian flu measures were undertaken by (a) the Animal and Plant Health Agency and (b) local trading standards in (i) 2020 and (ii) 2021.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) does not undertake specific compliance inspections for Avian Influenza. This is the responsibility of local authorities under the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ), which ensures birds are housed or kept separate from wild birds. Local authorities are currently completing reactive inspections following complaints, and using a risk based approach during such inspections.

There is no requirement for local authorities to record or inform the Scottish Government, Defra or the Welsh Government of any inspections they have conducted. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the local authority to provide the details requested.

APHA does hold data as part of its disease management response. This is on behalf of Defra, the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government and relates to disease surveillance visits in the 3km Protection Zones and 10km Surveillance Zones, and any direct and indirect contact tracing visits which are identified upon confirmation of disease.

This includes a census of premises and stock within the zones, and subsequent inspection and sampling to prove freedom from disease prior to lifting the legal Declaratory Orders in place around infected premises (usually 3km and 10km). An interactive map of current zones can be found on GOV.UK: https://defra.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=8cb1883eda5547c6b91b5d5e6aeba90d

Outside of avian influenza outbreaks, APHA undertakes a routine avian influenza survey on a random and risk-based stratification of registered premises.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for cats entering the UK in each month from January 2019 to November 2020.

The number of Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates (ITAHCs) issued for cats entering the UK in each month from January 2019 to November 2020 can be found below.

Month

ITAHCs

Jan-19

177

Feb-19

178

Mar-19

170

Apr-19

136

May-19

115

Jun-19

112

Jul-19

124

Aug-19

137

Sep-19

201

Oct-19

282

Nov-19

178

Dec-19

143

Jan-20

203

Feb-20

144

Mar-20

70

Apr-20

43

May-20

101

Jun-20

142

Jul-20

214

Aug-20

301

Sep-20

356

Oct-20

486

Nov-20

506

The data for ITAHCs for cat imports was extracted from TRACES through the data warehouse facility by searching for imports of Felis catus. These figures cover all commercially imported cats including commercial kittens, rescue cats and unaccompanied pets.

The information that we have provided is a true reflection of the information that we have access to. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as we can only rely on the information that has been input into TRACES by a third party.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to strengthen welfare requirements for cats entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme following the end of the transition period.

This Government is committed to high standards of animal welfare. We are working to deliver a number of manifesto commitments that will strengthen our position as a world leader in this field at the end of the Transition Period.

The end of the Transition Period will present new opportunities for managing our own Pet Travel rules and welfare arrangements. We want to ensure that there are robust controls on disease and animal welfare whilst allowing pet owners to continue to be able to travel to and from the EU with the minimum of disruption.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he is taking steps to ensure that cats entering the UK will be treated for ticks and tapeworm as a requirement of any Pet Travel Scheme following the end of the transition period.

Defra has no immediate plans to amend the tick or tapeworm controls for cats entering the UK. However, the end of the transition period will open up new opportunities for managing our own Pet Travel rules. We remain aware of the concerns around ticks, tick-borne disease and tapeworm. Our future policy will be guided by risk assessments and we have commissioned assessments to understand the risks posed by tapeworms, as well as ticks and tick-borne disease. Defra also continues to monitor the disease situation around ticks through the Tick Surveillance Scheme.

Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the UK for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years. For these reasons, Defra strongly encourages pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling abroad. Further advice can be obtained from their local vet, and via the Public Health England leaflet available on GOV.UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many cats entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme in 2019.

In 2019 31,890 cats entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

The information that we have provided is a true reflection of the information that we have access to. We can’t guarantee the accuracy of this data, as we can only rely on the information that has been provided by a third party.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of microchips in cats (a) failed, (b) migrated and (c) resulted in an adverse reaction in 2019.

It is a requirement of the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 to report adverse reactions to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD). Adverse reactions include microchip migration and any negative health reaction the veterinarian considers to be adverse. Although there is currently no legal obligation to report adverse reactions following microchipping of cats, the VMD encourages the reporting of these events. The Government will be issuing a public consultation on compulsory cat microchipping shortly.

According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association's (PFMA) Pet Population report, and the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals' (PDSA) Animal Wellbeing report, there are currently between 7.5 and 10.9 million cats owned as pets in the UK. The PDSA Animal Wellbeing report indicates that of those, it is thought that approximately 74% are microchipped. In 2019, voluntary adverse reaction data shows that 136 cats were recorded as having an adverse reaction. Of that figure, (a) 112 had failed, (b) 14 had migrated and (c) 10 had reacted.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported into Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme by (a) an individual owner, (b) a rehoming organisation based in the animal’s country of origin and (c) a rehoming organisation based in the UK, in each of the last six years.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency does not hold all of the information requested.

Under the Pet Travel Scheme, carriers complete and submit spreadsheets every month detailing their throughput. This is categorised by species, document type, non-compliance data and whether or not it is an assistance animal. Carriers do not provide information regarding who the animal was imported by.

Animals imported under the Balai Directive are imported on an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate issued via the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). TRACES does not record whether the purpose of importation is for rehoming. While TRACES does identify the importer, it does not differentiate which importers are individual owners and which are rehoming organisations.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported into Great Britain under the Balai Directive by (a) an individual owner, (b) a rehoming organisation based in the animal’s country of origin and (c) a rehoming organisation based in the UK, in each of the last six years.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency does not hold all of the information requested.

Under the Pet Travel Scheme, carriers complete and submit spreadsheets every month detailing their throughput. This is categorised by species, document type, non-compliance data and whether or not it is an assistance animal. Carriers do not provide information regarding who the animal was imported by.

Animals imported under the Balai Directive are imported on an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate issued via the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). TRACES does not record whether the purpose of importation is for rehoming. While TRACES does identify the importer, it does not differentiate which importers are individual owners and which are rehoming organisations.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs entered the UK via the Pet Travel Scheme in each month from August 2020 to October 2020.

4,433 dogs entered Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in May 2020.

33,413 dogs entered Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in August 2020. Data for September and October 2020 is not yet available.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information supplied by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency from data provided by third parties, and as such is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK in (a) September 2020 and (b) October 2020.

The number of Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificates (ITAHCs) issued for dogs entering the UK was 5,206 in September 2020 and 5,287 in October 2020.

The data for commercial dog imports was extracted from the Trade Control and Expert System via the data warehouse facility by searching for canis familiaris imports.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency from data provided by third parties, and as such is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme in May 2020.

4,433 dogs entered Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in May 2020.

33,413 dogs entered Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in August 2020. Data for September and October 2020 is not yet available.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information supplied by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

This response has been compiled by the Animal and Plant Health Agency from data provided by third parties, and as such is reliant on the providers for the accuracy of the information.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many post-Balai import checks took place between February 2019 and August 2020.

Between February 2019 and August 2020 there were 51,434 post-Balai import checks completed in Great Britain for commercially traded dogs, cats and ferrets imported under the Balai Directive. This will include both office-based documentary checks and post-import visits at the premises of destination.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the maximum penalty is for someone found to be illegally importing puppies.

Defra takes the illegal importation of pets seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to animals and puts the health of pets and people in the UK at risk. We have legislation in place to ensure those guilty of offences are duly punished.

A maximum penalty of 12 months in prison or an unlimited fine apply to the legislative requirements that regulate the import of puppies into England.

In terms of the regulation and enforcement of non-commercial pet travel movements, we operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in the world. All pet animals entering Great Britain on approved routes under the EU Pet Travel Scheme undergo documentary and identity checks, and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) works collaboratively with Border Force and other operational partners at ports, airports and inland, sharing intelligence to enforce the Pet Travel Scheme, disrupt illegal imports and seize non-compliant animals. Any animals found to be non-compliant with the Pet Travel Scheme rules may be refused entry or detained until compliant.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK in each month from June 2020 to August 2020; and how many dogs were imported under PETS in the same period.

The number of Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificates (ITAHCs) issued for dogs entering the UK in June 2020 was 3,967, in July 2020 was 4,850 and in August 2020 was 3,916.

The data for ITAHCs was extracted from the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) by searching for imports of canis familiaris. These figures cover all commercially imported dogs including commercial puppies, rescue dogs, research dogs and unaccompanied pets.

TRACES is a European Commission system employed by EU member states to facilitate and record animal movements into and throughout the EU.

The number of dogs entering Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in June 2020 was 7,423 and in July 2020 was 5,423. Data for the number of dogs entering Great Britain in August 2020 is not yet available.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

This information is based on information provided by third party pet checkers and importers, exporters and authorities in EU countries recording data on the TRACES system. Figures may be amended as third parties submit new data.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 63201, if he will provide further details on the assessments his Department has commissioned on the risks posed by ticks and tick-borne disease.

We are working with the European Commission to ensure pet travel between the UK and EU continues smoothly after January 2021. The UK and Crown Dependencies submitted its application to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations to the European Commission, and this is our preferred position. We are also planning for the event in which we become an unlisted country with our colleagues in the Devolved Administrations and Crown Dependencies. The end of the Transition Period may open up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel arrangements which we are evaluating.

Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the UK for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years. For these reasons, Defra strongly encourages pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling abroad. Further advice can be obtained from their local vet, and via the Public Health England leaflet available on GOV.UK.

While Defra has no immediate plans to amend the tick controls for pet animals entering the UK, we remain concerned about the threat of ticks and tick-borne disease. A risk assessment is therefore being planned to guide future policy and Defra continues to monitor the disease situation through the Tick Surveillance Scheme.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to review the successor to the pet travel scheme before the end of the transition period; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reintroducing compulsory tick treatment for pets at UK borders.

We are working with the European Commission to ensure pet travel between the UK and EU continues smoothly after January 2021. The UK and Crown Dependencies submitted its application to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations to the European Commission, and this is our preferred position. We are also planning for the event in which we become an unlisted country with our colleagues in the Devolved Administrations and Crown Dependencies. The end of the Transition Period may open up new opportunities for managing our own pet travel arrangements which we are evaluating.

Tick surveillance has shown that tick distribution and abundance is changing throughout the UK for many reasons, including habitat and climate change. Small numbers of localised infestations with non-native tick species have been reported in recent years. For these reasons, Defra strongly encourages pet owners to treat their pets to safeguard their animals against ticks and tick transmitted diseases when travelling abroad. Further advice can be obtained from their local vet, and via the Public Health England leaflet available on GOV.UK.

While Defra has no immediate plans to amend the tick controls for pet animals entering the UK, we remain concerned about the threat of ticks and tick-borne disease. A risk assessment is therefore being planned to guide future policy and Defra continues to monitor the disease situation through the Tick Surveillance Scheme.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on food and drink wholesalers.

The wholesale sector is hugely important within the food and drink supply chain. To ensure its ongoing viability in difficult circumstances, the UK Government has provided a range of support. Food and drink wholesalers are eligible for a number of schemes, including: the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep millions of people in employment and the Discretionary Grant Fund for small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes.

The Secretary of State speaks to his counterparts in the Scottish Government, including through the Defra multilateral Inter Ministerial Group, on a regular basis when they discuss a range of issues.

Discussions also take place regularly at official level and these cover sharing of sectoral information and updates on Government activities.

Food supply is a devolved matter. It is therefore for the Scottish Government to decide what discussions they have with their sectors and what support to provide beyond that delivered at UK level in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on the (a) resilience of food and drink wholesalers during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) importance of their role in delivering food and drink to the (i) tourism, (ii) hospitality and (iii) other sectors.

The wholesale sector is hugely important within the food and drink supply chain. To ensure its ongoing viability in difficult circumstances, the UK Government has provided a range of support. Food and drink wholesalers are eligible for a number of schemes, including: the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help keep millions of people in employment and the Discretionary Grant Fund for small and micro businesses that are not eligible for other grant schemes.

The Secretary of State speaks to his counterparts in the Scottish Government, including through the Defra multilateral Inter Ministerial Group, on a regular basis when they discuss a range of issues.

Discussions also take place regularly at official level and these cover sharing of sectoral information and updates on Government activities.

Food supply is a devolved matter. It is therefore for the Scottish Government to decide what discussions they have with their sectors and what support to provide beyond that delivered at UK level in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 21 May 2020 to Question 46162 on Dogs: Imports, how many Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificates were issued for dogs entering the UK in each month from February 2019 to May 2020.

Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) is a European Commission system employed by EU member states to facilitate and record animal and animal product movements into and throughout the EU.

The below data regarding the number of Intra-Trade Animals Health Certificates (ITAHCs) issued for dogs entering the UK was extracted from TRACES.

Month

ITAHCs issued

Feb-19

2037

Mar-19

2393

Apr-19

1895

May-19

2244

Jun-19

1929

Jul-19

2081

Aug-19

1954

Sep-19

2623

Oct-19

3244

Nov-19

2287

Dec-19

2025

Jan-20

2580

Feb-20

2373

Mar-20

1321

Apr-20

660

May-20

3220

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs have entered the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme in each month between January 2020 and May 2020.

The data regarding the Pet Travel Scheme covers pets entering Great Britain and is based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

The number of dogs entering Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme from January 2020 to April 2020 is as follows.

Jan-20: 22,454

Feb-20: 12,160

Mar-20: 13,233

Apr-20: 1,546

Data for dogs entering Great Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme in May 2020 is not yet available. This is because checkers are not required to submit their throughput returns to the Animal and Plant Health Agency until the end of the following month.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many vehicles transporting dogs have entered the UK under the Balai Directive in each month from February 2019 to April 2020.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency is not able to provide data regarding this matter.

Dogs entering the UK from the EU do so on an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC) issued via the Trade Control and Expert System.

There is no requirement for the certifying veterinarian to add the vehicle registration to the ITAHC and there can be multiple vehicles per ITAHC. Usually, the vehicle registration is not entered onto the ITAHC when it is created because the certifying veterinarian will have no knowledge of which vehicle is going to be used. They can inspect the consignment at any time in the 48 hours prior to travel, so it is unlikely that the transport will have arrived when they are doing their inspection.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported using the Balai Directive in 2019; and from which countries those dogs were so imported.

The number of dogs that were imported to the UK using the Balai Directive in 2019 was 44,563.

The breakdown of this figure by country is as follows:

Country of Origin

Dogs

Country of Origin

Dogs

Antigua and Barbuda

2

Latvia

1

Argentina

32

Lebanon

7

Australia

275

Lithuania

5

Austria

1

Macao

50

Azerbaijan

2

Malaysia

29

Bahrain

7

Malta

12

Barbados

1

Mauritius

17

Bermuda

9

Mexico

16

Bosnia and Herzegovina

174

Namibia

7

Brazil

201

Netherlands

70

Bulgaria

220

New Zealand

73

Canada

82

Nigeria

1

Cayman Islands

15

Norway

1

Chile

1

Oman

1

China

29

Peru

7

Colombia

17

Philippines

2

Costa Rica

6

Poland

1160

Croatia

153

Portugal

47

Cyprus

3457

Puerto Rico

2

Czech Republic

73

Qatar

22

Denmark

2

Romania

19487

Egypt

68

Russia

70

Estonia

1

Saudi Arabia

5

Falkland Islands

1

Serbia

2

Fiji

1

Singapore

42

Finland

1

Slovakia

27

France

78

Slovenia

2

French Polynesia

1

South Africa

529

Germany

31

Spain

4891

Greece

294

Sweden

18

Hong Kong

50

Switzerland

1

Hungary

2145

Taiwan

7

India

35

Tanzania

2

Iran

14

Thailand

4

Ireland (Rep. of)

7368

Turkey

76

Israel

8

Turks and Caicos

2

Italy

20

UAE

292

Japan

5

Uganda

2

Jordan

3

Ukraine

1

Kazakhstan

3

Uruguay

3

Kenya

12

USA

2604

Korea (North)

1

Vietnam

16

Korea (South)

30

Zimbabwe

16

Kuwait

5

The data for commercial imports covers the number of animals imported to the UK and was extracted from the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) through the Qlikview facility by searching for imports of Canis familiaris in 2019 to the United Kingdom. These figures cover all commercially imported dogs, including commercial puppies, rescue dogs, research dogs and unaccompanied pets.

The information that the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have provided is a true reflection of the information that is held. The APHA cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as the information that has been entered into TRACES by a third party.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many dogs were imported through the Pet Travel Scheme in 2019; and from which countries those dogs were so imported.

The number of dogs that were imported to Great Britain via the Pet Travel Scheme (PTS) in 2019 was 307,263.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is unable to provide a breakdown of the number of dogs travelling under the scheme by country of origin as it does not hold that information.

The data regarding the PTS is taken from the APHA system for recording pets throughput based on information provided by checkers employed by approved carriers of pet animals.

The information that APHA has provided is a true reflection of the information that is held. APHA cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data, as it can only rely on the information that has been entered into the pets returns by a third party.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many puppies were seized at the ports of a) Dover and b) Folkestone and placed in quarantine under the Puppy Pilot scheme in each month between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019.

The number of dogs seized and taken into quarantine at the ports of Dover and Folkestone for each month of 2019 was as follows.

Year

Month

Inspection location

Puppies Quarantined

2019

January

Eurotunnel

5

Dover

10

February

Eurotunnel

2

Dover

4

March

Eurotunnel

2

Dover

12

April

Eurotunnel

5

Dover

5

May

Eurotunnel

3

Dover

9

June

Eurotunnel

7

Dover

8

July

Eurotunnel

0

Dover

0

August

Eurotunnel

11

Dover

3

September

Eurotunnel

6

Dover

2

October

Eurotunnel

5

Dover

5

November

Eurotunnel

6

Dover

7

December

Eurotunnel

0

Dover

17

The number of animals detained in quarantine for Eurotunnel may also include dogs that were seized at Coquelles and moved into the United Kingdom for quarantine purposes.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to (a) minimise the risk of African Swine Fever and (b) prevent the import of contaminated (i) meat and (ii) animals.

The UK has robust measures and guidance to protect against the introduction of exotic diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF). These measures include import bans on livestock and products of animal origin from high risk areas, a movement standstill regime and a ban on feeding swill to pigs.

UK authorities at the border also carry out documentary checks to ensure the country of origin of the animal or product is ASF disease free.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency’s International Disease Monitoring team regularly assess the changing global animal disease presence and its potential risk to the UK. The most recent assessment was made in December 2019. These ASF assessments are published on the GOV.UK website.

To safeguard the UK’s pork and pig industries, Defra, together with the Scottish and Welsh Governments and DAERA in Northern Ireland, the UK pig industry and veterinary bodies have been working together to raise awareness of the risks of the introduction of ASF to the UK, the importance of good biosecurity and what steps can be taken to protect the UK pig herd.

A targeted campaign was launched last summer at the UK’s border to help keep ASF out of the country. This includes displaying information and posters to raise awareness among passengers entering the UK of the risks of bringing back contaminated products. We also undertake extensive work with Border Force on intelligence-led operations to ensure no affected products cross our borders.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the effects on levels of livestock of a ban on farrowing crates.

The UK is ahead of most other pig producing countries in that 40% of sows already farrow freely on outdoor pig units and are not confined to crates. The Government believes the aim should be for farrowing crates not to be necessary. It is important that we make progress towards a system which both works commercially and safeguards the welfare of the sow as well as the piglets, and that we do so as quickly as possible so that crates can be consigned to history.

Our country’s high animal welfare standards are something to be proud of and we will work continuously to ensure they are maintained and improved. A new statutory welfare code for pigs was laid in Parliament on 9 September 2019 and will come into force shortly. It sets out the highest standards on how best to keep pigs, using the latest scientific and veterinary advice to safeguard and enhance welfare standards.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress the Government has made on its application to the EU Commission to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

The Department has submitted its application to allow the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations and is currently seeking technical discussions with the European Commission. It is now for the Commission to consider our application for listed status, following our exit from the EU.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the Government’s £160 million humanitarian aid package for Yemen is being allocated to help the covid-19 pandemic response in that country.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June, of which 32% has already been disbursed.

The package as a whole will help tackle the wide-ranging, direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 in Yemen which are already exacerbating a dire humanitarian crisis. Our support will also specifically provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps he is taking to ensure that some of the Government’s £160 million humanitarian aid package for Yemen is used to stop the spread of covid-19 in communities on both sides of the conflict; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using UN-backed Yemeni-led frameworks established by (a) the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen and (b) other private sector organisations to deliver aid to both sides.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June.

As part of this commitment, the UK will support the UN’s plans to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Yemen and expects to provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

In addition, the UK is also supporting the Yemeni Private Sector Cluster, which in April sourced a vital shipment of COVID-19 related supplies and equipment for Yemen.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of collaborating with (a) the International Initiative on covid-19 in Yemen and (b) other UN-backed Yemeni-led frameworks established by the private sector to support the WHO’s response to the covid-19 pandemic in Yemen, in order to distribute the £160 million humanitarian aid package announced by the Government on 2 June 2020.

The UK announced our new pledge of £160 million in humanitarian funding for Yemen in the 2020/21 financial year at the Yemen Pledging Conference on 2 June.

As part of this commitment, the UK will support the UN’s plans to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in Yemen and expects to provide over 700,000 medical consultations, train 12,000 healthcare workers to work safely in a COVID-19 environment and provide a much-needed boost to nearly 4,000 health centres to continue providing existing health services.

In addition, the UK is also supporting the Yemeni Private Sector Cluster, which in April sourced a vital shipment of COVID-19 related supplies and equipment for Yemen.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much Official Development Assistance has been allocated to programmes that support operational anti-narcotic services in developing countries.

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not currently spend Official Development Assistance (ODA) specifically on operational anti-narcotic services, although the Department does spend ODA to tackle the underlying drivers, enablers and consequences associated with serious and organised crime in developing countries


Other government departments and agencies with responsibility for law enforcement spend ODA on counter-narcotics programming via the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), which supports and delivers activity to tackle instability and to prevent conflicts that threaten UK interests. DFID does not keep track of this specific expenditure. Further information on CSSF ODA allocation can be found online at gov.uk.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many countries receive Official Development Assistance funding for counter-narcotic operations.

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not currently spend Official Development Assistance (ODA) specifically on operational anti-narcotic services, although the Department does spend ODA to tackle the underlying drivers, enablers and consequences associated with serious and organised crime in developing countries


Other government departments and agencies with responsibility for law enforcement spend ODA on counter-narcotics programming via the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), which supports and delivers activity to tackle instability and to prevent conflicts that threaten UK interests. DFID does not keep track of this specific expenditure. Further information on CSSF ODA allocation can be found online at gov.uk.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether tackling the (a) production and (b) trafficking of illegal drugs are conditions of the allocation of Official Development Assistance to developing countries.

The Government takes the issue of tackling the illegal production and trafficking of drugs seriously. UK Aid currently support developing nations to strengthen their law enforcement and criminal justice capability, enabling them to tackle serious organised crime more effectively.

Most evidence concludes that attaching conditions to aid does not bring about policy changes that governments were not already prioritising. Instead DFID works closely with partner governments to make a positive, evidence-based case for change.

Our assessment of a government’s commitment to reducing poverty, achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, along with respecting human rights and other international obligations is used to inform our overall strategy for engagement in all countries in which DFID has a bilateral aid partnership.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what data her Department holds on how much funding the UK has invested in Kazakhstan's energy sector in each of the last ten years.

The Department for International Trade does not produce or hold data on how much funding the UK has invested in Kazakhstan’s energy sector. However, data on UK investment is published by the Office for National Statistics, and can be accessed via the Department for International Trade and Investment Factsheets: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/trade-and-investment-factsheets

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that environmental safeguards are upheld when brokering trade agreements.

HM Government shares the public’s high regard for our nation’s environmental protections and has made clear that more trade need not come at the expense of our values.

In our trade agreements, we will seek to maintain the United Kingdom’s strong environmental protection, sovereign right to regulate in pursuit of net zero by 2050, and affirm our commitments to multilateral environment agreements, including the Paris Agreement. We will pursue mechanisms to enhance cooperation on environmental sustainability, including in biodiversity, forestry and sustainable supply chains, in the months and years ahead.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans her Department will put in place to ensure a seamless trading relationship with the US after 2035, the target date set by the US EPA to have phased out testing on mammals.

The UK and US have a strong and enduring trading relationship. The Government welcomes the decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency to end testing on mammals by 2035 and do not anticipate that this will cause any disruption to UK trade with the US.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to continue to license the sale of tear gas to Oman in light of the recent use for internal repression in Sohar.

HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish details of the (a) companies and (b) components associated with the twelve licences that her Department identified as being of potential use to the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza on 12 August 2014.

In these cases, the names of companies are commercially sensitive and will not be disclosed.

HM Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and will continue to assess all export licences in accordance with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the ‘Consolidated Criteria’). HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

We continue to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories closely, and keep relevant licences under review. We will take action to suspend, refuse or revoke licences – in line with the Consolidated Criteria – if circumstances require.

The items on the relevant twelve licences were:

Components for military aero-engines

One licence

Components for targeting equipment

Three licences

Components for military radars

Three licences

Technology for military aero-engines and technology for naval engines

One licence

Components for combat aircraft

Two licences

Components for tanks

One licence

Launching/handling/control equipment for munitions

One licence

HM Government publishes Official Statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) on export licences granted, refused and revoked to all destinations on GOV.UK containing detailed information including the overall value, type (e.g. Military, Other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
5th Jan 2022
A1
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to implement the recommendations of the Union Connectivity Review on the A1.

The Union Connectivity Review was published on 26 November 2021. The UK Government is grateful to Sir Peter Hendy for his work and will consider his recommendations carefully, working collaboratively with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive to identify the solutions that work best for the people of the UK. We intend to respond formally to the Union Connectivity Review as swiftly as possible.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps to implement the recommendations of the Union Connectivity Review on the East Coast Main Line.

The Union Connectivity Review was published on 26 November 2021. The UK Government is grateful to Sir Peter Hendy for his work and will consider his recommendations carefully, working collaboratively with the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive to identify the solutions that work best for the people of the UK. We intend to respond formally to the Union Connectivity Review as swiftly as possible.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the specified requirements are for supply boats working in the offshore renewables sector when licences are approved.

There is no direct connection between the licensing of offshore renewables projects and the standards for living and working conditions applying to supply boats working in the sector. The standards for living and working conditions for seafarers on all merchant ships is the International Labour Organization’s Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (“the MLC”). The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency has the powers to enforce the standards of the MLC on all UK flagged ships and all other merchant ships calling in UK ports or operating in UK territorial waters.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who regulates and sets the charging fees for Scottish ports.

The Harbours Act 1964 (the Act) sets out the legal framework relating to charges levied by ports and Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) across Great Britain. The functions and powers of the Secretary of State in the Act relating to charges have been devolved to Scottish Ministers for SHAs in Scotland.

The Act gives SHAs the power to levy charges for use of their harbour. It requires that certain charges of SHAs are reasonable (see section 27 of the Act) and also provides a right of objection to ship, passenger and goods dues levied by an SHA (see section 31), amongst other provisions. For SHAs in Scotland, the right of objection in section 31 is to the Scottish Ministers.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the ability of a Port Authority to discharge their public duties when the Authority is owned and operated by a Private Port Owner.

Policy and legislative responsibility in relation to Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) located in devolved administrations have largely been devolved by statute to the respective governments and legislatures. An exception is in Wales, where reserved trust ports (of which there is one, Milford Haven Port Authority) and cross-border harbours remain the responsibility of the UK government and parliament.

No formal assessment of these arrangements, which are longstanding in the case of Scotland and Northern Ireland, has been made by the Department for Transport . Any rights and powers that local authorities have over SHAs are likely to be included in the local legislation applying to individual SHAs. It should be noted that Local Authorities themselves may be SHAs for harbours and ports that they own and manage. Ministers and officials meet regularly with their DA counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) have their duties and powers to manage a harbour set out in legislation, which is a mix of local legislation specific to that SHA as well as general harbour related legislation. While the specific duties will vary from SHA to SHA, in general terms their purpose is to maintain, manage and improve the harbour which they are responsible for in the broad public interest. In England and for reserved harbours in Wales, SHAs are either private companies, independent statutory bodies known as Trust Ports or owned by Local authorities. All SHAs should act within their powers to meet their statutory duties as set out in the relevant legislation. A failure to act in accordance with those duties could lead to the SHA facing legal challenges (such as judicial review proceedings) for breach of their statutory obligations.. In 2018, the Department for Transport issued Ports Good Governance Guidance applying to all SHAs in England and Wales it has policy responsibility for setting out best practice guidance on governance and a range of other issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the rights and powers that (a) local authorities and (b) devolved legislatures have over the operations of Port Authorities.

Policy and legislative responsibility in relation to Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) located in devolved administrations have largely been devolved by statute to the respective governments and legislatures. An exception is in Wales, where reserved trust ports (of which there is one, Milford Haven Port Authority) and cross-border harbours remain the responsibility of the UK government and parliament.

No formal assessment of these arrangements, which are longstanding in the case of Scotland and Northern Ireland, has been made by the Department for Transport . Any rights and powers that local authorities have over SHAs are likely to be included in the local legislation applying to individual SHAs. It should be noted that Local Authorities themselves may be SHAs for harbours and ports that they own and manage. Ministers and officials meet regularly with their DA counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) have their duties and powers to manage a harbour set out in legislation, which is a mix of local legislation specific to that SHA as well as general harbour related legislation. While the specific duties will vary from SHA to SHA, in general terms their purpose is to maintain, manage and improve the harbour which they are responsible for in the broad public interest. In England and for reserved harbours in Wales, SHAs are either private companies, independent statutory bodies known as Trust Ports or owned by Local authorities. All SHAs should act within their powers to meet their statutory duties as set out in the relevant legislation. A failure to act in accordance with those duties could lead to the SHA facing legal challenges (such as judicial review proceedings) for breach of their statutory obligations.. In 2018, the Department for Transport issued Ports Good Governance Guidance applying to all SHAs in England and Wales it has policy responsibility for setting out best practice guidance on governance and a range of other issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what scrutiny, review or accountability there is for a Port Authority.

Policy and legislative responsibility in relation to Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) located in devolved administrations have largely been devolved by statute to the respective governments and legislatures. An exception is in Wales, where reserved trust ports (of which there is one, Milford Haven Port Authority) and cross-border harbours remain the responsibility of the UK government and parliament.

No formal assessment of these arrangements, which are longstanding in the case of Scotland and Northern Ireland, has been made by the Department for Transport . Any rights and powers that local authorities have over SHAs are likely to be included in the local legislation applying to individual SHAs. It should be noted that Local Authorities themselves may be SHAs for harbours and ports that they own and manage. Ministers and officials meet regularly with their DA counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) have their duties and powers to manage a harbour set out in legislation, which is a mix of local legislation specific to that SHA as well as general harbour related legislation. While the specific duties will vary from SHA to SHA, in general terms their purpose is to maintain, manage and improve the harbour which they are responsible for in the broad public interest. In England and for reserved harbours in Wales, SHAs are either private companies, independent statutory bodies known as Trust Ports or owned by Local authorities. All SHAs should act within their powers to meet their statutory duties as set out in the relevant legislation. A failure to act in accordance with those duties could lead to the SHA facing legal challenges (such as judicial review proceedings) for breach of their statutory obligations.. In 2018, the Department for Transport issued Ports Good Governance Guidance applying to all SHAs in England and Wales it has policy responsibility for setting out best practice guidance on governance and a range of other issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the principal duties and role is of a Port Authority.

Policy and legislative responsibility in relation to Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) located in devolved administrations have largely been devolved by statute to the respective governments and legislatures. An exception is in Wales, where reserved trust ports (of which there is one, Milford Haven Port Authority) and cross-border harbours remain the responsibility of the UK government and parliament.

No formal assessment of these arrangements, which are longstanding in the case of Scotland and Northern Ireland, has been made by the Department for Transport . Any rights and powers that local authorities have over SHAs are likely to be included in the local legislation applying to individual SHAs. It should be noted that Local Authorities themselves may be SHAs for harbours and ports that they own and manage. Ministers and officials meet regularly with their DA counterparts to discuss matters of mutual interest.

Statutory Harbour Authorities (SHAs) have their duties and powers to manage a harbour set out in legislation, which is a mix of local legislation specific to that SHA as well as general harbour related legislation. While the specific duties will vary from SHA to SHA, in general terms their purpose is to maintain, manage and improve the harbour which they are responsible for in the broad public interest. In England and for reserved harbours in Wales, SHAs are either private companies, independent statutory bodies known as Trust Ports or owned by Local authorities. All SHAs should act within their powers to meet their statutory duties as set out in the relevant legislation. A failure to act in accordance with those duties could lead to the SHA facing legal challenges (such as judicial review proceedings) for breach of their statutory obligations.. In 2018, the Department for Transport issued Ports Good Governance Guidance applying to all SHAs in England and Wales it has policy responsibility for setting out best practice guidance on governance and a range of other issues.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on competition policy of the major ports on the Clyde and Forth being owned by the operators of larger ports in the Mersey and in Tilbury.

This Department has not made an assessment of this matter as it is not the competition regulator for the maritime sector. Any evidence of alleged anti-competitive behaviour can be reported to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reviewing (a) the application of the working time directive and (b) drivers' hours regulations in the context of time travelling with a vehicle on a short ferry crossing being interpreted as working time.

The retained EU drivers’ hours rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) and the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 are based on well-established international rules that ensure drivers of in scope vehicles are not required to drive and work excessively long hours. We have no current plans to review these rules in the context of short ferry crossings. Currently, drivers on a short ferry crossing can record any time where they are not doing any work as either a ‘break period’ or a ‘period of availability’. The times of breaks, rests, and periods of availability are not included in the calculation of working time.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to make an assessment of the potential merits of reviewing (a) the application of the working time directive and (b) drivers' hours regulations for circumstances in which drivers are in remote areas but able to conclude their journey within a further short time window.

The retained EU drivers’ hours rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) and the Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 are based on well-established international rules that ensure drivers of in scope vehicles are not required to drive and work excessively long hours. We have no current plans to review these rules to cover circumstances in which drivers are travelling in remote areas. Drivers and operators should plan journeys to ensure that they can be completed within the rules, including making allowances for required rest periods and typical traffic. We understand that drivers may be subject to unforeseeable events; in such circumstances, as long as road safety is not jeopardised, the retained EU drivers’ hours rules do permit a driver to temporarily extend their driving time to reach a suitable stopping place, to the extent necessary to ensure the safety of persons, of the vehicle or its load. In addition, changes to the retained EU drivers’ hours rules, which came into force in August 2020, now allow drivers, in exceptional circumstances, to extend their driving time up to two hours to reach their place of work or their home to take their weekly rest, again as long as road safety is not jeopardised. Drivers must note all the reasons for doing so on the back of their tachograph record sheets. The retained EU drivers’ hours rules already provide plenty of flexibility for drivers and also allow the Department to make temporary relaxations in urgent and exceptional circumstances.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the operation and uptake of Road to Logistics in Scotland.

Road to Logistics is working with two hauliers based in Scotland and has identified candidates to undertake the training.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received from the Scottish Government on the devolution of Network Rail.

Under current rail legislation, Scottish Ministers are responsible for setting the strategy for rail in Scotland. Scottish Ministers have well established relationships with Network Rail at a regional level and with the UK executive team and hold regular discussions.

The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail includes a commitment to work with Transport Scotland to enable the railway in Scotland to benefit from the reforms on the wider network of Great Britain.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the number of private cars per 10,000 of the population is in (a) Glasgow, (b) Newcastle, (c) Liverpool, (d) Manchester, (e) Bradford and (f) Bristol.

The number of privately-kept cars at the end of June 2021, and the mid-year population estimates for 2020 are outlined below:

Local authority area

Privately-kept cars per 10,000 capita

Number of privately-kept cars at the end of June 2021 a

Total mid-year population estimate for 2020 b

City of Bradford

3,701

200,623

542,128

City of Bristol

3,781

176,161

465,866

City of Glasgow

2,982

189,531

635,640

Liverpool

2,875

143,911

500,474

Manchester

2,734

151,934

555,741

Newcastle upon Tyne

3,028

92,895

306,824

a. Sourced from DVLA data, based on registration address. Excludes company-kept cars registered in each local authority

b. Sourced from ONS Mid-Year Population Estimates

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing a sleeper train service from Scotland to the European continent.

The Government supports the future growth and success of international passenger rail services, which provide many benefits for passengers, businesses and the wider economy including significant environmental benefits.

The Government regularly engages with international partners, as well as industry, to discuss and encourage the expansion of international rail connections to Europe. The Government stands ready to engage with other partners and private operators to facilitate potential new sleeper services, where there is a commercial proposition to do so.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department is taking steps to provide a replacement for the EU Motorway of the Seas funding that was available to ports and ship operators for the establishment of ferry services.

EU Motorways of the Sea funding is provided by the Connecting Europe Facility Transport programme (CEF-T), which focused its funding on major cross-border links for surface transport. Given the limited nature of cross-border surface routes between the UK and EU, CEF-T receipts for UK entities have been far less than for EU Member States. Consequently, the Government decided to end participation in the CEF programme.

The Maritime sector is largely private in the UK so decisions on establishment and funding of international ferry routes are for individual companies operating in the market.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations he has received from the Scottish Government on financial support for (a) ports and (b) ship operators in connection with services from Scotland to the European continent.

We have not received representations from the Scottish Government on financial support for (a) ports and (b) ship operators in connection with services from Scotland to the European continent.

However, any such service would have to operate on a commercially viable basis and this would be a matter for any prospective ferry operator to consider.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to an Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle service, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of Transport Scotland's decision not to proceed with plans for that service in favour of the stopping of fast-through services at several stations.

Department for Transport officials have had several meetings with Transport Scotland and Network Rail officials with regards to the Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle passenger rail service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made since 2018 of the potential merits of an Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle rail service.

Department for Transport officials have had several meetings with Transport Scotland and Network Rail officials with regards to the Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle passenger rail service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Government and (b) Transport Scotland on an Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle rail service.

Department for Transport officials have had several meetings with Transport Scotland and Network Rail officials with regards to the Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle passenger rail service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent representations he has received from the Scottish Government on (a) timetabling changes on the East Coast Main Line and (b) the effect of those changes on services within the Edinburgh-Newcastle corridor.

Department for Transport officials have had several meetings with Transport Scotland and Network Rail officials with regards to the Edinburgh to Berwick and Newcastle passenger rail service.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have died by suicide on the railways in each quarter since 2015.

Quarterly statistics are not available. ORR publish National Statistics on annual suicides or suspected suicides on mainline rail and the London Underground:

https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/health-and-safety/rail-safety/

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to upgrade the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and Newcastle.

The current East Coast Main Line Enhancements Programme will already improve services between Edinburgh, Newcastle and south towards London, with more seats and regular faster trains in a new timetable expected to operate from May 2022. The Department is working closely with stakeholders to explore opportunities to further improve performance on the East Coast Main Line, and is currently awaiting the outputs of Network Rail’s analysis of capacity constraints on the route between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

In addition, the Union Connectivity Review, led by Sir Peter Hendy and expected to report in the summer, will make recommendations on how connectivity can be improved between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Government and (b) Transport Scotland on improvements on the East Coast Main Line.

The East Coast Main Line Enhancements Programme and roll-out of Azuma trains will improve services between Edinburgh, Newcastle and south towards London, with more seats and regular faster trains in a new timetable expected to operate from May 2022. Officials have been in regular contact with Transport Scotland to ensure that operators under contract to the Department for Transport can support intermediate connections, for example to Scotland’s new station at Reston, until such time as Transport Scotland is able to provide the services.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is taking to approve plans for the Drink Drive Rehabilitation course to be delivered online.

The Drink Drive rehabilitation (DDR) course was designed to be delivered in face-to-face group sessions and has been evaluated as successfully reducing repeat drink-drive offences by those who have completed the course.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is reviewing whether courses could be delivered entirely on-line with the same success rate for reducing repeat drink-drive offences as the current classroom-based course.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Road Safety statement of July 2019, what progress his Department has made on setting up a Rural Road Users Advisory Panel.

The Department for Transport has commenced with initial scoping work on a Rural Roads Working Group. The focus of this group is to bring together a range of groups to better understand the diverse issues of road safety in rural areas.

Work will continue to be progressed as quickly as possible once the current focus on handling the COVID-19 crisis and our recovery has eased.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Road Safety statement of July 2019, what progress his Department has made on the introduction of a mandatory eyesight test at the age of 70 and every three years thereafter.

As part of the Road Safety Statement, the Department has commissioned research to explore visual impairments and road casualties, and to understand the extent to which driver eyesight problems or visual impairments pose a road safety risk in the UK. This research is nearing completion and the findings will be used to consider if there is a need to introduce a mandatory eyesight test at the age of 70 and every three years thereafter.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to review (a) regulations and (b) guidance on driving with defective eyesight.

In July 2019, the Department for Transport published its Road Safety Statement and two-year action plan to address road safety issues. The work being undertaken includes consideration of the arrangements for assessing eyesight for drivers who may pose a risk to road safety. The statement can be found online at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/road-safety-statement-2019-a-lifetime-of-road-safety

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to allow participants in drink driving awareness courses to complete their required attendance.

In line with the Government’s guidance on social distancing, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has advised drink drive rehabilitation (DDR) course providers not to start any new classroom-based rehabilitation courses, until further notice. Offenders who have already taken the first, or first and second day of a three-day DDR course, can complete their course remotely on a suitable digital platform.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what information he holds on the effect of built-in infotainment systems on levels of vehicle safety; and whether he has issued guidance on the (a) development and (b) use of those systems.

The Department holds limited information currently on the safety of in-vehicle infotainment systems. The Department commissioned fundamental research in the late 1990s with TRL Ltd that coincided with the rapid development of such systems, and satellite navigation devices.

This research formed the basis for wider activity across a number of countries and resulted in the “European Statement of Principles on Human Machine Interface”.

The Department is aware of the recently published report from IAM RoadSmart and will be reviewing it in detail. The Highway Code already warns drivers about the danger of driver distraction, reminds them of the importance of exercising proper control of their vehicle at all times and advises them to stop if they need to look at screen-based information.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 2016, what funds (a) have been or (b) will be provided to the Scottish Government from the Ports Infrastructure and Connectivity and Resilience Fund as a (i) direct or (ii) consequential payment.

The Government announced on the 30 August 2019 £30m worth of funding for upgrades to port infrastructure, road and rail links and to build resilience within local government, which included the £10m Ports Infrastructure and Connectivity and Resilience Fund. This funding was related to English ports and Local Resilience Forums only.

As with all funding of this nature the Devolved Administrations received consequential allocations based on the Barnett formula directly related to the amount allocated to this port infrastructure funding package. The amount allocated to Scotland was £2.9m.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications have been received; which organisations made those applications; to the Ports Infrastructure and Connectivity and Resilience Fund; and how much has been paid from that Fund to date.

My Department received 28 Ports Infrastructure and Connectivity and Resilience Fund applications. They were from Bristol, Dover, Falmouth, Felixstowe, Harwich, Heysham, Hull, Immingham, Ipswich, Kings Lynn, Lancaster, Liverpool, London Gateway, Newhaven, Pembroke Dock, Plymouth, Poole, Port of London, Portland, Portsmouth, Sheerness, Shoreham, Southampton, Teesport, Thames Oilport, Thamesport, Tilbury, and Tyne.

So far a total of £265,458.50 in grants has been paid to the successful applicants who have completed their projects and provided fully verified expenditure documentation for these projects. We expect that this amount will increase rapidly over the next month or so as my Department receives, and is able to verify, the relevant documentation from the remaining successful applicants.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to reduce the drink driving limit.

There are no immediate plans to lower the drink drive limit in England and Wales. The Government believes that rigorous enforcement and serious penalties for drink drivers are a more effective deterrent than changing the drink driving limit.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to devolve the powers to vary penalties for the offence of drink driving to the Scottish Parliament; and if he will make a statement.

The Scotland Act 2012 provided amendments to the original 1998 Scotland Act which included devolving the power to prescribe drink driving limits in Scotland.

There are currently no plans to devolve the powers to vary penalties.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of making 20mph the default speed limit on urban and restricted roads.

Local traffic authorities are best placed to set local speed limits based on local needs and priorities. The Government has no plans to consider making 20mph the default speed limit on urban and restricted roads in England. Setting national speed limits in Scotland and in Wales are matters for the Scottish and Welsh governments respectively.

In November 2018, the Department published its comprehensive three-year study of the effect of 20 mph limits. The report is available online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/20-mph-speed-limits-on-roads.

Some of the key findings from the research include that 20mph limits are supported by most residents and drivers, and that introducing a 20mph limit may reduce traffic speed by around 1 mph. Encouragingly, vehicles travelling at higher speeds before the introduction of the 20mph limit have reduced their speed more than those already travelling at lower speeds. However, there is not enough evidence to conclude that that there has been a significant change in collisions and casualties following the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people and what proportion of the total population of Scotland are in receipt of a state pension; and what the total value was of state pension paid to those pensioners living in Scotland in the 2020-21 financial year.

In the quarter from November 2020 to February 2021 there were 979,217 individuals in receipt of State Pension in Scotland. This information can be accessed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1015080/state-pension-statistics-to-february-2021-revised.ods

We cannot provide the information on what proportion of the total population of Scotland are in receipt of state pension as we only hold information on customers.

The Scottish Government published a forecast of State Pension expenditure in Scotland for 2020/21 of £8,517m. This can be found here:

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2020-21 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations she has had from the Scottish Government on further devolution of social security benefits in Scotland.

The timescale for the introduction of the Scottish Government’s replacement disability benefits is a matter for the Scottish Government. The Department is in regular discussions at ministerial, policy and operational level with their Scottish Government counterparts to ensure a safe and secure transition to the Scottish Government’s replacement benefits when they are introduced. There have been no formal representations received on the further devolution of social security in Scotland. This Government’s priority is ensuring the successful transfer of the social security benefits already devolved to Scotland under the Scotland Act 2016.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Government on the transfer of responsibility for personal independence payments.

The timescale for the introduction of the Scottish Government’s replacement disability benefits is a matter for the Scottish Government. The Department is in regular discussions at ministerial, policy and operational level with their Scottish Government counterparts to ensure a safe and secure transition to the Scottish Government’s replacement benefits when they are introduced. There have been no formal representations received on the further devolution of social security in Scotland. This Government’s priority is ensuring the successful transfer of the social security benefits already devolved to Scotland under the Scotland Act 2016.

8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timescale is for replacing personal independence payments in Scotland with the Scottish Government's disability assistance benefit.

The timescale for the introduction of the Scottish Government’s replacement disability benefits is a matter for the Scottish Government. The Department is in regular discussions at ministerial, policy and operational level with their Scottish Government counterparts to ensure a safe and secure transition to the Scottish Government’s replacement benefits when they are introduced. There have been no formal representations received on the further devolution of social security in Scotland. This Government’s priority is ensuring the successful transfer of the social security benefits already devolved to Scotland under the Scotland Act 2016.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons payments from the (a) Armed Forces Pension Scheme and (b) War Pension Scheme that are paid out early due to injury in service are treated as income when being assessed for universal credit.

Payments made under the War Pension Scheme or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme are not taken into account as income in Universal Credit.

Income-related benefits already partially disregard War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments for injuries and bereavement. With the introduction of Universal Credit, we have gone a step further, and have ensured that War Pensions and all Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments are fully disregarded in the assessment of income for Universal Credit.

All other regular, occupational and personal pension payments, that are designed to provide support to help people meet their living costs, are taken fully into account in the assessment of entitlement to Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's announcement that £375 million will be made available for research into neurodegenerative diseases, published on 14 November 2021, whether the new Motor Neurone Disease Research Unit will focus on human relevant methods such as the use of advanced cultures of human cells and tissues, artificial intelligence and organ-on-a-chip technology.

The Government delivers research on motor neurone disease (MND) through the Department of Health and Social Care, via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The Government has committed £50 million for MND research over the next five years through the NIHR and UKRI and to establish the NIHR’s MND Research Unit to coordinate innovative research applications.

The NIHR and UKRI rely on researchers submitting high-quality applications to access funding. The usual practice of the NIHR and UKRI is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics, such as research on advanced cultures of human cells and tissues. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. We are launching a MND partnership call across Government and charity funders to support collaboration and accelerate the delivery of new treatments.

The NIHR’s funding is focused on translational, clinical and applied health and care research. Research on the use of advanced cultures of human cells and tissues and organ-on-a-chip technology will therefore not be in the remit of the NIHR’s MND Research Unit. The NIHR has funding streams to support health and care research that involves artificial intelligence.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's announcement that £375 million will be made available for research into neurodegenerative diseases, published on 14 November 2021, how much and what proportion of that funding will support research that uses New Approach Methodologies (NAMs), such as the use of advanced cultures of human cells and tissues, artificial intelligence and organ-on-a-chip technology.

The Government delivers research on motor neurone disease (MND) through the Department of Health and Social Care, via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and through the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The Government has committed £50 million for MND research over the next five years through the NIHR and UKRI and to establish the NIHR’s MND Research Unit to coordinate innovative research applications.

The NIHR and UKRI rely on researchers submitting high-quality applications to access funding. The usual practice of the NIHR and UKRI is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics, such as research on advanced cultures of human cells and tissues. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. We are launching a MND partnership call across Government and charity funders to support collaboration and accelerate the delivery of new treatments.

The NIHR’s funding is focused on translational, clinical and applied health and care research. Research on the use of advanced cultures of human cells and tissues and organ-on-a-chip technology will therefore not be in the remit of the NIHR’s MND Research Unit. The NIHR has funding streams to support health and care research that involves artificial intelligence.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress has been made on Committee on Toxicity’s review of the toxicological risks associated with oral nicotine pouches; and what the planned timetable is for completion of that review.

The Committee on Toxicity of Food, Consumer Products and the Environment is considering tobacco-free oral nicotine pouches and the review is in progress. An initial discussion paper was presented to the Committee in May 2021 and further information was requested. This information is being prepared. It is currently estimated this work will be completed in mid-2022.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many equines were slaughtered in UK abattoirs in 2020; and how many of those equines held horse passports issued by Weatherbys passport issuing agencies.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) holds the responsibility for delivering Official Controls in abattoirs in England and Wales. Official Controls in Northern Ireland are delivered by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on behalf of the FSA. No equines have been slaughtered in Northern Ireland in 2020. We are unable to provide figures on the slaughter of equines in Scotland as this is a matter for Food Standards Scotland. The number of horses slaughtered in England and Wales in 2020 is 1,314.

The FSA is unable to provide the information requested regarding Weatherbys passport issuing agency as it would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of Weatherbys as a Passport Issuing Organisation.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities on protecting children from alcohol marketing to support their health and wellbeing.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) is a part of the Department on improving the nation’s health and taking action on health disparities. This includes tackling alcohol-related health harms.

Officials within OHID continue to work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on its advertising policy to address concerns over promotions, advertising and marketing relating to alcohol, particularly to ensure that children and young people are suitably protected.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what representations his Department has received from the Scottish Government on provisions on the control of advertising of (a) alcohol and (b) other products within the Health and Social Care Bill which was introduced on 6 July 2021.

The Department has not received any representations from the Scottish Government about provisions on the control of advertising of alcohol within the Health and Care Bill. The Bill proposes new restrictions on the advertising of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar, across the United Kingdom. We have discussed these proposals with the Scottish Government prior to introduction and will continue engagement across the entire Health and Care Bill as it progresses through Parliament.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on public health of freezes on spirits duty over the last seven years.

In 2016, Public Health England (PHE) published ‘The public health burden of alcohol: evidence review’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-public-health-burden-of-alcohol-evidence-review

This review looked at the impact of alcohol on the public health and the effectiveness of alcohol control policies, including taxation and price regulation. Several factors can influence alcohol’s affordability, such as income, cost-of-living and levels of alcohol duty. When looking at changes in the affordability of alcohol around the time of the duty escalator, the review found that between 2008 and 2012, the affordability of alcohol decreased substantially more than household incomes. This suggests that of all the economic factors that can influence alcohol consumption, the 2% duty escalator could have had a bigger effect than other factors. PHE continues to keep the evidence under review.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research his Department holds on the effect of alcohol consumption on the efficacy of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NIHR is funding a wide portfolio of research on COVID-19 vaccination but has not commissioned any specific research on the effect of alcohol consumption on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to ensure that the outdated Chief Medical Officers' low-risk drinking guidelines are removed alcohol labels.

The Department has worked with industry to ensure that alcohol labels reflect the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines for drinks produced after 1 September 2019. The Portman Group who are the regulator for alcohol labelling, packaging and promotion in the UK has committed to comply with this requirement. Local trading standards have powers to remove products produced after the 1 September 2019 that contain the old guidelines on the labels.

Any products produced before 1 September 2019 particularly those which may stay on shelf for a number of years, can continue to be sold until stocks are exhausted as is general practice around any new labelling arrangements, because labels were correct at time of production.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether the September 2019 deadline to remove the outdated Chief Medical Officers' low-risk drinking guidelines from alcohol labels has been met.

The Department has worked with industry to ensure that alcohol labels reflect the United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers’ Low Risk Drinking Guidelines for drinks produced after 1 September 2019. The Portman Group who are the regulator for alcohol labelling, packaging and promotion in the UK has committed to comply with this requirement. Local trading standards have powers to remove products produced after the 1 September 2019 that contain the old guidelines on the labels.

Any products produced before 1 September 2019 particularly those which may stay on shelf for a number of years, can continue to be sold until stocks are exhausted as is general practice around any new labelling arrangements, because labels were correct at time of production.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the covid-19 diagnostic antibody tests being (a) evaluated and (b) supported by the Government contain animal-derived antibodies.

The Government is backing efforts to develop a homegrown antibody test. A business consortium, UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), including Oxford University, Abingdon Health, BBI Solutions and CIGA Healthcare has launched, in order to design and develop a new antibody test to determine whether people have had the virus. The development of this test will not involve testing on animals.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the use of animals in the creation of diagnostic antibody tests for covid-19.

The Government is backing efforts to develop a homegrown antibody test. A business consortium, UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), including Oxford University, Abingdon Health, BBI Solutions and CIGA Healthcare has launched, in order to design and develop a new antibody test to determine whether people have had the virus. The development of this test will not involve testing on animals.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which species of animals are being used in the creation of tests for covid-19; and for what reasons.

The Government is backing efforts to develop a homegrown antibody test. A business consortium, UK Rapid Test Consortium (UK-RTC), including Oxford University, Abingdon Health, BBI Solutions and CIGA Healthcare has launched, in order to design and develop a new antibody test to determine whether people have had the virus. The development of this test will not involve testing on animals.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what drugs were used to treat people exposed to Novichock in Wiltshire in 2019; and what testing those drugs were subject to.

Only medicines licensed for use either as recognised treatments for organophosphate poisoning, or ordinarily used for supportive care in normal resuscitative and intensive care practice were used to treat those symptomatic people recognised as having been exposed to Novichok nerve agent.

For all licensed medicines, robust scientific data is required to demonstrate that the products meet acceptable standards of safety, quality and efficacy before they are placed on the market.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down is evaluating antibody tests for covid-19; whether those tests contain antibodies derived from animals; and what steps his Department is taking to use non-animal alternatives to antibody production.

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is part of the Ministry of Defence. The Dstl is evaluating commercial antibody test kits from around the world, in support of the Department of Health and Social Care.

Evaluation of tests and their contents is ongoing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he provide details of the British embassies and consulates that used St Andrew's Night 2021 as an opportunity to promote Scotland.

The United Kingdom's diplomatic and trade network overseas promotes the interests and diversity of the whole of the UK to other countries. This includes, but is not limited to, promoting Scotland at events hosted to mark St Andrew's Day and Burns Night.

We do not hold a central log of all such events hosted across the world. In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many UK missions overseas promoted Burns Night and Scotland virtually through social media.

In 2022, like every year, our diplomatic network will be encouraged to use Burns Night and St Andrew's Day to promote Scottish culture, tourism, produce and trade and investment.

In addition to Burns Night and St Andrew's Day events, our overseas network continuously looks to promote Scotland and Scottish interests overseas throughout the year. In October, the Foreign Secretary and Lord Offord used their visit to India, the UK's second biggest investor, to promote Scottish engineering, business and exports, including whisky. UK missions overseas also used Glasgow's hosting of COP26 to increase Scotland's international profile.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps British embassies and consulates are taking to promote Scotland through Burns Night celebrations in their place of location.

The United Kingdom's diplomatic and trade network overseas promotes the interests and diversity of the whole of the UK to other countries. This includes, but is not limited to, promoting Scotland at events hosted to mark St Andrew's Day and Burns Night.

We do not hold a central log of all such events hosted across the world. In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many UK missions overseas promoted Burns Night and Scotland virtually through social media.

In 2022, like every year, our diplomatic network will be encouraged to use Burns Night and St Andrew's Day to promote Scottish culture, tourism, produce and trade and investment.

In addition to Burns Night and St Andrew's Day events, our overseas network continuously looks to promote Scotland and Scottish interests overseas throughout the year. In October, the Foreign Secretary and Lord Offord used their visit to India, the UK's second biggest investor, to promote Scottish engineering, business and exports, including whisky. UK missions overseas also used Glasgow's hosting of COP26 to increase Scotland's international profile.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which British embassies and consulates plan to (a) host or (b) support Burns nights in 2022.

The United Kingdom's diplomatic and trade network overseas promotes the interests and diversity of the whole of the UK to other countries. This includes, but is not limited to, promoting Scotland at events hosted to mark St Andrew's Day and Burns Night.

We do not hold a central log of all such events hosted across the world. In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many UK missions overseas promoted Burns Night and Scotland virtually through social media.

In 2022, like every year, our diplomatic network will be encouraged to use Burns Night and St Andrew's Day to promote Scottish culture, tourism, produce and trade and investment.

In addition to Burns Night and St Andrew's Day events, our overseas network continuously looks to promote Scotland and Scottish interests overseas throughout the year. In October, the Foreign Secretary and Lord Offord used their visit to India, the UK's second biggest investor, to promote Scottish engineering, business and exports, including whisky. UK missions overseas also used Glasgow's hosting of COP26 to increase Scotland's international profile.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when the Government last allocated funding to support Somaliland's police rapid response unit.

UK funding for Somaliland's Police Rapid Reaction Unit ended in March 2020. Our efforts to improve Somaliland's security sector now focus on support for the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Somaliland Police (through the Counter Terrorism Programme Fund). With UK support, the CTU has successfully established and staffed a state-of-the-art investigation and detentions facility. The CTU has also achieved significant operational successes, including the prosecution of a large number of high-interest terrorism cases.

Tackling Al Shabaab is one of the UK's top international counter-terrorism priorities, as we seek to keep the UK and our interests at home and overseas safe from the threat of terrorism.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the strength of relations between Hamas and Qatar and (b) the potential effect of those relations on the strength of the UK's relations with Qatar.

The long-standing friendship between the UK and Qatar is more important than ever. We look forward to our continued collaboration to strengthen our shared security interests for both regional and global stability. Our position on Hamas is clear and public; we condemn Hamas' continued attacks against civilians which are unacceptable and unjustifiable. Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements. We call on those in the region with influence over Hamas to encourage them to take these steps.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much public funding the Government has provided for the staffing costs of the Somalian police's Goodir Unit.

The UK is working with the Somali Police to improve their capability and capacity for investigating and stopping terrorist threats, in line with international human rights standards. Our support builds on the Somali Police Force's capability to combat the threat from Al Shabaab and strengthens compliance with international human rights standards. It complements other counter-terrorism work the UK conducts in the region in line with the UK's international counter-terrorism priorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much financial assistance the Government has provided to the Somalian police's Goodir Unit.

The UK is working with the Somali Police to improve their capability and capacity for investigating and stopping terrorist threats, in line with international human rights standards. Our support builds on the Somali Police Force's capability to combat the threat from Al Shabaab and strengthens compliance with international human rights standards. It complements other counter-terrorism work the UK conducts in the region in line with the UK's international counter-terrorism priorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has provided financial assistance to the Somalian police's Goodir Unit.

The UK is working with the Somali Police to improve their capability and capacity for investigating and stopping terrorist threats, in line with international human rights standards. Our support builds on the Somali Police Force's capability to combat the threat from Al Shabaab and strengthens compliance with international human rights standards. It compliments other counter-terrorism work the UK conducts in the region in line with the UK's international counter-terrorism priorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on what date the British High Commission in Colombo formally notified Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police that Police Scotland had decided to pause its programme of work with Sri Lanka.

The British High Commission in Colombo formally notified Sri Lanka's Inspector General of Police that Police Scotland had decided to pause its programme of work with Sri Lanka on 2 July 2021. The training has focused on developing community policing, supporting women in the Sri Lankan police service, and improving the response to sexual and gender-based violence. Our police training is currently undergoing a review. Police Scotland officers have not travelled to Sri Lanka since the start of the coronavirus pandemic for public health reasons.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2021 to Question 7945 on Oman: Public Order, which Omani security units did the PSNI deliver public order training to through the Gulf Strategy Fund from December 2020 to March 2021.

The FCDO's International Programme (IP), and within it the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF), is a vital tool in promoting positive change and reforms across the world, including in the Gulf. Our programmes help our partners to continue their human rights reform, address key climate change and green growth opportunities and challenges, tackle illicit finance, improve marine conservation, promote economic diversification, promote diversity and inclusion including on LGBTQ+ rights, and develop their institutions.

All cooperation through the IP, including the GSF, is subject to rigorous risk assessments to ensure all work meets our human rights obligations and our values. The Government does not shy away from raising legitimate human rights concerns, and encourage other states to respect international law.

We now publish an annual summary of the GSF's work on gov.uk. We will not publish further information where doing so presents risks to our staff, programme suppliers and beneficiaries, or which may impact our relationships with our international partners, and therefore our ability to influence their reform efforts.

We will provide updates on an annual basis.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish a copy of the letter sent from Police Scotland's ACC Gary Ritchie to the British High Commission in Colombo on 28 May 2021 on the decision to pause activities with Sri Lanka police.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has no plans to publish this correspondence. The UK's police training programme has focused on developing community policing, supporting women in the Sri Lankan police service, and improving the response to sexual and gender-based violence. All UK assistance is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. Our police training is currently undergoing a review. Police Scotland officers have not travelled to Sri Lanka since the start of the coronavirus pandemic for public health reasons. More information on our programme work can be found online.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish a copy of the letter supplied by Police Scotland on 10 June 2021 to the British High Commission in Colombo giving formal notification of the pause of the programme of work being undertaken by Police Scotland in Sri Lanka; and whether that letter was faxed to the Inspector General of Sri Lanka Police.

The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has no plans to publish this correspondence. The UK's police training programme has focused on developing community policing, supporting women in the Sri Lankan police service, and improving the response to sexual and gender-based violence. All UK assistance is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. Our police training is currently undergoing a review. Police Scotland officers have not travelled to Sri Lanka since the start of the coronavirus pandemic for public health reasons. More information on our programme work can be found online.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many members of Mali's security forces the UK has helped to train since 2013; and what the cost of that training has been.

The UK is committed to long-term peace and security in Mali and the wider region, including through training of Mali's security and defence forces. Our training is focussed on gender sensitisation, compliance of international humanitarian law, and protection of civilians. We also support the reduction in threats from serious and organised crime and corruption, including through capacity building of security forces. Following the military coups in August 2020 and May 2021 we temporarily suspended training of the security forces. We do not have easy access to figures from 2013. We did not have a UK diplomatic presence in Mali until 2015, with our conflict, stability and security programming starting shortly after. Since Financial Year 2018/19 we have trained around 150 security personnel at a cost of circa £850k.

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to Saudi individuals connected to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by the UK sanctions list, what assessment he has made of whether those individuals had any form of contact with Government (a) members and (b) officials prior to October 2018.

Those sanctioned by the UK held formal roles within the Saudi government. Several had roles that entailed international engagement and they met a range of international interlocutors prior to October 2018.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of Saudi Arabian intelligence officers on the UK sanctions list who have received security training from the UK armed forces or police or intelligence services between 2013 and 2017.

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)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports by Human Rights Watch that torture is being practised at a Saudi-run prison camp at Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen.

The UK condemns all alleged human rights violations in Yemen and urges the parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and uphold their responsibilities under relevant international law.

We regularly raise the importance of complying with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) with the Saudi Arabian Government and other members of the Coalition, including requesting investigations into alleged incidents of concern. The Foreign Secretary raised IHL with Saudi National Security Advisor al-Aiban during his visit to Saudi Arabia on 7 June.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the UK Government trained any members of the Saudi Royal Guard Rapid Intervention Force in each year from 2013 to 2017.

The UK Government did not provide training to the group known as the Rapid Intervention Force between 2013 and 2017.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which organisations are being paid through the Gulf Strategy Fund to support economic reform in Oman.

In the 2020/21 financial year, the Gulf Strategy Fund worked with TetraTech International, HMRC, Plexal, CyLon and Imperial College London to support economic reform programmes in Oman.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the establishment of a new joint Royal Air Force and Qatari air force squadron, what assessment he has made of the extent of Qatar's support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

We have not made a recent assessment of this. All relevant considerations were taken into account when deciding to establish joint squadrons with Qatar. The long-standing friendship between the UK and Qatar is more important than ever. With shared defence and security interests, it is vital we work together for both regional and global stability.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the establishment of a new joint Royal Air Force and Qatari air force squadron, what assessment he has made of the extent of Qatar's support to al-Nusrah Front in Syria.

We have not made a recent assessment of this. All relevant considerations were taken into account when deciding to establish joint squadrons with Qatar. The long-standing friendship between the UK and Qatar is more important than ever. With shared defence and security interests, it is vital we work together for both regional and global stability.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Gulf Strategy Fund, what steps he is taking to support economic reform in Oman.

The UK works closely with Oman on economic reform in support of Oman's Vision 2040. Through the Gulf Strategy Fund we are sharing UK expertise and best practice in a number of areas including economic diversification.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has visited the property in his constituency that is reportedly owned by Oman’s Royal Office minister.

We have no record of the Foreign Secretary visiting this property.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which senior officials from his Department attended the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on 5-6 January 2019.

Richard Moore, then FCO Political Director, attended.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Gulf Strategy Fund and previous programmes, when the UK last assisted Oman in public order training.

The Gulf Strategy Fund was used to deliver a Public Order and Public Safety Training project in Oman from December 2020 to March 2021.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 May 2021 to Question 460 on Sri Lanka: Community Policing, what the criteria will be for resuming the UK's police training in Sri Lanka as covid-19 restrictions are eased; and whether the continued presence of Dilum Amunugama as Sri Lanka's Minister of Community Police Services will be a factor in those criteria.

The UK's current police training in Sri Lanka has focused on prevention and investigation of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, and promoting gender equality and women's representation in the Sri Lankan police service. Due to Covid-19, many of the training activities have been paused, with the exception of work at the local level to respond to, and support, victims of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence.

All police training is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance, to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. Any future training will be subject to OSJA review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the remarks of Sri Lanka's Minister of Community Police Services, Dilum Amunugama, on Sri Lanka's president acting like Adolf Hitler on 12 April 2021, what assessment he has made of the appropriateness of the UK providing Sri Lanka with community policing training.

All UK police assistance in Sri Lanka is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations.

The UK's current police training in Sri Lanka is focused on prevention and investigation of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, and promoting gender equality and women's representation in the Sri Lankan police service. Due to Covid-19, many of the training activities have been paused, with the exception of work at the local level to support victims of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason his Department's then director general for political affairs Richard Moore not register the hospitality he received at the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on 5-6 January 2019.

As per FCDO Senior Officials' Guidance, we do not disclose hospitality from other Governments whether in or outside the UK.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many staff have been on (a) secondment and (b) internship to his Department from (i) the Scottish Government and (ii) Crown and Prosecutor Fiscal Service in each year since 2011; how long on average each such position was held for; and what role each such member of staff performed.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office are currently operating on legacy systems, which captures staff data using different criteria. Therefore this information is not held centrally for all staff.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether it is the Government's policy to maintain its aid spending on education in northwest Syria as part of his Department's prioritisation exercise.

Tackling the humanitarian impact of the Syria Crisis remains a priority for the FCDO. The UK is one of the largest donors to the Syrian humanitarian response having committed over £3.3 billion since 2012 and the UK is also one of the leading donors on education in North West Syria. The FCDO is in the process of assessing the impact of the ODA budget reduction on the UK's aid expenditure in Syria

To date, the UK's Syria Education Programme is the UK's largest bilateral education programme and has supported over 401,235 (49.6% female) children in the North West. This programme has improved access to the teaching profession, supported schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, financially supported stipends for thousands of teachers and most importantly, supported children's access to high quality education and psycho social care.

The regime's brutal targeting of schools is appalling. Many children have had their most formative years shaped by a backdrop of conflict. The Foreign Secretary has called for a nationwide ceasefire as part of a political process, as the only way to end the Syrian conflict and we continue to call on all parties to maintain the agreed ceasefires.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking in response to reports by Syrian education NGOs that 44 FCDO-supported schools in northwest Syria have been attacked by the Assad regime and its allies in the past two years.

Tackling the humanitarian impact of the Syria Crisis remains a priority for the FCDO. The UK is one of the largest donors to the Syrian humanitarian response having committed over £3.3 billion since 2012 and the UK is also one of the leading donors on education in North West Syria. The FCDO is in the process of assessing the impact of the ODA budget reduction on the UK's aid expenditure in Syria

To date, the UK's Syria Education Programme is the UK's largest bilateral education programme and has supported over 401,235 (49.6% female) children in the North West. This programme has improved access to the teaching profession, supported schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, financially supported stipends for thousands of teachers and most importantly, supported children's access to high quality education and psycho social care.

The regime's brutal targeting of schools is appalling. Many children have had their most formative years shaped by a backdrop of conflict. The Foreign Secretary has called for a nationwide ceasefire as part of a political process, as the only way to end the Syrian conflict and we continue to call on all parties to maintain the agreed ceasefires.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of his Department's role in the delivery of the (a) Serious and Organised Crime Strategy (2018) and (b) Drugs Strategy (2017) in the context of the merger of the Department for International Development with his Department.

The creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has brought together our diplomatic, developmental, and programmatic levers to maximise our international influence and to ensure more secure and prosperous lives for people in the UK and overseas. Serious and organised crime is often transnational and requires cross-government responses which tackle underlying causes as well as direct threats to the UK and our interests.

The FCDO is committed to continuing to deliver this Government's international serious and organised crime objectives, including those relating to illicit drugs. Our teams continue to work closely with the Home Office and other partners in Government which are collectively responsible for delivering these strategies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to (a) maintain the UK's aid spend in Syria and (b) take diplomatic steps at UN level to ensure Russia does not obstruct humanitarian assistance to Syria.

Tackling the humanitarian impact of the Syria Crisis remains a priority for the FCDO. In his statement to the House of Commons on 26 November, the Foreign Secretary stated that resolving conflicts and alleviating humanitarian crises will be a focus area for ODA. To deliver on this commitment the FCDO is currently running a prioritisation exercise across all its programmes, to ensure that every pound we spend goes as far as possible and makes a world-leading difference. We are in the process of assessing the impact of this decision on the UK's aid expenditure in Syria.

The UK has been one of the largest donors to the humanitarian response to the Syria Crisis. Since 2012, we have committed over £3.3 billion to help Syrian civilians displaced and vulnerable within their country, and Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. This includes a pledge of at least £300 million for 2020 at this year's Brussels conference.

Whilst we are at the forefront of the humanitarian response in Syria, we are appalled that Russia has twice sought to block cross-border aid access into Syria, placing political support for the Assad regime above lifesaving support for the Syrian people. We continue to use our position at the UN Security Council to push for greater aid access into Syria and we remain committed to supporting aid delivery, through all mechanisms, to those in need.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what response he has provided to the Chinese Government for the personal protection equipment received from China during the covid-19 outbreak in the UK.

The Foreign Secretary has been in close contact with the Chinese Foreign Minister to ensure the UK and China were working together as part of the international response to the virus. The UK has engaged with China to procure life-saving PPE, ventilators and other critical medical equipment, and to support and repatriate British nationals.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government has recently monitored the trials of Loujain al-Hathloul, Samar Badawi, Nassima al-Sada and others who comprise the 13 women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia on trial for reportedly peaceful activism.

We are monitoring the cases of Loujain al-Hathloul, Samar Badawi, Nassima al-Sada, and all women's rights defenders. The UK attends trials of international importance in all countries where permitted. The UK, along with other embassies in Saudi Arabia, consistently attempt to attend the trials of Women's Rights Defenders, and have been denied access since October 2018, with the exception of the trials for those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

We remain concerned about the continued detention of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the ongoing detention of political detainees, including women's rights defenders, with Saudi Ministers during his visit to Riyadh in March. We regularly raise areas of concern with the Saudi authorities at all levels, through Ministers, our Ambassador and our Embassy in Riyadh. We consistently underline the importance of political freedoms globally. This includes respect for the right to peaceful protest, the rule of law, and freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. We continue to raise concerns about individual cases regularly and monitor the situation closely.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken to assist Police Scotland (a) in its investigation into the use of Scottish airports to facilitate torture and rendition and (b) to request evidence from the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence inquiry into the Central Intelligence Agency's detention and interrogation programme.

As this is an ongoing Police Scotland investigation it would not be appropriate to comment.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made representations to his US counterpart on the US Administration providing evidence to Police Scotland's investigation into the use of Scottish airports to facilitate torture and rendition.

As this is an ongoing Police Scotland investigation it would not be appropriate to comment.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has received a request from (a) the Lord Advocate's office and (b) Police Scotland for assistance in their investigation on the use of Scottish airports to facilitate torture and rendition.

As this is an ongoing Police Scotland investigation it would not be appropriate to comment further.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to challenge International Religious Freedom Alliance members' approaches to (a) LGBT, (b) non-Christian and (c) women's rights.

The UK is proud to be a member of the new Alliance, and joining reflects our ongoing commitment to working with other countries on Freedom of Religion or Belief. As a founding member of the Alliance, the UK will be able to shape its work in line with our Freedom of Religion or Belief for all policy, in which we defend the rights of members of all faiths, beliefs, and people of no belief. We will use our membership of the Alliance to enhance joined up working with like-minded countries, as well as to highlight the importance of considering the intersectionality of human rights. Our membership of the Alliance will not prevent the UK from continuing to raise specific concerns bilaterally with other states, including concerns about discrimination on the grounds of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has received from Police Scotland for him to hold discussions with his counterpart in the US Administration on the investigation into alleged use of Scottish Airports for rendition flights.

As this is an ongoing Police Scotland investigation it is not appropriate to comment substantively.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what requests for (a) aid and (b) assistance have been received from the Australian Government in respect the ongoing bush fires in that country; and what (i) aid and (ii) assistance the Government is providing.

The Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary and Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon have been in contact with their Australian counterparts to offer our condolences and stress our readiness to help in whatever way they need.

As I set out in my Oral Statement of 9 January in the House of Commons, we have deployed a team of UK experts to Australia.

The team includes a senior member of UK Fire and Rescue Service, a medical specialist in trauma and mental health, and a military liaison officer specialising in crisis response.

They will work with Australian counterparts to establish what further UK support will be of most use to Australian emergency responders, and ensure that such contributions are fully integrated with Australian efforts.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether any revenue raised by the Tonnage Tax is allocated to Scotland.

Tonnage tax is an alternative method of calculating Corporation Tax profits by reference to the net tonnage of the ship operated. It is a reserved tax and applies UK wide.

The Consolidated Fund receives the proceeds of tonnage tax and other tax revenues, such as those collected by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Tonnage tax is not a hypothecated tax.

When funding is allocated to UK Government departments from the Consolidated Fund the Barnett formula is applied. The Barnett formula provides the devolved administrations with a population share of changes in the UK’s available resources consistent with the principles set out in the Statement of Funding Policy.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations he has received from the Scottish Government on the rate of inheritance tax.

The Government is unaware of any representations from the Scottish Government on the rate of inheritance tax in the UK.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the tax revenues raised from the Petroleum Revenue Tax in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020.

HM Revenue and Customs publishes annual and monthly tax receipts statistics, including for Petroleum Revenue Tax, on a cash receipts basis, at GOV.UK at the following link. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmrc-tax-and-nics-receipts-for-the-uk.
Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, on which date the last person who was educated at a Scottish university was appointed by his Department to the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.

Appointments to the Monetary Policy Committee are made on merit following fair and open competition. Appointments have come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds to ensure the committee benefits from a wide range of expertise.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many persons appointed to the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee by his Department in the last five years have been educated at a Scottish university; and if he will specify the date on which those persons were appointed to that Committee.

Appointments to the Monetary Policy Committee are made on merit following fair and open competition. In the last 5 years appointments have come from diverse educational and professional backgrounds to ensure the committee benefits from a wide range of expertise.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HMRC has been paid through the Gulf Strategy Fund to support economic reform in Oman since April 2020.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) International Programme (IP), and within it the Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF), is a vital tool in promoting positive change and reforms across the world, including in the Gulf. The Government’s programmes help its partners to continue their human rights reform, address key climate change and green growth opportunities and challenges, tackle illicit finance, improve marine conservation, promote economic diversification, promote diversity and inclusion including on LGBTQ+ rights, and develop their institutions.

All cooperation through the IP, including the GSF, is subject to rigorous risk assessments to ensure all work meets the Government’s human rights obligations and values. The Government does not shy away from raising legitimate human rights concerns, and encourages other states to respect international law.

The Government now publish an annual summary of the GSF’s work on gov.uk. The Government will not publish further information where doing so presents risks to its staff, programme suppliers and beneficiaries, or which may impact its relationships with international partners, and therefore its ability to influence their reform efforts.

The Government will provide updates on an annual basis.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2021 to Question 7284 on Scottish Government: Borrowing, if he will publish the (a) date and (b) detail of any request he has received from the Scottish Government on the extension of borrowing powers since 2015.

The UK Government has frequent discussions and correspondence with the Scottish Government on a variety of issues. The UK Government does not publish details of all of these discussions.

However, as set out in my previous answer, the UK Government agreed significant new borrowing powers for the Scottish Government in 2016.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent representations he has received from the Scottish Government on requesting additional borrowing powers.

The fiscal framework we have agreed with the Scottish Government already includes significant borrowing powers.

The Scottish Government can borrow up to £450m per year for capital spending and, in normal times, borrow up to £300m per year to help manage day-to-day spending in relation to tax and welfare forecast error.

However, under the terms of the fiscal framework, we are doubling this day-to-day borrowing from £300m to £600m per year in 2021-22 and the following two years.

This is on top of the share of UK Government borrowing the Scottish Government receives through the Barnett formula. Since the start of the pandemic the Scottish Government has received an additional £14.5bn of Barnett funding.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with his Department on the public health benefits of (a) setting alcohol duty at a level that covers the estimated costs of alcohol to society and (b) introducing scaled taxation for alcohol whereby stronger alcohol products are taxed more per unit of alcohol than lower strength products.

Protecting against alcohol-related harms remains a key objective of the alcohol duty system. However, it is not the sole consideration and any duty changes must be assessed within the wider economic and business context.

The Treasury is considering the merits of various taxation methods as part of its alcohol duty review. We remain in the early stages of analysis and further updates will be provided in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing scaled taxation for alcohol, where stronger products are taxed more per unit of alcohol than lower strength products, to encourage reformulation and increase the availability of lower strength products.

The Treasury is considering the merits of various taxation methods as part of its alcohol duty review. We are currently in the early stages of analysis and will provide further updates in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits for public health of introducing scaled taxation for alcohol where stronger alcohol products are taxed more per unit of alcohol than lower strength products.

The Treasury is considering the merits of various taxation methods as part of its alcohol duty review. We are currently in the early stages of analysis and will provide further updates in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has fiscal plans in place to tackle the low birthrate in Scotland.

HM Treasury does not have a policy that pertains to increasing the birth rate in any part of the UK.

There is a range of support available for those who have children including Child Benefit, which can be claimed for any number of children. The UK has the longest maternity leave available among all the OECD countries and where pay is enhanced as part of the statutory maternity pay entitlement, the rate of pay provided is higher than the international standard. Alongside this, the government provides 15 hours of free childcare for all 3-4 year olds, alongside a further 15 hours free for eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, and 15 hours free for disadvantaged 2 year olds.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of using fiscal means to increase the birthrate.

HM Treasury does not have a policy that pertains to increasing the birth rate in any part of the UK.

There is a range of support available for those who have children including Child Benefit, which can be claimed for any number of children. The UK has the longest maternity leave available among all the OECD countries and where pay is enhanced as part of the statutory maternity pay entitlement, the rate of pay provided is higher than the international standard. Alongside this, the government provides 15 hours of free childcare for all 3-4 year olds, alongside a further 15 hours free for eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, and 15 hours free for disadvantaged 2 year olds.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the revenue raised by HMRC via public telephone calls to that Department (a) was from 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020 and (b) has been during the covid-19 outbreak period to date; and how that revenue has been spent.

HMRC do not receive any income from the use of 0300 numbers.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to extend eligibility for (a) the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant and (b) Business Rates Relief to food and drink wholesalers that supply hospitality businesses, care homes and schools.

Business support is a devolved policy and therefore is the responsibility of the devolved administrations. The UK Government has announced £7.4 billion of additional funding to the devolved administrations to respond to COVID-19 and to support people, businesses and public services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This means £3.8 billion for the Scottish Government, £2.3 billion for the Welsh Government and £1.3 billion for the Northern Ireland Executive to respond to COVID-19. With regards to the application of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and business rates relief in England, the Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by COVID-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities (LAs) in England can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. The Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to LAs to enable them to give discretionary grants. While food and drink wholesalers are not one of the priority groups which Government has asked LAs to focus on, LAs may choose to make payments to businesses outside of these priority groups if they feel there is a local economic need to do so, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government (with the exception of grants from the SEISS).

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond October 2020 for the tourism and hospitality sector and its food and drink supply chain.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is a temporary scheme in place for eight months starting from 1 March and ending at the end of October.

It is the case that some firms will be affected by coronavirus for longer than others, and the Government will seek to support these firms appropriately. It would be challenging to target the CJRS to specific sectors in a fair and deliverable way, and it may not be the case that this is the most effective or sensible way to provide longer term support for those sectors most affected by coronavirus. The Government will continue to engage with businesses and representative groups with the aim of ensuring that support provided is right for these sectors and for the economy as a whole.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the outcome was of the inaugural meeting of the UK Anti-Illicit Trade Group held on 24 September 2019; and what proposals it has for further action on (a) the activities of the group itself and (b) tackling illicit trade.

As announced at Budget 2018 and following the recommendation of the APPG on Illicit Trade, the Government has now established a UK-wide Anti-Illicit Trade Group.

The Group met for the first time in September and brought together officials from several departments and enforcement agencies. The aim of the Group continues to be to share best practice and develop a national strategy for tackling the illicit trade. The next meeting of the Group will take place in Spring 2020.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much money was accrued by (a) his Department and (b) HMRC in compensation as a result of (i) court orders and (ii) other recovery and penalty mechanisms in relation to illicit tobacco in each of the last 10 years.

Due to the way HMRC records and retains information it is not possible to provide a complete response to the question. HMRC regularly reports its performance against the strategy to tackle illicit tobacco and the latest published data can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-tobacco-smuggling-2013-to-2014-outputs/outputs-for-april-2016-to-march-2018. HMRC do not hold the requested information relating to court orders but the Ministry of Justice may be able to provide this data.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2021 to Question 94543 on Offshore Industry: Conditions of Employment, what information her Department holds on the number of recorded incidents of Border Force identifying people entering the UK for the purposes of offshore employment who (a) do not have the right to do so and (b) do not hold relevant entry clearance in the latest period for which figures are available.

Border Force does not hold the data in an easily accessible format on those entering the UK for the purposes of offshore employment who do not have the right to do so and/or do not hold relevant entry clearance.

However, the Home Office published data on how many people are detained or returned on gov.uk. The latest publication can be found at: How many people are detained or returned? - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what checks Border Force carry out on offshore supply vessels operating in UK waters.

Border Force is responsible for ensuring any individual seeking entry to the United Kingdom, at the border, for the purposes of offshore employment has the right to do so, as well as hold any relevant entry clearance, should it be required.

The Government provides guidance and codes of practice to help employers prevent illegal working, as well as similar guidance specific to offshore working.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many incidents of illegal labour being used on offshore service ships there have been in the (a) oil and gas and (b) wind sector in each year since 2015.

The Home Office does not hold data on the number of incidents of illegal labour being used on offshore service ships to the oil and gas, or wind, sectors.

The Government expects that all employers will comply with UK employment law.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what role Border Force officers have in the monitoring of crew involved in offshore employment; and whether that role includes the monitoring of employment rights.

Border Force is responsible for ensuring any individual seeking entry to the United Kingdom, at the border, for the purposes of offshore employment has the right to do so, as well as hold any relevant entry clearance, should it be required.

The Government provides guidance and codes of practice to help employers prevent illegal working, as well as similar guidance specific to offshore working.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of safety and wellbeing of Julian Assange in respect of his proposed extradition to the US.

Mr Assange’s case is under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the detention of Julian Assange on media freedom in the UK.

Mr Assange’s case is under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that those who harm pets in the context of domestic abuse are prosecuted accordingly.

The Domestic Abuse Act provides for the first legal definition of domestic abuse which can encompass a wide range of behaviours that can affect many aspects of a victim’s life and relationships, including those with pets.

The Act also amended the definition of ‘personally connected’ which removed the ‘living together’ requirement for the controlling or coercive behaviour offence. This means, as of Spring 2022, the offence will now apply to intimate partners, ex-partners or family members, regardless of whether the victim and perpetrator live together.

The draft Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance published for consultation, and the upcoming Controlling or Coercive Behaviour Guidance, both recognise domestic abuse can involve violence or threats against pets, including to control, coerce or cause distress to victims. The guidance seek to support agencies in identifying and responding to domestic abuse and reducing risk to victims.

Finalised Domestic Abuse Guidance will be issued after all of the relevant updates have been made. The Controlling or Coercive Behaviour Guidance will be published for consultation shortly.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in her Department are operating in Scotland; and on which administrative sites those staff are based.

The Home Office currently has total of 1108 members of staff based in Scotland, the majority are in Glasgow (700), Edinburgh (195) and Renfrewshire (155).

For the other locations in Scotland, providing the number of staff based there would reveal information on the security of our borders. Therefore,it is not possible to provide that due to national security.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether security details for dignitaries visiting COP26 will be required to adhere to Scottish and UK laws on the carrying of firearms and weapons.

While it would not be appropriate to comment on the specific security arrangements that are being put in place for COP26, it is the case that UK firearms law will apply.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what immigration and nationality monitoring her Department undertakes at the port of Cairnryan; and which officials undertake that monitoring.

The Government has not provided any additional (a) resources or (b) financial assistance to provide for security and potential immigration breaches to port and ferry operators at Cairnryan.

The Home Office does not conduct immigration and nationality monitoring at the port of Cairnryan. Immigration Enforcement officers regularly conduct intelligence led operations at Cairnryan and Loch Ryan in order to identify those seeking to circumvent the UK’s immigration controls by travelling to the UK via Ireland, focusing on those who have no right to be in the UK and/or those who may do harm in the UK.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has provided any additional (a) resources or (b) financial assistance to provide for security and potential immigration breaches to port and ferry operators at Cairnryan.

The Government has not provided any additional (a) resources or (b) financial assistance to provide for security and potential immigration breaches to port and ferry operators at Cairnryan.

The Home Office does not conduct immigration and nationality monitoring at the port of Cairnryan. Immigration Enforcement officers regularly conduct intelligence led operations at Cairnryan and Loch Ryan in order to identify those seeking to circumvent the UK’s immigration controls by travelling to the UK via Ireland, focusing on those who have no right to be in the UK and/or those who may do harm in the UK.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Oct 2021
What discussions she had with Police Scotland prior to the laying of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Scottish Sites under Section 129) Order 2021.

Officials in the Home Office worked closely with Scottish Parliament counterparts throughout the process.

For security reasons we do not comment on the underlying reasons for the decision. Designation as a protected site will assist the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body to strengthen protection of the Parliament as a key civic institution.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the reasons for which the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body sought to have the Scottish Parliament and its surrounding grounds designated as a protected site.

We do not comment on the reasons why a site has been designated as a protected site as to do so could compromise the security of the site and those that use it.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of recording the number of animals used in covid-19 research in the Statistics of scientific procedures on living animals in Great Britain for 2021.

The number of animals used in experiments relating to the Covid-19 outbreak will be reported in the annual statistics of scientific procedures on living animals in Great Britain for 2021.

Data will not be collected that identifies the number of animals used in procedures specifically related to Covid-19 research. The use of animals for Covid-19 research falls within a range of purposes in the published data and may be recorded under the categories of basic research, translational research or regulatory research.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received representations seeking a review of (a) drug policy and (b) Drug Consumption Rooms from the Scottish Government's new (i) Justice Secretary and (ii) Lord Advocate.

The Home Office has not received any representations from the Scottish Government’s Justice Secretary nor the Lord Advocate seeking a review of drug policy or of drug consumption rooms.

We are committed to working across the UK and have regular contact with the Scottish Government at ministerial and official level on tackling drug misuse and reducing the harms it causes.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under what legal jurisdiction offshore immigration processing centres would operate.

We are committed to the 1951 Convention and act in accordance with our international obligations, and we will continue discussions with our international partners to find solutions to our shared migration challenges.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of who would staff any offshore immigration processing centre.

We are committed to working closely with international partners as we work to fix our broken asylum system. We are talking to a range of partners about how we could work together to find a solution to our shared migration challenges.

We cannot comment on the details of ongoing discussions with our international partners.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of using Unexplained Wealth Orders against Oman’s Royal Office minister.

Across the UK law enforcement and prosecution agencies are operationally independent.

As such, Ministers do not advise on the merits of potential law enforcement activity, including the use of unexplained wealth orders.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to UK counter terrorism operations, what (a) protocols and (b) guidance her Department has issued to the Scottish Police Authority to support its oversight of Police Scotland.

The Scottish Police Authority is responsible for the governance, oversight and administration of the Police Service in Scotland. The CONTEST Strategy sets out the UK’s approach to and objectives for reducing the risk to its citizens and interests overseas from terrorism. Since 2011 the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations have worked together with a shared recognition of the threat posed across the UK by terrorism and a shared strategic response. This close collaboration ensures that we are collectively able to fulfil the objectives of CONTEST across the UK recognising that many local delivery mechanisms, including policing, are devolved in Scotland. Furthermore, Scotland is able to use the police to police mechanism of mutual aid from an incident response perspective to request support from any other local forces as and when required.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Unexplained Wealth Orders have been issued (a) in total and (b) in relation to wealth derived from (i) Saudi Arabia, (ii) the UAE, (iii) Qatar, (iv) Oman and (v) Bahrain in the latest period for which figures are available.

Unexplained Wealth Orders have been granted in four cases to date.

No Unexplained Wealth Orders have been issued in relation to wealth derived from (i) Saudi Arabia, (ii) the UAE, (iii) Qatar, (iv) Oman and (v) Bahrain.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many animals kept in establishments licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were killed without being used in experiments in response to projects being put on hold as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The Home Office annually publishes national statistics of scientific procedures performed using living animals under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The statistics for the annual returns made in 2020 are scheduled for publication on 15 July 2021.

The Home Office has not collected separate data on animals kept in establishments, licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, that were killed without being used in experiments in response to projects being put on hold as a result of the covid-19 outbreak, from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the National Crime Agency continues to train Colombia's security units in light of the recent internal repression in that country.

The NCA works with law enforcement counterparts around the world, including in various South American countries. In Colombia, the NCA works with a number of Colombian departments including the Colombian National Police and the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia. This activity is focused on reducing the threat to the UK from the cocaine trade in Colombia and the region, as well as disrupting the money laundering and other criminal economies linked to drugs trafficking and other organised crime. All of NCA’s activity overseas, including the provision of security and justice assistance to partners is conducted in accordance with International Human Rights Legislation and HMG policy. Projects delivered under the Conflict Stability and Security Fund are subject to a robust governance framework to ensure they are delivered effectively and in accordance with HMG government objectives.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Colombian security units the National Crime Agency has trained since 2015 through the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund; and what the nature of that training was.

The NCA works with law enforcement counterparts around the world, including in various South American countries. In Colombia, the NCA works with a number of Colombian departments including the Colombian National Police and the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia. This activity is focused on reducing the threat to the UK from the cocaine trade in Colombia and the region, as well as disrupting the money laundering and other criminal economies linked to drugs trafficking and other organised crime. All of NCA’s activity overseas, including the provision of security and justice assistance to partners is conducted in accordance with International Human Rights Legislation and HMG policy. Projects delivered under the Conflict Stability and Security Fund are subject to a robust governance framework to ensure they are delivered effectively and in accordance with HMG government objectives.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 June 2021 to Question 7944 on Drugs: Misuse, if she will publish any correspondence received from (a) the Lord Advocate, (b) the Crown Office and (c) Scottish Government Ministers on the use of drug consumption rooms in Scotland.

The Home Office has not received any direct representations from the Lord Advocate or the Crown Office on the issue of drug consumption rooms and currently has no plans to publish correspondence received from Scottish Government Ministers on this subject.

Tackling drug misuse is a priority for this government and we are clear that action is needed across all four nations to reduce the harms caused. We are committed to working across the UK and have regular contact with the Scottish Government at ministerial and official level on this issue

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria her Department uses in Overseas Security and Justice Assessments to determine the deployment of UK police abroad; how those criteria are used; and who uses those criteria.

The HMG Overseas Security Justice Assessment (OSJA) guidance issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is followed. This sets out a 4 staged process which inform officials’ and Ministerial (if high risk) decisions to authorise a deployment:

  1. Stage 1 is an assessment of the human rights risks in country carried out by FCDO posts.

  1. Stage 2 is an assessment carried out by operational partner(s) responsible for providing assistance of whether there is a serious risk that the proposed assistance might directly or significantly contribute to any of the following human rights risks identified in Stage 1:

I. Use of the death penalty.

II. Unlawful or arbitrary arrest or detention.

III. Torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment (CIDT) including standards of detention.

IV. Unlawful killing and/or use of force (e.g. disproportionate, indiscriminate).

V. Enforced disappearance.

VI. Unfair trial or denial of justice.

VII. Unlawful interference with democratic rights (e.g. freedom of assembly or expression).

VIII. Violations of the rights of the child including recruitment or use of child soldiers.

IX. Refoulement (forced return where danger of torture or CIDT).

X. Human trafficking and/or sexual violence.

XI. Persecution of an identifiable group (e.g. on racial, gender, religious or ethnic grounds) in combination with any of the above violations.

XII. Other violations not already identified or provocation or prolonging of armed conflict or terrorism.

XIII. Support to terrorism or undermine the principles of conflict prevention as defined in HMG’s Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS).

  1. Stage 3 summarises any mitigations to the risks identified in Stages 1 and 2.

  1. Stage 4 identifies the overall risk level, which includes consideration by the authorising department of any associated political and reputational risk.

The OSJA Guidance can be accessed on the Internet via the following link: OSJA Guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations her Department has received from the (a) Lord Advocate and (b) Crown Office in Scotland on drug consumption rooms.

Parliament received representations from the Lord Advocate on a range of drug policy issues, including drug consumption rooms, as part of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee’s Inquiry into Problem Drug Use in Scotland in 2019. The Government published its response in 2020 and can be found here: Problem drug use in Scotland: Government response to the Committee’s First Report of Session 2019 - Scottish Affairs Committee - House of Commons (parliament.uk). The Home Office has not received any direct representations from the Lord Advocate or the Crown Office on the issue of drug consumption rooms.

Tackling drug misuse is a priority for this government and it clear that action is needed across all four nations to reduce the harms caused. We are committed to working across the UK and have regular contact with the Scottish Government at ministerial and official level on this issue. While the legal framework on the misuse of drugs is reserved to the UK, the Scottish Government has its own approach to tackling drug and alcohol misuse in areas where responsibility is devolved, including healthcare, criminal justice, housing, and education.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations he has received from the Scottish Government on requesting devolution of the powers under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (a) in whole and (b) in part.

The Crime and Policing Minister met Angela Constance MSP, the Minister for Drug Policy in the Scottish Government, earlier this year to discuss the best way to tackle drug misuse across the UK, including opportunities to work collaboratively on this shared agenda. No recent representations have been made by the Scottish Government to devolve powers under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. While the legal framework on the misuse of drugs is reserved to the UK, the Scottish Government has its own approach to tackling drug misuse in areas where responsibility is devolved, including healthcare, criminal justice, housing, and education. The Government has no plans to devolve the powers under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Tackling drug misuse is a priority for this government and it clear that action is needed across all four nations to reduce the harms caused. We are committed to working across the UK and continuing to have regular contact with the Scottish Government on this issue.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent representations her Department has received from the Scottish Government on incidents at Kenmure Street, Glasgow on 13 May 2021.

There was Ministerial contact on 13 May.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) protocols and (b) memoranda of understanding are in place between (i) Police Scotland and (ii) the security services.

The Security Service Act of 1989 places the Security Service under the authority of a Secretary of State, in practice the Home Secretary, who is accountable to Parliament for their work. This Act sets the overarching working protocol between the Security Service and the Home Secretary.

To support the delivery of the Act, there are more detailed agreements that set out delivery of the Home Secretary’s oversight responsibilities, including a framework agreement formerly referred to as the Protocols.

Police Scotland are a devolved competence and there is no formal relationship between the Home Office and Police Scotland. The Home Office and Police Scotland have a Memorandum of Understanding in relation to three areas: data sharing, Police and Public Protection Technology and the Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP). In relation to ESMCP and in recognition of section 4 of the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012, the Memorandum of Understanding is signed by the Scottish Police Authority, agreeing the terms under which the Home Secretary will provide the relevant mobile communications network services to the Authority for the purpose of its maintenance of Police Scotland.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Government on the routine operation of the security services in Scotland.

As has been the policy of successive governments, we do not comment on matters relating to the intelligence agencies.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions officials in her Department have had with (a) representatives of Police Scotland and (b) the Scottish Government prior to the attempted removal of asylum seekers in Kenmure Street, Glasgow on 13 May 2021.

As with our activity throughout the UK, Immigration Enforcement works closely with Police Scotland to ensure that our operations are conducted lawfully and safely – this includes notifying the Police of scheduled visits through operational notifications. The Home Office and Police Scotland have a Memorandum of Understanding for data sharing. Police Scotland and the Home Office share data and intelligence on immigration crime, detecting foreign national offenders in the community, modern slavery and human trafficking amongst many other things.

There are no protocols on the enforcement of immigration issues specific to Scotland. Guidance and procedures for immigration issues throughout the UK are published on WWW.GOV.UK.

This was a routine, lawful, operation: the Police were informed of the visit in advance through an operational notification form and raised no concerns. Routine operations are not normally discussed with any government department prior to activity taking place so no discussions took place with the Scottish Government prior to this visit.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will (a) set out details of and (b) publish protocols on the enforcement of immigration issues in Scotland.

As with our activity throughout the UK, Immigration Enforcement works closely with Police Scotland to ensure that our operations are conducted lawfully and safely – this includes notifying the Police of scheduled visits through operational notifications. The Home Office and Police Scotland have a Memorandum of Understanding for data sharing. Police Scotland and the Home Office share data and intelligence on immigration crime, detecting foreign national offenders in the community, modern slavery and human trafficking amongst many other things.

There are no protocols on the enforcement of immigration issues specific to Scotland. Guidance and procedures for immigration issues throughout the UK are published on WWW.GOV.UK.

This was a routine, lawful, operation: the Police were informed of the visit in advance through an operational notification form and raised no concerns. Routine operations are not normally discussed with any government department prior to activity taking place so no discussions took place with the Scottish Government prior to this visit.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will (a) set out details of and (b) publish protocols between her Department and Police Scotland on policing of the enforcement of immigration issues.

As with our activity throughout the UK, Immigration Enforcement works closely with Police Scotland to ensure that our operations are conducted lawfully and safely – this includes notifying the Police of scheduled visits through operational notifications. The Home Office and Police Scotland have a Memorandum of Understanding for data sharing. Police Scotland and the Home Office share data and intelligence on immigration crime, detecting foreign national offenders in the community, modern slavery and human trafficking amongst many other things.

There are no protocols on the enforcement of immigration issues specific to Scotland. Guidance and procedures for immigration issues throughout the UK are published on WWW.GOV.UK.

This was a routine, lawful, operation: the Police were informed of the visit in advance through an operational notification form and raised no concerns. Routine operations are not normally discussed with any government department prior to activity taking place so no discussions took place with the Scottish Government prior to this visit.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the consultation on firearms safety, which closed on 16 February 2021 did not consider the registration or licensing of air weapons.

The consultation on firearms safety proposed further measures on air weapons control following the earlier review of air weapons regulation in England and Wales. The consultation specifically sought views on the outcomes of that review, including strengthening legislation in relation to young persons, and the safe and secure storage of air weapons, with the aim of ensuring their safe and responsible use. The proposals in the consultation focused on improving air weapons safety, particularly in relation to children. The consultation also included further proposals relating to specific firearms safety issues that were raised during the passage of the Offensive Weapons Act 2019.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 134186 on Airguns: Regulation, when she plans to publish the responses to the initial consultation on airgun registration that was held in 2017.

The Government received over 50,000 responses to the air weapons review, which commenced in December 2017. A summary of the responses to the review was included in the firearms safety consultation, published on 24 November 2020. This consultation sets out proposals for new measures in relation to air weapons. The firearms safety consultation will close on 16 February, after which the Government will publish its response, including in relation to air weapons controls.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff have been on (a) secondment and (b) internship to her Department from (i) the Scottish Government and (ii) Crown and Prosecutor Fiscal Service in each year since 2011; how long on average each such position was held for; and what role each such member of staff performed.

This information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the responses to the Airgun Registration consultation conducted in 2017.

Following the Government’s review of air weapon regulation in England and Wales, which commenced in December 2017, we published a formal public consultation on a number of firearms safety issues on 24 November last year. The consultation includes proposals for new controls on air weapons, following the earlier review. The firearms safety consultation will close on 16 February, following which the Government will publish its response to the consultation, including in relation to air weapons controls.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, what types of products are included in (a) blood based products (55,024 uses) and (b) other products (97,638 uses) under routine production; and what proportion of those products were for the production of antibodies monoclonal and polyclonal.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the types of products included in blood-based products and other products under routine production can include serum, plasma, antibodies and pathogens.

The returns of data from establishments for the production of the Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals in Great Britain has not requested specific data which would allow the calculation of the proportion of ‘other products’ that were for the production of monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies.

All applications for the use of animals in science are subject to a harm-benefit analysis, undertaken by the Home Office Inspectorate, to ensure that any harm that may be caused to the animals is justified by the expected benefits for humans, animals or the environment. The UK’s rigorous regulatory system requires that no testing takes place if there is a validated non-animal alternative that would achieve the scientific outcomes sought. Project licence proposals for research on animals for which there is no non-animal alternative must comply fully with the principles of the 3Rs: replacement, reduction and refinement.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to his Department's publication entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain, what proportion of the batch safety tests reported in table 7.1. under quality control were (a) abnormal toxicity tests for human biological products, (b) laboratory animal batch safety tests and (c) target animal batch safety tests for veterinary vaccines.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, laboratory animal batch safety test data is not reported in a way that allows for the distinction between abnormal toxicity tests for human biological products and target animal batch safety tests for veterinary vaccines.

The proportion of batch safety tests performed on laboratory animals reported by establishments in Great Britain for medicinal products for:

  • human use was 98.5% (18,470 of 18,757 tests); and

veterinary use and their residues was 1.5% (287 of 18,757 tests).

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the (a) short-term and (b) long-term effects of Operation Venetic on the (i) availability, (ii)) price and (iii) purity of drugs in the illegal market, by drug type and (iv) levels of violence associated with the illegal drug market.

The Government is committed to tackling global drugs supply and reducing the violence and harm associated with the illegal drugs market. Operation VENETIC targeted EncroChat, a global encrypted communications service that was used exclusively by serious and organised criminals to coordinate their illicit activities, including drugs trafficking.

There were 60,000 global users of EncroChat and 10,000 users in the UK, resulting in a significant volume of intelligence that UK law enforcement continue to act on. As a result, the impact on the (i) availability, (ii)) price and (iii) purity of drugs in the illegal market, by drug type and (iv) levels of violence associated with the illegal drug market has not been assessed.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's document entitled, Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, for what reasons experiments on animals relating to skin sensitisation decreased from 2,040 in 2018 to 95 in 2019.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the baseline numbers of scientific procedures are influenced by a range of factors – including the programmes of work and available funding. This includes numbers related to: experiments for protection of the natural environment; an increase in the use of beagles born in the rest of the world in experiments; and, a decrease in experiments on animals relating to skin sensitisation.

Dogs are a specially protected species under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The Home Office will only grant a project licence for a programme of work using dogs where the purpose of the programme of work specified in the licence can only be achieved by their use, or where it is not practicable to use other suitable animals.

The Home Office assures that, in every research proposal: animals are replaced with non-animal alternatives wherever possible; the number of animals are reduced to the minimum necessary to achieve the result sought; and that, for those animals which must be used, procedures are refined as much as possible to minimise their suffering.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's document entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain, for what reasons there was an increase in the use of beagles born in the rest of the world in experiments from 2018 to 2019.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the baseline numbers of scientific procedures are influenced by a range of factors – including the programmes of work and available funding. This includes numbers related to: experiments for protection of the natural environment; an increase in the use of beagles born in the rest of the world in experiments; and, a decrease in experiments on animals relating to skin sensitisation.

Dogs are a specially protected species under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The Home Office will only grant a project licence for a programme of work using dogs where the purpose of the programme of work specified in the licence can only be achieved by their use, or where it is not practicable to use other suitable animals.

The Home Office assures that, in every research proposal: animals are replaced with non-animal alternatives wherever possible; the number of animals are reduced to the minimum necessary to achieve the result sought; and that, for those animals which must be used, procedures are refined as much as possible to minimise their suffering.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's document entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain, for what reasons the number of animal experiments for protection of the natural environment increased from 12,264 in 2018 to 29,343 in 2019.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the baseline numbers of scientific procedures are influenced by a range of factors – including the programmes of work and available funding. This includes numbers related to: experiments for protection of the natural environment; an increase in the use of beagles born in the rest of the world in experiments; and, a decrease in experiments on animals relating to skin sensitisation.

Dogs are a specially protected species under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. The Home Office will only grant a project licence for a programme of work using dogs where the purpose of the programme of work specified in the licence can only be achieved by their use, or where it is not practicable to use other suitable animals.

The Home Office assures that, in every research proposal: animals are replaced with non-animal alternatives wherever possible; the number of animals are reduced to the minimum necessary to achieve the result sought; and that, for those animals which must be used, procedures are refined as much as possible to minimise their suffering.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of passport applicants, have a dual nationality and use a name different in their application for a British passport than they use in their other passport.

I refer to the previous response provided by Her Majesty’s Passport Office on 29 October 2015 to PQ 13210 regarding information on dual nationality.

No statistical information is available showing whether British citizens hold another citizenship.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what dog species are included in the other dog species category used in her Department's document entitled, Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019; and for what specific purposes experiments on those dogs were carried out.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the dog species included in the other dog species category are:

  • Client owned (where the exact breed is not specified);
  • Norfolk Terrier;
  • Labrador Retriever; and,
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen.

The studies in which they were used were nutrition studies and clinical veterinary studies.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's document entitled, Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, what regulatory procedures were carried out on animals to satisfy the requirements of non-EU legislation in 2018-2019; and what (a) legislation and (b) jurisdictions those procedures were conducted to satisfy.

With reference to the report entitled Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the return of statistics on procedures requires details of the legislative requirement the procedures are to satisfy. The legislation requirements include: medicinal products for human use; industrial chemicals; plant protection; medical products for veterinary use and their residues. Information on the legislative jurisdictions for which the procedures are conducted to satisfy is not collected.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons no pyrogenicity tests on animals were reported in the Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019.

With reference to the report entitled Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, there were no pyrogenicity tests carried out on animals in Great Britain in 2019. In most cases, pyrogenicity tests can be carried out using a combination of non-animal alternatives.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of her Department's progress on the UK's commitment to the replacement, reduction, and refinement of the use of animals in research; and if she will make a statement.

Procedures on animals are only authorised after an assessment process, which is undertaken by the Home Office Inspectorate. All project licence applicants are required to describe and justify why available non-animal alternative methodologies could not be used to achieve their scientific objectives.

In 2018 ASRU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs) to support the uptake of 3Rs approaches. The NC3Rs leads the discovery and application of new technologies and approaches to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in scientific procedures. ASRU supports the NC3Rs drive to accelerate the development and use of models and tools, based on the latest science and technologies, to address important scientific questions without the use of animals.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's document entitled, Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, how many of the 1,249 animal experiments recorded for higher education and training were for (a) higher education and (b) training.

With reference to the report entitled Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the reporting of the number of procedures for higher education purposes is not separated from the number of procedures for training purposes.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will record the generation of primates within each colony type by sub-category in the UK Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain.

The Home Office can confirm the Government will report the generation of non-human primates within each colony type by sub-category in the reporting of Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals in Great Britain from 2020 onwards.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her Department's document entitled, Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, for what reasons there was an increase in the use of first-generation primates in experiments from (a) 2017 to 2018 and (b) 2018 to 2019.

With reference to the report entitled Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 2019, published in July 2020, the change in the published figures for the first-generation primates (F1) from 2017 to 2018 and from 2018 to 2019 was is likely to be because of confusion amongst those establishments supplying the data over the definition of a self-sustaining colony. Some establishments reported the number of F1 non-human primates within a self-sustaining colony.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jul 2020
What recent assessment she has made of the potential effect of the proposed points-based immigration system on the economy of Scotland.

This Government will introduce a points-based immigration system that works in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom, including Scotland.

Our future system is designed to drive up wages and productivity across the UK and allow us to bring in the most talented while responding to public concerns about immigration.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle the use of pets by perpetrators as tools to coerce and control victims of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and can affect all parts of a victim’s life and relationships, including those with pets.

The Domestic Abuse Bill will help to better protect and support the victims of all forms of domestic abuse, including coercive control, and help bring perpetrators to justice.

We have published draft statutory guidance to accompany the legislation and to provide explanation of the different characteristics of domestic abuse, which includes reference to how pets may be used by perpetrators.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the extent to which perpetrators of domestic abuse use pets as a form of coercion and control; and if she will include guidance on that issue in the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Domestic abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviours and can affect all parts of a victim’s life and relationships, including those with pets.

The Domestic Abuse Bill will help to better protect and support the victims of all forms of domestic abuse, including coercive control, and help bring perpetrators to justice.

We have published draft statutory guidance to accompany the legislation and to provide explanation of the different characteristics of domestic abuse, which includes reference to how pets may be used by perpetrators.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report entitled, Animals in Science Regulation Unit Annual Report (2018) what steps she is taking to ensure compliance with regulations in relation to the provision of adequate care for animals in laboratories.

The Home Office has published Guidance on the way in which the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) is administered and enforced. The Home Office also published a Code of Practice on the housing and care of animals bred, supplied or used for scientific purposes - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/animal-research-technical-advice#code-of-practice-for-the-care-and-accommodation-of-animals

The Code of Practice ensures that the design, construction and method of functioning of installations and equipment of licensed establishments, along with their staffing care and practices, allow procedures to be carried out as effectively as possible in order to obtain reliable results using the minimum number of animals and causing the minimum degree of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm. Further technical advice notes are published on specific issues - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/animal-research-technical-advice

The cornerstone for the protection of animals used for experimental or other

scientific procedures is a risk-based inspection and assessment programme undertaken by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit. As part of this risk-based programme, Home Office Inspectors undertake visits to all establishments licensed to breed or supply animals, or to carry out regulated procedures on animals under the ASPA in Great Britain, to inspect the welfare, health and environment of the animals at the facility.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the report entitled, Animals in Science Regulation Annual Report (2018), for what reason there was a reduction in the number of inspections of laboratories from 966 in 2017 to 653 in 2018.

The Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) undertakes a risk-based inspection and assessment programme based upon consideration of the factors specified in section 18 (2C) of the Animals Scientific Procedures Act 1986. These are:

• the compliance history of an establishment;

• any information relating to potential non-compliance;

• the number and species of animals kept; and

• the number and type of regulated procedures carried out.

The annual number of inspections therefore depends on a range of factors; the most significant of which are the size and complexity of the establishment and the type of work that is carried out there.

There is no single reason why there was a reduction in the number of inspections in 2018.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 47460, when the review into cash allowances for asylum seekers commenced; what evidence or information is being sought; and what the timescale is for the conclusion of that review.

We have been reviewing the level of the cash allowances provided to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute, as we do each year to ensure that they remain capable of meeting their essential living needs. As a result of this work, the standard allowance has been raised to £39.60 per week from £37.75 per week, an increase of around 5%.

In March 2018, we made public the methodology for calculating the asylum support rates and the underpinning research. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/report-on-review-of-cash-allowance-paid-to-asylum-seekers.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has plans to restore the link between the level of asylum support and social security benefits; and if she will make a statement.

We are currently reviewing the level of the cash allowances, as we do each year, to ensure that these meet the essential living needs of asylum seekers. The level of the asylum support cash allowance is not linked to social security benefits.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government has provided to UK Border Force and Immigration Enforcement to manage arrivals in remote ports and at smaller airports during the covid-19 outbreak.

Border Force is continuing to keep the UK’s border secure and has robust contingency plans in place to respond the covid-19 pandemic driven by the latest scientific and medical advice.

We exercise a range of options at small and remote ports dependent on risk and continue to do so in line with public health and devolved administrations, without comprising security checks.

Border Force are working closely with law enforcement partners on the response to threats at the border during the Covid outbreak, and that includes our response at smaller airports/ports

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what changes have been made in response to the covid-19 outbreak to arrival procedures at small and private ports and airports for returning UK citizens and foreign nationals.

Border Force is continuing to keep the UK’s border secure and has robust contingency plans in place to respond the covid-19 pandemic driven by the latest scientific and medical advice.

We exercise a range of options at small and remote ports dependent on risk and continue to do so in line with public health and devolved administrations, without comprising security checks.

From 8 June, all passenger arrivals in the UK have been required to complete a locator-form as well as self-isolate for 14 days, apart from those on a short list of exemptions.

Border Force are working closely with law enforcement partners on the response to threats at the border during the COVID outbreak, and that includes our response at smaller airports/ports.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has for cooperation and access to Europol for police services in the UK after the transition period.

As set out in the UK’s approach to negotiations, published on 27 February, the UK is not seeking membership of Europol as part of the future relationship agreement with the EU, however the agreement should provide for cooperation between the UK and Europol which facilitates multilateral cooperation to tackle serious and organised crime and terrorism.

Europol already works closely with a number of non-EU countries through dedicated third country arrangements. The agreement on Europol could go beyond existing precedents given the scale and nature of cooperation between the UK and Europol.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to establish a replacement scheme for the European Arrest Warrant after the transition period.

The European Arrest Warrant is an EU tool used exclusively by EU Member States. We have left the EU. In the future our relationship will be fundamentally different to that of a Member State.

The Government stands ready to discuss an agreement with the EU on law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. As set out in our approach to negotiations, the agreement should provide for fast-track extradition arrangements with appropriate further safeguards beyond those provided for in the European Arrest Warrant. Such an agreement should equip operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of potential effect of the proposed immigration rules on the security industry.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

We are ending free movement and will bring in a firm and fair points-based system that will attract the high skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities and our public services. Businesses will have to make some adjustments and focus on upskilling the resident UK labour force and investing in new technology.

Many businesses, like the security industry, will also be able to continue to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status.

We recognise these proposals represent significant change for some employers in the UK. We will deliver a comprehensive programme of communication and engagement in the coming months.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will also keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and continue to engage with stakeholders.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the security sector on the potential effect on that sector of the proposed changes to the immigration rules.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

We are ending free movement and will bring in a firm and fair points-based system that will attract the high skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities and our public services. Businesses will have to make some adjustments and focus on upskilling the resident UK labour force and investing in new technology.

Many businesses, like the security industry, will also be able to continue to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status.

We recognise these proposals represent significant change for some employers in the UK. We will deliver a comprehensive programme of communication and engagement in the coming months.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will also keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and continue to engage with stakeholders.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of (a) the potential effect on the security sector of the proposed new immigration rules, and (b) the implications of that effect for (i) the police and (ii) other public agencies.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

We are ending free movement and will bring in a firm and fair points-based system that will attract the high skilled workers we need to contribute to our economy, our communities and our public services. Businesses will have to make some adjustments and focus on upskilling the resident UK labour force and investing in new technology.

Many businesses, like the security industry, will also be able to continue to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status.

We recognise these proposals represent significant change for some employers in the UK. We will deliver a comprehensive programme of communication and engagement in the coming months.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will also keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and continue to engage with stakeholders.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under what formal process Police Scotland could request evidence from the US Government for an ongoing criminal investigation.

Where formal evidence is required as part of a criminal investigation, the Police Service of Scotland would contact the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of Scotland to send a Letter of Request for Assistance to the US Government under the provisions of the 1994 UK-US treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria is used in deciding the rate to be paid to local authorities for the care of unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

We recognise local authorities undertake incredibly valuable work in looking after vulnerable young asylum seekers and the Home Office is committed to supporting this.

The Home Office provides funding to local authorities as a contribution to the costs they incur when supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC), which is in addition to the money provided through the local government finance settlement.

The UASC funding review gathered evidence from over 50 local authorities and concluded in May 2019 with a significant increase in the funding: from 1 April 2019, local authorities now receive £114 per UASC per night for each UASC in their care, regardless of their age or when they entered the UK. This represents a 61% increase to the lowest rate that was previously paid. As well as providing a greater contribution to local authorities support costs, these changes addressed feedback from the review that the previous rate structure was overly complex.

Further consideration is being given to funding rates for local authorities supporting UASC and former UASC care leavers.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure (a) transparency and (b) accountability on the provision of official development assistance to support counter-narcotics projects overseas.

The UK government works overseas to tackle drugs supply to the UK alongside other serious and organised crime (SOC) threats in line with the direction and ambition set out in the SOC Strategy 2018.

Overseas counter-narcotics activities are part of wider funded activities (both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA) designed to tackle the underlying drivers, enablers and consequences associated with serious and organised crime in developing countries as well as tackling penetration across borders.

The Home Office is committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in all its aid projects, in line with the UK Aid Strategy. Significant progress has been made to that effect, with the 2020 UK Aid Transparency Review listing the Home Office as one of just three departments to have been publishing good quality results data, but we recognise there is more to be done. We will continue to work closely with DfID and other HMG departments on best practices to improve UK aid and its impact.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many countries are receiving official development assistance to support counter-narcotic operations.

The UK government works overseas to tackle drugs supply to the UK alongside other serious and organised crime (SOC) threats in line with the direction and ambition set out in the SOC Strategy 2018.

Overseas counter-narcotics activities are part of wider funded activities (both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA) designed to tackle the underlying drivers, enablers and consequences associated with serious and organised crime in developing countries as well as tackling penetration across borders.

The Home Office is committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in all its aid projects, in line with the UK Aid Strategy. Significant progress has been made to that effect, with the 2020 UK Aid Transparency Review listing the Home Office as one of just three departments to have been publishing good quality results data, but we recognise there is more to be done. We will continue to work closely with DfID and other HMG departments on best practices to improve UK aid and its impact.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding the Government has allocated to support operational anti-narcotic services in developing countries.

The UK government works overseas to tackle drugs supply to the UK alongside other serious and organised crime (SOC) threats in line with the direction and ambition set out in the SOC Strategy 2018.

Overseas counter-narcotics activities are part of wider funded activities (both Official Development Assistance (ODA) and non-ODA) designed to tackle the underlying drivers, enablers and consequences associated with serious and organised crime in developing countries as well as tackling penetration across borders.

The Home Office is committed to ensuring transparency and accountability in all its aid projects, in line with the UK Aid Strategy. Significant progress has been made to that effect, with the 2020 UK Aid Transparency Review listing the Home Office as one of just three departments to have been publishing good quality results data, but we recognise there is more to be done. We will continue to work closely with DfID and other HMG departments on best practices to improve UK aid and its impact.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will (a) suspend UK military training with Kazakhstan and (b) apologise for UK military involvement in training with that country in the last three years, including as part of Exercise Steppe Eagle.

Her Majesty's Government has followed developments in Kazakhstan closely. We condemn the acts of violence and greatly regret the loss of life. We have been clear with the Kazakh Government that the right to peaceful protest should be protected. We will continue to monitor the conduct of the Kazakh Armed Forces and, if any breaches of international law are seen, we will raise these with the Kazakh Government. Our vision for Central Asia is of a peaceful and prosperous region underpinned by respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We are committed to engaging with Kazakhstan to build a stable and prosperous future on the basis of these principles.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when military officers from Kazakhstan last received training in the UK; and what the ranks of those officers were.

The UK Ministry of Defence last delivered training to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan between 22-26 November 2021. The participants ranged in rank from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel with three non-commissioned participants; in total eighteen Kazakh servicepeople participated. The intention of this training was to prepare and evaluate participants' readiness to deploy on UN Peacekeeping Missions.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what role RAF Croughton has in facilitating US drone operations in the Middle East; and how that base is linked to the US military facility at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

RAF Crougton is part of a worldwide US Defence Communications network, and the base supports a variety of communications activity. For operational security reasons and as a matter of policy, neither the Ministry of Defence nor the US Department of Defense publicly discuss specifics concerning military operations or classified communications regardless of unit, platform or asset.

US Forces maintain robust civilian and military cooperation with the United Kingdom and manage all base activities in accordance with the agreements made between the Unites States and Her Majesty's Government.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many US National Security Agency (a) personnel and (b) officers are based at RAF Croughton.

Any details of US intelligence personnel are classified. It is Government practice not to disclose the information of personnel working in intelligence roles to protect national security.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of whether British munitions were responsible for the explosion at Archers Post Training Area in 2021 that injured a civilian.

On 23 January 2021 a mini-flare was discovered and inadvertently deployed by a Kenyan civilian. This flare is consistent with British munitions that had been used in the area. The matter was investigated by the Kenyan authorities as it took place on Kenyan land and involved a Kenyan national.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has paid private landowners in Kenya to allow British army training on their estates in the most recent period for which data is available.

The amount the Department has paid private land owners in Kenya to allow training on their estate cannot be released as it is commercially sensitive. To release such information could prejudice relations with landowners and jeopardise future training commitments.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilians have been (a) killed and (b) injured by unexploded ordnance at British army training grounds in Kenya in each year since 2015.

There have been no civilian fatalities from unexploded ordnance on British army training grounds in Kenya from 2015 to date. The Department has identified records of two incidents where civilians have been injured by unexploded ordnance: one in 2015 and one in 2021. Both incidents were on Archers Post Training Area.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the name is of the terrorist armed group of the two men killed in Mali by British peacekeepers on 20 October 2021.

UK Armed Forces, deployed on peacekeeping operations, were engaged by two armed individuals while conducting routine assurance patrols. They returned fire, killing those two individuals, who are most likely to have been members of one of the terrorist armed groups operating in Mali and across the region. Our forces acted lawfully, pursuant to the inherent right of self-defence and in accordance with MINUSMA's mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the 77th Brigade are involved in the monitoring of activities related to opposition to the siting of Trident missiles on the Clyde.

77th Brigade are not involved in the monitoring of activities related to opposition to the siting of Trident missiles on the Clyde.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, further to the Answer of 25 October 2021 to Question 59966, on Army: Scotland, whether 77th Brigade has had involvement in (a) Northern Ireland or (b) Northern Ireland related security issues.

77th Brigade has had no involvement in Northern Ireland or related security issues.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will provide details of the (a) remit of 77th Brigade and (b) any restrictions on activities imposed on that unit.

The British Army website details the role and activities of 77th Brigade. 77th Brigade | The British Army (mod.uk) "Our aim is to challenge the difficulties of modern warfare using non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviours of the opposing forces and adversaries."

All activity conducted by 77th Brigade is in accordance with the legal and policy requirements of the MOD and is subject to Ministerial oversight.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what relationship the 77th Brigade has with the Police Scotland Crime Campus at Gartcosh.

77th Brigade have no relationship with the Police Scotland Crime Campus at Gartcosh.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the 77th Brigade were active in Scotland in 2014.

77th Brigade was not formed until 2015.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2021 to Question 59966 on Army: Scotland, if he will define what is meant by domestic audiences in that answer.

Domestic audiences are defined as the UK populace.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the greenhouse gas emissions of the UK's Carrier Strike Group 21 during Operation Fortis.

The Ministry of Defence is committed to supporting the Government's commitment to Net Zero Green House Gas Emissions by 2050.

The flagship of the Carrier Strike Group, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH has been designed, as far as possible, to minimise impact on the environment, incorporating many new technologies, such as integrated platform management system which allows only the minimum number of engines to be operated, adapting to demand.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the fuel consumption per nautical mile is for HMS Queen Elizabeth; and what distance that vessel sailed on Operation Fortis.

To date, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH has travelled over 27,000 nautical miles during her maiden Carrier Strike Group deployment.

The Government does not disclose operational information about the fuel consumption of Royal Navy assets as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many litres of diesel have been consumed by (a) HMS Queen Elizabeth and (b) HMS Queen Elizabeth's air wing since leaving Portsmouth on 22 May 2021.

To date, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH has travelled over 27,000 nautical miles during her maiden Carrier Strike Group deployment.

The Government does not disclose operational information about the fuel consumption of Royal Navy assets as to do so would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he made of the implications for his policies of new allegations that members of the Shihuh tribe in Musandam were among those detainees that Lord Parker's Inquiry said were subjected to illegal interrogation techniques by British troops in the Persian Gulf in 1970-71.

We are not aware of any new allegations of wrongdoing. The UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment ("CIDT"), or extraordinary rendition. In no circumstance will UK personnel ever take action amounting to torture, unlawful killing, extraordinary rendition, or CIDT. The UK takes suggested incidents of this kind very seriously.

The UK's aim is to develop and promote human rights in those countries with which it deals, consistent with the lead the UK has taken in international efforts to eradicate the mistreatment of detainees.

The UK and Oman have a very close bi-lateral relationship, all elements of which take into account the need to respect international humanitarian law. All UK Armed Services personnel must adhere to strict rules when interacting with detainees.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of defections from Malian security forces to insurgent groups.

We continue to keep the security situation under regular review, including monitoring the risk to life to our forces from a range of threats. The role of the UK Armed Forces in Mali as part of the UN Mission is to protect civilians and build long-term peace and stability in Mali.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the 77th Brigade has conducted operations against targets in Scotland.

77th Brigade has not and does not conduct operations targeted at UK domestic audiences.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 20 September 2021 to Question 49287 on Mali: Desertion, what the desertion rates were among Mali's defence and security forces in late 2019.

This is information which is not available to the Department. Our assessment is relative, derived from a range of non-quantitative data.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to respond to Questions 14221, 14222 and 14223 tabled by the hon. Member for East Lothian on 11 June 2021.

As I stated in my response of 16 June 2021 to the hon. Member's Questions 14221, 14222 and 14223, throughout 2011, the UK Government sought to respond to rapidly changing and volatile dynamics in order to protect Libyan civilians and wider UK interests. The UK's objective was clear: protect civilians and promote stability in Libya in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution 1973, in support of NATO's Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR.

As announced in Parliament by the then Foreign Secretary on 26 April 2011, the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was expanded to include an additional military liaison advisory team. This team was deployed to support the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) on how to better protect civilians. The team advised the NTC on how to improve their military organisational structures, communications and logistics. This deployment was fully within the terms of UNSCR 1973; both in respect of civilian protection and its provision, which expressly ruled out a foreign occupation force on Libyan soil. As stated by the then Foreign Secretary, "their sole purpose is to support the NTC's efforts better to protect civilians by advising on military organisational structures, communication and logistics. They are not involved in training or arming the opposition's fighting forces, nor are they executing or providing military advice".

Turning to your question concerning contact with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, there are no records of any UK contact with this group, in fact, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was a proscribed terrorist group in both the UK (in 2005) and US (in 2001).

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the desertion rates among Mali’s (a) police and (b) military.

Desertion rates amongst Mali's defence and security forces were high in late 2019, but subsequently appear to have improved. Given the role of the UK Armed Forces in Mali as part of the UN Mission, there we keep the security situation under regular review.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2021 to Question 27328 on Saudi Arabia: Military Aid and with reference to the video published on Twitter on 26 June 2021 of the Armed Forces Minister referencing the number of British troops in Somalia; for what reason that published information was not included in that Answer on operational and personal security grounds.

Each request for disclosing information related to deployed personnel is considered on its merits. In the case of the air defence deployment to Saudi Arabia, for operational and personal security reasons, we cannot disclose the number of those deployed.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Consolidated Guidance to Service Personnel on overseas detention and reports by Human Rights Watch of torture being practised by Saudi forces at al-Ghaydah airport, what assessment he has made of the compliance with that guidance of the deployment of UK military personnel to Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen.

I am aware of speculation in the media regarding UK military personnel operating in Yemen. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Since the conflict in Yemen began, the then Defence Attache accompanied the then Foreign Secretary on his trip to Aden in March 2019. In 2020 the UK attached a military officer to the office of the UN Special Envoy in an advisory capacity. This military officer has visited Yemen several times in this role. Overseas operational deployments of military personnel are notified to Parliament in line with the longstanding convention of successive Governments.

Separately, the UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“CIDT”), or extraordinary rendition.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports by Human Rights Watch that torture is being practised at a Saudi-run prison camp at Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen.

I am aware of speculation in the media regarding UK military personnel operating in Yemen. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Since the conflict in Yemen began, the then Defence Attache accompanied the then Foreign Secretary on his trip to Aden in March 2019. In 2020 the UK attached a military officer to the office of the UN Special Envoy in an advisory capacity. This military officer has visited Yemen several times in this role. Overseas operational deployments of military personnel are notified to Parliament in line with the longstanding convention of successive Governments.

Separately, the UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“CIDT”), or extraordinary rendition.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether UK military personnel have reported any concerns on torture or mistreatment at Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen in the last 12 months.

I am aware of speculation in the media regarding UK military personnel operating in Yemen. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Since the conflict in Yemen began, the then Defence Attache accompanied the then Foreign Secretary on his trip to Aden in March 2019. In 2020 the UK attached a military officer to the office of the UN Special Envoy in an advisory capacity. This military officer has visited Yemen several times in this role. Overseas operational deployments of military personnel are notified to Parliament in line with the longstanding convention of successive Governments.

Separately, the UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“CIDT”), or extraordinary rendition.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on updating the House on the deployment of British military personnel in Yemen.

I am aware of speculation in the media regarding UK military personnel operating in Yemen. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Since the conflict in Yemen began, the then Defence Attache accompanied the then Foreign Secretary on his trip to Aden in March 2019. In 2020 the UK attached a military officer to the office of the UN Special Envoy in an advisory capacity. This military officer has visited Yemen several times in this role. Overseas operational deployments of military personnel are notified to Parliament in line with the longstanding convention of successive Governments.

Separately, the UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“CIDT”), or extraordinary rendition.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many British military personnel have operated from Al-Ghaydah airport in Yemen in the last 12 months; what their role has been; and what regiment they serve in.

I am aware of speculation in the media regarding UK military personnel operating in Yemen. The UK is not a member of the Saudi-led Coalition. Since the conflict in Yemen began, the then Defence Attache accompanied the then Foreign Secretary on his trip to Aden in March 2019. In 2020 the UK attached a military officer to the office of the UN Special Envoy in an advisory capacity. This military officer has visited Yemen several times in this role. Overseas operational deployments of military personnel are notified to Parliament in line with the longstanding convention of successive Governments.

Separately, the UK Government does not participate in, solicit, encourage or condone unlawful killing, the use of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (“CIDT”), or extraordinary rendition.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the News release of 1 July 2021 by Police Scotland entitled Royal College of Defence Studies makes visit to SPC Tulliallan, which 22 countries comprised the delegation from the Royal College of Defence Studies that visited the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan on 30 June 2021.

The RCDS course member visit to the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan on 30 June 2021 comprised delegates from the following 21 nations; Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Chile, India, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the UAE, the UK, and the USA.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 5 July 2021 to Question 24336 on Saudi Arabia: Military Aid, how many UK personnel are deployed to Saudi Arabia with those air defence units.

For operational and personal security reasons I cannot disclose the number of those deployed.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2021 to Question 18602 on Oman: Demonstrations, whether UK military personnel discussed the use of tear gas with Omani authorities between 23 May and 28 May 2021.

UK personnel provide advice and share experience with the Omani authorities on a wide range of security related issues. All advice is always in line with the rule of law and respect for human rights.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 17 June 2021 to Question 15400 on Oman: Visits Abroad, whether the Chief of Defence Staff met Oman’s Royal Office minister in Muscat on 5 January 2020.

The Chief of the Defence Staff did not meet Oman's Royal Office Minister on 5 January 2020.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 116502 on Saudi Arabia: Royal Artillery, what the total cost to the public purse is for the deployment of British air defence units to Saudi Arabia since February 2020, as at 29 June 2021.

To date, the total cost of the deployment in Question is £2,279,953.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department made of Qatar's role in financing (a) al-Nusrah Front in Syria, (b) the Taliban in Afghanistan and (c) other groups that the UK recognises as terrorist organisations before establishing the Royal Air Force joint squadrons with Qatar.

All relevant considerations were taken into account when deciding to establish joint squadrons with Qatar. The long-standing friendship between the UK and Qatar is more important than ever. With shared defence and security interests, it is vital we work together for both regional and global stability.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2021 to Question 11674 on Oman: Demonstrations, what experience on responding to protests UK military personnel have shared with the Omani authorities since 23 May 2021.

Oman is an important partner and we have regular contact with the Omani authorities. UK personnel provide advice and share experience on a wide range of security related issues. Since 23 May, UK military and civilian personnel in country have continued their work with the Omani authorities. All advice is always in line with the rule of law and respect for human rights.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether British air defence units in Saudi Arabia helped to identify or track the Houthi drone that was reported to be targeting an area near Khamis Mushait on 6 June 2021.

As I stated in my answer to the hon. Member to his question 15401 of 15 June, British Air Defence units in Saudi Arabia help identify and track objects in Saudi airspace. Any action is decided upon and conducted by Saudi forces. For security reasons it is not appropriate to provide specific details of the operational activity of British air defence units in Saudi Arabia.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether British air defence units in Saudi Arabia helped to identify or track the Houthi drone that was reported to have been intercepted near Khamis Mushait on 17 June 2021.

As I stated in my answer to the hon. Member to his question 15401 of 15 June, British Air Defence units in Saudi Arabia help identify and track objects in Saudi airspace. Any action is decided upon and conducted by Saudi forces. For security reasons it is not appropriate to provide specific details of the operational activity of British air defence units in Saudi Arabia.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answers of 17 May and 14 June 2021 to Questions 490 and 12311, who the Chief of the Defence Staff met during his visit to Oman from 2 to 5 January 2020.

The Chief of Defence Staff met with the following:

  • Lt Gen Ahmed bin Harith Al Nabhani, Chief of Staff of the Sultan's Armed Forces (COSAF)
  • His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harub Al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs (MRDA)
James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether British air defence units in Saudi Arabia have been involved in the targeting of drones flown from Yemen by the Houthi rebel group.

British Air Defence units in Saudi Arabia help identify and track objects in Saudi airspace. Any action is decided upon and conducted by Saudi forces.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the nature was of the contacts his Department had with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group during the war in Libya in 2011.

Throughout 2011, the UK Government sought to respond to rapidly changing and volatile dynamics in Libya and to make timely decisions in order to protect Libyan civilians and wider UK national interests. Our objective remained clear at all times: to protect civilians and to promote stability in Libya. UK military action was taken in accordance with the United Nations mandate to protect civilians.

In relation to the specific information requested, given the amount of time that has elapsed since 2011 I will write to the hon. Member when it is available.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any UK personnel were involved in training Libyan opposition forces in the Nafusa mountains during the war in Libya of 2011.

Throughout 2011, the UK Government sought to respond to rapidly changing and volatile dynamics in Libya and to make timely decisions in order to protect Libyan civilians and wider UK national interests. Our objective remained clear at all times: to protect civilians and to promote stability in Libya. UK military action was taken in accordance with the United Nations mandate to protect civilians.

In relation to the specific information requested, given the amount of time that has elapsed since 2011 I will write to the hon. Member when it is available.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which opposition groups the British military provided training to during the Libya war of 2011; where that training took place; and what the nature of that training was.

Throughout 2011, the UK Government sought to respond to rapidly changing and volatile dynamics in Libya and to make timely decisions in order to protect Libyan civilians and wider UK national interests. Our objective remained clear at all times: to protect civilians and to promote stability in Libya. UK military action was taken in accordance with the United Nations mandate to protect civilians.

In relation to the specific information requested, given the amount of time that has elapsed since 2011 I will write to the hon. Member when it is available.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what information the Government holds on which opposition Libyan opposition groups (a) Salman Abedi, (b) Khairi Saadallah and (c) Rachid Redouane fought for in the war in that country in 2011.

The Ministry of Defence is aware of the historic Libyan links of the three named individuals (Salman Abedi, Khairi Saadallah and Rachid Redouane). However, even from this distance in time, disclosure of our understanding of the various Libyan groups that these individuals were associated with, could undermine future intelligence analysis and operations being conducted in support of national security.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what information his Department holds on hospitality received by the Chief of the Defence Staff in connection with his attendance at the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on 5-6 January 2019.

Transparency guidance for Senior Officials from the Cabinet Office states that Hospitality provided by overseas governments should not normally be included in published returns. Consequently, the information is not held centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what information his department holds on who the Chief of the Defence Staff held meetings with at the Sultan’s Privy Council in Oman from 2 to 5 January 2020.

Privy Council did not meet in 2020.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of the activities of British air defence units in Saudi Arabia on the conflict in Yemen.

This deployment is purely defensive in nature and supports Saudi Arabia to mitigate the aerial threats it faces from different quarters. It is therefore not directly involved in the conflict in Yemen.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to Exercise Falcon Strike 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on joint training with the Israeli air force of that air force's recent bombing of the Associated Press office in Gaza.

Ex Falcon Strike is a joint multinational exercise with participants from the United States working with Italy, Israel and the United Kingdom. Cooperation of this kind helps significantly to prepare our armed forces to tackle threats to the UK.

The UK military does not engage with the Israeli Defence Force in matters relating to public order and internal security activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The UK is a staunch defender of media freedom and proponent that journalists must be able to operate safely. We are concerned by reports that Hamas is again using civilian infrastructure and populations as cover for its military operations. All Israeli military action taken must be necessary, proportionate and in line with international humanitarian law.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Chief of the Defence Staff attended a New Year’s Eve party hosted by the Government of Oman on 31 December 2018.

The Chief of the Defence Staff did not attend the New Year's Eve party hosted by the Government of Oman on 31 December 2018.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many armoured fighting vehicles the UK has, by country in which those vehicles are currently located.

The number of Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) held by the British Army are published annually with the UK Armed Forces Equipment and Formation statistics.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-equipment-and-formations-2020/uk-armed-forces-equipment-and-formations-2020

AFVs are currently in use across the world, including the UK, Canada, Estonia and Germany. It would be inappropriate to confirm exact numbers and locations for operational and security reasons.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether (a) the Chief of the Defence Staff and (b) other UK military personnel have been in contact with the Omani authorities on the recent protests in that country.

UK military personnel are in regular contact with the Omani authorities. Our close bilateral relationship allows us to share ideas and experience on all aspects of security including response to protests in line with the rule of law and respect for human rights. The Chief of the Defence Staff has not had any contact with the Omani authorities regarding the recent protests in that country.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Chief of the Defence Staff and other UK military personnel have assisted the Omani authorities in responding to the recent protests in that country.

UK military personnel have not assisted the Omani authorities in their response to the recent protests.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the number of UK military personnel based in Oman.

The UK currently has approximately 230 military personnel based in Oman.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any British Army personnel on loan to the Sultanate of Oman serve in military units that (a) operate or (b) maintain armoured vehicles.

I am withholding details of the military units where the UK Loan Service in Oman are based as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and another state.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the agreement signed between the British Armed Forces and and the Israeli Defence Forces on 2 December 2020 on strengthening military co-operation.

The agreement signed in December 2020 by The Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter and his Israeli counterpart, Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi, strengthens the defence relationship between Britain and Israel. While this agreement is an important piece of defence diplomacy, the security implications of this work warrant the agreement being kept at a higher security classification, and therefore it will not be made public. In essence the new agreement is an organising mechanism for our relationship. The agreement formalises our defence relationship and supports our partnership and cooperation with Israel. It will streamline and provide a mechanism for planning our joint activity, allowing collaboration on a number of areas that will include defence medical training, organisational design concepts, and defence education.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the (a) items and (b) value of hospitality received by the (i) Chief of the Defence Staff and (ii) his predecessor in connection with attendance at the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on (A) 5 and 6 January 2019, (B) 6 and 7 January 2018 and (C) 7 and 8 January 2017.

Transparency guidance for Senior Officials from the Cabinet Office states that Hospitality provided by overseas governments should not normally be included in published returns. Consequently, the information is not held centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish a list the (a) items and (b) value of hospitality received by the Chief of the Defence Staff and his predecessor in connection with their attendance at the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on (i) 5-6 January 2019, (ii) 6-7 January 2018 and (iii) 7-8 January 2017.

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

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter did not register the hospitality he received at the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on 5-6 January 2019.

The hospitality the Chief of Defence Staff received at the Sultan's Privy Council in Oman on 5-6 January 2019 is registered. Transparency guidance for Senior Officials from the Cabinet Office states that Hospitality provided by overseas governments should not normally be included in published returns.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many staff have been on (a) secondment and (b) internship to his Department from (i) the Scottish Government and (ii) Crown and Prosecutor Fiscal Service in each year since 2011; how long on average each such position was held for; and what role each such member of staff performed.

The information is not held in the requested format.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, further to Answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 43761, on Animal Experiments: Porton Down, for what reasons infant marmosets are not reared on site prior to re-homing.

Infant marmosets are reared on site within their family group where the family are able to do this successfully. In captivity, larger litter sizes (for example triplets) are more frequent and some marmoset families are not able to successfully rear triplets. Optimal family group welfare is maintained, where appropriate, by euthanasia of some infants to reduce litter size down to a number that the family can rear. The decision to reduce litter size is made on a case by case basis, under veterinary supervision. It would not be appropriate to hand rear marmoset infants away from their families (on site or anywhere else) as their physical and psychological welfare needs could not be met in these circumstances.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any projects involving the use of live animals in scientific procedures at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, were part of contracts with foreign Governments in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the value of those contracts was.

There were a number of projects that have involved the use of live animals in scientific procedures at Dstl that were part of contracts with foreign governments. The total value of those contracts in the latest period (Financial year 2019-20) was £2.4 million.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of removing females of a litter of triplets from the breeding programme of marmosets at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down and re-homing them to decrease the number of those animals that are euthanised.

The welfare of marmosets in the Dstl breeding programme is under constant review by veterinary staff, independent inspectors and the Dstl Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body.

In captivity, triplet marmoset litters are more frequent and some marmoset families are not able to rear triplets successfully. Optimal family group welfare is maintained where appropriate by euthanasia of some infants to reduce litter size. It would not be appropriate to re-home newly born triplet female marmoset infants away from their families as their physical and psychological welfare needs could not be met in these circumstances.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether researchers at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down are working on animal model development; and how much funding that laboratory has allocated to developing non-animal research methods in each of the last three years.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is developing and using animal models where this is necessary to understand and mitigate potential hazards to UK Service personnel and civilians

The principles of the "three Rs" of 'reduce' (the number of animals used), 'refine' (animal procedures) and 'replace' (animal experiments with non-animal alternatives) are integral to all animal procedures at Dstl, and so separate allocations for developing non-animal research methods cannot be identified.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to reduce the severity of experiments conducted on live animals at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is committed to reducing the number of animal experiments and is proactive in developing alternatives. The “three Rs” of ‘reduce’ (the number of animals used), ‘refine’ (animal procedures) and ‘replace’ (animal experiments with non-animal alternatives) are integral to its research programme.

Dstl currently uses non-animal physical models, computer models and in-vitro methods. For example, computer models are being used to model pressure waves in the head from the impact of blunt projectiles. Dstl scientists have developed invertebrate animal models using wax moth larvae that are used to screen novel antibiotics, and a replacement for animals in the form of a mechanical rig that represents the human chest and is used to assess protective equipment worn by the military.

For the period 2018, a total of 586 regulated procedures were classified as severe based on the actual severity experienced by the animals.

The welfare of marmosets in the Dstl breeding programme is under constant review by veterinary staff, independent inspectors and the Dstl Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body.

While adult marmosets can live for a period of time in compatible same-sex social groups, the normal long term social group for mature adult marmosets is a male-female pairing. Removing female marmosets and rehoming them is not, therefore, a suitable strategy for the breeding programme, for the scientific research programme, or in the interests of optimal animal welfare.

Dstl is committed to refining regulated procedures to reduce the overall number of severe procedures in animals. A procedure is retrospectively classed as “severe” if animals experience severe illness or die. As Dstl uses animals in experiments to develop new vaccines, therapies and treatments to protect against severe illness and death in humans, some severe procedures are still required. This is part of ensuring that the procedures provide a valid model of the human disease.

No projects involving the use of live animals in scientific procedures at Dstl received grants during the latest period (2019). Where Dstl works with foreign governments, this is on a contract not grant basis, ensuring that the specifics of the work to be done are clearly stated, along with the associated legal obligations on both parties.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many live animal procedures conducted at Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down were classified as severe in 2018.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is committed to reducing the number of animal experiments and is proactive in developing alternatives. The “three Rs” of ‘reduce’ (the number of animals used), ‘refine’ (animal procedures) and ‘replace’ (animal experiments with non-animal alternatives) are integral to its research programme.

Dstl currently uses non-animal physical models, computer models and in-vitro methods. For example, computer models are being used to model pressure waves in the head from the impact of blunt projectiles. Dstl scientists have developed invertebrate animal models using wax moth larvae that are used to screen novel antibiotics, and a replacement for animals in the form of a mechanical rig that represents the human chest and is used to assess protective equipment worn by the military.

For the period 2018, a total of 586 regulated procedures were classified as severe based on the actual severity experienced by the animals.

The welfare of marmosets in the Dstl breeding programme is under constant review by veterinary staff, independent inspectors and the Dstl Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body.

While adult marmosets can live for a period of time in compatible same-sex social groups, the normal long term social group for mature adult marmosets is a male-female pairing. Removing female marmosets and rehoming them is not, therefore, a suitable strategy for the breeding programme, for the scientific research programme, or in the interests of optimal animal welfare.

Dstl is committed to refining regulated procedures to reduce the overall number of severe procedures in animals. A procedure is retrospectively classed as “severe” if animals experience severe illness or die. As Dstl uses animals in experiments to develop new vaccines, therapies and treatments to protect against severe illness and death in humans, some severe procedures are still required. This is part of ensuring that the procedures provide a valid model of the human disease.

No projects involving the use of live animals in scientific procedures at Dstl received grants during the latest period (2019). Where Dstl works with foreign governments, this is on a contract not grant basis, ensuring that the specifics of the work to be done are clearly stated, along with the associated legal obligations on both parties.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of removing the female marmosets from litters in the breeding programme for that animal at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Porton Down, and re-homing them to animal sanctuaries.

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is committed to reducing the number of animal experiments and is proactive in developing alternatives. The “three Rs” of ‘reduce’ (the number of animals used), ‘refine’ (animal procedures) and ‘replace’ (animal experiments with non-animal alternatives) are integral to its research programme.

Dstl currently uses non-animal physical models, computer models and in-vitro methods. For example, computer models are being used to model pressure waves in the head from the impact of blunt projectiles. Dstl sci