Lady Hermon Portrait

Lady Hermon

Independent - Former Member for North Down

Lady Hermon is not a member of any APPGs
1 Former APPG membership
Liechtenstein
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 30th Mar 2015
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
1st Jan 2003 - 6th May 2010
Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport)
10th May 2002 - 8th May 2005
Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
10th May 2001 - 8th May 2005
Shadow Spokesperson (Women)
10th May 2001 - 8th May 2005
Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)
10th May 2001 - 8th May 2005


Division Voting information

Lady Hermon has voted in 1301 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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All Debates

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

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Latest EDMs signed by Lady Hermon

24th October 2019
Lady Hermon signed this EDM on Monday 28th October 2019

War Disablement Pension and Emplyment Support Allowance

Tabled by: Carol Monaghan (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North West)
That this House recognises that veterans are an asset to our society and deserve the best possible care and support; considers that those who have been injured in the service of the UK deserve the full value of their War Disablement Pension; notes that under the current system the War …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Dec 2019)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 17
Labour: 6
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
Green Party: 1
24th October 2019
Lady Hermon signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 28th October 2019

Customs checks between Northern Ireland and Great Britain

Tabled by: Ruth Jones (Labour - Newport West)
This House recognises the very grave concerns expressed by businesses and communities in Northern Ireland, Wales and across the United Kingdom about the impact of introducing checks and tariffs on trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain; condemns any proposals or policies that would see an economic or political border …
10 signatures
(Most recent: 30 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Independent: 1
View All Lady Hermon's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lady Hermon, 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.


Lady Hermon has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lady Hermon has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lady Hermon has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


432 Written Questions

(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
24 Other Department Questions
31st Oct 2018
To ask the Prime Minister, what plans she has to visit Northern Ireland before Christmas 2018; and if she will make a statement.

I visit all parts of the United Kingdom regularly. Details of my visits within the United Kingdom are published on the gov.uk website.

10th May 2018
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to her oral contribution of 9 May 2018, Official Report, column 677, what the evidential basis was for her statement that the only people being investigated for past issues are people in our armed forces or those who served in law enforcement in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the Written Statement made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Staffordshire Moorlands (Mrs Bradley) on 14 May 2018, Official Report, HCWS682.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-05-14/HCWS682/

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Prime Minister, if she will publish the advice she received from the DUP in relation to her visit to Belfast on 12 February 2018 during the negotiations between the DUP and Sinn Fein; and if she will make a statement.

As you would expect, Ministers and advisers spoke to a number of people from different parties in the run-up to the my visit, but no written advice was received from the DUP or any other party.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Prime Minister, if she will visit Northern Ireland before summer 2018; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to my speech at Stormont House on 12 February and which is available on the gov.uk website: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-at-stormont-house

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Prime Minister, what discussions she had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the effect upon the Irish border of the UK leaving the EU in advance of the Cabinet meetings held on 7 and 8 February 2018; and if she will make a statement.

I discuss a range of issues with Ministerial colleagues. It has been the practice of successive Governments not to disclose information relating to internal discussions.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Prime Minister, when she next plans to visit Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

I visit all parts of the United Kingdom regularly. Details of my visits within the United Kingdom are published on the gov.uk website.

30th Nov 2016
To ask the Prime Minister, whether she plans to attend the next British-Irish Council meeting; and if she will make a statement.

The British Irish Council provides a unique opportunity for the eight member administrations to work together on matters of mutual interest. The composition of the UK Government's delegation to the Council will be announced in due course.

2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Rt. hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington representing the House of Commons Commission, how many hours have been spent by the staff of the House on the certification process necessitated by the English Votes for English Laws Standing Orders of the House of Commons since those orders were implemented; and if he will make a statement.

The Clerk of Legislation advises Mr Speaker on EVEL as part of his normal duties. The Papers Clerk in the Journal Office assists in record-keeping and in the publication of Speaker’s certificates as part of her normal duties. It is not possible to disaggregate the time they spend on EVEL certification from other aspects of their work.

In the Office of Speaker’s Counsel, as part of their ordinary duties the Counsel for Legislation advises Mr Speaker on certification of statutory instruments and one of the Deputy Counsel advises Mr Speaker on the certification of Bills. It is not possible to disaggregate the time they spend on EVEL certification from other aspects of their work, although the Deputy Counsel’s contracted hours were increased slightly on the introduction of the EVEL certification process.

23rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2016 to Question 25652, whether EU nationals are able to apply for apprenticeships in England.

An EU national can be employed in an apprenticeship in England, and will be eligible for funding for their apprenticeship provided they meet set eligibility criteria.

These criteria are set out in the Skills Funding Agency: common funding rules for the 2016 to 2017 funding year.

23rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2016 to Question 25652, whether people resident in Northern Ireland are able to apply for apprenticeships in England.

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) funds apprenticeships training in England. The devolved administrations of Northern Ireland (NI), Wales, and Scotland have their own funding arrangements for apprenticeships. Employers and training providers must not actively recruit learners who live or work outside of England.

Residents in NI can apply for English Apprenticeships provided they want to live in, or travel to, England to work and study. The SFA will only apply funding under these circumstances.

The SFA will not fund individuals whose main employment or normal place of work is not in England.

Skills is a devolved matter to NI and are funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) in NI.

23rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2016 to Question 25652, what media outlets will be used to carry advertising as part of the national campaign for apprenticeships.

The national campaign for apprenticeships will target a range of audiences including young people, employers and parents.

Advertising will be through a number of different media channels including television, out of home advertising (e.g. posters), radio, digital and social media.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the contribution by the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, of 2 February 2016, Official Report, column 884, what steps he is taking to ensure the national advertising campaign for apprenticeships extends to Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Education and skills policy (including Apprenticeships) is a devolved matter. It is for the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to determine how they manage their own programmes. This includes any advertising campaigns.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Prime Minister, what plans he has to visit North Down constituency; and if he will make a statement.

I regularly visit all parts of the United Kingdom. My last visit to Northern Ireland was in April.

8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if she will take steps to present a plan committing to phasing out coal burning without carbon capture from power stations by 2023; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for South Down on 23 June 2015 to Question 3265:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2015-06-18/3265/.

8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, if he will take steps to secure international agreement within Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries to stop supporting all coal projects through export credit agreements; and if he will make a statement.

UK Export Finance has been participating in discussions within the OECD with the aim of achieving a multilateral agreement on limiting the provision of export credits for coal-fired power projects.

16th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the possibility of making the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund available to householders in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

DECC Ministers meet regularly with Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office to discuss a range of issues. As has been the case with successive administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings. A proportion of the funding that has been used in England and Wales for the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has been made available separately to the Scottish and Northern Irish Governments.

8th Dec 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, what steps he took following representations by the hon. Member for North Down to secure the release of Alexandra Wilson from Bangor in County Down from a women's prison in Beijing in November 2014; and if he will make a statement.

Once informed of Ms Wilson’s arrest consular staff at the British Embassy in Beijing made repeated representations to the Chinese authorities in China. Representations were also made to the Chinese Embassy in London. Ms Wilson arrived home on 19 November. Consular officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office remain in contact with her family.

18th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if he will make additional funds available to allow the Northern Ireland Executive to extend the Warm Home Discount Scheme to Northern Ireland; what recent steps he has taken to encourage the setting up of the Warm Home Discount Scheme in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Warm Home Discount is an obligation on energy suppliers operating in the GB-wide market for domestic customers.

The scheme does not apply in Northern Ireland as fuel poverty is devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive, which decides its own fuel poverty objectives and policies.

18th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what assessment he made of the level of the support given by (a) the Northern Ireland Assembly and (b) other organisations in Northern Ireland for the British Business Bank; and if he will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Executive and other organisations in Northern Ireland work closely with counterparts in the British Business Bank. The Bank is engaged on the Joint Ministerial Taskforce on Banking and Access to Finance between HM Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, most recently meeting on 15 October 2014; in February 2014, Invest NI hosted a Roadshow for the British Business Bank to promote its solutions to financial intermediaries; and in September 2014, the British Business Bank presented at an event hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses in Belfast which looked at how to harness the power of SMEs in Northern Ireland. The British Business Bank will also be hosting a road show in Northern Ireland in early 2015.

In Northern Ireland, the Business Bank works through delivery partners to deliver the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, the Investment Programme (including its predecessor Business Finance Partnership), and the Start Up Loans Programme. This activity complements the venture capital programmes run by Invest NI.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee has unlocked more than £38 million of lending in Northern Ireland since its launch in 2009. Currently, the programme supports over 130 businesses with £13 million of loans.

The Investment Programme builds upon the success of the Business Finance Partnership, and is open to applications from finance providers in Northern Ireland. The combined Investment Programmes supported £2 million of lending to businesses in Northern Ireland between July and September 2014.

The British Business Bank has signed up four Start Up Loans providers which are active in Northern Ireland and are making progress in delivering the programme. The programme has now provided Start Up Loans worth nearly £900,000 in Northern Ireland.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how many Russian-owned companies are currently located in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

As Companies House does not maintain statistics on Company ownership, it is unable to tell how many Russian owned companies are located in the UK.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, how much oil and gas the UK purchased from the Russian Federation in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

The origin of natural gas imports are published on a monthly basis at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/347812/et4_4.xls.

The origins of oil imports are published on an annual basis at

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/338448/dukes3_9.xlsx.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, how many official visits to Northern Ireland he has undertaken since May 2010; and if he will make a statement.

Details of my visits within the United Kingdom are published on the gov.uk website.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Prime Minister, how many meetings he has held at (a) Downing Street and (b) the House with elected representatives from Northern Ireland in 2014 to date; and if he will make a statement.

I regularly meet Members from all parties.

17th Jul 2014
To ask the Attorney General, if he will publish the advice the Law Officers' Department gave to Lady Hallett on the lawfulness of the administrative scheme operated for the benefit of on-the-runs.

The then Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, and a member of the Attorney General’s Office gave evidence to the Hallett Inquiry but did so as witnesses rather than legal advisers. Lady Justice Hallett reached her own view on the lawfulness of the administrative scheme.

29th Nov 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he will publish the legal advice on the effect of the proposed Withdrawal Agreement on the Belfast Good Friday Agreement; and if he will make a statement.

On 5 December, the Government published the Attorney General’s advice to Cabinet on the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exiting-the-eu-publication-of-legal-advice.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, in what locations in Northern Ireland will hearings in the contaminated blood inquiry take place; and if he will make a statement.

The Infected Blood Inquiry's terms of reference require the Inquiry to ascertain, as far as practicable, the likely numbers of people who have been infected (directly or indirectly) in consequence of the use of infected blood and the use of infected blood products.

The Inquiry has held four well-attended meetings in Northern Ireland so far with people infected and affected, including meetings in Belfast on 30 July and 20 November. It is planning to hold further meetings elsewhere in Northern Ireland, and I have offered my support to the enquiry for this plan.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in Northern Ireland affected by the contaminated blood scandal; and if he will make a statement.

The Infected Blood Inquiry's terms of reference require the Inquiry to ascertain, as far as practicable, the likely numbers of people who have been infected (directly or indirectly) in consequence of the use of infected blood and the use of infected blood products.

The Inquiry has held four well-attended meetings in Northern Ireland so far with people infected and affected, including meetings in Belfast on 30 July and 20 November. It is planning to hold further meetings elsewhere in Northern Ireland, and I have offered my support to the enquiry for this plan.

12th Jul 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2017 to Question 2657, on the Democratic Unionist Party, if he will publish the names of those hon. Members who attend each meeting of the Coordination Committee; and if he will make a statement.

Pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2017 to Question 2657, the modus operandi of the coordination committee will be agreed between the Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist party.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure publication of the minutes of meetings of the co-ordination committee to be established in accordance with the confidence and supply deal agreed on 26 June 2017 between the Democratic Unionist Party and the Government; and if he will make a statement.

The modus operandi of the coordination committee will need to be agreed between the Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist party.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the constitutional status of the Co-ordination Committee to be established between the Government and the Democratic Unionist Party in accordance with the deal agreed between them on 26 June 2017; and if he will make a statement.

The Coordination Committee will be established to support the political agreement made between the Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist party.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will extend the membership of the Coordination Committee to be established between the Government and the Democratic Unionist Party to the hon. Member for North Down.

The modus operandi of the coordination committee will need to be agreed between the Conservative party and the Democratic Unionist party. It will be attended by members of the Conservative Party and the DUP to support the agreement made between the two parties.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether ending the anonymity of political donations to parties in Northern Ireland was discussed with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) before the deal was signed between the Government and the DUP on 26 June 2017; and if he will make a statement.

The terms of the deal between the Conservative party and the DUP have been set out in the agreement.

The rules about transparency of political donations are set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The Government intends to bring forward legislation to extend transparency that already exists for political parties in Great Britain to also cover donations and loans received by Northern Ireland parties on or after 1 July 2017.



2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps are being taken to introduce the requirement of photographic identification for votes to eliminate electoral fraud; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and making our electoral process more secure. We have already taken steps to improve the security of UK polls through the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER).

The Government has welcomed Sir Eric Pickles’ report on his review into electoral fraud. The report sets out a number of findings and recommendations including in relation to voter identification. We are considering these carefully and will respond shortly.

3rd Feb 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the oral contribution by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, of 26 January 2016, Official Report, column 231, what steps he has taken to contact the Northern Ireland Executive in relation to the reform of charities legislation to include social investment; and if he will make a statement.

Charity law is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Officials in the Office for Civil Society kept their counterparts in the Department for Social Development, Northern Ireland, informed of progress as the measures which are now contained in the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill were consulted on and developed.

I have written to Lord Morrow MLA, Minister for Social Development, following the Third Reading of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill, to draw his attention to the debate and the provisions of the Bill.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether any charities registered in the UK are donating funds or other support to Islamic State militants; and if he will make a statement.

Charity regulation is a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The annual accounts of charities in England and Wales are available on the Charity Commission’s website but the data requested on funding sources is not routinely held. Some charities may include information about the source of their donations in their accounts but they are not required to do so.

The Charity Commission is alert to the potential abuse of humanitarian aid efforts through facilitating travel for individuals for other purposes, particularly to conflict zones where terrorist groups are known to operate or exert control, including in Syria and Iraq.

There is a risk that charities working in certain areas, including those where so-called Islamic State militants operate, may be abused for non-charitable purposes. This is of serious concern to the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission has issued alerts to charities operating in these areas and advice to members of the public of how to give safely to ensure that their donations reach the intended charitable target. This information is available on the Charity Commission’s website.

Where there are concerns about suspected terrorist or extremist abuse connected to a charity the Charity Commission will support the Police in conducting criminal investigations.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of Russian citizens resident in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of charities registered in the UK primarily or substantially funded from Middle Eastern sources; and if he will make a statement.

Charity regulation is a devolved matter in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The annual accounts of charities in England and Wales are available on the Charity Commission’s website but the data requested on funding sources is not routinely held. Some charities may include information about the source of their donations in their accounts but they are not required to do so.

The Charity Commission is alert to the potential abuse of humanitarian aid efforts through facilitating travel for individuals for other purposes, particularly to conflict zones where terrorist groups are known to operate or exert control, including in Syria and Iraq.

There is a risk that charities working in certain areas, including those where so-called Islamic State militants operate, may be abused for non-charitable purposes. This is of serious concern to the Charity Commission. The Charity Commission has issued alerts to charities operating in these areas and advice to members of the public of how to give safely to ensure that their donations reach the intended charitable target. This information is available on the Charity Commission’s website.

Where there are concerns about suspected terrorist or extremist abuse connected to a charity the Charity Commission will support the Police in conducting criminal investigations.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth of 23 April 2019, Official Report, column 690, what are the market mechanisms put in place to deliver CO2 reductions in Northern Ireland since the closure of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme; and if she will make a statement.

Energy policy, including heat, is devolved for Northern Ireland. Section 113 of the Energy Act 2011 contains provisions enabling the Northern Ireland Executive to make regulations to introduce and operate a RHI scheme in Northern Ireland. The GB RHI scheme is completely separate to the NI RHI scheme, with different scheme rules. Between 1990 and 2016, Northern Ireland reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 16%[1].

The Government has been working with Northern Ireland’s Executive in areas such as the future of carbon pricing after we leave the European Union.

The UK Government and the Devolved Administrations (the Scottish Government; the Welsh Government; and the Northern Ireland Executive) have jointly published a consultation document on the UK’s future approach to carbon pricing. The consultation plays a vital role in helping the government fulfil its commitment to carbon pricing as an effective emissions reduction tool, as outlined in the Clean Growth Strategy

This is a joint consultation and the Devolved Administrations are co-authors and Government officials have worked with devolved administration’s counterparts throughout the process. At ministerial level I have regular quadrilaterals and Northern Ireland is represented by senior civil servants.

[1] Source: http://naei.beis.gov.uk/reports/reports?report_id=958

12th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it remains his Department's policy not to dispose of nuclear waste in Northern Ireland.

Policy on the management of radioactive waste is devolved. I understand that there are no plans for nuclear or radioactive waste disposal facilities in Northern Ireland.

18th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the papers his Department submitted to the US International Trade Commission in support of Bombardier in Belfast in relation to that company's dispute with Boeing in the US; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has submitted over 7,000 pages of argument and evidence to the US International Trade Administration and International Trade Commission. These are publically available [subject to some redactions of confidential information] at: https://access.trade.gov and https://edis.usitc.gov respectively. We continue to work closely with Canada and Bombardier, and our submissions complement theirs.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to her by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth on 16 January 2017 to Question 122103.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans she has to visit Bombardier in Belfast to discuss its ongoing dispute with Boeing; and if she will make a statement.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy visited Bombardier Aerostructures and Engineering Services (Shorts) in Belfast to discuss the Boeing dispute in July; he also visited Bombardier in Montreal in October and met with its Board. Minister Richard Harrington visited Bombardier in Belfast in August. Both the Secretary of State and the Minister are in regular dialogue with Bombardier’s top management in both Belfast and Montreal. In addition, senior BEIS officials continue to visit Belfast frequently for discussions with the company, most recently on the 11th January.

The next stage in the dispute proceedings is at the end of January when the International Trade Commission will consider the Department of Commerce’s findings and whether there has been an injury to the US aerospace industry. The Secretary of State will make a statement to the House after the final ruling and will keep under review the need for further direct ministerial visits to the Belfast site.

Safeguarding jobs at Bombardier Aerospace (Shorts) in Belfast remains a top priority for the Government and we will continue to do all we can to see the case resolved positively, working closely with Bombardier and the Canadian Government.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to advance the Belfast City Deal as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Autumn Budget 2017 statement on the 22 November 2017; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out at the Budget that the Government will open negotiations for a City Deal for Belfast, as part our wider commitment to work towards a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals across Northern Ireland to boost investment and productivity.

This Government believes that local people know what is best for their areas. As such City Deals are locally led. Belfast City Region are currently developing proposals for an ambitious City Deal that drives growth and productivity in the region, which they will share with Government in 2018. I look forward to seeing them.

In the meantime, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland remains in close touch with the region. Additionally, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government visited Belfast on 7 December to meet leaders from local councils, universities and business to hear how a City Deal that brings together the private and public sectors can help to unlock the huge economic potential of the Belfast City Region.

19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the merits of increasing the capacity of the Moyle electricity interconnector between Northern Ireland and Scotland to improve electricity interconnection within the UK; and if he will make a statement.

The Government supports the development of new interconnection where it delivers benefits to the consumer, and our approach is designed to deliver those benefits in the most efficient way. We have a developer-led approach to interconnection where the market identifies the best projects and applies to Ofgem to assess their merits. In the 2016 Budget the Government said that it supports the increase of interconnection capacity to at least 9GW; if a developer was to propose additional capacity between Northern Ireland and the GB market, Ofgem would assess it on its merits.

19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking fully to utilise the electricity interconnection between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK before the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

We are pleased that the Moyle interconnector is back up to full strength after a period of reduced capacity. This will help with security of supply, and the stability and flexibility of the grid in Northern Ireland.

One of the issues for the Moyle interconnector is that imports into Scotland are constrained by wider constraints on the Scottish grid and on the border between Scotland and England. A number of measures are being taken to strengthen the Scottish grid and grid connections to England. These include the Western HVDC link, which is due for completion in mid-2017 and will provide an additional 2.2GW of capacity.

10th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his oral contribution of 9 May 2018, Official Report, column 712, what steps he is taking to consult on the terms of reference of the review of press standards in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Ministerial meetings with colleagues/MPs are not normally detailed.

We have amended the Data Protection Bill to place a requirement on the Information Commissioner to conduct a statutory review of the media’s compliance with the new data protection legislation over the next four years. The Commissioner's final report must include specific consideration of the extent of compliance in each part of the United Kingdom. Alongside that review, we propose to have a named person review journalistic compliance with data protection rules in Northern Ireland in four years' time. This approach, details of which will be finalised in due course, reflects the fact that while data protection is reserved, press regulation is devolved

10th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his oral contribution of 9 May 2018, Official Report, column 712, for what reason he proposed a separate review of press standards in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Ministerial meetings with colleagues/MPs are not normally detailed.

We have amended the Data Protection Bill to place a requirement on the Information Commissioner to conduct a statutory review of the media’s compliance with the new data protection legislation over the next four years. The Commissioner's final report must include specific consideration of the extent of compliance in each part of the United Kingdom. Alongside that review, we propose to have a named person review journalistic compliance with data protection rules in Northern Ireland in four years' time. This approach, details of which will be finalised in due course, reflects the fact that while data protection is reserved, press regulation is devolved

10th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials of his Department held with representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party prior to the proceedings on the Data Protection Bill [Lords] in the House on 9 May 2018; and if he will make a statement.

Ministerial meetings with colleagues/MPs are not normally detailed.

We have amended the Data Protection Bill to place a requirement on the Information Commissioner to conduct a statutory review of the media’s compliance with the new data protection legislation over the next four years. The Commissioner's final report must include specific consideration of the extent of compliance in each part of the United Kingdom. Alongside that review, we propose to have a named person review journalistic compliance with data protection rules in Northern Ireland in four years' time. This approach, details of which will be finalised in due course, reflects the fact that while data protection is reserved, press regulation is devolved

10th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his oral contribution of 9 May 2018, Official Report, column 712, what criteria will be applied for the appointment of the named person to review press standards in Northern Ireland; by whom that criteria will be applied; and if he will make a statement.

Ministerial meetings with colleagues/MPs are not normally detailed.

We have amended the Data Protection Bill to place a requirement on the Information Commissioner to conduct a statutory review of the media’s compliance with the new data protection legislation over the next four years. The Commissioner's final report must include specific consideration of the extent of compliance in each part of the United Kingdom. Alongside that review, we propose to have a named person review journalistic compliance with data protection rules in Northern Ireland in four years' time. This approach, details of which will be finalised in due course, reflects the fact that while data protection is reserved, press regulation is devolved

3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, for what reasons the triennial review of (a) stake and (b) prize limits in fixed-odds betting terminals has not yet been published; and if he will make a statement.

In April 2015 the previous Government introduced regulations which require authorisation of stakes over £50 on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals through a “verified account” or staff interaction. The Government published its evaluation of the £50 regulations on 21 January. The evaluation paper can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/evaluation-of-gaming-machine-circumstances-of-useamendment-regulations-2015.

We will now consider the findings of the evaluation before deciding if there is a need for further action.

5th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will request information from the Vice Chancellor of Sheffield University on the number of scholarships in the Sheffield University Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme that have been awarded to applicants from Northern Ireland in the latest academic year; and if he make a statement.

As autonomous institutions that are independent from government, it is for individual higher education providers to determine the scholarship arrangements they wish to offer for students on taught postgraduate courses. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for the department to make such a request of a particular provider.

The government has taken steps to support people who want to study at this level by introducing a postgraduate master’s loan, and the work of the review of post-18 education and funding will look at how we support people to study at different times in their lives.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria bidders will be required to meet to secure funding from the fund announced in the Spring Budget 2017 to mark the centenary of women's suffrage; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has set up a £5m fund to help celebrate this important occasion. Funding will be available for projects in England, and details including application criteria will be announced in due course. The Barnett formula has been applied to this funding in the usual way and it is for the devolved administrations to decide whether, and how, they choose to mark the centenary.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the fund announced in the Spring Budget 2017 to mark the centenary of women's suffrage will be open for applications from Northern Ireland bidders; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has set up a £5m fund to help celebrate this important occasion. Funding will be available for projects in England, and details including application criteria will be announced in due course. The Barnett formula has been applied to this funding in the usual way and it is for the devolved administrations to decide whether, and how, they choose to mark the centenary.

16th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Secretary of State is taking to protect the eel industry in Lough Weagh when the UK leaves the EU in March 2019; and if he will make a statement.

We are exploring all options to ensure trade in the European Eel can be maintained. This includes compiling the scientific evidence that may be needed to ensure that trade in Lough Neagh eels is compatible with the requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species post EU exit.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many live (a) sheep and (b) cattle have been exported from the UK to other European countries in 2016; and if she will make a statement.

(a) Live sheep exported from the UK to EU Member States from 1 January 2016 to 31 October 2016:

  • UK to Republic of Ireland 337,385

  • UK to EU (except Republic of Ireland) 48,039

  • Total to all EU Member States 385,424

(b) Live cattle exported from the UK to EU Member States from 1 January 2016 to 31 October 2016:

  • UK to Republic of Ireland 12,159

  • UK to EU (except Republic of Ireland) 21,702

  • Total to all EU Member States 33,861

These figures have been collated from the EU Commission’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) Data Warehouse and include trade to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries) who accept EU trade.

The figures include sheep and cattle exported for the purposes of breeding, production/fattening and slaughter.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the lessons to be learned from the policies undertaken by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland in relation to the control of the spread of Bovine TB in cattle; and if she will make a statement.

Animal health is a devolved policy matter. My department liaises closely with all three devolved administrations, including Northern Ireland, on matters of common interest. It is important that all four administrations can learn from our collective experiences and we have effective arrangements in place to make sure that happens.

In June 2015, the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office carried out an audit of the bovine tuberculosis eradication programme in Northern Ireland, a report of which is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/food/audits-analysis/audit_reports/details.cfm?rep_id=3560.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
18th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to reduce the amount of (a) chemicals and (b) toxic metal being sprayed into the atmosphere above the UK; and if she will make a statement.

We are committed to improving air quality through reducing harmful emissions. We have reduced emissions to the atmosphere (including toxic metals) significantly over the last 20 years through a range of measures including implementation of European Legislation. These trends are reported in the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory at: http://naei.defra.gov.uk/ and also reported in the annual report, Air Pollution in the UK at: http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/annualreport/ .

18th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she made of the volumes of (a) chemicals and (b) toxic metals sprayed annually into the atmosphere above the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory compiles estimates of emissions to the atmosphere from UK sources. It is updated annually and covers a range of sources and sectors. A full list of sources included in the inventory can be found here: http://naei.defra.gov.uk/data/data-selector?view=air-pollutants.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, what plans he has to visit the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland before Christmas 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State visited the border on 2 November recognising the importance of protecting the communities on both sides. The former Secretary of State visited Northern Ireland twice this year and I visited in October for meetings with civil society and human rights bodies as part of a wider programme of engagement carried out by Government ministers and officials.

We remain committed to agreeing a mutually advantageous deal with the EU. It is a key part of these negotiations that we deliver for the people of Northern Ireland and deliver on all our commitments in the joint report including with regard to North/South cooperation, the Belfast Agreement and the integrity of the Single Market

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 8 May 2018 to Question 139996 on Security: Northern Ireland, if he will place in the Library copies of the redacted minutes of his briefings with (a) PSNI officers and (b) Northern Ireland Office officials during his visit to Northern Ireland of 23 April 2018.

The Secretary of State meetings with PSNI Officers and Northern Ireland Office officials relate to matters concerning our exit from the EU. Release of this information while our exit from the EU is ongoing would indicate sensitive information relating to the negotiations. Ministers have a specific responsibility, which Parliament has endorsed, not to release information that could undermine our negotiating position.

9th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 2 May 2018 to Question 137497 on Department for Exiting the European Union: Northern Ireland, if he will publish the programme of meetings and events for that visit.

Details of Ministerial meetings are published in the Department’s Quarterly Transparency Returns, which can be found on gov.uk.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, how much time he spent (a) in Northern Ireland and (b) visiting the border area on 23 April 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State undertook a visit to Northern Ireland on 23 April to meet some of the key stakeholders involved in the process of our EU exit. He stayed overnight in Northern Ireland and as part of his visit spent some time at the border with Peter Sheridan, the Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland.

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether Northern Ireland will remain in the EEA to secure a seamless and frictionless border with the Republic of Ireland after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

As the Prime Minister has made clear, and as established in our Position Paper on Northern Ireland and Ireland published in August, we remain firmly committed to avoiding a hard border, including any physical infrastructure between Northern Ireland and Ireland. We recognise the need for specific solutions for the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland and Ireland. But that solution cannot come at the cost of the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom, and cannot amount to creating a new border inside our United Kingdom.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure that all UK international aid is responsive to (a) climate change and (b) low carbon emissions; and if she will make a statement.

DFID’s responsibilities on climate and environment derive from the International Development Act’s commitment to sustainable development, based on the substantial evidence that poverty eradication is not possible without tackling climate change. Climate and environment risks and opportunities are considered as part of DFID’s programing to ensure it supports climate resilience and lower carbon growth to eradicate poverty. The capacity of DFID staff to do this has been developed through DFID’s ‘Future Fit’ programme which has worked with all DFID spending departments to develop climate plans.

In addition, the UK’s flagship International Climate Fund (ICF) has been used to integrate climate issues in DFID programmes in climate vulnerable sectors such as forestry, water, agriculture and disaster management. The ICF has already helped 15m people cope with the impacts of climate change, and created 39,000 jobs many of them in low carbon energy programmes that have provided access to low carbon energy to more than 2.8m people.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Northern Ireland Office on the number of additional HM Revenue and Customs officials required in Northern Ireland to fulfil their new functions under the Trade Bill; and if she will make a statement.

Territorial offices have been, and will continue to be engaged in the passage of the Trade Bill, including where this impacts on HMRC responsibilities in Northern Ireland.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent introduction by the Civil Aviation Authority of Flight Restriction Zones around protected aerodromes on the interests of members of the British Model Flying Association in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The flight restriction zone around aerodromes was developed in response to submissions gathered through our consultation on the safe and effective regulation of drones, ‘Taking Flight: The Future of Drones in the UK’. There was significant interest in the consultation, which closed in September 2018 and received around 5,000 responses. A range of options were considered when developing the extended restriction zone and factors including impacts on all airspace users, safety, security and the communication and enforceability of the zone were all evaluated.

The new legislation takes the same approach as the former restriction zone by allowing any small unmanned aircraft, including model aircraft, to fly within the restriction zone where the relevant permission has been received. When an Air Traffic Control Unit (ATCU) is operational, permission needs to be sought from this unit.

The CAA will be assessing the permissions process as part of a wider review of airport restriction zones later this year.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Commissioners of Irish Lights will remain responsible for lighthouses and other marine navigational aids in and in waters around Northern Ireland when the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The Commissioners of Irish Lights have responsibility for aids to navigation for the whole of the island of Ireland and are accountable to the UK Department for Transport for their operations in UK waters.

No change to this arrangement is envisaged when the UK leaves the European Union.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to continue UK financial contributions to the Commissioners of Irish Lights for maintenance of lighthouses and other navigational aids in the waters around Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the London convention after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

We have no plans to change the current financing arrangements for Irish Lights once the UK leaves the European Union or as a result of any decision on the London Convention.

30th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to take steps to gain jurisdiction over lighthouses on islands off the coast of Northern Ireland after the UK's exit from the EU; and if he will make a statement.

Arrangements for the provision of lighthouses and other aids to navigation sit outside of European Union regulations under the international convention on Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) managed by the International Maritime Organization.

The provision of all aids to navigation safety for Northern Ireland is the responsibility of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. The Commissioners of Irish Lights have responsibility for aids to navigation for the whole of the island of Ireland and are accountable to the UK Department for Transport for their operations in UK waters. No change to this arrangement is envisaged as a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the reasons are for the difference in cost between professional driving licences issued in Northern Ireland and Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.

Driver licensing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. Fees for all driver licence transactions in Northern Ireland are a matter for the Department for Infrastructure.

29th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many prosecutions have been brought against operators of unmanned aircraft in (a) England and Wales and (b) Northern Ireland in the last 12 months; how many such prosecutions were successful; and if he will make a statement.

In the last 12 months the Civil Aviation Authority has prosecuted two operators of remotely piloted aircraft for breaches of the Air Navigation Order in England. Both prosecutions resulted in convictions.

29th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to tackle wrongful use of unmanned aircraft operating within the airspace over Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The operation of unmanned aircraft within the United Kingdom is governed by the Air Navigation Order 2009. Additional guidance on operating unmanned aircraft legally is provided in Civil Aviation Publication 722 published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA will investigate any breaches of the Air Navigation Order and will prosecute offenders where appropriate.

24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2019 to Question 278405 on Universal Credit: Terminal Illnesses and with reference to the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, if she will extend the review of the universal credit six month rule on terminal illness to Northern Ireland.

The in-depth evaluation announced by the Secretary of State on 11 July refers not only to Universal Credit, but across the range of benefits. My officials are in regular discussion with their counterparts in the Department for Communities, and this will continue during the evaluation.

17th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the permanent secretary of the Department of Communities in Northern Ireland on the extension of the review of the universal credit six month rule on terminal illness to Northern Ireland.

Through extensive work at both ministerial and official level, the UK government and devolved administrations continue to work closely together.

With regard the Secretary of State’s announcement of an in depth evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with the most severe conditions, as the Honourable lady is aware, the Social Security system in Northern Ireland is wholly the responsibility of the Northern Ireland administration. However, I can confirm that my officials have been in touch with officials from the Department for Communities. Furthermore, I can assure the Honourable lady that we will remain in contact with colleagues in Northern Ireland as the evaluation progresses.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what preparations her Department has made for the the roll-out of universal credit in Northern Ireland.

The roll out of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland was successfully completed in December 2018 at the same time as the remainder of the United Kingdom.

As benefit issues are devolved in Northern Ireland the Department for Communities have responsibility for the delivery of Universal Credit with the support of DWP and the Universal Credit Programme. The implementation of Universal Credit was agreed by Northern Ireland Ministers prior to the dissolution of the Northern Ireland assembly and as part of the Fresh Start agreement.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the effect of the continued absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly on the welfare system in Northern Ireland.

Social security matters are the responsibility of the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland. However, in the absence of the Northern Ireland Assembly, DWP continues to make certain social security legislation at Westminster on behalf of the Department for Communities to ensure parity is maintained.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether (a) EU and (b) Irish citizens that have worked in the UK will continue to have their pensions uprated in line with UK pensioners in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and if she will make a statement.

As the Government set out in its Policy Paper ‘Citizens’ Rights – EU citizens in the UK and UK Nationals in the EU’ we wish to secure continued reciprocal arrangements covering the up-rating of State Pensions even in the event of a no deal exit. UK State Pensions will be uprated, as they are currently, for those recipients living in EU countries including Ireland for 2019/2020.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the progress of the roll-out of universal credit in Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly and responsible ministers to oversee that roll-out; and if he will make a statement.

As benefit issues are devolved in Northern Ireland the Department for Communities (DfC) have responsibility for the delivery of Universal Credit with the support of DWP and the Universal Credit Programme. The implementation of Universal Credit was agreed by NI Ministers prior to the dissolution of the NI assembly and as part of the Fresh Start agreement. As such we continue to deliver as per the agreed plans. Universal Credit has been introduced in Northern Ireland for new claims, on a phased geographical basis by post code groups aligned to front office locations, which started from September 2017 to September 2018.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
31st Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Oral Answer of 25 January 2017, column 295, what extra money the Government has put into reducing the changes in women's pensions; and if he will make a statement.

During the passage of the Pensions Bill 2011, the Government has made a concession worth £1.1 billion to limit the impact of State Pension age increases for those women most affected by them. As a consequence, no women will experience increases of more than 18 months compared to the previous timetable.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to ensure the effective spending of the additional funding of health services in Northern Ireland as part of the Government's agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party in the absence of the Northern Ireland Executive; and if he will make a statement.

The National Health Service in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter and is overseen by the Northern Ireland Department of Health. The Health and Social Care Board is responsible for commissioning services, resource management and performance management and service improvement.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what projection he has made of the number of people affected by dementia in the next five years; and if he will make a statement.

The Alzheimer’s Society has forecast that the number of people with dementia in the United Kingdom will increase to over one million by 2025.

In February 2015, the Government published the Challenge on Dementia 2020 which set out more than 50 specific actions, across four core themes of risk reduction, health and care, awareness and social action, and research, that together will make England the world-leader in dementia care, research and awareness by 2020.

We are transforming our approach to risk reduction to educate more people earlier about the risks of developing dementia and the steps they could take to reduce those risks. Public Health England has lead responsibility for this and will continue to work to reduce the incidence and prevalence of dementia through its work on initiatives such as the NHS Health Check and reducing health inequalities.

Improvements to diagnosis is thought to be key to ensuring that the health and care system can manage the predicted rise in numbers, as well as ensure that people living with dementia receive the care they need. We continue to maintain diagnosis rates above the two thirds ambition nationally, and are taking steps to reduce local variations in dementia diagnosis.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of NHS funding has been spent on dementia research since 2015; and if he will make a statement.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research which spent £36.7 million on dementia research in 2015/16; and through its Policy Research Programme which spent an additional £0.9 million on dementia research, to total £37.6 million. All Government spending on dementia research in 2015/16 was £96.4 million, the Medical Research Council contributing £55.4 million. Information on spending for 2016/17 is not yet available. National Health Service spending in 2015/16 was £116.4 billion.

16th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2014 to Questions 214952 and 214953, whether his letter to the German Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth made representations urging the German government to make appropriate financial contributions to British victims of Thalidomide.

I wrote to Manuela Schwesig, Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, asking if she would meet with the Trust but did not address the issue of financial contributions.

18th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to discuss with the National Advisory Council of the Thalidomide Trust a contribution by his Department towards the health costs of British Thalidomide survivors; and if he will make a statement.

On 20 December 2012, I announced a new 10-year grant to the Thalidomide Trust worth in the region of £80 million. The grant was made in recognition of the complex and highly specialised needs that thalidomiders have, particularly as they approach older age, and will enable the Thalidomide Trust and its members to explore more innovative ways of preventing further deterioration in the health of Thalidomide survivors in England and to help them to preserve their independence.

I met with the Thalidomide Trust on 23 June 2014 and subsequently wrote to Manuela Schwesig, Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, on behalf of all four UK Governments asking if she would meet with the Trust.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the number of tests on animals conducted in the UK using mitochondrial replacement techniques in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Experiments on animals have been performed over a number of years with the first successful pronuclear transfer (PNT) technique performed in mice in 1983 by McGrath and Solter. Maternal spindle transfer (MST) is a technique developed in the United States of America in 2009 and has been performed successfully in mice, non-human primates, as well as in sheep and cows. Research on both MST and PNT has been carried out successfully on human embryos. On-going studies of PNT and MST continue to be carried out on mice in the United Kingdom.

An extensive review of the safety and efficacy of MST and PNT to prevent mitochondrial disease was completed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s Expert Scientific Panel, which includes detailed consideration of animal model studies and can be found on their website:

www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/Third_Mitochondrial_replacement_scientific_review.pdf

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when his Department first became aware that HM Treasury had received tax receipts derived from the interest on frozen Libyan assets held in UK banks; and if he will make a statement.

It is the Government's long-standing policy that designated persons are not exempt from tax as a consequence of having their assets frozen. The Government's response of 24 June to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report (into Government support for UK victims of IRA attacks that used Qadhafi-supplied Semtex and weapons) set out the releasable information the Government has about tax receipts derived from the interest on frozen Libyan assets held in UK banks. The Government's response says:

"As stated in the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation's letter to the Committee of 23 April 2019, OFSI's responsibilities do not include tracking tax liabilities on frozen assets. HMRC, as the department responsible for safeguarding the flow of money to the Exchequer is responsible for any records of tax liability. HMRC has reconsidered how we can help the Committee within the legal constraints governing our ability to share information. We have concluded that we can use aggregated information to answer the Committee's questions, provided that information cannot be tied back to individual persons or companies as a result. HMRC receives payments of tax from a small proportion of the entities designated under the Libyan regime. Around £17 million has been received in total since the start of the 2016-17 tax year. HMRC currently receives around £5 million each year."

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that tax receipts derived from the interest on frozen Libyan assets held in UK banks are used to compensate the victims of Libyan state-sponsored violence committed by the IRA; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign Secretary's appointment of a Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism shows that the Government is committed to supporting the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism. The precise terms of reference of the Special Representative are being finalised, but among the issues Mr William Shawcross will advise on is the amount of compensation that should be sought. The Government believes that any compensation plan should reflect the Special Representative's advice on this matter.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what progress he has made on securing compensation from the Libyan authorities for the victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terrorism; and if he will make a statement.

​We want to see a just solution for all of the victims of IRA terrorism. We continue to press the Libyan authorities to engage constructively with victims and their representatives in their campaign for compensation. In August, the Secretary of State for International Development raised this with Libyan Prime Minister Serraj. In April, I discussed it with Prime Minister Serraj and the Ministers of the Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs. The violence and instability in Libya represent significant obstacles to the resolution of legacy issues. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is also working with other Government Departments to explore what more the Government could do to support victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.

16th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether a management agreement with the Republic of Ireland on agriculture activities in relation to (a) Lough Foyle and (b) Carlingford Lough will be in place when the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs. British and Irish officials last met in October 2017 when a number of issues were discussed including the Loughs, and the management of aquaculture in them, and they have been in regular contact since.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union. Indeed, we have both publically stated on numerous occasions that the issue of the management of the Loughs is distinct from, and will not form part of, any Brexit negotiation.

16th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many meetings he has held with his Irish counterparts to discuss a management agreement for agriculture activities for (a) Lough Foyle and (b) Carlingford Lough in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs. British and Irish officials last met in October 2017 when a number of issues were discussed including the Loughs, and the management of aquaculture in them, and they have been in regular contact since.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union. Indeed, we have both publically stated on numerous occasions that the issue of the management of the Loughs is distinct from, and will not form part of, any Brexit negotiation.

11th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the oral contributions of the Prime Minister of 9 July 2018, on leaving the EU, Official Report, column 714, what progress has been made in stepping up preparations for a possible no deal with the EU on resolving the issue of the disputed jurisdiction of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough.

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK's exit from the European Union.

5th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will provide an update on the Government's policy on the territorial jurisdiction of Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Government's position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in the Loughs is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of religious freedom in Somalia; what representations his Department has made to the Somali Government on improving the protection of religious freedom; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office assesses that Somalia has made some progress towards upholding and protecting human rights, including freedom of religion or belief. However, there continue to be serious violations and abuses and a culture of impunity persists. The British Government has not made specific representations to the Somali Government on protection of religious freedoms, but has consistently called for the protection of all human rights in Somalia and for the Somali Government to fulfil its international obligations and commitments. This includes the UK statement at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 27 September 2017 and in the communiqué of the London Somalia Conference held in May 2017.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent progress has been made on the release of Libyan assets in the UK to compensate the UK victims of Gaddafi-IRA sponsored violence; and if he will make a statement.

The UK wishes to see a just settlement for all victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. The Foreign Secretary raised the issue of compensation most recently during his meeting with Prime Minister Serraj in Tripoli on 4 May 2017. He emphasised again the importance the UK attaches to this issue and encouraged the Libyan authorities to engage with UK victims' groups and their representatives. Prime Minister Serraj expressed sympathy with those who had suffered from the previous regime, but it was also clear from his discussion with the Foreign Secretary that the Libyan government continues to face numerous challenges and that progress on the issue of compensation is likely to remain slow. We will continue to make clear to the Libyan authorities that this issue is a priority for us.

Libyan assets in the UK were frozen under UN Security Council Resolution 1973 at the instigation of the Libyan authorities in 2011. In order to amend the UN resolution governing the freezing of Libyan assets in the UK, the Libyan government would need to submit a request to the UN Security Council. The UK is not aware of any such request. There is no legal basis which would permit releasing frozen funds to compensate victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, and also no legal basis upon which the UK could withhold Libyan assets once the relevant Libyan entities are removed from the list and the assets unfrozen. Once these assets are released they belong to the people of Libya and by law have to be returned for their benefit.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has sought recent legal advice in relation to the espousal of compensation claims by the UK victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism; and if he will make a statement.

​The UK Government position remains that it is not able to negotiate with the Libyan Government on individual compensation claims, as these are not government-to-government claims. These are private matters best pursued directly with the Libyan authorities. The FCO does provide facilitation support to campaign groups, where it has been requested and is appropriate.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations within the UN to amend the UN Resolution governing the freezing of Libyan assets in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has no plans to amend the UN Resolution governing the freezing of Libyan assets in the UK. The UN Security Council affirmed by their resolution 1973 (2011) its determination to ensure that assets frozen pursuant to paragraph 17 of resolution 1970 (2011) shall, at a later stage, as soon as possible be made available to and for the benefit of the people of Libya. UN Security Council resolution 2278(2016) reaffirmed the Security Council's intention in this respect and affirmed the Security Council's readiness to consider changes, when appropriate, to the asset freeze at the request of the Government of National Accord.

28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of Libya on compensation for UK victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA violence; and if he will make a statement.

We continue to emphasise to the Libyan authorities the importance we attach to this issue, and how we want to see a solution. The Foreign Secretary highlighted the importance of resolving legacy issues to Prime Minister Serraj during the Libya Ministerial in London on 31 October. I raised the issue of compensation with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq on 31 October in London and Prime Minister Fayez Serraj when we met in Tunis in November last year. Legacy issues were also raised with Foreign Minister Siala in the margins of the former Foreign Secretary's visit to Tripoli in April. I have also written to the Libyans seeking an update on legacy issues. However, given that the Minister of Justice post is currently vacant and the present challenges facing Libya, I do not anticipate a swift response.

21st Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the progress towards the establishment of a government in Libya; and if he will make a statement.

We welcomed the announcement on 8 October by UN Special Representative for Libya, Bernardino Léon, of details of the final political settlement. A political settlement remains the best way to create the environment in which the Government of National Accord can bring peace and security to the Libyan people, regenerate the Libyan economy, and effectively tackle the terrorist threat. It is therefore disappointing that the House of Representatives failed to take a decision on the political agreement on 19 October. We will continue to urge all parties to the talks to seize this moment by endorsing and signing the political agreement as soon as possible, and to quickly realise the establishment of a Government of National Accord.

21st Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what records his Department holds on representations made by the Government to (a) the US Administration and (b) the Libyan government in 2008 about inclusion of compensation claims by victims of IRA/Libyan sponsored violence in the UK in the scope of the Libyan Claims Settlement Agreement; and if he will make a statement.

When it became clear in May 2008 that the US and Libya were proceeding on a bilateral agreement to settle outstanding claims, the UK Government made representations to the US and Libyan authorities to include UK victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism on the list of recipients. Unfortunately this proved not to be possible. The Libyans made clear that they had answered questions about their support for the IRA in 1995 and considered the matter closed.

We want to see a just solution for all of the victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, and we remain determined to make progress. Once stability returns, and our embassy re-opens, we will again encourage the Libyan authorities to engage with UK victims and their legal representatives seeking redress, including those seeking compensation.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to ensure that interest earned on Libyan assets frozen in the UK is used to compensate the victims of IRA/Libyan-sponsored violence; and if he will make a statement.

There is no legal basis upon which the UK could re-direct Libyan assets or the interest accrued to individuals for the purposes of compensation. Regarding assets which belonged to Qadhafi or other regime figures, the UN Security Council has stipulated that when these are unfrozen, they will be made available to, and for the benefit of the Libyan people. For the duration of time that these assets are frozen, they and any interest they accrue will be governed in accordance with the specific sanctions in place over the individuals or entities to which the assets belong. In this case, the asset freezing measures are set out under EU Regulation 204/2011 which prohibits the release of frozen funds and the interest accrued belonging to listed individuals or entities except in very specific circumstances, which do not apply here.

9th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if the Prime Minister will reverse the decision made by his predecessors not to seek compensation for all UK victims of IRA/Libyan-sponsored violence; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is not able to negotiate with the Libyan Government on individual compensation claims as these are not government claims. Individual compensation claims against Libya are best pursued directly with the Libyan Government. The Government has raised legacy issues arising from the actions of the Qadhafi regime repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Libyan authorities. Following a breakdown of the political and security situation in Libya, we withdrew our staff from our Embassy in Tripoli in August 2014. There is currently no central authority to deal with on this issue. We will engage a Government of National Accord (GNA), once established, on the issue of compensation. The British Government’s objective is broad and lasting reconciliation between Libya and UK communities affected by the Qadhafi regime’s sponsorship of terrorism. The Government has provided facilitation support to victims, their families, legal representatives and campaign groups, where it has been requested and appropriate. We will again encourage the Libyans to engage with UK victims seeking redress, including those seeking compensation and their legal representatives, once stability returns.

9th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will establish an independent inquiry into the reasons why the Government has not sought compensation for UK victims of IRA/Libyan-sponsored terrorism; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is not able to negotiate with the Libyan Government on individual compensation claims as these are not government claims. Individual compensation claims against Libya are best pursued directly with the Libyan Government. The Government has raised legacy issues arising from the actions of the Qadhafi regime repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Libyan authorities. Following a breakdown of the political and security situation in Libya, we withdrew our staff from our Embassy in Tripoli in August 2014. There is currently no central authority to deal with on this issue. We will engage a Government of National Accord (GNA), once established, on the issue of compensation. The British Government’s objective is broad and lasting reconciliation between Libya and UK communities affected by the Qadhafi regime’s sponsorship of terrorism. The Government has provided facilitation support to victims, their families, legal representatives and campaign groups, where it has been requested and appropriate. We will again encourage the Libyans to engage with UK victims seeking redress, including those seeking compensation and their legal representatives, once stability returns.

9th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what criteria the Government applies to determine whether or not to seek compensation for UK victims of IRA/Libyan-sponsored violence; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is not able to negotiate with the Libyan Government on individual compensation claims as these are not government claims. Individual compensation claims against Libya are best pursued directly with the Libyan Government. The Government has raised legacy issues arising from the actions of the Qadhafi regime repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Libyan authorities. Following a breakdown of the political and security situation in Libya, we withdrew our staff from our Embassy in Tripoli in August 2014. There is currently no central authority to deal with on this issue. We will engage a Government of National Accord (GNA), once established, on the issue of compensation. The British Government’s objective is broad and lasting reconciliation between Libya and UK communities affected by the Qadhafi regime’s sponsorship of terrorism. The Government has provided facilitation support to victims, their families, legal representatives and campaign groups, where it has been requested and appropriate. We will again encourage the Libyans to engage with UK victims seeking redress, including those seeking compensation and their legal representatives, once stability returns.

9th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on how many occasions he has raised with representatives of the Libyan government compensation for UK victims of IRA/Libyan-sponsored violence since 2010; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is not able to negotiate with the Libyan Government on individual compensation claims as these are not government claims. Individual compensation claims against Libya are best pursued directly with the Libyan Government. The Government has raised legacy issues arising from the actions of the Qadhafi regime repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Libyan authorities. Following a breakdown of the political and security situation in Libya, we withdrew our staff from our Embassy in Tripoli in August 2014. There is currently no central authority to deal with on this issue. We will engage a Government of National Accord (GNA), once established, on the issue of compensation. The British Government’s objective is broad and lasting reconciliation between Libya and UK communities affected by the Qadhafi regime’s sponsorship of terrorism. The Government has provided facilitation support to victims, their families, legal representatives and campaign groups, where it has been requested and appropriate. We will again encourage the Libyans to engage with UK victims seeking redress, including those seeking compensation and their legal representatives, once stability returns.

9th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will meet UK victims of IRA/Libyan-sponsored violence; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is not able to negotiate with the Libyan Government on individual compensation claims as these are not government claims. Individual compensation claims against Libya are best pursued directly with the Libyan Government. The Government has raised legacy issues arising from the actions of the Qadhafi regime repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Libyan authorities. Following a breakdown of the political and security situation in Libya, we withdrew our staff from our Embassy in Tripoli in August 2014. There is currently no central authority to deal with on this issue. We will engage a Government of National Accord (GNA), once established, on the issue of compensation. The British Government’s objective is broad and lasting reconciliation between Libya and UK communities affected by the Qadhafi regime’s sponsorship of terrorism. The Government has provided facilitation support to victims, their families, legal representatives and campaign groups, where it has been requested and appropriate. We will again encourage the Libyans to engage with UK victims seeking redress, including those seeking compensation and their legal representatives, once stability returns.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to assist persecuted Christians around the world; and if he will make a statement.

The promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief is one of the UK’s human rights priorities. We regularly raise individual cases and work to combat discriminatory legislation and practices through multilateral systems and targeted project work. In the last month Ministers have made public statements expressing grave concern about persecution of individuals on grounds of their religion or belief in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq.

As an example, in the recent high profile case of Meriam Ibrahim who was forced to leave Sudan because she refused to renounce Christianity, My Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister, My Rt Hon Friend Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, My Hon Friend, the Member for Rochford and Southend East (Mr Duddridge) The Minister for Africa, all publicly condemned her sentencing, and called on the Government of Sudan to respect the right to freedom of religion or belief and international human rights laws. However, Meriam Ibrahim's case is not an isolated occurrence. This is why we are calling on the Sudanese government to undertake a comprehensive review of its penal code to ensure its laws reflect both its own constitution and international human rights obligations and the values of the Sudanese people.

We are active in our project work in a wide range of countries. In Iraq, we are currently funding a series of grassroots meetings, bringing together people from different faiths to combat sectarian violence. The work is being led by Canon Andrew White, who has played a key role in forming the High Council of Religious Leaders in Iraq. In Syria, we are funding the training of religious and community leaders from the Sunni, Alawite, Christian, Druze, Armenian and Kurdish communities in active citizenship and dialogue skills in order to help reduce community tensions. We continue to fund training for Syrian activists to document abuses to a criminal law standard with the aim that this documentation could be used in a future process of accountability.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to stop the war in Syria; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has been very active over the years of the Syria conflict, and it remains a top priority. The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) threatens the UK, and the whole region.

With our international partners, we have focused on support for those pushing for an inclusive political settlement. This has led to our political and non-lethal assistance to moderate opposition groups. We have committed £30 million this financial year for helping the moderate opposition and bolstering regional resilience. We have given strong backing for UN efforts in the political track.

The UK has also focussed on holding Assad to account for his war crimes, which have included routine, indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas, the use of chemical weapons, and the use of siege and surrender tactics. The UK is also the second largest bilateral humanitarian aid donor, and has been at the forefront of efforts in the UN Security Council to ensure aid gets to all those who need it.

The UK recently committed to tackling the threat from extremists, including ISIL. This needs a coordinated strategy in Syria and Iraq, and close coordination with the US and other partners.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how much of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal (a) is intact and (b) has been destroyed to date; and if he will make a statement.

As of 29 August, all of Syria’s declared chemical stockpile of 1,309.8 metric tonnes had been removed from Syria and thus put beyond use of the regime. 95.8%, or 1,254.8 metric tonnes had been destroyed either by incineration or neutralisation, including all of the Category 1 chemicals (those deemed most proliferation sensitive by the OPCW, plus isopropanol).

The destruction of some of the category 1 chemicals in the UK was completed on 5 August, three weeks after the arrival of the chemicals in the UK. A smaller quantity of Hydrogen Fluoride (a category 2 chemical) will be destroyed in the UK at the turn of the year. Other chemicals are being destroyed in Germany, Finland and the United States.

Syria was required to declare and destroy all stocks of chemical weapons and their precursors, and the facilities and equipment with which they were manufactured. The international community cannot have confidence that Syria’s declarations were complete while credible reports of the use of chemical weapons, such as chlorine, continue, and until all outstanding questions surrounding the declarations have been resolved. The OPCW continues to seek answers to a number of questions.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the sources of rockets supplied to Hamas operating in Gaza; and if he will make a statement.

Our assessment is that rockets are brought to Gaza from several sources, including the tunnels which run into the territory.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on the sources of supply to Islamic State militants of their weapons and training; and if he will make a statement.

We remain deeply concerned about the ability of terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria to acquire weapons and commit atrocities.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has obtained its weaponry from a variety of sources, including by capturing them from Iraqi and Syrian security forces. Many of ISIL's supply needs are financed by its sale of oil and by money stolen during its advances in recent months.

We have emphasised the need to intensify efforts to stem the flow of weapons and fighters to extremist groups, including ISIL. Hundreds of foreigners are fighting with ISIL, gaining combat experience and potentially forging connections with other extremists. As part of its strategy to combat ISIL, the UK led work on UN Security Council Resolution 2170, adopted on 15 August, which condemns ISIL, Al Nusra Front (ANF) and other terrorist groups listed under Al Qaida sanctions. The resolution urges members to take measures to choke off recruitment and to target the growing phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and ISIL's sources of finance.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many Russian diplomats are serving with so-called diplomatic immunity in the Russian Embassy in London; and if he will make a statement.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has records of 143 diplomats posted to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in London. In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, the Government grants immunity to diplomats posted to the Embassy of the Russian Federation according to their status.
1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to secure the stockpiles of weaponry in Libya which are left over from the 2011 revolution, including surface-to-air rocket launchers; and if he will make a statement.

The vast unsecured stockpiles of Qadhafi-era weapons and ammunition are a threat to the political transition in Libya, endangering its stability and security, as well as that of the region.

The British Government has been working closely with international partners, including the UN, to help the Libyan authorities secure and dismantle the weapons stockpiles. We have committed £9 million of our £62.5 million Security, Justice and Defence Programme, plus a further £1 million contribution to the UN Mine Action Service Trust Fund, to fund projects in this area. We have also funded a Senior Disarmament Advisor to work with the Libyan Ministry of Defence on disarmament issues. However, following our Embassy’s withdrawal from Tripoli on 5 August, this work has been temporarily suspended. We hope to be able to return to Libya at the earliest opportunity to continue this important work.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the sources of supply to Islamic State (IS) militants of their weapons and training; and if he will make a statement.

We remain deeply concerned about the ability of terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria to acquire weapons and commit atrocities.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has obtained its weaponry from a variety of sources, including by capturing them from Iraqi and Syrian security forces, and others. Many of ISIL's supply needs are financed by its sale of oil and by money stolen during its advances in recent months.

We have emphasised the need to intensify efforts to stem the flow of weapons and fighters to extremist groups, including ISIL. Hundreds of foreigners are fighting with ISIL, gaining combat experience and potentially forging connections with other extremists. Since ISIL is a successor to Al Qaida in Iraq, it also has many members with experience of fighting Coalition forces in Iraq after 2003. As part of its strategy to combat ISIL, the UK led work on UN Security Council Resolution 2170, adopted on 15 August, which condemns ISIL, Al-Nusra Front (ANF) and other terrorist groups listed under AQ sanctions. The resolution urges members to take measures to choke off recruitment and to target the growing phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and ISIL's sources of finance.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether chemical weapons have been used by the Syrian government since August 2013; and if he will make a statement.

There is credible evidence of repeated chemical weapon attacks perpetrated by the Syrian regime since August 2013. The UK was among the first countries to call for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate these allegations. The OPCW Fact Finding Mission was subsequently established in April 2014 and its work is ongoing. Despite the difficulty of investigating these allegations in a conflict environment, the Mission’s May 2014 interim report stated that the available information “lends credence to the view that toxic chemicals, most likely pulmonary irritating agents such as chlorine, have been used in a systematic manner in a number of attacks”.

The August 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report further stated that “Reasonable grounds exist to believe that chemical agents, likely chlorine, were used...[and that]... those agents were dropped in barrel bombs from government helicopters flying overhead”. Any use of chemical agents in warfare contravenes the Chemical Weapon Convention, to which Syria acceded in September 2013. We will press for all those who use chemical weapons to be held to account for these war crimes.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that relatives of Ashya King other than his parents are being facilitated to accompany him (a) whilst in hospital in Spain and (b) on his return journey to the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Consular officials in Spain have been in regular contact with Ashya’s family since he was located and supported his elder brothers in securing daily access to Ashya while in hospital from 0900 to 2200.

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress has been made on reducing air passenger duty on domestic flights from Northern Ireland's airports; and if he will make a statement.

The government has established a technical working group that is considering the operational and legal context of APD in Northern Ireland. The group met in Belfast in March, and will meet again next month to continue discussions with stakeholders.

For domestic journeys, airlines are liable on both outward and return leg domestic journeys as APD applies to all departures from a UK airport. It is not possible under current EU law to have different rates of APD on intra-UK flights than on flights from the UK to other European Union destinations.

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much tax was taken by HM Treasury on the interest accrued on Libyan assets frozen in UK banks in each of the years since 2010; and if he will make a statement.

The Government’s response of 24 June to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report (on Government support for UK victims of IRA attacks that used Qadhafi-supplied Semtex and weapons) set out the information the Government had obtained about tax receipts derived from frozen Libyan assets held in UK banks. The response states: “Around £17 million has been received in total since the start of the 2016-17 tax year. HMRC currently receives around £5 million each year.”

Information on the tax taken on interest accrued on Libyan assets frozen in UK banks is not held centrally within government and would involve disproportionate costs to collect and collate.

1st Nov 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his oral contribution of 29 October 2018, Official Report, column 665, who the members will be of the working group that will be established to progress plans for short-haul air passenger duty devolution; and what criteria will be used to appoint those members.

The Budget announced that, following the call for evidence on ‘VAT, Air Passenger Duty and Tourism in Northern Ireland’, the government will establish a technical working group to explore further the practical and legal challenges to changing APD in Northern Ireland.

Further details, including the membership of the group, will be announced in due course.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his oral contribution of 29 October 2018, Official Report, column 664, Financial Statement, which aspects of the Belfast Region City Deal will require a functioning Northern Ireland Executive for their implementation; and if he will make a statement.

The government will work with local partners to ensure that robust governance, accountability and transparency arrangements will be in place to allow funding for the Belfast City Region Deal to be spent in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
31st Oct 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress his Department has made in assessing the business case submitted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for additional resources required for preparations for the UK leaving the EU; and if he will make a statement on the timescale for his Department making a final decision on that matter.

As the Chancellor announced at Budget 2018, an additional £500 million will be made available to allow departments and the devolved administrations to continue to prepare for EU exit, taking the total for 2019/20 to £2 billion. As a result of this announcement, the Treasury will have invested over £4 billion in EU exit since 2016.

We are working to assess the resource requirements of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to prepare for the UK leaving the EU. Allocations from the £2 billion to departments and the devolved administrations will be announced in due course.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
14th Mar 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will meet representatives of Employers for Childcare to discuss its concerns about the closure of the childcare voucher scheme to new entrants after the six-month extension; and if he will make a statement.

HMRC hold regular meetings with childcare voucher providers, and will be holding another forum shortly. Employers for Childcare will be invited to attend.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
11th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential loss of free-to-use ATMs in (a) North Down, (b) Northern Ireland as a consequence of LINK'S proposal to reduce the interchange free by 20 per cent; and if he will make a statement.

The Government recognises that widespread free access to cash remains extremely important to the day-to-day lives of many consumers and businesses in the UK, and will continue to work with industry to ensure that this access remains.

The Government has not made any formal assessment of the potential effect of LINK’s proposals to change the interchange fee rate on North Down or Northern Ireland. However, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which Government set up in 2015 with a statutory objective to ensure that the UK’s payment systems work in the interests of their users, is monitoring developments within ATM provision, and is conducting ongoing internal work on the impact that changes may have. The PSR has committed to using its powers to act should any of the firms it regulates behave in a way that conflicts with its statutory objectives.

The Government is engaging regularly with LINK and its members, and they have assured us that industry is committed to maintaining an extensive network of free-to-use cash machines, and to ensuring that the present geographical spread of ATMs is maintained. LINK intends to bolster its Financial Inclusion Programme, which ensures the provision of ATMs in areas of deprivation, where demand would not otherwise make one viable, and has also committed to protecting all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
31st Oct 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the need for additional Revenue and Customs officials in Northern Ireland as a result of the UK leaving the EU; and if he will make a statement.

Additional staffing required by HMRC across the UK following exit from the European Union will depend on the final outcome of the negotiations. HMRC are working with other government departments sharing the responsibility for maintaining the flow of trade through our borders to provide a seamless customs system.

The Government recognises the unique case of the Northern Ireland – Ireland land border, and has been clear that there will be no return to the borders of the past. It is for this reason that avoiding a ‘hard border’ between Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of the Government’s three strategic objectives that have informed development of the policy options outlined in the recently published Future Customs Arrangements: A Future Partnership Paper.

23rd Nov 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total amount is of Barnett consequentials for Northern Ireland of the Autumn Statement 2016; and if he will make a statement.

The total additions to the Northern Ireland Executive’s block grant as a result of the application of the Barnett formula to spending decisions announced at Autumn Statement are set out in the table below.

£ million

Total

Resource DEL

25

Capital DEL

277

Financial Transactions Capital

3

TOTAL

305

19th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what measures his Department has put in place to prevent disability discrimination by HM Revenue and Customs in its recruitment procedures; and if he will make a statement.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been recognised as a Disability Confident Employer.

HMRC has a long-standing and wide variety of measures in place to assist disabled job applicants and to prevent disability discrimination in its recruitment procedures. For example: discussing with disabled applicants their precise needs where they require assistance during the recruitment process; providing selection panels access to a specialist HR team with expert knowledge of the type of adjustments that can reasonably be made, whether it’s ensuring that the test and interview environment is particularly suitable for disabled candidates, providing selection material in alternate formats, offering signers for deaf candidates, allowing extra time for tests, accepting paper applications instead of the usual on-line applications process and so forth; and providing clear information to job applicants about the departmental vacancy filling complaints process.

HMRC guarantees an interview to every disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria for the job. Further, HMRC has introduced unconscious bias training for all its staff including of course those taking part as selectors. It enables them to question personal beliefs and ensure objective evidence gathering in the recruitment process. In addition, all selectors must have completed diversity awareness training before undertaking recruitment work. More recently, HMRC is addressing the issue of ‘recruiter confidence’ when working with disabled colleagues by creating a bespoke disability awareness workshop that is being rolled out to all managers and recruiters.

19th Oct 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the procedures put in place by HM Revenue and Customs to ensure there is no disability discrimination in its recruitment procedures; and if he will make a statement.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been recognised as a Disability Confident Employer.

HMRC has a long-standing and wide variety of measures in place to assist disabled job applicants and to prevent disability discrimination in its recruitment procedures. For example: discussing with disabled applicants their precise needs where they require assistance during the recruitment process; providing selection panels access to a specialist HR team with expert knowledge of the type of adjustments that can reasonably be made, whether it’s ensuring that the test and interview environment is particularly suitable for disabled candidates, providing selection material in alternate formats, offering signers for deaf candidates, allowing extra time for tests, accepting paper applications instead of the usual on-line applications process and so forth; and providing clear information to job applicants about the departmental vacancy filling complaints process.

HMRC guarantees an interview to every disabled applicant who meets the minimum criteria for the job. Further, HMRC has introduced unconscious bias training for all its staff including of course those taking part as selectors. It enables them to question personal beliefs and ensure objective evidence gathering in the recruitment process. In addition, all selectors must have completed diversity awareness training before undertaking recruitment work. More recently, HMRC is addressing the issue of ‘recruiter confidence’ when working with disabled colleagues by creating a bespoke disability awareness workshop that is being rolled out to all managers and recruiters.

3rd May 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much has accrued to the public purse from use of fixed-odds betting terminals in (a) Northern Ireland, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) England in each of the last six years.

This information is not available. This is because HMRC do not ask for a country-by-country breakdown on the taxpayer’s return.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
3rd May 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of fixed-odds betting terminals operating in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years.

Regulation of Fixed Odds betting Terminals is devolved and in Northern Ireland it is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Department for Communities.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
23rd Mar 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, which women's organisations in Northern Ireland received funding from the Tampon Tax Fund; what the amount was that each such organisation received; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor announced initial donations from the Tampon Tax Fund at Autumn Statement totalling £5m. Further grants totalling £12 million were announced at Budget to support a range of charities that are making a significant impact in the lives of women and girls. This included an award of £118,000 to Parenting NI.

£5.2 million of funding was allocated to Comic Relief and Rosa, who will disburse funding to a range of grassroots women’s organisations across the UK, including those in Northern Ireland.

Details of all charities awarded funding at Budget can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2016-documents/budget-2016

23rd Mar 2016
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of the Tampon Tax Fund was allocated to (a) Women's Aid and (b) other women's charities in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor announced initial donations from the Tampon Tax Fund at Autumn Statement totalling £5m. Further grants totalling £12 million were announced at Budget to support a range of charities that are making a significant impact in the lives of women and girls. This included an award of £118,000 to Parenting NI.

£5.2 million of funding was allocated to Comic Relief and Rosa, who will disburse funding to a range of grassroots women’s organisations across the UK, including those in Northern Ireland.

Details of all charities awarded funding at Budget can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2016-documents/budget-2016

9th Sep 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the value of Libyan assets frozen in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Following action at the United Nations, Council Regulation (EU) No 204/2011 of 2 March 2011 imposed an asset freeze against listed individuals and entities in view of the situation in Libya. The EU regulation, which has direct effect in the UK, requires that all assets owned or controlled by listed persons are frozen.

The approximate aggregate value of funds frozen in UK jurisdiction under EU Regulation 204/2011 is £ 9,467,630,000. These funds continue to belong to the individuals and entities listed under the Regulation and are not seized or otherwise held by HM Government. The figure is provided on an aggregate basis so as not to indirectly disclose the value of funds held by particular individuals or entities.

HM Treasury publishes the names of those subject to EU financial sanctions on the Consolidated List of Financial Sanctions Targets in the UK, which can be found on gov.uk website.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to exempt students flying on domestic flights within the UK from air passenger duty; and if he will make a statement.

Budget 2014 announced a freeze in the rate of Air Passenger Duty for short-haul international and domestic flights for a fourth year running. In addition Budget 2014 reforms Air Passenger Duty with the abolition of bands C and D from 1 April 2015. This cuts tax for passengers travelling to destinations such as Brazil, India, China, South Asia and the Caribbean.

Autumn Statement 2014 also announced an Air Passenger Duty exemption for children under 12 on economy tickets, with effect from 1 May 2015. This will be extended to include children under 16, so that from 1 March 2016 all students of compulsory school age will be exempt from Air Passenger Duty.

The Chancellor keeps all taxes including Air Passenger Duty under review.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
3rd Dec 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Autumn Statement 2014, whether the tax relief for orchestras will be available for orchestras in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The new tax relief for orchestras will be available across the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, from April 2016. The government will launch a consultation on the design of the new tax relief in early 2015.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Autumn Statement 2014, whether it is his policy that the inheritance tax exemption for aid workers who lose their lives in dealing with humanitarian emergencies, cover (a) British military personnel and (b) British healthcare workers; and if he will make a statement.

The inheritance tax exemption for those whose death is caused or hastened by injury responding to humanitarian emergencies covers both British military and medical personnel.

The Government will publish draft legislation on 10 December 2014.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Autumn Statement 2014, how much VAT will be refunded to hospices in Northern Ireland; what the timescale for repayment is; and if he will make a statement.

Following the Chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Statement that this government will refund the VAT that hospice charities incur, the government will now engage with the hospice sector, including those in Northern Ireland, in taking this policy forward to implementation.

9th Sep 2014
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive on ensuring adequate levels of funding for public services in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Treasury Ministers maintain regular contact with Northern Ireland Executive Ministers on a range of matters of mutual interest.

The Government’s position is that Northern Ireland is funded fairly and that the Executive have sufficient resources to support public services to at least the levels in place across the rest of the United Kingdom.

Indeed, the most recently published statistics demonstrate again that identifiable spending on public services in Northern Ireland remains over £2000 per head higher than the UK average. It is for the Northern Ireland Executive to determine how to allocate their budgets in line with local priorities.

23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department will provide financial assistance for repatriation of the bodies of the people discovered in a shipping container in Essex on 23 October 2019 once their identities are confirmed.

Once the identities of the victims of the tragic incident in Grays are confirmed we will liaise with the relevant embassies on how to provide support to the victims’ families.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to ensure that Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland are able to continue to exercise their EU rights after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make an assessment of the compatibility of those steps with the identity rights guaranteed to Irish citizens by the Belfast Agreement.

Upholding the Belfast Agreement and its successors in all their parts, including the Agreement's citizenship and identity provisions, has been central to the Government’s approach to the Exit negotiations. The Withdrawal Agreement with the EU recognises that the people of Northern Ireland who are Irish – and thus EU – citizens will continue to have access to rights, opportunities and benefits that come with EU citizenship. We are committed to working with our EU partners to put in place arrangements that will allow Irish citizens resident in Northern Ireland to enjoy the EU rights available to them.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to protect the rights of frontier workers who are citizens of EU countries but who are not Irish or UK citizens, who live in Ireland but travel to work in Northern Ireland each day; and if he will publish guidance on their rights in the event the UK leaves the EU (a) with a deal and (b) without a deal.

Whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal, the UK has committed to protect the position of EEA citizens (including Swiss citizens) who, at the specified date, work in the UK but live in another country (‘frontier workers’). This includes EEA citizens who live in Ireland and work in Northern Ireland.


The draft Withdrawal Agreement with the EU protects the rights of those who are frontier workers at the end of the implementation period, for as long as they continue to be frontier workers in the host state. After the end of the implementation period, they will be subject to a requirement to obtain a document to evidence their right to enter and work in the UK as a frontier worker, in line with Article 26 of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.


If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, we will protect the position of those who are frontier workers at exit date. Until free movement is ended by the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill, they will be able to enter the UK as now. Once free movement ends, they will be able to obtain a separate UK immigration status which will allow them to continue frontier working in the UK after exit.


Further information about how frontier workers can apply for a frontier worker document in a deal scenario, or for frontier worker status in a no-deal scenario, will be published in due course.


In either a deal or no-deal scenario, frontier workers may be resident in the UK for sufficient periods during their work here to be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they wish to do so. However, they are not required to do so, as they will be able to apply for a frontier worker document or status if they wish to continue working in the UK but living in another country

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of the EU Settlement Scheme on cross-border workers that live in Ireland but work in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Under the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement and equivalent agreements with the EFTA states, EEA and Swiss citizen frontier workers, including those who live in Ireland and work in Northern Ireland, will be able to continue to come to the UK on the same basis as now until the end of the implementation period. After that date, they can continue to come to the UK for work for as long as they continue to be frontier workers.

In the event of no deal and once free movement is ended, although the underlying legal framework will change, EEA and Swiss citizens coming for short visits for work will be able to enter the UK without a visa and stay for up to three months from each entry. This is set out in the Home Office’s policy paper which was published on 28 January and can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-immigration-after-free-movement-ends-if-theres-no-deal. Further information about frontier workers after 31 December 2020 will be published in due course.

As part of the reciprocal Common Travel Area (CTA) rights between the UK and Ireland, Irish citizens have the right to move freely between the UK and Ireland, the right to reside, the right to study, the right to access social welfare and housing and the right to vote in certain elections. The CTA rights are maintained in all outcomes of EU Exit.

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which (a) organisations and (b) other Departments his Department shares personal data with that has been captured during the settled status application process; and if he will make a statement.

The Home Office takes its data protection and data security obligations very seriously. All our data activity must be compliant with data protection legislation.

Within the EU Settlement Scheme, in addition to an identity check, applicants’ personal data is used in three main ways:

• Criminality and security checks;
• If a National Insurance number has been provided, real time checks with the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs to consider evidence of residency in the UK (for example tax or benefit records); and
• On a case by case basis, sharing information with other organisations to verify evidence you have provided within your application to protect against fraud and the use of counterfeit documents (for example verifying with a university that the university certificate you have provided is genuine).

This data sharing is designed to help applicants evidence their status in a quick and straightforward way by using data already held by other Government departments.

The Home Office may also process the information provided in other ways in order to fulfil its legal and official functions. This could include, for example:

• If we find evidence a significant crime has been committed;
• We discover an immigration offence (like a sham marriage) is being committed;
• If, in the future, you apply for UK citizenship; or
• To allow the Home Office to carry out its safeguarding duties.

This is set out in more detail in the Borders, Immigration and Citizenship System privacy information notice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-information-use-in-borders-immigration-and-citizenship/borders-immigration-and-citizenship-privacy-information-

25th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons his Department refused to extradite to Myanmar the main suspect involved in the murder of Gary Ferguson from Bangor, County Down; when that decision not to extradite was made; and if he will make a statement.

As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, the UK will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request has been made or received until such time as an arrest has been made in relation to that request.
The UK does not have extradition relations with Burma. Whilst we are able to consider requests from countries without a treaty, to be successful, any such request would have to meet the requirements in the Extradition Act 2003, including in respect of the protection of human rights.

13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of police officers are from minority ethnic communities.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the ethnicity of the police officers on an annual basis. The latest data show that as at 31 March 2017, 6.3% of police officers in the 43 police forces in England and Wales were from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

The latest available data are published in the ‘Police Workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2017’ statistical bulletin:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2017

Data, broken down by Police Force Area, can be found in Table D1 of the accompanying data tables.

The data can also be found on the police.uk website:

https://www.police.uk/metropolitan/E05000148/performance/diversity/

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will publish the Northern Ireland Equality Commission's advice to the UK Border Force on the recruitment of border force staff in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Equality Commission has made a public statement on some of the advice given to Border Force, this is available at https://www.equalityni.org/Footer-Links/News/Employers-Service-Providers/Equality-Commission-Comment-on-Border-Force-Recrui

Furthermore in response to the answer to Question 140136 of 8 May 2018 the Minister of State for Immigration summarised the rest of the advice given.

These pieces of correspondence and advice are not routinely published, there are currently no plans to do so.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of additional UK Border Agency officials that will be needed in Northern Ireland as a result of the UK leaving the EU; and if she will make a statement.

Additional staffing required by Border Force, across the UK, following exit from the European Union will depend on the final outcome of the negotiations. Government departments are working together across a range of complex issues to develop our future approach to the border and immigration system.

The government recognises the unique case of the Northern Ireland – Ireland land border, and we have been clear about avoiding any physical infrastructure at the border. We have developed joint principles with the Commission to ensure the continuation of the Common Travel Area. Avoiding a ‘hard border’ between Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of the Government’s three strategic objectives that have informed development of the policy options outlined in the recently published Customs Bill White Paper.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
25th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many European Arrest Warrant requests have been made by UK police forces to each of the other EU countries in the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

Each year the National Crime Agency publishes statistics on the number of European Arrest Warrants (EAW) issued by the UK.

These figures include a breakdown of the number of EAWs by the UK requesting law enforcement agency, including by Police Force. These figures are published at: -

www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/european-arrest-warrant-statistics

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to put on statutory basis the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2011 by the UK and Ireland to strengthen the Common Travel Area arrangement; and if she will make a statement.

The 2011 Joint Ministerial Statement regarding cooperation on measures to secure the external Common Travel Area border sets out the intent to improve cooperation. This joint programme includes investment in border procedures, increased data sharing to inform immigration and border security decisions, interoperable passenger data systems, including the collection and use of passenger data, and harmonised visa policy and processes. In the coming months, as the UK prepares to leave the EU, we will strengthen cooperation with our partners in the Republic of Ireland and secure a deal that works in the interests of both countries.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to put the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland on a statutory basis; and if she will make a statement.

The Common Travel Area (CTA), founded upon administrative agreements, has been reflected in each state’s application of national immigration policy. The CTA is specifically recognised in the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam and a Protocol to the European Treaties at Amsterdam, which provides that the two states may “continue to make arrangements between themselves relating to the movement of persons between their territories”.

There is an ongoing joint programme of work to strengthen the external border of the CTA and facilitate legitimate travel. The Prime Minister and the Taoiseach have stated their intention for both countries to work together to maintain the CTA.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to seal an agreement with Ireland on introducing equivalent Schengen criminal justice provisions between the UK and Ireland after the UK leaves the EU; and if she will make a statement.

The UK will in due course be leaving the EU but the importance of law enforcement co-operation with our EU and global allies, including Ireland, has not changed.

We are exploring options for cooperation arrangements once the UK has left the EU but it is too early to speculate at this stage what future arrangements may look like.

We will do what is necessary to keep people safe, but it would be wrong to set out unilateral positions on specific measures in advance of negotiations.

The Government has been clear it would not be right to provide a running commentary on negotiations.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to ensure that officials of her Department responsible for assessing the medical reports of victims of torture facing deportation have qualifications in forensic medicine; and if she will make a statement.

All members of staff who make decisions involving the assessment of medical reports receive training in how to consider the impact of a report on an immigration decision. They are not clinicians and are not expected to question the clinical findings made by qualified doctors in a medical report.

They will analyse reports, looking at who conducted the report, their qualifications, methodology used and clinical recommendations or observations as well all other evidence provided when making the decision.

No one who is found to be at risk of torture in their country of origin will be returned.

2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Security Industry Authority's online application processing of licences; and if she will make a statement.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) launched a new IT system in July 2016 which is experiencing some difficulties due to system defects which are being resolved. Some applications are therefore taking longer to process than anticipated.

We are closely monitoring the performance of the SIA, and are working with them to ensure a return to expected service standards.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the Security Industry Authority has been unable to process promptly online applications for its licences; and if she will make a statement.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) launched a new IT system in July 2016 which is experiencing some difficulties due to system defects which are being resolved. Some applications are therefore taking longer to process than anticipated.

We are closely monitoring the performance of the SIA, and are working with them to ensure a return to expected service standards.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of victims of human trafficking rescued in the UK during 2016 have been allowed to remain in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

All potential victims of modern slavery are eligible for support through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), but not all of those confirmed as victims of modern slavery will require permission to remain in the UK. Some potential victims are British Citizens, others will already have valid leave to remain in the UK or will be EEA nationals exercising Treaty Rights. Many victims who do not have an automatic or pre-existing right to remain in the UK also claim asylum.

Some of them will be granted leave to remain if eligible for international protection. Where appropriate, confirmed victims of modern slavery can also be considered for a grant of Discretionary Leave to remain in the UK based on the particular circumstances of the individual case. This can include needing to stay in the UK in order to pursue a claim for compensation against their traffickers or the need to assist with police enquiries. An overall figure for the proportion of confirmed victims of modern slavery allowed to remain in the UK could only be provided at disproportionate cost by examination of individual records.

2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of victims of human trafficking rescued in the UK in the last five years are (a) EU nationals and (b) non-EU nationals; and if she will make a statement.

Information on all potential victims of modern slavery who are identified by the National Referral Mechanism is published by the National Crime Agency on a quarterly basis. This includes the country of origin of victims and can be found here: http://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/publications/national-referral-mechanism-statistics

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to introduce a timetable for the re-unification of refugee children in Europe with family members in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The Government began work to implement the ‘Dubs amendment’ immediately after the Immigration Bill gained Royal Assent. Over 30 children who meet the criteria in the Immigration Act have been accepted for transfer since it received Royal Assent in May, the majority of these have already arrived in the UK.

We continue to work with and consult the French, Greek and Italian authorities and others to speed up existing family reunification processes or implement new processes where necessary for unaccompanied children. We have seconded a UK official to Greece; we have a long-standing secondee working in Italy and will shortly be seconding another official to the French Interior Ministry to support these efforts.

We also continue to consult local authorities about the transfer of unaccompanied refugee children from Europe to the UK, where it is in their best interests.

In addition, we have established a dedicated team in the Home Office Dublin Unit to lead on family reunion cases for unaccompanied children. Transfer requests under the Dublin Regulation are now generally processed within 10 days and children transferred within weeks. Over 120 children have been accepted for transfer this year from Europe.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Moussa Koussa met UK police forces or security agencies between his entry into the UK at Farnborough airfield on 30 March 2011 and departure to Qatar three days later; and if she will make a statement.

It is the longstanding policy of successive Governments not to comment on intelligence matters.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service stated in April 2011 that Police Service of Scotland officers met Moussa Koussa in 2011 in relation to the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to secure the extradition of Moussa Koussa in connection with IRA/Libyan-sponsored terrorism in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

It is a matter of long-standing policy and practice that the Government will neither confirm nor deny whether an extradition request has been made or received prior to the arrest of the person concerned pursuant to that request.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what occasions Ministers or officials of her Department discussed the Immigration Bill with (a) the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and (b) the Justice Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive; and if she will make a statement.

Discussion with interested parties in Northern Ireland on the content of the Immigration Bill has been ongoing since the summer, and has included correspondence at Ministerial level and meetings and workshops at official level with relevant departments in the Northern Ireland Executive. Discussions are also ongoing with the officials of the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Justice Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive.

24th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many illegal immigrants have been removed from Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

The table below shows the number of illegal immigrants removed from Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. The number for each year includes both enforced removals and voluntary departures.

Year

Total

2010

403

2011

455

2012

290

2013

332

2014

363

Grand Total

1843

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will increase the number of Syrian refugees to be re-settled in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation (VPR) scheme is designed to complement our humanitarian aid efforts and is based on need rather than fulfilling a quota; however, we have said we expect it to help several hundred people over
three years, and we remain on track to deliver that commitment. This is in addition to our consideration of asylum claims lodged in the UK under our normal rules. Since the crisis began we have granted protection to more than
3,400 Syrian nationals and their dependants. In addition, the UK has been at the forefront of the international response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, having pledged £700 million, making us the second largest bilateral donor.
However, we strongly believe that we should continue to focus on aid rather than resettlement as the best way for the UK to maximise our impact, and we therefore have no current plans to expand the scheme.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her contribution of 10 November 2014, Official Report, column 1248, on criminal law, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the European Arrest Warrant in assisting the extradition from the Republic of Ireland of fugitives from the UK; and if she will give a statement.

The Government believes the Arrest Warrant has greatly improved extradition relations with Ireland, and has considered this matter extensively.

Between 1973 and 1999 eight people in total were extradited to the UK from Ireland for terrorism offences. However, during this period the UK made 110 extradition requests to the Republic of Ireland in relation to terrorist offences, meaning that less than 10% of UK requests were successful during this period.

Since April 2010, one person has been surrendered after being charged with a terrorist offence and two people have been surrendered after being charged with terrorist-related offences.

Patrick Gordon was arrested in Ireland in May 2013 and surrendered to the United Kingdom in May 2014. He is charged with possessing documents containing information of a kind likely to be used by terrorists - bomb making recipes to produce napalm type weapons.

Liam Rainey was surrendered to the UK in 2011. He was convicted of kidnapping a well-known republican in Belfast.

Ryan McKenna was arrested in Ireland in September 2013 and surrendered to the UK in February 2014. He is charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and possessing explosives. Along with four individuals he is accused of trying to bomb a railway line using an IED and a home-made mortar.

We are not aware of any UK requests to Ireland for terrorist and terrorism-related offences being refused under the Arrest Warrant.

The Government has also listened carefully to the views expressed by Irish and Northern Irish Minister in this regard. In an article in the Irish Independent on 6 November 2014, Irish Justice Minister Francs Fitzgerald emphasised that the Arrest Warrant had "greatly assisted our mutual efforts to fight cross-border crime and to bring serious criminals, including terrorists, to justice".

The Irish Government also made clear in a letter dated 4 September 2014 from the Justice Minister to the Home Secretary, that if the UK failed to opt in to the package of the Arrest Warrant by 1 December 2014, there would have been no guarantee that the courts would consider their obligations under previously issued Arrest Warrants to be ongoing. This could result in those being held in Irish prisons as a result of a UK issued Arrest Warrant walking free.

Between April 2010 and March 2014, of the 537 people who were surrendered to the United Kingdom from all Member States, 88 were surrendered from Ireland. This represents 16% of all surrenders to the United Kingdom during this period, and is the second highest overall surrender figure of all Member States. The following table sets out the numbers surrendered in each financial year:

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Total

Total Arrest Warrant surrenders to the UK from all Member States

130

144

123

140

537

Arrest Warrant surrenders from the Republic of Ireland to the UK

22

20

24

22

88

The total of 88 surrenders includes:

• Four for murder;
• Two for rape;
• 17 for child sex offences;
• One for kidnapping;
• Two for armed robbery; and
• 11 for Grievous Bodily Harm

During this same period the UK (excluding Scotland) surrendered 114 people to Ireland, including for offences of murder, rape and child sex offences.

Although extradition to and from Ireland was previously covered by the Backing of Warrants scheme, if the UK were not to rejoin the Arrest Warrant it would rely on the 1957 European Convention on Extradition (ECE) in its relations with Ireland and all other EU member states. The Arrest Warrant offers the UK distinct advantages over the ECE.

Firstly, the process of extradition under the Arrest Warrant is quicker and cheaper than under the ECE. It takes approximately three months to surrender someone using an Arrest Warrant. However, it takes ten months on average using the ECE. On average it costs £13,000 to extradite someone using the EAW, and £62,000 using the ECE. This means that it would have cost the UK more than £5.5million more to extradite the same number of people to Ireland between 2010 and 2013.

Secondly, under the ECE certain countries can refuse to extradite their own nationals. This is not possible under the Arrest Warrant.

Thirdly, under the ECE, extradition can also be refused due to the length of time that has passed since the offence was committed. Again this is not possible under the Arrest Warrant.

Fourthly, Article 3 of the ECE allows refusals for ‘political offences’. It would be possible for terrorists to argue that their activities fell within the
scope of this ground for refusal.

11th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many times since May 2010 a European Arrest Warrant been used to bring fugitives from the Republic of Ireland to the UK; and if she will give a statement.

The Government believes the Arrest Warrant has greatly improved extradition relations with Ireland, and has considered this matter extensively.

Between 1973 and 1999 eight people in total were extradited to the UK from Ireland for terrorism offences. However, during this period the UK made 110 extradition requests to the Republic of Ireland in relation to terrorist offences, meaning that less than 10% of UK requests were successful during this period.

Since April 2010, one person has been surrendered after being charged with a terrorist offence and two people have been surrendered after being charged with terrorist-related offences.

Patrick Gordon was arrested in Ireland in May 2013 and surrendered to the United Kingdom in May 2014. He is charged with possessing documents containing information of a kind likely to be used by terrorists - bomb making recipes to produce napalm type weapons.

Liam Rainey was surrendered to the UK in 2011. He was convicted of kidnapping a well-known republican in Belfast.

Ryan McKenna was arrested in Ireland in September 2013 and surrendered to the UK in February 2014. He is charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and possessing explosives. Along with four individuals he is accused of trying to bomb a railway line using an IED and a home-made mortar.

We are not aware of any UK requests to Ireland for terrorist and terrorism-related offences being refused under the Arrest Warrant.

The Government has also listened carefully to the views expressed by Irish and Northern Irish Minister in this regard. In an article in the Irish Independent on 6 November 2014, Irish Justice Minister Francs Fitzgerald emphasised that the Arrest Warrant had "greatly assisted our mutual efforts to fight cross-border crime and to bring serious criminals, including terrorists, to justice".

The Irish Government also made clear in a letter dated 4 September 2014 from the Justice Minister to the Home Secretary, that if the UK failed to opt in to the package of the Arrest Warrant by 1 December 2014, there would have been no guarantee that the courts would consider their obligations under previously issued Arrest Warrants to be ongoing. This could result in those being held in Irish prisons as a result of a UK issued Arrest Warrant walking free.

Between April 2010 and March 2014, of the 537 people who were surrendered to the United Kingdom from all Member States, 88 were surrendered from Ireland. This represents 16% of all surrenders to the United Kingdom during this period, and is the second highest overall surrender figure of all Member States. The following table sets out the numbers surrendered in each financial year:

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

Total

Total Arrest Warrant surrenders to the UK from all Member States

130

144

123

140

537

Arrest Warrant surrenders from the Republic of Ireland to the UK

22

20

24

22

88

The total of 88 surrenders includes:

• Four for murder;
• Two for rape;
• 17 for child sex offences;
• One for kidnapping;
• Two for armed robbery; and
• 11 for Grievous Bodily Harm

During this same period the UK (excluding Scotland) surrendered 114 people to Ireland, including for offences of murder, rape and child sex offences.

Although extradition to and from Ireland was previously covered by the Backing of Warrants scheme, if the UK were not to rejoin the Arrest Warrant it would rely on the 1957 European Convention on Extradition (ECE) in its relations with Ireland and all other EU member states. The Arrest Warrant offers the UK distinct advantages over the ECE.

Firstly, the process of extradition under the Arrest Warrant is quicker and cheaper than under the ECE. It takes approximately three months to surrender someone using an Arrest Warrant. However, it takes ten months on average using the ECE. On average it costs £13,000 to extradite someone using the EAW, and £62,000 using the ECE. This means that it would have cost the UK more than £5.5million more to extradite the same number of people to Ireland between 2010 and 2013.

Secondly, under the ECE certain countries can refuse to extradite their own nationals. This is not possible under the Arrest Warrant.

Thirdly, under the ECE, extradition can also be refused due to the length of time that has passed since the offence was committed. Again this is not possible under the Arrest Warrant.

Fourthly, Article 3 of the ECE allows refusals for ‘political offences’. It would be possible for terrorists to argue that their activities fell within the
scope of this ground for refusal.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister in her Department took the decision to terminate the contract with Raytheon to build an immigration computer system; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) made the decision to terminate the contract with Raytheon, which was negotiated and signed by the last Government.

I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashford (Mr Green) on 22 July 2010, Official Report, columns 44-45WS, regarding the termination of the e-Borders contract.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what representation her Department will have on the On-The-Runs Oversight Board established after the publication of the Hallett Report on 17 July 2014; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office will be represented at the On-The-Runs Oversight Board.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many investor visas have been granted by the UK Government to Russian citizens since May 2010; how many of those visas were issued after January 2014; and if she will make a statement.

The information available relates to Tier 1 Investor visas granted to main applicants. In the period April 2010 to June 2014 there were 501 visas granted to Russian nationals, of which 119 visas were granted in the period January to June 2014.

The Home Office publishes quarterly statistics on entry clearance visas granted outside the UK, by category and nationality, in table vi_06_q_w (Entry Clearance Visas volume 2) within the ‘Immigration Statistics’ release.

A copy of the latest release, ‘Immigration Statistics April - June 2014’ is available from the Library of the House and from https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to improve security between the UK and the Republic of Ireland to prevent the return through Ireland of British-born jihadists; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is working closely with the Government of Ireland to secure the external border of our Common Travel Area through more consistent levels of control, increased data-sharing to support immigration decisions, more closely aligned entry and visa requirements and a shared approach to the use of advance passenger information to identify individuals posing a threat to the people of the Common Travel Area.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the process is for setting remuneration for police and crime commissioners; and if she will make a statement.

The Senior Salaries' Review Body (SSRB) makes an independent recommendation on Police and Crime Commissioners’ pay for the Home Secretary’s decision.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Syrian refugees have been granted asylum in the UK since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011; and if she will make a statement.

Between April 2011 and June 2014, 2,959 Syrians and their dependants were granted asylum in the UK at initial decision.

In the same period, 74 Syrians and their dependants were granted Humanitarian Protection/ Discretionary Leave and Other grants (grants under family and private life rules). In addition, 50 Syrian nationals have beengranted Humanitarian Protection under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme since it began in April 2014.

The Home Office publishes statistics on grants of asylum, humanitarian protection/discretionary leave/other grants at initial decision to main applicants and dependants in Tables as_02 and as_02_q (Asylum data tables Volume 1 and Volume 2) within the Immigration Statistics release. Table as.19 (Asylum data table Volume 4) shows refugees (and others) resettled in the UK under different schemes.

A copy of the latest release, Immigration Statistics April – June 2014 is available from https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release and is available from the Library of the House.

Refugee status is conferred following a grant of asylum. Not all asylum seekers are deemed to be refugees and not all refugees claim asylum.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking with regards to supporters of Islamic State in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement on 1 September, Official Report, Column 23, the Government has ‘taken a wide range of measures, including stopping suspects from travelling to the region by seizing passports, barring foreign nationals from re-entering the United Kingdom, legislating so that we can prosecute people for terrorist activity, even where that activity takes place overseas, and bringing forward emergency legislation, for instance to safeguard our use of communications data.’

He also announced that the Government will bring forward legislation to strengthen powers in specific areas, including disrupting suspects from travelling and dealing decisively with those
already here who pose a risk. Details of that legislation will be brought forward at the earliest opportunity.

A wide range of offences already exists on the statute books, including in the Terrorism Acts 2000 and 2006, under which individuals can be prosecuted if there is evidence they have
committed terrorism offences by supporting ISIL. In particular, where there is evidence that individuals are planning, promoting, funding, facilitating or participating in terrorist activities the police and Crown Prosecution Service will seek to prosecute them. Each case is considered individually. If the police refer a case to the Crown Prosecution Service, they consider whether there is sufficient evidence of any offence, and if so, whether it is in the public interest to prosecute.

9th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK Border Agency staff are based at (a) its Belfast public enquiry office, (b) Belfast City Airport, (c) Belfast International Airport, (d) City of Derry Airport and (e) ports and harbours in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The work of the UK Border Agency is now undertaken by the UK Visas and
Immigration, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement Directorates of the Home
Department. For border security reasons, it is not possible to provide a
breakdown of staff numbers by location. Furthermore, staff are deployed
flexibly according to demand and therefore move between locations. As at 31st
May 2014, however, there were 164 members of staff based in Northern Ireland
across the UK Visas and Immigration, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement
Directorates.

9th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many UK Border Agency staff employed in Northern Ireland (a) are recruited locally and (b) reside in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The work of the UK Border Agency is now undertaken by the UK Visas and
Immigration, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement Directorates of the Home
Department

The Home Office does not centrally hold data on locations that staff are
recruited from. To identify this information, we would therefore need to review
each individual recruitment campaign, which would incur disproportionate cost.

Staff are deployed flexibly according to demand and move between locations and
regions. In order to provide information therefore on staff in the UK Visas and
Immigration, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement Directorates who reside
in Northern Ireland, locally held deployment plans would need
to be collected and analysed against individual employee's home addresses. This
would incur disproportionate cost.

29th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2019 to Question 211684 on Chinook Helicopters: Accidents, whether the Government has preserved records relating to the crash of the RAF helicopter Chinook that were closed between the date of the accident on 2 June 1994 and 1995.

Ministry of Defence records relating to the crash of the RAF helicopter Chinook that were closed between the date of the accident on 2 June 1994 and 1995 have been preserved.

23rd Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to preserve the records relating to the crash of the RAF Chinook helicopter on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June 1994; and where those records are currently archived.

Ministry of Defence (MOD) records that were closed in 1995 and 1996 will be reviewed for release or alternative disposal this year. These reviews have not been completed, and a decision will be made in due course.

The records relating to the crash of the RAF Chinook helicopter on the Mull of Kintyre on 2 June 1994 are currently archived with the MOD's Air Historical Branch (RAF) at RAF Northolt.

13th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what proportion of Armed Forces personnel are from minority ethnic communities.

The Ministry of Defence is dedicated to achieving a more diverse workforce and is undertaking a wide range of activities to increase the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) recruits into the Armed Forces. Work to increase BAME representation includes better understanding and greater engagement with BAME communities, reviewing recruitment processes; and better targeted marketing and communications towards potential BAME applicants.

As at 1 April 2018, BAME personnel made up 2.4% of officers and 8.7% of other ranks in the UK Regular Armed Forces. Further information, including historical trends and a breakdown by Service, can be found at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-biannual-diversity-statistics-2018.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the Government's future procurement plans of the dispute before the American authorities between Boeing and Bombardier; and if he will make a statement.

The Defence Secretary has expressed concerns over the impact of Boeing's actions on the economy of Northern Ireland to Boeing senior leadership. He has been clear that this action is not what we would expect of a good partner to the UK.

We believe that Boeing has acted irresponsibly and have pressed them to reach an amicable, negotiated outcome to the dispute that preserves jobs in Belfast.

We stressed the failure to do so will have consequences for our relationship with the company, which might include the UK exploring a wider range of potential procurement alternatives considering the UK's social and economic objectives.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will visit Palace Barracks in Holywood, North Down; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence intends to visit units in Northern Ireland in the near future.

7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to recognise the bravery and sacrifice of members of Army bomb disposal units who were killed or maimed during the Troubles in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise the debt and gratitude owed to all the Service personnel, and their families, who serve or have served in the Armed Forces. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) community has long performed a particularly challenging and courageous role, including in Northern Ireland during the period 1969-2007.

Honours and decorations have rightly been bestowed on the EOD community in recognition of their selfless courage and commitment in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. In June 2016 the EOD Memorial at the National Arboretum was dedicated to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to respond to the recent allegations of torture in Northern Ireland in the 1970s by army personnel; and if he will make a statement.

It is for the civil police to decide whether to take any action on the basis of these allegations.

31st Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the undertaking given by the then Attorney-General on 8 February 1977, that the five techniques of questioning used in Northern Ireland in 1971, have not in any circumstances been reintroduced since then as an aid to interrogation; and if he will make a statement.

The undertaking made in 1977 continues to be Government policy, but it was regrettably breached on occasions during operations in Iraq in circumstances described fully in the Report of the Baha Mousa Inquiry (HC1452) published on 8 September 2011. Remedial action to prevent any recurrence was taken in accordance with the recommendations of the Inquiry.

7th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Answer to the contribution of the hon. Member for North Down during his statement on defence estates of 7 November 2016, Official Report, column 1290, what the estimated cost will be of the proposed consolidation of Kinnegar Logistics Base into Palace Barracks.

The only representations received are the questions from the hon. Member.

A 'Better Defence Estate' is principally aimed at improving the infrastructure to enable modern military capability and is based on military advice.

The consolidation of Kinnegar Logistics Base into Palace Barracks is a short distance move and contributes to the intent to co-locate people and capabilities in sustainable locations around centres of mass, optimising the Army's contribution to Joint Forces 2025.

There will be no job losses in relation to this announcement. The 12 military personnel based at Kinnegar Logistics Base will be relocated with their unit or re-assigned in accordance with existing career management procedures. There are no civilians on site.

Detailed assessment work will now take place over the next 12 to 18 months to determine relocation costs. As the relocation is scheduled for 2022, the Department will ensure appropriate levels of engagement will now take place with the relevant local authorities.

7th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to his Answer to the contribution of the hon. Member for North Down during his statement on defence estates of 7 November 2016, Official Report, column 1290, whether there will be any job losses associated with the proposed consolidation of Kinnegar Logistics Base into Palace Barracks.

The only representations received are the questions from the hon. Member.

A 'Better Defence Estate' is principally aimed at improving the infrastructure to enable modern military capability and is based on military advice.

The consolidation of Kinnegar Logistics Base into Palace Barracks is a short distance move and contributes to the intent to co-locate people and capabilities in sustainable locations around centres of mass, optimising the Army's contribution to Joint Forces 2025.

There will be no job losses in relation to this announcement. The 12 military personnel based at Kinnegar Logistics Base will be relocated with their unit or re-assigned in accordance with existing career management procedures. There are no civilians on site.

Detailed assessment work will now take place over the next 12 to 18 months to determine relocation costs. As the relocation is scheduled for 2022, the Department will ensure appropriate levels of engagement will now take place with the relevant local authorities.

7th Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the contribution of the hon. Member for North Down during his statement on defence estates of 7 November 2016, Official Report, column 1290, what representations he has received on the proposed consolidation of Kinnegar Logistics Base into Palace Barracks.

The only representations received are the questions from the hon. Member.

A 'Better Defence Estate' is principally aimed at improving the infrastructure to enable modern military capability and is based on military advice.

The consolidation of Kinnegar Logistics Base into Palace Barracks is a short distance move and contributes to the intent to co-locate people and capabilities in sustainable locations around centres of mass, optimising the Army's contribution to Joint Forces 2025.

There will be no job losses in relation to this announcement. The 12 military personnel based at Kinnegar Logistics Base will be relocated with their unit or re-assigned in accordance with existing career management procedures. There are no civilians on site.

Detailed assessment work will now take place over the next 12 to 18 months to determine relocation costs. As the relocation is scheduled for 2022, the Department will ensure appropriate levels of engagement will now take place with the relevant local authorities.

28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 25 October 2016 to Question 49363, what the technical issue which triggered the revise or confirm offer procedure was; and if he will make a statement.

As the procurement process is ongoing and the contract is yet to be awarded, further information relating to the revise or confirm offer process is considered to be commercially sensitive and we are unable to provide any information regarding the technical issue at this time.

19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 17 October 2016 to Question 48415, for what reasons the revise or confirm offer procedure was invoked by his Department's procurement function in relation to construction works at Faslane in 2016; and if he will make a statement.

The Revise Or Confirm Offer (ROCO) procedure was used because there was a technical issue with all the tenders received which had to be resolved before the Department could accept them.

The ROCO procedure was successful and a Contract may now be awarded in due course.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, (a) how many times and (b) in relation to which projects the Revise or Confirm Offer procedure has been invoked in Scotland by his Department's procurement function in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many times the Revise or Confirm Offer procedure has been invoked by his Department's procurement function in the last 12 months against firms based (a) outside and (b) within the UK; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the operation of the Revise or Confirm Offer procedure in defence procurement; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence has made no assessment of the effectiveness of the operation of the revise or confirm offer procedure in defence procurement. Procurement staff may use the revise or confirm offer procedure, on a case-by-case basis to allow a supplier to clarify or improve its bid during a competitive negotiated or single source procurement.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reasons there has been no increase in the war disablement pension for 2016-17; and if he will make a statement.

War Pensions are uprated to ensure that they reflect any increases in the cost of living. The approach taken by successive governments is that by increasing awards with reference to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), we ensure consistency with the measure of inflation used by the Bank of England.

The level of any annual increase is set against the September CPI figure. In September 2015 CPI was negative. Consequently, for financial year 2016/17 War Pensions have been maintained at previous levels. War Pensions will increase when the annual CPI figure next increases.

4th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many veterans are in receipt of war disablement pension; and what steps his Department takes to notify recipients of changes in the level of that pension.

As at 31 March 2015, there were 116,049 disablement pensioners in receipt of a War Pension administered by Veterans UK. Whenever there is a change in an individual's rate of war pension, Veterans UK will write to inform them. For 2016, Veterans UK elected not to issue an annual uprating letter to individuals as there was no change to payment levels. Instead, an alternative communication plan was put in place utilising automated messages on the Veterans UK helpline, letters to Third sector organisations for publication, and articles in Veterans World magazine, the Armed Forces pension newsletter, social media and on the gov.uk website.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what contingency planning has been undertaken by his Department for any potential UK military involvement to tackle Islamic State in (a) Iraq and (b) Syria; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is part of the US led collation to counter ISIL taking military action in Iraq and is supportive of action against ISIL in Syria. We continue to scope further options for activity in Iraq in support of regional and other coalition partners. As promised in the written ministerial statement released to the House on 13 October 2014 (Official Report, column 10WS), the House will be kept informed of defence activities.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether funds have been allocated for the purchase of new F-35s for the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has allocated funding for the UK’s first tranche of F-35 aircraft which will be used for both land and maritime based operations. To provide maximum flexibility, the Ministry of Defence does not allocate aircraft to specific ships. The final number of F-35s to be procured by the UK will only be determined after the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate his Department has made of the number of Islamic State militants fighting in Syria and Iraq; and if he will make a statement.

It is difficult to estimate the exact number of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants fighting in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq in particular, other insurgent groups and militias have allied with ISIL and operate alongside it, complicating any estimate of ISIL’s numbers. It is likely though that ISIL can mobilise several thousand fighters across both countries. However we cannot be more specific at this time.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of progress on the Belfast City Deal; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has committed to a comprehensive and ambitious set of city deals in Northern Ireland. Belfast City Region are developing a set of proposals which they intend to submit to Government as the basis for a city deal discussion, and I look forward to seeing them.

23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on what date he plans to visit Northern Ireland to confirm the appointment of new Queen's Counsel.

The Lord Chancellor will consider the recommended appointments in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners serving an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection have been freed by the Parole Board in each of the last two years; and if he will make a statement.

The latest published first release statistics for prisoners serving Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentences are provided in the table below.

2015

2016

Q1 & 2 2017

562

576

315

The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly data on IPP sentences as part of the Offender Management Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly

The release of IPP sentence prisoners is solely a matter for the Independent Parole Board, based on a thorough assessment of risk. The Board will direct the release of these prisoners only if it is satisfied that the levels of risk posed to the general public are reduced enough to be safely managed in the community under supervision by the National Probation Service and its partner agencies.

Public protection is our priority and no changes have been made to the IPP release test. All IPP prisoners will continue to be rigorously assessed by the Independent Parole Board as to whether they are safe to be released.

25th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Irish citizens in prison within the UK have requested transfers to prisons in the Republic of Ireland in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement.

In 2016, 15 prisoners in England and Wales sought transfer to prisons in the Republic of Ireland. Transfers of prisoners from Scotland and from Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the relevant devolved authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he first became aware of the so-called comfort letters issued to on-the-runs; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has announced an independent inquiry led by Lady Justice Hallett which will set out the facts in relation to the operation and extent of the 'on the runs' scheme. This issue is a matter for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

3rd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps the Government is taking as part of its planning for the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal to increase the number of officers in the Police Service of Northern Ireland in line with the recent request by its Chief Constable; and if he will make a statement.

Policing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and operational capability is a matter for the Chief Constable. The PSNI’s main budget is allocated by the Department of Justice from the Northern Ireland block grant.

The UK Government has provided the PSNI with the additional security funding it has asked for and needs to ensure that they have the resource (including officers) to tackle the SEVERE threat from Northern Ireland related terrorism (NIRT). This additional security funding boosts PSNI’s ability to tackle the terrorist threat while ensuring day-to-day policing isn’t compromised.

PSNI received £230m additional security funding in the last parliament and £160m in this one. In addition, the UK Government has provided PSNI with over £16.5m to help prepare for EU exit. This funding from the UK Government will continue to support PSNI to address the wider security pressures and contingencies arising from the NIRT threat and EU exit preparations and will enable PSNI to recruit 206 additional officers this financial year.

24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, what steps her Office is taking with the Northern Ireland Department for Communities to reform liquor licensing to support the hospitality and tourism sectors in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Liquor licensing reform is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and as such is the responsibility of the Department for Communities in the absence of an Executive. Further information on this issue can be requested from the Department for Communities within the Northern Ireland Civil Service. It is issues such as this that highlight the importance of restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland so that decisions can be taken in the interests of the whole community.

24th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2019 to Question 278925 and with reference to the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, how much funding was allocated to Tourism Ireland in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement.

Tourism is a devolved matter falling under the competency of the Department for Economy. Any funding decisions in relation to Tourism Ireland are a matter for DFE and requests for such information should be directed to DFE.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Government plans to provide funding to the Loughs Agency after the UK leaves the EU; and if she will make a statement.

As the Loughs Agency is a cross-border body, core funding is provided by both the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland and the Department of Communications, Climate Control and Environment in the Republic of Ireland.

The Loughs Agency has also previously secured EU funding for a number of cross-border infrastructure projects. Decisions will be taken at the Spending Review on which future EU programmes the UK will seek to take part in.

18th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Government will continue to provide financial support to Tourism Ireland after the UK leaves the EU; what the level of current financial support is; and if she will make a statement.

Tourism, and the funding of Tourism Ireland, is a matter for the devolved Department for Economy. Decisions on funding should rightly rest with that Department and an incoming NI Executive.

For its part, the UK Government remains firmly committed to the principles of the Belfast Agreement, including supporting cross-border co-operation, embodied in organisations such as Tourism Ireland.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of a future reduction in the salaries of the Members of the Legislative Assembly since the Assembly has not functioned since January 2017; and if she will make a statement.

Restoring devolved government in Northern Ireland at the earliest opportunity remains my top priority. However in the event of the continued delay in the formation of an Executive I have been clear that I will consider the case for further reductions to the salaries of the Members of the Legislative Assembly.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to bring forward legislative proposals before the summer recess, to enact the recommendations of the Judge Hart's report entitled, Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is determined to do everything in her power to ensure that the victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse get the redress they deserve as quickly as possible. That is why she asked the Northern Ireland political parties to consider the outstanding policy questions identified in the public consultation process and is pleased they have come to an agreement on the best way forward.

The Executive Office is now working with the Office of Legislative Council to redraft the legislation in light of the parties’ recommendations. Their recommendations deviate significantly from Sir Anthony Hart's recommendations. The Secretary of State also continues to engage with colleagues in Westminster on this vital issue.

5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2019 to Question 256966, whether Hospitality Ulster responded to the recent consultation of the Northern Ireland Department of Communities on whether changing the law for special events would be beneficial to the hospitality and tourism sectors in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

This is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland, and as such is the responsibility of the Department for Communities. Information can be requested from the Department for Communities.

5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she retains the power to call Assembly elections in the event that devolved government is not restored before the expiry of the timeframe set out in the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018; and if she will make a statement.

Under the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act 2018, I retain a discretionary power to propose a date for an Assembly election at any time. The Act also removes the duty to propose a date, which would arise again after the period for Executive formation. The Assembly is also able to call for an election.

5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the number of EU citizens resident in Northern Ireland who were unable to exercise their franchise in the recent European parliamentary elections as a result of the late distribution by the Northern Ireland Electoral Office of an additional EU form; and if she will make a statement.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) issued 34,040 letters advising EU citizens resident in Northern Ireland of the requirement in law to complete an additional form if they wished to vote in the European Parliamentary elections in May 2019 in Northern Ireland. This letter made clear the deadline for return of the forms. The form was also made available on the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland website.

9,020 electors responded. Unfortunately 1,204 electors replied after the deadline and were advised their application had been received too late to enable to them to vote.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants known to the Northern Ireland Department for Communities who died after registering a personal independence payment claim and prior to receiving a decision of their claim under (a) the special rules for the terminally ill and (b) the standard rules; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware that DWP recently provided information on the total number of patients who died within six months of their personal independence payment claim being disallowed. The delivery of personal independence payments is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and therefore falls within the remit of the Department for Communities.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the number of terminally ill claimants known to the Northern Ireland Department for Communities who had their claim for personal independence payments rejected and died within six months of that decision; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware that DWP recently provided information on the total number of patients who died within six months of their personal independence payment claim being disallowed. The delivery of personal independence payments is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and therefore falls within the remit of the Department for Communities.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants known to the Northern Ireland Department for Communities who applied for personal independence payments but died with six months of making their application; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware that DWP recently provided information on the total number of patients who died within six months of their personal independence payment claim being disallowed. The delivery of personal independence payments is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and therefore falls within the remit of the Department for Communities.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants known to the Northern Ireland Department for Communities who died after registering a claim for personal independence payments but before receiving a decision on their claim; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware that DWP recently provided information on the total number of patients who died within six months of their personal independence payment claim being disallowed. The delivery of personal independence payments is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and therefore falls within the remit of the Department for Communities.

21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to change the liquor licensing laws in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Liquor Licensing Law is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland and therefore a matter for the Department for Communities (DfC) within the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Following a recent consultation, the Department for Communities (DfC) has concluded a change to current law would be beneficial to the hospitality and tourism sectors in Northern Ireland.

This is one of many pressing issues which highlights the urgent need to restore devolved government at the earliest opportunity.

21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of placing reform of the legal definition of terminal illness which determines fast-track access to social security payments for terminally ill claimants under the principle of public interest as set out in her Department's guidance on decision-making for Northern Ireland Departments during the period for Northern Ireland Executive formation.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is aware of the Scottish Government’s recent changes to statutory guidance on terminal illness. Any decision to review the legal definition of terminal illness in Northern Ireland would be a matter for incoming Northern Ireland Ministers to consider.

21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of a review by officials in the Northern Ireland Department for Communities of the legal definition of terminal illness which determines eligibility to fast-track access to social security payments for terminally ill claimants; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is aware of the Scottish Government’s recent changes to statutory guidance on terminal illness. Any decision to review the legal definition of terminal illness in Northern Ireland would be a matter for incoming Northern Ireland Ministers to consider.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what her response is to the call by the Leader of Sinn Fein on Easter Sunday 2019 for a joint authority over Northern Ireland between the Irish and British Governments; and if she will make a statement.

This Government remains steadfast in its commitment to the Belfast Agreement including the principle of consent governing Northern Ireland’s constitutional position. It is on that basis that Northern Ireland is and remains a full and integral part of the United Kingdom.

As the Conservative and Unionist Party Northern Ireland General Election Manifesto 2017 clearly stated, “we will not countenance any constitutional arrangements - such as joint authority over Northern Ireland between the United Kingdom and Ireland - that are inconsistent with the consent principle”.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assurances she can provide that the resumption of the talks process between political parties in Northern Ireland will not further delay the implementation of the recommendations of the Hart Report in relation to historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland welcomes the resumption of the talks process between the political parties of Northern Ireland, and will continue to work to restore a functioning Executive. A locally elected, democratically accountable devolved government will mean that decisions affecting the people of Northern Ireland can be taken by locally elected ministers as soon as possible. The Secretary of State also recognises the importance of providing clarity on this issue, and is currently considering the recent judgment and the next steps.

The Northern Ireland Civil Service is in the midst of the appointment process for an Interim Advocate and expects the post to be filled shortly.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to ensure the appointment by the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service of an Interim Advocate for victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland welcomes the resumption of the talks process between the political parties of Northern Ireland, and will continue to work to restore a functioning Executive. A locally elected, democratically accountable devolved government will mean that decisions affecting the people of Northern Ireland can be taken by locally elected ministers as soon as possible. The Secretary of State also recognises the importance of providing clarity on this issue, and is currently considering the recent judgment and the next steps.

The Northern Ireland Civil Service is in the midst of the appointment process for an Interim Advocate and expects the post to be filled shortly.

11th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office of 10 April 2019, Official Report, column 306 and the Irish Mirror article of 9 April entitled Fears growing dissident republicans using stolen ATM cash to build war chest ahead of Brexit, what assessment she has made of the veracity of media reports that dissident republicans are responsible for thefts of ATMs across Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

I remain in regular contact with the Chief Constable of the PSNI on a range of security-related matters. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the PSNI’s ongoing investigations but PSNI has publicly stated that there is no current link to the involvement of dissident republicans.

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 9 April 2019 to Question 240971 on Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme, how many OFGEM staff are present in Northern Ireland on a full-time basis to administer the renewable heat incentive scheme on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Department for the Economy; where the location of OFGEM's main office in Northern Ireland is; and if she will make a statement.

Northern Ireland OFGEM operations are managed from GB. Its head office address is as follows:

10 South Colonnade

Canary Wharf

London

E14 4PU

Tel: 020 7901 7000

Specific queries in regards to Ofgem staffing should be directed to this address.

Further details of the responsibilities of Ofgem in relation to the NI RHI Scheme can be found at the following link:

https://www.economy-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/economy/RHI-non-domestic-scheme-final-arrangements-DfE-with-GEMA.pdf

9th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 9 April 2019 to Question 240973 on Northern Ireland Assembly: Members, if she will commit to making further reductions to MLA pay in the event that the Northern Ireland Executive has not been formed by the end of June 2019; and if she will make a statement.

Further to my answer of 9 April, I can confirm that the situation on MLA pay remains under constant review.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what events her Department is organising to mark the 21 anniversary of the signing of the Belfast Agreement on 10 April 1998; and if she will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office is not organising any official events to mark the 21st anniversary of the Belfast Agreement. The hon Lady will recall that a number of events were held last year for the 20th anniversary of the Agreement in which the UK Government participated or hosted. This Government remains fully committed to the 1998 Agreement and its successors. It is the bedrock of the huge progress that has been made in Northern Ireland over the past 21 years and we will continue to work for its full implementation, including restoration of the devolved and other institutions at the earliest opportunity.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to initiate a further review of the salaries being paid to Members of the Legislative Assembly.

A second reduction to MLA salaries took effect in January 2019, bringing the total reduction to 27.5%. While the Assembly is not sitting, I recognise that MLAs continue to be active in constituency work. The reduction that has been implemented reflects the work MLAs have been doing in the current period and is in line with the recommendations of former Assembly clerk and chief executive Trevor Reaney. In the event of continued delay in the formation of an Executive I will consider the case for further reductions to MLA pay.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what role Ofgem is currently playing in monitoring the renewable heat incentive scheme in Northern Ireland; and if she will make an assessment of the level of Ofgem's presence in Northern Ireland.

Ofgem is primarily responsible for administering the RHI Scheme on a day-to-day basis on behalf of the Department for the Economy.

Ofgem’s involvement is in accordance with the Energy Act 2011.

28th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland of 13 February 2019, Official Report, column 911, how much has been paid in salaries to Members of the Legislative Assembly since the collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly in January 2017; and if she will make a statement.

Since January 2017, £9,689,201 has been paid in salaries to Members of the Legislative Assembly. The total cost including salaries, social security, and other pension costs for the same period is £12,367,952.

These figures have been provided by the Assembly Commission which holds the budget for the payment of salaries to MLAs.

28th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Minister for the Cabinet Office of 27 February 2019, Official Report column 367, what preparations the Government is making to mark the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement; and if she will make a statement.

The Government does not have any current plans to mark the day with any official commemorations. I shall, however, be using the occasion to remind people of the huge progress that has been made in Northern Ireland over the past 21 years as a result of the Belfast Agreement and its successors, and to stress the need for the earliest possible restoration of devolved government.

5th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the timetable is for (a) her Department's publication of its response to its consultation on addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland's past and (b) the Government bringing forward legislative proposals on that matter.

The legacy consultation concluded in October and we expect to finish our analysis of the 17,000+ responses shortly. The public gave their time to tell us what they want so it is right that we consider every response fully.

We have met the main political parties in Northern Ireland to set out the emerging themes from our analysis so far and will continue to work with them and partners on the way forward.

I will set out the next steps in this process as soon as I can.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to appoint an independent mediator to chair discussions with the main political parties in Northern Ireland to restore devolution.

I have made clear that I am ready to consider all proposals which could support the parties in finding an agreement to restore the Executive. As always, all options remain on the table.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when she last chaired round table talks between the leaders of the main political parties in Northern Ireland.

I am in regular contact with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties and I remain focused on bringing the parties together to work towards re-establishing devolved government in Northern Ireland.

30th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when she plans to further reduce the salaries of Members of the Legislative Assembly in the continued absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly.

A second reduction to MLA salaries took effect last month, bringing the total reduction to 27.5%. While the Assembly is not sitting, I recognise that MLAs continue to be active in constituency work. The reduction that has been implemented reflects the work MLAs have been doing in the current period and is in line with the recommendations of former Assembly clerk and chief executive Trevor Reaney.

29th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what criteria she will use in deciding to call a Northern Ireland Assembly election; and if she will make a statement.

The basis on which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland shall set a date for the election is set out in the Northern Ireland Act 1998. As the Secretary of State has said, we do not believe that holding an election during this time of significant change and political uncertainty would be helpful or would increase the prospects of restoring the Executive.

That is why the NI (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Act provides for a limited period during which there is no legal requirement to call a further election and during which an Executive may be formed at any time. This will provide the time and space needed to work with the parties towards a further phase of talks to restore the Executive.

29th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will provide the evidential basis for her statement to the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee on 21 November 2018 that between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2018 £8,504,716 was spent on salaries for Members of the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

The budget for the payment of salaries to MLAs, along with the associated financial figures, is held by the Assembly Commission which is the corporate body of the NI Assembly. The Commission confirmed that between 1 January 2017 and 31 October 2018, £8,504,716 has been paid in salaries to Members of the Legislative Assembly.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will meet families of cystic fibrosis sufferers in Northern Ireland who are seeking to secure the availability of Orkambi on the NHS; and if she will make a statement.

Thank you for raising this important issue. I realise that the availability of Orkambi is currently the subject of negotiation involving Vertex Pharmaceuticals, NHS England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

As these negotiations are ongoing, I will ask my officials to monitor progress on this issue and update you as soon as there is greater clarity.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if her Department will (a) respond to feedback received by the Northern Ireland Executive Office's consultation on Historical Institutional Abuse and (b) take steps to implement the recommendations of the Hart Report in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

Victims of historical institutional abuse have shown huge courage and dignity in their fight for truth and redress and publishing this consultation is an important step for them. I urge anyone who has been affected or has an interest to contribute to this consultation and put forward their views.

The UK Government’s priority in Northern Ireland continues to be the restoration of the NI Executive. If, despite best efforts, the NI Executive has not been restored by the time the consultation process ends we will consider what the next steps are in the absence of NI Executive Ministers.

19th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the effect on local and regional newspapers in Northern Ireland of the pre-pack rescue of Johnston Press; and if she will make a statement.

My deepest sympathies go out to anyone facing uncertainty as a result of the changes at Johnston Press. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has made an assessment of the challenges facing local and regional newspapers, both from the resale of Johnston Press and more broadly, in the whole of the UK including Northern Ireland. Details can be found at:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-11-19/debates/52FF3860-684F-4B20-AD52-2B9687FE4E2B/JohnstonPressAdministration?highlight=johnston%20press#contribution-4ECFBDD7-91BF-4FD0-9600-1473DFBD8C78.

31st Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much has been paid in salaries to Members of the Legislative Assembly since its collapse in January 2017; and if he will make a statement.

The budget for the payment of salaries to MLAs is held by the Assembly Commission which is the corporate body of the NI Assembly.

I would advise the honourable Lady write to the Assembly Commission to inquire on the figure for MLA salaries paid.

10th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to meet with the victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse before Christmas in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.


Victims of historical institutional abuse have shown huge courage and dignity in their fight for truth and redress. It is important to note, however, that the Hart report was commissioned by the NI Executive, and the method of response to the recommendations should be for a restored devolved Government to decide.

I am aware that the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, has made a commitment to have legislation to implement the recommendations of the Hart report ready to publish soon, and I am assured that Mr Sterling will take what action he feels appropriate at this stage to keep the process moving forward so that a restored Executive may be able to action this work swiftly.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will of course consider carefully any invitation she receives from Judge Hart or the groups that represent victims of historical institutional abuse.

10th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland before the UK leaves the EU; and if she will make a statement.

Following the Oral Statement on 6 September, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland set out the Government’s clear plan to bring about a restored Executive, and has been engaging regularly with the five main parties in Northern Ireland to establish the basis for moving into the next round of more formal talks.

To that end the Secretary of State met the five main Northern Ireland parties, the Irish Government and church leaders on Monday 8 October and will continue to work with all parties to bring about the devolved power-sharing Executive that we all want to see.

10th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the Hart Report in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.


Victims of historical institutional abuse have shown huge courage and dignity in their fight for truth and redress. It is important to note, however, that the Hart report was commissioned by the NI Executive, and the method of response to the recommendations should be for a restored devolved Government to decide.

I am aware that the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, has made a commitment to have legislation to implement the recommendations of the Hart report ready to publish soon, and I am assured that Mr Sterling will take what action he feels appropriate at this stage to keep the process moving forward so that a restored Executive may be able to action this work swiftly.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will of course consider carefully any invitation she receives from Judge Hart or the groups that represent victims of historical institutional abuse.

10th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to meet with Judge Hart before Christmas to discuss the implementation of the Hart Report recommendations into historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.


Victims of historical institutional abuse have shown huge courage and dignity in their fight for truth and redress. It is important to note, however, that the Hart report was commissioned by the NI Executive, and the method of response to the recommendations should be for a restored devolved Government to decide.

I am aware that the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, has made a commitment to have legislation to implement the recommendations of the Hart report ready to publish soon, and I am assured that Mr Sterling will take what action he feels appropriate at this stage to keep the process moving forward so that a restored Executive may be able to action this work swiftly.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will of course consider carefully any invitation she receives from Judge Hart or the groups that represent victims of historical institutional abuse.

6th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to ensure that in the absence of the Northern Ireland Executive NHS staff in Northern Ireland receive pay awards equivalent to those of NHS staff in other constituent parts of the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The UK Government has made the NHS its top spending priority. The Prime Minister recently pledged an additional £20.5 billion to the NHS by 2024, which means an extra £760 million a year by 2023/34 for Northern Ireland under the Barnett formula.

In the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, it remains for the NICS to implement the NI departmental budgetary allocations flowing from the NI Block Grant.

6th Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons the salaries of MLAs have not been reduced; and what the timescale is for reducing those salaries.

The Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Pay) Act 2018 enables the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to, by way of determination, vary the pay of MLAs while the Executive is not present.

The Secretary of State has already exercised that power to halt the planned £500 MLA pay rise, and on 6 September she announced that she will, by way of determination, exercise that power again to bring forward a two stage 27.5% reduction of MLA pay. The first reduction will come into effect from November.

11th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 10 July 2018 to Question 161114, what representations she has received other than in written form from political parties in Northern Ireland on the subject of cutting MLA pay; and if she will publish the substance of such representations.

As the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 4 July, she has had a number of meetings with party leaders and Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly that have included discussion of MLA pay and does not feel it appropriate to make public the contents of private meetings.

5th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to her oral contribution of 21 March 2018, Official Report, column 337, if she will publish the representations made to her by each of the main political parties on cutting MLA salaries; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has received no written representations from the political parties on the issue of MLA pay, and is carefully considering all the issues and will set out the next steps on this matter in due course.

5th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which of the Northern Ireland political parties objects to the salaries of MLA's being cut in the continued absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

It would be a matter for the political parties to give their public position on the issue of MLA pay.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is carefully considering all the issues and will set out the next steps on this matter in due course.

25th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Advice to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Salaries, Expenses and Allowances from Trevor Reaney, published on 20 December 2017, for what reasons she has not implemented the recommendations in that advice, and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has made clear that she is carefully considering all the details and will set out the next steps on this matter in due course.

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her oral contribution of 5 June 2018, Official Report, column 220, what her policy is on reform of abortion law in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Abortion is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. I am aware of the many strongly held views across all sides of the debate on this extremely sensitive issue. My priority is to secure the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland, so that locally elected, democratically accountable politicians can consider changes to Northern Ireland’s abortion law, and the people of Northern Ireland can contribute to the discussions and debate.

I refer the hon Member to the statement I made by way of an Urgent Question on Thursday 7 June.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her oral contribution of 9 May, Official Report, column 662, what representations she has made to the Home Secretary on ensuring that the criteria applied in Northern Ireland by the UK Border Force in its recruitment drive are not discriminatory; and if she will make a statement.

Following discussions with my officials, the Home Office has confirmed that the criteria in Northern Ireland for the UK Border Force opens up the recruitment campaign to a representative profile of candidates. The Border Force has confirmed that it values the experience of people who have worked in the military and law enforcement, and that current and former members are free to apply for the Border Force recruitment campaign.

23rd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what timetable she has set for re-starting the talks between the main political parties in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Government continues to engage closely with the political parties, and the Irish Government as appropriate, to encourage and support work towards an accommodation to restore the Executive. This remains a top priority.

17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the content of the contribution made by the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland on the threat posed by the IRA dissidents after the UK leaves the EU, broadcast on BBC Newsnight on 15 May 2018, what assessment her Department has made of the level and nature of the threat posed by those dissidents; and if she will make a statement.

The Security Service assesses the level of threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism, and makes this assessment independently of Government and ministers. The threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism in Northern Ireland is currently assessed as SEVERE.

17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General of 16 May 2018, Official Report, column 390 for 16 May 2018, if she will place redacted copies of the security briefings on the threat posed by IRA dissidents as a result of the UK leaving the EU which were provided to Ministers by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (a) in the Library and (b) with the Committee on Exiting the European Union; and if she will make a statement.

The PSNI are engaged in ongoing discussions with representatives from both the NIO and other Whitehall departments on a wide range of matters, including the security implications of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after the UK leaves the EU. There are no security specific briefings to be placed in the Library or with the Committee on Exiting the European Union.

17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent estimate she has made of the likely timescale for talks to begin between the main political parties on the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

I met Northern Ireland’s five largest political parties recently to explore how we might achieve the restoration of devolved government while ensuring the good governance of Northern Ireland in the interim. I will continue to engage closely with them, and the Irish Government as appropriate, to encourage and support work towards an accomodation to restore the Executive. This remains a top priority for the Government.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will confirm that she has no plans to seek a border poll in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

It remains my view that a majority of the people of Northern Ireland continue to support the union and that the circumstances requiring a border poll are not satisfied.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the implications of the High Court judgment of 14 May 2018 on the Mallusk incinerator plant for her policies on ministerial decision-making; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware of the judgment released on 14 May on the Buick vs Department for Infrastructure case and the UK Government is considering its potential impact.

Considering the importance of this judgment and the questions of law involved, I note the NICS decision to appeal. It will be valuable to have these issues fully tested by the Courts so that there is clarity about the implications of the judgment.

I recognise that in the ongoing absence of locally appointed Ministers from the elected NI political parties, the civil servants in Northern Ireland have been left with the responsibility of ensuring governance in Northern Ireland. Since January last year, the NICS has continued to manage and maintain the delivery of vital public services in Northern Ireland in very difficult circumstances. The NICS are to be commended for the work they have and continue to do in the public interest.

But, I remain firm in my view that the people of Northern Ireland deserve better. It is absolutely crucial that we secure the return of a functioning, effective, devolved government in Northern Ireland, to get back to the business of governing and to take the strategic decisions that affect the long-term future of Northern Ireland and its people.

9th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 8 May 2018 to Question 13996 on Security: Northern Ireland, on what dates the Police Service of Northern Ireland met with (a) Ministers and (b) officials of her Department to discuss the security implications of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after the UK leaves the EU.

I would refer the hon Member to my previous answer of 8 May 2018. The PSNI have been, and will continue to be, fully engaged in ongoing constructive meetings with representatives from both the Northern Ireland Office and other Whitehall departments on a wide range of matters, including the security implications of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after the UK leaves the EU.

9th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 9 May 2018 to Question 140646 on Northern Ireland Assembly: Members, if she will place copies of the representations she received from political parties in Northern Ireland in the Library before Thursday 24 May 2018.

Any representations made to the Secretary of State by political parties regarding the salaries and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be published by the Northern Ireland Office in due course, subject to any necessary redaction of sensitive or personal data.

2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she observes parliamentary protocols on notifying the sitting MP when making a visit to a Northern Ireland constituency; and if she will make a statement.

My ministerial team and I observe the correct parliamentary protocols on notifying the sitting MP when making a visit to a Northern Ireland constituency.

2nd May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will place in the Library copies of the representations she has received from political parties in Northern Ireland on the subject of reducing the salaries of Members of the Legislative Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

As the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland told the House on 21 March 2018, any representations made to her by political parties regarding the salaries and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be published, subject to any necessary redaction of sensitive or personal data. Any such representations will be published by the Northern Ireland Office.

1st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2018 to Question 137494 on Northern Ireland Government, what discussions she had with the five largest political parties in Northern Ireland between mid-February 2018 and 26 April 2018; and if she will make a statement.

I have discussions with the leaders and representatives of the political parties in Northern Ireland on an ongoing basis. During these discussions we cover a range of issues, but the focus is always on the restoration of devolved Government in Northern Ireland.

1st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what security briefings have been given on what dates since 1 January 2016 by police authorities in Northern Ireland to (a) Ministers and (b) officials of her Department on the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU; and if she will make a statement.

The PSNI have been, and will continue to be, fully engaged in ongoing constructive meetings with representatives from both the NIO and other Whitehall departments on a wide range of matters, including the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU.

Most recently, on 23 April, senior PSNI officers and NIO officials briefed the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union during his visit to Northern Ireland.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has had with the Leader of the House on bringing a motion before the House to reduce the representative money paid to Sinn Fein; and if she will make a statement.

Under a resolution of the House, brought forward under the previous Labour Government in 2006, financial assistance is provided to opposition parties represented by Members who have chosen not to take their seats.

It is this Government's view that this issue is primarily a matter for the House itself to resolve.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what meetings she has held with the leaders of each of the political parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly since the collapse of the talks in mid February 2018; and if she will make a statement.

I met Northern Ireland’s five largest political parties on Thursday 26th April. I reviewed the current position with them and explored how we might achieve the restoration of devolution while ensuring the good governance of Northern Ireland in the interim.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will clarify her plans on the use of her statutory power to call Northern Ireland Assembly Elections; and if she will make a statement.

It remains our overriding priority to see devolution fully restored in Northern Ireland, so that a new Executive can take decisions on a range of strategic issues in the interests of the whole community. In the meantime the Secretary of State continues to keep under review her statutory obligation to set a date for an Assembly election.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to initiate talks between the main political parties in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

I met Northern Ireland’s five largest political parties on Thursday 26th April. I reviewed the current position with them and explored how we might achieve the restoration of devolution while ensuring the good governance of Northern Ireland in the interim.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she has taken to support the Northern Ireland Policing Board since the collapse of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

I have met with the Chair of the Policing Board, and have discussed this matter with the Chief Constable. Both are keen that political representation on the Policing Board should be restored as soon as possible to ensure proper governance and accountability. I have also raised this issue with party leaders. We are exploring with them, the Department of Justice and others what can be done in the absence of the Executive. This again demonstrates why it is so important that devolved government is restored so that local people can oversee local policing issues.

24th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons she did not exercise her power to cut the salaries of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State has used her power to make a determination on MLA salaries under the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Pay) Act 2018 to prevent an automatic inflationary increase from applying on 1 April. She is currently considering what further steps to take, alongside other pressing matters arising from the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her oral contribution of 12 March 2018, Official Report, columns 641 to 642, whether she plans to set the budget for Northern Ireland through an Order-in-Council; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland set out in a Written Ministerial statement about Northern Ireland Finances on 8 March resource and capital allocations for Northern Ireland Departments for the financial year 2018/19. On 20 March, the Secretary of State brought forward the Northern Ireland Budget (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill which would provide a “Vote on Account” for the Northern Ireland Administration to undertake expenditure in the early months of 2018/19 for day to day spending. This vote on account is part of the normal estimates process and these allocations will need to be placed on a legal footing later in the year. We hope a restored Executive will be in place to take this through the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Secretary of State does not have the power to take forward a budget through an Order-in-Council.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her oral contribution of 12 March 2018, Official Report, column 642, if she will set out the timescale to receive full and final representations from the Northern Ireland political parties before she makes a final decision on reducing the salaries of Members of the Legislative Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

As the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland told the House in her statement on 12 March 2018, she will seek to introduce legislation to take a power to vary MLA pay. The UK Government would welcome representations from the Northern Ireland political parties before and during that process, to inform the exercise of that power, and will publish in full any such representations.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her oral contribution of 12 March 2018, Official Report, column 642, if she will publish the full and final representations from the Northern Ireland political parties about reducing the salaries of Members of the Legislative Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

As the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland told the House in her statement on 12 March 2018, she will seek to introduce legislation to take a power to vary MLA pay. The UK Government would welcome representations from the Northern Ireland political parties before and during that process, to inform the exercise of that power, and will publish in full any such representations.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to appoint an independent person to chair the next round of talks between the DUP and Sinn Fein and other political parties in order to restore a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland made a statement on 12 March. She has made clear she will rule nothing out which could assist the parties in reaching an agreement. Ultimately, this requires the parties to come together and find an accommodation that restores the Executive.

8th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will meet the Chairman of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland to discuss the implementation of his report; and if she will make a statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will of course consider carefully any invitation she receives. It is important to note, however, that the report was commissioned by the devolved government, and how to respond to its recommendations should properly be for a devolved government to decide.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on extending the Warm Homes Discount Scheme to Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme was established under the Energy Act 2010. It does not extend to Northern Ireland, with energy policy devolved in Northern Ireland. As a devolved matter, I have not discussed its extension to Northern Ireland with colleagues in Government. Considering policy issues of this kind should be for a restored Executive, which is why it remains our priority to see devolution restored.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The UK Government recognises the importance of having modern and accessible infrastructure throughout the country as essential to our future growth and prosperity. Our Industrial Strategy, and the Transport Investment Strategy that builds on it, provide an important opportunity to consider our approach to infrastructure and ensure our investment meets the needs of a more dynamic and mobile economy in a country that works for everyone. That is why we have established the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to advise us on investment. The NIC are in the process of producing a National Infrastructure Assessment, which will be published this year, containing recommendations for how our identified infrastructure needs and priorities should be addressed.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2018 to Question 121859, what the timescale is for the implementation of the recommendations of the Reaney review of the salaries and staff allowances of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

As I told the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 31 January, I am considering Trevor Reaney’s advice carefully and will update the House when I have made my decision.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 8 January 2018 to Question 120790, what the timescale is for the publication of the consultation on legacy issues in Northern Ireland.

Since my appointment as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I have been deeply moved by the stories I’ve heard about the suffering that victims and survivors of the Troubles have experienced. The UK Government has a duty to move forward on this important issue so that victims and survivors are able to get the progress they have been seeking for such a long time. The Government wants to consult soon, with the aim of building support and confidence in the new legacy institutions from across the community. The best way to do that is off the back of an Executive being formed, but if that does not prove possible we do need to make progress.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2018 to Question 121860, if she will make representations to the Northern Ireland Equality Commission on ensuring equal pay for BBC employees in Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State intends to meet with the Equality Commission, diary commitments permitting, at which time she would be happy to discuss these issues.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 9 January 2018 to Question 120800, if she will take steps to meet with the (a) Northern Ireland Equality Commission and (b) Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to discuss the recognition of same-sex marriages in Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland intends to meet the Northern Ireland Equality Commission and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, subject to diary commitments.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 8 January 2018 to Question 120791, for what reasons that answer does not refer to meetings with any of the leaders of the four main churches in Northern Ireland.

NIO Ministers will be meeting faith leaders in due course as part of our wide range of engagement activity. This Government will continue to work with all sections of the community in Northern Ireland in efforts to re-establish the fully functioning, inclusive devolved administration that works for everyone.

18th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will make it her priority to meet with Bombardier in Belfast to discuss the potential merits of additional Government support for that company in its dispute with Boeing in the US; and if she will make a statement.

The UK Government will continue to undertake all efforts to support Bombardier and defend UK interests against the unjustified and unwarranted case brought by Boeing regarding the C-Series programme.

I look forward to engaging with the company, its workforce and wider stakeholders on this issue. All those affected can be reassured that the UK Government will do all that is possible to safeguard the livelihoods of workers, their families, those in the broader supply chain, and the Northern Ireland economy as a whole.

11th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will make it her priority to meet the victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

This Government has always been very clear in its outright condemnation of any form of abuse of children. Any tolerance by people in positions of authority of such activity by others is abhorrent.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was established by the Executive and responsibility for implementing Sir Anthony Hart’s recommendations falls to the devolved administration. My Right Honourable Friend, James Brokenshire MP, was very clear that in the absence of an Executive, he would not interfere in devolved matters in Northern Ireland except to the extent that it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to allow public administration to continue and public services to be maintained. Decisions on the direction of devolved public policy are best taken by the elected representatives of the Northern Ireland population. It was those representatives who set up the HIA Inquiry and they are best placed to consider how to implement it.

While Northern Ireland Office Ministers start work with the Northern Ireland parties on the restoration of the Executive the above still stands.

Northern Ireland Office Ministers assure you we understand and recognise the strength of feeling and frustration around the lack of progress in responding to Sir Anthony's recommendations due to the lack of a functioning Executive. We acknowledge and welcome the detailed preparatory work being undertaken by the Executive Office, and are aware David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, has invited victims and survivors to a briefing in relation to this on 30 January. We would welcome a meeting with victims and survivors after they have been briefed by David Sterling.

Progressing the implementation of the Hart recommendations is one of the many reasons we remain determined to get a Northern Ireland Executive back up and running as soon as possible. We continue to urge the Northern Ireland parties to seek urgent resolution to restore the Executive.

11th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the Hart Report of 20 January 2017 on compensation for victims and survivors of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

This Government has always been very clear in its outright condemnation of any form of abuse of children. Any tolerance by people in positions of authority of such activity by others is abhorrent.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry was established by the Executive and responsibility for implementing Sir Anthony Hart’s recommendations falls to the devolved administration. My Right Honourable Friend, James Brokenshire MP, was very clear that in the absence of an Executive, he would not interfere in devolved matters in Northern Ireland except to the extent that it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to allow public administration to continue and public services to be maintained. Decisions on the direction of devolved public policy are best taken by the elected representatives of the Northern Ireland population. It was those representatives who set up the HIA Inquiry and they are best placed to consider how to implement it.

While Northern Ireland Office Ministers start work with the Northern Ireland parties on the restoration of the Executive the above still stands.

Northern Ireland Office Ministers assure you we understand and recognise the strength of feeling and frustration around the lack of progress in responding to Sir Anthony's recommendations due to the lack of a functioning Executive. We acknowledge and welcome the detailed preparatory work being undertaken by the Executive Office, and are aware David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, has invited victims and survivors to a briefing in relation to this on 30 January. We would welcome a meeting with victims and survivors after they have been briefed by David Sterling.

Progressing the implementation of the Hart recommendations is one of the many reasons we remain determined to get a Northern Ireland Executive back up and running as soon as possible. We continue to urge the Northern Ireland parties to seek urgent resolution to restore the Executive.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when she plans to meet the leaders of the four main churches to discuss the restoration of a functioning Northern Ireland Executive; and if she will make a statement.

The department’s priority is to re-establish the fully functioning, inclusive devolved administration that works for everyone in Northern Ireland. In doing so, I will work not just with politicians but all sections of the community in Northern Ireland.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Belfast Agreement; and if she will make a statement.

The UK Government remains fully committed to the terms of the Belfast Agreement, its principles and its institutions. Events are being planned across a range of sectors to mark this significant anniversary in Northern Ireland - discussions are underway regarding the details of these.

The department is clear, however, that the best way for us to mark this event is with a restored Executive in place. My focus remains on working with the Northern Ireland political parties, and, as appropriate, the Irish Government, to this end.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans the new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has to meet women in Northern Ireland born in the 1950s and adversely affected by the equalisation of state pension entitlement; and if she will make a statement.

While I would of course consider carefully any request received to meet stakeholders in Northern Ireland, this matter has been comprehensively debated on many occasions in Parliament and the UK Government will not be making changes to its policy on the state pension age for women born in the 1950s.

9th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans she has to implement the recommendations made in the Reaney review of the salaries and staff allowances of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and if she will make a statement.

I am considering Trevor Reaney’s advice carefully and will respond to his recommendations in due course.

9th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will make it her policy to visit (a) schools with an integrated ethos and (b) other schools in North Down; and if she will make a statement.

I would be happy to consider any formal invitations which may be forthcoming from any sectors of the community, including those which focus specifically on education.

I understand that Northern Ireland Office Ministers have had a number of valuable and enjoyable visits to the honourable Lady’s constituency in the past and I hope to be in a position to do likewise at some point in the future.

However, as I have made clear, my immediate focus will be to work with the Northern Ireland political parties, and the Irish Government, to secure the restoration of inclusive, stable, devolved government in Northern Ireland.

9th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what representations she has made to the Northern Ireland Equality Commission on ensuring equal pay for BBC employees in Northern Ireland.

Neither the Secretary of State nor the previous Secretary of State has made representations to the ECNI regarding BBC pay.

9th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the conduct of the hon. Member for West Tyrone in relation to the Kingsmil massacre on the talks to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Kingsmill attack was a horrendous terrorist atrocity, and I recognise the pain and suffering of such an attack never diminishes for the families of the victims. My sympathies, at this present time, go out to the families who lost loved ones as a result of this barbaric attack.

Mr McElduff has now announced that he is standing down as an MP. The inquiry into Mr McElduff’s actions now rests with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, who will determine any potential criminal proceedings, and the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards has been alerted.

I assure you, the department remain determined and committed to get a Northern Ireland Executive back up and running as soon as possible, and I continue to urge the Northern Ireland parties to seek urgent resolution to restore the Executive.

20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 12 December 2017 to Question 119155, whether he plans to publish the public consultation on legacy issues in Northern Ireland before March 2018.

We want to move forward to achieve progress on addressing legacy issues for victims, survivors and wider society. We hope to be in a position to consult soon with the aim of building support and confidence in the new legacy institutions from across the community.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 18 December 2017 to Question 119152, on what date the decision was taken to publish the findings of the Reaney review of the salaries and staff allowances of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

As has been made clear in the former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland’s letter to Mr Reaney on 12 November commissioning his advice, it was always the Northern Ireland Office’s intention to publish it.

The letter is available on the Northern Ireland Office website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/secretary-of-state-announces-advice-on-mla-pay

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 18 December 2017 to Question 119152, what discussions he had with the (a) Democratic Unionist Party, (b) Sinn Fein and (c) other political parties prior to the publication of the Reaney review of the salaries and staff allowances of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly; on what dates those discussions took place; and if he will make a statement.

Beyond acknowledging the fact that advice had been commissioned and that it was our intention to publish its recommendations, Northern Ireland Office Ministers did not hold any discussions with any political parties about Mr Reaney’s independent advice on MLA salaries and allowance prior to its publication in full on 20 December.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of trends in the levels of recruitment to loyalist paramilitary groups in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement.

Paramilitary groups were not justified in the past and they are not justified today. The then incumbent Secretary of State for Northern Ireland commissioned an assessment of paramilitary groups which was published in October 2015 and concluded that all the main loyalist paramilitary groups remain in existence.

We continue to work with NI Executive Departments on their tackling paramilitarism programme to which the UK Government has committed £25m of funding. The NI Executive has matched this commitment. This programme involves actions aimed at long-term prevention, including supporting those who may be vulnerable to recruitment, building confidence in the justice system, tackling criminal activity and building community capacity to support transition.

The Independent Reporting Commission (IRC), established by the UK and Irish governments, was legally constituted in August 2017. It will report annually on progress towards ending paramilitary activity including the implementation of the relevant measures by the UK and Irish governments and the NI Executive’s action plan.

Having Northern Ireland Executive Ministers in place to provide strategic direction for this important programme of work is one of the reasons for my primary focus being on the restoration of devolved government.

20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 18 December 2017 to Question 119147, which events to mark the centenary of the suffrage movement in Northern Ireland are being organised by (a) his Department and (b) the Devolved Administration; and if he will publish the lead organiser for each such event.

While my Department is not organising any specific events to mark the centenary of the suffrage movement in Northern Ireland, the UK’s official arts programme marking the centenary of the First World War, 14-18 NOW, is commissioning activity in Northern Ireland to commemorate the suffrage centenary.

I understand the Department for Communities are taking the lead on behalf of the Devolved Administration to co-ordinate a programme to mark the centenary of the suffrage movement in Northern Ireland.

The honourable Lady may wish to contact both 14-18 NOW, and the Department for Communities, to find out more about their plans.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the dates of meetings with each of the leaders of the four main churches in Northern Ireland at which the recognition of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland was discussed; and if he will make a statement.

Northern Ireland Office Ministers have a regular programme of engagement which includes community and faith groups. These meetings cover a wide range of topics. The focus of recent engagement has been the restoration of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly, precisely so important decisions relating to issues such as same sex marriage are considered by locally accountable politicians.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to visit (a) schools with an integrated ethos and (b) other schools in North Down constituency in 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office Ministerial team engaged with groups and individuals across a wide range of sectors, including integrated education, during 2017. I look forward to this engagement continuing in 2018. My Ministerial colleagues and I have also enjoyed a number of visits to the honourable Lady’s constituency of North Down.

Our immediate focus, however, continues to be on working with the Northern Ireland political parties, and the Irish Government, to secure the restoration of inclusive, stable, devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the dates were of the meetings he has held with the (a) Northern Ireland Equality Commission and (b) the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to discuss the recognition of same sex marriages in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The previous Secretary of State had not met the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission or the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland to discuss the recognition of same sex marriage in Northern Ireland. The Department has been focused on securing a restoration of the devolved institutions precisely so that important decisions relating to issues such as same sex marriage are considered by locally accountable politicians.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to provide the Police Service of Northern Ireland with additional funding to tackle terrorism in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has provided the Police Service of Northern Ireland with the additional resources they asked for and need to tackle the Northern Ireland related terrorism threat. This includes £160m in Additional Security Funding to PSNI over the current spending review period. On top of this, cross-government spending on counter-terrorism right across the UK will increase by 30 per cent in real terms over this Parliament.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons the Northern Ireland Office has not yet published for public consultation its proposals to deal with legacy issues in Northern Ireland; when he plans to publish those proposals; and if he will make a statement.

The Government believes that the Stormont House Agreement proposals represent the best means of addressing Northern Ireland’s past in ways that will be fair, balanced and proportionate. The next phase is to consult publicly on how to address the legacy of the past and move Northern Ireland forward, including details of how the new institutions could work in practice. A public consultation would provide everyone with an interest the opportunity to see the proposals and contribute to the discussion on the issues.

The Government wants to consult soon but wants this to happen at a time that will best build support and confidence in the new legacy institutions from across the community. I am reflecting carefully on the next steps for taking forward a consultation.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what progress is being made by the independent review on the salaries and staff allowances of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, announced on the 13 November 2017; and if he will make a statement.

I received Mr Trevor Reaney’s advice on pay and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 15 December and intend to publish it shortly.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to mark the centenary of the Suffrage Movement in 2018 in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office works closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on First World War Centenary Commemorations to ensure the Government’s programme of commemorations has reach and engagement in Northern Ireland. This includes supporting the introduction of the UK Government’s programme to mark the centenary of the Suffrage Movement. 14-18 NOW, the UK's art programme for the First World War centenary, is planning activity in Northern Ireland to mark this important centenary which we will fully support. I understand the devolved administration is also co-ordinating a programme of events in Northern Ireland to mark the centenary.

12th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of the public inquiry into the renewable heat incentive scheme in Northern Ireland; what the expected duration is of that inquiry; and if he will make a statement.

The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme is a devolved matter and is currently the subject of an independent investigation. The Northern Ireland Office has made no assessment of the cost of the inquiry or of its duration.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will bring forward legislative proposals on salaries and staff allowances in the Northern Ireland Assembly before Christmas; and if he will make a statement.

I have asked Mr Trevor Reaney to provide me with advice on pay and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. He will report to me by 15 December 2017. I do not wish to prejudge Mr Reaney’s advice and will consider his thoughts carefully.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will meet the Chief Minister of Gibraltar to discuss future border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

I met the deputy Chief Minister, and Minister for EU Exit, the Hon. Dr Joseph Garcia MP on 21 February 2017 where we had a productive discussion on a range of issues, including those related to the land border with Ireland.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the (a) cost and (b) number of staff involved in the independent review on the salaries of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

I have asked Mr Trevor Reaney to provide me with advice on pay and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly by 15 December 2017. Our estimate of the direct cost of this exercise will not exceed £5,000 plus expenses. No members of Northern Ireland Office staff are dedicated to work on the advice, though I have offered Mr Reaney access to administrative and media enquiry support for his work.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will include the leaders of the four main churches in Northern Ireland in discussions about the restoration of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

I have a regular programme of engagement which includes community and faith groups. One of the regular topics of discussion is the restoration of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly.


15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will organise commemorative events in Northern Ireland to mark the centenary of the end of the World War One in 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office works closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on First World War Centenary Commemorations to ensure the Government’s programme of commemorations has reach and engagement in Northern Ireland, while promoting reconciliation and enhancing prospects for a peaceful, shared future.

My officials are also involved in the planning of local centenary commemorations by sitting on the Northern Ireland First World War Centenary Committee, chaired by the Rt Hon Member for Lagan Valley.

Discussions are therefore underway with key stakeholders in Northern Ireland on plans to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what progress he has made on the construction of the North/South Interconnector; and if he will make a statement on the timetable for its construction.

The new North/South electricity interconnector has been given planning approval in Ireland and a recommendation from the Planning and Appeals Commission in Northern Ireland is expected shortly.

Construction of the interconnector has been estimated at approximately three years.

We remain supportive of the development of a new North/South interconnector and recognise that there is strong support in Northern Ireland and Ireland to see this happen.

14th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will appoint an independent person to chair the talks between the main political parties in Northern Ireland to agree the means for restoring a functioning assembly at Stormont; and if he will make a statement.

On behalf of the Government I have been engaging intensively with the parties and, as appropriate, the Irish Government towards the restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland. The parties have made significant progress but some issues remain outstanding. Our focus now needs to be on finding a compromise on these issues. At present, I believe the parties are best placed to do this through direct discussion, with the support of the UK Government and the Irish Government in accordance with the three stranded approach.

14th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his oral contribution of 13 November 2017, Official Report, column 72, for what reasons the full staffing allowances of MLAs have been omitted from the remit of the independent review announced on 13 November 2017; and if he will make a statement.

The remit of the advice sought from Mr Trevor Reaney does include support and provision for the employment of Members’ staff. The full remit is set out in my letter to Mr Reaney and is available on the Northern Ireland Office website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/659476/mla_pay_letter__scanned_.pdf

14th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his oral contribution of 13 November 2017, Official Report, column 72, if he will confirm that the independent assessment being undertaken into the continued payment of MLA salaries in the absence of a functioning Assembly will be published; and if he will make a statement.

I can confirm that I intend to publish Mr Reaney’s advice as to how we should approach pay and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the continued absence of an Executive.

13th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what representations he has made to the head of the Northern Ireland civil service about the payment of compensation to survivors and victims of historical institutional abuse in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

I fully recognise the frustration felt by victims and survivors at the lack of progress in taking forward Sir Anthony Hart’s recommendations, and deeply regret that due to the lack of a devolved administration, there has been no movement on redress. I continue to believe that the best outcome for victims and survivors of child abuse is a fully functioning Executive where strategic decisions can be made in responding to Sir Anthony's report recognising that it was the Executive which commissioned this report.

I have regular meetings with the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service where we discuss a range of issues. He is aware the HIAI remains a devolved issue. The HIAI is one of the many reasons I remain determined to continue working with all Northern Ireland parties to get an Executive back up and running as soon as possible so that a response can be provided to Sir Anthony’s report at the earliest opportunity.

13th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the remit of the contaminated blood inquiry extends to Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The inquiry will be a full statutory public inquiry, created under the 2005 Inquiries Act.

A further announcement will follow before the end of the year on its establishment.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Prime Minister's oral contribution of 23 October 2017, on the European Council, Official Report, column 35, what assessment he has made of which technological devices for monitoring the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would be excluded in the event that there is no physical infrastructure at that border after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The UK wants a customs arrangement with the EU that facilitates the freest and most frictionless trade in goods possible, and which, crucially, avoids a hard border and any physical border infrastructure on the island of Ireland. The Government has been clear that avoiding any physical infrastructure is an essential aim and welcomes the European Commission’s agreement on this.


Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will visit the Storehouse North Down food bank; and if he will make a statement.

I commend the work undertaken by foodbanks across the UK. I will certainly consider any formal invitation to visit the Storehouse North Down food bank that may be forthcoming. However, my primary focus at present is to continue working intensively with the Northern Ireland parties and the Irish Government to secure the restoration of inclusive, stable, devolved government in the interests of the entire community in Northern Ireland.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the effect on public appointments in Northern Ireland of not having a First Minister and Deputy First Minister acting jointly to make such appointments; and if he will make a statement.

The responsibility for making public appointments to statutory bodies within Northern Ireland is determined by the founding legislation of each individual body. Where that responsibility lies with Northern Ireland Ministers and Departments, it remains a devolved responsibility.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to visit border communities in Northern Ireland to discuss the effect of the UK leaving the EU on those communities; and if he will make a statement.

I and my Ministerial colleagues have had and will continue to have meetings with a range of individuals, groups and businesses across Northern Ireland, including border areas, to discuss a variety of issues including the impact and opportunities of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The UK Government is determined to make a success of Brexit for the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland. We are committed to ensuring that the interests of Northern Ireland are protected and advanced through the development of specific solutions to address its unique circumstances.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the number of jobs in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The economy in Northern Ireland remains strong. The unemployment rate is down to 4.0 per cent over the year, the lowest since the great recession in 2008, and those receiving unemployment-related benefits has decreased again, falling by more than 26,000 claimants since early 2010. More than 10,000 new jobs were created in Northern Ireland over the year, meaning more people with the security of a regular pay packet for themselves and their family.

We are committed to securing a deal that works for the entire United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland. That is outlined in the Northern Ireland and Ireland Position Paper, published on 16 August 2017. We are positive about the opportunities that our departure presents to Northern Ireland – getting out into the world and doing business right across the globe, while at home building a UK that works for everyone. That is demonstrated by our desire to work with a restored Executive towards a comprehensive and ambitious set of City Deals for Northern Ireland, just as it is by the £4.7bn Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund that will help to deliver innovation, employment and growth right across the UK.

31st Oct 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to visit Bombardier in Belfast; if he will make an assessment of the implications of the recent deal between Bombardier and Airbus in the United States on future job prospects for people in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

I have been in regular contact with Bombardier over recent months, including a visit to the Belfast site last month. I hope to visit the site again soon following the welcome announcement of Bombardier’s prospective partnership agreement with Airbus on the C Series programme.

That announcement represents a significant step forward for the C Series and for the workforce in Northern Ireland. While there is some way to go before the deal is completed, Airbus has said that it expects the partnership to secure the C Series and its industrial operations in the UK, Canada and China. We will continue to engage with both Bombardier and Airbus to understand how we can help to best secure jobs in the United Kingdom.

My Rt Honourable Friend the Business Secretary made a statement on 17 October regarding the prospective partnership agreement, which fully reflected this Government’s commitment to supporting the jobs and livelihoods of the many skilled workers at Bombardier’s operations in Belfast.

19th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 10 July 2017 to Question 2967, which devolved authority has responsibility for salaries and allowances in the absence of a Northern Ireland Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

Salaries and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are the responsibility of the Assembly and, under the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011, are determined by the Independent Financial Review Panel. Any change to this arrangement at Westminster would require primary legislation. The Government’s overriding priority remains supporting the restoration of devolved government, as Northern Ireland’s future is best served by local decision-making based on partnership and agreement.

18th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his oral contribution of 11 July 2017, Official Report, column 188, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on establishing a UK-wide public inquiry into contaminated blood; and if he will make a statement.

As indicated by the contribution of the hon Member for Ludlow on 11 July, we are in close contact with Government colleagues to facilitate discussions with the Northern Ireland Civil Service and with key stakeholders in Northern Ireland on this subject.

18th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the timetable for the introduction of legislative proposals to end anonymity of donations to political parties in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The secondary legislation that would introduce transparency is currently the subject of statutory consultation with the Electoral Commission. When this consultation process is complete, I intend to lay the draft Order before Parliament. It is intended that the Commission should be in a position to publish full details of Northern Ireland donations and loans received during the July to September reporting period by the end of this year.

18th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to ensure that a legislative consent motion is received from the Northern Ireland Assembly for the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill; and if he will make a statement.

As there is no Executive in Northern Ireland at this time, a legislative consent motion cannot be sought at this stage. The Government is working hard to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland as soon as possible and is committed to working to ensure Northern Ireland interests are represented in the meantime.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to consult political representatives in Northern Ireland on the implications of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill for Northern Ireland in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is working to ensure that stable devolved government can resume in Northern Ireland, not least because it is important that a new Northern Ireland Executive can contribute to the debate on EU exit.

Meanwhile, officials in my department have engaged with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Executive in advance of the Bill’s introduction to Parliament to help determine the scale of changes needed to the statute book across the UK and ensure the Bill works for Northern Ireland. They will continue to do so during the Bill’s passage.

If there are any hon Members from Northern Ireland in this House or in the other place who would like to discuss the Bill in more detail, I would be happy to meet them.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he had with the Electoral Commission before his statement to the House on 3 July 2017 on the publication of details of political donations made to parties in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

In January, I wrote to the political parties to seek their views on this issue and I also wrote to the Electoral Commission. The Commission’s response is available alongside those of other respondents at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/brokenshire-provides-further-details-of-political-donations-policy-to-mps.

My officials have continued to work closely with the Electoral Commission on the preparation of the secondary legislation which will provide for the publication of all donations and loans received by Northern Ireland parties on or after 1 July 2017.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that Northern Ireland Departments have sufficient funds available for its policies and programmes during the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

There is provision in place for the Permanent Secretary of the Northern Ireland Department of Finance to allocate cash, under s59 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, to maintain public services. That system remains in place as it has done since April.

In April, I set out in a Written Ministerial Statement an indicative Budget position, based on advice from the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) in conjunction with the NICS Board. This sought to give clarity to NI Departments as to the basis for departmental allocations in the absence of an Executive. I continue to monitor the financial situation, and will reflect on whether any further clarity is required for Northern Ireland Permanent Secretaries in the allocation of resources.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons the full salaries and allowances of members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are being paid in the absence of a functioning Assembly; and if he will make a statement.

As set out in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, salaries and allowances for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are devolved matters.

4th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much has been spent on the (a) salaries and (b) allowances of (i) members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and (ii) their staff since January 2017; and if he will make a statement.

The payment of salaries and allowances to Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly is a devolved matter and the Northern Ireland Office does not hold this information.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Conservative Party publishes details of the donations made since January 2014 to the Conservative Party operating in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The reporting of political donations and loans is overseen by the Electoral Commission. The Conservative Party is under an obligation to declare all reportable donations and loans to the Electoral Commission.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons he did not make retrospective to January 2014 the end of anonymity for political donations to parties in Northern Ireland during his statement to the House of 3 July 2017; and if he will make a statement.

I wrote to the political parties in January seeking their views on this issue and, while there was broad support for the future publication of donations and loans, only one party expressed support for backdating publication to 1 January 2014. Having considered the representations of the parties, I did not believe it right to impose retrospective regulations on those who donated in accordance with the rules set out in law at the time. The secondary legislation to give effect to full transparency which I propose would therefore apply to donations and loans received on or after 1 July 2017.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons he declined the request of the Electoral Commission to publish the details of donations since January 2014 to political parties operating in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

I wrote to the political parties in January seeking their views on this issue and, while there was broad support for the future publication of donations and loans, only one party expressed support for backdating publication to 1 January 2014. Having considered the representations of the parties, I did not believe it right to impose retrospective regulations on those who donated in accordance with the rules set out in law at the time. The secondary legislation to give effect to full transparency which I propose would therefore apply to donations and loans received on or after 1 July 2017.

29th Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with the Foreign Secretary on obtaining compensation from Libya for the UK victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terrorism; and if he will make a statement.

I have every sympathy for the victims of terrorist violence, for which there could be no possible justification.

My officials have been working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in relation to the Government’s response to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s report on support for UK victims of IRA attacks that used Gaddafi-supplied semtex and weapons, published on 2 May 2017.

The Government intends to submit its response to the report after the summer recess. My officials will continue to engage closely with the FCO on this issue.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will initiate consultation on aligning libel law in Northern Ireland with that in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.

As responsibility for libel law in Northern Ireland is devolved, it would be for the Northern Ireland Executive to determine whether there should be any changes to Northern Ireland libel law.




Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions the Government has had with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on the (a) seizure of substantial amounts of Semtex in Dublin on 3 June 2017, (b) capacity of dissident republican groups to obtaining Semtex and (c) response of An Garda Síochiná to those incidents.

The UK Government is resolute in defending the country from terrorism and other threats. I commend An Garda Síochána on their success in seizing a large quantity of plastic explosives which, had it been used, could have caused death or serious injury. I intend to discuss how we can build upon positive work with An Garda Síochána when I next meet the Irish Justice Minister. There is a need for continued vigilance as dissident republican terrorists maintain their lethal intent.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the Government's policy is on the jurisdictional status of (a) Lough Foyle and (b) Carlingford Lough; and what recent discussions have been held with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on those disputed jurisdictions.

The regulation of activities in Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will set out a timetable to introduce legislation ending the practice allowing anonymity for donations to political parties operating in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

In January, I wrote to the Northern Ireland political parties to seek their views on moving to full transparency for Northern Ireland political donations and loans. I received a positive response from the parties. The introduction of increased transparency of donations to Northern Ireland parties was also a Conservative Manifesto commitment at the recent Parliamentary election. I will make a statement shortly on the steps needed to ensure that information relating to Northern Ireland political donations and loans can be published.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what information he has received on instances of voter fraud in the 2017 General Election; and if he will make a statement.

Cases of suspected electoral fraud are an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer who has referred a small number of cases relating to the Parliamentary general election to the PSNI for investigation. Any allegations of suspected malpractice should be reported to the PSNI and the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to establish a fund to compensate victims of IRA-Gaddafi sponsored violence in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

I have every sympathy for the victims of terrorist violence, for which there could be no possible justification.

A Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme already operates in Great Britain. Responsibility for compensation of victims of terrorism in Northern Ireland is devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive, which oversees the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.

The Government has made clear to the Libyan authorities that resolution of legacy issues remains a priority for us. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs raised the issue of compensation in his meetings with Prime Minister Serraj and Deputy Prime Minister Maiteq during the London Ministerial on 31 October 2016. The Government will continue to encourage the Libyan authorities to engage with UK victims, and their legal representatives, seeking redress, including those seeking compensation.

The Government position remains that it is not able to negotiate with the Libyan government on individual compensation claims, as these are not government-to-government claims. These are private matters best pursued directly with the Libyan authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides facilitation support to victims, their representatives and campaign groups, where it has been requested and is appropriate.

29th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether legal advice has been sought by the Government to confirm the territorial jurisdiction of (a) Lough Foyle and (b) Carlingford Lough before negotiations begin on the UK leaving the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The Government’s position on Lough Foyle and Carlingford Lough has not changed. The regulation of activities in the Loughs is the responsibility of the Loughs Agency, a cross-border body established under the Belfast Agreement of 1998. We remain fully committed to these arrangements and continue to work closely with the Irish Government over improvements to the management of the Loughs.

Like the Irish Government, we do not anticipate these issues forming part of the negotiations over the UK’s exit from the European Union.

29th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what progress has been made by the Government on establishing the number of victims of IRA-Gaddifi sponsored violence in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

Establishing such numbers could be difficult, and the Northern Ireland Office does not hold information to allow us to establish this.

The Lockerbie bombing was directly linked to Libya. It is more problematic to establish involvement of a third party when they are not directly responsible for a particular act.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent assessment he has made of the risks of removing the anonymity of donors to political parties operating in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State wrote to the Northern Ireland parties in January to seek their views on moving to full transparency. The Government is keen to make progress on this issue following the recent Assembly election.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to accelerate the introduction of legislation to provide transparency in relation to donations to all political parties operating in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Secretary of State wrote to the Northern Ireland parties in January to seek their views on moving to full transparency. The Government is keen to make progress on this issue following the recent Assembly election.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many (a) refugees from Syria and (b) unaccompanied refugee children from Europe have been settled in Northern Ireland in the last year; and if he will make a statement.

Under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme, 309 Syrian refugees were resettled to Northern Ireland in 2016.

Unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children are supported by the relevant authorities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and in accordance with their respective children’s legislation. In July last year the Government introduced the National Transfer Scheme (NTS) to ensure there is a more even distribution of caring responsibilities for unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children across the country.

The Home Office are working to extend the transfer provisions in the Immigration Act 2016 to the devolved administrations. Building upon Northern Ireland's positive contribution to the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme, the Home Office continues to be in contact with the Northern Ireland Executive regarding unaccompanied asylum seeking children. We remain open to any offers of NTS places from the relevant authorities in the devolved administrations however, no unaccompanied asylum-seeking children have been resettled in Northern Ireland under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 yet.

14th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to ensure the devolution of additional powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

As set out in the Government’s White Paper, The United Kingdom’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union, the Government’s guiding principle is to ensure that as the UK leaves the EU, no new barriers to living and doing business within the Union are created. We will work with the devolved administrations on an approach to returning powers from the EU that works for the whole of the UK.

8th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he plans to take to safeguard the implementation bodies set up under the Belfast Agreement 1998 after the UK leaves the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The implementation bodies set up under the auspices of the North South Ministerial Council provided for in the Belfast Agreement are a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government of Ireland, in line with the traditional three-stranded approach.

As I said to the House on 10 January, the Government remains committed to the Belfast Agreement and want to see a return to strong and stable devolved government in Northern Ireland, to continue to implement that Agreement and its successors. The UK’s departure from the EU does not change this commitment.

7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps he is taking to fund pensions for those victims of terrorism identified by the Northern Ireland Victims' Commissioner as in need of such pensions; and if he will make a statement.

The Stormont House Agreement of December 2014 set out a number of measures for the Northern Ireland Executive to take forward that would support victims and survivors, including a pension.

It is my hope that the Northern Ireland political parties can work together to deliver on the Stormont House Agreement that includes an acceptable way forward on the pension proposal. I will continue to engage with the political leaders in Northern Ireland to try to resolve this issue.

7th Feb 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the implications for Northern Ireland of a visit by President Trump; and if he will make a statement.

The UK looks forward to welcoming the President to the UK later this year. The dates and arrangements for the state visit will be worked out in due course.

17th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what his policy is on the circumstances in which he would establish an independent inquiry into the renewable heat incentive scheme in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

I welcome yesterday’s announcement that a public inquiry into the Renewable Heat Incentive will now go ahead. I believe that this is important to build confidence in the ability of the institutions to deliver and help set the tone for the election to come. This is a devolved issue and it is right and preferable that an inquiry has been agreed at Stormont.

I would encourage full co-operation with the inquiry, and hope that it is able quickly and effectively to establish the facts, and provide assurances to the public. For our part, the Government will do everything we can to support this independent inquiry.

28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Government has sought legal advice about the impact on the Belfast Agreement of 1998 of the UK's decision to leave the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Government stands by its commitment to the Belfast Agreement and the outcome of the EU referendum does not change this. We are considering all issues relevant to Northern Ireland, including legal issues, associated with the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment the Northern Ireland Office has made of the performance to date of Charter N.I; and if he will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office provides no financial support to Charter NI and has no involvement in any of its projects. I am therefore not in a position to make any assessment of its performance.

Oversight of the performance of Charter NI is a matter for those Northern Ireland Executive departments, and other bodies/organisations, which provide them with funding.

28th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) exports from and (b) imports into Northern Ireland of the recent drop in the value of sterling; and if he will make a statement.

We have made no assessment of the recent change in the value of sterling on exports from and imports into Northern Ireland.

19th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to meet representatives of restorative justice schemes in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The honourable Lady highlighted the work carried out in her constituency by North Down Alternatives during a recent Northern Ireland Affairs Committee evidence session. Following that debate I asked my officials to make arrangements for me to meet the accredited restorative justice groups that co-operate with the police in Northern Ireland.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent progress he has made on agreeing a timetable with political parties in Northern Ireland for full transparency of donations to such parties; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to introducing greater transparency in the regulation of donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties and it is my intention to consult the Northern Ireland parties on this matter.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what equality impact assessment his Department has undertaken on the measures that will be contained in the Representation of the People (Electronic Communications and Amendment) (NI) Regulations 2016; and if he will make a statement.

The current estimate of the costs to extend digital registration to Northern Ireland is approximately £250,000. These are one-off costs and will not occur annually.

The option of digital registration will be made available in addition to the existing paper registration system.

A section 75 screening has been carried out in relation to the provisions contained within the draft Representation of the People (Electronic Communications and Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2016. The screening found no adverse impact on equality of opportunity or good relations for those within the section 75 groups.

12th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the potential cost to the public purse of introducing online voter registration in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The current estimate of the costs to extend digital registration to Northern Ireland is approximately £250,000. These are one-off costs and will not occur annually.

The option of digital registration will be made available in addition to the existing paper registration system.

A section 75 screening has been carried out in relation to the provisions contained within the draft Representation of the People (Electronic Communications and Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2016. The screening found no adverse impact on equality of opportunity or good relations for those within the section 75 groups.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will make it his policy to end the anonymity of donations to political parties in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to introducing greater transparency in the regulation of donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties and I intend to consult the Northern Ireland parties shortly on this matter.

7th Sep 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of progress in negotiations with the Irish Government towards the construction of the North South Electricity Interconnector; and if he will make a statement.

Non-nuclear energy is devolved and the delivery of a new interconnector is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive and the Government of Ireland.

I have had discussions with Northern Ireland Executive Ministers and the sector on increasing security of supply, lowering energy costs and meeting the UK’s renewables commitments.

I hope proposals for a new interconnector move forward quickly to deliver a stronger, more secure and more competitive network in Northern Ireland.

27th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 27 June 2016 to Question 40440, on electoral register: Northern Ireland, if she will carry out an assessment of the effect on Northern Irish voters of the decision not to apply the extension to Northern Ireland.

The Electoral Commission will review and report on the management and conduct of the EU Referendum later this year.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
27th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to accelerate the public disclosure of donations to political parties in Northern Ireland; and if she will give reasons for the time taken to date.

The Government is committed to ensuring the maximum level of transparency in relation to party funding in Northern Ireland that the security situation allows. The Northern Ireland Office has been working closely with the Electoral Commission to bring forward secondary legislation to provide for greater transparency. This legislation has raised some complex issues and NIO officials will be working closely with the Commission in the weeks ahead to resolve these issues with a view to bringing this legislation before Parliament.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
13th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons the Government did not extend the European Union Referendum (Voter Registration) Regulations 2016 to Northern Ireland to enable late registration by any method; and if she will make a statement.

The registration deadline extension for the EU Referendum was implemented following system disruption to the online registration portal in Great Britain. The extension did not apply to Northern Ireland because online registration will not be available in Northern Ireland until later this year and voters there were not disadvantaged by the system disruption in GB.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the projected savings of closure of the Area Electoral Office in Newtownards, County Down; and if she will make a statement.

Management of Electoral Office resources is an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
3rd May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the cost of the planned closure of several area electoral offices in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Chief Electoral Officer is considering reform options for the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, with the support of the Northern Ireland Office. He has already set out his plans to relocate staff from two Area Electoral Offices (Newtownards and Ballymena) when office leases end in October 2016. No other decisions on the future of Area Electoral Offices will be taken until later in the year when the CEO has been able to consider responses to public consultation on wider reform proposals.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on the next phases of the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Northern Ireland, including the numbers of refugees to be resettled in 2016; and if she will make a statement.

I have participated in general discussions with colleagues, including the Home Secretary, on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the UK. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State sits on the Government’s Syrian Refugee Relocation Ministerial Group.

The Home Office are working with local authorities and the Devolved Administrations, including the Northern Ireland Executive, to put in place the necessary arrangements for the resettlement of Syrian refugees. My Department is in regular contact with the Home Office about these matters.


5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs on the resettlement in Belfast of those Syrian refugees who arrived in Northern Ireland before Christmas 2015; and if she will make a statement.

I have participated in general discussions with colleagues, including the Home Secretary, on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the UK. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State sits on the Government’s Syrian Refugee Relocation Ministerial Group.

The Home Office are working with local authorities and the Devolved Administrations, including the Northern Ireland Executive, to put in place the necessary arrangements for the resettlement of Syrian refugees. My Department is in regular contact with the Home Office about these matters.


5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Northern Ireland Office has been invited by the Irish government to take any part in events planned to mark the centenary of the Easter Uprising in Dublin; and if she will make a statement.

One of the Northern Ireland Office’s key objectives for the commemoration of the decade of centenaries of 1912-1922 is to work with the Irish Government to promote greater understanding of our shared history. I understand that the Irish Government launched its programme for the centenary of the Easter Rising on 12 November 2014. To date, the Northern Ireland Office has not received any invitations to attend the planned events in Dublin.
5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether she has had discussions with Ministers in the Irish government on marking the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme this year; and if she will make a statement.

The centenary commemorations of the First World War, including the Battle of the Somme, and the wider decade of 1912-1922 offer an important opportunity to reflect on the shared history between the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Prime Minister is committed, along with the Taoiseach, to commemorating our past with mutual respect and understanding. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and I are working with Ministers in the Irish Government to mark the events of this decade. I have discussed these matters on a number of occasions with them.

Marking anniversaries such as the Battle of the Somme in a spirit of historical accuracy, mutual respect and inclusiveness can support efforts to build a peaceful and shared future for everyone in Northern Ireland.

Officials from my Department have regular contact with officials in the Irish Government regarding their programme of events to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which was announced in November 2015, and I receive regular updates on this work.


5th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans the Government has to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Battle of the Somme in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office has a co-ordinating role as part of the Government’s overall efforts to commemorate the centenaries of World War One events. Our aim is to ensure that these events, including for the Battle of the Somme, are commemorated in Northern Ireland in a manner which promotes reconciliation and enhances prospects for a peaceful, shared future.

Officials from my Department sit on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Programme Board for First World War Centenary Commemorations. They also have regular contact with officials in the Northern Ireland Executive and sit on the Northern Ireland First World War Centenary Committee chaired by Jeffrey Donaldson MP.

I receive regular updates on this work and both the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and I will be in attendance at a number of events being planned to mark the Battle of the Somme centenary. These events will take place in Northern Ireland and France.


7th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to ensure additional funding is made available to the Northern Ireland Executive to assist the settlement of Syrian refugees in Northern Ireland over the lifetime of this Parliament; and if she will make a statement.

Clearly, the cost of such a major expansion will be significant. The current Syrian resettlement scheme is funded through a mixture of Official Development Assistance and EU funds. It is the Government’s intention that the expansion of the scheme will be funded in the same way, easing the burden on local communities as we meet the moral obligation to play our part in responding to the refugee crisis in Syria.

Under existing arrangements, UK resettlement schemes provide 12 months of funding to limit the impact of new arrivals on local authorities and services and to ensure that new arrivals are properly supported and integrated. Beyond that time refugees are treated in the same way as any other UK resident, with access to the labour market and mainstream benefits. This system works well. However, all arrangements will need to be reviewed over the coming weeks given the increase in numbers to ensure fairness, protect local services and the quality of the care provided to refugees.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
7th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps her Department is taking to assist in the transportation via Cork of donations of clothing and other materials from North Down to refugees stranded in Calais; and if she will make a statement.

To date we have not been contacted by any organisation seeking our assistance.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
7th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate she has made of the number of Syrian refugees who will be accepted by Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is working through the arrangements. However, we recognise that the increase in numbers will require an expansion of current networks and the impact on local communities and infrastructure will need to be managed carefully.

We are keen to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to facilitate the settlement of Syrian refugees while ensuring there is an equitable distribution across the country.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
7th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans her Department has to celebrate in Northern Ireland Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becoming the longest serving British monarch; and if she will make a statement.

A number of events will be taking place across Northern Ireland, including a special service in St Anne’s Cathedral to mark the occasion of Her Majesty becoming the longest serving monarch in British history. I congratulate Her Majesty on this remarkable achievement. Throughout her long reign Her Majesty has displayed selfless devotion to duty and commitment to all parts of our United Kingdom, including in Northern Ireland.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
7th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland on accepting refugees from UN camps in countries bordering Syria; and if she will make a statement.

On 11 September, I attended the first meeting of the Working Group on Syrian refugees at the Home Office. The Northern Ireland Office will work with the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that Northern Ireland plays its part in meeting the Government’s aim of resettling vulnerable refugees from Syria and the region.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which parts of the Belfast Agreement have yet to be implemented; and if she will make a statement.

The Belfast Agreement set out the arrangements governing the operation of democratic institutions in Northern Ireland, as well as British-Irish institutions and the North-South Ministerial Council. The subsequent St Andrews Agreement made changes to the operation of those institutions, as agreed by political parties representing a majority of unionist and nationalist opinion in Northern Ireland.

Both Agreements have been substantially delivered, though there remain some areas where a lack of consensus means that full implementation has not been possible.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to ensure that the determinations of the Parades Commission are accepted by all affected parties; and if she will make a statement.

The Public Processions Act (NI) 1998 empowers the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland to make determinations in relation to sensitive parades and parades related protests in Northern Ireland, independently of Government.

As I have pointed out many times publicly and in private meetings, Commission decisions are legally binding and it is incumbent upon everyone to abide by the rule of law.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings she has had with the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Parades Commission since first becoming Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Since my appointment as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in September 2012, I have met the Chair of the Parades Commission on ten occasions.

15th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport about the implications of the Davies Report on the UK's airport strategy for Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

I meet regularly with Cabinet Ministers to discuss a range of issues.

As the Secretary of State for Transport has said on a number of occasions, the Government will now carefully consider all of the evidence in the Airports Commission’s Final Report before making a decision on the way forward. The Government will not therefore be commenting on the Airports Commission’s recommendations until it has had time to examine the evidence. However, the Government recognises the need to make a decision as soon as we can, after considering all relevant matters.

8th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the effect on the role of hon. Members from Northern Ireland of the proposed Standing Orders governing English votes on English laws; and if she will make a statement.

As the Conservative manifesto on which the Government was elected states, ‘We will work to ensure a stable constitution that is fair to the people of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.’

Ensuring that legislation affecting only England, or England and Wales can only be passed with the consent of MPs from England, or England and Wales, is a key part of that.

Under our proposals, MPs from Northern Ireland will, like all MPs, continue to debate and vote on every piece of legislation in the Commons. The proposed Standing Orders will, however, give English and Welsh MPs the opportunity to give their explicit consent to legislation that only applies to those nations and is devolved elsewhere. This has similarities with the system of legislative consent motions in devolved assemblies.

All MPs will continue to approve Departmental spending together through the Estimates process, which also sets out the level of funding for the devolved administrations. MPs from Northern Ireland will be able to give their explicit consent to tax measures which apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland but relate to matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

1st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reasons Northern Ireland was not included in the scope of the Prevent Strategy; and if she will make a statement.

PREVENT forms one part of CONTEST which is the UK Government’s overarching strategy for countering terrorism. The Home Secretary has responsibility for CONTEST. The primary focus of CONTEST is countering international terrorism, not domestic related terrorism which is the principal threat in Northern Ireland.

The PSNI works closely with other security partners across the UK in relation to the threat from international terrorism within Northern Ireland. The Government will continue to support the PSNI and security partners as they respond to terrorist groups which seek to undermine peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland.

1st Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to extend the Prevent Strategy to Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

PREVENT forms one part of CONTEST which is the UK Government’s overarching strategy for countering terrorism. The Home Secretary has responsibility for CONTEST. The primary focus of CONTEST is countering international terrorism, not domestic related terrorism which is the principal threat in Northern Ireland.

The PSNI works closely with other security partners across the UK in relation to the threat from international terrorism within Northern Ireland. The Government will continue to support the PSNI and security partners as they respond to terrorist groups which seek to undermine peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland.

24th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent progress has been made on implementation of the recommendations of the Hallett Report into the administrative scheme for On the Runs published on 17 July 2014; and if she will make a statement.

To date, 6 of the 11 recommendations made by Lady Justice Hallett have been fully implemented. These are found on page 147 of the Report of the Hallett Review at paragraph 11.2 bullet points 1, 2, 3 and 4, and paragraph 11.3 bullet points 4 and 6. These include all of the recommendations which fall solely to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to implement.

Work on the implementation of the remaining 5 recommendations – those at paragraph 11.2 bullet point 5 (for the NIO to coordinate in conjunction with police and prosecuting authorities), and paragraph 11.3 bullet points 1, 2, 3 (for the PSNI) and 5 (for the Home Office) – is ongoing.

The OTR Policy Oversight Board is due to meet again in July to review progress against the outstanding recommendations.

24th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what proportion of appeals she has received from retired police officers on decisions by the Firearms Branch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to withdraw their personal protection weapons were successful in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement.

No appeals have been received by my Department in the last five years from retired police officers following the decision by the Chief Constable to withdraw a personal protection weapon.

24th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on how many occasions since its formation after the publication of the Hallett Report into the administrative scheme for On the Runs on 17 July 2014 has her Department's implementation team met; and who attended each such meeting.

The OTR Policy Oversight Board has met on 8 occasions since 17 July 2014.

The Board is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), Sir Jonathan Stephens. Representatives from the Northern Ireland Office, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Public Prosecution Service (NI), Department of Justice, Home Office, Attorney General’s Office and NIO Legal Advisers have attended meetings of the Board.

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the capacity to resettle Syrian refugees in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The tragic situation is Syria continues to concern us all and I commend the work of organisations such as the Disasters Emergency Committee that are bringing much needed relief.

The hon Lady will understand that if refugees were to come to Northern Ireland an assessment of the capacity needed in any resettlement would need to be undertaken by the relevant Northern Ireland Executive Departments in consultation with Whitehall Departments such as the FCO and Home Office.

18th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will make additional funds available to allow the Northern Ireland Executive to extend the Warm Home Discount Scheme to Northern Ireland; what recent steps she has taken to encourage the setting up of the Warm Home Discount Scheme in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

Decisions on tackling fuel poverty are devolved matters and this is why Northern Ireland has its own fuel poverty strategy separate to Great Britain. It therefore follows that any associated funding issues that would arise in introducing the Warm Home Discount Scheme to Northern Ireland would be for the Northern Ireland Executive to fund from its Block Grant.

I am aware that from time to time the Social Development Committee has considered the question of introducing a Warm Homes Discount Scheme in Northern Ireland but as these are matters that are the responsibility of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the hon Member might wish to take this matter up with the DETI Minister directly.

29th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will hold discussions with her ministerial colleagues on including parading rights in a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The recently convened cross-party talks offer an opportunity for the Northern Ireland parties to consider issues around parading and rights.

29th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to secure funding for the Ulster Orchestra; and if she will make a statement.

I am aware of the difficulties that the Ulster Orchestra is facing in respect of securing funding but this is a devolved matter and is for the authorities in Northern Ireland to consider.

29th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to arrange a service of thanksgiving for people from Northern Ireland who served in Afghanistan and a commemoration for those members of the armed forces from Northern Ireland who died in that country on active service; and if she will make a statement.

I will raise this matter with my Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. The hon Lady will wish to be aware that at this time there is a Royal Irish Regiment Service of Remembrance held annually at St. Anne’s Cathedral in which respect is paid to the Regimental fallen from all conflicts including Afghanistan.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answers of 4 September 2014, to UIN numbers 207794, 207797 and 207798, who the individual members of the On-The-Runs Policy Oversight Board will be; and if she will make a statement.

The OTR Policy Oversight Board was established to address the issues raised by the Hallett Report. It is chaired by NIO Permanent Secretary, Sir Jonathan Stephens. NIO officials and Legal Advisers, the Attorney General’s Office, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Home Office are represented. The Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service are a consultee to the group, and the Department of Justice are an observer to the group. The Metropolitan Police/ACPO and the Crown Prosecution Service are invited as needed.

The Board does not in any way impact on the operational independence of the police and prosecuting authorities, or the complete independence of decision-making by those authorities.

Having consulted with the independent police and prosecuting authorities, my statement of 9 September was the approach which represented the fairest, promptest and most effective way to reduce the risk to future prosecutions and to provide the clarity called for in the Hallett Report.

I have placed a copy of the Terms of Reference of this group in the House Library.

9th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reason she has declined to disclose the number of recipients of On-The-Run comfort letters who have fled the jurisdiction of the UK since her statement following the Hallett Report on 17 July 2014; and if she will make a statement.

I am not aware of the whereabouts of any individual who received a letter under the ‘on the runs’ administrative scheme and who may have left the UK since the publication of the Hallett Report. I am not therefore in a position to disclose the potential number of individuals concerned.

Decisions about investigation and prosecution in specific cases, including seeking an individual’s extradition where necessary, will be taken by the independent police and prosecuting authorities.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the timetable is for the full implementation of the Hallett Report's recommendations; and if she will make a statement.

I made an oral statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday 9 September which dealt with some aspects of the implementation of the recommendations of the Hallett Report. My statement clarified that:

- This scheme has ended;

- Letters issued in whatever form do not represent any commitment that the recipient will not be investigated or prosecuted, if that is now considered appropriate by the responsible authorities;

- Those who received individual or composite letters indicating that they were ‘not wanted’ and who derived comfort from that, should cease to derive any such comfort;

- Recipients should cease to place any reliance on their letters;

- Decisions about investigation and prosecution in specific cases, now or in the future, will be taken on the basis of intelligence and/or evidence relating to whether or not the person concerned committed offences; and

- These decisions will be based on the views of those who now have responsibility for these matters. Their views may be the same as those that led to the letters being sent in the past, or they may be different.

In addition, the Northern Ireland Office has set up an ‘On the Runs’ Policy Oversight Board to oversee the implementation of the recommendations. In association with others, we will ensure that the Hallett Report recommendations are implemented with due care and in a timely manner.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking in response to the breach of internal communications security in her Department relating to the leak of information to newspapers regarding her announcement to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 3 September 2014; and if she will make a statement.

There was no breach of communications security in my Department relating to the leak of information to newspapers regarding the evidence I gave to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 3 September 2014. Any communication with the media was aimed at correcting inaccurate reports of what I was expected to say to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the current security threat posed by the Real IRA and other dissident republicans; and if she will make a statement.

Northern Ireland continues to face a severe terrorist threat from a small minority of groups who have almost no popular support but do retain both lethal intent and capability. In recent months the PSNI, who work in close co-operation with An Garda Siochana and others, have secured significant disruptions, arrests, convictions and arms seizures that have impeded violent dissident activity. This Government is clear that terrorism will never prevail in Northern Ireland and we remain fully committed to tackling it now and in the future, keeping the people of Northern Ireland safe and secure.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many international businesses she has met to discuss inward investment into Northern Ireland since her appointment as Secretary of State; and if she will make a statement.

Details of external meetings with organisations and individuals are published on a quarterly basis and can be found at www.nio.gov.uk/publications.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which recommendations of the Hallett Report have already been implemented; and if she will make a statement.

All of the recommendations of the Hallett Report have now either been implemented or are in the process of implementation.

I have addressed the first four recommendations through public statements. These were that the Northern Ireland Office should:

Clarify with all relevant parties whether the NIO will retain responsibility for determining the future of the scheme;

Confirm whether any element of the scheme still exists and, if so, whether it will continue:

Seek legal advice, in conjunction with the police and prosecuting authorities, to determine whether it should notify any individuals whose status, as communicated to them, has changed or may change in the future; and

Consider how to mitigate against further abuse of process arguments, for example by confirming to recipients the factual and contemporaneous nature of their letters of assurance.

In response to these recommendations, I have made it clear that:

· This scheme has ended;

· Letters issued in whatever form do not represent any commitment that the recipient will not be investigated or prosecuted, if that is now considered appropriate by the responsible authorities;

· Those who received individual or composite letters indicating that they were ‘not wanted’ and who derived comfort from that, should cease to derive any such comfort;

· Recipients should cease to place any reliance on their letters;

· Decisions about investigation and prosecution in specific cases, now or in the future, will be taken on the basis of intelligence and/or evidence relating to whether or not the person concerned committed offences; and,

· These decisions will be based on the views of those who now have responsibility for these matters. Their views may be the same as those that led to the letters being sent in the past, or they may be different.

In addition, the Hallett report also made the following recommendations for the Government:

Co-ordinate the investigation of the potential errors identified by this Review and, in conjunction with the police and prosecuting authorities, resolve them at the earliest opportunity:

Consider establishing a procedure for recording on a central register – where this is appropriate – the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

An ‘On the Runs’ Policy Oversight Board has been set up, chaired by the NIO, which will address these recommendations. NIO officials are liaising with the Ministry of Justice in relation to the proposal for a central register for the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to establish a procedure for recording on a central register the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy as recommended in the Hallett Report published on 17 July 2014; and if she will make a statement.

My officials are working with officials from the Ministry of Justice to “consider establishing a procedure for recording on a central register – where this is appropriate – the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy” as recommended by Lady Justice Hallett in her Report into the ‘on the runs’ administrative scheme.

4th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the terms of reference adopted by the Police Service of Northern Ireland to review on-the-run cases under Operation Red Field; and if she will make a statement.

Policing in Northern Ireland is devolved and independent of Government. In that context, the terms of reference for policing operations are a matter for the police.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment she has made of the progress being made by the Police Service of Northern Ireland's Operation Red Field to review the 228 on-the-runs who received administrative comfort letters; and if she will make a statement.

As I said in my statement of 17 July following publication of the Hallett Report, the Government accepts the report and all its recommendations in full.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has set up an OTR Policy Oversight Board, chaired by the NIO Permanent Secretary, to ensure that follow-up action is taken to implement the recommendations in full. The Board brings together representatives from all interested parties to ensure that the response to the Hallett report is fully co-ordinated.

I will keep Parliament abreast of developments as appropriate.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent steps her Department has taken in response to the Hallett Report, published on 17 July 2014, into the on-the-runs administrative scheme; and if she will make a statement.

As I said in my statement of 17 July following publication of the Hallett Report, the Government accepts the report and all its recommendations in full.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has set up an OTR Policy Oversight Board, chaired by the NIO Permanent Secretary, to ensure that follow-up action is taken to implement the recommendations in full. The Board brings together representatives from all interested parties to ensure that the response to the Hallett report is fully co-ordinated.

I will keep Parliament abreast of developments as appropriate.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which recommendations of the Hallett Report, published on 17th July 2014, into the on-the-runs administrative scheme she plans to implement; and if she will make a statement.

As I said in my statement of 17 July following publication of the Hallett Report, the Government accepts the report and all its recommendations in full.

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has set up an OTR Policy Oversight Board, chaired by the NIO Permanent Secretary, to ensure that follow-up action is taken to implement the recommendations in full. The Board brings together representatives from all interested parties to ensure that the response to the Hallett report is fully co-ordinated.

I will keep Parliament abreast of developments as appropriate.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if she will take steps to ensure Kincora Boys Home, formerly in Belfast, is included within the over-arching inquiry into the sexual abuse of children commissioned by the Home Office; and if she will make a statement.

The Inquiry panel of experts, announced by my Rt hon Friend the Home Secretary on 7th July, is currently being set up. It will review whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.

My Rt hon Friend informed the House on 5th September that it will be chaired by Fiona Woolf. Its terms of reference are yet to be determined but the Home Secretary will consider carefully any representations made to her concerning those.

The Inquiry will co-operate fully with devolved administrations, and in Wales it will consider some non-devolved matters relating to institutions there such as policing. As these equivalent issues are devolved to the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive it will be a matter for those administrations to consider how they should be addressed.

The Home Secretary has given an assurance that the Home Office will talk to the devolved administrations and work with them in respect of this Inquiry.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the (a) acommodation, (b) travel, (c) staffing and (d) other costs of the Hallett Inquiry into the on-the-runs administrative scheme were.

Officials are currently finalising the total cost of the Review. A summary breakdown will be published when it is available.

17th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to paragraph 10.52 of the Report of the Hallett Review, if she will publish the names of the 13 on-the-runs who have benefited from the Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

Lady Justice Hallett concluded that she should not publish the names of OTRs (with the exception of John Downey) because she had been provided with this information on a confidential basis.

I do not propose to release the names of those whose cases were considered under the OTR administrative scheme. This is partly because of legal issues around data protection, etc, but also because publication of names might have a prejudicial effect on possible future criminal trials.

The assessment of my Department is that to release the names of individuals granted the RPM years ago would not be appropriate, given the time that has passed since the RPM was last used and the potential legal issues this would raise. There are of course means by which names of RPM recipients become public, including in the course of legal proceedings, which is a matter for the courts.

17th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, following the publication of the Hallett Report, if she will now publish the names of the 228 on-the-runs who received comfort letters.

Lady Justice Hallett did not publish the names of OTRs in her report, with the exception of John Downey. She was clear that her decision not to do so was not “a result of any ‘whitewash’” but rather, “as a matter of law” she “was not entitled to do so”. Indeed, she has been “scrupulously careful not to reveal details of offences in which any OTR was a suspect… so as not to prejudice any future criminal trials”.

In the same way, and as I made clear in answering questions following my statement on 17 July about the report, I will not release the personal information of those involved in the scheme nor any other information which might prejudice any future trials. As Lady Justice Hallett has said, people “would not thank me if I inadvertently contributed to another successful abuse of process investigation”.

16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to publish the names of the 228 on-the-runs with comfort letters after the publication of the Hallett Report; and if she will make a statement.

Lady Justice Hallett did not publish the names of OTRs in her report, with the exception of John Downey. She was clear that her decision not to do so was not “a result of any ‘whitewash’” but rather, “as a matter of law” she “was not entitled to do so”. Indeed, she has been “scrupulously careful not to reveal details of offences in which any OTR was a suspect… so as not to prejudice any future criminal trials”.

In the same way, and as I made clear in answering questions following my statement on 17 July about the report, I will not release the personal information of those involved in the scheme nor any other information which might prejudice any future trials. As Lady Justice Hallett has said, people “would not thank me if I inadvertently contributed to another successful abuse of process investigation”.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reason the publication of the Hallett Report into the On-The-Runs Scheme has been delayed until 17 July 2014; and if she will make a statement.

As the Hon. Lady will be aware, I set out in my Written Ministerial Statement of 26 June the processes necessary to prepare Lady Justice Hallett's report for publication. In my statement, I confirmed that the report is being prepared for publication by Lady Justice Hallett and that she had informed me that it will be presented to me for the first time on 16 July. I intend to publish Lady Justice Hallett's report 24 hours later.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to ensure that the families of the soldiers killed in the Hyde Park Bombing of 20 July 1982 will have early sight of the Report of Lady Justice Hallett into the On-The-Runs Scheme due to be published on 17 July 2014; and if she will make a statement.

As with the publication of previous reports, I intend to grant advance sight to those whom Lady Justice Hallett has recommended as being interested parties. This will include representatives of the families of the victims of the Hyde Park bombing in 1982.

16th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps she is taking to support the progress of the First World War legacy project in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement.

The Northern Ireland Office sits on the Department for Culture, Media and Sport Programme Board for First World War Centenary Commemorations and plays a coordination role in ensuring the Government's programme for the First World War commemorations is implemented in Northern Ireland in a manner that promotes reconciliation and enhances prospects for a peaceful, shared future. This includes plans to implement the Government's commemorative paving stones project in the hometowns of Victoria Cross recipients.

I am working closely with the Irish Government to participate in a series of joint commemoration events for the centenary of the First World War, and the wider decade of centenaries.

My officials also provide support for local centenary commemoration plans by sitting on, and working closely with, the Northern Ireland First World War Centenary Committee chaired by the Rt hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP. I receive regular updates on this work and lend it my full support.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many officials from her Department attended the recent Crown Court trial of John Downey in an official capacity; which representatives of the British-Irish Inter-Governmental Secretariat attended that trial in an official capacity; and if she will make a statement.

No official representative from either the Northern Ireland Office or the British Irish Inter-Governmental Secretariat attended the Crown Court trial of John Downey.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on how many occasions she has met with representatives of Praxis Care in the last 12 months; when she last visited a Praxis residential facility; and if she will make a statement.

There have been several meetings between Praxis and my officials throughout the last year, and I personally met Praxis Care in March 2013, and again in March 2014.

As the services provided by Praxis fall primarily within the devolved sphere in Northern Ireland I have not visited a Praxis residential site. I am, however, aware from conversations I have had with a range of people of the excellent work the charity does with its service users. My Department and I value greatly the contribution that Praxis has made, and continues to make, to the community in Northern Ireland.

14th Mar 2018
To ask the Leader of the House, with which political parties she has discussed reducing the amount of representative money given to Sinn Fein; and if she will make a statement.

The issue of representative money is primarily a matter for the House. No discussions have taken place on this issue.

10th Jan 2018
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps she is taking to review the representative money allocated to Sinn Fein after the conduct of the hon. Member for West Tyrone in relation to the Kingsmill massacre; and if she will make a statement.

It is the Government's view that the issue of representative money for Members of Parliament is primarily a matter for the House itself to resolve.

19th Jul 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will amend the Resolution on Short Money to support independent members of Parliament who have sworn the oath; and if she will make a statement.

Short Money is funding to assist an opposition party in carrying out its Parliamentary business.

Under the resolution of the House of 26 May 1999, financial assistance is not provided to independent Members of Parliament.

It is the Government’s view that this issue of Short Money for independent Members of Parliament is primarily a matter for the House itself to resolve.

12th Jul 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, if the Government will take steps to stop representative money being paid to hon. Members elected for Sinn Féin under the circumstances that those hon. Members refuse to take their seats; and if she will make a statement.

Under a resolution of the House financial assistance is provided to opposition parties represented by Members who have chosen not to take their seats.

It is the Government's view that this issue is primarily a matter for the House itself to resolve.

12th Jul 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, how much Representative Money has been paid to hon. Members elected for Sinn Fein since Representative Money was first made available to those hon. Members; and if she will make a statement.

Since the resolution of the House of 8 February 2006, up to and including the 2016/17 financial year, the total Main Budget allocation of Representative Money to Sinn Fein has been £1,119,796.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, what estimate she has made of the amount of Short Money that the Democratic Unionist Party will receive as a result of the outcome of the June 2017 General Election.

I refer the hon. Lady to the answer that was given to the hon. Member for West Bromwich East on Question UIN 1655. This was answered Monday 3rd July.

3rd Jul 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, whether hon. Members elected for Sinn Fein receive any monies in funding analogous to Short Money provision to the Democratic Unionist Party.

Short Money is not available to parties whose Members have not sworn the oath. Instead, Representative Money is available to those parties so that they may carry out their representative duties.

Further information about Representative Money is available at http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01663/SN01663.pdf.

21st Jun 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, if she will introduce proposals to rescind standing orders relating to English votes for English laws; and if she will make a statement.

The Government undertook a technical review of the Standing Orders relating to English Votes for English Laws in October 2016. A report was subsequently published on 30 March 2017 in which the Government concluded that the procedures introduced by English Votes have shown to be working well and do not require substantive change at this time. However, Parliament and the Government will continue to work together in monitoring the operation of the procedures.

A copy of the report can be found at the below address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-votes-for-english-laws-review

8th Feb 2017
To ask the Leader of the House, if he will hold discussions with his Cabinet colleagues to ensure that Standing Orders Numbers 83J to 83Y do not apply to proceedings relating to the Great Repeal Bill; and if he will make a statement.

The Standing Orders of the House of Commons will apply to the Great Repeal Bill in the usual way.

2nd Nov 2016
To ask the Leader of the House, what estimate he has made of the cost of implementation of the English Votes for English Laws Standing Orders of the House of Commons; and if he will make a statement.

Government has not made a cost estimate for the implementation of English Votes for English Laws because it constitutes parliamentary business.

8th Jul 2015
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps he has taken to consult the (a) First Minister and (b) Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland on proposed changes to rules on English votes on English laws; and if he will make a statement.

The proposals have been published and will be put to the House of Commons for a decision after the summer recess. As the proposals relate to House of Commons procedure it is for the House to approve them. Although no direct consultation has taken place with the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland the proposals have been published, and ahead of the decision of the House on them it is open to all with an interest to consider them and to make any representations.

8th Jul 2015
To ask the Leader of the House, what steps he has taken to consult the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on the proposed changes to Standing Orders governing English votes on English laws; and if he will make a statement.

The proposals have been published and will be put to the House of Commons for a decision after the summer recess. As the proposals relate to House of Commons procedure it is for the House to approve them. Although no direct consultation has taken place with the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly the proposals have been published, and ahead of the decision of the House on them it is open to all with an interest to consider them and to make any representations.