Louise Haigh Portrait

Louise Haigh

Labour - Sheffield, Heeley

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

(since November 2021)
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
6th Apr 2020 - 29th Nov 2021
Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Policing)
3rd Jul 2017 - 6th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)
9th Oct 2016 - 3rd Jul 2017
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
18th Sep 2015 - 9th Oct 2016


Department Event
Wednesday 8th December 2021
14:30
Department for Transport
Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
8 Dec 2021, 2:30 p.m.
The draft Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 16th December 2021
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
16 Dec 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Friday 3rd December 2021
Copyright (Rights and Remuneration of Musicians, etc.) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 18 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 28 Noes - 59
Speeches
Tuesday 16th November 2021
Points of Order

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last week Lord Frost made a statement in the other place regarding our …

Written Answers
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Terrorism: Northern Ireland
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meeting he has held with victims groups as part …
Early Day Motions
Thursday 6th February 2020
Conduct of Judge Robin Tolson QC
That this House welcomes the overturning by the High Court of Justice Tolson’s ruling in the Central Family Court that …
Bills
Wednesday 31st January 2018
Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: GMB
Address of donor: 22 Stephenson Way, Euston Street, London, NW1 2HD
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Monday 18th January 2021
Godfrey Colin Cameron
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Freedom of Information (Extension) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Louise Haigh has voted in 271 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Louise Haigh Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Brandon Lewis (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
(46 debate interactions)
Robin Walker (Conservative)
Minister of State (Education)
(17 debate interactions)
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Northern Ireland Office
(19 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(18 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(17 debate contributions)
Home Office
(6 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Louise Haigh's debates

Sheffield, Heeley Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Louise Haigh has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Louise Haigh

14th January 2021
Louise Haigh signed this EDM on Monday 18th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
4th May 2020
Louise Haigh signed this EDM on Tuesday 9th June 2020

Children and Young Persons

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 445), dated 21 April 2020, a copy of which was laid before this House on 23 April 2020, be annulled.
48 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Sep 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 42
Liberal Democrat: 4
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Louise Haigh's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Louise Haigh, 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.


5 Urgent Questions tabled by Louise Haigh

Wednesday 10th March 2021
Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Louise Haigh has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

4 Bills introduced by Louise Haigh


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to remove the parental rights of fathers of children conceived through rape; to make provision for an inquiry into the handling by family courts of domestic abuse and violence against women and girls in child arrangement cases; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 10th April 2019
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons contracted to provide services for them or on their behalf; to amend the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 31st January 2018
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend Part 8 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to make provision about leave for persons donating body organs for transplant; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 22nd November 2016
(Read Debate)

A Bill to amend the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004 to apply its provisions to certain sectors including construction, care services, retail, cleaning, warehousing and the transportation of goods; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 29th June 2016
(Read Debate)

324 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
4 Other Department Questions
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will publish the criteria by which scores were awarded in respect of the Community Renewal Fund for Northern Ireland.

We have published on Gov.uk the UK Community Renewal Fund Explanatory Note. This sets out the assessment and decision-making process for selecting successful bids to the UK Community Renewal Fund including the assessment criteria for Northern Ireland.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on the Community Renewal Fund awards.

UK government ran a national competition against a fixed national allocation. All areas in Northern Ireland are eligible for funding and applicants applied directly to UK government. We have not applied any sub-national targeting within Northern Ireland to seek to ensure that all communities across NI can apply for these funds.

Following the UKCRF announcement successful and unsuccessful letters were issued direct to project applicants in NI. Grant funding agreements will then be issued to all successful project applicants in NI.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many bids to the Community Renewal Fund were received from Northern Ireland.

The UK Community Renewal Fund received a total of 83 bids from organisations in Northern Ireland.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, on how many occasions the Government has made representations on state aid at the (a) Joint Committee and (b) Specialised Committee on the Protocol on Northern Ireland.

Further to Rule 10, Annex VIII of the Withdrawal Agreement, the meetings of the Joint Committee shall be confidential.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Attorney General, whether officials in his Department sought a Ministerial Direction in relation to any aspect of the Internal Market Bill.

There has been no Ministerial Direction requested.

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what contingency plans the Government has shared with the Northern Ireland Executive in the event that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is suspended.

There is significant ongoing Ministerial and official-level engagement by both the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office with all the devolved administrations on EU policy issues including the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and Withdrawal Agreement (WA). Lord Frost, as the Minister responsible for this area, regularly briefs with the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, as well as representatives of the political parties in Northern Ireland.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what contingency plans the Government has shared with the Northern Ireland Executive in the event that Article 16 is triggered.

There is significant ongoing Ministerial and official-level engagement by both the Northern Ireland Office and the Cabinet Office with all the devolved administrations on EU policy issues including the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) and Withdrawal Agreement (WA). Lord Frost, as the Minister responsible for this area, regularly briefs with the First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, as well as representatives of the political parties in Northern Ireland.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
17th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, on how many occasions Lord Frost has met with representatives of the UK pharmaceuticals industry to discuss the ongoing and future supply of medicines to Northern Ireland.

The government publishes details of ministers’ meetings with external organisations. Transparency returns for Cabinet Office Ministers are published regularly, and can be found here.

Lord Frost and his team are in regular contact with representatives of the UK pharmaceutical industry. We continue to work closely with all those involved in the health care system, suppliers, industry, and the Northern Ireland Executive to put in place robust measures to help ensure the continued supply of medicines and medical products to Northern Ireland.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what dates the Union Strategy Committee held its (a) first meeting and (b) subsequent meetings; and on how many occasions he has chaired those meetings.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the report of the Dunlop Review into UK Government Union capability published on 24 March 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation of that report that in devolved areas there should be a second portion of the same fund which is open to bids from UK Government departments and devolved governments working in co-operation.

UK Government funding to support citizens and businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland goes beyond the specific Union Fund recommended by the Dunlop Review.

COVID-19 has shown the value of collective strength of all parts of the UK working together and the importance of the broad shoulders of the UK Government in supporting the whole country.

Our commitment to strengthening the Union is no more evident than in the recent Budget, a budget for the whole of the United Kingdom, in which most of the policies announced were UK-wide, for example, extensions to furlough and self-employed schemes, Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit extension, support for the armed forces, Recovery Loans Scheme, Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, Super Deduction capital investment, Help to Grow, visa reforms and the Community Ownership Fund.

We also continue to work closely and collaboratively with the devolved administrations to deliver various funding schemes, including City and Growth Deals. Through the 2021 Budget, the UK Government confirmed an acceleration of funding for 6 different Deals across Scotland and Wales and on 24 February, partners signed the Heads of Terms for the Derry-Londonderry and Strabane Growth Deal in Northern Ireland.

The UK Internal Market Act allows the UK Government to complement and strengthen the support given to citizens, businesses and communities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, to ensure we make the most of the opportunities provided by our exit from the EU and build back better from Covid-19. Powers under the act will be used, for example, to deliver the Levelling Up Fund and UK Community Renewal Fund in 2021/22. The UK Government intends to work with the devolved administrations and local partners closest to the needs of communities to make sure that these UK-wide funds are used to best effect.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the next scheduled meeting is of the Joint Consultative Working Group; and who is scheduled to attend that meeting.

Article 15(2) of the Northern Ireland Protocol establishes that the Joint Consultative Working Group shall be composed of representatives of the United Kingdom and the European Union. The Government has committed to including representatives of the Northern Ireland Executive as part of the UK delegation to meetings. The JCWG briefly convened for a very short period on 29 January to adopt the Rules of Procedure. This was not a full meeting so was attended by limited delegations of only three officials from each side.

The Rules of Procedure adopted by that Working Group were those included as an Annex to the EU’s Council Decision 2020/1599 adopted on 23 October 2020; and no amendments were made.

The Working Group will continue to meet at dates decided by the co-chairs.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) attendees and (b) the minutes of the Joint Consultative Working Group meeting of 29 January 2021.

Article 15(2) of the Northern Ireland Protocol establishes that the Joint Consultative Working Group shall be composed of representatives of the United Kingdom and the European Union. The Government has committed to including representatives of the Northern Ireland Executive as part of the UK delegation to meetings. The JCWG briefly convened for a very short period on 29 January to adopt the Rules of Procedure. This was not a full meeting so was attended by limited delegations of only three officials from each side.

The Rules of Procedure adopted by that Working Group were those included as an Annex to the EU’s Council Decision 2020/1599 adopted on 23 October 2020; and no amendments were made.

The Working Group will continue to meet at dates decided by the co-chairs.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the complete list of products on the Prohibited and Restricted List that will require a variation of Export Health Certificates on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 22nd February 2021.

Further to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster the urgent question today, details of the products are available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-food-and-agricultural-products-special-rules#restricted-and-prohibited-goods

Details of the agreements reached within the Joint Committee, including on chilled meats, are also available online.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether sausages made in Great Britain can be exported to Northern Ireland after 1 July 2021.

Further to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster the urgent question today, details of the products are available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/export-food-and-agricultural-products-special-rules#restricted-and-prohibited-goods

Details of the agreements reached within the Joint Committee, including on chilled meats, are also available online.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the next meeting of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol is set to take place.

Details of the meetings of the committees established by the Withdrawal Agreement will be announced in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the UK-EU Joint Committee will next convene.

The Joint Consultative Working Group met on 29 January 2021. The Working Group will continue to meet at dates to be decided by the co-chairs.

Details of meetings of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee have been published online and dates of future meetings will be announced in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the UK-EU Joint Consultative Working Group (a) last convened and (b) will next convene.

The Joint Consultative Working Group met on 29 January 2021. The Working Group will continue to meet at dates to be decided by the co-chairs.

Details of meetings of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee have been published online and dates of future meetings will be announced in the usual way.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Oral Statement of 9 December 2020 on Withdrawal Agreement Update, whether the grace period for supermarkets which waives export health certificates extends to independent (a) retailers and (b) food producers.

I refer the hon. Member to the Government’s Command Paper, ‘The Northern Ireland Protocol’, laid in Parliament on 10 December. This provides details of the agreement in principle reached by the Co-Chairs of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee regarding the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as further information on the UK Government’s work to implement the Protocol and support businesses as it comes into force.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Export Health Certificates will be required for non-supermarket agri-food products on 1 January 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the Government’s Command Paper, ‘The Northern Ireland Protocol’, laid in Parliament on 10 December. This provides details of the agreement in principle reached by the Co-Chairs of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee regarding the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as further information on the UK Government’s work to implement the Protocol and support businesses as it comes into force.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) exit and (b) safety and security declarations will be required on goods travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland on 1 January 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the Government’s Command Paper, ‘The Northern Ireland Protocol’, laid in Parliament on 10 December. This provides details of the agreement in principle reached by the Co-Chairs of the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee regarding the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, as well as further information on the UK Government’s work to implement the Protocol and support businesses as it comes into force.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the process of transiting goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain via the Republic of Ireland will be subject to any additional processes.

As set out in our Command Paper, the Government is delivering the commitment of unfettered access for goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK. From 1 January 2021, goods moving directly from Northern Ireland to Great Britain will continue to do so as they do today.

We recognise that the priority is also to extend as many of the benefits of unfettered access as possible to goods moving indirectly via Ireland. That is why from 1 January, customs duties will not be due on qualifying Northern Ireland goods moved indirectly from NI to GB.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the policy paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, CP226, whether the point of entry facilities required under the the terms of that protocol have been built.

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to PQs 106397 and 106398 on 2 November 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he was made aware that the checking facilities at ports required under the Northern Ireland Protocol had received a delivery confidence assessment rating of red for unachievable.

The UK Government is committed to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol. Work is being progressed right across Government and in partnership with the devolved administrations, with ongoing oversight and scrutiny in the usual way. The tender process for the construction of expanded point of entry facilities is being led by DAERA, with UK Government support. The contract has been awarded. We continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to progress this work.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, CP226, whether point of entry facilities resulting from requirements under that protocol have been purchased.

The UK Government is committed to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol. Work is being progressed right across Government and in partnership with the devolved administrations, with ongoing oversight and scrutiny in the usual way. The tender process for the construction of expanded point of entry facilities is being led by DAERA, with UK Government support. The contract has been awarded. We continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to progress this work.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has received legal advice on the potential consequences of not having in place adequate checking facilities in relation to the UK's obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol by 1 January 2021.

The UK Government is committed to upholding its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol. That includes, as we have set out previously including in our Command Paper, expanding some existing Northern Ireland points of entry for agrifood goods. Further to the answer to PQ 92635 on 28 September, we are working closely with the Northern Ireland Executive, port authorities, district councils, and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland to take this work forward, and to take all measures possible in a timely way. As has been the case under successive administrations, detailed legal advice and whether or not it has been sought, is not normally disclosed.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what contingency plans his Department has made with the Northern Ireland Executive in the event that the facilities required under the Northern Ireland Protocol are not in place by 1 January 2021.

The UK Government is committed to upholding its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol. That includes, as we have set out previously including in our Command Paper, expanding some existing Northern Ireland points of entry for agrifood goods. Further to the answer to PQ 92635 on 28 September, we are working closely with the Northern Ireland Executive, port authorities, district councils, and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland to take this work forward, and to take all measures possible in a timely way. As has been the case under successive administrations, detailed legal advice and whether or not it has been sought, is not normally disclosed.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if contractors have been appointed to build the facilities required under the Northern Ireland Protocol and outlined in the Command Paper on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The UK Government is committed to upholding its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol. That includes, as we have set out previously including in our Command Paper, expanding some existing Northern Ireland points of entry for agrifood goods. Further to the answer to PQ 92635 on 28 September, we are working closely with the Northern Ireland Executive, port authorities, district councils, and other stakeholders in Northern Ireland to take this work forward, and to take all measures possible in a timely way. As has been the case under successive administrations, detailed legal advice and whether or not it has been sought, is not normally disclosed.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) guidance and (b) public information has been issued to businesses on complying with the import of products, animals, food and feed system.

The Border Operating Model published on 13 July confirmed the requirements for checks and new documentary processes for animals and plant products. Details are available on gov.uk.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's timescale is for providing guidance to businesses in Northern Ireland on the (a) process for and (b) frequency of sanitary and phytosanitary checks after the end of the transition period.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a trusted trader scheme to reduce the friction in trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether businesses will be required to determine whether their goods fall under the tariff regime for at-risk goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol from January 2021.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) guidance and (b) public information the Government has issued to businesses in Northern Ireland seeking to import fluorinated gases from Great Britain to Northern Ireland on changes that they will be required to implement from 1 January 2021.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions his Department has had with retailers in Northern Ireland on the notification required to sell (a) tobacco and (b) e-cigarette products after the end of the transition period; and when his Department plans to issue guidance on that subject.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what (a) guidance and (b) information the Government has issued to businesses and public authorities on the notification requirements for transferring green and amber waste from Great Britain to Northern Ireland on 1 January 2021.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when his Department plans to publish its policy on the transfer of organic goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to begin its trials of the Trader Support Service.

Further to the answer given to PQ52196 on 4 June 2020 and the approach set out by the Government in the Commons Paper of 20 May, guidance for Northern Ireland businesses was published on 7 August. This is available on gov.uk, and already includes some information on fluorinated gases, the movement of green and amber waste, tobacco and e-cigarette products.

We have established the Business Engagement Forum, and have heard the call for further clarity from business on the requirements of the Protocol, and on the support that the UK Government will provide. We recognise that with implementation work and Joint Committee discussions still underway, we cannot provide all details at this stage. We will set out further information as soon as possible.

We have established a new and unprecedented Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200m, providing end-to-end support for businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. The service will start to go live later this month so that businesses can register and begin to receive information about preparing for the end of the transition period. In the meantime, all traders who wish to draw upon its support can register their interest on gov.uk.

We have also committed to exploring further support to those agrifood producers engaging with new sanitary and phytosanitary processes, with further detail to be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the document entitled, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, CP226, what estimate he has made of the potential cost to the public purse of the reimbursement of tariffs for goods imported into Northern Ireland that remain in the UK customs territory.

Zero cost to the public purse.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many (a) customs agents and (b) official veterinarians have been recruited for processing trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland since the adoption of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 62460 on 25 June 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the legal risk of failing to deliver the dual tariff system in Northern Ireland.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer given to PQ 71822 answered on 15 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether tariffs for at-risk goods will be processed at the ports between Great Britain and Northern Ireland once the Protocol comes into force on January 1st 2021.

Article 185 of the Withdrawal Agreement Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland sets out the provisions of the Protocol which take effect as of the end of the transition period. The Government's approach to the application of the Protocol is set out in the Command Paper, published in May 2020, including that internal UK trade should not be liable for tariffs. Additional guidance will be set out later this month.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's timescale is for trialling the new IT system required to implement the checks and requirements on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the transition period.

The UK Government will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, in line with the approach set out in the Command Paper published on 20 May, the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. As that sets out, our focus is on ensuring that the limited additional processes required by the Protocol are implemented in a way that takes account of all available flexibilities, respects Northern Ireland’s place in the UK’s customs territory and internal market, and upholds the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

We committed in the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol to provide guidance to business, including our plans for extensive support for Northern Ireland businesses engaging in any new processes under the Protocol. We will publish that guidance during the course of this summer. We will also continue to engage with business through the Business Engagement Forum, which met for the first time on 10 June and which will play an important part in our thinking as we implement the Protocol.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he last met with business representative groups from Northern Ireland to discuss the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The UK Government will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, in line with the approach set out in the Command Paper published on 20 May, the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. As that sets out, our focus is on ensuring that the limited additional processes required by the Protocol are implemented in a way that takes account of all available flexibilities, respects Northern Ireland’s place in the UK’s customs territory and internal market, and upholds the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

We committed in the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol to provide guidance to business, including our plans for extensive support for Northern Ireland businesses engaging in any new processes under the Protocol. We will publish that guidance during the course of this summer. We will also continue to engage with business through the Business Engagement Forum, which met for the first time on 10 June and which will play an important part in our thinking as we implement the Protocol.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the IT system required to reimburse tariffs paid for goods entering the EU single market under the Northern Ireland Protocol will be operational.

The UK Government will meet its obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol, in line with the approach set out in the Command Paper published on 20 May, the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. As that sets out, our focus is on ensuring that the limited additional processes required by the Protocol are implemented in a way that takes account of all available flexibilities, respects Northern Ireland’s place in the UK’s customs territory and internal market, and upholds the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.

We committed in the UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol to provide guidance to business, including our plans for extensive support for Northern Ireland businesses engaging in any new processes under the Protocol. We will publish that guidance during the course of this summer. We will also continue to engage with business through the Business Engagement Forum, which met for the first time on 10 June and which will play an important part in our thinking as we implement the Protocol.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Technical Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group last met.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQs 23533 and 23539 on 2 March 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to page 13 of his Department's publication, The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, whether each animal and agri-food product moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will require an Export Health Certificate.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of goods consignments from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that contain agri-food products.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the UK's approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, published on 20 May 2020, whether the proposals set out in paragraph 19, page 10 require a derogation from the Union Customs Code; and whether the Government will seek such an agreement.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to p11 (25) of the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, if he will outline what constitutes a genuine and substantial risk; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of goods will be charged under that definition.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish guidance for businesses and third parties on the UK's Approach to the Protocol.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) entry summary (safety and security) declaration, (b) customs checks, (c) regulatory checks, (d) export or exit summary declarations for goods and (e) Rules of Origin requirements and checks will be required for relevant parties or goods trading between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate the Government has made of the volume of the proportion of consignments that will be checked between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the new electronic important declaration requirement referenced in the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol already exists; and whether development work has begun on that declaration requirement.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to paragraph 57, p19 of the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, what estimate of the proportion of goods on which duties will be levied was the assumption that tariffs will be relatively small made.

I refer the Hon Member to the oral statement - accompanying the publication of the Government Command Paper, the UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol - which was made by my Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 20 May. I also refer to the commitment in the Command Paper, to publishing further detailed information and guidance. These will be published in due course.

As the Command Paper, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, sets out explicitly, we are clear that there should be no tariffs on internal goods movements because the UK - as the Protocol acknowledges - is a single customs territory. The paper outlines several examples of movements that pose no risk of movement into the EU Single Market - such as a supermarket delivering to its stores in NI. This is a principle to be formalised in the Joint Committee, but as the Command Paper makes clear we consider there to be various ways of making it work in practice. We will work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and businesses to develop these proposals, and produce full guidance to business and third parties before the end of the transition period.

On unfettered access, the Protocol is clear that nothing in it prevents Northern Ireland business enjoying unfettered access to the rest of the UK internal market, and we will legislate to guarantee this by the end of the year.

On agri-food, the Government's approach builds on the long-standing status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological zone. As has long been acknowledged, some checks on agri-food will be required to help protect supply chains and the disease-free status of the island of Ireland. These will build on the existing precedents of agri-food checks for live animals arriving in Northern Ireland, from the rest of the UK. Further details are to be discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Paragraph 4, page 92 Draft UK Negotiating Document, what estimate he has made of the volume of physical inspections that will be carried out.

The article precludes the use of mandatory pre-shipment inspections. Beyond that, it will be up to the UK and the EU – and predominantly businesses - to determine what level of inspections they want to undertake on products prior to export.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the date is for the next meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee.

The second Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee meeting will take place on 12 June. Further to the WMS by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 25 March, Parliament will be updated ahead of the next meeting with details including an agreed agenda by Written Ministerial Statement.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department has allocated to Northern Ireland for local growth deals in each year since the inception of those deals.

To date, the UK Government has committed up to £617 million for City and Growth Deals in Northern Ireland: £350m for Belfast City Region; £105m for Derry City and Strabane; £126m for Mid South West NI; and £36m for Causeway Coast and Glens.

Funding for City and Growth Deals in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is provided and transferred by HM Treasury to the Devolved Administrations (DA), before being transferred to the local area. The transfer of funding is contingent upon Full Business Cases for specific projects within a Deal area being completed and approved by the UK Government (UKG) and the DA. Full Business Cases are usually completed after a Full Deal has been agreed and signed.

Although BEIS does not directly fund Deals, officials in the Department review business cases where an intervention is within the department’s policy remit on behalf of the UK Government to ensure projects are viable, sustainable and provide Value for Money.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding was allocated to local growth deals in 2019-20.

Levelling up is central to the Government’s agenda and we are working with local leaders to ensure every region, city and town prosper.

As part of this, £733,678,508 has been allocated in funding through the Local Growth Fund for local growth deals in 2019-20.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether officials in his Department sought a Ministerial Direction in relation to any aspect of the Internal Market Bill.

There has been no Ministerial Direction requested.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle websites which host images of rape or victims of trafficking.

The government is developing legislation to tackle illegal and harmful content online. The legislation will establish a new statutory duty of care on online companies which host user-generated content or enable user interactions. The new duty will require these companies to put in place systems and processes to tackle illegal content, including illegal images. The expectation is that companies will remove illegal content expeditiously and minimise the risk of it appearing.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate she has made of the number of music venues which have closed down in (a) Sheffield, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England in each of the last four years.

No such estimate has been made. Music venues play a vital role in giving artists the opportunity to hone their craft and enabling them to emerge and flourish. We believe these spaces must be allowed to prosper, which is why we have undertaken a number of measures to support the sector, including reforming licensing and planning guidance and, this year, extending business rates relief to live music venues for the first time.

Arts Council England has recently confirmed an extension of its Supporting Grassroots Live Music Fund, making an additional £1.5 million available over two years from 2019-21. Sheffield’s Abbeydale Picture House and The Wardrobe in Leeds are just two of the venues benefitting from this support so far.


UK Music published the Sheffield City Region Music Report in 2019 which showed that in 2017, £92m was generated by music tourism and 832,000 people (locals and music tourists) attended music events in the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent representations she has received from the Information Commissioner on Cambridge Analytica.

The Government has had a number of meetings with the independent Information Commissioner on a range of issues. The Information Commissioner has committed to providing the Digital, Culture Media and Sport Select Committee with a final update on its investigation into the use of personal data in political campaigns. A date for this update will be agreed with the Chair of the Committee once appointed.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much of the Covid education recovery funding is dedicated to mental health.

We are investing nearly £5 billion to support recovery for children and young people who need it most. This includes the recovery premium for this academic year worth over £300 million, weighted so that schools with more disadvantaged pupils receive more funding. Schools can use this funding to deliver evidence based approaches to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils.

Schools already support the mental wellbeing of their pupils as part of their curriculum provision and pastoral support, which is paid for from schools’ core funding. The autumn 2021 Spending Review delivers an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools’ budget by the 2024/25 financial year, compared to previous plans. This settlement includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in the 2022/23 financial year, on top of the funding we previously announced. It also includes an additional £1 billion for a Recovery Premium over the next two academic years (2022/23 and 2023/24). Schools will have flexibility to target funding towards those pupils who need it most, and we will publish further detail around rates, allocations, and conditions of grant in due course.

In May 2021, we also announced £17 million to build on existing mental health support in schools and colleges. This included £9.5 million to offer senior mental health lead training to around a third of all state schools and colleges in the 2021/22 financial year. This helped to implement effective holistic approaches to mental health and wellbeing, and £7 million to Wellbeing for Education Recovery which enabled local authorities to continue supporting schools and colleges to meet ongoing mental wellbeing needs.

This is in addition to the £79 million announced by the Department of Health and Social Care in March 2021 to significantly expand children’s mental health services. This will partly be spent on speeding up and expanding the provision of Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges, meaning nearly three million children in England will access school or college-based support by April 2023.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings of Mind’s report entitled, Not making the grade: why our approach to mental health at secondary school is failing young people, published on 30 June 2021.

The government is grateful to Mind and Young Minds for their report about mental health in secondary schools. We recognise the difficulties that a significant number of young people are facing with their mental health and wellbeing, and that this can be linked to experiences of racism, trauma and abuse. We also know that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a particular impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Mental health and wellbeing are a priority for the government, and we are working closely with schools and colleges to support pupils to return in a way that supports their mental wellbeing.

We recently announced more than £17 million to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges. This includes funding to train a senior mental health lead in 7,800 schools and colleges in England this academic year. Senior leads will learn about the range of mental health issues likely to be encountered in schools and colleges, the risk factors associated with specific groups, including pupils who have suffered from trauma and vulnerable groups and how to put in place whole school approaches that embed that knowledge into wider staff training and school processes, including behaviour and attendance policies.

This is in addition to the £79 million we announced in March to boost children and young people’s mental health support. This funding will increase Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) to cover around 35% of pupils in England by 2023. MHSTs work with groups of schools and colleges to identify specialist needs of pupils in their areas.

We understand that mental health difficulties can lead to challenging behaviour, and we know some students require additional support to behave well. Our Behaviour Hubs programme equips schools and multi-academy trusts to create and sustain positive behaviour cultures. The programme includes specialist training modules on managing challenging behaviour and inclusive practices and policies.

However, we will always support headteachers to use exclusion when required as part of creating calm and disciplined classrooms – and our guidance sets out how headteachers can make these difficult decisions in a way which is lawful and fair. At times, it may also be necessary to use reasonable force to restrain a pupil – for example, to break up a fight to protect teachers and other pupils. We trust schools to use their judgement in recording incidents involving force and, when serious incidents occur, we would expect schools to record the incident and let the parents know.

Furthermore, recently the department carried out a call for evidence as part of a fundamental review of both the behaviour and discipline and suspensions and permanent exclusions guidance. For this we gathered views on behaviour management which included interventions that support pupils with particular vulnerabilities. This will help us understand how schools have appropriate provision to support any mental health needs, special educational needs or disability that a pupil may have.

Racism has no place in schools, or in society. We expect headteachers to put effective behaviour policies in place to tackle this, including actions to prevent bullying, and have put in place support. Our Respectful School Communities tool can support schools to develop an approach which promotes respect and discipline, in order to combat bullying, harassment and abuse of any kind. We are also currently running a procurement exercise to fund anti-bullying organisations in 2021-22, to make sure that schools have the right support in place to prevent bullying of all pupils, including those with protected characteristics. This builds upon the changes we have made to make relationships education compulsory in all schools, which covers teaching pupils the knowledge they need to foster respect for other people and for difference. Where bullying and racist incidents do occur, schools should develop their own approaches for monitoring these and exercise their own judgement as to what will work best for their circumstances.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he plans to consult young people in addition to teachers and parents in the current call for evidence on behaviour in schools.

The Department will consult with young people as part of the consultation regarding the revisions to the Behaviour and Discipline Guidance and the Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions guidance later this year.

The call for evidence on behaviour management, in-school units and managed moves closed on 10 August 2021 and the Department has received responses directly from young people and from organisations who represent their interests.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many teachers are waiting for covid-19 (a) tests and (b) test results in (i) Sheffield, (ii) Yorkshire and (iii) England.

This data is not collected by the Department for Education. The Department collects data on daily suspected COVID-19 related absences, as well as data on the number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures. However, this does not include information on the number of teachers or pupils currently awaiting tests or test results.

Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been and hundreds of thousands of people are being tested every day, but we are currently seeing a significant demand for tests. The Government are scaling up testing capacity even further to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional resources he is providing schools to respond to guidance on covid-19.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Schools have been able to claim additional funding for exceptional costs incurred due to COVID-19, between March and July 2020, such as additional cleaning required due to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases and increased premises costs to keep schools open for priority groups during the Easter and summer half term holidays. Schools have also continued to receive their core funding allocations throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Following last year’s Spending Round, school budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23, compared to 2019-20.

As stated in our guidance, schools should use their existing resources when making arrangements to welcome all children back for the autumn. There are no plans at present to reimburse additional costs incurred as part of that process.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) schools and (b) local councils where incidents of covid-19 occur.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The above includes guidance for how schools should manage confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst the school community, and contain any outbreak. Schools must take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for COVID-19 and should contact the local health protection team. This team will also contact schools directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 attended the school – as identified by NHS Test and Trace.

The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.

The health protection team will work with schools in this situation to guide them through the actions they need to take. Based on the advice from the health protection team, schools must send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. The health protection team will provide definitive advice on who must be sent home. For individuals or groups of self-isolating pupils, remote education plans should be in place.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help ensure students can continue to access student finance during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Student Loans Company will continue to make scheduled tuition payments to providers for the remainder of the current, 2019/20, academic year.

Students will also continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for 2019/20. Both tuition and living costs payments will continue irrespective of closures or whether learning has moved online.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support will be available to parents whose nurseries continue to charge them while the nursery is closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working hard to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on all parts of our society, including individuals and business. Childcare providers have individual agreements with parents and therefore we urge all childcare providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents, given the great uncertainty they will be facing too.

We have announced that we will continue to pay funding to local authorities for the early years entitlements for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds, and private nurseries are eligible for a business rates holiday for one year from 1 April. Childcare providers will also be eligible for wider support measures announced by the government.

Guidance for early years settings can be found at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures and

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to review sex and relationships education in schools and academies to ensure it includes age-appropriate guidance on online pornography.

From September 2020, relationships education will become compulsory for all primary-aged pupils, relationships and sex education (RSE) compulsory for all secondary-aged pupils, and health education compulsory for all pupils in state-funded schools. These subjects are designed to ensure pupils are taught the knowledge and life skills they will need to stay safe, build confidence and resilience, and develop healthy and supportive relationships.

In relationships education and RSE, teachers need to address online safety and appropriate behaviour in a way that is relevant to pupils’ lives. Teachers should include content on how information and data is shared and used in all contexts, including online. This should include, for example, how specifically sexually explicit material such as pornography presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours, can damage the way people see themselves in relation to others and negatively affect how they behave towards sexual partners. Teaching should also cover relevant aspects of the law so that pupils understand that sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties, including custodial sentences.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure (a) schools and (b) families are reimbursed for school trips cancelled as a result of covid-19.

On 12 March 2020, the Government advised all schools and other education settings in England against undertaking any overseas trips for children under 18. More recently, on 16 March, the Government advised against anyone making non-essential domestic trips. All travel guidance is available on GOV.UK and all educational settings in England have been alerted to the existence of, and directed to, this advice via the daily Covid-19 education sector update they receive directly from the Department for Education.

With regard to insurance matters, all schools should check with their travel providers and credit card companies regarding securing refunds in the first instance. If unable to recoup their full costs, those academies signed up to the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) for schools should then submit their claims as per the RPA membership pack and other affected schools should contact their individual insurance providers.

Government Covid-19 travel guidance for the education sector can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/covid-19-travel-guidance-for-the-education-sector.

FCO Covid-19 travel guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils were entered for A-level music in (a) Sheffield City Council area, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England in each of the last five years.

The following table provides the number of pupils who were entered for A-level music in (a) Sheffield City Council area, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England in each of the last 3 years.

Students receiving a grade for A level Music[1],[2]

Academic year

Area

Sheffield local authority

Yorkshire & Humber region

England

2016-17

36

356

5,035

2017-18

28

374

4,980

2018-19

43

318

4,709

The information for previous years is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

[1] Includes students who receive grade, which will differ slightly from initial registration in a subject.

[2] Data for 2016/17 and 2017/18 is final; data for 2018/19 is revised, and subject to minor changes.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary school music teachers there were in each of the last five years.

The number of music teachers in service at state funded secondary schools from November 2014 to November 2018 is provided in the table below:

Year

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Headcount of music teachers

7,109

6,862

6,720

6,480

6,525

Source: School Workforce Census

The percentage of all hours taught which were spent on music in state funded secondary schools in England from November 2014 to 2018 is provided in the table below:

Year

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

% of hours spent on teaching music

2.4%

2.4%

2.3%

2.3%

2.2%

Source: School Workforce Census

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils were entered for GCSE music in (a) Sheffield City Council area, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber and (c) England in each of the last five years.

The number of pupils[1] entered for GCSE music[2] in Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber and England from 2014/15 – 2018/19 is shown in the table below:

Region/Local Authority[3]

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19[4]

England

38,851

37,218

34,557

30,926

30,655

Yorkshire and The Humber

3,354

3,268

2,955

2,446

2,334

Sheffield

239

251

250

224

226

Please note, any trends observed in the above figures should be treated with caution and considered against changes in methodology over the five year period, changes in cohort and more recently, changes in entry behaviour from schools following the introduction of 9-1 reformed GCSEs across all GCSE subjects including music in 2018. Since 2014/15, the percentage of the GCSE cohort in state funded schools who take music GCSE has fluctuated but remained broadly stable at between 6 and 7%. It currently stands at 6%.

For more information on GCSE reform and changes in key stage 4 performance tables, please see the secondary accountability measures guidance here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/840275/Secondary_accountability_measures_guidance__-_October_2019_final_with_ref.pdf.

We want all pupils to have a high quality music education. The Department is proud of and will be refreshing its National Plan for Music Education, which sets an ambitious vision for music education for every child, regardless of their background. The subject is compulsory in the national curriculum and this government is providing funding of over £300 million for Music Education Hubs between 2016 and 2020. In January we announced a further £80 million investment in Hubs for 2020-21. Music Education Hubs support schools to drive up the quality and consistency of music education and our national funding formula for Hubs, based on local pupil numbers means extra weighting for pupils in receipt of free school meals. Music Education Hubs have done excellent work to ensure there is more equitable access to music education. We also provide £500,000 per year to In Harmony, a national music programme that aims to inspire and transform the lives of children in deprived communities through ensemble music-making.

This Government supports exceptionally talented young musicians from low-income families to fulfil their potential through the £30 million per annum Music and Dance Scheme. The scheme helps ensure that all children and young people with exceptional ability can benefit from world-class, specialist training, regardless of their personal circumstances.

[1] Includes attempts and achievements by these pupils in previous academic years.

[2] In line with discounting rules, only one attempt is counted.

[3] Local Authority and Region figures cover achievements in state-funded schools only. They do not include pupils recently arrived from overseas and so will not match with state-funded figures in the published data. The 'England' line is a sum of Local authority figures and will differ from the national totals published.

[4] Data for 2014/15 – 2017/18 is final, data for 2018/19 is provisional.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish guidance on the completion of health certificates for products on the prohibited and restricted list.

We published the certificates for meat products listed as prohibited and restricted by the EU on 27 January, and the certificates' notes for guidance, for use by the certifying officers, on 29 January.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which aspect of SPS checks on goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be phased in.

Regarding trade from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI), the NI Protocol will enter into force from 1 January 2021. At this point, new requirements will apply, in particular to the movement of live animals, plants and agrifood goods. Guidance on these requirements has been published on GOV.UK at the link below, which continues to be updated.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/moving-goods-under-the-northern-ireland-protocol

The requirements that will apply on 1 January to particular types of trade continue to be subject to discussion with the EU. The Government intends to be in a position to provide guidance to traders, based on the outcome of these discussions, in the very near future.

Regarding trade from NI to GB, the draft Definition of Qualifying Northern Ireland Goods (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 are currently before Parliament. These draft regulations set out that, from the end of the transition period, all goods in free circulation in NI moving directly from NI ports to GB will qualify for unfettered market access.

For goods moving from NI to GB which qualify for unfettered market access from 1 January 2021, direct trade will continue as it does now. Any existing sanitary and phytosanitary checks will continue but there will be no new requirements to place these goods on the market. Appropriate authorities can continue to use existing powers after 1 January 2021 to manage and control the threat of disease and pest outbreaks in NI and GB where necessary. This will ensure that our high standards on food safety, plant and animal health, animal welfare and environmental protections can be maintained.

These regulations are part of a phased approach. This will be developed alongside NI business and the NI Executive and introduced during the course of 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether construction has begun on the expanded infrastructure required at each Border Control post in Northern Ireland.

The UK Government has been working closely with the Northern Ireland (NI) Executive, and specifically DAERA, on additional or expanded Border Control Post designations at NI points of entry. Work is ongoing at the Points of Entry at Larne, Belfast and Warrenpoint Ports to deliver the facilities needed to undertake sanitary and phytosanitary checks on goods coming into NI from Great Britain (GB) following the end of the transition period. This work has been principally informed by existing trade patterns.

The UK Government is in negotiations with the EU about GB-NI movements. Once these negotiations are complete and a clear process for GB-NI has been defined we will communicate this.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the average daily volume of (a) goods and (b) goods requiring documentary paperwork for SPS checks travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the event that the UK and EU do not reach an agreement on those checks.

Defra and Daera are working together to ensure that both trade and the movement of goods will continue at the end of the Transition Period. Outcomes from this work, including the process by which controls are conducted, and their frequency (including the level of physical checks required) are being discussed with the EU in the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee. Discussions are based on the context of the provision in the Protocol that both parties must use their "best endeavours" to avoid controls at Northern Ireland ports.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of veterinary officials that will be required at border inspection posts in Northern Ireland for trade from Great Britain; and how many of those veterinary officials have been recruited to date.

Decisions on the requirement for and recruitment of veterinary and other technical staff within Northern Ireland, including at points of entry from Great Britain, are for the Northern Ireland Executive. Defra continues to work closely with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs on this and other aspects of implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. We are also taking steps to increase official certifier capacity in Great Britain in line with the requirements of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In addition to funding provided last year, we recently launched a £200,000 scheme to provide training for Official Veterinarians and £100,000 for Certification Support Officers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether plans to implement digitally the documentary and identity SPS checks on goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As set out in the Command Paper on the UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, it is the Government’s intention that checks required under the Protocol should be supported by relevant electronic processes.

Defra continues to work closely with the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and relevant enforcement bodies, who have responsibility for undertaking controls for sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) purposes on goods entering Northern Ireland, on the process by which these controls will take place.

In line with our shared determination to maximise the free flow of trade, we are actively seeking to simplify and minimise electronic documentary requirements for SPS purposes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on (a) the Northern Ireland agrifood sector and (b) food prices of not reaching an SPS agreement with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The Government works closely with the Northern Ireland Executive on devolved agri-food matters and is committed to ensuring that we maximise the opportunities for Northern Ireland having left the EU. It remains committed to a New Deal for Northern Ireland, which includes appropriate commitments to help boost economic growth and Northern Ireland’s competitiveness.

The Government monitors food prices on a monthly basis through the Consumer Prices Index including Housing Costs (CPIH). The Government does not have direct control over food prices, but it constantly monitors and investigates factors and changes that can potentially have an impact on food prices. The Government works closely with the Northern Ireland Executive on devolved agri-food matters.

We want a relationship with the EU which is based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals and centred on free trade. We will continue to work closely with industry to promote transparency for consumers, and internationally to promote open and sustainable global markets.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the proportion of goods consignments from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that contain agri-food products.

Data on flows of agri-food products between Great Britain and Northern Ireland are not available from published datasets. Defra has been working with port operators, ferry companies and logistics companies to understand these flows; however, the data themselves are commercially sensitive and cannot be shared publicly.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government is seeking an agreement with the EU on sanitary measures applicable to trade in live animals and animal products.

The Government is seeking agreement with the EU on a Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) chapter as part of the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement that would cover sanitary measures applicable to trade in live animals and animal products. The chapter should build on the WTO SPS Agreement, in line with recent EU agreements such as CETA and the EU-NZ Veterinary Agreement. It should protect human, animal and plant life and health, and the environment while facilitating access to each party’s market. It should ensure parties’ SPS measures do not create unjustified barriers to trade in agri-food goods between the UK and EU. Finally, it should reflect SPS chapters in other EU preferential trade agreements, including preserving each party’s autonomy over their own SPS regimes.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any additional costs will be charged for consignments of agri-food goods entering the Single Epidemiological Unit from Great Britain following the transition period.

The Northern Ireland Protocol applies European Union sanitary and phyto-sanitary law in Northern Ireland. As we acknowledged in our Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226), agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be subject to checks at points of entry to Northern Ireland, building on what already happens at ports like Belfast and Larne. A trader of a good subject to checks is not charged for the issue of health certificates but may face costs for certification. EU law provides for charges to be made for checks. The Government is making proposals to minimise requirements and associated costs for the movement of agri-food goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Products of Animal Origin moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will require an export health certificate or SPS documentary, visual and physical checks following the end of the transition period.

The Northern Ireland Protocol applies European Union sanitary and phyto-sanitary law in Northern Ireland. As we acknowledged in our Command paper The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol (CP226), agrifood movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be subject to checks at points of entry to Northern Ireland, building on what already happens at ports like Belfast and Larne. A trader of a good subject to checks is not charged for the issue of health certificates but may face costs for certification. EU law provides for charges to be made for checks. The Government is making proposals to minimise requirements and associated costs for the movement of agri-food goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which ports not in use for the purpose of the Single Epidemiological Unit the Government plans to designate as a Border Inspection Post.

Existing entry points for agri-food goods shall be expanded to provide for proportionate additional controls. This will build on what already happens at ports like Larne and Belfast for agri-food checks. We expect to request additional categories of commodities at Belfast Port, and to designate Larne Port for live animal imports. Checks are already currently carried out at Larne on all livestock entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain, but the existing facility does not currently have formal EU approval.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the number of veterinary officials required at Border Inspection Posts in Northern Ireland for trade from Great Britain; and how many such veterinary officials have been recruited to date.

This is a devolved matter so we cannot provide an answer. We are working closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure the delivery of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether inspections of non-livestock goods from Great Britain travelling into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland include (a) animal products and (b) products of non-animal origin.

There are currently no sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) inspections carried out on products of animal origin (POAO) or animal by-products (ABP) travelling from Great Britain to the island of Ireland. For germinal products, risk-based post-import checks are carried out at destination.

There are SPS, regulatory and customs checks as goods arrive in Northern Ireland (NI) from third countries. This will not change as a result of the NI Protocol.

For POAO and ABP, only commercial documentation is required from Great Britain into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland. Germinal products require health certification.

There are no SPS inspections or documentation requirements on food not of animal origin travelling from Great Britain into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland.

No fees are currently charged at the single epidemiological unit for consignments from Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what documentation the Single Epidemiological Unit requires for imports from Great Britain.

There are currently no sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) inspections carried out on products of animal origin (POAO) or animal by-products (ABP) travelling from Great Britain to the island of Ireland. For germinal products, risk-based post-import checks are carried out at destination.

There are SPS, regulatory and customs checks as goods arrive in Northern Ireland (NI) from third countries. This will not change as a result of the NI Protocol.

For POAO and ABP, only commercial documentation is required from Great Britain into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland. Germinal products require health certification.

There are no SPS inspections or documentation requirements on food not of animal origin travelling from Great Britain into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland.

No fees are currently charged at the single epidemiological unit for consignments from Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what fees are currently charged at the Single Epidemiological Unit for consignments from Great Britain.

There are currently no sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) inspections carried out on products of animal origin (POAO) or animal by-products (ABP) travelling from Great Britain to the island of Ireland. For germinal products, risk-based post-import checks are carried out at destination.

There are SPS, regulatory and customs checks as goods arrive in Northern Ireland (NI) from third countries. This will not change as a result of the NI Protocol.

For POAO and ABP, only commercial documentation is required from Great Britain into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland. Germinal products require health certification.

There are no SPS inspections or documentation requirements on food not of animal origin travelling from Great Britain into the single epidemiological unit on the island of Ireland.

No fees are currently charged at the single epidemiological unit for consignments from Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate the Government has made of the proportion of live animals and products of animal origin which currently require documentary, identity and physical checks on entry into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

There are currently no requirements regarding sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) checks on most products of animal origin (POAO) intended for human consumption on entry into Northern Ireland (NI) from Great Britain (GB). They do not need to be certified by an Official Veterinarian. Certain live animals and germinal products under commercial movement from GB to NI, including livestock such as cattle and sheep, do require a health certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian. These live animal movements are currently subject to a degree of checks at the port of entry, determined by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs as the relevant competent authority.

Endangered animals and plants covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) do not currently require CITES checks on entry from GB to NI, although some specimens may require specific documentation for commercial use.

POAO travelling from GB to NI do not require an export health certificate or SPS documentary, visual and physical checks.

There are SPS, regulatory and customs checks as goods arrive in NI from third countries. This will not change as a result of the NI Protocol.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of live animals and products of animal origin currently require a Export Health Certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian in consignments between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

There are currently no requirements regarding sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) checks on most products of animal origin (POAO) intended for human consumption on entry into Northern Ireland (NI) from Great Britain (GB). They do not need to be certified by an Official Veterinarian. Certain live animals and germinal products under commercial movement from GB to NI, including livestock such as cattle and sheep, do require a health certificate signed by an Official Veterinarian. These live animal movements are currently subject to a degree of checks at the port of entry, determined by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs as the relevant competent authority.

Endangered animals and plants covered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) do not currently require CITES checks on entry from GB to NI, although some specimens may require specific documentation for commercial use.

POAO travelling from GB to NI do not require an export health certificate or SPS documentary, visual and physical checks.

There are SPS, regulatory and customs checks as goods arrive in NI from third countries. This will not change as a result of the NI Protocol.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the total cost of the feasibility study on the possible Northern Ireland link was; and what the full-time equivalent headcount of people working on that study was.

The Fixed Link Feasibility Study forms part of the Union Connectivity Review, independently chaired by Sir Peter Hendy CBE. Sir Peter’s review has not yet concluded, so the final figure is not yet available.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals for the construction of high-speed railway from the West Midlands to Sheffield and Leeds.

Plans for legislation covering the Eastern Leg of HS2 Phase 2b will be confirmed following the publication of the Integrated Rail Plan. The Government is committed to ensuring the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East realise the benefits of high-speed services. The Integrated Rail Plan will set out the best way of doing so, looking at how best to deliver and design HS2 alongside other major schemes, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail and those within Midlands Engine Rail.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he had with the Northern Ireland Executive prior to the publication of the Written Statement of 6 July 2020, HCWS338 on Travel Corridors.

The Government engaged with the Devolved Administrations at regular intervals as the policy on travel corridors developed, including daily meetings between officials.

Evidence from the Joint Biosecurity Centre was also shared ahead of the public announcement on 3 July and Written Ministerial Statement on 6 July.

The Government is committed to working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure a coordinated approach on Travel Corridors across the United Kingdom.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on what date the list of countries exempted from quarantine restrictions announced in the Written Statement of 6 July 2020 on Travel Corridors, HCWS338 was shared with the Northern Ireland Executive.

The Government engaged with the Devolved Administrations at regular intervals as the policy on travel corridors developed, including daily meetings between officials.

Evidence from the Joint Biosecurity Centre was also shared ahead of the public announcement on 3 July and Written Ministerial Statement on 6 July.

The Government is committed to working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure a coordinated approach on Travel Corridors across the United Kingdom.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department provided the Northern Ireland Executive with the evidence submitted by the Joint Biosecurity Centre in relation to travel corridors in advance of the Written Statement of 6 July 2020, HCWS338 on Travel Corridors.

The Government engaged with the Devolved Administrations at regular intervals as the policy on travel corridors developed, including daily meetings between officials.

Evidence from the Joint Biosecurity Centre was also shared ahead of the public announcement on 3 July and Written Ministerial Statement on 6 July.

The Government is committed to working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure a coordinated approach on Travel Corridors across the United Kingdom.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce proposals on supporting hauliers in Northern Ireland to manage the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has made available £330 billion of support through loans and guarantees to support UK businesses. Changes have been made to some of the schemes to ensure that more businesses, particularly those that are SMEs like many road haulage companies, can benefit from them.

The Department is aware of the issues faced by the logistics industry in Northern Ireland. That is why on 24 April we announced a package of funding to support the movement of critical goods on up to 31 RoRo freight routes, including between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Up to £17 million of funding will be available to support up to five routes over the next two months, with the Northern Ireland Executive contributing 40 percent. Officials continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to gather evidence on the scale of the problem and any further support needed.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the backlog of assessments for universal credit.

For the purposes of this response, I have assumed the Honourable Member is referring to Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) used to assess the health entitlement in Universal Credit when referring to “assessments.”

Throughout the pandemic following the suspension of face to face Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) to protect the health of our customers and staff, we continued to assess people on paper evidence whenever possible and introduced telephone assessments from May 2020, doing so in a cautious and evidence-based way, in order to reduce the risk of incorrect benefit outcomes.

Our priority was and continues to be to get our customers into payment as soon as possible. Therefore, telephone assessments initially focused on claimants who were most likely to benefit from having an assessment i.e. those who were likely to have limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA), with this being the only outcome available. Using a test and learn approach, we expanded the range of outcomes available in telephone assessments during the course of the pandemic and, from February 2021, the full range outcomes have been able. This is enabling us to provide a further telephone assessment to those customers who didn’t get an outcome from their first one. We are also, in parallel, doing a small number of Video Assessments.

We have continuously improved our guidance and processes to minimise the number of customers for whom a telephone assessment is not suitable because of their health condition. Now only a small proportion of customers are unable to undertake a telephone assessment. These customers will be prioritised for a face to face assessment following their resumption this month.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the extension to personal independence payment awards to allow time for renewal claims to be submitted is still in place; and whether that policy incorporates awards that are won at appeal.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants given an award without a review, whether following an appeal or not, were extended due to the pandemic to ensure renewal claims did not have to be made at that time and awards would not go out of payment.

We have now returned to a business-as-usual process.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit payments are subject to deductions for tax credit debt.

From 3rd April 2020, deductions for benefit overpayments were temporarily suspended for three months. These began to be reinstated from the beginning of July, taking a phased approach.

Most recent figures show, for Universal Credit claims due a payment during August 2020, 2% (102,000 claims) had a deduction for Tax Credit Overpayments.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit deductions have been made for tax credit repayments since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

From 3rd April 2020, deductions for benefit overpayments were temporarily suspended for three months. These began to be reinstated from the beginning of July, taking a phased approach.

Most recent figures show, for Universal Credit claims due a payment during August 2020, 2% (102,000 claims) had a deduction for Tax Credit Overpayments.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the interface on tax credit debt and deductions from universal credit.

As part of our initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic we suspended recovery of all overpayment deductions, as well as pausing notification of any new overpayments. The transfer of Tax Credit debts from HMRC to DWP was temporarily suspended as part of this approach.

Recovery of existing Tax Credit overpayments from Universal Credit has now resumed, along with the transfer of new Tax Credit debt to DWP.

Our stance remains that we want to ensure that repayment of all debt owed to the Department is sustainable and takes into account the customer’s ability to pay. Claimants are encouraged to contact DWP if they are unable to afford the rate of recovery; the recovery rate of Tax Credit overpayments can be reduced where a claimant is experiencing financial hardship.

Whilst we have no current plans to pause the recovery of Tax Credit overpayments from Universal Credit, we have been clear that we will keep our Covid measures under review.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make the assessment period for universal credit coterminous with HMRC deadlines.

Entitlement to Universal Credit is calculated and paid monthly in arrears, in a single payment.

Assessment periods allow Universal Credit awards to be adjusted on a monthly basis, to reflect as closely as possible the actual circumstances of a household during that period. This helps to ensure that if a claimant’s income changes, they do not have to wait several months for a corresponding change in their Universal Credit award.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will issue guidance to ensure that claimants of benefits are aware that they have the right to record work capability assessments.

The letter that is sent to claimants advising when they need to attend a face-to-face assessment (known as an AL1C) makes it clear that claimants can request audio recording.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish the Women's Health Strategy.

We are currently analysing the responses to our call for evidence and we aim to publish the Women’s Health Strategy in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking in response to citizens of Northern Ireland temporarily residing in England being unable to access the NHS Covid Vaccine Passport as a result of their GP postcode being registered in Northern Ireland.

The COVID-19 certification available to those registered in Northern Ireland is valid for use across the United Kingdom, enabling users to demonstrate their vaccination status.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing the recommendation by Mind, Young Minds, Youth Access, the Children’s Society and the Children and the Young People’s Mental Health Coalition for the Government to fund a network of mental health support hubs for young people across England.

While no formal assessment has been made, the Government is exploring the model of early access of support for children and young people’s mental health with stakeholders.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of funding allocated to early support hubs on trends in the number of young people experiencing a mental health crisis.

No specific assessment has been made.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of effect of funding allocated to early support hubs on trends in average waiting times for child and adolescent mental health services in Sheffield.

No specific assessment has been made.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether UK-licensed pharmaceutical suppliers will be able to supply their products to the NHS in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2022, or whether they will be required to split supplies into separate Northern Ireland and Great Britain licences.

The Government is working closely with pharmaceutical suppliers to the National Health Service in Northern Ireland to ensure their readiness for the full implementation of the Protocol from 1 January 2022.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS England plans to maintain the number of NHS dental services in Sheffield.

NHS England plans to maintain the number of dental practices in Sheffield.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason covid-19 testing capacity data is not available at a local authority or city-wide level.

Capacity is calculated at a national level in order to flex to local demand at any given time.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress he has made on cross-party talks on social care.

The manifesto set out a commitment to seek a cross-party consensus in order to bring forward the necessary proposals and legislation for long-term reform of social care. The Department will outline next steps shortly.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has received any representations on the recent protests in Beita.

According to UN OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), since the beginning of May, seven Palestinians, including two children, have been killed around Beita as a result of live fire from Israeli Security Forces. On 5 August the British Consul General and Heads of Mission and representatives from a number of likeminded countries visited Beita.

In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we urge the Government of Israel to conduct swift and transparent investigations. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has received any representations on the reported use of internationally prohibited ammunition by the Israeli Defence Force in Beita.

According to UN OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), since the beginning of May, seven Palestinians, including two children, have been killed around Beita as a result of live fire from Israeli Security Forces. On 5 August the British Consul General and Heads of Mission and representatives from a number of likeminded countries visited Beita.

In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we urge the Government of Israel to conduct swift and transparent investigations. We also continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, in particular the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has (a) spoken to or (b) met with William Shawcross to discuss the contents of his report on Libyan-sponsored IRA terror.

The Foreign Secretary has taken a close interest in the issue of compensation for UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. As ministerial lead on this issue, the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly, and senior FCDO officials, kept Mr Shawcross abreast of work on a Government response to his report.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Shawcross Report; and what discussions he has had with William Shawcross on the contents of that report.

The Government response to the Shawcross report on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism is set out in the 23 March Written Ministerial Statement (WMS). Since Mr Shawcross was the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, the FCDO has led the Government's relationship with him.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Shawcross Report contained estimates of the levels of redress that victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terror would be entitled to.

As noted in the Government's Written Ministerial Statement published on 23 March, Mr Shawcross considered issues including the difficulties of defining UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism given the extensive nature of Libyan support for the IRA, and the range of proposals for providing compensation for the victims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assurances he has received that Israel will allow future covid-19 vaccines into the Gaza strip.

We welcome the steps that the parties have taken so far to coordinate responses to the COVID-19, including the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines from the Palestinian Authority into Gaza on 17 February, with the approval of Israel. We encourage further cooperation and dialogue in this regard. The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised the issue of vaccines with the Israeli Authorities on 24 February, encouraging the Government of Israel to continue to facilitate the transfer of vaccines to the Palestinian Authority when required. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv and the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem are in regular contact with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities respectively, and will continue to raise timely and appropriate access to COVID-19 vaccines.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) Issa Amro and (b) other human rights defenders that have been convicted and imprisoned by an Israeli military court.

Officials from our Consulate-General in Jerusalem attended Mr Amro's court hearing on 6 January. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has received the report from William Shawcross on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.

The UK is committed to supporting the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism. That is why in March 2019 the former Foreign Secretary appointed William Shawcross as the UK's Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. Mr Shawcross has now submitted his report. Ministers will consider the report in detail once the current need to focus on the Covid-19 crisis has abated.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterparts on the decision to close the first-aid centre in Ibziq.

We raised our concerns about the demolition of the health centre in Ibziq at the UN Security Council remote meeting on the Middle East on 23 April. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice is harmful to the peace process. We are particularly concerned that demolitions are continuing at this time.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure British citizens on MS Zaandam receive (a) a medical assessment, (b) reimbursement for medical care (c) continuous communication with (i) the FCO and (ii) their families and (d) travel home to the UK; and if he will make representations to his counterparts in countries near the cruise ship to ensure the safe care of those citizens during a covid-19 quarantine period.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 27 March, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We are monitoring the situation of MS Zaandam. We have engaged with the relevant authorities to request permission to allow the transfer of goods and medical equipment, and to offload asymptomatic passengers, and fly them out on charter flights. We have asked cruise companies to arrange flights if successful. On 26 March, Minister Morton raised our concerns with the Chairman of the cruise company.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Indonesian counterpart on the status of displaced Ahmadi Muslims who have spent over a decade at the Wisma Transito refugee camp.

In January 2018, Minister of State (Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth) Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon met Indonesian Ambassador Rizal Sukma where he raised our concerns. In October 2018, Lord Ahmad visited Jakarta in his capacity as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion and Belief (FORB). He met representatives of the Ahmadi Muslim community to discuss minority rights, underlining the UK's close interest in their welfare and protection of their rights. He also underlined UK support for FORB in Indonesia and raised concerns on the use of blasphemy laws. HMG officials regularly discuss minority rights with senior members of all six official faiths in Indonesia and meet with leaders of the Ahmadi community.

Freedom of Religion and Belief is a core aspect of the Embassy's work under the Human Rights strand. In December 2019, the British Embassy ran a workshop on media freedom in Jakarta. This included a discussion on reporting on FORB. Embassy officials regularly attend 'Friends of FORB' meetings, and in January of this year embassy officials met with an Ahmadi spokesperson.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Pakistani counterpart on the (a) right to vote and (b) other civil rights of the Ahmadi Muslim community in that country.

We engage at a senior level with the Pakistani Government on our concerns about the mistreatment of religious and ethnic groups, including Pakistanis from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, as laid down in the constitution of Pakistan and in accordance with international standards. It is vital that Pakistan guarantees the rights of all its citizens, regardless of gender, ethnicity or belief. The Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, who is also the Minister responsible for human rights, raised our concerns about Freedom of Religion or Belief and the protection of the Ahmadiyya community in a letter to Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 February.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure UK businesses can trade with the Palestinian territories following the restrictions placed on the export of Palestinian agricultural goods by Israel.

The UK is concerned about the impact of recent Israeli trade restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are committed to supporting Palestinian economic development, and strongly support the principle of free trade. Businesses should be free to import Palestinian products without barriers. Her Majesty's Ambassador to Israel has raised this issue with the Government of Israel, most recently on 12 February. We welcome the agreement reached by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, on 20 February, to lift their respective trade restrictions. We urge both sides to ensure the continued implementation of this agreement and will monitor the situation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on Israel's imposition of restrictions on the export of Palestinian agricultural products.

The UK is concerned about the impact of recent Israeli trade restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We are committed to supporting Palestinian economic development, and strongly support the principle of free trade. Businesses should be free to import Palestinian products without barriers. Her Majesty's Ambassador to Israel has raised this issue with the Government of Israel, most recently on 12 February. We welcome the agreement reached by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, on 20 February, to lift their respective trade restrictions. We urge both sides to ensure the continued implementation of this agreement and will monitor the situation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the UK Government plans to take to ensure that (a) alleged human rights abuses in South Cameroon are fully investigated and (b) the perpetrators of any such abuses are held to account.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions of Cameroon. These regions suffer from high levels of violence, which have driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. We have consistently called for an end to the violence, and for investigations into all reports of human rights violations. On 19 February, I issued a statement about the appalling attacks on 14 February and called for an urgent and transparent investigation so that the perpetrators can be held accountable.

We continue to shine a spotlight on the crisis and raise our concerns on human rights in Cameroon at the highest levels, including with the Government of Cameroon, in multinational fora and with international partners including the US and France. At the UN Security Council (UNSC) on 6 December 2019, the UK expressed concern over the crisis, calling for an end to human rights abuses, and for humanitarian access to affected people. At the UNSC on 12 February, the UK highlighted the significant impact of the crisis on children.

The UK continues to support all credible peacebuilding initiatives and remains ready to work with the Government of Cameroon, and international partners, to bring peace to the North-West and South-West (Anglophone) regions.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of 20 January 2021 on the Work of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Q100, HC 264, whether the Government plans to publish guidance for businesses on steel tariffs.

On the issue of steel movements into Northern Ireland, the Government wrote to affected businesses in January and published guidance on 3 March.

This guidance is available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reference-document-for-the-customs-northern-ireland-eu-exit-regulations-2020/the-steel-notice

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what contingency plans are in place in the event that the Customs Declaration Service is not fully operational on 1 January 2021.

The changes required to the Customs Declaration Service to facilitate Northern Ireland’s trade with Great Britain and the Rest of the World have been in the trade test environment since 15 October and are on track to be implemented in December.

External readiness remains the most significant challenge to successful delivery, and the Government has procured the Trader Support Service to mitigate trader readiness challenges. This is a free service to support businesses with the new administrative process under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when traders will be provided with details on what data to input into the Trader Support Service to ensure that goods can continue to move on 1 January 2021.

When traders register with the Trader Support Service they will receive support and guidance on what the Protocol means for them. This will include the steps they need to take to comply with the Protocol.

The Trader Support Service will support traders to understand the information they will need to collect about their goods, including their description, value and any supporting documentation required. HMRC and the consortium are currently finalising technical details on how the declaration service will operate, and will be setting out the specifics of how information should be provided via the TSS shortly.

The service will then use this information to complete import and safety and security declarations on behalf of trader users. Where a business uses the TSS to complete these they will not need access to HMRC systems, such as CDS or ICS, themselves.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Trader Support Service will provide assistance on (a) SPS checks and (b) the transiting of Northern Ireland to Great Britain goods via Dublin port.

The Trader Support Scheme will offer core services focusing on both trader education and the completion of customs processes.

• In relation to trader education, the Service will:

o educate businesses on what the Protocol means for them, and the steps they need to take to comply with them (including getting relevant Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers)

o support businesses developing processes to accurately provide the Trader Support Service with all the information it needs to submit declarations on their behalf (including information on the ‘risk’ status of the goods)

o advise businesses on the additional documents/licences that they will need (for example, a permit is needed to import endangered species (CITES) goods).

• In relation to completing processes, the Service will:

o submit relevant declarations into CDS (and hold the necessary authorisations required for simplified declarations)

o submit relevant safety and security declarations into HMRC’s Import Control System (ICS)

The Trader Support Service will be able to help all traders who need the service, regardless of size and at no additional cost, to support businesses with changes to trade under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the volume of declarations that will be made using the Customs Declaration Service between Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the calendar month of January 2021.

HMRC are committed to having systems in place to deliver the NI Protocol and facilitate the flow of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This will include ensuring that electronic declarations for both fiscal and regulatory purposes can be received and processed.

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS), the system for Northern Ireland, has been built to handle 60 million declarations per annum. This will be sufficient for movements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC has completed work on the final version of the Customs Declaration Service for use for trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain from 1 January 2021.

The changes required on the Customs Declaration Service to facilitate Northern Ireland’s trade with Great Britain and the Rest of the World have been in the trade test environment since 15 October and are on track to be implemented in December.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Spending Review 2020, what the timescale is for the £4 billion Levelling Up Fund.

The government is launching a new Levelling Up Fund worth £4bn for England, that will attract up to £800m for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the usual way. The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery. The SR makes available up to £600m in 2021-22. Further funding will be spread over subsequent years up to 24/25.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Trusted Support Service will be operational for all eligible declarations between Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 1 January 2021.

The Trader Support Service (TSS) was launched on 28 September and will operate on behalf of traders from 1 January.

The Trader Support Service will be able to help all traders, regardless of size and at no additional cost, to move their goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and to import goods into Northern Ireland from the Rest of the World.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate HMRC has made of the number of traders that will make customs declarations for the first time in Northern Ireland as a result of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Declaration volumes will depend on how businesses choose to operate, and HMRC are engaging with industry to understand their operating models.

For traders importing into Northern Ireland the Government has announced a major package of investment to help traders engaging in new processes under the Protocol. At the centre of this package is a new, free-to-use Trader Support Service (TSS) - an end-to-end support service which will educate traders on what the Protocol means for them and complete import and safety and security declarations on their behalf.

The TSS will be backed by funding of up to £200m, enabling businesses of all sizes who move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or import goods into Northern Ireland from the Rest of the World to draw on the support it provides.

The Government has been actively engaging with businesses and has committed to giving businesses the information and support needed to be ready to make changes at the end of the transition period.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate HMRC has made of the number of traders in Great Britain that will make customs declarations for trade with Northern Ireland for the first time as a result of the Northern Ireland protocol arrangements.

Declaration volumes will depend on how businesses choose to operate, and HMRC are engaging with industry to understand their operating models.

The Government’s Command Paper sets out that trade from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK should take place as it does now. There should be no additional processes, paperwork or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods arriving in the rest of the UK. There will be unfettered access, as provided for by the Protocol.

The Government has also been clear that there will be no export or exit declarations for goods leaving the rest of the UK for Northern Ireland

For traders importing into Northern Ireland the Government has announced a major package of investment to help traders engaging in new processes under the Protocol. At the centre of this package is a new, free-to-use Trader Support Service (TSS) - an end-to-end support service which will educate traders on what the Protocol means for them and complete import and safety and security declarations on their behalf.

The TSS will be backed by funding of up to £200m, enabling businesses of all sizes who move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or import goods into Northern Ireland from the Rest of the World to draw on the support it provides.

The Government has been actively engaging with businesses and has committed to giving businesses the information and support needed to be ready to make changes at the end of the transition period.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate HMRC has made of the potential total cost to UK businesses of EU tariffs being applied on goods entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain by default.

As stated in “The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol” paper published in May, Great Britain and Northern Ireland form one customs territory. The Government will ensure that no tariffs will be paid on any goods that move and remain within the UK’s customs territory.

To ensure that trade flows freely, the Government will make full use of the provisions in the Protocol giving it powers to waive and/or reimburse tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, even where they are classified as ‘at risk’ of entering the EU market. Only those goods ultimately entering Ireland or the rest of the EU, or at clear and substantial risk of doing so, will face tariffs.

This principle needs to be formalised with the EU within the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC have made an assessment of the likelihood of the technology needed for new customs and regulatory processes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland being in place by the end of the transition period.

HMRC are committed to having IT systems in place to facilitate the flow of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This will include ensuring that information for both fiscal and regulatory purposes can be received and processed electronically.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 25 on page 11 of the document entitled, The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, what assessment HMRC has made of how a genuine and substantial risk will be determined; and what estimate HMRC has made of the proportion of goods which will be charged a tariff under this definition.

As the Government said in the Command Paper published on 20 May, there should be no tariffs on goods remaining within the UK customs territory. Only those goods ultimately entering Ireland or the rest of the EU, or at clear and substantial risk of doing so, will face tariffs. This principle needs to be formalised with the EU within the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of individual customs declarations the CHIEF system can process in each of the next five years.

To meet the required volume of customs declarations expected after the end of the transition period, HMRC has scaled CHIEF as part of ‘No Deal’ planning to 300m declarations per annum. Dual running CDS for the Northern Ireland Protocol alongside CHIEF provides the full volumetric capacity required for future years. Moving to a single customs platform is part of the longer-term strategy for HMRC’s future border ambition.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the policy paper entitled, The Border Operating Model Border, published on 13 July 2020, what estimate has HMRC made of the number of traders that will make customs declarations for the first time under the new system.

In 2019 there were 149,000 VAT registered businesses trading in goods only with the EU. In addition, HMRC estimate that there are approximately 100,000 non-VAT registered businesses in the UK trading in goods with the EU; many of these traders will be making declarations for the first time after the transition period ends.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many and what proportion of customs declarations currently take place on the Customs Declaration Service.

The Government has been working with trade and industry partners to agree plans to utilise the Customs Declarations Service (CDS) to support implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. For Great Britain the plan is to use CHIEF for EU-GB declarations as it has been scaled as part of No Deal planning.

As announced in the Command Paper, HMRC will soon set out more detailed plans to provide extensive support for businesses moving goods into Northern Ireland, including ensuring that they are ready and able to provide information through CDS.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff vacancies there are on the programme team for the delivery of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) project is part of a wider programme of work delivering system and business process changes for the end of the Transition Period. HMRC manage the GVMS project very closely and have prioritised resourcing the changes required for the end of the Transition Period. HMRC have the resources and capability required to deliver the project. This is kept under continuous review, and where additional resources are required these will be provided.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate HMRC have made of the number of traders who will be required to complete the additional processes required on trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland outlined in the Command Paper entitled, The UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, published 20 May 2020.

Declaration volumes will depend on how businesses choose to operate, and HMRC are engaging with industry to understand their operating models. As announced in the Command Paper, HMRC will soon set out more detailed plans for extensive support for businesses engaged in the limited additional processes on goods arriving into Northern Ireland.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans HMRC has to categorise all goods entering Northern Ireland as at risk from 1 January 2021.

HMRC are not making plans to categorise all goods entering Northern Ireland as ‘at risk’.

As the Government said in the Command Paper published on 20 May, “there should be no tariffs on goods remaining within the UK customs territory. Only those goods ultimately entering Ireland or the rest of the EU, or at clear and substantial risk of doing so, will face tariffs.”

This principle needs to be formalised with the EU within the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee.

The UK will not pay any of the tariffs it collects to the EU.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 27 of CP226 The UK's Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, whether HMRC has taken steps to develop a system to reimburse tariffs on goods at risk of entering the EU.

As Great Britain and Northern Ireland are in the same customs territory, no tariffs will be due on goods coming from Great Britain and staying in Northern Ireland, unless those goods are at risk of onward movement into the European Union.

Goods arriving in Northern Ireland from the rest of the world will pay the UK’s tariff unless the goods are at risk of moving into the EU.

As set out in the Command Paper published on 20 May, in order to ensure that trade flows freely, the Government will make full use of the provisions in the Protocol giving the Government the powers to waive and/or reimburse tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, even where they are classified as ‘at risk’ of entering the EU market.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service; and what category of risk has been assigned for that service being delivered on (a) time and (b) budget.

HMRC are confident that they will have the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) ready to be implemented at border locations where a pre-lodgement model is adopted on 31 December 2020 to use for all movements supporting the Northern Ireland Protocol, and by the time staging in of full controls for EU movements is complete by July 2021. Spending on the GVMS in 2020/21 is funded from within HMRC's EU Transition budget allocation of £382 million.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many staff vacancies there are on the programme team for the delivery of the Customs Declaration Service.

HMRC manage the Customs Declaration Service programme of work very closely and have prioritised resourcing the changes required for the end of the Transition Period. HMRC have the resources and capability required to deliver the programme. This is kept under review, and where additional resources are required these will be provided.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Infrastructure Projects Authority has awarded an RAG delivery confidence rating for the Goods Vehicle Movement Service.

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) project is part of a wider programme of work delivering system and business process changes for the end of the transition period. The Infrastructure Projects Authority conducted a review of this programme of work in May and provided a delivery confidence assessment for the programme, not its constituent projects.

This programme of work is part of the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP). The Government’s publication strategy sets out that the Delivery Confidence Assessment from the Q2 GMPP report for a programme is made public in the IPA’s next Annual Report.

HMRC will have the GVMS ready to be implemented at border locations where a pre-lodgement model is adopted on 31 December 2020 to use for all movements supporting the Northern Ireland Protocol, and by the time that staging in of full controls for EU movements is complete by July 2021.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the electronic declarations of the Goods Vehicle Movement Service will be compatible with the Customs Declaration Service.

The Goods Vehicle Movement Service will be integrated across multiple platforms, including the Customs Declaration Service and the UK’s legacy customs system, CHIEF.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether all traders have been transferred to the Customs Declaration Service; and whether that service is fully operational.

The Customs Declaration Service (CDS) has been a live service since August 2018 and is fully operational. The operation of the customs platform is not dependent on completing full trader migration to CDS, as it will be dual running alongside CHIEF. HMRC will continue to work with traders in order to meet requirements for the end of the transition period.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions HMRC have held with business representatives on when the trialling of the new Goods Vehicle Movement Service for trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will begin.

It is important that businesses understand how the protocol will be implemented so that they can make the necessary preparations for the end of the Transition Period. For that reason, the Government published a command paper on 20 May setting out the UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ministers and officials are meeting Northern Ireland businesses regularly to provide clarity on approach and to allow for detailed discussion of proposals. HMRC are also engaging with industry partners who need to put systems in place for customs processes and will be extending that engagement in the coming weeks to businesses across the UK affected by the Northern Ireland Protocol to support them in getting ready.

To support the freight and logistics industry HMRC will be building a new optional IT system to facilitate the movement of goods. HMRC will continue to develop their systems in readiness for the end of the Transition Period and they are engaging with industry as plans develop.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC has provided advice to businesses in Northern Ireland on the additional processes that will be required for trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain once the Northern Ireland Protocol comes into force.

The Northern Ireland Protocol is clear that Northern Ireland is, and will remain, part of the UK’s customs territory. The Protocol allows the UK to maintain unfettered market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, as is the case today. The Government has also set out that although there will be some limited additional processes for goods arriving in Northern Ireland, there will be no new physical customs infrastructure.

It is important that businesses understand how the Protocol will be implemented so they can make the necessary preparations for the end of the Transition Period. For that reason, the Government published a command paper on 20 May setting out the UK’s approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol. Ministers and officials meet Northern Ireland businesses regularly to provide clarity on approach and to allow for detailed discussion of proposals. HMRC are also engaging with industry partners who need to put systems in place for customs processes and will be extending that engagement in the coming weeks to businesses across the UK affected by the Northern Ireland Protocol to support them in getting ready.

HMRC have published a questionnaire on GOV.UK to identify and aid businesses who move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In due course, the Government will also set out more detailed plans for extensive HMRC support for businesses engaged in the limited additional processes, including providing access to facilitations to support the movement of goods.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of (a) how long it takes to train a customs official and (b) the number of customs officials that (i) have been recruited and (ii) still need to be recruited for the purposes of operating the protocol in Northern Ireland.

HMRC have resource plans in place to enable them to meet their post-Transition Period requirements, including delivery of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

As a large department, HMRC use a combination of external recruitment and internal moves to fill vacancies, allowing for a strong blend of new and experienced staff and giving flexibility to allocate resource where and when it is needed.

For some roles, only on-the-job experience or training is required, whereas people in technical roles such as compliance undertake a rigorous and structured programme of learning. Many of these individuals have completed their technical training and are now consolidating that learning by working on “rest of the world” customs cases in preparation for the end of the Transition Period.

24th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether businesses not listed as non-essential shops and public spaces which choose to close to safeguard their staff will be entitled to assistance under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to help firms that have been severely affected by coronavirus to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. The scheme is open to all UK employers providing they have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020 and have a UK bank account.

The Government has designed this package to be straightforward and comprehensive for businesses. Employers can claim a grant for the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on the subsidised furlough pay.

Full guidance for employers, including the requirements on businesses, can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether businesses with workers with an increased risk of severe illness will be entitled to claim for the Worker Retention Scheme to ensure their salary is paid while they are following advice to stay at home.

The Government seeks, as far as possible, to protect people’s jobs and incomes. This is an unprecedented jobs retention scheme and the Government has been working hard to set out further details on the scheme. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020. Full details can be found in the guidance available at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme, which provides answers to these questions.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will apply to staff who are working in the UK on a spousal visa.

The Government seeks, as far as possible, to protect people’s jobs and incomes. This is an unprecedented jobs retention scheme and the Government has been working hard to set out further details on the scheme. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020. Full details can be found in the guidance available at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme, which provides answers to these questions.

10th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has plans to extend tax exemptions for sanitary products to incontinence products.

As announced in the Budget, women’s sanitary products are to be zero rated for VAT from 1 January 2021, meaning no VAT will be charged on their purchase.

Incontinence products can already be zero rated for VAT, if for example they are purchased for personal use by a person who is incontinent, or by any charity that makes the products available to incontinent people.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her policy is on reuniting children under the age of five in Yemen with family members who are currently in Britain.

The Government provides the following safe and legal routes under the Immigration Rules for children, regardless of where they are in the world, to join family in the UK:

  • part 8, paragraph 297 provides for a child to join a British or settled parent or relative in the UK;
  • part 8, paragraph 319X provides for a child to join a relative with limited leave to remain as a refugee or beneficiary of humanitarian protection in the United Kingdom;
  • part 11, paragraphs 325D and 352FG provide for a child to join a parent with refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.
Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the (a) longest and (b) average time is for victims of human trafficking to receive naturalisation as British citizens.

There is no separate application route to citizenship for victims of human trafficking and so they are considered alongside all other citizenship applications.

This means we cannot separate out data for this cohort through normal reporting mechanisms. Transparency data with information on service standards for citizenship applications can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visas-and-citizenship-data-november-2020

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the correspondence of the 4 September 2020 on the Warrington Peace Foundation's work supporting victims of terrorism.

The Home Secretary responded on 24 September 2020.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether funding will be made available to continue the work of Warrington Peace Foundation's victims of terrorism support service.

Earlier this year, the Home Office ran a grant competition to award up to £500,000 for support services for victims of terrorism. The Warrington Peace Foundation, along with other organisations, was able to bid into that competition.

Given that this is an ongoing commercial process, we are unable to advise on the outcome of the competition at this time. Any award announcement will be published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has received representations on UK Visas and Immigrations (UKVI) employees being offered 10 days of special leave to meet childcare responsibilities in response to the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of special leave available for staff of (a) UKVI and (b) her Department with caring responsibilities during the covid-19 pandemic.

All Home Office employees, including those working in UK Visas and Immigration, with children affected by school closures can request up to ten working days/two working weeks paid special leave as an interim provision to enable them to care for their children at home and/or to make longer-term alternative care arrangements.

If employees need further special leave beyond the initial period, this may be granted by a senior manager if no other suitable arrangements can be made for the child’s care. The wellbeing of our employees is paramount and we have a range of policies to support those who are managing caring responsibilities.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people that have no recourse to public funds will be entitled to access support from the Government during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to supporting people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach and will continue to review the situation to consider if more can be done.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will help firms continue to keep people, including workers with no recourse to public funds, in employment with the government paying 80% of furloughed workers wages up to a cap of £2,500.

There are a number of measures in relation to rent and mortgage protections, food vouchers, and protections for the homeless, which are not considered public funds. Local Authorities may also provide basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases.

Covid-19 has been added to the list of infectious diseases so anyone experiencing symptoms, regardless of their immigration status, will be treated for free.

People granted leave under the family and human rights routes can apply to have a condition lifted or for access to benefits if their financial circumstances change.

The Home Office has set up a dedicated Covid-19 immigration help-centre.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what specific outcomes she plans to set police forces in order to reduce crime.

In return for the biggest investment in policing for over a decade, it is right that the government holds the policing sector to account for delivering for the public. We will expect the police to achieve measurable improvements across a range of outcomes, focused on crime reduction. These outcomes include: to reduce murder, serious violence and neighbourhood crime; to improve victim satisfaction; to help those whose lives are torn apart by domestic abuse; and to roll up county lines.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the findings of the inquest into the death of Marc Cole, what assessment her Department has made of the safety of the use of tasers by the Police.

The Government is committed to ensuring police have the resources, tools and powers they need to keep themselves and the public safe.

Tasers provide officers with an important tactical option when facing potentially physically violent situations. However, the Government is clear that all use of force must be lawful, proportionate and necessary in all circumstances.

Only less lethal weaponry which has been authorised by the Home Secretary may be used by police forces in England and Wales. There is an established process for the approval of less lethal weapons which takes into account relevant strategic, ethical, operational and societal issues, as well as an independent medical evaluation by the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Medical Implications of Less Lethal Weapons (SACMILL).

Our sympathy is with Marc Cole’s family who have lost a loved one.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the implications of the quadrennial review of police pensions in 2020-21; and if she will make a statement.

Following the most recent valuation of the police pension schemes, the additional cost to policing in 2020-21 of employer contributions to police pensions is currently estimated to be £316 million.

The 2020-21 police funding settlement will increase funding available to the policing system by £1.1 billion next year. This includes general Government grant funding, pensions grant, council tax precept and investment in national priorities, and is the biggest funding increase in a decade. This substantial increase in funding will enable forces to meet their financial pressures as well as to invest in the recruitment of additional officers.

The written ministerial statement on the settlement, including details of the proposed pensions grant, can be accessed at: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-01-22/HCWS51/

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the titles of the reports commissioned by her Department that remain outstanding.

The titles of the reviews that the Department is currently undertaking are:

Review

Date Started

Expected Completion

Review of Cannabis-based products for Medicinal Use in Humans

February 2020

End of 2020

Urgent review of the classification of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and closely related compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the scheduling of both drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

January 2020

Autumn 2020

Independent review of the statutory multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA). Jointly with Ministry of Justice.

January 2020

The review has been completed and will be published shortly

Review of the support services provided to Victims of Terrorism

The review has not yet commenced

Independent Review of Prevent

August 2019

August 2021[1]

Roads Policing Review

July 2019

July 2021

Law Commission Review into Hate Crime legislation (jointly commissioned with Ministry of Justice)

October 2018

Independent Review of the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS)

August 2019

Summer 2020

Coercive or Controlling Behaviour Offence – Review of Effectiveness

Summer 2019

Autumn 2020

Review of the overall response to migrant victims of domestic abuse

July 2019

The evidence gathering phase of the review has been completed. We aim to set out our conclusions before Commons Report stage.

Review of Pre-Charge Bail.

November 2019

Summer 2021

Review of the Health Measures at the Border

June 2020

29 June 2020

Air Weapons Review

October 2017

Summer 2020

Independent review of Serious and Organised Crime

November 2019

The review has been completed and the Government is considering its recommendations

Rape Review (jointly with Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office)

March 2019

Independent Review of Drugs

February 2019

Part 1 completed and published 27 February. DHSC commissioned a further (Part 2) drugs review of prevention, treatment and recovery, which is shortly to be launched.

[1] The Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Bill which was introduced on 20 May 2020 seeks to remove the current statutory deadline for the completion of the Independent Review of Prevent (August 2020) as set out in the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the titles of the reviews that her Department is undertaking.

The titles of the reviews that the Department is currently undertaking are:

Review

Date Started

Expected Completion

Review of Cannabis-based products for Medicinal Use in Humans

February 2020

End of 2020

Urgent review of the classification of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and closely related compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the scheduling of both drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

January 2020

Autumn 2020

Independent review of the statutory multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA). Jointly with Ministry of Justice.

January 2020

The review has been completed and will be published shortly

Review of the support services provided to Victims of Terrorism

The review has not yet commenced

Independent Review of Prevent

August 2019

August 2021[1]

Roads Policing Review

July 2019

July 2021

Law Commission Review into Hate Crime legislation (jointly commissioned with Ministry of Justice)

October 2018

Independent Review of the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS)

August 2019

Summer 2020

Coercive or Controlling Behaviour Offence – Review of Effectiveness

Summer 2019

Autumn 2020

Review of the overall response to migrant victims of domestic abuse

July 2019

The evidence gathering phase of the review has been completed. We aim to set out our conclusions before Commons Report stage.

Review of Pre-Charge Bail.

November 2019

Summer 2021

Review of the Health Measures at the Border

June 2020

29 June 2020

Air Weapons Review

October 2017

Summer 2020

Independent review of Serious and Organised Crime

November 2019

The review has been completed and the Government is considering its recommendations

Rape Review (jointly with Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office)

March 2019

Independent Review of Drugs

February 2019

Part 1 completed and published 27 February. DHSC commissioned a further (Part 2) drugs review of prevention, treatment and recovery, which is shortly to be launched.

[1] The Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Bill which was introduced on 20 May 2020 seeks to remove the current statutory deadline for the completion of the Independent Review of Prevent (August 2020) as set out in the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the additional cost is to police forces of changes resulting from the quadrennial valuations of the public service pension schemes in 2020-21.

The additional cost to policing in 2020-2021 of employer contributions to police pensions is currently estimated to be £316 million.

The proposed 2020/21 police funding settlement increases funding by £1.1 billion to £15.2 billion. This includes general Government grant funding, pensions grant, council tax precept and investment in national priorities. This substantial increase in funding will enable forces to meet their genuine financial pressures as well as to invest in the recruitment of additional officers.

Decisions on funding for future years are a matter for the next Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to create pardonable offences for victims of child sexual exploitation whose criminal record arose as a result of their exploitation.

Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime that has a devastating impact on victims and survivors. The Government’s Victims Strategy outlines our commitments to improve support for victims of child sexual abuse by making sure that criminal justice agencies recognise exploitation when they see it and respond appropriately.

The government has no current plans to create pardonable offences for victims of child sexual exploitation whose criminal record arose as a result of their exploitation. Applications for pardons are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what quarterly targets her Department has set for each police force in order to recruit 6,000 additional officers by the end of 2020-21.

The Home Office has confirmed the recruitment targets for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift. 6,000 additional officers will be recruited in England and Wales by March 2021 as part of the unprecedented drive to increase their ranks by 20,000 over the next three years. These numbers have been allocated to each force and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-announces-first-wave-of-20000-police-officer-uplift

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to publish the provisional police funding settlement for 2020-21.

The 2020-21 final Police Funding Settlement was laid before the House on [Wednesday 22 January] and includes details of Police Grant levels for each force in England and Wales.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what long-term priorities for operational focus and investment have been established between her Department and the National Police Chiefs' Council through the Policing Board.

The National Policing Board has been established to help ensure all parts of the policing system work together to establish a strategic vision and take an overview of strategic investment decisions in order to deliver the best possible outcomes for the public and make our streets safer. Investment in policing will allow forces to recruit 20,000 additional officers over the next three years; the National Policing Board will ensure we deliver on that commitment.

Alongside this we are in the process of finalising a series of desired crime outcomes which will be blended with local priorities set by Police and Crime Commissioner.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether all EU member states have now been notified of the details of the 75,000 convictions which her Department had previously failed to send.

ACRO is working with the Home Office to identify a technical fix and implement it as soon as possible the relevant countries will then be notified.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of foreign offenders who went on to re-offend as a result of the failure by the UK to pass on the details of 75,000 convictions to EU member states.

It is not possible to provide details of offending which has or has not occurred in other Member States.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she became aware of the UK's failure to share the details of 75,000 criminal convictions with EU member states; and when she informed EU member states of the mistake.

Home Office Ministers were notified of the technical issue which led to some criminal conviction data not being passed on to EU Member States, in July 2019. Later that month the Home Office informed the EU of the problem.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Minister in her Department made the decision not to inform the EU of the failure to pass on the details of 75,000 convictions of EU nationals to EU member states; and when that decision was taken.

The Home Office informed the Commission and EU Member States of this issue in July 2019.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timeframe is for her Department to approve bids from Police and Crime Commissioners to the Safer Streets Fund.

The Safer Streets Fund will provide funding to areas of England and Wales that are disproportionately affected by acquisitive crimes, such as burglary and theft. The fund will provide areas with the resources to implement well evidenced crime prevention initiatives, such as street lighting and home security to help make areas safer and more secure.

We expect to launch the fund shortly and will publish details of timescales for bid assessment and approval at launch.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average annual cost has been of (a) training, (b) employing, (c) equipping, (d) providing payroll and (e) any additional resources required for a full-time police officer to carry out their role in each of the last three years.

The costs of an officer’s employment, training and resources are a matter for forces and Chief Constables and are reflective of local priorities.

The Home Office does not hold information on the requested costs.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timeframe is for solving the software glitch which led to 75,000 convictions failing to be passed on to EU member states.

The Home Office is working to support ACRO to resolve the issue and find a technical fix which will be implemented as soon as possible.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of performance targets in improving policing.

Prior to 2010, police performance targets were set by the Home Office. These were abolished in that year by the incoming administration. In 2015, the then Home Secretary commissioned Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis to produce a review of the broader use of targets in Policing.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what performance targets her Department sets for the police.

Prior to 2010, police performance targets were set by the Home Office. These were abolished in that year by the incoming administration. In 2015, the then Home Secretary commissioned Chief Superintendent Irene Curtis to produce a review of the broader use of targets in Policing.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many requests his Department has made to the National Police Chiefs Council for data outside the normal reporting rules since July 2019.

The Home Secretary has statutory powers under the Police Act 1996 to request data directly from Chief Constables of police forces in England and Wales.

In exercising those powers, the Home Office consults with the National Police Chiefs Council to ensure it is feasible for police forces to supply such data and would not add a disproportionate burden on forces to do so.

Since July 2019, data already collected by forces as part of their own internal management information has been requested in relation to several of the Government’s priorities including tackling serious violence and recruiting 20,000 additional police officers.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on establishing a Police Covenant; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has set out a vision for a new Police Covenant, recognising the bravery and commitment of officers who work night and day to keep us safe. The covenant will focus on physical protection for officers, their health and wellbeing and support for their families.

The Home Office has been developing the detail of our proposals and continue to work with policing partners and stakeholders as they are finalised.

The government intends to launch a consultation on the principle and scope of the covenant shortly. The consultation will inform the drafting of the Police Protection and Powers Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s speech and will put the covenant on a legislative footing.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many frontline police officers will be recruited to local police forces in (a) 2020, (b) 2021 and (c) 2022; and if she will make a statement.

This Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by putting 20,000 extra police officers on the streets over the next three years. Up to 6,000 additional officers will be recruited in the first wave and will be shared among the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales. Force allocations for year one can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-announces-first-wave-of-20000-police-officer-uplift

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals on police pursuits; and if she will make a statement.

As announced in the Queens Speech in December 2019, the Government will bring forward a Police Powers and Protection Bill to ensure that police officers are provided with the protections and powers they need to keep the population safe.

On pursuits, the Bill will introduce a new test to assess the standard of driving of a police officer so that their skills and training can be taken into account should there be any subsequent investigations into their actions.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she has made on her Department's review of pre-charge bail legislation; and if she will make a statement.

This government is fully committed to protecting the public, and ensuring the police have the powers they need.

On 5 November the government announced its intention to review pre-charge bail legislation to ensure we have a system which more effectively prioritises the safety of victims and witnesses and the management of suspects.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the powers are of private security firms contracted by public authorities to carry out policing duties; and if she will make a statement.

Private security firms do not have police powers. Core police powers like arrest will always be reserved for police constables and other special forces.

While core powers are reserved for police and other special forces, the legislation does permit Chief Constables to establish and maintain “community safety accreditation schemes” in consultation with local authorities. This power also enables Chief Constables to confer upon accredited non-police staff, including security officers employed by accredited firms, a range of powers, including the issuing of fixed penalty notices, in order to help maintain community safety and security.

Any individual private security operative must be licensed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 173088 on Levelling Up Fund: Northern Ireland, what proportion of the £800 million Levelling Up Fund for the devolved administrations will be allocated to Northern Ireland in the financial years (a) 2022-23, (b) 2023-24 and (c) 2024-25.

The Levelling Up Fund will set aside at least £800 million across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25. For the first round of funding, at least 9% of total UK allocations will be set aside for Scotland, 5% for Wales, and 3% for Northern Ireland. There will be future opportunities to bid in subsequent rounds. Further detail on how the Fund will operate from 2022-23 onwards will be set out later this year.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 173088 on Levelling Up Fund: Northern Ireland, when the allocation of funding from the Levelling Up Fund will be determined for Northern Ireland for the financial years (a) 2022-23, (b) 2023-24 and (c) 2024-25.

The Levelling Up Fund will set aside at least £800 million across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25. For the first round of funding, at least 9% of total UK allocations will be set aside for Scotland, 5% for Wales, and 3% for Northern Ireland. There will be future opportunities to bid in subsequent rounds. Further detail on how the Fund will operate from 2022-23 onwards will be set out later this year.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will detail the level of funding in each of the four financial years of the Levelling Up Fund for Northern Ireland.

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The Fund will operate UK-wide, extending the benefits of funding for priority local infrastructure across all regions and nations.

The Fund will set aside at least £800 million across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years from 2021-2022 to 2024-2025.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much and what proportion of the £800 million Levelling Up Fund for the devolved administrations will be allocated to Northern Ireland.

The Fund will set aside at least £800 million across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25. For the first round of funding, at least 9% of total UK allocations will be set aside for Scotland, 5% for Wales, and 3% for Northern Ireland.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many bids his Department received from Northern Ireland to the Towns Fund.

The Towns Fund operates in England only. Devolved Administrations receive funding according to the Barnett formula and are responsible for decisions on how that funding is used within their devolved responsibilities.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which areas will be part of the £220m trial of the Shared Prosperity Fund.

To help local areas prepare over 2021-22 for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we will provide £220 million additional UK funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details will be published in the new year.

19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what his timetable is for (a) announcing (i) eligibility criteria and (ii) allocations to local authorities for and (b) disbursing funding from the Hardship Fund announced in the Budget 2020.

The Government will provide English councils with £500 million to support financially vulnerable residents, and expects that most of the funding will be used to provide additional council tax relief.

Further guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/council-tax-covid-19-hardship-fund-2020-to-2021-guidance .

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to Age UK's publication entitled Home Truths, published January 2020, what plans he has to support older people in the private rented sector in the upcoming renters' reform Bill.

As announced in the Queen’s Speech, the Government plans to introduce a package of reforms to deliver a better deal for renters and a fairer and more effective rental market. The Renters’ Reform Bill will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for short-term tenants by abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions. This will include repealing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and represents a generational change in the law that governs private renting.

Our recent consultation, ‘A New Deal for Renting: Resetting the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants’ sought views from across the private and social rented sectors on how the new system should operate, in order to ensure that we get the details right?and?create?a new framework which works for everyone. We welcome the consultation response submitted by Age UK, which highlights the experience of a range of tenants who rent their homes in the private rented sector, including older people. Almost 20,000 responses to the consultation were received and these are being carefully considered to help inform the Renters’ Reform Bill.



Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing the Future Homes Standard on energy efficiency before 2025.

The Government is fully committed to meeting its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings has to make in meeting it.

We have committed to introduce a Future Homes Standard from 2025 which means that new homes will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and lower energy use through high levels of energy efficiency.

As a stepping stone to the Future Homes Standard, we have consulted on a meaningful and achievable increase to the energy efficiency standards for new homes to be introduced through the Building Regulations in 2020, with a further strengthening by 2025. The consultation responses we have received will be considered carefully and a Government response will be published in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the net carbon footprint of homes built under the Future Homes Standard.

The Government is fully committed to meeting its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings has to make in meeting it. We have committed to introduce a Future Homes Standard from 2025 which means that new homes will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and lower energy use through high levels of energy efficiency.

In October 2019 we published a consultation on the Future Homes Standard which proposed that new homes built to the Future Homes Standard from 2025 should have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80 per cent lower than those built to current building regulations standards. The Future Homes Standard consultation closed on 7 February 2020. The responses we have received will be considered carefully and a Government response will be published in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the Community Housing Fund for a further five years.

The Community Housing Fund is currently scheduled to close in March 2020. Ministers are considering all budgets in the round and allocations for 2020/21 will be confirmed at Main Estimates in the Spring. Allocations for future years will be considered at the forthcoming Budget and Spending Review.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implementation of the agent of change planning principle at local authority level; and if he will make a statement.

The agent of change principle was introduced relatively recently, through revisions made to the National Planning Policy Framework in 2018. It makes clear that applicants for planning permission should provide suitable mitigation where the operation of an existing business or community facility could have a significant adverse effect on development proposed nearby. The implementation of planning policy is, in the first instance, a matter for local planning authorities through their development management and monitoring arrangements.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people affected by Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism who have received compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme.

I would like to express my profound sympathy for UK victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism, and indeed for all victims of the Troubles.

It is the case that state-funded compensation for victims of violent crime has been in place in Great Britain since 1964, with the first statutory scheme coming into force in 1996. In terms of entitlement, victims can claim compensation for physical and mental injuries they have directly suffered from a violent crime, and for other payments such as for loss of earnings where they cannot work as a result of the injuries sustained. In fatal cases, qualifying relatives (as defined in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme) may be eligible to apply for bereavement payments and continuing care payments for dependants. The rules on entitlement and eligibility apply equally to all violent crime, regardless of the nature of the incident that gave rise to the injury or caused the death of a loved one.

As to the number of people affected by Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism who have received compensation, given the time that has passed since the attacks, limited information is available. This is because, in order to ensure compliance with data protection legislation, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which administers the Scheme, retains minimal information on historical applications to it or its predecessor, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Further, when making an application to the GB-wide Scheme, victims are compensated for the injuries they have sustained rather than the nature of the incident (with the exception of sexual assault or abuse). To support consistent decision-making, the CICA may record the nature of the incident where it has identified the potential for multiple applications in relation to the same circumstances. However, unless an applicant clearly states that they obtained their injuries from a terrorist attack, or this is mentioned in the police report, the CICA will not have this information.

Publicly funded support has also been made available to victims of the Troubles who are eligible for the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme. We recognise that there is a wider issue around the suitability of arrangements to make payments to the bereaved in Northern Ireland, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has encouraged the Northern Ireland Executive to consider what more could be done to help.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, prior to Written Ministerial Statement HCWS874 of the 23 March 2021, whether his Department had assessed whether family members of the bereaved or injured would be entitled to the (a) Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme or (b) The Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme.

I would like to express my profound sympathy for UK victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism, and indeed for all victims of the Troubles.

It is the case that state-funded compensation for victims of violent crime has been in place in Great Britain since 1964, with the first statutory scheme coming into force in 1996. In terms of entitlement, victims can claim compensation for physical and mental injuries they have directly suffered from a violent crime, and for other payments such as for loss of earnings where they cannot work as a result of the injuries sustained. In fatal cases, qualifying relatives (as defined in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme) may be eligible to apply for bereavement payments and continuing care payments for dependants. The rules on entitlement and eligibility apply equally to all violent crime, regardless of the nature of the incident that gave rise to the injury or caused the death of a loved one.

As to the number of people affected by Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism who have received compensation, given the time that has passed since the attacks, limited information is available. This is because, in order to ensure compliance with data protection legislation, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) which administers the Scheme, retains minimal information on historical applications to it or its predecessor, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. Further, when making an application to the GB-wide Scheme, victims are compensated for the injuries they have sustained rather than the nature of the incident (with the exception of sexual assault or abuse). To support consistent decision-making, the CICA may record the nature of the incident where it has identified the potential for multiple applications in relation to the same circumstances. However, unless an applicant clearly states that they obtained their injuries from a terrorist attack, or this is mentioned in the police report, the CICA will not have this information.

Publicly funded support has also been made available to victims of the Troubles who are eligible for the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme. We recognise that there is a wider issue around the suitability of arrangements to make payments to the bereaved in Northern Ireland, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has encouraged the Northern Ireland Executive to consider what more could be done to help.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many complaints the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman has received in relation to the conduct of Judge Robin Tolson QC.

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) does not consider complaints about Judicial Office Holders. The JACO cannot comment on whether a Judicial Office Holder’s actions amount to misconduct or comment on matters before the courts or tribunals.

The JACO’s judicial conduct remit is to investigate the handling of complaints by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) (and bodies with a similar remit in respect of concerns about the actions of Tribunal members and Magistrates) under the Judicial Conduct arrangements. The JCIO’s statutory remit is to deal with complaints of misconduct.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman plans to respond to complaints in relation to Judge Robin Tolson QC.

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman (JACO) does not consider complaints about Judicial Office Holders. The JACO cannot comment on whether a Judicial Office Holder’s actions amount to misconduct or comment on matters before the courts or tribunals.

The JACO’s judicial conduct remit is to investigate the handling of complaints by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) (and bodies with a similar remit in respect of concerns about the actions of Tribunal members and Magistrates) under the Judicial Conduct arrangements. The JCIO’s statutory remit is to deal with complaints of misconduct.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to his oral Answer of 25 February 2020, Official Report, column 176, what the outcome was of his meeting of 26 February 2020 with the President of the Family Division.

The Lord Chancellor had a constructive discussion with the President of the Family Division about their shared desire to ensure that vulnerable parties are given the right support through the family court process.

Our expert panel on harm in the family courts is actively considering these issues. The panel is finalising its report and will publish findings and recommendations for next steps this Spring.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions he has had with the President of the Family Division in relation to transparency in the family courts.

Ministers at the Ministry of Justice hold regular discussions with the President of the Family Division on a range of issues. The Government fully recognises that family proceedings should be as transparent as possible, and welcomes the progress that has been made towards greater openness together with the review on transparency that the President of the Family Division is currently undertaking. Accredited media have been allowed access to certain hearings in the family courts since 2009, and in 2014 the previous President of the Family Division issued guidance leading to the increased publication of judgments. A pilot allowing legal bloggers to report on family proceedings has been running since 2018, and the current President of the Family Division published new guidance on anonymising judgments for publication in 2018 and reporting in the family courts in 2019.

Greater transparency must be weighed against the need to safeguard children and their family’s privacy given the extremely sensitive information about them that the family courts often need to consider. The Government will continue to work with the senior judiciary to ensure that the right balance is struck between transparency and privacy.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the legal text of the UK's proposed changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol has been shared with the Northern Ireland Executive.

As part of the ongoing discussions with the EU on the Northern Ireland Protocol (the Protocol) we have shared a draft legal text with the EU which reflects the proposals in our Command Paper and provides the foundation for a new forward-looking Protocol that will govern the trading relationship between the UK and EU as far as it affects Northern Ireland. It is a negotiating document at the moment and therefore not public.

Ministers meet regularly with the Northern Ireland Executive First Minister and deputy First Minister to share information on the progress of our discussions with the EU on the Protocol.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many quarterly updates on progress have been published under the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, Annex F.

We continue to work with the Northern Ireland parties and the Irish Government to arrange the second Implementation Review Meeting, as set out under New Decade, New Approach. We hope that a progress update can be agreed by consensus and published at that stage.

Progress to date includes the release of over £700 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal, a series of events marking the centenary of Northern Ireland, and the implementation of institutional reforms via the Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings he has held with political party leaders as part of the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

As part of the joint engagement process announced by the UK and Irish Governments following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, held a roundtable with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July.

Since then, the UK Government has facilitated numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties, while the UK Government has conducted its own bilateral engagements, including with the Northern Ireland parties.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he plans to invite leaders from the Northern Ireland Executive to the Multiparty Talks on Legacy.

The UK Government, as set out with the Irish Government at the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June, has been engaging with the Northern Ireland parties regularly since the formal engagement process started.

This has included a roundtable with the Irish Government and the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July, and numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has attended a working group as part of the MultiParty Talks on Legacy.

The UK and Irish Governments announced a joint engagement process to make progress on legacy issues following the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June. As part of this process, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, together with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, held a roundtable with the leaders of the Northern Ireland parties on 16 July.

Since then, the UK Government has facilitated numerous engagements with a range of stakeholders to discuss legacy issues with the two governments and representatives from the Northern Ireland parties. This process has been led by senior officials, who ensure that the Secretary of State is kept apprised of the issues raised and views expressed in these meetings, which were not attended by UK or Irish ministers. There has been no ministerial attendance by the UK or Irish Governments during these engagements. The Government has of course also been conducting its own bilateral engagement regarding legacy issues, and we have spoken to an extensive range of stakeholders.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many quarterly updates on progress have been published under the New Decade, New Approach Agreement, Annexe F.

Since the New Decade, New Approach agreement restored the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive in January 2020, there has been one implementation review meeting.

We continue to work with the Irish Government and the parties in the Northern Ireland Executive on the timing of the next meeting, which we expect to take place in the coming weeks.

We will use that engagement to agree the terms of an implementation report.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many implementation review meetings have been held since the New Decade, New Approach agreement was signed.

Since the New Decade, New Approach agreement restored the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive in January 2020, there has been one implementation review meeting.

We continue to work with the Irish Government and the parties in the Northern Ireland Executive on the timing of the next meeting, which we expect to take place in the coming weeks.

We will use that engagement to agree the terms of an implementation report.


Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Written Statement of 21 June 2021 on Northern Ireland update, HCWS105, whether it remains his policy to introduce legislation on language, culture and identity in October 2021.

It is disappointing that the Northern Ireland Executive has not taken forward the balanced package of identity, language and culture legislation that was negotiated as part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

In the absence of progress, the Government is taking the necessary steps to introduce the legislation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on citizens of Northern Ireland temporarily residing in England being unable to access the NHS Covid Vaccine Passport as their GP postcode is registered in Northern Ireland.

Ministers regularly speak with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Northern Ireland Minister of Health and have raised the issue concerning NHS Covid Vaccine passports recently.

Both Ministers agreed on the need to resolve this matter as a priority and have instructed their officials to work at pace to implement data flow solutions. This is being resolved as a matter of urgency, however we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure all UK citizens are able to access their NHS Covid Vaccine Passport.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the policy paper entitled Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's past, CP 498, published on 14 July 2021, what plans the Government has to bring forward legislative proposals to end judicial activity in relation to Troubles-related conduct across the spectrum of criminal cases, and current and future civil cases and inquests.

As outlined in the command paper published on 14 July, the Government wants to bring forward legislation that focuses on reconciliation and information recovery, delivers for victims and veterans, and ends the cycle of reinvestigations into the Troubles which is not working for anybody.

The Government’s proposals are intended to inform ongoing intensive engagement with the Irish Government, Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders with an interest in this issue. All elements of these proposals - and any alternative proposals - are subject to ongoing consideration and discussion.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to seek the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly for legislative proposals to address the legacy of the past.

The Government intends to request legislative consent for its legislative proposals relating to the legacy of the past. The Government is also committed to working with the Northern Ireland parties, as well as the Irish Government and other stakeholders, as part of an ongoing intensive process of engagement, with a view to finding agreement on the way forward.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how (a) many bids the Government received to and (b) much funding the Government dispersed under the Community Renewal Fund in Northern Ireland since that fund's introduction.

Assessment of bids to the Community Renewal Fund is underway and we hope to announce successful applicants later this summer. In Northern Ireland, £11m will be invested in projects that will boost local businesses, support communities and help people to develop skills and move into employment.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which body will be the managing authority for the United Kingdom Shared Prosperity Fund as it relates to Northern Ireland.

The UK Government intends to work with both the devolved administrations and local communities to ensure that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund supports citizens across the UK.

We have confirmed that the devolved administrations will be represented on the governance structures for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will target people and places most in need across the UK.

It is important that voices across Northern Ireland are listened to during the design and development of the Fund, and that is why we continue to engage the NI Executive and local partners as we develop the UKSPF investment framework.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Command Paper on Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's Past published on 14 July 2021, what training staff at an information recovery body will be given to enable them to take responsibility for determining the relevancy of material help by a state organisation irrespective of how sensitive that information may be.

The Government’s proposals outlined in the command paper published on 14 July, including those regarding a new independent information recovery body, are intended to inform ongoing intensive engagement with the Irish Government, Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders with an interest in this issue.

All elements of these proposals - including their practical operation - are subject to ongoing consideration and discussion.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Command Paper, Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's Past, published 14 July 2021, whether a new information recovery body will have access to full police and disclosure powers including access to intelligence, powers of arrest, search, the right to seize documents and information sharing procedures in line with operation Kenova with MI5, PSNI and the Ministry of Defence.

The Government’s proposals outlined in the command paper published on 14 July, including those regarding a new independent information recovery body, are intended to inform ongoing intensive engagement with the Irish Government, Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders with an interest in this issue.

All elements of these proposals - including their practical operation - are subject to ongoing consideration and discussion.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the information sharing procedures and protocols available to Operation Kenova will be made available to the information recovery body outlined in the Command Paper on Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's past published on 14 July 2021.

The Government’s proposals outlined in the command paper published on 14 July, including those regarding a new independent information recovery body, are intended to inform ongoing intensive engagement with the Irish Government, Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders with an interest in this issue.

All elements of these proposals - including their practical operation - are subject to ongoing consideration and discussion.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which victims of terror in Great Britain he consulted prior to his Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's Past proposals, announced on 14 July 2021.

Following the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference on 24 June, the UK and Irish Governments initiated an ongoing process of intensive engagement with the Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders, with a view to finding a way forward on legacy issues.

It was agreed that engagement with victims and survivors - including those in Great Britain - would be central to these discussions, and their views and perspectives will continue to be sought.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which victims groups within Great Britain he plans to engage with as part of the policy on addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland's past.

Following the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference on 24 June, the UK and Irish Governments initiated an ongoing process of intensive engagement with the Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders, with a view to finding a way forward on legacy issues.

It was agreed that engagement with victims and survivors - including those in Great Britain - would be central to these discussions, and their views and perspectives will continue to be sought as part of this ongoing process of engagement.

The Government is committed to publishing details of ministers’ meetings with external organisations on a quarterly basis. Publications for the Northern Ireland Office can be found on gov.uk.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Command Paper, Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's past, published 14 July 2021, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent inquests relating to the legacy of the past from continuing.

As outlined in the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland’s oral statement of 14 July, and in the command paper published afterwards, the Government wants to move away from a focus on criminal justice outcomes - which is delivering for nobody - and instead focus on effective information recovery and reconciliation measures.

The Government’s proposals are intended to inform ongoing intensive engagement with the Irish Government, Northern Ireland parties and other stakeholders with an interest in this issue. All elements of these proposals - and any alternative proposals - are subject to ongoing consideration and discussion.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Command Paper on Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland's Past published on 14 July 2021, whether he plans to release the full human rights impact assessment for those proposals.

The UK Government is fully committed to fulfilling its human rights obligations.

On 19 July, the Government published on gov.uk a Section 75 Equality Screening Form for its proposals to address the legacy of the Troubles, as set out by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 14 July. Appropriate impact assessments will be provided in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

Yes, a full risk assessment was carried out when CCTV cameras were first installed and all associated risks are routinely reviewed. All footage is held securely.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether any Department business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

It is Northern Ireland Office policy that all official business is conducted using official email addresses on corporate IT and mobile devices.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he had with (a) people and (b) the families of people affected by IRA terrorism in Great Britain prior to the announcement that the Government will introduce legislation to address the legacy of the past in the Queen's Speech 2021.

The Government remains committed to bringing forward legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles as quickly as possible and fully recognises the importance of engaging with victims and survivors and their families as part of this process.

Since March last year, and prior to the Queen’s speech, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and his officials have listened to a wide range of people on legacy issues, including the Victims and Survivors Forum and groups funded under the Victims and Survivors Service’s Victims Support Programme.

The Government is committed to publishing a list of ministers’ meetings with external organisations, including those with victims groups, on a quarterly basis. Publications for the Northern Ireland Office can be found on Gov.UK.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Government plans to proceed with legislative proposals to address the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland announced in the Queen's Speech 2021 without legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Government has been clear that it will bring forward legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of investigations.

The Government intends to request legislative consent for its legislative proposals in accordance with Standing Order 42A of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and in line with the Sewel Convention.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to New Decade, New Approach agreement, published on 8 January 2020, how much funding the Government has allocated to address the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland referred to in Annexe A of that agreement; how much of that funding has been allocated; to which priorities that funding has been allocated; how much of that funding remains to be allocated; and to which priorities that remaining funding will be allocated.

The New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) deal provided the restored Executive with a £2bn financial package. This included £140m to be allocated to address Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances.

To enable the Executive to begin implementing the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland agreed with the Treasury that the Executive will be able to access £100m NDNA funding earmarked for Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances.

£40 million is reserved for addressing the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland referred to in Annexe A, page 53 of the New Decade, New Approach agreement. This funding is to be deployed on areas including:

  • Mental health
  • Tackling paramilitarism
  • Tackling deprivation and improving opportunity
  • A Culture and Community fund
  • Support in marking the 2021 centenary and related projects
  • Support for languages and broadcasting
  • Supporting the armed forces and veterans
  • A fund to promote the competitiveness of Northern Ireland’s economy
  • Additional funding to support the Derry/Londonderry addiction centre
  • UK Contribution to the International Fund For Ireland

The UK Government has committed £3m to support the marking of the 2021 Centenary and related projects. In addition, in 2020/21 the UK Government released funding to support the NI Veterans’ Support Office and the setting up of a new NI Veterans’ Commissioner role. The remaining funding will be disbursed in due course to the priorities listed above.

The UK Government is continuing to work closely with Northern Ireland’s political leaders through the Joint Board to deliver on NDNA commitments.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to hold the next implementation review meeting under New Decade, New Approach.

The New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) agreement was a historic moment for Northern Ireland and the whole United Kingdom.

Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government has made good progress on implementing its NDNA commitments.

The Implementation Review Meeting provides a vital service in maintaining progress under that agreement. The Implementation Review Meeting last met on 11 January 2021 and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland will work with the Northern Ireland parties to hold the next meeting at an appropriate moment in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if his Department will publish an assessment of the extent to which commitments under the New Decade, New Approach agreement have been met by the (a) Northern Ireland Executive and (b) Government.

The New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) deal reached in January 2020 includes a balanced package of commitments to deliver more transparent and sustainable institutions in Northern Ireland. The Government have already delivered a number of our key commitments including:

  • The release of £556 million of the £2 billion of funding agreed in the deal;
  • Appointment of a Veteran’s Commissioner in September 2020;
  • The launch of the programme for the Centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 and including 39 successful bids for the £1million Shared History Fund;
  • The establishment of the governance structures that underpin New Decade New Approach, namely the Joint Board and the Implementation Review Meeting.

The Government works closely with Northern Ireland’s political leaders to support them in making the devolved institutions work and where appropriate, in delivering their commitments within NDNA. We will consider publishing assessments of implementation of the Agreement in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will list the victims groups that he has met as part of stakeholder engagement on legacy legislation.

The Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues and recognises the importance of engaging with victims groups and other key stakeholders as part of this process.

The Department has undertaken a number of engagements with victims groups on legacy issues - including the Victims and Survivors Forum and groups funded under the Victims and Survivors Services’ Victims Support Programme - at both ministerial and official level.

The Government is committed to publishing a list of ministers’ meetings with external organisations, including those with victims groups, on a quarterly basis. Publications for the Northern Ireland Office can be found on GOV.UK.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether funding for Northern Ireland from the Community Ownership Fund will be ringfenced.

The Community Ownership Fund will help to ensure that communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can support and continue benefiting from the local facilities, community assets and amenities most important to them.

Details of how the fund will be allocated UK-wide will be announced with the publication of the bidding prospectus in June 2021.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, further to the Answer of the 25 March to Written Question 173085, where the funding to support the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement proposals on legacy will be drawn.

The Government has made substantial financial contributions and commitments towards addressing the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland, including as part of the Stormont House Agreement.

The Government remains committed to addressing Northern Ireland legacy issues by bringing forward legislation that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims and ends the cycle of reinvestigations that is not working for anyone. We are committed to making progress on this as quickly as possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much capacity funding will be allocated to Northern Ireland to prepare for the Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Government is committed to levelling up across the whole of the UK to ensure that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will create opportunity in places deemed most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

In Northern Ireland, we will provide capacity funding to partners such as sector groups and key stakeholders to support them with their preparations in bidding for funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The Government will release details on eligibility for both this capacity funding, and the funding itself, later this year.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the level of redress that family members of those bereaved in Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism will be able to access through (a) the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and (b) The Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme.

We must pursue fairness and consistency in the provision of support to victims of terrorism - which is why publicly funded support has been made available to victims of the Troubles who are eligible for the Northern Ireland Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme.

The UK Government welcomes the recent undertaking given to the Court that the Executive will make the necessary funding available to ensure eligible victims receive the payments to which they are legally entitled through the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme.

We recognise that there is a wider issue around the suitability of arrangements to make payments to the bereaved in Northern Ireland, and the Secretary of State has encouraged the Executive to consider what more could be done to help.




Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has (a) discussed with and (b) met with William Shawcross to discuss the contents of his report on Libyan-sponsored IRA terror.

The then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, had a discussion with Mr Shawcross as part of the evidence gathering process which informed the content of the internal scoping report. Officials from the Northern Ireland Office also had a number of engagements with Mr Shawcross and his team as part of the same process.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much EU structural and investment funding Northern Ireland received in each of the last four years.

The amount of European Structural and Investment Funds received by Northern Ireland can be found in the United Kingdom Partnership Agreement. Published information on all European Structural and Investment Funds can be accessed from the European Structural and Investment Funds Home Page on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds.

Investment from EU Structural Funds will continue to be spent by local areas until 2023 and this government has committed to at least matching EU receipts through the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund, on average reaching around £1.5 billion a year across the UK.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 2021/22 for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we have also announced the UK Community Renewal Fund to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Due to the way the funds operate, levels of investment from EU structural funds will be higher in all four nations in the coming financial year 2021/22 than they were in 2020/21. The UK Community Renewal Fund is additional funding from the UK Government for 2021/22.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has made representations to the Secretary of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the adequacy of (a) the Criminal Injuries Compensation scheme and b) the Troubles Permanent Disablement scheme for family members of the bereaved.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and his officials regularly engage with their counterparts in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on a large variety of issues.

We recognise that there is a wider issue in Northern Ireland around the suitability of arrangements to make payments to the bereaved, and the Secretary of State has encouraged the Executive to consider what more could be done to help.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he met with victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism prior to the Government's decision not to release the Shawcross Report.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials from the Northern Ireland Office regularly meet victims groups and other representatives from civil society to discuss a range of legacy issues.

The Government is committed to publishing details of ministers’ meetings with external organisations on a quarterly basis. Publications for the Northern Ireland Office can be found on gov.uk.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the allocation of funding to Northern Ireland as part of the Levelling Up Fund.

The UK Government is committed to levelling up across the whole of the United Kingdom to ensure that no community is left behind, particularly as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am in regular communication with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government about a range of issues, including the Levelling Up Fund.

I have held a number of engagements with stakeholders on the Fund, including a webinar for local authorities alongside other UK Government Ministers on 5 March.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The Fund will set aside at least £800 million across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years from 2021-2022 to 2024-2025. Further information on the Fund can be found in the prospectus and in additional documents published online.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to his announcement of 19 March 2021 on Twitter on Victims' Payments, from which New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) priorities outlined in Annexe A funding is planned to be drawn; and how much funding he plans to be drawn from total NDNA funding to meet that commitment.

The New Decade, New Approach deal provided the restored Executive with a £2bn financial package that delivers for the people of Northern Ireland. This included £140m to be allocated to address Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances.

£40m of this funding has already been earmarked for various projects in conjunction with the Executive. To enable the Executive to begin implementing the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme, I have agreed with the Treasury that the Executive will be able to access the remaining £100m NDNA funding earmarked for Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances.

This flexibility will substantially reduce the costs in those years where costs are more significant. There is nothing standing in the way of the Executive delivering the scheme as set out in legislation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how much funding under the Community Ownership Fund is being allocated to Northern Ireland.

The detail of how the fund will be allocated UK-wide will be announced with the publication of the bidding prospectus. This is due to be published in June 2021.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the timeframe is for (a) consideration of the (i) membership and (ii) terms of the Fiscal Council and (b) the establishment of that council.

The Independent Fiscal Council is a key part of the reforms committed to in the New Decade, New Approach agreement. I am pleased with the progress that the Executive has made in establishing the Fiscal Council and delighted by the appointment of Robert Chote as Chair of the Council alongside the other members.

The NIO and the Treasury have reviewed the draft Terms of Reference for the Independent Fiscal Council and made a number of recommendations to the NI Finance Minister.

I hope these revisions can be agreed quickly and that the Fiscal Council can be established as soon as possible so that it can begin, between UKG and NIE, it's important work in reviewing the sustainability of the Executives finances.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he will next plans to meet with the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss a resolution on victims payments.

I have made clear the high priority on which I place having the Troubles Permanent Disablement Scheme open and receiving applications as soon as possible, so that people can begin to receive the payments to which they are morally and legally entitled as soon as possible.

This is a devolved scheme which the Executive is required to fund from the resources available to it through the block grant and the Executive’s own revenue. However, following engagement with Executive Ministers and to enable them to progress the scheme without further delay, I want to ensure that budget management issues should not stand in the way of progress. I have therefore taken the exceptional approach of offering access to NDNA funds that will help the Executive manage the cost of the Scheme in the early years when the annual costs are expected to be greatest, significantly reducing the costs in any year where costs exceed £60m.

This flexibility means there is nothing now standing in the way of the Executive delivering the scheme as set out in legislation. I will continue to engage with Executive Ministers to see this Scheme delivered.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will provide details of his engagements on 16 March 2021.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland regularly undertakes engagements in line with his ministerial portfolio. On 16 March, he attended Cabinet alongside the Prime Minister and ministerial colleagues. Later that day, he conducted meetings with various stakeholders on a range of matters relating to departmental business.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the CEDAW Committee's assessment of the effect of austerity measures on women in the UK, whether the Government has made an assessment of the effect of austerity measures on women in Northern Ireland.

While welfare and employment are devolved matters in Northern Ireland, we have been working closely with the NI Executive throughout the pandemic and have provided substantial additional resources to enable it to respond to the crisis. The Executive holds no statistical information on the impact of welfare programmes, but there is no doubt that it is committed to combating poverty via the Anti-Poverty and Child Poverty strategies, which were agreed to in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

A range of additional support measures are available for the people of NI through the Finance Support Service, including: the Universal Credit Contingency Fund short-term living expenses grant; the Discretionary Support self-isolation grant; the short-term benefit advance; the Social Fund budgeting loan; and the Social Fund Sure Start Maternity grant. These are in addition to the welfare mitigations schemes in place.

The UK Government has injected £9.3 billion to strengthen the welfare system. Increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit allowances will benefit those most in need by up to £1,040 this financial year.

Our long-term ambition is to tackle poverty through a reformed system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move into work wherever possible. Since 2010 in the UK there are: 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty; 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty; and 100,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty. Moreover, absolute poverty rates have fallen in every region.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he has had discussions with the (a) Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential effect on levels of (i) poverty and (ii) child poverty in Northern Ireland of (A) maintaining the universal credit £20 uplift for at least a year and (B) extending that uplift to legacy benefits.

While welfare and employment are devolved matters in Northern Ireland, we have been working closely with the NI Executive throughout the pandemic and have provided substantial additional resources to enable it to respond to the crisis. The Executive holds no statistical information on the impact of welfare programmes, but there is no doubt that it is committed to combating poverty via the Anti-Poverty and Child Poverty strategies, which were agreed to in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

A range of additional support measures are available for the people of NI through the Finance Support Service, including: the Universal Credit Contingency Fund short-term living expenses grant; the Discretionary Support self-isolation grant; the short-term benefit advance; the Social Fund budgeting loan; and the Social Fund Sure Start Maternity grant. These are in addition to the welfare mitigations schemes in place.

The UK Government has injected £9.3 billion to strengthen the welfare system. Increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit allowances will benefit those most in need by up to £1,040 this financial year.

Our long-term ambition is to tackle poverty through a reformed system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move into work wherever possible. Since 2010 in the UK there are: 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty; 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty; and 100,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty. Moreover, absolute poverty rates have fallen in every region.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the (a) Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and Work and Pensions Committee's joint recommendation, in September 2019, to halt implementation of the two-child limit in Northern Ireland, pending a full investigation into its financial impact on families with children and the potential discrimination against those with larger families and poorer communities, and (b) the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on families dependent on social security, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of undertaking that recommended investigation.

While welfare and employment are devolved matters in Northern Ireland, we have been working closely with the NI Executive throughout the pandemic and have provided substantial additional resources to enable it to respond to the crisis. The Executive holds no statistical information on the impact of welfare programmes, but there is no doubt that it is committed to combating poverty via the Anti-Poverty and Child Poverty strategies, which were agreed to in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

A range of additional support measures are available for the people of NI through the Finance Support Service, including: the Universal Credit Contingency Fund short-term living expenses grant; the Discretionary Support self-isolation grant; the short-term benefit advance; the Social Fund budgeting loan; and the Social Fund Sure Start Maternity grant. These are in addition to the welfare mitigations schemes in place.

The UK Government has injected £9.3 billion to strengthen the welfare system. Increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit allowances will benefit those most in need by up to £1,040 this financial year.

Our long-term ambition is to tackle poverty through a reformed system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move into work wherever possible. Since 2010 in the UK there are: 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty; 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty; and 100,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty. Moreover, absolute poverty rates have fallen in every region.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate the Government has made of the number of children in Northern Ireland that are in poverty as a result of the Child Tax Credit two-child limit.

While welfare and employment are devolved matters in Northern Ireland, we have been working closely with the NI Executive throughout the pandemic and have provided substantial additional resources to enable it to respond to the crisis. The Executive holds no statistical information on the impact of welfare programmes, but there is no doubt that it is committed to combating poverty via the Anti-Poverty and Child Poverty strategies, which were agreed to in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

A range of additional support measures are available for the people of NI through the Finance Support Service, including: the Universal Credit Contingency Fund short-term living expenses grant; the Discretionary Support self-isolation grant; the short-term benefit advance; the Social Fund budgeting loan; and the Social Fund Sure Start Maternity grant. These are in addition to the welfare mitigations schemes in place.

The UK Government has injected £9.3 billion to strengthen the welfare system. Increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit allowances will benefit those most in need by up to £1,040 this financial year.

Our long-term ambition is to tackle poverty through a reformed system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move into work wherever possible. Since 2010 in the UK there are: 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty; 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty; and 100,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty. Moreover, absolute poverty rates have fallen in every region.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many households in Northern Ireland are subject to the two-child limit in relation to Child Tax Credits; and how many children in total live in those households.

While welfare and employment are devolved matters in Northern Ireland, we have been working closely with the NI Executive throughout the pandemic and have provided substantial additional resources to enable it to respond to the crisis. The Executive holds no statistical information on the impact of welfare programmes, but there is no doubt that it is committed to combating poverty via the Anti-Poverty and Child Poverty strategies, which were agreed to in the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

A range of additional support measures are available for the people of NI through the Finance Support Service, including: the Universal Credit Contingency Fund short-term living expenses grant; the Discretionary Support self-isolation grant; the short-term benefit advance; the Social Fund budgeting loan; and the Social Fund Sure Start Maternity grant. These are in addition to the welfare mitigations schemes in place.

The UK Government has injected £9.3 billion to strengthen the welfare system. Increased Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit allowances will benefit those most in need by up to £1,040 this financial year.

Our long-term ambition is to tackle poverty through a reformed system that works with the labour market to encourage people to move into work wherever possible. Since 2010 in the UK there are: 200,000 fewer people in absolute poverty; 100,000 fewer children in absolute poverty; and 100,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty. Moreover, absolute poverty rates have fallen in every region.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Q89 of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of 20th January 2021, whether the guidance on groupage has been delivered to hauliers.

Guidance for haulage and traders in respect of moving agrifood products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland through groupage was issued and communicated to hauliers and Northern Ireland authorised traders on Friday 29 January.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to his Answer to Question 100 at the Oral Evidence session of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of 20 January, whether guidance on steel tariffs has been issued to business.

We have put into place temporary measures to ensure steel traders avoid paying tariffs. The Government wrote to affected businesses to set out routes for bringing UK-origin and EU-origin steel into Northern Ireland tariff-free.

The Government also set out how relevant quotas can be accessed when businesses in Northern Ireland import steel from the rest of the world. We will continue to engage on this issue with industry and the European Commission.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the timetable is for the publication of the annual report on the implementation of the New Decade, New Approach Agreement.

Ahead of the next Implementation Review Meeting, the UK Government will work with the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government to publish an update on the implementation of the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for what reason the changes to trading arrangements in Northern Ireland do not feature as part of the Brexit preparations advertisements running on television and radio.

The Government’s priority has always been to ensure that businesses understand the new trading arrangements introduced across the UK this year.

The Government has run an extensive UK-wide public information campaign aimed at the UK business community, which has directed business owners to the Brexit checker tool and the latest advice on GOV.UK. This included specific Northern Ireland-related guidance.

We also ran bespoke advertisements in Northern Ireland since August 2020 to highlight that some trading rules were changing, including those governing the movement of goods. This information was targeted at the broadest possible audience by using a blend of TV, video on demand, radio, print and digital channels.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when the next quarterly update on progress on the implementation of the New Decade, New Approach agreement outlined under Annexe F of that agreement is planned for publication.

Following the Implementation Review Meeting on 11 January 2020, the UK Government will work with the Executive and the Irish Government on publishing an update on the implementation of the New Decade, New Approach agreement.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has had with the Police Service Northern Ireland on threats from loyalist paramilitaries to journalists in Northern Ireland.

The UK Government condemns any and all threats made towards journalists, and those linked to the journalistic profession, who play a vital role in our society. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland regularly engages with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable on a range of security matters.

Paramilitarism is not and has never been justified. The UK Government is committed to working with the Northern Ireland Executive in their work to tackle paramilitarism. Through the Fresh Start Agreement we have, to date, provided £25 million of match funding to the Executive’s Tackling Paramilitarism, Criminality and Organised Crime Programme.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his Answer to the Oral Question asked by the hon Member for Sheffield, Heeley on 2 December, Official Report, how the WAVE group requested that he pause on engagement on legacy; and on what date that group made that request to him.

During March and April, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials met with a number of victims groups and other key stakeholders to discuss legacy issues. This included a meeting with WAVE Trauma Centre on 19 March. Following these discussions, it was clear that engaging effectively and sensitively ahead of delivering legislation would be difficult due to the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially given the vulnerability of many of those it is vital we engage with.

The Secretary of State remains committed to engaging with victims groups and all parts of the community in Northern Ireland in order to make progress on legacy issues.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to end the pause on engagement with victims groups on legacy matters.

The Government has been clear that it will bring forward legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles in a way that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of investigations which has failed victims and veterans alike.

While progress on this - including substantive engagement with key stakeholders like victims groups - has been affected by the challenging circumstances of the past few months, we remain committed to working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland to help make progress on legacy issues as quickly as possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what funding remains to be allocated under the New Decade, New Approach commitments.

The UK Government is providing £2 billion of funding to support implementation of the New Decade, New Approach deal. This includes a £1bn Barnett-based investment guarantee from the UK Government, which includes significant new funding to turbocharge infrastructure investment. This guarantee applies in all circumstances, and allows the Executive to plan new investment.

From the other £1bn in capital and resource funding, the UK Government has provided the NI Executive with £523m in 2020/21, in addition to the £30m in 2019/20, which was released to support pay parity for nurses.

The New Decade, New Approach financial package was accompanied by stringent conditions to deliver a greater level of accountability for public spending and ensure the new Executive is building sustainable public services. This includes the establishment of an Independent Fiscal Council that will play an important role in improving transparency and fiscal performance. Subject to these conditions being fulfilled, there will be a further £447m released to the Executive over the next four years. This will be for; public service transformation, nurses’ pay, ultra-low emission transport, support for the Northern Ireland Graduate Entry Medical School and funding to address NI’s unique circumstances.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how the £7.3 million increase in spending for the Northern Ireland Office under the Comprehensive Spending Review will be spent.

The Northern Ireland Office welcomes our departmental settlement for 2021/2022. It will use this funding to support the work on this Government's strategic priorities for Northern Ireland, including working closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and external partners to ensure good governance, help Northern Ireland address the legacy of the past and make Northern Ireland more prosperous and safe. Our settlement also includes time-limited funding which will support implementation for aspects of the New Decade, New Approach agreement and mark the Northern Ireland Centenary in 2021.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the average amount of European Structural Investment Funding was per year for Northern Ireland for the period 2014-20; and what the projected average of Shared Prosperity Fund funding will be for Northern Ireland per year.

The total European Structural and Investment Funds allocated to Northern Ireland for the 2014-2020 programme was about €752m. This includes the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Investment from EU Structural Funds is increasing in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 21-22 compared to this financial year. We will ramp up funding so that total domestic UK-wide funding will at least match EU receipts, reaching around £1.5bn a year.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 21/22 for introduction of the UKSPF, we will provide £220 million additional UK funding, including to Northern Ireland, to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what proportion of the investment outlined in Annex A of the New Decade, New Approach Agreement (a) has been and (b) remains to be allocated to the health service.

The UK Government is providing £2 billion of funding to support implementation of the New Decade, New Approach deal.

To date, £553 million has been allocated by the Government. Of this, a substantial proportion will benefit Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

£115m has been provided so far to resolve the nurses’ pay dispute and deliver pay parity (£30m in 2019-20 and £85m in 2020-21). A further £44m has been allocated this year through NDNA to support public service transformation, with much of this directed towards the health service. £350m was provided in the current financial year to help place the Executive’s finances on a sustainable footing, enabling the Executive to deliver public services such as healthcare.

Alongside this, the UK Government has also provided £60m, with £15m allocated to the Executive in 20/21, to deliver the new Northern Ireland Graduate Entry Medical School in Derry/Londonderry, which has begun recruiting its first intake of students.

On top of this, a further £2.8bn of additional funding has been provided to the Executive to support the work to tackle Covid-19 this year, including to enable the health service to respond to the crisis.

In addition to the financial package, the New Decade, New Approach Deal is accompanied by stringent conditions to deliver a greater level of accountability for public spending, and ensure the new Executive is building sustainable public services. A key element of this will be the establishment of an Independent Fiscal Council (IFC). The UK Government will continue to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to agree terms of reference for the IFC that reflect our joint ambitions for this new institution and get it up and running as soon as possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will make an estimate of the number of remaining outstanding legacy cases of people killed by paramilitaries.

The Government does not hold precise figures on the number of outstanding legacy cases of people killed by paramilitaries as this is a matter for the relevant independent authorities, including Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. However, we are aware that following the closure of the Historical Enquiries Team in 2014, the PSNI inherited a caseload of over 900 cases, involving nearly 1,200 deaths - the vast majority of which were at the hands of republican or loyalist terrorists.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many legacy cases from the Troubles in Northern Ireland are (a) before the courts and (b) due to be brought to court in the next 12 months; and how many of those cases involve the prosecution of present or former (i) service personnel, (ii) police or other security forces, (iii) republican terrorists and (iv) loyalist terrorists.

The Government does not hold figures on prosecutorial decisions as this is a matter for the prosecuting authorities, in this case the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland that acts independently of Government.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Queen's Speech Briefing notes, page 128, published December 2019, if the reference to the inappropriate application of the Human Rights Act relates to (a) the procedural obligation of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and (b) other provisions of the ECHR.

The Government has been clear that it will introduce legislation to address the legacy of the Troubles that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of re-investigations that has failed victims and veterans alike.

We will continue to comply with our obligations in domestic and international law, including those under the European Convention on Human Rights, and fully intend to maintain our leading role in the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings he has held with victims' groups as part of the Government's engagement on legacy proposals since his Statement of 18 March 2020, Official Report, col 22WS.

Since March, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials have had a number of engagements with victims’ groups on legacy issues. Details about ministers’ meetings with external organisations, including victims’ groups, are published on a quarterly basis and can be found on Gov.uk.

While the challenging circumstances presented by the ongoing Covid-19 situation has affected progress, the government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues and the Secretary of State fully recognises the importance of working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland, including victims’ groups, as part of this process.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent discussions he has held with (a) industry representatives and (b) the Northern Ireland Executive on an aerospace industry taskforce to help safeguard jobs in Northern Ireland.

I recently met with representatives of Unite union regarding the challenges currently faced by the aerospace sector in Northern Ireland, including staff retention and the range of Government support measures in place.

As well as the Job Retention Scheme, the UK Government is supporting the UK’s aerospace and aviation industries with over £8.5bn in grants, loans and export guarantees. £2.1bn has also been made available to the UK aerospace sector through the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, and UK Export Finance is supporting £3.5bn of sales in the next 18 months.

This sector will be key to Northern Ireland’s economic recovery and we want to do what we can to safeguard jobs and investment, working alongside the Northern Ireland Executive.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to page 52 of the New Decade, New Approach document published in January 2020, what assessment he has made of the Government's progress on turbocharging infrastructure delivery in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.

The UK Government is committed to working with the Executive to turbocharge infrastructure delivery in Northern Ireland, including through the £2bn New Decade, New Approach (NDNA) deal. Alongside this, the Government will be undertaking an ambitious review of connectivity within the United Kingdom through the Union Connectivity Review, which will look at the opportunities for strengthening connections throughout the Union.

Further to this, the Government has also committed £562m to the City and Growth Deal programme in Northern Ireland and £55m for the Inclusive Future Fund to regenerate the North West. This funding aims to have a positive and lasting impact on employability and skills, infrastructure, tourism and regeneration.

The Government’s £2 billion NDNA financial package includes: a £1bn Barnett-based investment guarantee from the UK Government, £60m for a Graduate Entry Medical School in the North West and £50m to support the rollout of ultra-low emission public transport. The Government has already provided the Executive with £553m from this financial package to support our commitments. We will continue to work through the Joint Board to drive the delivery of NDNA.

In the light of Covid-19, it is all the more important that we work closely with the Executive to enable the strongest possible economic recovery. The Government has provided unprecedented assistance to businesses and households through the UK and has provided the Executive with significant additional resources to respond to the crisis. We will be equally committed in driving forward economic growth, building back better and enabling Northern Ireland to seize the opportunities presented by our new trading relationships.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the New Decade, New Approach document published in January 2020, what estimate he has made of the funding required to implement the Stormont House Agreement mechanisms outlined in that document.

The Government has made substantial financial commitments to help implement legacy reform. We remain committed to introducing legislation to address the legacy of the troubles in a way that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of re-investigations that has failed victims and veterans alike.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the commitments set out in the New Decade, New Approach document published in January 2020, how much funding from the public purse the Government plans to allocate for mental health in Northern Ireland.

The UK Government committed £2 billion over five years to facilitate NDNA commitments, which includes around £245m to support the transformation of public services and £140m to address Northern Ireland’s unique challenges. The UK Government has also guaranteed a further £2.4billion in additional funding in response to Covid-19.

The allocation of funding for public services, including the prioritisation of physical and mental health services is a devolved matter, within the competence of the Northern Ireland Executive.

Given the serious impact Covid-19 has had on mental health, Minster Swann launched a Mental Health Action Plan on 19 May. The Mental Health Action Plan is the first in a series of steps taken by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, to ensure those suffering from mental ill health will be able to access the services they need. The action plan includes a dedicated Covid-19 response plan, which outlines the psychological wellbeing and mental health response to the pandemic.

In addition to this, Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University was appointed as interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland. Professor O’Neill is one of Northern Ireland’s leading experts in the field of mental health, and is at the forefront in developing responsive services for those affected by trauma and mental illness.





Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the Answer of 4 May 2020 to Question 41538, on Northern Ireland Government, what engagement has taken place with a range of stakeholders on the legacy proposals, including victims’ groups, the Northern Ireland parties and the Irish Government.

Ministers regularly meet with Northern Ireland party leaders, and with counterparts in the Irish Government to discuss a range of issues, including legacy. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials from the Northern Ireland Office last met with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and his officials on 8 October 2020.

Since March, the Secretary of State and officials from the Northern Ireland Office have met various community groups, including victim support groups, religious leaders and groups from across academia and civic society. Despite the challenging circumstances presented by the ongoing Covid-19 situation, engagement continued throughout the summer months and continues to take place where possible. The UK Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues, and recognises the importance of working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland as part of this process.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals in relation to Northern Ireland legacy.

The Government has been clear that it will bring forward legislation to address the legacy of the troubles that focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ends the cycle of investigations that has failed victims and veterans alike. We are committed to making progress on this as quickly as possible.




Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has had with the Foreign Secretary on the publication of the Shawcross Report on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and other ministers across Government are carefully considering the next steps regarding Mr Shawcross’ report. This has been challenging while the Government’s main effort has focused on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is committed to working with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and others on a way forward.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings of the UK Government/Northern Ireland Executive Joint Board he has attended since his appointment.

The Joint Board, which has oversight for transformation in health, education and justice, where these draw on funding provided under the New Decade, New Approach agreement, has met twice, on 22 July and 21 October. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland attended both meetings.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland establishing the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval, how many discussions he had with his Irish counterpart on addressing Northern Ireland legacy issues, on the information retrieval provisions contained in that statement.

Ministers and officials regularly meet with counterparts in the Irish Government to discuss a range of issues, including legacy. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials from the Northern Ireland Office last met with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and his officials on 8 October 2020.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on meeting the financial commitments to policing and security outlined in the New Decade New Approach agreement.

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

The UK Government provides the Police Service of Northern Ireland with the additional security funding it needs to ensure that it has the resource to tackle the SEVERE threat from Northern Ireland related terrorism. This additional security funding ensures PSNI’s ability to tackle the terrorist threat while ensuring day-to-day policing is not compromised.

PSNI received £160m in additional security funding from 2015-2021.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate he has made of the number of investigations into deaths of British soldiers during Operation Banner which remain outstanding.

Over 250,000 people served in Northern Ireland during Operation Banner, the longest continuous military deployment in our country’s history, the vast majority with courage, professionalism and great distinction. Without their contribution and in so many cases, sacrifices, there would quite simply have been no peace process in Northern Ireland. The status of criminal investigations into the deaths of members of the Armed Forces and others who lost their lives during the Troubles in Northern Ireland is a matter for the independent Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many joint boards of the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive have been appointed to review UK Government funding through the New Decade New Approach Agreement.

The Joint Board, which has oversight for transformation in health, education and justice, where these draw on funding provided under the New Decade, New Approach agreement, has met twice, on 22 July and 21 October. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland attended both meetings.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the (a) attendees, (b) dates and (c) outcomes of meetings his Department has held with victims' groups in relation to the Government's Northern Ireland legacy proposals.

Since March, a number of calls and virtual meetings have taken place with victims' groups, as well as the Victims' Commissioner and the Victims and Survivors Forum, at ministerial and official level. Despite the challenging circumstances presented by the ongoing Covid-19 situation, engagement continued throughout the summer months and continues to take place where possible. The UK Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues, and recognises the importance of working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland as part of this process.

The Government is committed to publishing details of ministers’ meetings with external organisations on a quarterly basis. Publications for the Northern Ireland Office can be found on Gov.uk.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what (a) guidance and (b) other information the Government has issued to businesses in Northern Ireland regarding requirements for (i) the labelling of goods with the details of the importer, (ii) the correct conformity assessment procedures for goods, (iii) the correct technical documentation from manufacturers after the end of the transition period.

On 7 August, the Government published guidance on gov.uk for businesses engaging with the new processes and arrangements that will be in place in Northern Ireland under the Protocol. This guidance sets out that the effect of the Protocol is to maintain the existing requirements for placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland, in line with relevant EU rules. It also explains the steps businesses will need to take to put these goods on the market in Northern Ireland. This includes information on labelling requirements, conformity assessment and technical documentation.

For goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, the Government has made a clear commitment to Northern Ireland’s unfettered access to the rest of the UK, and this is also reflected in the published guidance.

The Government has committed to providing extensive support and information to businesses in order to help them get ready in areas where there will be changes to the movement of goods and the actions that UK businesses may need to take. We will be publishing further detailed guidance for businesses on elements of the Protocol over the coming months; some of which remains subject to ongoing discussions with the EU. We are working hard to resolve outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol through the Joint Committee and will continue to approach these discussions in good faith.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what (a) guidance and (b) public information the Government has issued to businesses seeking to import more than one tonne of chemicals to Northern Ireland on the requirements they will need to implement from 1 January 2021.

On 7 August, the Government set out on Gov.uk further guidance on moving goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol. This confirms that there will be no change for the movement of goods covered by the Protocol between Northern Ireland and EU Member States, and that the overall process for trading between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries will continue broadly as it does today.

The guidance also explains that businesses seeking to import chemicals into Northern Ireland from non-EU third countries or to move them from GB to Northern Ireland, at or above 1 tonne per year, will need to ensure that the importer in Northern Ireland or the EU holds a registration under EU REACH, or appoint an Only Representative in Northern Ireland or the EU as registrant for the substance. The guidance links to further information on registration.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has held with the Home Secretary on the continuation of funding for the Warrington Peace Foundation's victims of terror support service.

As stated at Northern Ireland Oral Questions earlier this month, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is committed to discussing this important issue with the Home Secretary.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Answer of the 30 June 2020 to Written Question 64962 on Terrorism: Northern Ireland, what estimate his Department made as part of legislative proposals for the Victims Payment Scheme of the (a) potential number of victims entitled to the payment from that scheme and (b) the total cost of that scheme.

The Government provided a legislative framework for this scheme in the absence of an Executive. A public consultation was carried out between October and November 2019, and the responses to the consultation contributed to the final shape of the scheme. Unlike fatalities, there is no comprehensive dataset about seriously injured victims of the Troubles. In this context, the ability to estimate with confidence both the number of applications to the scheme and the number of awards that will be issued is constrained.

The Executive committed to “find a way forward” on this issue in 2014. We have provided that way forward through the regulations. The Executive must now set aside its political differences and deliver for victims.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what estimate his Department has made of the (a) number of victims who will be entitled to the Victims Payment Scheme and (b) the estimated cost in Years 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Unlike fatalities, there is no comprehensive dataset about seriously injured victims of the Troubles. In this context the ability to estimate with confidence both the number of applications to the scheme and the number of awards that will be issued is constrained. The Northern Ireland Civil Service, which now has responsibility for delivering the scheme, will need to keep this, and costs in years 1-4, under close review moving forward.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, on what eligibility criteria have his Department estimated the cost of the Victims Payment Scheme.

The costs of the Scheme will be based on the eligibility criteria as outlined in the Victims Payments legislation (Regulations 5, 6, and 7).

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he had with the Northern Ireland Executive before 29 May 2020 on who would cover the ongoing cost for the Victims Payment Scheme.

The Regulations are clear that the Executive should fund the scheme. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has been in regular recent contact with the First and deputy First Ministers to discuss a number of aspects of the scheme, including the ongoing costs. Our position is clear. All costs for this scheme, including ongoing costs, should be funded by the NI Executive. It is a devolved matter and devolved matters are typically funded by the block grant.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many meetings he has had with (a) officials and (b) trade union representatives at Bombardier, Northern Ireland in 2020; and on what dates those meetings took place.

The Northern Ireland Office closely follows developments at Bombardier, as a key player and employer in the local economy. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland spoke with the Chief Operating Officer at Bombardier, Michael Ryan, on Friday 12 June 2020 to discuss the impact of the restructuring that was announced at the company last week. Prior to this, the Secretary of State spoke with Bombardier’s Director, Nick Laird on 16 April 2020 to discuss future projects for the aerospace sector. NIO officials and those at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have engaged with the company on a number of occasions.

Whilst we have not engaged with the trade union representatives at Bombardier, I am aware that there has been engagement with the Northern Ireland Executive, who are responsible for business support in Northern Ireland.

The UK Government wants to see Northern Ireland not only recover but also prosper. In addition to the unprecedented package of measures to protect businesses and employees through this period of disruption, we must ensure that we attract inward investment, protect the local skilled manufacturing workforce and work with the Executive to ensure our economic plans for Northern Ireland align.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what representations he has made to Bombardier on retaining jobs at the Belfast site.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland spoke with the Chief Operating Officer at Bombardier last week, where he discussed the current position of the company and the particular impact of COVID-19 on the aerospace sector, which, in this case, has resulted in the company making a commercial decision to restructure their workforce.

I was saddened to hear of the job losses which have been announced. I understand the company will continue to work with the trade unions to explore opportunities to mitigate the number of redundancies, including potential retraining and redeployment of members of the core workforce.

The UK Government has set out a package of measures to protect businesses and employees through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19, including to the aerospace sector. This support, together with Government-backed finance, provides businesses with the best possible chance to weather the current crisis. We will continue to work with business, trade unions and the Northern Ireland Executive to get the economy back up and running, and laying the foundations for a stable and sustainable recovery for Northern Ireland.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has held with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Secretary of State for Transport on support to retain jobs at the Bombardier, Northern Ireland site.

NIO Ministers regularly discuss with Cabinet colleagues the support that the UK Government can and is providing to the Northern Ireland economy, including with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Transport. In this case, support for business is devolved and we will continue to engage with Ministers in the NI Executive on how UKG can best support the Executive in our shared goal of seeing the Northern Ireland economy thrive.

We will continue these discussions as we work to get things back up and running and laying the foundations for a stable and sustainable recovery for Northern Ireland, including for the aerospace sector.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, who will sit on the Joint Consultative Working Group.

The Joint Consultative Working Group, like the Specialised Committee, will be co-chaired by the UK and EU and will be made up of officials from both sides.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether representatives from the business engagement forum will be entitled to attend the Specialised Committee on the Northern Ireland Protocol discussions.

In line with the Rules of Procedure at Annex VIII of the Withdrawal Agreement, where appropriate and by decision of the co-chairs, experts or other persons who are not members of delegations may be invited to attend meetings of the Specialised Committee in order to provide information on a particular subject.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to page 47 of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, whether he plans to ensure that legislation on unfettered trade access applies to east-west trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland; and when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals on that policy area.

The Government set out its approach to implementing the Ireland and Northern Ireland Protocol on 20 May. This paper reaffirms the Government’s commitment, first made in the New Decade, New Approach agreement to provide unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the rest of the UK. We will legislate to guarantee unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the whole of the UK internal market, and ensure this legislation is in force by 1 January 2021.

On movements from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland, we will not levy tariffs on goods remaining within the UK customs territory. While there will be some limited additional process on goods arriving in Northern Ireland, delivery and implementation of the Protocol provisions is for the UK (including, where appropriate, devolved Northern Ireland authorities), and this will be conducted taking account of all flexibilities and discretion, and we will make full use of the concept of de-dramatisation.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his oral contribution of 13 May 2020, Official Report column 235, whether unfettered access excludes (a) import declarations and (b) entry summary declarations on goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The Government set out its approach to implementing the Protocol on 20 May, affirming our commitment to legislate to guarantee unfettered access for Northern Ireland’s businesses to the whole of the UK internal market, and ensure that this legislation is in force for 1 January 2021. This means there will be no import customs declarations as goods enter the rest of the UK from Northern Ireland and no entry summary (‘safety and security’) declaration as goods enter the rest of the UK from Northern Ireland.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Article 6.1 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, what the international requirements and commitments are that are relevant to the prohibitions and restrictions on the exportation of goods from the Union required under international obligation of the Union.

As set out in the 20 May 2020 Command paper on the implementation of the Ireland and Northern Ireland Protocol, there are a number of specific international obligations binding on the UK and the EU, for example, obligations on the movement of endangered species which will apply to the movement of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

We will ensure that the necessary procedures apply only to very minimal volumes of relevant trade necessary to comply with those obligations. For goods affected, the processes put in place in these very specific cases will have negligible implications for trade as a whole. We will provide guidance to the small number of traders affected before the end of the Transition Period.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Agreement between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland establishing the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval, what discussions he had with his Irish counterpart prior to his written statement of 18 March 2020, HCWS168, on Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, on the information retrieval provisions contained in that statement.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland spoke to the Irish Government prior to the publication of the Government’s Written Ministerial Statement on 18 March 2020, in which he outlined our proposals for dealing with legacy issues.

This marked the beginning of an ongoing period of engagement with the Irish Government and other key stakeholders, on these proposals, including information retrieval. We remain committed to making progress on this important issue, whilst being sensitive to the challenging context in which we are all working.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for the haulage industry in Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is working closely with Cabinet colleagues and the NI Executive to keep supply lines flowing, as the reduction in demand for certain goods has impacted on the haulage sector across the UK.

Recognising the exceptional circumstances faced by businesses across the country, the Chancellor announced an unprecedented package of measures to support businesses, employees and the self-employed. This includes Government backed loans and direct support for wages, which are available to hauliers.

In Northern Ireland, this is supplemented by additional support for businesses from the NI Executive following significant increases of approximately £1.2bn in the spending power of the Executive to enable it to respond to Covid-19. Together with the Executive, the Government has also provided direct financial support (worth up to £17m) for critical ferry routes between NI and GB, which ensures there is capacity for hauliers to transport goods to and from NI.

While reduced demand for goods persists, the Government will continue to monitor the position across the UK in case it should be necessary to take further steps to support the haulage industry.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which victims groups he has held discussions with from his appointment to 18 March 2020.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and I, and officials have held discussions with a wide range of victims groups since the Secretary of State was appointed in February 2020. On 18 March, the Secretary of State chaired calls with ‘Healing Through Remembering’ and ‘WAVE’, and subsequent calls have since taken place with numerous groups at ministerial and official level.

The Secretary of State recognises the importance of engaging with victims groups, which represent all parts of the community in Northern Ireland, and the department will continue this engagement in the coming weeks and months.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the titles of the reviews being undertaken by his Department.

My Department is not currently undertaking any public reviews.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the titles of the reports commissioned by his Department that remain outstanding.

The only outstanding report commissioned by the Northern Ireland Office is the report of the Robert Hamill inquiry, which was completed by Sir Edwin Jowitt in early 2011. At that time it was announced that due to ongoing legal proceedings against three individuals the report would not be published. These proceedings remain ongoing. The report will be published in full as soon as practicable.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether he consulted (a) parties in the Northern Ireland Executive, (b) the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, (c) the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commissioner, d) the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland, e) victims' groups and (f) the Government of Ireland on the proposals in his Written Statement of 18 March 2020 WS168 prior to its publication.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland spoke to the Irish Government and all party leaders before the Government’s Written Ministerial Statement was published on 18 March.

The statement set out our high level proposals for dealing with legacy issues, and signalled the beginning of a period of engagement with the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland parties and others, including the NI Human Rights Commissioner, the Victims’ Commissioner, and victims groups. We have begun the engagement process and remain committed to making progress on this important issue, whilst being sensitive to the challenging context in which we are all working.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Government plans to seek legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly on legislative proposals relating to legacy investigations.

The Government intends to request legislative consent for legislative proposals relating to legacy investigations in accordance with Standing Order 42A of the Northern Ireland Assembly and in line with the Sewel Convention.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish a human rights explanatory memorandum with the legislative proposals relating to legacy investigations.

The recognition and protection of rights are fundamental values of the UK. Our human rights framework offers comprehensive, well-established, and effective protections within a clear constitutional and legal system.

We fully intend to maintain our leading role in the promotion and protection of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law; and the UK remains committed to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), including conducting Article 2 compliant investigations where these are needed.

Explanatory notes and a statement as to the Bill’s compatibility with the ECHR will be published on introduction of the Bill.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, whether the Government would proceed with legislative proposals on legacy investigations without legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Government intends to request legislative consent for legislative proposals relating to legacy investigations in accordance with Standing Order 42A of the Northern Ireland Assembly and in line with the Sewel Convention.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if the Government will conduct pre-legislative scrutiny of proposals on legacy investigations.

In 2018, the UK Government public consultation, ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past’, sought views on the original Stormont House Agreement proposals, and received over 17,000 responses. Careful consideration of all views provided in this consultation have informed our revised proposals for addressing legacy issues.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland set out for scrutiny in Parliament the Government’s proposals for legacy reform in a Written Ministerial Statement on 18 March.

The statement set out our high level proposals for dealing with legacy issues, and signalled the beginning of a period of engagement with the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland parties and others. We have begun the engagement process and remain committed to making progress on this important issue, whilst being sensitive to the challenging context in which we are all working.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Written Statement of the 18 March 2020, Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, HCWS168, what the timetable is for publishing proposals relating to the investigations set out in that Written Statement.

In line with our commitment in New Decade, New Approach, we published a Written Ministerial Statement on 18 March setting out a framework for legislation to address the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. As set out in this statement, we have started engagement with a range of stakeholders on the legacy proposals, including victims’ groups, the NI parties and the Irish Government.

The wider context in which we are currently working is very challenging and has unsurprisingly had an impact on our planned timetable, as the repercussions of dealing with the Covid-19 crisis have been extensively felt. However, we continue with the engagement process, as promised, and remain fully committed to making progress on this important issue.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)