Paul Girvan Portrait

Paul Girvan

Democratic Unionist Party - South Antrim

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

(since July 2017)

Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)

(since July 2017)
Transport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
09:25
Department for Transport
Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
19 Jan 2022, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulations 2022
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Department Event
Monday 31st January 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
31 Jan 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 3rd February 2022
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
3 Feb 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Tuesday 11th January 2022
Household Energy Bills: VAT
voted No - against a party majority
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 5 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 319
Speeches
Tuesday 14th December 2021
Abortion Services Commissioning: Northern Ireland
On that point, on the importance of the unborn and of protection for the unborn, and on the recognition of …
Written Answers
Thursday 13th January 2022
Coronavirus: Screening
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what accountability and scrutiny measures are in place to …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 12th January 2022
Air defence systems
That this House notes the success of the Israeli Iron Dome System; further notes that the US, Russia, China, India, …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
House in Belfast, owned jointly with my wife: (i). (Registered 06 July 2017)
EDM signed
Thursday 13th January 2022
Overactive bladder syndrome
That this House notes that overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) affects over 4.5 million people in the UK and costs the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Paul Girvan has voted in 236 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

21 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Paul Girvan voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 6 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 257
11 Jan 2022 - Household Energy Bills: VAT - View Vote Context
Paul Girvan voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Democratic Unionist Party No votes vs 5 Democratic Unionist Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 319
View All Paul Girvan 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.

View all Paul Girvan's debates

South Antrim Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest South Antrim signature proportion
Paul Girvan has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Paul Girvan

11th January 2022
Paul Girvan signed this EDM on Thursday 13th January 2022

Human rights in Bahrain

Tabled by: Margaret Ferrier (Independent - Rutherglen and Hamilton West)
That this House is concerned by continuing serious human rights violations in Bahrain, including the ongoing arbitrary detention and inhumane treatment of prisoners of conscience, including Abduljalil al-Singace, Hassan Mushaima, Abdulwahab Hussain, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and Sheikh Ali Salman; notes that Freedom House in its 2021 report rated Bahrain as not …
31 signatures
(Most recent: 14 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 11
Labour: 6
Independent: 4
Liberal Democrat: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Conservative: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
11th January 2022
Paul Girvan signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 13th January 2022

Overactive bladder syndrome

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House notes that overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) affects over 4.5 million people in the UK and costs the health system over £840 million per year; recognises that the serious condition impacts on physical, social and psychological wellbeing and can dominate and impose on peoples’ sense of personal freedom …
4 signatures
(Most recent: 14 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Labour: 2
View All Paul Girvan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paul Girvan, 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.


Paul Girvan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Paul Girvan has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Paul Girvan has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Paul Girvan has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


140 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
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many bids have been submitted to the first round of the Levelling Up Fund from Northern Ireland by constituency.

I am delighted to say that the first round of the Levelling Up Fund received significant interest from Northern Ireland bidding authorities across the three investment priorities of the Fund. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund were announced at Spending Review on 27 October and the list of successful bids across UK has been published on GOV.UK

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-first-round-successful-bidders

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment the Government has made of the implications for its policies of proposals from the housing-with-care sector and their trade body ARCO to set up a cross-government task force to accelerate the growth of the housing-with-care sector.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 September to Question UIN 51650.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government is taking steps to define the role of (a) extra care and (b) retirement villages in the social care system.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 September to Question UIN 51650.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the Government is taking steps to increase the (a) amount and (b) availability of housing-with-care for older people.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 27 September to Question UIN 51650.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas who move to the UK will be eligible to vote in (a) local, (b) regional and (c) national elections.

Hong Kong British Nationals (Overseas) with leave to enter or remain in the UK are entitled to register to vote as an elector in UK parliamentary elections, or local elections in England and Northern Ireland, providing they fulfil the age and residence requirements for such registration and are not subject to any other legal incapacity.

The Scottish and Welsh Governments are responsible for the franchise for local elections in Scotland and Wales, as well as elections to the Scottish and Welsh Parliaments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will meet the hon. Member for South Antrim and investors to discuss (a) strengthening the Union and (b) working together to ensure that the economy recovers in all four nations of the UK.

As set out in our Manifesto, this Government is fully committed to strengthening the bonds between our four great nations. This includes providing unprecedented economic support, £160 billion to protect people’s jobs, incomes and businesses across every part of the UK, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ministers are always willing to meet with fellow Members to discuss how we can work in the most effective way possible, to realise fully all the associated benefits of being a United Kingdom. Our officials will be in touch with your office to arrange details.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to tackle the impact of rising energy prices for consumers.

The Government is committed to protecting customers, especially the most vulnerable. Despite the rising cost of wholesale energy, the price cap still saves 15 million households up to £100 a year. Low income and fuel poor households will continue to be supported with their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount, which provides eligible households with a £140 discount. Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments will also ensure that the most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the colder months.

Additionally, the Government has announced an extra £500 million for local authorities through the new Household Support Fund to help those most in need over winter.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to tackle the delays in Government redundancy payments for ex-Flybe staff in Northern Ireland.

The payment of redundancy claims to employees who were employed in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter for the Northern Ireland Executive. Redundancy claims are processed by the NI Redundancy Payments Service in Belfast under the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will make an assessment of the potential effect of banning the geographical restriction by sellers on deliveries to parts of the UK.

The Government is clear that information about costs and restrictions must be transparent at the point of purchase, and this is set out in legislation. Enforcement bodies such as the Competition and Markets Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority take action where retailers fail to comply.

The aim of Government in relation to postal services is to secure a sustainable, efficient and affordable universal postal service in the UK.  It is a matter for retailers and any private delivery partners they use to determine whether it is within their commercial interests to deliver to a particular location. Parties must be able to cover their costs in delivering to consumers which may be higher or prohibitive in some areas due to varying factors including volume.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the potential economic effect of the development of gigafactories.

This Government recognises the economic benefits that securing a UK gigafactory could bring and made this a manifesto commitment. That is why last autumn we announced up to £1 billion of additional funding to develop UK electric vehicle supply chains, and for further electric vehicles research and development.

This builds on the £274 million Government has already invested in the Faraday Battery Challenge through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Faraday is a cutting-edge programme, helping businesses in the UK to lead the world in the design, development, and manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles. The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre is on course to open for business in spring 2020 with the first industry-led projects to scale-up battery technology fully underway by the summer.

The Faraday Institution commissioned a study which showed that by 2040, an estimated eight gigafactories (of 15GWh per year capacity) will be needed in the UK and consequently employment in the automotive industry and battery supply chain could increase to 246,000 jobs.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information her Department holds on the number of instances that businesses have been (a) warned and (b) fined for charging fees for the use of credit or debit cards since January 2018.

No such information is held by the Department.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish details of (a) planned changes to the Communications Code; and whether that will include mitigations to help ensure that telecoms companies cannot demand rent reductions from landowners for mast infrastructure.

Our consultation on Electronic Communications Code closed on 24 March 2021, and we are analysing the responses received. The government’s response will be published once this process is completed.

The consultation made clear that the government continues to believe the valuation regime introduced in 2017 strikes the right balance between the public need for digital communications and the rights of landowners to receive fair payments for allowing their land to be used. The valuation regime is therefore not being revisited, but the consultation did ask whether changes were needed to support more collaborative negotiations and help disagreements to be dealt with more quickly and cheaply.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with advisory bodies on identifying the type of businesses which require different types of covid-19 support in the live events industry.

  • We recognise that the live events industry and its supply chain has been severely impacted by Covid-19. The ministerially-chaired Events and Entertainment Working Group ensures we understand the issues facing all our Creative Industries sectors and that we are helping them as effectively as possible. The membership of the Working Group includes live events industry trade bodies such as the Production Services Association, the Music Venue Trust, the Concert Promoters Association and the National Arenas Association.

  • In addition, officials are in regular contact with live events industry stakeholders, ensuring that the needs of the industry are fully understood.

  • We will continue to work with the representatives of the live events industry to understand the difficulties the different parts of the sector faces and support the industry through these challenging times.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government plans to take to assist companies in the live entertainment industry that are unable to take on more debt and are at risk of insolvency as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to the live entertainment events sector. As you are aware, the Government has provided unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), the Bounceback Loan Scheme and business rates reliefs.

The Chancellor has announced the Winter Economy Plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, once the existing SEISS and CJRS come to end. From November, the Jobs Support Scheme will provide further support to returning workers, while the extended Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will aid the self-employed who are currently actively trading but are facing reduced demand.

We are also offering businesses who face a drop in demand for their services and possible cash flow issues generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans, and are extending the application window of the government-backed loan schemes and continuing reduced VAT (from 20% to 5%) on concert tickets to March 2021.

We will give all businesses that borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme the option to repay their loan over a period of up to ten years. This will reduce their average monthly repayments on the loan by almost half. We also intend to allow CBILS lenders to extend the term of a loan up to ten years, providing additional flexibility for UK-based SMEs who may otherwise be unable to repay their loans.

In addition, the Secretary of State provided a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This support package will benefit the events sector by providing support to venues and many other organisations to stay open and continue operating.

We recognise that the live entertainment events industry and its supply chain has been severely impacted by Covid-19. We continue to meet with the stakeholders to discuss the specific issues facing the industry.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to enable the return of in-person events without social distancing.

We want to see live venues open their doors to full audiences as soon as it is safe to do so, and we are working extensively with these sectors on how to achieve this.

Indoor performances to socially distanced audiences have been permitted since 15 August, and I am happy to see a number of organisations have opened successfully in this way. Any further steps to continue to open up the sector will understandably be dependent on the pandemic and the number of cases at that time.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department plans to take to further steps to support the live entertainment industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

  • The Government recognises that the pandemic presents a significant challenge to the live entertainment industry.

  • We have provided a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them stay open. The Cultural Recovery Fund is devolved. Northern Ireland received £33 million from the Fund under the Barnett formula.

  • In England, we have supported 135 grassroots music venues at the risk of imminent closure through £3.36m of emergency funding from the £1.57bn Fund.

  • The Government has also provided unprecedented financial assistance worth over £100billion, which many organisations in the live entertainment sector have been able to access. This financial support includes a years' business rates holiday, a reduction in VAT for concert tickets from 20% to 5% for 6 months, and the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

  • The Chancellor has announced the Winter Economy Plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, once the existing Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme come to end.

  • On rent liabilities, the Government has extended temporary tenant protections, meaning businesses, including those in the live entertainment sector, will be protected from the threat of eviction until the end of the year, providing commercial tenants with greater security and protecting vital jobs.

  • We will continue to work with the sector to find other ways to provide support.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what (a) role and (b) responsibilities his Department has apportioned to the Department of Communiites in Northern Ireland in relation to the Tampon Tax Fund; and if he will publish documentation on that role and those responsibilities.

The Tampon Tax Fund is a UK-wide fund. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport works in consultation with the government of the devolved administrations, including the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland, to deliver the Tampon Tax Fund.

The 2020/21 round of the Tampon Tax Fund was launched on 16th March 2020. The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland will be asked to provide additional feedback on how applications looking to deliver projects in Northern Ireland fit within their priorities, as part of a wider assessment process. The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland also holds the grant agreements for Tampon Tax Fund projects that are delivered predominantly in Northern Ireland and will continue to do so for the 2020/21 round of funding.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government plans to bring forward the Online Harms Bill.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech, the Online Harms Bill is a key legislative priority for this Government. Last month we published our initial government response to the White Paper consultation and we are working at pace on our legislative proposals, which will be brought forward when Parliamentary time allows.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to reduce the maximum fee for higher education tuition.

The government is committed to a sustainable higher education funding model which supports high quality provision, meets the skills needs of the country, and maintains the world-class reputation of UK higher education. We also recognise that tuition fees must represent value for money for students and taxpayers.

The government has already announced that the maximum tuition fee cap will remain at £9,250 for the 2021/22 academic year in respect of standard full-time courses, meaning maximum fees have been frozen for 4 consecutive years. We continue to consider the recommendations in the Augar report, including those pertaining to higher education fees and funding, very carefully.

Universities and other higher education providers are autonomous and responsible for setting their own fees under the maximum cap defined by government. In deciding to keep charging full fees, providers will want to ensure that they can continue to deliver courses which are fit for purpose and help students progress their qualifications. The Office for Students, as regulator for higher education providers in England, has made it clear that providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and academic standards, which set out requirements to ensure that courses are high-quality, that students are supported and achieve good outcomes and that standards are protected, regardless of whether a provider is delivering its courses through face-to-face teaching, remote online learning, or a combination of both.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will commission a report on the level of academic freedom in UK universities.

Universities must protect academic freedom and must be places where staff and students with a diverse range of views are comfortable to express their views without fear of repercussion.

A number of recent reports have provided evidence of a range of threats to freedom of speech and academic expression at UK universities. A 2019 report by Kings College London found signs of a “chilling effect”; as 1 in 4 students reported that they were scared to express their views for fear of repercussions.

A recent report by Policy Exchange found that some academics feel similarly reluctant to express their views, with some academics reporting that they face discrimination throughout recruitment and promotion processes as a result of their political views.

Lawful free speech and academic freedom must be supported to the fullest extent at universities so that students, staff and visiting speakers feel free to explore a range of ideas and challenge perceived wisdom. Academic freedom is essential, and individuals or groups of academics must be free to carry out research even on contentious issues. We are exploring a range of legislative and non-legislative options to ensure this and my department will set out further steps in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure freedom of academic thought and expression at UK universities.

Universities must protect academic freedom and must be places where staff and students with a diverse range of views are comfortable to express their views without fear of repercussion.

A number of recent reports have provided evidence of a range of threats to freedom of speech and academic expression at UK universities. A 2019 report by Kings College London found signs of a “chilling effect”; as 1 in 4 students reported that they were scared to express their views for fear of repercussions.

A recent report by Policy Exchange found that some academics feel similarly reluctant to express their views, with some academics reporting that they face discrimination throughout recruitment and promotion processes as a result of their political views.

Lawful free speech and academic freedom must be supported to the fullest extent at universities so that students, staff and visiting speakers feel free to explore a range of ideas and challenge perceived wisdom. Academic freedom is essential, and individuals or groups of academics must be free to carry out research even on contentious issues. We are exploring a range of legislative and non-legislative options to ensure this and my department will set out further steps in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department will take to ensure academic standards are maintained by UK universities that amend course material to comply with Chinese National Security Laws.

It is absolutely critical that universities ensure all students have access to the teaching materials they need to continue their studies and fully immerse themselves in our world leading education system.

Academic freedom and freedom of speech are cornerstones of the UK’s world-class higher education system, and are fundamental to a student’s experience, wherever they may be based. Providers in England are required to uphold these freedoms through a combination of legislation and regulation by the Office for Students and we expect all universities to comply with these expectations whilst also ensuring they abide by any local regulations.

Following my letter to Universities UK, and given the importance of these values, departmental officials are supporting a Universities UK-led programme of work to assist universities manage and mitigate the security risks associated with any international collaboration and to maintain UK higher education values. A key output of this work is the production of guidelines to support the sector, to be published this autumn.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of a nation-wide accreditation scheme for university grades.

The government has set a clear expectation that universities must use their awarding powers responsibly and must not inflate grades for their own reputation or league table ranking. It is vital that students, graduates and the public are confident in the value of a university degree.

UK higher education providers with degree-awarding powers are responsible for the academic standards of their awards. Providers are held to account through the UK Quality Code for Higher Education which requires providers to use external expertise, assessment and classification processes that are reliable, fair, and transparent.

The sector has agreed to recognise new standards for all degree classifications. These set out what criteria students need to meet in order to achieve each level of classification of Bachelor’s degree with honours qualifications, helping to ensure degree standards are reliable and reflect the level of a student’s achievements.

9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information his Department holds on the number of illegal puppy farms have been closed down in the last five years, by jurisdiction.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the licence requirements for animal related activities such as pet selling or dog breeding. They therefore hold details of the enforcement activity being undertaken in their area, including information on action they have taken in relation to illegal breeding activity.

This Government takes the issue of the low-welfare and illegal supply of puppies very seriously. The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 require anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs and/or who breeds three or more litters in a twelve-month period to have a valid licence from their local authority. Licencees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences.

To support local authorities’ enforcement activity, my department maintains a national communications campaign (Petfished) to raise awareness of issues associated with low-welfare and illegal supply of pets. This includes providing clear signposting to where responsible breeders and rehoming centres can be found and encouraging prospective buyers to research the seller thoroughly before they visit and decide to purchase. The campaign provides a list of red flags for buyers to look out for when searching for a pet online. More information can be found here: https://getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk/

Additionally, the Government has a manifesto commitment to crack down on puppy smuggling and one of our key reforms in the Action Plan on Animal Welfare is to end this abhorrent, cruel practice and low-welfare pet imports. Through the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill currently before Parliament, we will introduce new powers to tackle the unethical trade of puppy smuggling by reducing the number of pets (dogs, cats and ferrets) that can travel under pet travel rules. The Bill will also include powers for the Government to bring in further restrictions on the movement of pets on welfare grounds, for example by increasing the minimum age of imported puppies and restricting the import of pregnant dogs and dogs with mutilations such as cropped ears and tails.

We continue to maintain a close working relationship with the animal welfare sector, enforcement agencies and Governments across the four nations regarding the regulation of dog breeding and pet sales. This will allow us to explore a more consistent approach to addressing any cross-border issues associated with illegal or low-welfare supply.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Northern Ireland is included in (a) part 1 list ,(b) part 2 list or is (c) unlisted for the purpose of moving of non-commercial dogs, cats or ferrets after the transition period.

Our application to become a listed third country for non-commercial pet travel after the transition period included the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies. The EU Commission has voted and formally adopted Great Britain and the Crown Dependencies as a 'Part II' listed third country.

This listed status will not apply in Northern Ireland as the EU's pet travel regulations which govern the movement of non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets apply there, being included in Annex II of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Great Britain is included in the (a) Part 1 list, (b) Part 2 list or (c) Unlisted category for the purposes of moving non-commercial cats, dogs and ferrets to Northern Ireland after the transition period.

Our application to become a listed third country for non-commercial pet travel after the transition period included the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies. The EU Commission has voted and formally adopted Great Britain and the Crown Dependencies as a 'Part II' listed third country.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether cats, dogs or ferrets being moved for non-commercial purposes from Northern Ireland to Great Britain will require a blood test and the results of that test before being moved, after the end of the transition period.

There will be no changes to the current pet travel health requirements for entry into Great Britain after the end of the transition period. There will be no requirement for pets to get a blood test for entry into Great Britain if they are travelling from Northern Ireland. This requirement only applies for movements from ‘Unlisted’ third countries.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether cats, dogs or ferrets require tapeworm treatment if travelling for non-commercial purposes from (a) Northern Ireland to Great Britain and (b) Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the transition period.

There will be no changes to the current pet travel health requirements for entry into Great Britain from Northern Ireland or the EU. Dogs will not be required to undergo treatment for the tapeworm Echinococcus Multilocularis before entry into Great Britain if they are travelling from Northern Ireland.

As of 1 January 2021, the UK has Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people travelling from GB with their pets and assistance dogs will need to follow new requirements in order to travel to the EU and Northern Ireland. These changes include the requirement for dogs moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, be treated against tapeworm 24-120 hours before landing.

However, recognising that these changes will take time to adjust to, the UK Government is working with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on an enforcement approach that takes this challenge into account. This approach will be implemented in a way which supports pet owners and assistance dog users while the Government pursues a permanent solution.

Pet owners are being encouraged to check the latest government advice about travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland or the European Union with their pets at the end of the transition period.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether owners of more than five (a) cats, (b) dogs and (c) ferrets will be required to obtain a health certificate for that group of animals before travelling from (i) Northern Ireland to Great Britain and (ii) Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the transition period.

Under the legal framework of the pet travel regulations, pet owners cannot take more than five cats, dogs or ferrets to the EU or Northern Ireland in any one movement unless the owner is attending or training for a competition, show or sporting event. The owner must also show proof of registration for the event when they travel. The animals themselves must also be; attending the event or training, be over 6 months old and comply with all other pet travel rules.

If a pet owner wishes to take more than five pets to the EU or Northern Ireland for another reason, they must comply with the rules governing the commercial movements of dogs, cats and ferrets.

There will be no changes or new requirements for pets entering Great Britain from Northern Ireland after the transition period, and this limit does not apply to these movements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) the Northern Ireland Executive and (b) other stakeholders on the enabling of importation of seed and ware potatoes from Great Britain to Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period.

Defra understands the challenging position of businesses that export seed and ware potatoes to the EU and NI and is working together with DAERA and EU officials with the aim of ensuring that both trade and the movement of goods will continue at the end of the Transition Period.

The UK government is engaging with businesses and other stakeholders on this issue and further Government support that could be provided to address the new requirements on sanitary and phytosanitary goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This includes looking at the inspection fees associated with phytosanitary certification, should ware and seed potato exports be permitted, and the support that could be offered to minimise or eliminate these costs.

Defra has been explaining the transitional provisions to businesses, also suggesting that both the seeds and phytosanitary issues can be mitigated by moving seed and other propagating material and commodities such as ware potatoes before 31 December in anticipation of an equivalence agreement being reached on, or shortly after this date as well as the lifting of plant health import restrictions.

Defra is working with the EU to reach a reciprocal agreement on equivalence and to remove the plant health prohibitions, including those on seed and ware potatoes, as soon as possible. There have been two discussions with EU officials on 11 and 13 November where the EU have been exploring the most suitable legal routes for granting equivalence to the UK, however they have not given an indication of the timeline for this yet.

Defra submitted a response to the EU on 20 November, setting out the UK's legislation for seed marketing and plant health controls together with our evidence dossier which sets out our controls and data for meeting plant health and seed certification requirements. We received a further response on 4 December and we responded on 11 December providing additional information to the EU.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has for a UK-specific system of cattle identification.

At present, cattle are identified with a pair of approved ear tags, showing the same unique individual identification number.

Defra is working with industry on proposals for the introduction of Bovine Electronic Identification (bEID) in England. bEID is the identification of cattle with a tag which contains an electronic identifier. bEID would allow the use of electronic readers to capture the animals’ identity, removing the possibility of human errors of omission and transposition.

The Devolved Administrations are also working on plans for implementing bEID. Defra is working in close collaboration with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the timing and approach to implementation of bovine electronic identification in each part of the UK does not create burden or confusion for keepers.

In the event of a disease outbreak, it is essential that animals can be identified, and movements can be traced effectively.

Currently, keepers and livestock markets report cattle movements to the current British Cattle Movement Service. In the future, each Administration will run a fully separate system for livestock traceability, including for cattle. We are working closely together to ensure the future systems are fully interoperable so that effective arrangements for disease control and trade are maintained across the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to promote an uptake in vaccination of cattle against pneumonia.

The Government is committed to tackling endemic diseases in animals in the UK. The vaccination of livestock against pneumonia is a major means of controlling pneumonia in cattle and is best coordinated by farmers with the assistance of their local veterinarians. This approach enables development of a targeted vaccination programme for each farm. The promotion of such vaccinations is conducted by industry bodies and trade organisations, which are well placed to provide relevant and timely communications to their members.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the spread of bird flu in the UK.

Animal health and welfare policy and responding to outbreaks is a devolved matter. I outline below information about control of the disease in England. I also set out how all four administrations in the UK work with one another in order to develop a response which supports the areas of common interest.

My department, and the departments of all administrations in the UK, have well-established, strong track records of controlling and eliminating outbreaks of Avian Influenza. Our aim is to limit the spread and the economic impact of this disease on the industry, governments and other bird keepers.

Defra's approach to disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain and in the Contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases of animals in England. Once disease has been confirmed, susceptible birds are humanely culled and disease control zones put in place around the infected premises to further reduce the risk of spread. Movement of poultry and captive birds are not allowed in the zones and movements of eggs, poultry carcases and poultry litter and manure are subject to restrictions.

Veterinary investigations are carried out at each infected premises, including the tracing of all movements on and off, and surveillance within the disease control zones.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zones (AIPZ) were put in place in England, Scotland and Wales on 11 November 2020. These require all bird keepers to take extra biosecurity precautions such as limiting access to non-essential people on their sites, workers changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures, cleaning and disinfecting site vehicles regularly and fencing off ponds and standing water. Similarly, an AIPZ was declared in Northern Ireland on 1 December 2020.

In addition, given the increasing risk of incursion of avian influenza to captive birds, from the 14 December 2020 new housing measures will come into force in England for all poultry and captive birds. I refer the hon. Member to my statement of 8 December 2020:

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-08/hcws631

Although disease control is a devolved matter colleagues in all administrations are an integral part of the UK-wide decision-making processes. All attend the Defra Group's National Disease Control Centre 'bird table' meetings, are members of the Animal Disease Policy Group and participate in daily stocktakes to review on-going disease control strategy.

I have no plans to amend Defra's responsibilities for compensation for affected keepers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland in the last two weeks on tackling the spread of bird flu in the UK.

Animal health and welfare policy and responding to outbreaks is a devolved matter. I outline below information about control of the disease in England. I also set out how all four administrations in the UK work with one another in order to develop a response which supports the areas of common interest.

My department, and the departments of all administrations in the UK, have well-established, strong track records of controlling and eliminating outbreaks of Avian Influenza. Our aim is to limit the spread and the economic impact of this disease on the industry, governments and other bird keepers.

Defra's approach to disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain and in the Contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases of animals in England. Once disease has been confirmed, susceptible birds are humanely culled and disease control zones put in place around the infected premises to further reduce the risk of spread. Movement of poultry and captive birds are not allowed in the zones and movements of eggs, poultry carcases and poultry litter and manure are subject to restrictions.

Veterinary investigations are carried out at each infected premises, including the tracing of all movements on and off, and surveillance within the disease control zones.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zones (AIPZ) were put in place in England, Scotland and Wales on 11 November 2020. These require all bird keepers to take extra biosecurity precautions such as limiting access to non-essential people on their sites, workers changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures, cleaning and disinfecting site vehicles regularly and fencing off ponds and standing water. Similarly, an AIPZ was declared in Northern Ireland on 1 December 2020.

In addition, given the increasing risk of incursion of avian influenza to captive birds, from the 14 December 2020 new housing measures will come into force in England for all poultry and captive birds. I refer the hon. Member to my statement of 8 December 2020:

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-08/hcws631

Although disease control is a devolved matter colleagues in all administrations are an integral part of the UK-wide decision-making processes. All attend the Defra Group's National Disease Control Centre 'bird table' meetings, are members of the Animal Disease Policy Group and participate in daily stocktakes to review on-going disease control strategy.

I have no plans to amend Defra's responsibilities for compensation for affected keepers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to provide additional financial support to poultry farmers in Northern Ireland who may have to cull livestock as a result of bird flu, beyond the support available under schemes administered by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

Animal health and welfare policy and responding to outbreaks is a devolved matter. I outline below information about control of the disease in England. I also set out how all four administrations in the UK work with one another in order to develop a response which supports the areas of common interest.

My department, and the departments of all administrations in the UK, have well-established, strong track records of controlling and eliminating outbreaks of Avian Influenza. Our aim is to limit the spread and the economic impact of this disease on the industry, governments and other bird keepers.

Defra's approach to disease control is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain and in the Contingency plan for exotic notifiable diseases of animals in England. Once disease has been confirmed, susceptible birds are humanely culled and disease control zones put in place around the infected premises to further reduce the risk of spread. Movement of poultry and captive birds are not allowed in the zones and movements of eggs, poultry carcases and poultry litter and manure are subject to restrictions.

Veterinary investigations are carried out at each infected premises, including the tracing of all movements on and off, and surveillance within the disease control zones.

Avian Influenza Prevention Zones (AIPZ) were put in place in England, Scotland and Wales on 11 November 2020. These require all bird keepers to take extra biosecurity precautions such as limiting access to non-essential people on their sites, workers changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures, cleaning and disinfecting site vehicles regularly and fencing off ponds and standing water. Similarly, an AIPZ was declared in Northern Ireland on 1 December 2020.

In addition, given the increasing risk of incursion of avian influenza to captive birds, from the 14 December 2020 new housing measures will come into force in England for all poultry and captive birds. I refer the hon. Member to my statement of 8 December 2020:

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-08/hcws631

Although disease control is a devolved matter colleagues in all administrations are an integral part of the UK-wide decision-making processes. All attend the Defra Group's National Disease Control Centre 'bird table' meetings, are members of the Animal Disease Policy Group and participate in daily stocktakes to review on-going disease control strategy.

I have no plans to amend Defra's responsibilities for compensation for affected keepers.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on bringing forward the £3 billion investment for 4,000 hydrogen and electric buses announced in February 2020.

My department works closely with the Department for Transport through our shared Joint Air Quality Unit. As a result, officials in both departments have regular engagement to ensure evolving bus policy considers the potential impacts on air quality, including the development of the policy on 4,000 new zero emission buses.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help ensure the participation of Northern Ireland in the Pick For Britain recruitment plan.

Defra discussed with officials at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) regarding the plans for the Pick for Britain website and their thoughts on a future public facing campaign, to attract more seasonal workers from the UK. The feedback received was that DAERA was working closely with industry representatives in Northern Ireland and would use the existing Department for Communities website – JobCentre Online (JCOL) to advertise local opportunities. The website also provided a link to the Pick for Britain initiative.

We continue to work with Devolved Administrations and hold regular meetings in order to understand the labour needs and specific issues they may be facing.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made by the Government on bringing forward legislative proposals to ban the import and export of hunting trophies.

The Government takes the conservation of endangered species seriously and?committed to banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered species in our manifesto. A consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies to and from the UK was undertaken between 2 November 2019 and 25 February 2020. The outcome of the consultation and the accompanying call for evidence will inform our next steps. We are continuing to work on this important area and will publish the Government response as soon as it is practical to do so.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make the appointment of a permanent animal welfare inspector a mandatory requirement for local authorities.

Local authorities in England are already required to appoint suitably qualified animal welfare inspectors in order to enforce the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. The 2018 Regulations require local authorities to consider applications for and undertake inspections of businesses seeking licences for certain animal related activities; namely dog breeding, pet selling, cat and dog boarding, riding schools and keeping or training animals for exhibition. Local authorities’ inspections ensure that welfare conditions are applied and they have powers to refuse or revoke a licence. The regulations provide for full cost recovery of local authority activity through licensing fees.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential effectiveness of a campaign entitled Brand UK to promote British agri-food products after the UK leaves the EU.

Food and drink exports are a success story, increasing by 24% since 2010. The Government is determined to help showcase and promote our excellent food and drink even more in the years to come.

The UK’s growing reputation for quality food and drink, with high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability is an excellent platform to increase demand for our products still further.

The Government is already promoting UK food and drink products very effectively through Defra’s ‘Food is GREAT’ campaign. The campaign helps raise the profile and reputation of UK food and drink overseas, by building global demand and increasing positive perceptions of our food and drink products. The campaign promotes excellent food and drink products from across the four nations of the UK. Most recently, the campaign showcased Northern Irish gin, Scotch Whisky, Welsh seafood and English Sparkling Wine to Japanese consumers, trade and media in events coinciding with the Rugby World Cup. The campaign is also active in other priority markets including the USA and China, as well as within the UK.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to provide aid to developing countries that are struggling to tackle outbreaks of covid-19.

The UK is playing a leading role in the global response to COVID-19, working with our international partners to slow its spread. We are using UK aid to its full effect to counter the health, humanitarian, and economic risks of this pandemic in the developing world. The UK has, so far, pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible. The UK continues to work with international partners, including the United Nations and its agencies, to ensure aid reaches those most in need.

The UK strongly supports the UN’s Global Humanitarian Response Plan to tackle COVID-19. Our latest UK aid funding of £200 million, announced on 12 April, will enable humanitarian organisations to help reduce mass infections in developing countries that often lack the healthcare systems to track and halt the virus. This funding includes £130 million to UN agencies in response to their COVID-19 humanitarian appeals. We have also allocated £50 million to the Red Cross and £50 million to match funding from Unilever, for a joint project targeting up to a billion people with awareness and behavioural change campaigns to promote handwashing and providing 20 million hygiene items to help the most vulnerable communities protect themselves.

The UK is also providing up to £150 million of UK aid funding, which will go the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment Relief Trust to help developing countries meet their debt repayments so that they can focus their available resources on tackling COVID-19. The UK has also worked closely with other G20 creditors and the Paris Club to provide a temporary suspension of debt repayments from the poorest and most vulnerable countries that request relief, further boosting countries’ capacity to respond to the crisis.

By preventing the virus from spreading in the poorest countries we will save lives and reduce the risk of future waves of infection spreading around the world, including to the UK.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the termination of anti-dumping duty will apply to companies in Northern Ireland at the end of the UK's transition period with the EU.

Northern Ireland is – and will remain – part of the United Kingdom’s customs territory and trade remedies measures will apply on a nationwide basis. At the end of the transition period, those existing EU trade remedy measures that my Department assessed as being without significant producer interest in the United Kingdom will be terminated.

This will reduce the costs for British users of these products, and lead to lower prices for British consumers across the country. This highlights one of the benefits of the United Kingdom being able to operate her own independent trade policy, tailored to the specific needs of our nation.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans the Government has to remove any special trading status with Hong Kong in response to the imposition of the National Security Laws by the Chinese Government.

The UK does not currently plan to alter its trading relationship with Hong Kong, which is an independent World Trade Organisation (WTO) member.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to help ensure that licences held by UK pilots are EASA recognised.

The UK Government places the highest importance on ensuring the opportunities arising from our exit from the European Union are realised. Withdrawing from the European Union means we have more autonomy to tailor aviation regulation according to the UKs competitive needs, whilst adhering to international standards.

UK licences are valid to fly UK registered aircraft in the EU. EU law requires that a licence issued or validated by an EU Member State must be held by a pilot to fly an aircraft registered in the EU – in line with the requirements of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

The procedures set out in Commission Delegated Regulation 2020/723 to obtain an EU licence continue to apply to UK license holders wishing to obtain a valid EU license. I should stress that receipt of an EU licence will not of itself provide a right to work in the EU.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what engagement his Department of Transport has had with the aerospace industry to identify measures that could (a) safely open up aviation and (b) increase consumer confidence in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the UK’s aerospace and aviation industries, including at sector level through the Aerospace Growth Partnership.

In addition, the Global Travel Taskforce has undertaken extensive engagement with the transport industry, including aviation and aerospace, and are putting in place a range of measures to support a safe and sustainable return to air travel and encourage consumer confidence.

On 15 December we introduced the ‘Test to Release for International Travel’ scheme in England, allowing arrivals from countries not on the travel corridors list to pay for a privately provided Covid-19 test and reduce their period of self-isolation if the test is negative.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Global Travel Taskforce is next scheduled to convene to discuss the outstanding recommendations from that Taskforce’s report of 24 November 2020.

The Global Travel Taskforce has concluded its work. However, the Government is working closely and at pace with industry and our international partners to implement the taskforce recommendations and ensure a safe and sustainable return to international travel as quickly as possible.

The taskforce recommendations addressed three priorities: implementing effective public health measures; encouraging safe growth in demand; and driving a co-ordinated response with global partners.

As a first step, on 15 December the Government introduced the ‘Test to Release for International Travel’ scheme in England, allowing arrivals to pay for a privately provided Covid-19 test and reduce their required period of self-isolation if the test is negative.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, which commercial aviation routes are being prioritised as part of the Government's plans to support the restart of the aviation sector in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector?as a result of?COVID-19 and is committed to tackling this virus while enabling a sustainable and responsible return to travel.

Commercial air transport routes are a matter for airlines, and therefore decisions on how soon to operate a route after a period of inactivity is a matter for those airlines.

Since 10 July under the Travel Corridor policy, passengers arriving from a number of countries and territories are no longer required to self-isolate on arrival unless they have visited or transited through a non-exempt country or territory. Ministerial decisions on Travel Corridors are informed by risk assessments provided by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, working closely with Public Health England, using a methodology endorsed by the 4 Chief Medical Officers of the UK.

As a further measure in support of international travel, the Test to Release scheme was launched on 15 December. This provides passengers arriving in England with the option to shorten the self-isolation period by up to half following a negative COVID-19 test.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is planning to take to support the aerospace sector under his Department's Aviation Recovery Plan.

The Covid pandemic, and the need for the Government to respond to it, have clearly impacted the aviation and aerospace sectors.

The Government has therefore announced through the Global Travel Taskforce, a number of measures to assist the sector to restart over the winter period. This includes the ‘Test To Release for international travel’ (TTR) scheme, which was launched on 15 December and will boost consumer confidence in air travel.

Following the successful implementation of these measures, the government will then put forward its strategic framework for the medium and long term recovery of the aviation sector.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on the scoping report on a road transport link between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The Prime Minister has announced we will carry out a study of all future road, rail, air and cross-sea links between our all our four parts of the UK. We are currently in the process of formally appointing a reviewer to undertake this work. We expect to launch the review shortly.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will temporarily extend the 12 month driving license exchange period for people that hold a non-EU driving license during the covid-19 outbreak.

There are no plans to extend the twelve-month licence grace period for people that hold a non-EU driving licence. Drivers should either exchange their licences if they are eligible or take a driving test. Those who continue to drive, do so illegally.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he wiil revise his Departments guidance on safer travel guidance for passengers to include motorcycles as an allowed mode of transport during covid-19.

The Department’s guidance issued on 12 May refers to “Private cars and other vehicles” as an alternative to using public transport, and encourages the public to “consider all other forms of transport before using public transport”. This would include private vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds where the journey to be made is appropriate.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the DVLA officially recognises Temporary Exemption Certificates issued by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

Motorists who have been issued with a Temporary Exemption Certificate by the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland will be able to license their vehicles as normal.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing free ports throughout the UK.

Freeports will be established after we leave the EU and will play a significant role in boosting trade. They will attract inward investment and drive productive activity across the UK, which will help rejuvenate deprived communities across the country through increased employment opportunities.

The Government is engaging with industry experts and economists to ensure we make Freeports a success, by developing an extremely ambitious and attractive offer to businesses interested in investing in our Freeports

The Government is committed to working with the DAs to ensure a Freeport policy that works for the whole UK. Specific locations for Freeports will be chosen in due course according to a fair, transparent and robust bidding process. The Government is keen to ensure that the bidding process is fair and open, and that the government is not seen to show favour to particular areas over others.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to conduct a feasibility study on a (a) bridge or (b) tunnel connecting the islands of Ireland and Great Britain.

A feasibility study has not currently been commissioned.

However, as you would expect, government regularly commissions work to examine the feasibility of potential projects, so that position is subject to regular review.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman entitled, ​Women’s State Pension age: our findings on the Department for Work and Pensions’ communication of changes, published on 29 July 2021, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the Ombudsman's findings and potential for compensation for claimants impacted by the changes to women’s State Pension age.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has not completed his investigation. This a multi staged process and the report published on 20 July 2021 concludes stage-one of the investigation.

It would not be appropriate to comment on the PHSO’s report whilst the investigation is ongoing; and section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Government's timeframe is for back-dating payments to women who were not awarded automatic national insurance contributions top-ups by her Department.

Any women who believe they are being underpaid State Pension should contact the Department. Details on how to do this through the Pension Service are available on the gov.uk website.

The Department is aware of a number of cases where individuals have been underpaid State Pension. We are checking for further cases and any that are found will be looked at in line with the relevant legislation.

Those who are already getting a State Pension based on their own National Insurance contributions must make a separate claim for the top up if their husband reached State Pension age before 17 March 2008. The top up payments can be backdated for a maximum of 12 months before the date the claim is made. If the husband reached State Pension age on or after 17 March 2008, a separate claim for the top up is not needed and it can be paid from the date of entitlement.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether carer's allowance payments are eligible to be counted towards the £118 earnings threasehold for statutory sick pay.

An employer is liable to pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they have paid their employee at least £118 per week on average. State benefits, such as Carer’s Allowance are therefore not eligible to be counted towards the £118 earnings threshold for SSP.

We have a safety-net, through the welfare system, for those who are not eligible for SSP. We are already making sure that benefits are easily accessible and more supportive for those who need to make a claim.

20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance his Department has provided on which employer is responsible for statutory sick pay for employees who have more than one job.

Employees with more than one job may receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from each employer if they meet all eligibility criteria in each case. Guidance regarding this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/what-youll-get

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what accountability and scrutiny measures are in place to ensure that private companies endorsed by the Government to carry out covid-19 PCR testing are supplying customers with tests and test results promptly.

All providers must complete a declaration stating that their testing services meet certain minimum standards. We monitor the performance, including delivery and testing services, of private providers to ensure a high quality service. This includes issues raised by the public, data submitted by the provider and reports from regulatory and oversight bodies where applicable.

Where the UK Health Security Agency becomes aware that a provider is no longer meeting the minimum standards or that its activities may be putting public safety at risk, the provider will be required to undertake remedial action. We reserve the right to remove a provider’s listing from GOV.UK in the interim whilst remedial action is being undertaken.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase funding for mental health research.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the largest funder of mental health research in the United Kingdom. In 2019-20, the NIHR spent £93.4 million on mental health research, which is a significant year on year increase in investment in mental health. While it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the NIHR’s funding is available through open competition and we encourage researchers to submit applications in this area.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government plans to take to help ensure that social care is affordable for people with a terminal illness and their carers.

Under the Care Act 2014, charging is based on a several principles including that people should not be charged more than it is reasonably practicable for them to pay and is based on care needs. Those care needs could include increased support for a carer or for someone with a terminal illness. A means tested financial assessment determines what the care recipient can afford to contribute towards care and support costs. The Government has announced a more generous means testing threshold, allowing more people to become eligible for financial support towards meeting care costs from October 2023.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department plans to take to support earlier engagement and horizon scanning between NHS England and the pharmaceutical industry, to identify solutions to drug pricing challenges that may be faced by new innovative treatments exceeding the Budget Impact Test threshold.

The 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access made a joint commitment between the Government and the pharmaceutical industry for the National Health Service to have complete and accurate information about the products coming through the development pipeline. NHS England and NHS Improvement and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) committed to working together and with industry to develop and implement a joined-up approach to earlier engagement and case management. On 23 February 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement published the NHS commercial framework for new medicines setting out the opportunities for companies to engage with NHS England and NHS Improvement and NICE and the commercial options available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of increased investment in motor neurone disease research for other neurological conditions.

No specific assessment has been made. The Government makes funding available for research but does not generally ring-fence funds for particular disease areas. Research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will commit £50 million over five years to establish and operate a motor neurone disease translational research institute.

The next Spending Review will set out the Government’s spending plans for health and social care for future years.

Over the past five years, the Department has spent over £10 million on motor neurone disease (MND) research through the National Institute for Health Research. Additionally, UK Research and Innovation, through the Medical Research Council, has spent £49.5 million on MND research over the past five years. This includes research which aims to increase our understanding of the causes and genetic mechanisms of MND. We are currently working on ways to significantly increase further research on dementia and neurodegeneration including medical and care interventions.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the Government’s Vaccine Strategy.

The vaccine strategy is being refreshed to reflect new developments from the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the extended National Health Service flu programme. The vaccine strategy will be published in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether (a) the covid-19 vaccines affect fertility and (b) those vaccines can safely be taken by pregnant women; and if he will publish available research on those issues.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is supporting the first United Kingdom COVID-19 vaccine study for pregnant women, funded by Pfizer. The NIHR continues to welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including COVID vaccination and fertility or pregnancy. There is also a breadth of research supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on COVID-19 and vaccines.

In the United States of America over 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, with data collected via the “v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry”; these data have subsequently been analysed and the findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine (see Shimabukuro et al., 2021 and can be found at the following link: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2104983). This concluded that no obvious safety signals were observed among pregnant persons who received these COVID-19 vaccines. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have therefore advised that pregnant women should be offered COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as people of the same age or risk group. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all staff employed in care homes, including cooks and cleaners will receive the covid-19 vaccination at the same time as nurses and care assistants.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use, including prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

Therefore, in line with the recommendations of the JCVI, the vaccine will be initially rolled out to the priority groups including care home residents and staff, people over 80 years old and health and care workers, followed by the rest of the population. As set out in the green book, this includes staff involved in direct care, as well as non-clinical ancillary staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland can access timely covid-19 testing.

Testing and tracing are central to the COVID-19 recovery strategy. Across the United Kingdom, testing via NHS Test and Trace is available to everyone with symptoms, whatever their age.

We have worked with the Northern Ireland Executive to improve the availability of testing for all residents of Northern Ireland. There are four regional testing sites and seven mobile testing units operating in Northern Ireland, and a local test site was recently opened in Belfast. Home test kits are also available to order.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the Government’s vaccine strategy.

Publication of England’s draft Vaccine Strategy has been delayed as we have rightly been focusing on responding to the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic.

We will keep the Vaccine Strategy under review in light of the ongoing pandemic response. Our current ambition is to update and refresh the strategy in 2021 to reflect the changing landscape and investment in vaccine development through the Vaccines Taskforce.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the health of veterans.

In June, the Office of Veterans Affairs announced a study with King’s College London to understand the effect of COVID-19 on former service personnel.

The study will look at whether COVID-19 has had any specific impact on the veteran community in the United Kingdom. This will allow policy makers across Government to understand potential issues affecting veterans and respond accordingly based on expert advice and evidence.

The first results are expected to be published in autumn/winter 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, if he will increase the level of funding allocated from the public purse for the provision of mental health counselling for NHS staff.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 response, the Department commissioned NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop a comprehensive package of emotional, psychological, and practical support for National Health Service staff.

In response, NHS England and NHS Improvement have invested in a range of services to support the health and mental wellbeing of NHS staff, including virtual staff common rooms for mutual support, a dedicated support helpline and text service (in partnership with Samaritans), and a separate helpline offering bereavement support (in partnership with Hospice UK).

More information on support available to all NHS staff is online at the following link:

people.nhs.uk/help

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many social workers have been removed from their post due to (a) gross misconduct and (b) dereliction of duty in the last five years.

We are able to confirm that there have been 299 social workers that have been struck off Social Work England’s professional register in the last five years. This includes those struck off at the conclusion of an investigation and those struck off after a review of an existing order.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on people with diabetes of the slow-down in production and shipping of Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring sensors from Abbott; and if he will make statement.

The Department is aware of current supply issues with the Freestyle Libre glucose monitoring sensors and it is maintaining regular contact with the supplier Abbott to re-establish the reliable supply of this product.

This is a temporary disruption caused by increases in demand and we have already seen steady progress to improve the situation over the recent weeks.

The information provided refers to the National Health Service in England only.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the prevalence of prostate cancer.

It is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer, although a number of things can increase the risk of developing the condition. These include age, ethnic group, family history, obesity and diet.

There are no interventions that can reduce the prevalence of prostate cancer for the first three risk factors, although the Government does have strategies in place to reduce obesity and improve diets, such as Change4Life.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will undertake a review of the adequacy of dedicated perinatal mental health services.

The Department has no such plans. We are committed to improving perinatal mental health services for new mothers and their partners in England. From April 2019, new and expectant mothers have been able to access specialist perinatal mental health community services in every part of the country.

The NHS Long Term Plan includes a commitment for a further 24,000 women to be able to access specialist perinatal mental health care by 2023/24, building on the additional 30,000 women who will access these services each year by 2020/21 under pre-existing plans. Specialist care will also be available from preconception to 24 months after birth, which will provide an extra year of support.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has made representations to the Bahrain Government on the treatment and imprisonment of the leader of the political opposition, Mr Hasan Mushaima, and the leading human rights defender, Dr Abduljalil Alsingace.

We continue to monitor and raise the cases of Dr Abduljalil al-Singace, Hassan Mushaima and others as necessary, with the Bahraini Government as well as with the independent oversight bodies. We encourage those with concerns to raise them directly with the relevant oversight bodies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans the Government has to increase humanitarian aid to the Democratic Republic of Congo to combat the ongoing hunger crisis in that country.

As one of the largest bilateral donors to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we are providing life-saving assistance to 3 million people. The UK is also leading a global call to action on the risk of famine. Through our Presidency, the UK has recently secured the G7's first ever Compact to tackle the drivers of famine - helping protect over 34 million people at imminent risk and address the upward trend in people needing humanitarian aid, including in DRC.

The seismic impact of the pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take tough but necessary decisions, including temporarily reducing the overall amount we spend on aid to 0.5% of GNI. As a result, UK humanitarian aid to DRC will not increase. We will remain a world-leading Official Development Assistance donor and still spend more than £10 billion this year to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the Government of China's military threats against Taiwan.

We are concerned by any action which raises tensions in the region and risks destabilising the status quo. Her Majesty's Government considers the Taiwan issue one to be settled peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait through constructive dialogue.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to tackle Chinese Government aggression towards India.

We recognise that as neighbours India and China have an important relationship with one another. We welcome discussions between India and China to manage tensions along their disputed border, including the ninth round of Corps Commander-Level talks on 24 January. We continue to support a peaceful resolution between India and China of the border question.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the Government of Taiwan in the face of military threats from China.

We are concerned by any action which raises tensions in the region and risks destabilising the status quo. Her Majesty's Government considers the Taiwan issue one to be settled peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait through constructive dialogue.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to completely end UK aid to China.

As the Foreign Secretary said to the House on 26 November, there is still a case for some collaboration on development with China. As a major driver of global growth with increasing presence on the global stage China has to be part of finding solutions to global challenges. We offer expertise and skills to help tackle global issues like climate change, where action by China is critical to reaching our global climate goals, as well as using Official Development Assistance (ODA) to fund the ODA eligible portion of the costs of UK diplomatic staff in China, Chinese Chevening scholars and the British Council's ODA eligible activity in China.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government supports the Republic of China (Taiwan) becoming a full member of World Health Organisation.

Membership of the World Health Organisation is open only to states recognised by the UN. However, the UK supports Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organisations where statehood is not a prerequisite for their participation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that British Nationals Overseas in Hong Kong can contact the British Consulate General in Hong Kong in the safest manner with reduced fear of oppression by the Chinese Government.

Our consular work, providing help to British nationals all over the world, has always been a priority. The consular assistance we provide British nationals is set out in our guide, 'Support for British Nationals Abroad'. There is also information available on Gov.uk.

Under a Memorandum to the Joint Declaration, British Nationals (Overseas) (BN(O))s are eligible to consular protection in third countries, but not Hong Kong, Macao or mainland China. The Chinese authorities do not recognise dual nationality and would not grant consular access. Where the UK Government is unable to offer consular assistance and where we have legitimate humanitarian or human rights concerns we will engage the relevant authorities and lobby on that basis. In response to the national security law the UK has already offered a new immigration path for BN(O)s, suspended our extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and extended our arms embargo on mainland China to Hong Kong.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representation he has made to his Chilean counterpart on freedom of religion in that country since the burning-down of a place of worship by protesters in Santiago.

Chile's government strongly and swiftly condemned the burning-down of two churches in Santiago by violent protesters on 18 October. Chile has robust constitutional and legal protections for the freedom of religion and the free exercise of worship, with the law prohibiting religious discrimination. The recent arson attacks against the places of worship are under investigation. We continue to discuss the human rights situation in Chile with the government through open and constructive dialogue.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to remove all streams of Official Development Assistance from his Department to the People's Republic of China.

The UK ended traditional bilateral aid programmes to China in 2011. As the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated, global challenges need global solutions, and we recognise that China has to be part of them as a major driver of global growth with increasing presence on the global stage. We now offer China expertise and skills to help tackle global issues like climate change, where action by China is critical to reaching our global climate goals, as well as using ODA to fund the ODA eligible portion of the costs of UK diplomatic staff in China, Chinese Chevening scholars and the British Council's ODA eligible activity in China.

As the Foreign Secretary stated to Parliament on 20 July, the UK wants a positive and constructive relationship with China. There are wide-ranging opportunities, from increasing trade to cooperation on climate change. However, where we have concerns, we raise them and where we need to take action we will.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government will take against UK-headquartered companies who assist the Chinese authorities in enforcing the National Security Laws in Hong Kong against people with British National (Overseas) status.

HMG does not comment on the commercial decision making of companies. However, we are clear that we have made a historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong to protect their rights and freedoms, and we will hold China to its international obligations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Indian counterpart on the persecution and murder of Christians and members of other minority religious groups in India.

The British High Commission in New Delhi and our network of Deputy High Commissions maintain a continuous assessment of the human rights situation across India, talking regularly to the Government of India, including about freedom of religion or belief. Where we have concerns, we raise them directly with the Government of India: the Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has raised these issues on several occasions with the Indian High Commissioner in London and his opposite number in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. We also continue to engage Indian religious leaders of all faiths and to support Indian partners to promote interfaith relations among young people

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to assist British merchant sailors who have been marooned at sea as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport wrote to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) on 23 March, reaffirming our international obligations on seafarers' welfare and transit, and calling for clear international guidance for port, flag and coastal states on seafarers' welfare and facilitating seafarer transit. Where vessel operators request assistance to repatriate their employees, the UK Government stands ready to work as quickly as possible to help those who may need rapid consular assistance.

Not all British crew are seeking to return to the UK. Some may wish to stay with the ship (with their employer's consent), while others may be required by their role to do so as part of the minimum safe manning requirements for the vessel. This is a legislative and flag state requirement to ensure the continued seaworthiness of vessels.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent an escalation of tensions in Libya and neighbouring countries.

We remain deeply concerned by the situation in Libya and the risks to wider regional stability. The UK is actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to end the conflict. We continue to call on all parties to de-escalate, commit to a lasting ceasefire and return to UN-led political talks. We welcome the recent announcement by the UN that the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army have agreed to resume talks on the framework for a ceasefire. It is essential that both sides engage fully with this process.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Nigerian counterpart on the continued persecution of Christians in the Kaduna region of that country.

We condemn all incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria, including recently reported attacks in Kaduna State. Officials from the British High Commission in Abuja are in contact with and have visited communities in Kaduna that have experienced violence and conflict. We continue to encourage the Government of Nigeria to take urgent action to protect those at risk of intercommunal violence, to bring perpetrators to justice and to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes and meet the needs of all communities.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Wilton Park hosted a conference on 'Fostering Social Cohesion in Nigeria' in February, which brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from Kaduna State. The conference was an opportunity to discuss how government, faith-based and community organisations can build solutions to intercommunal violence in Nigeria. Participants highlighted the importance of countering inaccurate narratives which misrepresent disparate incidents as a homogenous religious conflict. Whilst religion plays a part in many clashes in Nigeria, other underlying causes are also present, including competition over land and resources and livelihoods at risk.

The Prime Minister discussed insecurity in Nigeria with President Buhari at the UK Africa Investment Summit in January. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all Nigerians.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the treatment of the Uyghur community in the Xinjiang Region of that country.

The British Government regularly makes representations directly to the Chinese Government about the treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Most recently, on 9 March the Foreign Secretary raised his concerns with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi. On 5 March, I did the same with the Chinese Ambassador in London.

The UK also continues to raise concerns about Xinjiang publicly in multilateral settings, including at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council on 10 March during our 'Item 4' national statement.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Hong Kong counterparts on democratic rights in Hong Kong.

The Foreign Secretary has set out our concerns about the situation in Hong Kong directly with both the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam and to the Chinese Foreign Minister, State Councillor Wang Yi. The Foreign Secretary made clear that meaningful political dialogue is the only way to resolve the situation. Senior officials have remained in regular contact with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the authorities in Beijing. The leadership in China and Hong Kong is in no doubt about the strength of UK concern over the current situation in Hong Kong, and our commitment to seeing the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Joint Declaration upheld.​

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to make a decision on making changes to Air Passenger Duty for Northern Ireland.

The government established a technical working group to explore the operational and legal challenges to changing APD in Northern Ireland at Budget 2018.

Members include representatives from industry, experts, and civil servants from both the UK government and Northern Ireland.

Since the Technical Working Group was established, the UK Government has published a consultation on aviation tax reform, to consider how APD could better support Union connectivity and our environmental objectives. We have engaged with the Northern Ireland Executive as part of this process.

We will update on the next steps following the consultation in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress has been made by the technical working group convened to consider the operational and legal challenges to changing Air Passenger Duty in Northern Ireland.

The government established a technical working group to explore the operational and legal challenges to changing APD in Northern Ireland at Budget 2018.

Members include representatives from industry, experts, and civil servants from both the UK government and Northern Ireland.

Since the Technical Working Group was established, the UK Government has published a consultation on aviation tax reform, to consider how APD could better support Union connectivity and our environmental objectives. We have engaged with the Northern Ireland Executive as part of this process.

We will update on the next steps following the consultation in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether removal companies require a Goods Movement Reference to transport personal effects from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

No customs charges are due on personal belongings when moving home to Northern Ireland from Great Britain. Removal companies will need to submit a customs declaration using the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). If they are new to customs processes, they can sign up for the free Trader Support Service which can complete declarations on their behalf without the need for specialist advice or software. They will also need to use the Goods Vehicle Movement Service and get a Goods Movement Reference to use the system.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government taking to investigate the actions of German Property Group and the unregulated financial products sold to UK investors.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are working closely with financial advisers who have advised customers to make these investments and operators of Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) whose customers currently hold investments with the German Property Group (GPG).

The FCA have published a joint statement with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. The statement sets out what UK consumers should do if they invested in GPG via an FCA authorised firm, either a financial adviser firm or a SIPP operator, and they believe they were mis-sold. It can be accessed at https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/gpg-companies-preliminary-bankruptcy-proceedings.

Companies under the German Property Group are incorporated in Germany and have never been authorised by the FCA. However, consumers should be assured that the FCA are working closely with all relevant external stakeholders on this matter and will share any further updates as and when they are able to.

The FCA also hold a public record that shows details of firms, individuals and other bodies that are, or have been, regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and/or the FCA. Consumers who are considering an investment opportunity are encouraged to use the register to check the regulatory status of the firm in question ahead of transferring any funds. The register can be found here https://register.fca.org.uk/.

The FCA’s ScamSmart website also aims to help consumers protect themselves against investment scams, by allowing users to search a warning list to check an investment opportunity and report scams or unauthorised firms.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing tax relief for those working in the private care sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Key workers, including social care workers, have demonstrated remarkable commitment to keeping the public safe in the continuing fight against the virus. The Government hugely values and appreciates these vital contributions to the COVID-19 response.

The?Government is targeting support where it is most needed. A new income tax relief for care workers in the private sector would not be targeted in this way. Those paying higher rates of tax would receive the greatest benefit, while low-earning individuals?with income below the personal allowance or the higher rate threshold would benefit less or not at all.

The UK's economic response to COVID-19 is one of the most generous and comprehensive in the world. The Government is monitoring closely the impact of measures, having regard to the need to support public services, businesses, and individuals, and will keep all policies under review.

22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress the Irish Government has made on the repayment of loans provided by the UK in 2010.

Ireland has repaid £2,420,220,000 on the principal of the loan provided under the Loans to Ireland Act 2010. As of 2 November 2020, the total outstanding principal stands at £806,740,000. The Government continues to expect the loan to be repaid in full and on time.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a furlough scheme for for companies that remain unable to operate due to covid-19 restrictions.

After eight months of the CJRS, the scheme will close in October. The CJRS must be temporary and the Government must ensure people can get back to work when it is safe to do so and get the UK economy up and running again.

It would be challenging to target a furlough scheme to specific sectors in a fair and deliverable way, and without creating distortion, particularly as some firms work across multiple sectors. Moreover, it may not be the case that this would be the most effective or sensible way to provide longer term support for those sectors most affected by coronavirus.

There are other schemes that can provide support to firms, such as the new Job Support Scheme and other measures announced in the Winter Economy Plan. The Job Support Scheme is designed to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19, to help keep their employees attached to the workforce. The company will continue to pay its employee for time worked, but the cost of hours not worked will be split between the employer, the Government (through wage support) and the employee (through a wage reduction), and the employee will keep their job.

18th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of re-opening business grants for companies which remain unable to operate as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

The Government recognises the impact that necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on certain businesses.

The Government has provided unprecedented support for individuals and businesses during the pandemic. In addition to the measures announced over the past few months, including COVID-19 lending schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and business grants, to name just some measures, the Government announced additional support measures on 24 September as part of the Winter Economy Plan. These new measures include:

  • The new Jobs Support Scheme, which for six months from 1 November will see the Government contribute towards the wages of employees across the UK who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand related to COVID-19;
  • The SEISS Grant Extension, which provides additional taxable grant funding to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS and are actively continuing to trade, but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19;
  • Extending the temporary VAT cut for hospitality and tourism businesses to March 2021;
  • Extending the deadline for new applications to four of the COVID-19 loan schemes to 30 November; and
  • Help for businesses in repaying loans from Government-backed schemes through the Pay as you Grow scheme and allowing lenders to extend the terms of CBILS loans to up to 10 years.

Earlier this month, we also announced the Local Lockdown Grant Fund (now called the Local Restrictions Support Grants), to enable Local Authorities in England to provide business properties which are required to shut due to nationally-imposed local lockdowns with grants of up to £1,500 for each three week closure period.

Business Grants are a fully devolved policy area, and so it is for the Northern Irish Executive to determine what business grants to provide in Northern Ireland.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that discounts under the Eat Out To Help Out scheme are not given to people who have been recorded as eating in but who have taken food out.

Businesses were required to check and record that the customer intended to eat in before they applied the discount.

The business is required to state the number of covers during the claims process and to retain records to support their Eat Out to Help Out claims, which should be provided to HMRC on request.

HMRC carry out checks on claims, taking appropriate action to withhold payments for claims found to be dishonest or inaccurate.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what penalties are in place for people who have been found to have misused the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Those who submit claims to HMRC for payment under CJRS are required to state that any money paid by HMRC will be used for the specified purposes. Any claimant who states that the payment will be used for the proper purposes when this is not the case is likely to have committed a criminal offence.

In England and Wales, and in Northern Ireland, it is a crime of fraud, contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, dishonestly to make a false representation with intent to make a gain. Those who dishonestly state in their claims to HMRC that any money they receive under CJRS will be used for the specified purposes, when this is not the case, are likely to have committed fraud. Those who encourage or assist the commission of a crime can also be found guilty of the offence. Those who aid and abet another’s crime can also be convicted.

In Scotland, those who engage in a false pretence with an intention to deceive HMRC will commit a common law fraud. Such a false pretence could include saying that the payment under CJRS will be used for the specified purposes when this is not the case. Those who act in concert with the perpetrator of such crimes can also be convicted and punished.

In all parts of the UK, where claimants obtain payments from HMRC through fraudulent claims to the CJRS scheme, any money obtained would be the proceeds of crime. Any dealing with this fraudulent obtained money could amount to the offence of money laundering, contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The money laundering offences contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 are punishable with a sentence of imprisonment of up to 14 years, a fine without limit, or both. Fraudulently obtained payments can also be recovered through the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act dealing with summary forfeiture of assets representing the proceeds of crime.

HMRC will subject CJRS claims to scrutiny and use their usual compliance tools to carry out proportionate risk-based compliance checks before and after payment to test the veracity of CJRS claims. HMRC will take robust steps to prevent fraudulent claims being paid, to recover any payments made to those who are not eligible, and to respond to those to make fraudulent claims. In doing so HMRC will protect essential public services and the livelihoods at risk during these challenging times.

In addition to the fraud powers outlined above, the Government has published for external views draft legislation that will enable HMRC to undertake civil investigations with appropriate powers and sanctions. These powers include compliance powers and proposed penalties for deliberate non-compliance, where appropriate. The draft legislation can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/draft-legislation-taxation-of-coronavirus-covid-19-support-payments.

22nd May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring employers to offer furlough to employees who have been instructed to shield during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has set out an unprecedented package of financial support to help the country through the coronavirus pandemic, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay.

The CJRS will run until the end of October and the Government is working to ensure those who are shielders can access the financial assistance that they need.

While there is no obligation for employers to place staff on furlough, the Government encourages all?firms?affected by coronavirus to treat their employees fairly and carefully. Employees who are unable to work because they are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay home with someone who is shielding) can be furloughed. Those who are shielding in line with public health guidance, or are required to stay home due to an individual in their household shielding and are unable to work from home, should speak to their employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to increase the Uniform Tax Rebate rate for NHS staff and other workers who have had to wash their uniforms at higher temperatures than usually expected as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is proud of the extraordinary commitment shown by all health and care staff in the fight against COVID-19.

More than one million NHS workers continue to benefit from the three-year Agenda for Change pay deal, under which the starting pay for a newly qualified nurse has increased by over 12% since 2017/18.

Flat rate expenses for uniforms are based on the average cost of cleaning a uniform and vary by profession. Individuals may claim for actual expenses if this is more beneficial.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the judgment of Shields and Sons Partnership v The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs [2017] UKUT 0504, whether he plans to reinstate farmers that have been excluded from the flat rate VAT Scheme as a result of obtaining a greater benefit from that scheme than a VAT registration.

The Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme (AFRS) is intended for use by small agricultural businesses and was designed to provide relief for those businesses facing administrative burdens from standard VAT obligations.

Following the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and the Upper Tribunal, Shields & Sons Partnership was reinstated to the AFRS. Other agricultural businesses removed from the scheme did not appeal HMRC’s decision and subsequent appeals are out of time. These businesses will not be automatically reinstated to the scheme.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of Air Passenger Duty on inter-regional trade outside London.

As announced on 14 January, HM Treasury is undertaking a review of Air Passenger Duty to ensure regional connectivity is strengthened while meeting the UK’s climate change commitments to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make VAT on female sanitary products zero-rated.

The Government will replace the 5% reduced VAT rate with a zero rate as soon as it is legally able to do so. Until then, a £15 million annual Tampon Tax Fund has been put in place to support women’s charities. This provides funding equivalent to the VAT raised on women’s sanitary products.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will publish an assessment of the potential effect on the hospitality and tourism sectors of the introduction of vehicle excise duty on motorhomes.

This Government is committed to supporting the tourism and leisure industries in the United Kingdom.

However, we are also committed to achieving our climate change targets. Road transport is responsible for almost a quarter of UK domestic greenhouse gas emissions. As such, the Government believes it is right that road vehicles are taxed in accordance with their environmental impact.

I have met with representatives of the industry and I am sensitive to their concerns. As with all taxes, the Government keeps the VED treatment of motorhomes under review. Any changes will be considered by the Chancellor and announced at fiscal events.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to temporarily waive the fee for Security Industry Authority applications to support people working in the security sector.

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is a fee funded Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, established under the Private Security Industry Act (PSIA) 2001 as the regulator of the private security industry.

The fees are fixed in accordance with the Private Security Industry Act 2001, which sets out that the SIA should set its application fees at a level suitable to cover costs incurred to deliver its activities. There are currently no plans to temporarily waive the fee for SIA’s licence applications.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has modelled the cost of charging different amounts for those seeking a Hong Kong British National (Overseas) visa.

The cost of Hong Kong BN(O) visas has been set at £180 and £250 for 30 months and 5 years Leave to Remain (LTR) respectively. This takes account of the charging principles set by the Immigration Act 2014 and is based on recovering the anticipated full cost of operating the route, building in uncertainty around volumes.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what immigration route will apply to au pairs seeking to enter the UK from the EU after January 2021.

As has been the case since 2008, the UK’s immigration system will not offer a dedicated route for au pairs. However, au pairs are able to use the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS).

The UK currently operates eight YMS arrangements which are principally designed for cultural exchange. We have indicated our desire to negotiate a Youth Mobility arrangement with the EU, or with individual countries within it, if a collective agreement is not possible.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department plans to take to stop illegal entry to the UK across its border with the Republic of Ireland.

As part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangements, the UK does not operate routine immigration controls on journeys from within the CTA, with no immigration checks whatsoever on the Northern Ireland-Ireland land border. However, everyone entering the UK, regardless of where they enter from, is required to meet UK immigration framework. The UK does conduct intelligence-led controls on CTA routes, including away from the land border in Northern Ireland. This is to detect those who intend to abuse CTA arrangements. Anyone identified attempting to circumvent UK border controls is liable to be removed, if they are not lawfully present within the UK.

We also work closely with Ireland to secure the external CTA border, including data sharing and operational co-operation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department will take to improve levels of confidence in safety among police officers.

Our police do one of the most difficult jobs out there, putting their lives on the line and confronting violent situations every day to keep the public safe. This Government remains committed to supporting them.

We welcome the publication of the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing Officer and Staff Safety Review, which has highlighted a number of areas where improvements can be made, and where partners can work together to improve the protection for our police. To carry out their vital roles and stay safe, it is essential that police are equipped with the right protection, training and tools, which this Review has quite rightly highlighted. We will continue to work closely with policing partners to consider the recommendations in the report.

This Government has also accelerated work to introduce a Police Covenant, recognising the service and sacrifice of those who work, or have worked, in policing and to deliver the practical support they need. The key areas of focus will be physical protection, health and wellbeing and support for families. Our response to the public consultation was published on 8 September.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her policy to grant non-British Nationals Overseas Hong Kongers (a) asylum and (b) refugee status on the grounds of persecution as a result of political beliefs.

All asylum claims are carefully considered on their individual merits and determined on a case-by case basis.

There is no general asylum policy relating to non-BN(O) individuals from Hong Kong.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government will take to give victims of human trafficking immunity from crimes they were forced to commit whilst under the coercion of gangmasters.

Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 introduced a statutory defence for victims of modern slavery. The non-punishment principle is an integral part of the Government’s response to safeguard victims of modern slavery who have been compelled to commit a crime, in the case of an adult or committed the crime as a direct result of being a victim, in the case of a child, at the hands of their exploiters

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will place in the Library a copy of the agreement between her Department and her French counterpart on creating a joint intelligence cell to tackle migrants crossing the English Channel illegally.

The Home Secretary met with her new counterpart, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, on the 12th July: both ministers reaffirmed their commitment to put a stop to small boat crossings and to returning boats to France rather than allowing them to reach the UK. Additionally, the ministers signed an agreement on the creation of a joint intelligence cell, which will help deter and dismantle the organised criminal gangs facilitating these journeys.

A copy of the agreement will not be made public at this time as the document contains sensitive operational information which could damage the ability of law enforcement agencies to operate effectively if released.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been transferred from the UK to a EU member state under the Dublin Convention in each of the last five years by nationality; and which countries those people were transferred to.

The Dublin Convention was replaced by the Dublin Regulation in 2003. The Dublin III Regulation is a long-standing mechanism between EU Member States to determine responsibility for examining asylum claims. It is not an application route for transfer to the UK.

The Home Office publishes data on the number of asylum seekers transferred under the Dublin regulation in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the number of asylum seekers transferred out of the UK under the Dublin Regulation, broken down by the EU member state they have been transferred to are published in tables Dub_D01 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the year ending December 2019.

Please note, that we do not publish the breakdowns of the nationality of those being transferred under the Dublin regulation.

Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the ‘summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Full guidance on Dublin III Regulation was published on 30/04/2020 and can be found via the link below:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment data/file/882400/Dublin-III-regulation-v3.0ext.pdf

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many illegal immigrants have been apprehended by enforcement officers since 1 January 2020.

To maintain the highest standards of accuracy, the Home Office prefers to refer to published data, as this has been subject to rigorous quality assurance under National Statistics protocols prior to publication.

Information about enforcement visits is not available in our published data.

Our published data is available at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-enforcement-data-august-2019

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2019/summary-of-latest-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether immediate family members of people with a Tier 2 Visa working in the NHS will be given leave to remain if that person dies of covid-19.

The Home Secretary confirmed, in a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 29 April, families of eligible frontline healthcare workers who sadly pass away due to contracting the COVID-19 virus, will be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain free of charge.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will discuss with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions the potential merits of extending eligibility to (a) statutory sick pay, (b) employment and support allowance and (c) universal credit to people with employment visas who have no recourse to public funds.

The Home Office is currently considering options for providing support to migrants with no recourse to public funds who are impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

As with other aspects of our response to this unprecedented situation, we will take a compassionate and pragmatic approach. We will liaise with other relevant Government Departments on this as necessary 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, all of 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.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether self-employed workers in the UK on a spousal visa will be able to access public funds during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office is currently considering options for providing support to migrants with no recourse to public funds who are impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

As with other aspects of our response to this unprecedented situation, we will take a compassionate and pragmatic approach. We will liaise with other relevant Government Departments on this as necessary 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, all of 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.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to increase the advice provided on gov.uk for non-Chinese nationals that cannot travel as a result of the covid-19 outbreak but have visitor visas which are due to expire.

Overseas nationals in the UK legally and whose visa expired after 24 January are able to extend their visa if they cannot leave the UK because of restrictions related to coronavirus.

The extension will last until 31 July and will apply to anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation. To help those who want to apply for visas to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions until 31 July. Those who have already had their visa extended to 31 May 2020, will have their visa extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

A dedicated help centre has been established for those who need assistance. The best way to contact the helpline is via email on CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk or on 0800 678 1767. It is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Those who contact the Home Office for these visa extensions will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once flight and border restrictions are lifted. More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-visa-extensions-for-those-unable-to-return-home-due-to-coronavirus.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will give the police more powers to tackle child-grooming gangs.

Child sexual abuse is an abhorrent crime and this Government will not allow there to be any safe space for predators to operate.

We are giving law enforcement the powers and tools it needs to bring those who exploit children to justice. Last year, we announced that we will be investing a further £30m in law enforcement capabilities to ensure offenders are no longer able to prey on society’s most vulnerable.

This year the Government will publish a comprehensive national strategy to tackle all forms of child sexual abuse, including grooming. Our new strategy will set out our whole system response to tackling child sexual abuse and how we will work across government, law enforcement, safeguarding partners and industry to root out offending, protect victims and help victims and survivors rebuild their lives.

New sentencing laws will ensure the most serious violent and sexual offenders spend time in prison that matches the severity of their crimes, protecting victims and giving the public confidence. We have already updated charging guidance to help ensure child sex offenders are properly brought to justice.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of excluding NHS workers from the Immigration Health Surcharge.

On 21 May, the Prime Minister announced that NHS and health and care staff would be exempt from the Immigration Health Surcharge. Officials in the Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care are working through how to implement this change.

NHS, health and care workers who have paid the Surcharge since the announcement will be refunded. Arrangements are currently being worked out and more details will be announced in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether former Army Reserve Soldiers who left the service prior to 2015 are entitled to an armed forces pension.

Prior to the introduction of Armed Forces Pension Scheme 15, service in the Reserve Forces (TA or Regular Reserve) was not classed as reckonable for pension purposes unless the individual was mobilised whereupon the mobilised, service would count towards a pension.

There are some exceptions. These include; Full Time Reserve Service and Additional Duties Commitments which are pensionable. Further explanations on the types of service which are now classed as pensionable can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819757/RFPSMMP146_your_pension_explained_version2.pdf

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department is providing to increase economic activity in coastal communities.

We are committed to increasing economic activity in our coastal communities. Our coastal areas have already benefited from over £250 million through successful bids into Town Deals and from the Future High Streets Fund. At Budget 2021, the Chancellor announced 7 Freeports in coastal areas, which will boost economic activity further in these communities.

This is all in addition to the £6 million available through the Welcome Back Fund to support coastal areas; offering assistance of up to £100,000 to help address the unique challenges facing these areas as restrictions ease. Further support will be available through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK in places most in need. Coastal places can also bid into the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government has received representations on establishing a scheme for British households to provide temporary accommodation for Hong Kong British Nationals Overseas who decide to move to the UK as a result of persecution by the Chinese Government.

The Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government has not received representations to provide temporary accommodation for British Nationals Overseas (BN(O)s) travelling to the UK. BN(O)s are entitled to travel to the UK and settle according to the conditions of their entry.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a legal pardon for people who have a criminal conviction as a result of not paying for a television licence.

There are currently no plans to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a legal pardon for people who have a criminal conviction as a result of not paying for a television licence.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate his Department has made of the potential cost of imprisoning people aged over 75 who have been prosecuted for not holding a valid TV license.

No estimate was made of the potential cost of imprisoning people aged over 75 for not holding a valid TV licence by the Ministry of Justice. The lead department on TV licencing is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DDCMS). The BBC is responsible for the over 75s TV licence fee concession. A person cannot receive a custodial sentence for TV licence evasion but can be committed to prison for wilfully refusing to pay the fine. Imprisonment is only pursued as a matter of last resort.

The Ministry of Justice reviewed prosecution data between 1992 and 1999 for TV licence fee evasion, prior to the introduction of the concession, and established that there were no prosecutions of defendants over the age of 75 during this period.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will increase sentences for people who are convicted of abusing Government support schemes during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to ensuring a robust response to those who exploit the covid-19 outbreak through criminal means. Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for our independent courts.

The Government continues to work alongside the CPS to provide a multi-agency response to criminality associated with covid-19. A joint interim charging protocol has been agreed between the police and CPS which gives the highest priority to custody cases and all covid-19 related cases.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the compliance with the terms agreed under the (a) Belfast Agreement, (b) St. Andrew's Agreement and (c) subsequent bilateral agreements between the UK and Republic of Ireland of the Irish Government's steps to enforce border checkpoints between the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The UK Government is committed to working with the government of Ireland on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been regular discussions on how to achieve a joint approach, including between Ministers and officials from the UK Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, and from the Irish Government.

There is a determination to work together to ensure that measures safeguard the health and wellbeing of UK and Irish citizens, and abide by obligations under the Belfast Agreement and the Common Travel Area.

The enforcement of Covid restrictions in the Republic of Ireland is a matter for the Irish Government.



Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions his Department had with the Government of the Republic of Ireland prior to the imposition of border checks on the UK-Republic of Ireland border.

Since the start of this pandemic, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has met regularly with the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to coordinate the coronavirus response.

The Secretary of State and the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs recently chaired a conference call with the First Minister and deputy First Minister, and the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Health Ministers to discuss the ongoing response to Covid-19 on the island of Ireland.

There has been no discussion of the imposition of checks in the Republic of Ireland. The enforcement of Covid restrictions in the Republic of Ireland is a matter for the Irish Government.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans the Government has to celebrate the centenary of the establishment of Northern Ireland in 2021.

As outlined in New Decade, New Approach, the UK Government is committed to working alongside the restored Executive to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland in 2021 in a spirit of mutual respect, inclusiveness and reconciliation, in line with the principles for remembering.

We are committed to facilitating national recognition and international awareness of this significant anniversary, with opportunities for people to celebrate Northern Ireland and its integral place within the United Kingdom. We will mark the centenary in NI, across the UK, across the island of Ireland and internationally.

We intend to use a cross-Whitehall, collaborative approach to support and deliver projects to mark the centenary. Further details on these projects will be available shortly.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)