Simon Hoare Portrait

Simon Hoare

Conservative - North Dorset

Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
12th Jun 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee (Commons)
12th Jun 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Welsh Affairs Committee
16th Oct 2017 - 26th Nov 2018
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
12th Dec 2017 - 4th Sep 2018
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
1st Dec 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Regulatory Reform
12th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Procedure Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 21st Nov 2016


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 12th May 2021
14:15
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Citizenship and Passport Processes in Northern Ireland
12 May 2021, 2:15 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Kevin Foster MP - Minister for Future Borders and Immigration at Home Office
Robin Walker MP - Minister of State at Northern Ireland Office
Kristian Armstrong - Head of Passport and Nationality Policy at Home Office
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
National Security and Investment Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 357 Conservative Aye votes vs 1 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 358 Noes - 269
Speeches
Wednesday 21st April 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

May I associate myself, as others have, with the remarks that the Secretary of State made with regard to the …

Written Answers
Monday 19th April 2021
British Citizenship
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Great …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 19th January 2021
Award of the George Cross to the NHS
That this House believes that the George Cross should be awarded to the National Health Service in recognition of its …
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 Oxfordshire, owned jointly with my wife: (i) and, since September 2015, (ii). (Registered 21 May 2015; updated 8 …
EDM signed
Tuesday 14th July 2020
Real fur imports
That this House urges the Government to introduce legislation to ban the imports and sales of real fur products; notes …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Simon Hoare has voted in 241 divisions, and 16 times against the majority of their Party.

9 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 341 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 351 Noes - 276
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Conservative No votes vs 353 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 353 Noes - 270
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 355 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 355 Noes - 267
7 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 346 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 357 Noes - 268
4 Nov 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative No votes vs 330 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 272
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 345 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 347 Noes - 212
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 279
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 342 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 344 Noes - 206
29 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 342 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 256 Noes - 350
29 Sep 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 341 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 264 Noes - 342
20 Jul 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 323 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 263 Noes - 326
20 Jul 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 335 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 251 Noes - 337
20 Jul 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative Aye votes vs 335 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 244 Noes - 345
20 May 2020 - Liaison (Membership) - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 316 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 262 Noes - 323
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Simon Hoare voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
View All Simon Hoare Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Brandon Lewis (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
(19 debate interactions)
George Eustice (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(9 debate interactions)
Robin Walker (Conservative)
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(12 debate contributions)
Northern Ireland Office
(11 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(10 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Simon Hoare's debates

North Dorset 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 North Dorset signature proportion
Simon Hoare has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Simon Hoare

19th January 2021
Simon Hoare signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Tuesday 19th January 2021

Award of the George Cross to the NHS

Tabled by: Simon Hoare (Conservative - North Dorset)
That this House believes that the George Cross should be awarded to the National Health Service in recognition of its heroic role during the covid-19 pandemic; and urges the Government to make that award.
11 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Jan 2021)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 5
Liberal Democrat: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Labour: 1
9th March 2020
Simon Hoare signed this EDM on Tuesday 14th July 2020

Real fur imports

Tabled by: Tracey Crouch (Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford)
That this House urges the Government to introduce legislation to ban the imports and sales of real fur products; notes that the UK has long banned the main methods of fur so-called production, namely leg-hold trapping and fur factory farming, due to their inherent cruelty; believes that, in view of …
140 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 62
Scottish National Party: 41
Liberal Democrat: 11
Conservative: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alliance: 1
View All Simon Hoare's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Simon Hoare, 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.


Simon Hoare has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Simon Hoare has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Simon Hoare

Simon Hoare has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


61 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether, at the meeting of the Joint Consultative Working Group on the Northern Ireland Protocol on 29 January 2021, the rules of procedure adopted by that Working Group were those included as an Annex to the EU’s Council Decision 2020/1599 adopted on 23 October 2020; and whether any amendments were made to those proposed rules of procedure.

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

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

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

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which (a) UK Government and (b) Northern Ireland Executive Departments were represented at the meeting of the Joint Consultative Working Group on the Northern Ireland Protocol on 29 January 2021; and which officials from those Departments attended that meeting.

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

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

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

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to paragraph 33 of The Northern Ireland Protocol, CP346, published on 10 December 2020, which categories of trader (a) can and (b) cannot benefit from a grace period to 1 April 2021 from official certification for products of (i) animal origin, (ii) composite products, (iii) food and feed of non-animal origin and (iv) plants and plant products.

As the Command Paper underlines, the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will engage in a rapid exercise to identify the authorised traders able to draw on the grace period from official certification for products of animal origin, composite products, food and feed of non-animal origin and plants and plant products. The Government will not discriminate against smaller suppliers or between different companies in implementing these practical measures. This list will be in place by the end of the year.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what dates meetings of the Government’s Technical Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group took place since June 2019.

The Alternative Arrangements Technical Advisory Group met on the 20th June, 17th July and 12th September 2019.

The Alternative Arrangements Business and Trade Union Advisory Group met on 26th June, 10th July and 29th August 2019.

The new Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement which was agreed with the EU on the 17th October 2019 and ratified by the UK on the 23rd January 2020 ensures the whole of the UK will be a single customs territory outside the EU Customs Union. It replaces the backstop provisions of the previous Withdrawal Agreement.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what dates meetings of the Government’s Business and Business and Trade Union Alternative Arrangements Advisory Group took place since June 2019.

The Alternative Arrangements Technical Advisory Group met on the 20th June, 17th July and 12th September 2019.

The Alternative Arrangements Business and Trade Union Advisory Group met on 26th June, 10th July and 29th August 2019.

The new Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland in the Withdrawal Agreement which was agreed with the EU on the 17th October 2019 and ratified by the UK on the 23rd January 2020 ensures the whole of the UK will be a single customs territory outside the EU Customs Union. It replaces the backstop provisions of the previous Withdrawal Agreement.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union judgment on the Privacy International case (C-623/17), what steps he is taking to ensure that data collection by UK (a) law enforcement agencies and (b) national security and intelligence agencies complies with EU data protection standards.

The CJEU Judgement of 6 October 2020 relates to a previous power, Section 94 Directions under the Telecommunications Act 1984, that has since been replaced by provisions in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA). The IPA sets strict requirements of necessity and proportionality for the use of these powers, and provides significant safeguards and independent oversight. All warrants permitting the use of these powers are subject to the ‘double lock’ safeguard requiring that an independent Judicial Commissioner approve the Secretary of State’s decision before the warrant is issued. This ‘double lock’ ensures that the UK has one of the strongest oversight regimes anywhere in the world.

The Judgment will now be referred back to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal for interpretation for domestic law purposes.

The UK is committed to maintaining high data protection standards for personal data, and we will continue to be a global leader in ensuring personal data is properly protected.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timescale is for his Department's response to the Dedicated Schools Grant consultation.

The consultation on clarifying the specific grant and ring-fenced status of the Dedicated Schools Grant concluded on 15 November. The Department is currently considering the responses received, and the Department’s response to the consultation will be published in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister’s decision to halt the construction of border control posts on 27 February 2021, what information he holds on the (a) outcome of legal advice sought by the Permanent Secretary to the Northern Ireland Agriculture department on his ability to comply with that decision and (b) steps that have been taken to progress work on the development of border control posts since that decision.

Decisions on the construction of Border Control Posts are a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive.

Defra officials continue to work closely with the Northern Ireland Executive to comply with international obligations and give effect to the Protocol in a pragmatic and proportionate way, minimising impacts on the everyday lives of people in Northern Ireland, in line with its fundamental purpose.

The agri-food processes required under the Protocol continue to be discharged using the interim facilities that have been in place since 1 January.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the report by the Office for National Statistics on covid-19 deaths by occupation in England and Wales, published on 25 January 2021, if he will discuss with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the potential merits of classifying food production staff as a priority group for the second phase of the covid-19 vaccination rollout.

The Government has decided that the vaccine delivery plan should prioritise preventing mortality, by directly protecting those most at risk of death and hospitalisation. With this direction, the Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation (JVCI) has been tasked with putting forward advice on prioritisation. This will carefully consider the arguments for prioritising sectors within the overall goal around health outcomes. We will ensure Defra sectors, including food production workers, are fully considered in this process.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the draft National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will be published for consultation; and what steps it will include to encourage a reduction in pesticide use and increase in the uptake of integrated pest management by UK farmers.

The revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable use of Pesticides (NAP) will be published for public consultation later this year. In line with the 25 Year Environment Plan, the NAP will put Integrated Pest Management at the heart of the Government’s approach to promote alternative techniques to protect crops, including physical, biological and other non-chemical methods. Through the NAP we aim to minimise pesticide use and reduce risks to human health and the environment while ensuring that farmers can protect their crops.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the addition of pesticides to the exclusions list in the UK Internal Market Bill means that devolved Governments will be able to (a) take additional action which goes beyond that of England to ban or restrict specific pesticide active substances due to concerns over effects on human health or the environment and (b) reduce maximum residue levels for specific pesticide active substances to levels below those of England due to concerns over effects on human health.

The intention of the pesticides provision in the UK Internal Market Bill is that each part of the UK will remain responsible for deciding which pesticide products can be authorised for sale and use in their respective territories, as they are now. After the end of the Transition Period, each administration in Great Britain will also have responsibility for approval of active substances, a pre-requirement for authorisation of products. This approach will ensure that each administration retains the ability to decide what pesticides can be used in their territory, and to take account of locally specific factors such as environmental conditions or farming practices should that be necessary.

While setting of maximum residue levels will also be devolved within Great Britain after the Transition Period, the intention of the Bill is that the mutual recognition principle will apply to rules on maximum residue levels in the same way it applies to rules on goods generally, to ensure effective functioning of the internal market. This will avoid the potential for new internal trade barriers on sale of food which has been produced lawfully should there be any divergence in maximum residue level decisions.

In practice, all administrations delegate their pesticide regulatory functions to the Health and Safety Executive to undertake on their behalf. This helps to ensure a consistent approach and we are committed to working closely together with the devolved administrations to continue to take joint decisions wherever possible.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if he will publish a list of (a) members of the Board of Trade and (b) trade envoys.

The Board is chaired by my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board. She is its only standing member. The list of advisers to the Board of Trade is available on GOV.UK.

Regarding Trade Envoys, I refer my Honourable Friend to the answer given to Sir Christopher Chope by my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Chelsea and Fulham (Greg Hands) on 9th November 2020, UIN: 111412.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the membership of the Board of Trade is; and on what dates that Board met in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

The Board is chaired by the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board - its only standing member. The Board is also served by a Deputy President (currently Marcus Fysh MP) supported by a selection of advisers invited to offer views on trade and investment. Advisers represent businesses from across the UK and are crucial links into UK business sharing their specific expertise, sectoral and local knowledge.

a) 2018: Met four times: 29 March; 17 May; 6 September; and 15 November.

b) 2019: Met twice: 28 February and 16 May.

c) 2020: No meetings thus far.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Government officials are working on the project related to the construction of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The government is committed to upgrading our infrastructure, and officials are looking at a range of options to level up the country and support growth and productivity in every region.

We will set out more details on our plans to increase investment in infrastructure later this year.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has employed (a) consultants and (b) engineers to work on the project related to the construction of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The government is committed to upgrading our infrastructure, and officials are looking at a range of options to level up the country and support growth and productivity in every region.

We will set out more details on our plans to increase investment in infrastructure later this year.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to prohibit the parking of vehicles on pavements.

The Department will set out its position when it responds to the Transport Select Committee report on pavement parking once a new committee has been formed.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 85078, if she will disregard compensation payments for Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland for the purposes of establishing eligibility for (a) housing benefit, (b) universal credit and (c) pension credit in Great Britain.

Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Treasury government officials are working together on how payments from the scheme should be treated in Northern Ireland. Once that situation is clarified, then treatment of the payments in Great Britain can be decided upon.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether compensation payments for Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland are taken into account in establishing eligibility to claim (a) housing benefit, (b) universal credit and (c) pension credit in (i) Northern Ireland and (ii) England.

The Housing Benefit, Pension Credit and Universal Credit schemes in Northern Ireland are matters for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

With regard to Great Britain, currently, payments made from the scheme would be treated as capital sums, with those sums taken into account in the calculation of all of the benefits mentioned above.

Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Treasury officials are working together on how payments from the scheme should be treated in Northern Ireland.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Public Health England’s findings that people with learning disabilities were three to six times more likely to die from covid-19 than the general population during the first wave of covid-19 was taken into account when developing the vaccine prioritisation policy.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the independent expert advisory committee which advises the Government on vaccination. The JCVI reviewed data on COVID-19 mortality from OpenSAFELY, QCOVID and Public Health England (PHE). This included the PHE report on mortality in people with learning disabilities.
After consideration of the evidence, the JCVI advised that people with severe and profound learning disabilities and Down’s syndrome should be offered vaccination in the first phase of the programme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) increase provision of rehabilitation services for people who have become deconditioned as a result of covid-19 lockdown restrictions and disruption of healthcare services and (b) provide additional provision to meet the needs of people recovering from covid-19.

In July 2020, the National Health Service launched the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus. This is a two-phase endeavour with phase one being available as an open, publicly available site containing general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19, including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Over 100,000 people have used the online service since it was launched in July.

On 7 October the NHS announced £10 million is be invested this year to help kick start and designate ‘long COVID-19’ clinics that will be available to all patients in England. Alongside this, new guidance has been commissioned by NHS England from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the clinical case definition of ‘long COVID-19’. This will include patients who have had COVID-19 who may not have had a hospital admission or a previous positive test. It will be followed by evidence-based NICE clinical guidelines that will outline the support that ‘long COVID-19’ patients should receive, enabling NHS doctors, therapists and staff to provide a clear and personalised treatment plan. This will include education materials for general practitioners and other health professionals to help them refer and signpost patients to the right support.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) increase provision of rehabilitation services for people with (i) neurological conditions and (ii) multiple sclerosis who have become deconditioned as a result of covid-19 lockdown restrictions and disruption of healthcare services and (b) provide additional provision of those services to meet the needs of people recovering from covid-19.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, NHS England and NHS Improvement advised in-person consultations should only take place when absolutely necessary. Providers have been rolling out remote consultations using video, telephone, email and text message services as a priority, including for those with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

In-person rehabilitation services should now be resumed. The Association of British Neurologists published guidance on recommencing neurology services in the recovery phase of the pandemic, assessing which services and patients require urgent prioritisation. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also provided prioritisation advice for restarting community services, which aims to meet the needs of people with neurological conditions safely and effectively. This guidance can be found at the following links:

cdn.ymaws.com/www.theabn.org/resource/collection/65C334C7-30FA-45DB-93AA-74B3A3A20293/20.05.20_ABN_Restarting_Neurology_Services_post_COVID_v1.pdf

www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/covid-19-prioritisation-within-community-health-services-with-annex_19-march-2020/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his Department's press release of 6 March 2019 entitled Foreign Secretary appoints Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, what steps (a) Ministers of his Department and (b) British diplomats in Libya have taken to encourage the Libyan authorities to engage constructively with (i) those victims and (ii) their representatives since the publication of that press release; on what dates those representations were made to those authorities on that issue; and what the outcome has been of that work.

The Government set out its position on Mr Shawcross's report on compensation for UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism in a Written Ministerial Statement made on 23 March. The Written Ministerial Statement notes the clear practical difficulties in obtaining compensation from Libya for Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, and that the conflict, political instability and economic instability that have prevailed in Libya for most of the last ten years since the fall of the Qadhafi regime present particular challenges. Nonetheless, the UK has consistently pressed the Libyan authorities to address the Libyan State's historic responsibility for the Qadhafi regime's support for the IRA, and will continue to do so.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many full-time equivalent staff contributed to the work undertaken by William Shawcross as Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism; and what the cost to the public purse is of that work.

Mr Shawcross, supported by a senior adviser and acting in an independent capacity, produced an internal scoping report on the subject of compensation for UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. Mr Shawcross and his senior adviser were appointed within Government guidelines for Ministerial appointments and specialist contractors. The FCDO provided secretariat and logistical support.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 20 May 2020 to Question 38548 on Libya: IRA, and of 20 October 2020 to Question 105446 on IRA: Libya, what steps he has taken to consider the Shawcross report in detail since May 2020; on what dates he has discussed the Shawcross report with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland since October 2020; and what the outcome has been of each of those discussions.

Mr Shawcross was commissioned to write an internal scoping report on the subject of compensation for UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. Ministers across Government are carefully considering Mr Shawcross's report in order to do justice to the important and sensitive issues it covers, giving due respect to victims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 8 April 2019 to Question 239852 on Libya: IRA, what the finalised terms of reference were for the work undertaken by William Shawcross as Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.

Mr Shawcross was commissioned to write an internal scoping report on the subject of compensation for UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. Ministers across Government are carefully considering Mr Shawcross's report in order to do justice to the important and sensitive issues it covers, giving due respect to victims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, on (a) what date and (b) for what reason he decided to begin referring to the report on Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism produced by William Shawcross as an internal scoping paper.

Mr Shawcross was commissioned in 2019 to produce an internal scoping report on the issue of compensation for UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether William Shawcross, the Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, has submitted his report on the feasibility of calculating the number of people affected and the compensation due to those people from the Libyan Government.

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

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent correspondence his Department has received from the Northern Ireland Office on implementing a disregard for compensation payments made under the Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Act 2019.

My department is aware of the situation regarding Northern Ireland Historic Abuse Payments and how they are treated within the benefit system.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the £2 billion in funding announced in the New Decade, New Approach agreement, what proportion of that amount is (a) resource and (b) capital funding.

As part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, the UK Government agreed to provide financial support of £2 billion to the Northern Ireland Executive. £30 million of resource funding was provided in the current financial year. Further details, including the levels of funding in future financial years and the resource and capital split, will be provided in due course.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the allocation of funding under the New Decade, New Approach agreement, how much of that funding the UK Government plans to disburse in each of the next 10 financial years.

As part of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, the UK Government agreed to provide financial support of £2 billion to the Northern Ireland Executive. £30 million of resource funding was provided in the current financial year. Further details, including the levels of funding in future financial years and the resource and capital split, will be provided in due course.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Great Britain have been (i) granted and (ii) refused renunciation of their British citizenship in each of the last 10 years.

The Home Office publishes UK data on renunciations of British Nationality in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Data on grants and refusals for renunciations of British Nationality are published in table Cit_05 of the Citizenship summary tables, year ending December 2020 (publishing.service.gov.uk) dataset. The latest data relates to year ending December 2020.

The Home Office does not hold data on renunciations of British Nationality by location or country of residence, and so a breakdown of the data is not available for separate nations of the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what process needs to be followed by local authority areas which would like to achieve unitary status.

The Devolution White Paper to be published this Autumn will set out our transformative plans for economic recovery and renewal, and for levelling up opportunity, prosperity, and well-being across the country. These plans will include restructuring our local institutions to deliver these outcomes, establishing more mayors and more unitary councils the populations of which will depend on local circumstances but as a rule of thumb are expected to be substantially in excess of 300k-400k. Under current legislation it is open to the Secretary of State, subject to consultation and Parliamentary approval, to implement if he thinks fit any unitary proposal submitted by a council in response to an invitation which any council may request. In considering a unitary proposal the Secretary of State expects to have regard to the extent it is likely to support the delivery of the outcomes sought in the White Paper.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what criteria his Department will use to assess bids to establish a unitary authority; and whether unanimity of affected local authorities is required.

The Devolution White Paper to be published this Autumn will set out our transformative plans for economic recovery and renewal, and for levelling up opportunity, prosperity, and well-being across the country. These plans will include restructuring our local institutions to deliver these outcomes, establishing more mayors and more unitary councils the populations of which will depend on local circumstances but as a rule of thumb are expected to be substantially in excess of 300k-400k. Under current legislation it is open to the Secretary of State, subject to consultation and Parliamentary approval, to implement if he thinks fit any unitary proposal submitted by a council in response to an invitation which any council may request. In considering a unitary proposal the Secretary of State expects to have regard to the extent it is likely to support the delivery of the outcomes sought in the White Paper.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the minimum population size required is to form a unitary authority.

The Devolution White Paper to be published this Autumn will set out our transformative plans for economic recovery and renewal, and for levelling up opportunity, prosperity, and well-being across the country. These plans will include restructuring our local institutions to deliver these outcomes, establishing more mayors and more unitary councils the populations of which will depend on local circumstances but as a rule of thumb are expected to be substantially in excess of 300k-400k. Under current legislation it is open to the Secretary of State, subject to consultation and Parliamentary approval, to implement if he thinks fit any unitary proposal submitted by a council in response to an invitation which any council may request. In considering a unitary proposal the Secretary of State expects to have regard to the extent it is likely to support the delivery of the outcomes sought in the White Paper.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the maximum population size is in which a single unitary authority should operate.

The Devolution White Paper to be published this Autumn will set out our transformative plans for economic recovery and renewal, and for levelling up opportunity, prosperity, and well-being across the country. These plans will include restructuring our local institutions to deliver these outcomes, establishing more mayors and more unitary councils the populations of which will depend on local circumstances but as a rule of thumb are expected to be substantially in excess of 300k-400k. Under current legislation it is open to the Secretary of State, subject to consultation and Parliamentary approval, to implement if he thinks fit any unitary proposal submitted by a council in response to an invitation which any council may request. In considering a unitary proposal the Secretary of State expects to have regard to the extent it is likely to support the delivery of the outcomes sought in the White Paper.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of co-terminosity of local service provision; and if he will make a statement.

The Devolution White Paper will set out our transformative plans for economic recovery and renewal, and for levelling up opportunity, prosperity, and well-being across the country, including what this means for the geography of local institutions and local service providers.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking on the proposal to exempt local authority owned public conveniences from business rates.

The Government recognises that local authority owned public toilets are valuable community amenities. However, primary legislation would be required to provide business rates relief for public toilets owned by principal local authorities and parish councils, as such bodies cannot currently have their rates bills reduced through reliefs. The Non-Domestic Rating (Lavatories) Bill, which would have resolved this matter, fell when Parliament was dissolved. The Government will consider reintroducing the measure in due course.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to correspondence from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee relating to matters raised at the oral evidence session on Wednesday 16 September, dated 11 September 2020, which (a) victims’ groups and (b) individuals he has consulted since that date as part of that period of sensitive engagement with key stakeholders, and on which dates those meetings took place.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials from the Northern Ireland Office regularly meet representatives from civic society, including victims groups, community representatives, religious leaders and individuals from across academia and the peace and reconciliation sector. Engagement on the subject of legacy is ongoing.

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


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his Answer to the hon. Member for North Dorset during his oral statement on 30 November 2020, Official Report, column 59, on what date stakeholder engagement on forthcoming legacy legislation was paused by his Department; and on what date this engagement was resumed.

In the Spring, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials met a number of victims groups and other key stakeholders to discuss legacy issues. Following these discussions, it was clear that the full and sensitive engagement required on this difficult subject would be difficult to deliver effectively while the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic were ongoing.

Notwithstanding this, a degree of engagement has and continues to take place where possible. The Secretary of State remains committed to engaging with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland, including victims groups, in order to make progress on legacy issues.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his Answer to the hon. Member for North Dorset during his oral statement on 30 November 2020, Official Report, column 59, which civil society (a) organisations and (b) individuals (i) Ministers and (ii) officials in his Department have met as part of the legacy engagement process in each of the last nine months.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials from the Northern Ireland Office regularly meet various representatives from civic society, including community representatives, religious leaders and individuals from across academia and the peace and reconciliation sector. Engagement on the specific issue of legacy is ongoing, where possible within the constraints imposed by current circumstances.

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

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his Answer to the hon. Member for Luton South during his oral statement on 30 November 2020, Official Report, column 69, when he plans to bring forward legislation based on the proposals and framework outlined in Written Ministerial Statement HCWS168 published on 18 March.

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

We have also made clear our commitment to working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland as part of this process. While the challenging circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic have had an impact on our ability to engage effectively and sensitively, we remain determined to make progress on legacy issues as quickly as possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Annex A of the New Decade New Approach Agreement, what recent assessment he has made of (a) the merits of and (b) progress on establishing the Independent Fiscal Council.

The Fiscal Council is an important new part of the governance of Northern Ireland. It has the potential to make a huge contribution to fiscal sustainability in Northern Ireland over the long-term and strengthen Northern Ireland’s fiscal performance. The Northern Ireland Department of Finance is leading on developing the Terms of Reference for the Fiscal Council. The Northern Ireland Finance Minister has recently updated the Assembly that his department is now actively refocusing on this issue.

In his engagement with Executive ministers, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has consistently emphasised the need to press ahead with an Independent Fiscal Council as a priority in his regular communications with members of the Executive and at both previous meetings of the Joint Board.

The UK Government will continue to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to agree terms of reference that reflect our joint ambitions for this new institution and get it up and running as soon as possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Written Ministerial Statement HCWS168 on Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, published on 18 March 2020, on what dates (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met representatives of the Irish Government to discuss legacy issues since 18 March 2020.

Ministers and officials regularly meet with counterparts in the Irish Government to discuss a range of issues, including legacy.

The Secretary of State and officials from the Northern Ireland Office last met with the Irish Government’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and his officials on 8th October 2020.

The UK Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues, and engaging with the Irish Government, as well as the Northern Ireland parties and key stakeholders, on the way forward as quickly as possible.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Written Ministerial Statement HCWS168 on Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, published on 18 March 2020, which community organisations (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met with to discuss legacy issues since 18 March 2020.

Since March, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and officials from the Northern Ireland Office have met with various community groups, including victim support groups, religious leaders and groups from across academia and civic society.

Despite the challenging circumstances presented by the ongoing Covid-19 situation, engagement continued throughout the summer months and continues to take place.

The UK Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues, and recognises the importance of working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland as part of this process.


Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to section 73(4) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

Appointments to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland are made on merit following an open and transparent process regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). All stages of the process are overseen by an independent panel member. In order to reach potentially under-represented groups, the appointments for which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible are advertised widely online, in the local press in Northern Ireland and promoted through stakeholder networks. In addition, as part of the Northern Ireland Office’s commitments under the Disability Confident Scheme, a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job are invited to interview.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to section 68(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

Appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are made on merit following an open and transparent process regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). All stages of the process are overseen by an independent panel member. In order to reach potentially under-represented groups, the appointments for which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible are advertised widely online, in the local press in Northern Ireland and promoted through stakeholder networks. In addition, as part of the Northern Ireland Office’s commitments under the Disability Confident Scheme, a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job are invited to interview.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Schedule 1 to the Public Processions (Northern Ireland) Act 1998, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Parades Commission of Northern Ireland is representative of the community in Northern Ireland.

Appointments to the Parades Commission of Northern Ireland are made on merit following an open and transparent process regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). All stages of the process are overseen by an independent panel member. In order to reach potentially under-represented groups, the appointments for which the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible are advertised widely online, in the local press in Northern Ireland and promoted through stakeholder networks. In addition, as part of the Northern Ireland Office’s commitments under the Disability Confident Scheme, a fair and proportionate number of disabled applicants that meet the minimum criteria for the job are invited to interview.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to Written Statement WS168 made on 18 March 2020, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to tackle the legacy of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The Government has been clear that it will bring forward legislation to address the legacy of the troubles which focuses on reconciliation, delivers for victims, and ensures that Northern Ireland veterans are treated as fairly as those who served overseas. We are committed to making progress on this as quickly as possible.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans he has to consult (a) the new Government of the Republic of Ireland, (b) victims groups and (c) individuals on the proposals set out in his Written Statement of 18 March 2020 WS168 on Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues.

The UK Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues, and engaging with the Irish Government, the Northern Ireland parties and victims groups on the way forward, as quickly as possible. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland recognises the importance of working with all parts of the community in Northern Ireland as part of this process.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what discussions he had the Government of the Republic of Ireland prior to the publication of his Written Statement of 18 March 2020 WS168 on Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland spoke to the Irish Government and all party leaders before the Government’s Written Ministerial Statement was published on 18 March. Engagement has also taken place with the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland parties since 18 March.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, which (a) victims groups and (b) individuals he has consulted since the publication of his Written Statement of 18 March 2020 WS168 on Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues.

I refer the hon Gentleman to the answer I gave on 8 July 2020 (UIN 68732).

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Written Statement of 18 March 2020, HCWS168, Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, which (a) victims groups and (b) people he has consulted on the content of that statement since that statement was published.

Since the Written Statement of 18 March 2020, HCWS168, Addressing Northern Ireland Legacy Issues, the department has undertaken a number of engagements with groups funded under the Victims and Survivors Service’s Victims Support Programme, at both ministerial and official level. The department has also engaged with the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, the Victims and Survivors Service Board, and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, as well as a range of individuals from across civic society and academia. Engagement has also taken place with the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland parties.

The UK Government remains committed to making progress on legacy issues as quickly as possible, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland recognises the importance of engaging with stakeholders, including victims groups, who represent all parts of the community in Northern Ireland as part of this process.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Answer of 28 February 2020 to Question 15056 on the Stormont House Agreement, how many days of the 100-day period in which to introduce legislation to implement the Stormont House Agreement have elapsed.

The ‘New Decade New Approach’ deal was tabled at talks between the Northern Ireland political parties which resulted in the formation of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly on 11 January 2020. As part of ‘New Decade, New Approach’, the UK Government committed to introducing legislation within 100 days.

The Government is committed to introducing legislation which provides reconciliation for victims and greater certainty for veterans and will set out further detail about this legislation shortly.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to paragraph 16 of annex A of New Decade, New Approach, on what date the 100-day period to introduce legislation to implement the Stormont House Agreement expires.

The Government is committed to reforming the current legacy system in Northern Ireland in a way which provides reconciliation for victims and greater certainty for veterans. We are working across government and in the context of consultation responses to develop the Stormont House Agreement proposals, and will provide further details about this legislation as soon as we are able to.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the commitment in paragraph 16 of Annex A of New Decade, New Approach to publish legislation to implement the Stormont House Agreement, whether he plans to publish this legislation in draft.

The Government is committed to reforming the current legacy system in Northern Ireland in a way which provides reconciliation for victims and greater certainty for veterans. We are working across government and in the context of consultation responses to develop the Stormont House Agreement proposals, and will provide further details about this legislation as soon as we are able to.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to paragraph 9 of Annex A to New Decade, New Approach, what role the UK Government has in determining the representatives of the Northern Ireland Executive that will attend meetings of the (a) UK-EU Specialised Committee and (b) Joint Committees.

As set out in the New Decade, New Approach deal, the Government will ensure that representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive are invited to be part of the UK delegation in any meetings of the UK-EU Specialised or Joint Committees discussing Northern Ireland specific matters which are also being attended by the Irish Government as part of the European Union’s delegation.

The UK Government is continuing to work through the exact details of this arrangement and will work with the Northern Ireland Executive to define this in the proper way.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what plans the UK Government has to appoint (a) Ministers, (b) Northern Ireland Office officials and (c) Northern Ireland Civil Service officials to represent the UK on the Joint Consultative Working Group on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Government is continuing to work through the details of how the Joint Committee and subordinate Specialised Committee on Ireland/Northern Ireland and Joint Consultative Working Group will operate. This includes the delegations at these fora.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, with reference to the Government’s unilateral declaration on consent of 19 October 2019, what steps the Government has taken to establish a democratic consent process to determine the application of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is underpinned by the right of Northern Ireland to withdraw its consent from the continued application of EU law.

The detail of this arrangement is set out in the Government’s Unilateral Declaration of 17 October 2019. This sets out that the first consent decision will be taken in the two months before the end of the first four-year period after the end of the implementation period.

If the Assembly votes by simple majority against continued alignment, then Northern Ireland’s alignment with EU law will come to an end two years later. If the Assembly votes in favour of continued alignment, then Northern Ireland’s alignment with EU law will continue.

If this decision is made on the basis of a simple majority, a further consent decision will be required within four years. If the decision is made on the basis of cross-community support, a further consent process will be required within eight years.

Arrangements for the implementation of this arrangement will be set out in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)