Baroness Hoey Portrait

Baroness Hoey

Non-affiliated - Vauxhall

Became Member: 14th September 2020


Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
European Scrutiny Committee
15th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
9th Nov 2007 - 30th Mar 2015
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
1st Mar 2004 - 17th Jul 2005
Science and Technology Committee
1st Mar 2004 - 17th Jul 2005
Science, Innovation and Technology Committee
1st Mar 2004 - 17th Jul 2005
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of National Heritage) (Sport)
29th Jul 1999 - 7th Jun 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Jul 1998 - 29th Jul 1999
Social Security
27th Jun 1994 - 21st Mar 1997
Shadow Spokesperson (Women)
1st Jun 1992 - 1st Jun 1993


Scheduled Event
Tuesday 5th March 2024
Oral questions - Main Chamber
Number of women who have been prosecuted for non-payment of the television licence in the past two years
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Electoral Commission Strategy and Policy Statement
voted No - against a party majority
One of 2 Non-affiliated No votes vs 5 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 159
Speeches
Tuesday 27th February 2024
Northern Ireland
My Lords, I move this amendment to insert what I see as some honesty into the humble Address and to …
Written Answers
Wednesday 28th February 2024
Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry
To ask His Majesty's Government who are the members of the statutory inquiry established to investigate the Post Office Horizon …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 23rd July 2019
NORTHERN IRELAND VICTIM DEFINITION
That this House objects that the definition of victim in the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and in …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available
EDM signed
Tuesday 15th October 2019
Intimidation in public life
That this House recognises that intimidation experienced by those in public life poses a threat to the diversity, integrity, and …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 8th October 2019
Nurse Staffing Levels Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Hoey has voted in 227 divisions, and 7 times against the majority of their Party.

18 Oct 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Non-affiliated No votes vs 9 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 245 Noes - 204
18 Oct 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Non-affiliated No votes vs 10 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 245 Noes - 209
23 Oct 2023 - Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Non-affiliated No votes vs 7 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 218
23 Oct 2023 - Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Non-affiliated No votes vs 6 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 208 Noes - 199
16 Jan 2024 - Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 4 Non-affiliated Aye votes vs 4 Non-affiliated No votes
Tally: Ayes - 102 Noes - 212
6 Feb 2024 - Electoral Commission Strategy and Policy Statement - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Non-affiliated No votes vs 5 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 175 Noes - 159
6 Feb 2024 - Automated Vehicles Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Baroness Hoey voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Non-affiliated No votes vs 4 Non-affiliated Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
View All Baroness Hoey 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
Lord Frost (Conservative)
(19 debate interactions)
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(18 debate interactions)
Lord Caine (Conservative)
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(14 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Northern Ireland Office
(58 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(23 debate contributions)
Home Office
(15 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Hoey's debates

Lords initiatives


224 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
1 Other Department Questions
19th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that (1) tennis clubs in Northern Ireland can participate in British tennis, and (2) tennis clubs can affiliate to both Tennis Ireland and the Lawn Tennis Association if they wish.

The Lawn Tennis Association is the internationally recognised governing body for tennis in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Tennis Ireland is the internationally recognised governing body for tennis in the Republic of Ireland and also has the responsibility for promoting and supporting tennis in Northern Ireland.

It is not currently possible for a club to be affiliated to both Tennis Ireland and the Lawn Tennis Association. If a club in Northern Ireland wished to affiliate to the Lawn Tennis Association, that would be a matter for such a club to raise with the LTA directly. Dual affiliation would be a matter for each national governing body, and the International Tennis Federation, to agree.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they had with the Crown Prosecution Service prior to the domestic abuse guidance, published on 5 December 2022, which states that a spouse who withholds money from their partner for gender transitioning may be committing domestic abuse.

As part of their independent functions the CPS periodically issue guidance to aid their prosecutors. The publication of the domestic abuse guidance came following a CPS run public consultation that was widely publicised through Government departments, Police and Crime Commissioners, Domestic Abuse and Victims’ Commissioners, and the public. A full consultation response can be found on the CPS website. As a courtesy, the CPS forwarded a copy of the guidance to the Attorney General’s Office at the time of publication in December 2022. No substantive discussions were held.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
28th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of written statements made in a case by the Crown Prosecution Service that the Bible contains references "which are simply no longer appropriate in modern society and which would be deemed offensive if stated in public".

The Wessex Area of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has undertaken a post-case review and acknowledges that the statement was inappropriate. The statement was not intended to and does not represent a change to published CPS Policy. It is not indicative of a general approach by the CPS to cases involving the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to freedom of expression. As a result of the post-case review, in future, where skeleton arguments are ordered, in cases where there is scope for argument to arise as to rights such as that of freedom of expression, such arguments will be submitted to the Senior District Crown Prosecutor for signing off, prior to service.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether a matter vetoed under the operation of the Stormont Brake and not subsequently agreed by the UK–EU Joint Committee may be brought to international arbitration; and whether the UK has committed to accepting such a decision as final.

It is correct to note that the Stormont Brake safeguard is not subject to any ECJ oversight, and any dispute on this issue would be resolved through subsequent independent arbitration according to international, not EU, law.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when all (1) checks, and (2) paperwork, will cease to be required for goods moving via the UK Internal Market Scheme.

As set out in the Safeguarding the Union Command Paper, the internal market system will ensure the smooth flow of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland for internal UK trade. In line with the Government’s commitments since 2021, these arrangements establish individual schemes that can be used only by UK internal market traders, to preserve those benefits for UK traders and to maintain the smooth flow of that trade. Checks on Internal UK movements under the schemes will be removed except those conducted by UK authorities and required as part of a risk-based or intelligence-led approach to tackle criminality, abuse of the schemes, smuggling and disease risks. We will set out further information on the transition to these new arrangements shortly.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the value of services sold by businesses in Northern Ireland to clients in the European Union in each of the past 10 years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Baroness Hoey

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

30 January 2024

Dear Lady Hoey,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of the value of services sold by businesses in Northern Ireland to clients in the European Union in each of the past 10 years (HL1788).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published subnational trade in service statistics for 2016 to 2021 [1].

Table 1 provides details of the requested figures. The required source data is not available for pre-2016 so we are unable to provide estimates for the full 10-year period as requested. Please note that data are in current prices and, as such, include the effect of inflation.

Table 1 EU Exports of services from Northern Ireland to the EU, £ million

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

EU Services Exports from Northern Ireland

£2,742m

£2,767m

£5,274m

£1,779m

£1,469m

£1,555m

Source: Office for National Statistics

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/internationaltrade/datasets/subnationaltradetimeseries

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the 2021 census, (1) how were the cisgender and transgender individuals who took part in ONS qualitative research on gender identity conducted in 2017 selected; (2) what percentage of transgender individuals participated in the (a) 2019 census rehearsal and (b) 2021 census; (3) which local authority areas were chosen for the rehearsal; and (4) what assessment they have made of census data relating to high levels of trans-identified individuals in areas of England and Wales with high minority ethnic populations.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Baroness Hoey

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

14 November 2023

Dear Baroness Hoey,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking (1) how the cisgender and transgender individuals who took part in Office for National Statistics (ONS) qualitative research on gender identity, conducted in 2017, were selected; (2) what percentage of transgender individuals participated in the (a) 2019 census rehearsal and (b) 2021 census; (3) which local authority areas were chosen for the rehearsal; and (4) what assessment has been made of census data relating to high levels of trans-identified individuals in areas of England and Wales with high minority ethnic populations (HL38).

Census 2021 was the first census in England and Wales to collect data on people's gender identity. The census asked a voluntary question on gender identity of people aged 16 and over and this data was first published in January 2023.

On 8 November 2023, the ONS published an article titled ‘Quality of Census 2021 gender identity data’ [1]. This is the result of its investigation into the quality of census gender identity data after some unexpected patterns were identified. It included looking at patterns of trans identification by ethnic group, country of birth and proficiency in English. These patterns can offer some insight into the last aspect of your question relating to the level of trans-identified individuals in England and Wales with high minority ethnic populations.

Gender identity question development

As with all census questions, the gender identity question went through a detailed process of development and testing. This evaluated three core designs as described in detail in our 2020 publication ‘Sex and gender identity question development for Census 2021’ [2]. As set out in Annex 2 of that report, the testing activities conducted for this topic included:

  • qualitative research involving both trans participants and those whose gender identity is the same as their sex registered at birth (cisgender)

  • quantitative research through five online and multi-modal surveys with a range of respondents

  • inclusion in the 2019 Census Rehearsal

Your questions relating to specific testing within that process are addressed below

Participants in qualitative testing in 2017

In 2017, we carried out two sets of qualitative testing as part of the development of the gender identity question. In March and April 2017, we carried out exploratory cognitive interviews and focus groups, this testing is referred to as 2017:6 in annex 2 [2] and in the summary of testing for Census 2021 which includes further information [3]. We included cisgender (female and male), transgender, and intersex participants, as well as people with a transgender person in their family. We also made sure we involved people of different ages, education levels, ethnicities, and household types. Transgender participants were recruited through the following sources:

  • Various trans organisations and contacts.

  • Respondents to the ONS’s Opinions and Lifestyle Survey who had given permission for ONS to contact them again for future research.

  • Follow-up contact with volunteers from previous research.

  • Through a request for volunteers with the required characteristics among family, friends, and other contacts of ONS staff (the participants did not include ONS staff themselves).

In August and September 2017, we carried out further cognitive interviews with cisgender and transgender participants (2017:15) [2] . Transgender participants were recruited through various trans organisations and follow-up contact with people who had responded to recruitment for the earlier research but weren’t interviewed at that time. Cisgender participants were recruited through the research team’s register of participants in previous research on other topics, who had given permission for ONS to contact them again for future research.

The 2019 Census Rehearsal

The 2019 Census Rehearsal took place in four local authority areas: Carlisle, Ceredigion, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets. These locations were selected so that we could rehearse in different types of areas. The Rehearsal tested our preparations, our operational processes and systems, our digital platform, our engagement and communications strategies and the Census Coverage Survey, as part of our preparations for Census 2021. It was not designed to collect representative data, but to test, evaluate and gather feedback on our preparations. The overall response rate for this voluntary survey was therefore lower than for Census 2021, particularly for communal establishments such as student halls of residence.

The gender identity question was voluntary in Census 2021 and was clearly marked as voluntary in the questionnaire for both the census and the 2019 Rehearsal. In the Rehearsal, 0.3% of respondents aged 16 and over answered ‘No’ to the gender identity question, reporting that their gender identity was different to their sex registered at birth. In Census 2021, 0.5% of respondents answered ‘No’ to the gender identity question; 6% of census respondents gave no answer to the question.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/qualityofcensus2021genderidentitydata

[2] https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme/questiondevelopment/sexandgenderidentityquestiondevelopmentforcensus2021

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/census/censustransformationprogramme/questiondevelopment/summaryoftestingforcensus2021

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many excess deaths there have been in England and Wales in each quarter since 1 January 2020; what were the totals in the years (1) 2020, (2) 2021, (3) 2022, and (4) 2023 to date; and what proportion of deaths where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate have been (a) male, and (b) female.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

Please see the letter attached from the National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority.

The Baroness Hoey

House of Lords

London

SW1A 0PW

14 November 2023

Dear Baroness Hoey,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many excess deaths there have been in England and Wales in each quarter since 1 January 2020; what were the totals in the years (1) 2020, (2) 2021, (3) 2022, and (4) 2023 to date; and what proportion of deaths where COVID-19 is mentioned on the death certificate have been (a) male, and (b) female (HL36).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes statistics on deaths registered in England and Wales. Mortality statistics are compiled from information supplied when deaths are certified and registered as part of civil registration.

Table 1 provides information on excess deaths by quarter in England and Wales. It also provides the age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR) by quarter which is a weighted average of the age-specific mortality rate per 100,000 people. This takes into account the population size and age structure which means comparisons between populations that may contain different proportions of people of different ages can be made.

Table 2 provides information on deaths involving COVID-19 by sex.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number and proportions of excess deaths by quarter, 2020 to 2023 [1] [2] [3]

Year

Quarter

Deaths

ASMR

Five-year average deaths

Five-year average ASMR

Excess deaths

Percentage excess deaths

Percentage excess ASMR

2020

1

150077

1045.2

151931

1120.6

-1854

-1.2

-6.7

2020

2

183118

1271.1

127709

928.9

55409

43.4

36.8

2020

3

120456

826.9

119446

855.6

1010

0.8

-3.3

2020

4

154271

1059.1

132992

948.8

21279

16.0

11.6

2021

1

180673

1266.2

151931

1120.6

28742

18.9

13

2021

2

120663

836.5

127709

928.9

-7046

-5.5

-10

2021

3

134035

914.6

119446

855.6

14589

12.2

6.9

2021

4

150963

1019.1

132992

948.8

17971

13.5

7.4

2022

1

148514

1013.3

156965

1137.7

-8451

-5.4

-10.9

2022

2

138818

926.3

126521

905.1

12297

9.7

2.3

2022

3

137700

902.5

122596

863.6

15104

12.3

4.5

2022

4

152136

991.8

137332

962.2

14804

10.8

3.1

2023

1

171371

1136

158239

1126.3

13132

8.3

0.9

2023

2

139277

909.2

128234

898

11043

8.6

1.2

2023

3

128711

827.9

126109

869

2602

2.1

-4.7

Source: Office for National Statistics

Table 2: Number and proportions of deaths involving COVID-19 by quarter, 2020 to 2023 [1] [2] [3] [4]

Year

Quarter

Deaths

Male (Deaths)

Female (Deaths)

Male (%)

Female (%)

2020

1

1734

1054

680

60.8

39.2

2020

2

48580

26638

21942

54.8

45.2

2020

3

2770

1552

1218

56

44

2020

4

28711

16003

12708

55.7

44.3

2021

1

56418

29836

26582

52.9

47.1

2021

2

2670

1567

1103

58.7

41.3

2021

3

7696

4504

3192

58.5

41.5

2021

4

10943

6392

4551

58.4

41.6

2022

1

12875

7186

5689

55.8

44.2

2022

2

8369

4472

3897

53.4

46.6

2022

3

6756

3648

3108

54

46

2022

4

6344

3394

2950

53.5

46.5

2023

1

7978

4118

3860

51.6

48.4

2023

2

4246

2355

1891

55.5

44.5

2023

3

2053

1241

812

60.4

39.6

Source: Office for National Statistics

[1] Figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring, in each period.

[2] Figures include deaths of non-residents.

[3] Figures for 2023 are based on provisional data.

[4] The International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) codes for COVID-19 are U07.1, U07.2, U09.9, U10.9

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government to which events to mark the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and proclamation events to mark the accession of His Majesty King Charles III that they were responsible for organising, members of the Northern Ireland Judiciary were invited; and (1) which events they attended, and (2) who was in attendance from this group in each case.

The Lady Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, The Rt Hon. Dame Siobhan Keegan DBE KC was the member of the Northern Ireland Judiciary invited to events to mark the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and proclamation events to mark the accession of His Majesty King Charles III, for which the organisational responsibility was with HMG.

The Lady Chief Justice attended the Accession Council. The Lady Chief Justice was invited to the Proclamation at Hillsborough Castle and was invited to and attended the Service of Reflection at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.

The Royal Household had responsibility for the guest list for the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. HMG provided support in coordinating certain elements of the guest list.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Supreme Court judgment on R v Adams 2020, whether they plan to legislate to restore the Carltona Principle which provides that acts of government officials are synonymous with acts of a Secretary of State; and if so, when.

The Government believes that lack of clarity on when the Carltona principle applies is unhelpful. We are not currently planning to legislate on this issue but we are continuing to keep the impact of the judgement in R v Adams, and options for responding, under careful review.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which outside contractors are used by departments to book international travel.

This information is not held centrally.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
25th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) which departments use Capita to book international travel, and (2) what has been the cost of using Capita to book international travel for (a) Ministers, and (b) civil servants.

This information is not held centrally.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are aware of any arrests in the Republic of Ireland for the sale of British sausages.

Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, and its consumers should be able to enjoy products they have bought from Great Britain. Our biosecurity standards remain as high as they always have done, and these goods remain entirely safe for NI consumers to enjoy. The Government has seen no evidence of chilled meats moved from Great Britain finding their way onto the EU market.

We welcome the fact that we have been able to agree an extension of the grace period on chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland consumers will be able to continue to buy chilled meat products from Great Britain, and allows for further discussions to continue on a permanent solution without requiring the UK to dynamically align with EU rules.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are aware of any criminal operations to disguise the origin of sausages intended for sale in Northern Ireland in order to sell them in the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, and its consumers should be able to enjoy products they have bought from Great Britain. Our biosecurity standards remain as high as they always have done, and these goods remain entirely safe for NI consumers to enjoy. The Government has seen no evidence of chilled meats moved from Great Britain finding their way onto the EU market.

We welcome the fact that we have been able to agree an extension of the grace period on chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland consumers will be able to continue to buy chilled meat products from Great Britain, and allows for further discussions to continue on a permanent solution without requiring the UK to dynamically align with EU rules.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received notification from the government of Ireland that sausages intended for sale in Northern Ireland are being sold in the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, and its consumers should be able to enjoy products they have bought from Great Britain. Our biosecurity standards remain as high as they always have done, and these goods remain entirely safe for NI consumers to enjoy. The Government has seen no evidence of chilled meats moved from Great Britain finding their way onto the EU market.

We welcome the fact that we have been able to agree an extension of the grace period on chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland consumers will be able to continue to buy chilled meat products from Great Britain, and allows for further discussions to continue on a permanent solution without requiring the UK to dynamically align with EU rules.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made an assessment of the number of British sausages which have been smuggled from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland since 1 January.

Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, and its consumers should be able to enjoy products they have bought from Great Britain. Our biosecurity standards remain as high as they always have done, and these goods remain entirely safe for NI consumers to enjoy. The Government has seen no evidence of chilled meats moved from Great Britain finding their way onto the EU market.

We welcome the fact that we have been able to agree an extension of the grace period on chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland consumers will be able to continue to buy chilled meat products from Great Britain, and allows for further discussions to continue on a permanent solution without requiring the UK to dynamically align with EU rules.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what prevents the temporary provision allowing sausages to be moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland from being made permanent.

Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom, and its consumers should be able to enjoy products they have bought from Great Britain. Our biosecurity standards remain as high as they always have done, and these goods remain entirely safe for NI consumers to enjoy. The Government has seen no evidence of chilled meats moved from Great Britain finding their way onto the EU market.

We welcome the fact that we have been able to agree an extension of the grace period on chilled meats moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This means that Northern Ireland consumers will be able to continue to buy chilled meat products from Great Britain, and allows for further discussions to continue on a permanent solution without requiring the UK to dynamically align with EU rules.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, how they define unfettered market access for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

I refer the noble Lady to the answer given to PQHL11816.

As set out on gov.uk, and in the Government's December Command Paper, our unfettered access policy will mean that Northern Ireland businesses can continue to move their goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and place them on the whole UK market, without new barriers being put in place. That is given full effect through our phased approach. In the first phase, which has been operating since 1 January, goods moving directly from Northern Ireland directly to Great Britain will benefit from unfettered access. There will be no new checks or controls on those movements. And even where goods move indirectly via Ireland, there will be no tariffs on those movements. This will be followed up with a second phase over the course of 2021 which will focus the benefits of unfettered access specifically on genuine Northern Ireland businesses. Alongside that, the UK Internal Market Act 2020 ensures that those businesses will continue to place those goods on the GB market.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they define (1) a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and (2) a hard border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As set out on gov.uk, and in the Government's December Command Paper, our unfettered access policy will mean that Northern Ireland businesses can continue to move their goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and place them on the whole UK market, without new barriers being put in place. That is given full effect through our phased approach. In the first phase, which has been operating since 1 January, goods moving directly from Northern Ireland directly to Great Britain will benefit from unfettered access. There will be no new checks or controls on those movements. And even where goods move indirectly via Ireland, there will be no tariffs on those movements. This will be followed up with a second phase over the course of 2021 which will focus the benefits of unfettered access specifically on genuine Northern Ireland businesses. Alongside that, the UK Internal Market Act 2020 ensures that those businesses will continue to place those goods on the GB market.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, how they define "unfettered market access for goods moving from Northern Ireland to other parts of the United Kingdom's internal market."

As set out on gov.uk, and in the Government's December Command Paper, our unfettered access policy will mean that Northern Ireland businesses can continue to move their goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and place them on the whole UK market, without new barriers being put in place. That is given full effect through our phased approach. In the first phase, which has been operating since 1 January, goods moving directly from Northern Ireland directly to Great Britain will benefit from unfettered access. There will be no new checks or controls on those movements. And even where goods move indirectly via Ireland, there will be no tariffs on those movements. This will be followed up with a second phase over the course of 2021 which will focus the benefits of unfettered access specifically on genuine Northern Ireland businesses. Alongside that, the UK Internal Market Act 2020 ensures that those businesses will continue to place those goods on the GB market.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of civil servants are currently working from home.

The information on Civil Servants currently working from home is not held centrally.

Civil Servants are required to follow the local COVID measures wherever they are deployed throughout the UK. Where staff are able to work from home effectively they are doing so and Civil Servants working in essential services will continue to go into our COVID secure workplaces where necessary.

During September we collected data weekly; the number of employees working in the workplace in the London area for some or all of their working patterns were 27,724 individuals by the end of the month. Moving to a monthly collection period from October, workplace attendance increased to 33,151.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many civil servants worked from an office in London during September and October.

The information on Civil Servants currently working from home is not held centrally.

Civil Servants are required to follow the local COVID measures wherever they are deployed throughout the UK. Where staff are able to work from home effectively they are doing so and Civil Servants working in essential services will continue to go into our COVID secure workplaces where necessary.

During September we collected data weekly; the number of employees working in the workplace in the London area for some or all of their working patterns were 27,724 individuals by the end of the month. Moving to a monthly collection period from October, workplace attendance increased to 33,151.

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
13th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government who are the members of the statutory inquiry established to investigate the Post Office Horizon scandal; and who chairs that inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is chaired by Sir Wyn Williams FLSW, a former High Court judge, who is supported by an Inquiry team including counsel, solicitors, assessors, and the Secretariat.

The statutory roles to the Inquiry which support the Chair are Counsel to the Inquiry (Jason Beer, KC), Solicitor to the Inquiry (Segun Jide) and Secretary to the Inquiry (Leila Pilgrim). There are two assessors to the Inquiry (Erika Eliasson-Norris and David Page) who have been appointed to provide advice to the Chairman on their area of relevant expertise regarding the Inquiry.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the National Federation of SubPostmasters concerning the removal of DVLA services from Post Offices.

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) meets with the National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) regularly, both at official and at ministerial level. The NFSP have raised their concerns at the potential future removal of DVLA services from Post Office branches at these meetings, and officials have ensured these concerns are highlighted at Ministerial level and with Post Office Limited. The contract negotiations themselves represent a commercial matter between DVLA and Post Office.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to using the Export Control Act 2002 to filter unsuitable items crossing from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland to prevent a border in the Irish Sea.

The Export Control Act 2002 provides the legal basis for our export control legislation on military and certain dual-use goods. Military list items and certain dual-use items specified within the European Union (EU) Dual-use Regulation (“the Dual-use Regulation”), require an export licence for export from Northern Ireland to Ireland. Export licence applications for these items would be assessed against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, which is statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State and laid before Parliament under section 9 of the Export Control Act 2002. We would not issue an export licence in response to an application where to do so would be inconsistent with the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria. Unless specified within Annex IV of the Dual-use Regulation, dual-use items exported from Northern Ireland to Ireland would not require a licence.

The Windsor Framework ensures the free flow of trade from Great Britain to Northern Ireland through a new green lane, removing unacceptable customs processes. The only checks conducted will be risk-based to target smuggling or criminality in the green lane, highly-controlled goods, or any goods bound for the EU in the red lane.

Lord Offord of Garvel
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
16th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Royal Mail Stamp Swap Out scheme; and what assessment they have made of the cost of that scheme so far.

The development of stamp products is an operational matter for Royal Mail. The Government is not involved in the operational or commercial decisions of Royal Mail, a private business.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Future Fund refused an application from Fly Atlantic; and if so, what were the reasons for doing so.

The Future Fund launched on 20 May 2020 and closed to new applications on 31 January 2021. The total number of applications received was 1,851. The scheme was open to all companies that met the eligibility criteria published on the British Business Bank’s website and passed the necessary checks. As it was a rules-based scheme, there was no assessment by the Future Fund of individual investments. The British Business Bank publishes the names of all companies in which the Future Fund retains an equity interest. The identity of applicants who did not meet the eligibility criteria is not made public.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
25th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how much funding has been allocated by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Councils in the last five years to (1) legacy, and (2) legal projects, in Northern Ireland which involve (a) transitional justice, (b) dealing with the past, (c) human rights, and (d) amnesties; which (i) university departments, and (ii) non-academic project partners, have benefited, and by how much; and how a variety of political views has been maintained in the funding allocation.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding is allocated according to research excellence as assessed by independent peer review. UKRI fund a number of projects in Northern Ireland but do not hold data in the requested format.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether any retained EU law will still apply to Northern Ireland after the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill is enacted.

The Bill will continue to uphold the UK Government’s commitments to complying with its international obligations. Accordingly, it will ensure that any retained EU law required to maintain our international obligations will continue to be implemented, including the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Bill is UK-wide in its territorial extent. Therefore, the key measures in the Bill will apply to the devolved governments, including the powers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which parts of the Subsidy Control Bill are not intended to apply to Northern Ireland because of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Clause 48(2)(a) provides that the subsidy control requirements contained in the Bill do not apply to subsidies given, or schemes made, in accordance with Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol provides that EU State aid rules continue to apply to aid which affects trade in goods and electricity between NI and the EU.

All parts of the Subsidy Control Bill apply to subsidies for services in Northern Ireland.

The Government is currently in intensive discussions with the EU, with the aim of delivering significant changes to the Protocol. As outlined in the Command Paper of 21 July 2021, the UK’s proposal is that all types of subsidy would in the future be within scope of the domestic regime, with some enhanced arrangements for subsidies of significant scale in Northern Ireland.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the value of the services provided by the Post Office; and what plans they have to support its work in the future.

Previous analysis, commissioned by BEIS and undertaken by London Economics and YouGov[1], found that users of the Post Office placed a value of between £4.3bn and £9.7bn per annum on the network. The research is attached, but is also available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/566224/beis-16-37-post-office-network-social-value.pdf.

More recently, new research by Public First has revealed how much of a vital role Post Offices play in high streets, providing a boost of more than £1 billion for surrounding retailers and businesses. The research is available here: https://postofficeimpact.co.uk/

The £227 million funding the Government has provided through the Spending Review extends the network subsidy at £50 million for a further year and provides Post Office with £177 million to invest in the future of the business.

[1] The Social Value of the Post Office Network, London Economics/YouGov, 2020

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) Government departments and bodies, and (2) private institutions, have stopped using the Post Office for payments over the past two years.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, the company has the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. Post Office Limited is therefore responsible for decisions on its commercial partnerships with Government Departments and private companies alike.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 11 December 2023 (HL763), whether they will now answer the question put; namely, when they first discussed the inclusion of Casement Park in the UEFA Euro 2028 bid.

Work started on the UK and Ireland EURO 2028 bid in January 2022, building on a feasibility study into a bid for the FIFA World Cup. Discussions about potential venues – including in Northern Ireland – were part of this process from the outset.

Casement Park was confirmed as a proposed stadium in the final joint bid in April 2023, as it is the stadium site in Northern Ireland which could most closely meet UEFA’s technical requirements, including size, capacity, and facilities.

As with all stadia, those included are subject to UEFA’s final venue selection and match-scheduling process.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much they have spent on any aspect of the Casement Park redevelopment, including any estimate for time spent by civil servants.

Casement Park was confirmed as a proposed stadium for Euro 2028 in the final bid of April 2023. The Sub-Regional Stadia Programme, including the redevelopment of Casement Park, is the responsibility of the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport engages with its partners in Northern Ireland, as do other Government Departments – including the Northern Ireland Office and HM Treasury – on plans to deliver Euro 2028 and to make sure the tournament leaves a lasting legacy of football for all.

We will continue to analyse relevant proposals and business cases for Casement Park, to ensure that we are making the best use of resources to support the success of the tournament.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they first discussed the inclusion of Casement Park in the UEFA Euro 2028 bid.

Casement Park was confirmed as a proposed stadium for Euro 2028 in the final bid of April 2023. The Sub-Regional Stadia Programme, including the redevelopment of Casement Park, is the responsibility of the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport engages with its partners in Northern Ireland, as do other Government Departments – including the Northern Ireland Office and HM Treasury – on plans to deliver Euro 2028 and to make sure the tournament leaves a lasting legacy of football for all.

We will continue to analyse relevant proposals and business cases for Casement Park, to ensure that we are making the best use of resources to support the success of the tournament.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which departments are engaging with the Irish Football Association in relation to the UEFA Euro 2028 Casement Park project.

Casement Park was confirmed as a proposed stadium for Euro 2028 in the final bid of April 2023. The Sub-Regional Stadia Programme, including the redevelopment of Casement Park, is the responsibility of the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport engages with its partners in Northern Ireland, as do other Government Departments – including the Northern Ireland Office and HM Treasury – on plans to deliver Euro 2028 and to make sure the tournament leaves a lasting legacy of football for all.

We will continue to analyse relevant proposals and business cases for Casement Park, to ensure that we are making the best use of resources to support the success of the tournament.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with sports governing bodies on the availability of female-only categories of competition that exclude all males.

His Majesty’s Government has discussed the Sports Council Equality Group’s guidance on transgender participation with sports governing bodies on multiple occasions.

When it comes to competitive sport, HM Government believes fairness has to be the primary consideration. HM Government is clear a way forward is needed that protects and shows compassion to all, whilst being clear that the integrity of competition must be maintained.

Where sex does have an impact on the fairness of competitive women’s sport, domestic governing bodies and international federations must provide clear direction to protect the integrity of women's sport.

It is ultimately for all individual sports’ national governing bodies to decide on the specific appropriate initiatives to make women’s sport fair and safe in their organisations, whilst making sport inclusive for all.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will appoint a representative of Northern Ireland to the BBC board.

This campaign is in its final stages and an appointment will be made in due course, in line with the requirements of the Governance Code and the BBC’s Royal Charter.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay on 16 May (HL7711), whether they intend to ensure that the redevelopment of the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park and of Casement Park in Belfast have equal funding.

There has been a long-standing commitment in Northern Ireland, as part of the regional stadium development programme, to redevelop Casement Park – alongside the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park and Kingspan Stadium, which have already undergone improvements. Given the inclusion of Casement Park in the UK and Ireland EURO 2028 bid, and the current lack of a Northern Ireland Executive, HM Government is working closely with partners in Northern Ireland to ensure that the redevelopment is adequately funded, is delivered in good time, and complies with UEFA’s technical requirements.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they expect the BBC Member for Northern Ireland to be appointed to the BBC Board.

Interviews for this campaign were held on 31 October, and an appointment will be made in due course, in line with the Code of Governance for Public Appointments and the BBC Royal Charter.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how long there has been a vacancy on the BBC Board for a member from Northern Ireland; and when they expect this vacancy to be filled.

This role has been vacant since the Board was formed in 2017. It was not possible to make an appointment to the board at that time due to the dissolution of the Northern Ireland Executive. A process to appoint a Northern Ireland Member was run in 2021, but Ministers decided to restart the process due to an insufficiently diverse and broad longlist.

The executive search company Odgers Berndtson was hired to support a new campaign, which is currently underway and closed to applications on 6 June 2022. An appointment will be made in due course, in line with the Code of Governance for Public Appointments and the BBC Royal Charter.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the British Olympic Association about renaming Team GB to Team UK.

The Government met the British Olympic Association as part of a wider National Governing Body meeting in February but did not discuss renaming the Olympic team from Team GB & NI to Team UK.

The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the UK Overseas Territories and is wholly responsible for our national representation at the Games and for any branding of the Olympic team representing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their position on the British Olympic team being called Team GB.

The Government met the British Olympic Association as part of a wider National Governing Body meeting in February but did not discuss renaming the Olympic team from Team GB & NI to Team UK.

The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the UK Overseas Territories and is wholly responsible for our national representation at the Games and for any branding of the Olympic team representing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last met the British Olympic Association.

The Government met the British Olympic Association as part of a wider National Governing Body meeting in February but did not discuss renaming the Olympic team from Team GB & NI to Team UK.

The British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the UK Overseas Territories and is wholly responsible for our national representation at the Games and for any branding of the Olympic team representing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how individuals in Northern Ireland can express their views on the BBC’s output pending the appointment of the BBC Member for Northern Ireland to the BBC Board.

The best way for audiences in Northern Ireland, and in all parts of the UK, to express their views on the BBC’s output is to contact the BBC directly. This is not affected by the current vacancy of a Board member for Northern Ireland.

The BBC’s website sets out the routes through which members of the public can contact the BBC to raise issues or complaints, or provide feedback. More information can be found on the BBC website.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the timetable for filling the vacant position of BBC Member for Northern Ireland to the BBC Board.

The process to appoint a new Northern Ireland Member to the board of the BBC will be a fair and open competition, run in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

The role has been vacant since the Board was formed in 2017. It was not possible to make an appointment to the board at that time due to the dissolution of the Northern Ireland Executive. A process to appoint a Northern Ireland Member was run in 2021, but Ministers decided to restart the process due to an insufficiently diverse and broad longlist. The process will launch this month.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the reason for the delay in appointing the BBC Member for Northern Ireland to the BBC Board.

The process to appoint a new Northern Ireland Member to the board of the BBC will be a fair and open competition, run in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

The role has been vacant since the Board was formed in 2017. It was not possible to make an appointment to the board at that time due to the dissolution of the Northern Ireland Executive. A process to appoint a Northern Ireland Member was run in 2021, but Ministers decided to restart the process due to an insufficiently diverse and broad longlist. The process will launch this month.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any of Kids Company's former (1) trustees, or (2) chief executives, received any public money to contest the Official Receiver case; and if so, what was the full breakdown of all costs incurred.

This Government has no record of any such payments to Kids Company’s former trustees or chief executives.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Charity Commission will publish their report into the collapse of Kids Company.

Owing to the Official Receiver’s investigation, aspects of the Commission’s inquiry were placed on hold pending the outcome of the subsequent High Court proceedings. The High Court issued its detailed judgement on 12 February 2021. The Commission intends to publish its inquiry report as soon as possible.

The Commission’s published guidance CC46 (statutory inquiries into charities) sets out some of the factors that determine the length of a statutory inquiry. These can include, for example, the complexity of the issues involved, and the involvement of other regulators and/or statutory agencies. In the case of Keeping Kids Company, separate High Court proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act have been a factor.

As well as having a direct impact on the charity, its beneficiaries, staff and supporters, the collapse of Kids Company had a wider effect on public confidence in charities, so it is important that lessons are learned for the future.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Sep 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to support the changing of the British Olympic team name to Team UK instead of Team GB.

DCMS Ministers have had no discussions with the British Olympic Association (BOA), an independent organisation, ​about​ renaming the Olympic team from Team GB & NI to Team UK.

The BOA is the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the UK Overseas Territories and is wholly responsible for our national representation at the Games and for any branding of the Olympic team representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the level of government funding to the BBC in each of the last five years for (1) the BBC World Service, (2) BBC Media Action, and (3) other funding streams; and what decisions have been made, if any, to provide the BBC with funding to replace EU payments that will or have ceased.

Since 2016, the FCDO has funded the World2020 Programme which has established 12 new language services and provided enhancements to existing services. The FCDO provided the following funding to the World Service: £34.2m for 2016-17; £85.6m for 2017-18; £85.8m for 2018-19 and 2019-20; and £87.2m for 2020-21.

BBC Media action sets out the levels of government funding within its annual review. They are reported to be £17.8m in 2016/17, £9.3m in 2017/18, £8m in 2018/19 and £10.3m in 2019/20. The 2020/21 report is due to be published.

As part of the UK's withdrawal from the EU, the UK will no longer be participating in the vast majority of EU programmes, and the Government has chosen to look at other ways of supporting the UK sectors.

The BBC sets out its full funding streams within its annual accounts.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money in each of the past five years was raised by the BBC licensing fee; how such fees were collected; and what was the (1) total collection cost, and (2) average cost per fee of collection.

The BBC is responsible for the collection and administration of the television licence fee, not the government. The government is therefore not involved in TV Licensing operations.

TV licencing sets out the amounts collected within it’s annual review. The 2020/21 report is due to be published.

The total income raised by the TV licence fee is stated as being £3.78bn in 2016/17, £3.8bn in 2017/18, £3.6bn in 2018/19 and £3.5bn in 2019/20.

The total collection cost is stated as being £82.2m in 2016/17, £101m in 2017/18, £102.6m in 2018/19 and £119.5m in 2019/20.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not hold information on the average cost per fee of collection. This information may be held by the BBC.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of schools that have benefited from Football Foundation funding that have withdrawn community access from their facilities.

The Government does not collect detailed central information on individual schools opening facilities to the community. However, engagement and impact on the wider community is evaluated as part of the Football Foundation application and evaluation process.

We are encouraging more schools to open their facilities to the community and have provided £10.1 million this year to support their reopening as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of schools that have benefited from the National Lottery Community Fund but which have withdrawn community access to their facilities.

In the past five years the National Lottery Community Fund has granted funding to a total of 3,221 schools and educational bodies in the UK.

The National Lottery Community Fund monitors its live grants to ensure they meet the purpose and outcomes for which the funding was intended. The Fund is not aware of any current projects where community access to a school or educational body’s facilities was an expected outcome of the grant and has subsequently not been made available, outside of COVID-19 restrictions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on junior football leagues; and in particular, the refusal of some local authorities to allow pitches to be used after the normal date for the season to end.

Government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have the best opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity. Our Sporting Future strategy sets out how important it is for all children to have a good experience of sport and physical activity while they are young. We want all young people to be healthy and active.

Government has made a £10.1m investment to open school facilities outside the school day to be spent in the Summer term. This is being delivered by Sport England and county-level Active Partnerships. This includes helping schools to make partnerships with local sports providers.

Local authorities have devolved powers and therefore can decide how best to use their land and facilities depending on their assessment of the needs of their local communities.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the reduction in the numbers of children learning to swim due to the closure of swimming pools in the past year.

The Government does not collect data from schools on how many pupils are able to swim, but data from Sport England's annual Active Lives Children Survey provides the government with a national picture. Data for academic year 19/20 show that 77% of children in year 7 report they can swim 25m.

Swimming and water safety is an important part of the primary PE curriculum. The government is committed to ensuring that all children leave primary school with vital swimming and water safety skills. The PE and sport premium can be used by primary schools to support swimming and water safety, for example through 'top-up' lessons or additional teaching training. We provide schools with the flexibility to decide how to spend their premium in line with conditions of grant and do not collect data on proportion or amount of spend for any given activity.

In addition to the PE and sport premium, schools are able to access new virtual water safety lessons from Oak National Academy and the Department will be supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK's Drowning Prevention Week in June 2021. The government has provided an additional £10.1m to improve use of school sport facilities, including swimming pools. New resources to support children with SEND learning to swim and knowing how to be safe in and around the water have been developed through the Inclusion 2020 grant, which is led by the Youth Sport Trust. These resources are available on Swim England's inclusion hub.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what further steps they have taken since January to ascertain the impact of alternative enforcement schemes for the BBC licence fee.

The government is considering decriminalisation of TV licence evasion and other possible reforms to the licence fee system to increase fairness and proportionality within the broader context of the ongoing licence fee settlement.

The government may in future undertake a further, technical consultation on the possible alternative civil sanctions to set out in more detail how alternative schemes could work in practice.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce legislation to decriminalise non-payment of the TV licence fee.

The government believes that it is right to look again at whether the criminal sanction remains appropriate for TV licence fee evasion given ongoing concerns about whether the criminal sanction is unfair and disproportionate.

In February 2020, we launched a public consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion.

The consultation closed in April after receiving over 150,000 responses. We will listen carefully to those that have responded before setting out our next steps.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the closing date for submissions to their official transgender guidance for schools.

The department understands that this is a complex and sensitive subject for schools to navigate. This is why we are developing guidance to support schools both in relation to transgender pupils and those who are questioning their gender. The guidance will be clear that, apart from in exceptional circumstances, schools should involve parents in any decision about their child.

To ensure the guidance is right, it is important that the department is able to consider a wide range of views. The department has committed to holding a full public consultation on the draft guidance prior to publication, to which anyone can respond.

The consultation will be live in due course, allowing those who wish to respond to it time to do so.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government who will be consulted on the official transgender guidance for schools.

The department understands that this is a complex and sensitive subject for schools to navigate. This is why we are developing guidance to support schools both in relation to transgender pupils and those who are questioning their gender. The guidance will be clear that, apart from in exceptional circumstances, schools should involve parents in any decision about their child.

To ensure the guidance is right, it is important that the department is able to consider a wide range of views. The department has committed to holding a full public consultation on the draft guidance prior to publication, to which anyone can respond.

The consultation will be live in due course, allowing those who wish to respond to it time to do so.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much of the £320 million of PE and sport premium available for primary schools has been spent on children’s swimming.

The department does not collect data from schools on how many pupils are able to swim 25 metres, but data from Sport England’s annual Active Lives Children Survey provides the government with a national picture. Data for the 2019-20 academic year shows that 77% of children in year 7 report they can swim 25 metres.

The physical education (PE) and sport premium can be used by primary schools to support swimming and water safety, for example, through ‘top-up’ lessons or additional teaching training. The department provides schools with the flexibility to decide how to spend their premium in line with the conditions of the grant and do not collect data on the proportion or the amount of spend for any given activity.

In addition to the PE and sport premium, schools are able to access new virtual water safety lessons from Oak National Academy and the department will be supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week in June 2021. The department has provided an additional £10.1 million to improve the use of school sport facilities, including swimming pools. New resources to support children with special educational needs and disabilities to swim and knowing how to be safe in and around the water have been developed through the department’s Inclusion 2020 grant, which is led by the Youth Sport Trust. These resources are available on Swim England’s inclusion hub.

19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many primary school children have not been able to swim the statutory 25 metres in the 2019/20 academic year and what is their projection for this figure in 2020/2021.

The department does not collect data from schools on how many pupils are able to swim 25 metres, but data from Sport England’s annual Active Lives Children Survey provides the government with a national picture. Data for the 2019-20 academic year shows that 77% of children in year 7 report they can swim 25 metres.

The physical education (PE) and sport premium can be used by primary schools to support swimming and water safety, for example, through ‘top-up’ lessons or additional teaching training. The department provides schools with the flexibility to decide how to spend their premium in line with the conditions of the grant and do not collect data on the proportion or the amount of spend for any given activity.

In addition to the PE and sport premium, schools are able to access new virtual water safety lessons from Oak National Academy and the department will be supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week in June 2021. The department has provided an additional £10.1 million to improve the use of school sport facilities, including swimming pools. New resources to support children with special educational needs and disabilities to swim and knowing how to be safe in and around the water have been developed through the department’s Inclusion 2020 grant, which is led by the Youth Sport Trust. These resources are available on Swim England’s inclusion hub.

19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what help they are providing to primary schools to ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn to swim before moving on to secondary school.

The department does not collect data from schools on how many pupils are able to swim 25 metres, but data from Sport England’s annual Active Lives Children Survey provides the government with a national picture. Data for the 2019-20 academic year shows that 77% of children in year 7 report they can swim 25 metres.

The physical education (PE) and sport premium can be used by primary schools to support swimming and water safety, for example, through ‘top-up’ lessons or additional teaching training. The department provides schools with the flexibility to decide how to spend their premium in line with the conditions of the grant and do not collect data on the proportion or the amount of spend for any given activity.

In addition to the PE and sport premium, schools are able to access new virtual water safety lessons from Oak National Academy and the department will be supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Drowning Prevention Week in June 2021. The department has provided an additional £10.1 million to improve the use of school sport facilities, including swimming pools. New resources to support children with special educational needs and disabilities to swim and knowing how to be safe in and around the water have been developed through the department’s Inclusion 2020 grant, which is led by the Youth Sport Trust. These resources are available on Swim England’s inclusion hub.

19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government when the suspension of movement of ruminant animals from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be lifted.

Movements can only resume when the conditions of the importing authority, as set out in their export certification, can be met. We will take action to ensure that any additional restrictions imposed on exports are minimised and proportionate to the low risks involved.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many cases of Bluetongue virus have been verified in Great Britain.

As of the 20 February, 112 Bluetongue serotype 3 cases have been found in England on 64 premises in 3 counties. This comprises 106 cases in cattle and 6 cases in sheep. The latest case figures and information are available online at GOV.UK.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government why ruminant animals can move within Great Britain despite Bluetongue virus in Kent, but cannot be moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The findings of Bluetongue in England means that Great Britain is no longer recognised as free of Bluetongue disease and is therefore unable to export live susceptible animals.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ensure that Northern Ireland operates under the same animal welfare standards as the rest of the UK during transport.

Animal welfare in transport is a devolved matter, and we will continue to work closely with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in this area.

Lord Douglas-Miller
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress has been made to ensure that farmers in Northern Ireland can import cow embryos from North America, as can farmers in the rest of the UK.

Farmers in Northern Ireland can import cattle embryos from United States and Canada. These imports must meet the conditions set out by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), including the requirement for an appropriate veterinary certificate.

Further information is available on the DAERA website.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 15 September (HL9984), whether Northern Ireland for the purpose of EU regulation 2017/625 will be treated as the entry point into the territory of the EU.

Where goods are moved through the red lane, they will be able to move onwards from Northern Ireland into the EU without further checks or processes. Where goods are moved in the green lane, they are able to move only within the United Kingdom, in line with the entirely new set of arrangements the Windsor Framework puts in place to protect internal UK trade.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether people seeking to trade goods between Great and Britain and Northern Ireland under the Green Lane as set out in the Windsor Framework must be authorised to do so under the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme; and whether those who trade between two locations in Great Britain need to obtain any similar authorisation in order to do so.

Businesses wishing to move goods via the Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme must be registered members of the scheme. Registration opened on 1 September, ahead of the scheme going live on 1 October.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Windsor Framework will continue to require the application of EU Regulation 2017/625; and if so, whether Northern Ireland for the purposes of that regulation will be treated as the entry point into the territory of the EU.

Goods moving via the 'red lane' will need to comply with EU Regulation 2017/625, including arriving into NI via an SPS Inspection Facility.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Windsor Framework which stipulates that food products moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will operate in the same way as food products from Scotland to England, what arrangements they have in place for a load moving to a regional distribution centre rather than directly to the point of sale.

The Windsor Framework establishes a new way to move prepacked retail goods from Great Britain into Northern Ireland with the ‘Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme going live on 1 October 2023.

Goods will move under a single General Certificate for eligible consignments, supported by a packing list.

All businesses responsible for selling or facilitating the movement of food for final consumption in Northern Ireland are eligible to benefit from these simplified arrangements. This includes retailers selling finished goods to end consumers, hospitality venues such as pubs and restaurants, those providing food to the public sector – for example schools, hospitals and prisons, wholesalers supplying smaller retail outlets, businesses operating factory canteens.

These arrangements will therefore apply to goods moving to regional distribution centres, as long as the final destination of the good is in Northern Ireland.

Guidance is available on gov.uk regarding the Scheme, with further guidance being published shortly.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government (1) what assessment they have made of the legal basis for the all UK "not for EU" labelling regime to be introduced as a result of the conclusion of the Windsor Agreement, (2) what consultations they have conducted regarding the introduction of this labelling regime, (3) what plans, if any, they have to lay a copy of the Regulations implementing this labelling regime, as announced on 16 May, before Parliament for scrutiny, and (4) whether this labelling regime will also include goods produced in Northern Ireland for sale anywhere in the UK.

The legal basis for the “Not for EU” label requirements in Great Britain, confirmed in the Command Paper, will be set out in due course, following consultation with the Scottish and Welsh governments. This requirement will not come into force until October 2024.

We have engaged closely with industry about these arrangements and will continue to do so in advance of changes taking effect in October 2024. We have met with businesses and trade bodies, through weekly forums along with separate bespoke engagements, to discuss these proposals. We will support businesses in adapting to these new arrangements.

Parliament will have the opportunity to scrutinise the regulations implementing this labelling regime.

The requirement for a “Not for EU” label will not apply to goods produced in Northern Ireland and sold in either Great Britain or Northern Ireland.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Benyon on 10 March (HL6037 and HL6038), what steps they will take to enable individuals to send plants and seeds from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, given that the current arrangements impose bureaucratic hurdles that make this impractical.

As we put the new Windsor Framework arrangements into practice, we will work closely with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure gardeners, farmers and growers can access plants and seeds from a wide variety of sources. Defra will work with industry in the coming months to ensure that plant and seed movement schemes are as beneficial as possible.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what documentation is needed to bring a pet dog from Great Britain to Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework.

A Pet dog travelling from GB-NI will require a free, simple, electronic, life-long ‘pet travel document’, administered by the government. The pet document does not need to be issued by a vet and does away with all health treatments. This can be sorted in a matter of minutes. For people that don’t have digital access, there will be an alternative simple means of providing the same information when you book your and your pets’ travel, for example via the ferry booking system.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how a pet owner bringing a dog to Northern Ireland can show proof that it will not be taken into the Republic of Ireland under the Windsor Framework.

Owners will complete a simple tick box as part of their travel booking, acknowledging they accept the scheme rules and that they will not move their pet into the European Union.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what administrative requirements a business in Great Britain sending seeds or plants to an individual in Northern Ireland will need to comply with under the Windsor Framework.

Instead of full EU certification, all plants and seeds will move under a similar mechanism to the UK-wide plant passport scheme, in line with traders throughout the UK.

That means rather than paying £150 per movement into Northern Ireland, growers and businesses serving NI consumers can pay £120 a year to be part of the UK scheme, as they did before the Protocol came into force.

Scheme membership allows traders to print official labels for plants moving within GB, and under this new scheme, to NI.

These seeds and plants will be delivered to a registered business to be able to be sold onto NI consumers.

This process will be virtually the same as what is needed for plants moving from Cardiff to Birmingham now.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether, under the Windsor Framework, individuals in Northern Ireland will be able to import seeds and plants from Great Britain.

Instead of full EU certification, all plants and seeds will move under a similar mechanism to the UK-wide plant passport scheme, in line with traders throughout the UK.

That means rather than paying £150 per movement into Northern Ireland, growers and businesses serving NI consumers can pay £120 a year to be part of the UK scheme, as they did before the Protocol came into force.

Scheme membership allows traders to print official labels for plants moving within GB, and under this new scheme, to NI.

These seeds and plants will be delivered to a registered business to be able to be sold onto NI consumers.

This process will be virtually the same as what is needed for plants moving from Cardiff to Birmingham now.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made towards ensuring the unfettered movement of pets within the UK.

The health and documentary requirements for pet travel to the EU are set out under the EU Pet Travel Regulations. Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, EU rules also apply to the non-commercial movements of pets into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

We will continue to press the European Commission in relation to securing Part 1 listed status, recognising that achieving this would alleviate some of the new requirements for pet owners and assistance dogs users travelling to the EU and to Northern Ireland. We are clear that we meet all the animal health requirements for this, and we have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity.

The Government is engaging with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to explore means to streamline pet travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland recognising the high standards of animal health that we share. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has also written to the European Vice-President seeking to ensure that an agreement can be made to address the barriers imposed on pet travel between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Northern Ireland-based pets and assistance dogs returning to Northern Ireland from Great Britain can continue to use a Northern Ireland-issued EU Pet Passport to re-enter Northern Ireland and will not need an animal health certificate. Current guidance on pet travel to Northern Ireland is available on DAERA’s NIDirect website.

We are proactively engaging with relevant stakeholders on the impacts on pet and assistance dog movements from Great Britain to Northern Ireland and also the EU.

28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to remove the ban on the import of soil in potted plants from garden centres in Great Britain to garden centres in Northern Ireland, as required by the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, GB is treated as a third country by the EU, which means that the movements of plants and plant products from GB to the EU and NI are subject to the EU's plant health import requirements, including the restrictions on soil and growing media. The new sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements on goods moving from GB to NI were put in place by the UK Government as part of the UK's approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol, and will uphold the longstanding status of the island of Ireland as a single epidemiological unit.

It is permissible to move plants (potted or otherwise) with growing media attached to them from GB to the EU and NI, as long as that growing media meets the EU's import requirements. Defra has been working closely with trade associations to develop guidance on growing media and how traders can fulfil the EU's requirements. This guidance has been published on the Plant Health Portal.

Provided that plants and growing media meet the EU's import requirements, a phytosanitary certificate will be issued to facilitate movements from GB to NI.

The UK Government is engaged in discussion with the European Commission to seek a lifting of plant health prohibitions, including those on soil and growing media as a commodity. These discussions are ongoing.

28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allow pets to be moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland without restrictions and in the same way that they can be moved from England to Scotland.

After the end of the transition period the UK became a third country in relation to the EU Pet Travel Scheme. The rules of this scheme govern non-commercial movements of pets from Great Britain to the EU and from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

In February 2020 we submitted an application to allow the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under the EU Pet Travel Scheme. This status would mean similar animal health and documentary requirements (compared to before the end of the transition period) for non-commercial pet movements from Great Britain to the EU. On 3 December 2020 the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed of the EU voted in favour of giving the United Kingdom Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme after the transition period. This listed status has been formally adopted by the EU.

We will continue to press the EU Commission in relation to securing Part 1 listed status, recognising that achieving this would alleviate some of the new requirements for pet owners and assistance dog users travelling to the EU and to Northern Ireland. We are clear that we meet all the animal health requirements for this and we have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity.

The Government is also working with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) on a long-term solution which respects the rights of assistance dog users and pet owners to travel with the minimum of friction. Guidance on pet travel to Northern Ireland is available on the DAERA’s NIDirect website.

Commercial movements of live animals, including dogs, cats and ferrets, which are being moved from Great Britain to Northern Ireland for the transference of ownership or sale, are not subject to the EU Pet Travel Scheme but to the ‘Balai Directive’. This requires that traders or organisations moving pets in this way must pre-notify and use a specific export health certificate. We are listening to the concerns of stakeholders on this issue and welcome any evidence of disruption that might be caused by these new requirements.

There have been no changes to the rules governing non-commercial pet movements, or the commercial movement of dogs, cats or ferrets, from Northern Ireland into Great Britain.

28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that food products made in Great Britain, including (1) Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies, and (2) Birds Eye beefburgers, can be brought from Great Britain into Northern Ireland.

In December we successfully agreed with the EU a 6-month grace period in which chilled meat products could continue to be sent into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. We are currently seeking long-term solutions to continue this trade. We also note that the two specific examples given are not prohibited from being moved into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that the 454 chilled items of food withdrawn from sale in Northern Ireland following the UK's departure from the EU can be sold again in stores in Northern Ireland.

In December we successfully agreed with the EU a 6-month grace period in which chilled meat products could continue to be sent into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. We are currently seeking long-term solutions to continue this trade. We also note that the two specific examples given are not prohibited from being moved into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

18th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the reason for removing the ability to tax vehicles at Post Offices.

Post Office Ltd currently provides a limited range of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services and an extension to the current contract has been agreed, ensuring that DVLA services will be available at post offices until the end of March 2024.

The DVLA wants its customers to be able to access its services as quickly and as easily as possible and the role of front office counter services will form part of the considerations of future service offerings, utilising government agreements if necessary.

The vast majority of those licensing vehicles, already do so online or via the DVLA’s automated telephone service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The DVLA will continue to ensure that all customers will be able to license their vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what impact assessment they have undertaken of how many people will be unable to renew their car tax online following the removal of DVLA services from Post Offices.

Post Office Ltd currently provides a limited range of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services and an extension to the current contract has been agreed, ensuring that DVLA services will be available at post offices until the end of March 2024.

The DVLA wants its customers to be able to access its services as quickly and as easily as possible and the role of front office counter services will form part of the considerations of future service offerings, utilising government agreements if necessary.

The vast majority of those licensing vehicles, already do so online or via the DVLA’s automated telephone service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The DVLA will continue to ensure that all customers will be able to license their vehicles.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether forthcoming legislation to require the sale of E10 petrol in 95 grade will apply to Northern Ireland.

We plan to legislate for the mandating of E10 petrol in Northern Ireland. In line with our obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol we will notify the European Commission of our intention first.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have signed up to the Payment Exception Service.

The Department can confirm that there were 68,546 active Payment Exception Service records at the end of April. These are records that received a payment during April.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average time for calls to be answered by the Payment Exception Service helpline since the beginning of this year; and what is the target time for answering calls to the Payment Exception Service helpline.

The average time for calls to be answered is 10:32 minutes. This average is taken from calls received by the helpline between January until end of April. The latest in month average for April was 6:52 minutes.

The Payment Exception Service helpline is managed by a supplier who do not contractually have a call target time, however each month the customer response times are reviewed taking into account both the nature of the customer call and ways to improve responses for customers.

6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote the new Payment Exception Service for those who can no longer receive payment via the Post Office card.

The Payment Exception Service is not actively promoted. The department policy is to pay claimants and pension recipients directly into a transactional account of their choice such as a bank account, building society account, credit union account, internet-based account, or a basic bank account.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to amend the British Sign Language Bill to extend its provisions to Northern Ireland; and if they have no such plans, whether they intend to introduce a British sign language law in Northern Ireland.

The Government is committed to supporting all people with a disability, including deaf people, to lead fulfilled, independent lives. For D/deaf people, we recognise that this should include the ability to communicate with others through British Sign Language (BSL) or other forms of deaf communication.

The Minister for Disabled People has been working closely with Rosie Cooper MP to support the aims and development of her Private Members Bill to promote BSL. The Bill does not extend to Northern Ireland, in recognition of the existence of both British and Irish Sign Language among the Northern Irish D/deaf community. The Northern Ireland Executive proposes to take forward its own bill recognising both of these languages.

This decision also reflects the territorial scope of the Equality Act 2010, which is limited to Great Britain.

26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what options are available to individuals in receipt of a state pension or benefits who do not wish to open a bank account after the Post Office Card Account service is discontinued.

The Department for Work and Pensions preferred method of payment for all benefits is into a bank, building society or credit union account. For customers who are unable to open or manage a mainstream account or choose not to open an account the Department will offer an alternative Payment Exception Service to allow continued access to cash payments across all locations (including suburban and rural locations).

26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultation they conducted with pensioner organisations regarding the decision not to renew their contract with the Post Office to provide accounts for the payment of state pensions and benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions’ has communicated with external organisations including Pension Organisations to update on contract end arrangements and we will continue to use external communication routes to provide updates on the timings and customer communication arrangements surrounding closure of the Post Office card account.

The Departments preferred method of payment for all benefits and pensions is mainstream account, such as a bank, building society or credit union account. This provides individuals access to useful products and services that better meets their needs, for example, the ability to send and receive payments. We will continue to encourage customers to convert to mainstream accounts ahead of contract end.

18th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their assessment of amendments to Article 1 (Definitions) and the proposed new Article 13A (WHO-led International Public Health Response) of the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organisation, designed to give the organisation's recommendations binding effect on member states during a public health emergency of international concern.

The International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) are a key part of the global health security system to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease. The Government continues to formulate positions during ongoing textual negotiations on the proposed amendments and continues to engage with other World Health Organization member states on the matter.

The Government has a strong commitment and duty to implement international law that it is subject to. However, the United Kingdom will not sign up to any measures that compromise the UK’s ability to take decisions on national measures concerning public health.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to proposing amendments to the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (2005).

The International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) are a key part of the global health security system to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease. The United Kingdom wants to ensure that countries’ obligations under the IHR remain fit for purpose and reflect lessons learned through the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to see stronger global commitment to effective disease surveillance, early reporting of potential health threats and transparency in sharing information. These issues are already on the table and form part of the multilateral discussions on amendments to the IHR. The UK continues to participate in the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005).

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to oppose proposed amendments to Article 3 of the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (2005) which would replace the current reference that the regulations should be implemented with “full respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons” with text referring to “equity, inclusivity, coherence and solidarity”.

The Government continues to formulate positions ahead of textual negotiations on the proposed amendments and continues to engage with other World Health Organization member states on the matter. The United Kingdom views respect for human rights as an important principle in the International Health Regulations (2005).

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many women from Northern Ireland had abortions in England and Wales in 2021; what was the percentage change in this figure between 2020 and 2021; and how many of the abortions for women from Northern Ireland that were carried out in England were (1) surgical, and (2) through the prescription of pills.

This information is not collected in the format requested. However, in 2021, there were 161 abortions involving women from Northern Ireland in England and Wales. This represents a decrease of 56.6% between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, 132 abortions for women from Northern Ireland carried out in England were surgical and 29 abortions were medical.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to any proposals for Zimbabwe to be readmitted as a member of the Commonwealth.

The decision on whether Zimbabwe re-joins the Commonwealth is for all Commonwealth members. The UK will review all final election observation reports, as well as the Secretary-General's report on membership readiness, before making any further assessment of Zimbabwe's readiness for readmission to the Commonwealth.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of their financial support for Zimbabwe in the light of concerns that its Presidential election was not free and fair.

As set out in the Minister for Development and Africa's statement on 31 August, the UK shares the view of the Election Observation Missions' preliminary statements that the pre-election environment and election day fell short of regional and international standards. Specific issues included a lack of transparency in the tallying of results, as well as the arrests of domestic observers. The UK remains committed to supporting Zimbabwe and its people on a path to long-term, inclusive, and resilient development, democracy, and prosperity. No UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) is channelled directly through Government of Zimbabwe systems. Instead, we work primarily through multilateral organisations, notably United Nations agencies, as well as international NGOs and the private sector ensuring maximum impact and targeted support reaches the most vulnerable Zimbabweans.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations have been made to the Commonwealth Secretariat to ensure that the Commonwealth will have election monitors in place in Zimbabwe before the elections on 23 August.

As the Minister for Development and Africa said to President Mnangagwa during their meeting on 5 May, it is important that the people of Zimbabwe can choose their government through peaceful and credible elections. Independent observation by international and domestic missions will play an important role in assessing electoral conduct against regional and international standards. The UK welcomes Zimbabwe's announcement that invitations have been sent to observer missions. The UK is supportive of the Commonwealth sending an electoral observation mission to Zimbabwe and FCDO is engaging closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth partners to that end, including on possible UK support.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much funding they have provided to BBC Media Action in each of the past ten years, and for what purpose; and how they assess BBC Media Action’s value, effectiveness, and operational range.

Between 2013 and 2022 FCDO and its predecessor departments provided BBC Media Action with £137 million (see table). This funding has supported work in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. As media freedom is under threat globally, FCDO funding has enabled BBC Media Action to support independent media and public platforms for discussion, and to tackle misinformation and disinformation. Their work has improved people's access to health information, and helped them cope with effects of climate change, conflict and disasters. In Ukraine, FCDO funding to BBC Media Action has provided independent media with training, equipment and other types of support to enable them to keep reporting throughout the conflict.

Year

Total funding (FCO, DFID, FCDO)

2013

£27.7m

2014

£25.7m

2015

£14.8m

2016

£20.5m

2017

£10.1m

2018

£7.6m

2019

£7.8m

2020

£8.6m

2021

£8.3m

2022

£6.1m

TOTAL

£137.2m

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many members sit on each of the sub-groups established under the Joint Consultative Working Group of the Windsor Framework; and who they are.

The structured sub-groups of the Joint Consultative Working Group are co-chaired by a designated official from the lead UK Government department and European Commission Directorate-General respectively. Where appropriate and by decision of the co-chairs, experts or other persons who are not members of delegations may be invited to attend meetings of the working group in order to provide information on a particular subject. As with the meetings themselves, the delegations for each structured sub-group are confidential unless otherwise decided by the co-chairs.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take when goods being transported to Northern Ireland which have been declared for the Green Lane are checked and are found not to qualify.

Trusted traders will face no routine physical checks on their goods moving in the green lane. These will be based purely on risk and intelligence. Where the systems in place to identify illicit movements find that goods are moved illegitimately, there will be a range of possible responses depending on the risks posed. This can include withdrawing access for the trader to the relevant scheme in cases where the scheme is being abused, and could include seizing or returning the goods (in the same way as would have been the case for goods posing particular risks before Brexit).

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Zimbabwean government concerning the banning of opposition party rallies.

As the Minister for Development and Africa said to President Mnangagwa on 5 May, it is important that Zimbabwe's upcoming elections are peaceful and credible. The UK regularly calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to ensure that political opposition and civil society are able to operate freely. On 3 May, the UK's Ambassador to Zimbabwe publicly underlined that the fundamental rights of assembly and expression are enshrined in Zimbabwe's constitution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Zimbabwean government concerning the physical attack on Obey Shava at his Shava Law Chambers on 5 July.

The UK is aware of an attack on human rights lawyer, Obey Shava, on 5 July. We note the ongoing police investigation into the attack. As the Minister for Development and Africa said to President Mnangagwa on 5 May, the UK would like to see the Government of Zimbabwe meet its international and domestic obligations by safeguarding human rights and allowing space for political opposition and civil society organisations to operate, particularly in the run up to elections on 23 August.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the election in Zimbabwe in August will be free and fair.

As the Minister for Development and Africa said to President Mnangagwa during their meeting on 5 May, it is important that the people of Zimbabwe can choose their government through peaceful and credible elections. Independent observation by international and domestic missions, including Southern African Development Community (SADC), the European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), will play an important role in assessing electoral conduct against regional and international standards. The UK welcomes Zimbabwe's announcement that invitations have been sent to observer missions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of goods bought by Northern Ireland manufacturers from Great Britain will have to pass through the Red Lane and require full customs paperwork.

The Windsor Framework significantly expands the range of businesses, including manufacturers, who can benefit from the Green Lane.

We are increasing the threshold for processing companies - quadrupling the current £500,000 limit up to £2 million, meaning four-fifths of manufacturing and processing companies in Northern Ireland who trade with Great Britain will automatically be in scope.

For traders unable to use the Green Lane, we will establish a new, comprehensive tariff reimbursement scheme for those who can show the goods were ultimately not destined for the EU, which will be available from 30 June.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what support they will give to Northern Ireland manufacturers who will have extra costs and extra paperwork under the Windsor Framework in order to trade with the rest of the UK.

We will continue to provide a free-to-use support service for movements in the Green Lane.

We will set out the details of new arrangements in the usual way, including to Parliament and further guidance on the green lane will be provided in due course.

Under the Windsor Framework, many manufacturers will be able to benefit from the new Green Lane, meaning that goods sold in Northern Ireland will be freed of unnecessary paperwork, using only ordinary commercial information rather than customs processes or complex certification requirements for agrifood.

For traders unable to use the Green Lane, we will establish a new, comprehensive tariff reimbursement scheme for those who can show the goods were ultimately not destined for the EU which will be available from 30 June.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what the total cost to the Treasury was of implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol in the financial year 2022–23.

For information on the historical cost of the Trader Support Service and other support schemes implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol, I refer the hon. Member to the answer gave by the Minister for Europe on 22 February 2023 to Question 146816.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government from which countries the Heads of State have not been invited to attend His Majesty The King's Coronation.

Invitations were issued to the Heads of State of all nations with whom the UK has full diplomatic relations, with a small number of exceptions. Realms and Overseas Territories also received invitations in line with their constitutional arrangements. Invitations were not issued to Afghanistan, Belarus, Myanmar, Russia, Syria, Iran and Venezuela. Invitations were issued at London Head of Mission level to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Nicaragua.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what proportion of the £7 million cost of policing the visit of President Biden to Northern Ireland will be paid by the Government.

President Biden visited the UK as a Guest of Government. It is long-standing policy not to comment on protective security arrangements. To do so could compromise the integrity of those arrangements and affect the security of the individuals involved.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why individuals in Northern Ireland buying vegetable and herb seeds for personal use direct from suppliers in Great Britain are required to have a Phytosanitary certificate costing upwards of £250.

Plants and seeds will be able to once again move easily within the UK. Plants will now move within the same plant passport regime as applies throughout the UK. As we put these arrangements into practice we will work closely with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure gardeners, farmers and growers can access plants and seeds from a wide variety of sources.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which products from Great Britain, if any, will not be able to be imported to Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework.

We have removed bans on previously prohibited goods like chilled meats and seed potatoes, and paved the way to remove bans on 11 native British and other commercially important plant species by the next planting season, as industry has called for - including those trees that were prevented from moving to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

There have always been goods subject to prohibition or that are heavily restricted when moving within the UK. As is the case elsewhere for movements within the UK, some goods remain banned by operators, such as flick knives banned under UK law, firearms, furs and ivory.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many official UK government representatives will be attending the St Patrick's Day festivities in the United States of America.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Office Minister Lord Caine, accompanied by departmental officials and members from the British Embassy in Washington D.C., will be travelling to the United States to attend St Patrick's Day festivities.

2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the status of grace periods granted under the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Windsor Framework will set out a sustainable basis for arrangements into the future. In the meantime, the existing operation of the arrangements in Northern Ireland will continue.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which laws, if any, as listed in Annex 2 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland have been disapplied to Northern Ireland by the Windsor Framework.

The legal instruments including within the Windsor Framework set out the EU rules that have been disapplied in order to support the changes agreed as part of the deal. This includes the more than 60 specific food safety rules disapplied to support the functioning of the agrifood green lane for retail trade; the provisions in Annex 3 specifically set aside by the changes agreed on VAT and excise; and the rules disapplied to enable the UK-wide licensing of medicines by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). In all, as we have set out more than 1,700 pages of EU rules are disapplied under the Windsor Framework.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the enhanced economic value to Northern Ireland of "privileged access” to (1) the UK homes market, and (2) the EU single market, as described by the Prime Minister on 28 February, compared to the ordinary access enjoyed elsewhere in the UK.

The Windsor Framework maintains the full, unfettered access for Northern Ireland firms to the whole United Kingdom market. As we make clear in the Command Paper, that trade with Great Britain is by far Northern Ireland's largest market and East-West trade is the principal arterial route of Northern Ireland's economy. That is why the Windsor Framework locks in unfettered access to that market for NI firms on a permanent and ongoing basis, and smoothes the flow of internal UK trade from Great Britain. At the same time, it secures maximum free trade and market access for NI firms by ensuring full access to the EU market as well.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether fishing boats that leave harbours in Northern Ireland can land their catches back in those harbours under the Windsor Framework.

Just as is the case now, fishing boats leaving harbours in Northern Ireland can land their catches back in those harbours.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which parts of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland have been superseded by the Windsor Framework; and to what extent in each case.

The Windsor Framework restores the balance needed to uphold the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement in all its dimensions. It puts in place a new legal and constitutional framework, changing the text of the treaty and scrapping more than 1,700 pages of EU rules on internal UK trade.

While we have been upfront that this does not remove EU rules entirely in Northern Ireland, the less than 3 percent of EU rules which remain are the minimum necessary to maintain maximum market access and free trade for NI businesses.

The changes we have made include the Stormont Brake, which enables amended or replaced EU rules to be vetoed where they would have significant and lasting effects on everyday lives. This is in addition to the existing veto the UK has for new EU rules. This ends the automatic presumption of dynamic alignment of EU rules.

The draft legal instruments underpinning the package are set out in full on the Government's website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-windsor-framework

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to review the 1951 United Nations Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees with a view to supporting its modernisation, and (2) to notify the UN Secretary-General under Article 45 of the Convention of any proposed revisions to the Convention and Protocol, asking that they be put to the UN General Assembly for consideration.

The Government does not currently have plans to renegotiate the Convention and its Protocol.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in their discussions with EU officials on changes to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

There is ongoing contact between officials in the UK and EU. Both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister have discussed the protocol with their counterparts in the Commission in recent weeks. We have and continue to make clear our determination to address all outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and to find durable solutions as soon as possible for the benefit of people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will next be meeting EU Vice President Maroš Šefčovič to disucss the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

There is ongoing contact between officials in the UK and EU. Both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister have discussed the protocol with their counterparts in the Commission in recent weeks. We have and continue to make clear our determination to address all outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and to find durable solutions as soon as possible for the benefit of people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they had with EU Vice President Maroš Šefčovič in the month of March regarding the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

There is ongoing contact between officials in the UK and EU. Both the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister have discussed the protocol with their counterparts in the Commission in recent weeks. We have and continue to make clear our determination to address all outstanding issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and to find durable solutions as soon as possible for the benefit of people and businesses in Northern Ireland.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their command paper Northern Ireland Protocol: the way forward (CP 502), published on 21 July 2021, what progress they have made to introduce new UK legislation envisaged in paragraphs 43 and 62.

The UK Government is still in discussions with the EU regarding the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, including on the issues detailed in paragraphs 43 and 62. So far we have not seen the flexibility necessary to address the issues we are seeing. However, as the Command Paper notes, we stand ready to put in place necessary arrangements to support a durable and sustainable outcome on the Protocol if agreement is reached as a result of those discussions.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to recognise Taiwan as an independent country.

The UK's longstanding position on Taiwan has not changed. The UK does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan but we do have a strong, unofficial relationship, based on dynamic commercial, educational and cultural ties. The Taiwan issue is one to be settled peacefully by the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, through constructive dialogue.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs last met the Ambassador of the State of Libya to the UK; and when the Foreign Secretary last discussed with the Ambassador the issue of compensation for victims of Irish Republican Army terrorism carried out using Semtex purchased from Libya.

Ministers and senior officials, including Her Majesty's Ambassador to Libya, continue to impress upon senior Libyan interlocutors the importance of engaging constructively with the UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism, in pursuit of justice. Libya is currently represented in the UK by a Charge d'Affaires.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they are providing to smaller Commonwealth nations to access COVID-19 (1) tests, and (2) vaccines.

The UK is committed to rapid, equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, treatments and tests globally as demonstrated by our strong support for the Access for COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, to which the UK has contributed up to £813 million of new funds. This includes up to £23 million committed to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), to drive innovation in the development and delivery of tests to combat major diseases affecting the poorest populations. Our contribution also includes the UK's commitment of up to £500 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. On top of our existing contribution of £48 million re-programmed from existing Gavi programming, this makes the UK the COVAX AMC's largest bilateral donor. Our commitment will support access to COVID-19 vaccines for up to 92 developing countries, including in the Commonwealth, by contributing to the supply of 1 billion doses in 2021, and vaccinations for up to 500 million people (subject to vaccines successfully securing stringent regulatory approvals).

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what has been the total cost so far of setting up (1) the UK Internal Market Scheme, and (2) the Trader Support Service.

(1) The UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS) will replace the UK Trader Scheme (UKTS) on 30 September 2023. The launch of the UKIMS is an operational activity and delivered through resources in place to manage the UKTS

(2) The total cost of setting up and running TSS (August 2020-August 2023) is £411.6m. The TSS cost figures quoted do not include any HMRC operational spend on UKIMS, however they may include some spend on the TSS's own readiness activities for UKIMS.

We are not able to provide a figure for spend on UKIMS because we do not hold the information at that granular level, where the scheme has been delivered as part of a wider programme of work. For example, operational staff will be trained to work on UKIMS as well as other related areas and trying to estimate exact cost could lead to inaccuracies in reporting.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what authorisations are required, and what customs information needs to be provided, by a trader moving goods from Liverpool to Glasgow or between any other two locations in Great Britain.

There is usually no requirement for authorisations or customs declarations for goods being moved between locations within Great Britain. In certain circumstances customs formalities may be required for movements between two locations in GB, for example non-domestic goods that have been imported but are not yet released into the UK market.

Additionally, where a business moves goods within GB, it is likely to have to provide ordinary commercial information about what is being moved to any courier, haulier or parcel operator contracted to move the goods, which could include, for example, a description of the goods, their value and their destination.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what level of responsibility hauliers have in ensuring that commodity codes are correct on consignments going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

When fully implemented from 30 September 2024, the new Windsor Framework arrangements will remove the need to provide a commodity code for each movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, for traders who are part of the UK Internal Market Scheme (UKIMS). Instead, traders will be able to provide a simple goods description to the Trader Support Service (TSS) or their customs agent.

When making a goods movement, most traders will provide data about the movement either to their haulier or directly to the TSS or their customs agent, who will submit the required data to HMRC. The trader will be responsible for ensuring that this data is correct. It is a commercial choice for the parties involved whether they make further contractual arrangements to manage liability.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn (HL5751), for what reasons they consider that introducing duty free at airports in Northern Ireland for passengers flying to the EU would undermine their commitment to maintaining frictionless trade.

Introducing duty free shopping between Northern Ireland and the EU (which includes the Republic of Ireland) would require implementing allowances for the movement of these goods, to stop the uncontrolled flow of tax-free goods into either Northern Ireland or the EU (including the Republic of Ireland). These allowances would require enforcement. Therefore, if this were to be implemented, controls on the movement of goods between NI and the Republic of Ireland would be required, contravening the shared ambitions of the UK, Ireland and the EU.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
5th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 3 July (HL8800), why airports in Northern Ireland are not able to avail of the duty free sales for passengers travelling to the EU now available at all airports in England, Wales and Scotland.

Northern Ireland enjoys frictionless trade with both the rest of the United Kingdom and the EU – the Government is committed to ensuring that remains the case.

Enabling duty-free shopping between Northern Ireland and the EU would undermine frictionless trade with the EU.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of smaller companies in Northern Ireland becoming unviable because of customs formalities, checks and paperwork in the ‘red lane’.

The implementation of the green and red lane approach for the movement of goods outlined under the Windsor Framework represents a very significant improvement for traders in Northern Ireland compared to the old Northern Ireland Protocol.

In respect of the Windsor Framework specifically, Government will continue to provide the free-to-use Trader Support Service (TSS) for movements into Northern Ireland via both the red lane and the green lane, mitigating any potential administrative impact on smaller companies who will still move some goods via the red lane.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what they are doing to ensure that parcels being sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland are not subject to customs regulations.

The Windsor Framework safeguards parcel movements and maintains business as usual for Northern Ireland consumers, removing any need for international customs processes. That means parcels can be sent to friends and family in Northern Ireland, as smoothly as today. People in Northern Ireland ordering from businesses in the rest of the UK will continue to order and receive goods as they do now; and parcels sent between businesses will be able to use the same internal market scheme as applies for freight movements.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn on 4 May (HL7280), which airlines fly from Belfast to the Republic of Ireland; and if there are none, why passengers flying from Belfast to EU countries are not eligible for duty free like passengers from the rest of the UK.

As of March 2023, no airlines offered scheduled services from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

On the issue of passengers flying from Belfast to the European Union not having access to duty-free, Northern Ireland enjoys frictionless trade with both the rest of the United Kingdom and the EU. The government is committed to ensuring that remains the case.

Enabling duty-free shopping between the EU – which includes Ireland - and Northern Ireland without also introducing border controls would lead to significant distortions of trade on the island of Ireland as well as a significant revenue loss for both UK and Ireland by creating a legal route for unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco to flow into the UK market duty-free.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn on 12 April (HL7072), whether they will now answer the question put; namely, what is the reason why passengers flying from Belfast to EU countries are not able to purchase duty free goods in the same way as the rest of the UK.

The government is committed to preserving the frictionless movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which is important to communities across Northern Ireland and would otherwise undermine the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

Enabling duty-free shopping between Ireland, which is a member of the EU, and Northern Ireland without also introducing border controls would lead to significant distortions of trade on the island of Ireland. It would also cause a significant revenue loss for both UK and Ireland by creating a legal route for unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco to flow into the UK market duty-free.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why citizens of Northern Ireland are not able to buy duty free products when travelling from Belfast to the EU.

The government is committed to preserving frictionless movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which is important to communities across Northern Ireland and would otherwise undermine the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

Enabling duty-free shopping between Ireland, which is a member of the EU, and Northern Ireland without also introducing border controls would lead to significant distortions of trade on the island of Ireland as well as a significant revenue loss for both UK and Ireland by creating a legal route for unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco to flow into the UK market duty-free.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn on 22 March (HL6248), what is the reason why duty-free purchases cannot be made when flying from Belfast to EU countries.

The government is committed to preserving frictionless movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, which is important to communities across Northern Ireland and would otherwise undermine the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.

Enabling duty-free shopping between Ireland, which is a member of the EU, and Northern Ireland without also introducing border controls would lead to significant distortions of trade on the island of Ireland as well as a significant revenue loss for both UK and Ireland by creating a legal route for unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco to flow into the UK market duty-free.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to protect traders in Northern Ireland from the advantage that traders in the Republic of Ireland will have through the latter's ability to import duty-free goods from Great Britain.

The government’s duty-free policy remains unchanged after the agreement of the Windsor Framework. Northern Ireland enjoys frictionless trade with both the rest of the United Kingdom and the EU – the government is committed to ensuring that remains the case.

Duty free shopping is only ever available for goods purchased by individuals for personal consumption. Any goods purchased for commercial use are ineligible for this relief.
Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn on 7 March (HL5751), as duty free shopping exists for passengers travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain, what assessment they have made of facilitating duty free shopping for passengers travelling between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

The government’s duty-free policy remains unchanged after the agreement of the Windsor Framework. Northern Ireland enjoys frictionless trade with both the rest of the United Kingdom and the EU – the government is committed to ensuring that remains the case.

Duty free shopping is only ever available for goods purchased by individuals for personal consumption. Any goods purchased for commercial use are ineligible for this relief.
Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether Northern Ireland will be the only part of the UK from which passengers travelling to the EU will not be eligible for duty free allowances under the Windsor Framework; and if so, what assessment they have made of the appropriateness of this situation.

The government’s duty-free policy remains unchanged after the agreement of the Windsor Framework. Northern Ireland enjoys frictionless trade with both the rest of the United Kingdom and the EU – the government is committed to ensuring that remains the case.

Duty free shopping is only ever available for goods purchased by individuals for personal consumption. Any goods purchased for commercial use are ineligible for this relief.
Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Windsor Framework on duty free purchases when flying from airports in Northern Ireland.

The Windsor Framework does not impact the government’s duty-free policy. The government has always been committed to maintaining frictionless trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland and between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Enabling duty-free shopping between Ireland and Northern Ireland or between Northern Ireland and Great Britain would lead to significant distortions of trade on the island of Ireland as well as a significant revenue loss for both UK and Ireland by creating a legal route for unlimited amounts of alcohol and tobacco to flow into the UK market duty-free.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what form of allowances and controls would be required to ensure duty was paid where allowances were exceeded were duty-free shopping for individuals moving between Northern Ireland and the EU to be introduced.

While it would not be appropriate for me to comment on a hypothetical issue, I can reaffirm that the Government remains committed to maintaining frictionless trade on the island of Ireland. Introducing duty-free shopping for goods moving between Northern Ireland and the EU would undermine that commitment.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that people living in Northern Ireland who fly from airports in Northern Ireland to EU countries can avail themselves of the same duty free benefits that are available to people flying from airports in Great Britain.

Duty-free shopping is available to individuals buying excise goods when leaving the UK, depending on their destination. It is available when leaving Great Britain to go to any destination outside the UK, although duty may be liable upon arrival, subject to allowances applied by that country. Individuals who leave Northern Ireland to go to any destination outside the UK or the EU may also benefit from duty free, subject to the same controls.

In the case of EU destinations and trips to Ireland, individuals who leave Northern Ireland are able to carry unlimited duty paid products to take to the destination or on return from that destination, and no further duty is due on arrival or return.

Introducing duty-free shopping for individuals moving between Northern Ireland and the EU or Ireland would require the introduction of allowances and controls to ensure duty is paid where those allowances are exceeded.

Otherwise, unlimited amounts of duty-free tobacco and alcohol could flow between Ireland and Northern Ireland, undermining domestic suppliers who must charge excise on these goods, and the UK’s ability to collect tax revenues to fund public services.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why passengers travelling from airports in Northern Ireland to airports in either Great Britain or the EU are unable to make duty free purchases before departure.

Northern Ireland remains an integral part of the United Kingdom’s tax territory and as such applying duty free arrangements would not be appropriate and would risk undermining business in both Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the government remains committed to maintaining frictionless trade on the island of Ireland. Introducing duty-free shopping for goods bought in Northern Ireland and moving into the EU would undermine that commitment.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the amount of money which individuals can hold in National Savings Premium Bonds.

The Government does not currently have plans to change the amount of money which individuals can hold in Premium Bonds. However, the Government keeps this under review to ensure that the limit continues to reflect the interests of savers, taxpayers and the wider financial sector.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the amount of tax that will be paid to the EU by consumers and businesses in Northern Ireland in the current fiscal year through (1) customs duties, (2) Value Added Tax, and (3) other instruments.

All customs duty and VAT paid on goods entering Northern Ireland remains UK revenue and is not passed on to the EU.

Consumers in Northern Ireland may be charged VAT in an EU country if they buy goods directly from a small business there. Similarly, consumers in the EU will pay VAT in Northern Ireland (which is due to HMRC) if they purchase from a small Northern Ireland business.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that airports in Northern Ireland are treated equivalently to airports in Great Britain in relation to duty-free tax rules for travellers to the EU from 1 January 2020.

While the EU will also be offering duty-free sales of excise goods for travel to Great Britain, passengers travelling from the EU, including Ireland, will have to pay excise duty on goods they bring into the UK, subject to certain personal allowances. This means passengers will need to go through customs processes and declare goods they are carrying in their luggage where duty is due.

By contrast, the Government has committed to Northern Ireland continuing to have unfettered access to the rest of the UK, including passengers from Northern Ireland being able to carry unlimited amounts of personal goods into Great Britain without having to declare them.

Offering duty-free sales without charging excise duty on entry to Great Britain would compromise the UK internal market by allowing unlimited duty-free goods to enter the UK, undercutting domestic retailers and eroding the tax base.

However, the alternative would be to charge tax and duty on these goods to put Northern Ireland in the same position as Ireland.

In practice, this would mean treating goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain as though there were an international border for passengers. This goes against the Government’s clear policy that Northern Ireland is, and will remain, an integral part of the UK, including for excise purposes.

HMRC has published guidance providing further information relating to the VAT and excise treatment of goods under the Northern Ireland Protocol, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accounting-for-vat-on-goods-moving-between-great-britain-and-northern-ireland-from-1-january-2021 and here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/moving-excise-goods-as-freight-under-the-northern-ireland-protocol-from-1-january-2021/moving-excise-goods-as-freight-under-the-northern-ireland-protocol-from-1-january-2021#excise-movements-from-great-britain-to-northern-ireland-via-the-eu.

21st Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any consultation took place before the announcement that, in future, premium bond winners will not receive their cheques by post.

The decision by NS&I announced on September 17 to pay all Premium Bonds prizes direct to customers’ bank accounts was informed by customer research and changing customer behaviours. It will make managing Premium Bonds prize distribution quicker, more cost-effective and have a much lower environmental impact.

Since 2011, Premium Bonds holders have been able to have their prizes paid directly into a UK bank account in their name. Since March 2020, nearly half a million customers have switched from receiving paper warrants to having their prizes paid directly into their bank account or automatically reinvested. In the October 2020 prize draw, more than three quarters (76%) of the 3,921,323 prizes were paid directly into customers’ bank accounts or reinvested into more Premium Bonds.

17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they are giving to launching an independent review into the investigation, expenditure and private prosecution of Mr Jamie Bryson in the light of the ruling by District Judge Amanda Brady to terminate the case.

As the regulator of the private security industry, the Security Industry Authority (‘the Authority’) can bring private prosecutions for criminal offences contained within the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (‘the Act’). Section 22 of the Act makes it an offence for anyone knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement to the Authority, in connection with the exercise of its functions.

Concerning the prosecution of Mr Jamie Bryson, the invoices received for the proceedings from 2019 to date (encompassing both the prosecution, and also responding to judicial review proceedings) total £106,992.00.

The final costs incurred cannot be updated at this time, as not all legal invoices have yet been received by the SIA for payment. The costs will be incorporated within the SIA’s existing budget. This is funded from licence fees, and not from funding allocated by the Treasury.

As legal proceedings continue, the Government cannot provide further comment, or the additional information sought within question HL1692.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they take to ascertain whether illegal migrants arriving and being registered in the Republic of Ireland are improperly entering the UK via Northern Ireland; and if so, what estimate they have made of the numbers reaching the UK by this route; and what arrangements, if any, are in place to effect their return.

There is a high level of cooperation on border security between the UK and Irish Government to ensure we are taking all the necessary measures to protect and secure Common Travel Area (CTA) routes, including between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The UK carries out intelligence led operations to target potential abuse of CTA routes including between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Anyone identified attempting to circumvent UK border controls is liable to be removed if they are not lawfully present in the UK.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total cost to the taxpayer of the failed prosecution against Mr Jamie Bryson on charges of making a false statement to the Security Industry Authority in 2018, including Magistrates court proceedings and all Judicial Review proceedings.

As the regulator of the private security industry, the Security Industry Authority (‘the Authority’) can bring private prosecutions for criminal offences contained within the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (‘the Act’). Section 22 of the Act makes it an offence for anyone knowingly or recklessly to make a false statement to the Authority, in connection with the exercise of its functions.

Concerning the prosecution of Mr Jamie Bryson, the invoices received for the proceedings from 2019 to date (encompassing both the prosecution, and also responding to judicial review proceedings) total £106,992.00.

The final costs incurred cannot be updated at this time, as not all legal invoices have yet been received by the SIA for payment. The costs will be incorporated within the SIA’s existing budget. This is funded from licence fees, and not from funding allocated by the Treasury.

As legal proceedings continue, the Government cannot provide further comment, or the additional information sought within question HL1692.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many migrants arrived improperly in the UK from otherwise safe countries in each of the past five years; and why they keep no electronically accessible records of which countries those migrants previously resided in or were registered in.

The Home Office publishes statistics on detected irregular arrivals to the UK in the ‘Irregular migration to the UK’ statistics release, available on gov.uk. Data on irregular arrivals by method of entry is published in table Irr_D01 of the ‘Irregular migration to the UK detailed datasets’, with the latest data up to the end of September 2023.

Information on the country asylum seekers were previously residing in before coming to the UK can be collected in case notes at different stages of the asylum process, so is not collected in a reportable manner.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill on the continuing application of the provisions in Article 2 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (Rights of individuals).

The Bill will apply in full in Northern Ireland in the same way it does in the rest of the UK. This is also set out on the face of the Bill reflecting that immigration policy is a UK-wide matter.

There is nothing in the Windsor Framework that affects that. The rights chapter of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement does not affect any clause within the Bill in any way.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill on the operation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as given effect by Article 2 of the Protocol and the Windsor Framework.

The Government takes its legal obligations seriously, the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill complies with those obligations.

The Bill will apply in full in Northern Ireland in the same way as it does in the rest of the United Kingdom. This is explicit on the face of the Bill and will always be the case, reflecting that immigration policy is a UK-wide matter.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill ensures that Northern Ireland has the same immigration rules as the rest of the UK.

The Government takes its legal obligations seriously, the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill complies with those obligations.

The Bill will apply in full in Northern Ireland in the same way as it does in the rest of the United Kingdom. This is explicit on the face of the Bill and will always be the case, reflecting that immigration policy is a UK-wide matter.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill for the operation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in Northern Ireland.

The Government takes its legal obligations seriously, the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill complies with those obligations.

The Bill will apply in full in Northern Ireland in the same way as it does in the rest of the United Kingdom. This is explicit on the face of the Bill and will always be the case, reflecting that immigration policy is a UK-wide matter.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the appointment of independent members to the National Policing Board and the current compliance of that process with the law.

The standing membership of the National Policing Board comprises senior policing leaders along with the relevant ministers and government officials.

On an annual basis, policing leaders in Northern Ireland and Scotland are also invited. The Board’s Terms of Reference provide a full list of members and are published on gov.uk.

These also provide the flexibility to invite additional representatives and specialists where the agreed programme of work requires it. Minutes of the National Policing Board are published on gov.uk and list all the members and special invitees in attendance.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many of the undocumented migrants arriving on small boats in 2022 were first registered in other countries as asylum seekers or immigrants; what were the numbers in the top 10 countries of such registrations; and what were the numbers by nationality from the top 25 countries of origin of such migrants into the UK.

Figures relating to registration of asylum claims in third countries are not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

21st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many small boats used by illegal immigrants crossing the channel have been seized in the past two years; in what way those boats have been disposed of; and what assessment they have made of their origins and patterns involved in their purchase.

All small boats used for illegal crossings vessels are seized by Border Force, assessed for evidential value, and are held by Border Force until completion of any criminal investigation activities.

The boats are disposed of by Border Force’s approved contractors and, where appropriate, any suitable materials are recycled. Although the Home Office does research the origins of migrant vessels it would be inappropriate to go into the findings of those enquiries.

21st Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Penn on 19 February (HL5309), what checks on amounts of duty-free tobacco and alcohol the Border Force carry out on passengers from the Republic of Ireland entering Great Britain by ferry or aircraft to ensure excise duty is paid where allowances are exceeded.

Border Force is committed to detecting those who would attempt to evade Duty Free controls and deploys to risk using tested but continually assessed intelligence and targeting techniques.

Border Force does not record or publish information relating to the number of checks carried out against specific cohorts of arrivals into Great Britain. Doing so would publicise operational practices which would be used to assist in the evasion of customs controls and compromise Border security.

18th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the government of Ireland concerning the number of illegal migrants who have travelled via ferry from France to Dublin, and then travelled by bus to Northern Ireland followed by travel by ferry to Great Britain; and in any such discussions, whether the number of migrants taking this route in each of the last two years was confirmed and, if so, what is this number.

There is a high level of cooperation on border security between both the UK and Irish Governments to ensure we are taking all the necessary measures to protect and secure the Common Travel Area (CTA).

As now, there will be no routine immigration controls on CTA journeys and none whatsoever on the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, intelligence-led operations to target potential abuse of CTA routes continues. Anyone identified attempting to circumvent UK border controls is liable to be removed, if they are not lawfully present in the UK.

18th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to prevent migrants coming to the UK illegally by travelling from the Republic of Ireland and then to mainland Great Britain.

There is a high level of cooperation on border security between both the UK and Irish Governments to ensure we are taking all the necessary measures to protect and secure the Common Travel Area (CTA).

As now, there will be no routine immigration controls on CTA journeys and none whatsoever on the land border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

However, intelligence-led operations to target potential abuse of CTA routes continues. Anyone identified attempting to circumvent UK border controls is liable to be removed, if they are not lawfully present in the UK.

19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to maintain their suspension of the Council of Europe Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees; whether they have expressed concerns to the government of Ireland about refugees obtaining international protection in Dublin having reached the Irish Republic by means of the European Agreement, then using the Common Travel Area to reach the United Kingdom to seek asylum; and what discussions they have had with the government of Ireland regarding their willingness to suspend the Agreement.

Her Majesty’s Government suspended the Council of Europe Agreement on the Abolition of Visas for Refugees (“the Agreement”) in 2003 on public order and security grounds. The government of Ireland suspended operation of the Agreement for a period of 12 months on 19 July 2022.

The United Kingdom and Ireland have a regular dialogue relating to the operation of the Common Travel Area where issues such as border security risks and shared immigration challenges are discussed. Those who fear persecution should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach – this is the fastest route to safety.

Ireland is a safe country and, as such, it would not be appropriate for individuals to travel to the UK from Ireland to claim asylum.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers have reached the UK having first registered in a Council of Europe country in each of the last five years; of those asylum seekers, how many first registered in Ireland; and from where did the asylum seekers who first registered in Ireland originally travel.

The Home Office does not hold data on asylum seekers who have previously registered in a Council of Europe Country. However, data is available through the Eurodac system for asylum seekers who have previously made an asylum claim in EU+ (EU, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) countries and then made a further claim in UK. This data is only available for the period prior to the UK leaving the EU and the Eurodac system. The relevant available data has been extracted and presented in the table below. It is subject to the same caveats as the Eurodac system from which it is derived. As such, it is a count of Eurodac ‘hits’, not individuals or claims. For example, an individual applying once in the UK, who has previously applied once each in Germany, France and Italy, would produce 3 hits, one for each prior application. Data on where journeys began is unfortunately unavailable.

Year

Eurodac hits linked to EU+

Eurodac hits linked to Ireland

Source (linked)

2020

19,599

948

Eurodac Annual Report 2020

2019

13,089

703

Eurodac Annual Report 2019

2018

10,057

355

Eurodac Annual Report 2018

2017

7,079

253

Eurodac Annual Report 2017

Note: Category 1 data against category 1 data only

The United Kingdom and Ireland have a regular dialogue relating to the operation of the Common Travel Area where issues such as border security risks and shared immigration challenges are discussed.

Those who fear persecution should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach – this is the fastest route to safety. Ireland is a safe country and, as such, it would not be appropriate for individuals to travel to the UK from Ireland to claim asylum.

The Government has previously raised with Ireland concerns about individuals exploiting the Common Travel Area generally to reach the United Kingdom to seek asylum, most recently in May of this year.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to standardise the definition of a victim of terrorism across the UK.

The Home Office recognises a victim of terrorism as anyone who has suffered harm, including physical, mental and emotional harm, as a consequence of a terrorist attack. This includes those who are injured, bereaved families, and witnesses. We recognise that many people can be affected by terrorist attacks in many ways and are committed to ensuring that all victims receive comprehensive support. To strengthen the support available the Home Secretary publicly committed to conducting an internal review of the support provided to victims of terrorism. Whilst this review will not consider changing the definition of a victim it will consider the support provided to victims of terrorism.

Support for victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland is a devolved matter and there is separate legislation for the provision of this support under The Victims and Survivors (NI) Order 2006.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
18th Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they last met the government of Ireland to discuss co-operation on defence of Irish air space.

There have been no discussions between His Majesty's Government and the Government of Ireland on co-operation on the defence of Irish air space.

20th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the cost to the RAF of supporting the Irish government in the protection of their Air Space.

I am withholding any response to questions on sovereign airspace access and associated regulations, as these should be for the nation in question to answer; therefore any further questions on Irish airspace should be directed to the Government of Ireland.

19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the annual cost to the RAF of supporting the government of Ireland in the protection of their airspace.

I am withholding any response to questions on sovereign airspace access and associated regulations, as these should be for the nation in question to answer; therefore any further questions on Irish airspace should be directed to the Government of Ireland.

19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many times in the last year RAF squadrons have been scrambled to escort Russian aircraft out of Irish airspace.

I am withholding any response to questions on sovereign airspace access and associated regulations, as these should be for the nation in question to answer; therefore any further questions on Irish airspace should be directed to the Government of Ireland.

19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what agreements they have made, if any, with the government of Ireland to allow the RAF to provide cover within the Republic of Ireland’s airspace.

I am withholding any response to questions on sovereign airspace access and associated regulations, as these should be for the nation in question to answer; therefore any further questions on Irish airspace should be directed to the Government of Ireland.

29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many people are employed in Northern Ireland in administration of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Northern Ireland Executive receives funding from DLUHC to administrate the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Northern Ireland. The tariff is unringfenced and the Devolved Administrations have the flexibility to exercise discretion in using the funding, including payments to non-profitable organisations. Further information in this regard is a matter for the Executive Office in Northern Ireland.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many non-profitable organisations have been involved with the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Northern Ireland; and what is the total amount of funding that has been given to those organisations.

Northern Ireland Executive receives funding from DLUHC to administrate the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Northern Ireland. The tariff is unringfenced and the Devolved Administrations have the flexibility to exercise discretion in using the funding, including payments to non-profitable organisations. Further information in this regard is a matter for the Executive Office in Northern Ireland.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how much they have paid to the charity Barnardo's in Northern Ireland for helping to administrate the Homes for Ukraine scheme there.

Northern Ireland Executive receives funding from DLUHC to administrate the Homes for Ukraine scheme in Northern Ireland. The tariff is unringfenced and the Devolved Administrations have the flexibility to exercise discretion in using the funding, including payments to non-profitable organisations. Further information in this regard is a matter for the Executive Office in Northern Ireland.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many Ukrainians have been hosted with families in Northern Ireland since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

As on 16th January 2024, 1,456 Homes for Ukraine guests have arrived in Northern Ireland. The most up to date data on arrivals through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ukraine-sponsorship-scheme-visa-data-by-country-upper-and-lower-tier-local-authority.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why is the absence of a working executive a reason for not including Northern Ireland in the third round of the Levelling Up Fund when in previous years the absence did not stop funding.

In Northern Ireland, the Government is not proceeding with this round of the Levelling Up Fund at this time. In the context of the growing pressure on Northern Ireland budgets it is right that UKG should consider its approach to funding available for Northern Ireland in the round. £30 million has been reserved for Northern Ireland from LUF 3. As part of our commitment to levelling up, we want to work with a restored Executive to find the best approach to supporting people in Northern Ireland, taking account of current budget pressures.

We will continue to work closely with projects and places in Northern Ireland that were awarded a total of £120 million in the first two rounds of the Fund and work with stakeholders on how best to level up communities in Northern Ireland.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the reasons for the delay in establishing a freeport in Northern Ireland.

Freeport delivery in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland relies on a partnership between the UK Government and the devolved governments to maximise the incentives and benefits a Freeport can offer.

We continue to work stakeholders from sectors and places across Northern Ireland on how best to deliver the benefits associated with Freeports. We are also discussing the potential for Investment Zones.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what answer, if any, they gave to the question from the government of China posed to the UK submitted in advance of the United Nations 4th Universal Periodic Review which asked, “What measures has the UK taken to eliminate the mentality and legacies of colonialism and to address the root causes of its long-lasting systemic and institutional racism and xenophobia?".

In his opening statement at the UK’s Interactive Dialogue under the Universal Periodic Review, my colleague, Minister Freer, provided answers to some of the questions the UK received in advance of the session. However, there was not time to respond to all the questions and the UK provided no answer specifically to the question posed by China.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
25th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government why they advised the United Nations 4th Universal Periodic Review of the UK that due to the lack of an Executive in Northern Ireland it was not possible to provide as comprehensive a response for Northern Ireland as for other parts of the UK; and why was the Northern Ireland Office not able to seek out the information required.

The Universal Periodic Review can raise any human rights issue, in both reserved and devolved areas.

On reserved areas, the Northern Ireland Office was able to provide responses to recommendations, for example those concerning the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, based on policy positions and ongoing activity. However, for devolved areas it would be for the Northern Ireland Executive to provide a policy position, for instance in response to recommendations concerning equality legislation, employment policy for disabled people and the labour inspection regime. As no Executive was formed after the elections in 2022, and in the absence of Ministers, officials from the Northern Ireland departments were unable to provide the necessary response where Ministerial decisions or clearances are required.

The UK Government worked closely with the Devolved Governments to ensure that our Universal Periodic Review dialogue captured the range of action that had been and was being taken on a wide variety of human rights issues across the UK.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the total cost of legal aid in England and Wales in the last five years.

The total expenditure under the legal aid scheme in the last five years is set out in the table attached.

This data is sourced from the Legal Aid Agency’s (LAA) official statistics which are published on a quarterly basis.

Expenditure in financial year 2020/21 was reduced due to the impact of COVID-19.

Full financial statements including operating costs are published in the Legal Aid Agency's Annual Report and Accounts.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
19th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many over 75 year-olds have been prosecuted for non-payment of the BBC licence fee since the free licence was abolished.

The Ministry of Justice holds data on prosecutions for TV licence evasion up to December 2020. Since the free TV licence was abolished in August 2020, there have been no prosecutions for defendants aged over 75 years.

21st Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, following publication of the Safeguarding the Union Command Paper (CP 1021) on 31 January, when they intend to introduce legislation to fulfil the commitment in that paper to repeal all statutory duties relating to the 'all-island economy'.

I would refer the Noble Baroness to the answer I gave to Lord Dodds of Duncairn in response to WPQ UIN HL2621 on 23 February 2024.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
6th Feb 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to their Command Paper Safeguarding the Union, published on 31 January, what changes will be made to Articles 5–10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The Command Paper ‘Safeguarding the Union’ builds on the progress under the Windsor Framework, strengthening the UK Internal Market and the Union into the long term. It remains the case that the decision as to whether Articles 5 to 10 of the Windsor Framework should continue to apply in Northern Ireland will be taken by the Northern Ireland Assembly later this year.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
15th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the case Angesom v the Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] NIKB 102, what assessment they have made of the finding in paragraphs 86 to 103 concerning the impact of Article 2 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on immigration in Northern Ireland.

The Government is aware of the judgement in relation to this case. Article 2 of the Windsor Framework applies in respect of a diminution of a right, safeguard or equality of opportunity provision or protection covered by the relevant chapter of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, as a result of the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights does not form part of domestic law anywhere in the UK, including Northern Ireland.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
11th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much of the total costs incurred by the Police Service of Northern Ireland covering the visit of President Biden and other dignitaries to Northern Ireland during the commemoration of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement they have refunded.

In line with the HMT Statement of Funding Policy, the UK Government has agreed to meet costs totalling £2.752 million towards the policing operation for President Biden's visit and other dignitaries to Northern Ireland during events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.

The budget will be transferred to the Department of Justice for Northern Ireland to transfer to the Police Service of Northern Ireland at Supplementary Estimates 2023/24.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
19th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the statement of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in May that the money to redevelop Casement Park will be found, where is it envisaged such money will be coming from.

EURO 2028 will highlight the enduring strength of the whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, through the unifying power of sport.

The UK Government is working closely with local partners in Northern Ireland on plans to deliver EURO 2028 events and to make sure EURO 2028 leaves a lasting legacy of football for all.

We will continue looking at those plans and business cases, to ensure we are making the best use of resources to support the success of EURO 2028. That is a process that will continue over this next period of preparations.

The UK Government is, of course, very conscious of delivering the best use of taxpayer funds, particularly at a time of budget challenges in Northern Ireland.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
19th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what was the outcome of the due diligence exercise undertaken by the Gaelic Athletic Association and Stormont officials after one of the developers involved with Casement Park, the Buckingham Group, went into administration.

Governance for the development of Casement Park, including matters regarding due diligence and the appointment of contractors, rests with the Northern Ireland Department for Communities and the Regional Stadia Development Programme Board. My department has no role in the Regional Stadium Development Board.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the government of Ireland regarding the possibility of inter-state proceedings in the European Court of Human Rights in response to the enactment of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Act 2023.

The UK Government discusses a range of issues, including the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy & Reconciliation) Act, with the Irish Government on a regular basis. Most recently, engagement took place during the British and Irish Conference (1-3 September) and the Northern Ireland Investment Summit (12-13 September).

The Legacy Act provides a framework to deliver effective legacy mechanisms for victims and survivors while complying with our international obligations. The UK Government will do all it can to support the ICRIR, consistent with its operational independence, as it establishes itself and seeks to deliver effectively for victims and survivors. We hope that others, including the Irish Government, will do the same.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, following the remarks by the Irish prime minister on 21 June, what assessment they have made of the risk of the UK being taken to the European Court of Human Rights by the Irish government in an inter-state case if the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill is enacted.

The UK Government is determined, through the Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy & Reconciliation) Bill, to deliver better outcomes for those most affected by the Troubles. To do this, we must acknowledge the difficult but practical realities that exist, and recognise that, in order to give the best chance of providing greater information, accountability and acknowledgement to victims, survivors, and families than is currently the case, we must do things differently.

The UK Government is confident that the Bill complies with our international obligations under the European Commission on Human Rights.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
9th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the litigation in (1) James Hugh Allister and Clifford Peeples v the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and others, and (2) the earlier decisions of the Court of Appeal and High Court in Northern Ireland in the same case, how much they spent in total in defending their position on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

The Government has spent £196,567 on fees associated with the legal challenges of Clifford Peeples and Jim Allister and others.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether legacy practitioners applying on behalf of a family member of a victim to the proposed Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery requesting a review of a Troubles death or serious injury will be eligible for legal aid; what annual estimate they have made of the likely cost of such legal aid; and which Northern Ireland department will fund it.

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, which is continuing its passage through Parliament, places a duty on the Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) to carry out reviews of Troubles-related deaths and cases of specified serious injury when requested.

The Bill clearly defines which individuals will be able to request a review into a death or serious injury.

Requesting a review will not involve entering into a legal process. Legal Aid - which is devolved and delivered by the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland - will therefore not be required when requesting a review.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much legal aid has been paid in respect of legacy claims in Northern Ireland in the last five years; and what proportion this represents of the total spending on legal aid in Northern Ireland during that period.

The UK Government does not hold this information as Justice and legal aid is devolved in Northern Ireland. The Legal Services Agency, an executive agency sponsored by the Northern Ireland Department of Justice, administers the provision of legal aid in Northern Ireland.

Information on legal aid expenditure can be found on the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland website.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
20th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether, given the absence of a sitting Assembly in Northern Ireland, they will answer parliamentary questions on the governance of matters in Northern Ireland for which they are ultimately responsible.

The Government will answer any questions of governance in Northern Ireland that are not devolved. For matters of devolved governance in the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly, the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation etc.) Act provides Northern Ireland civil servants with the clarity they require to take the limited but necessary decisions to maintain delivery of public services and operate in the public interest. Any questions relating to devolved matters should therefore be directed to Northern Ireland departments.

This Government recognises that this is not an ideal situation and will keep the current governance arrangements, and the accountability measures within these, under review. Ultimately, the best way for Northern Ireland to be governed is by the Northern Ireland devolved institutions. It remains this Government’s priority to work towards restoring these institutions.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many abortions were carried out in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months; how many were (1) surgical, and (2) through the prescription of pills; and what are the current arrangements in each of the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland for surgical abortion.

The latest publicly available data shows that between 1 April 2020 and 22 September 2022, a total of 4,136 notifications of termination were submitted to the Chief Medical Officer in Northern Ireland.

Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland currently provide early medical abortion services up to ten weeks gestation. Information on the current arrangements for surgical abortions performed in each of the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland is held by the Department of Health.

On Monday 24 October, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland announced that the UK Government will commission abortion services in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of State will be meeting the Chief Executives of each of the Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks to discuss arrangements and ensure services can be provided.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
6th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many new civil suits against (1) the Northern Ireland Office, and (2) the Ministry of Defence, relating to the Northern Ireland Troubles were filed in the Northern Ireland courts in the week ending 21 May.

The Northern Ireland Office has contacted the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) who are the relevant body. NICTS stated that cases are not categorised on receipt and as such they are unable to provide figures on the number of civil claims filed relating to the Northern Ireland Troubles in the week ending 21 May.

I can however confirm that four Writs relating to the Northern Ireland Troubles and filed in the period in question have been served on the Northern Ireland Office to date.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold information on the number of Writs served on others (including other Government departments).

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
5th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many abortions were recorded in Northern Ireland in the last 12-month period; how many women resident in Northern Ireland were recorded as obtaining abortions in Great Britain in the same period; and in which hospitals in Northern Ireland surgical abortions have been performed.

Limited Early Medical Abortion (EMA) services are currently provided in Northern Ireland, but these fall short of the services that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland instructed the Northern Ireland Department of Health (DoH) to provide by March 2022. We are disappointed that the Executive has failed to provide services. As set out in his recent Written Ministerial Statement, the Secretary of State is committed, if necessary, to make regulations and directions to ensure abortion healthcare is delivered in Northern Ireland.

Information on the location of surgical abortions performed in Northern Ireland is held by the DoH. The latest publicly available data shows that between 1 April 2020 and 31 January 2022, a total of 2,794 notifications of termination were submitted to the Chief Medical Officer in Northern Ireland.

The most recent data published on women resident in Northern Ireland travelling to Great Britain for an abortion procedure is from 2020, where the number of women and girls travelling to England for abortion services was 371.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
29th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many visits the Special Envoy to the United States on Northern Ireland has undertaken to the United States since his appointment; and on what dates those visits took place.

The US Special Envoy on Northern Ireland has visited the US three times since his appointment: between 17 and 23 October 2021, between 13 and 22 December 2021 and between 16 and 18 March 2022.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Caine on 16 March (HL6665), how many (1) Ministers, (2) Officials, and (3) Special Advisors, attended the St Patrick's Day celebrations this year in the USA; how many days did all attendees stay; and what was the total cost of the visit.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland attended St. Patrick’s Day events in the USA this year, along with a number of other engagements with senior members of the Administration and Congress between 15-18 March. He travelled with one official and one Special Advisor. It is not yet possible to give a final cost of the visit.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are paying or contributing to the legal costs of the applicants in the McKerr group of cases, including that relating to the murder of Patrick Finucane, which are currently before the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe after judgments by the European Court of Human Rights; and, if so, how much they have contributed to date.

The following cases remain before the Committee of Ministers, who supervise the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights:

McKerr v United Kingdom (Application 28883/95), judgement final on 4 August 2001;

Kelly and others v United Kingdom (Application 30054/96), judgement final on 4 August 2001;

Shanaghan v United Kingdom (Application 37715/97), judgement final on 4 August 2001;

Finucane v United Kingdom (Application 29178/95), judgement final on 1 October 2003;

McCaughey and others v United Kingdom (Application 43098/09), judgement final on 16 October 2013.

In each case, a costs order would have been made following the final hearing and no contributions or payments towards costs have been made after this. We do not pay or contribute to costs of any submissions or otherwise of cases which are before the Committee of Ministers.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
17th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many legacy civil suits that (1) they are subject to, and (2) relate to the Troubles, are currently before the courts in Northern Ireland; how many were settled in 2021; what amounts were paid to applicants that year; and what was the cost in legal aid.

There are over 1,000 legacy civil claims against state agencies, including those at the pre-action stage, all of which relate to the Troubles.

The Northern Ireland Office was a co-defendant in two legacy civil claims in 2021 that were settled. The amounts paid will remain confidential as per the terms of the settlements.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold information on the settlement of legacy civil claims faced by other Government Departments.

Legal aid applications are considered by the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland and payments are administered by the Department of Justice. As such, we are unable to comment on the costs relating to legal aid.



Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any (1) Ministers, (2) civil servants, or (3) special advisers, will be attending St Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States of America in March in an official capacity; and if so, what is the cost of any such attendance.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's visit has not yet concluded and it is not, therefore, possible to provide the information requested.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Randerson on 10 July 2014 (HL394), what was the outcome of the Northern Ireland Office’s investigation on the use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy between 1987 and 1997.

The use of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy during the period 1987-1997 was relatively common and instances of this were not recorded in a single central list.

As Baroness Randerson said in her Written Answer, officials from the Northern Ireland Office contacted colleagues in the Department of Justice, The National Archives, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the Royal Household to ascertain if they held relevant information.

While individual case records are likely to have been destroyed in accordance with proper protocols, all available details of issued Northern Ireland related RPMs have been located and collated. The Northern Ireland Office continues to meet its obligation to manage records in line with operational needs, best practice, relevant legislation and regulation, and guidance from The National Archives.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
30th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Caine on 23 November (HL3800), how many internment-related civil claims for compensation for unlawful detention have been received by the Northern Ireland Office arising from the Supreme Court judgement of 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams (Appellant) (Northern Ireland); and who signed the 1973 interim custody order.

There are currently approximately 300 to 400 internment-related civil claims against the Northern Ireland Office brought on a similar basis to that of the case of R vs Adams.

As noted in the Supreme Court judgement of 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams, the 1973 order was signed by a Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office.


Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Royal Pardons have been issued to people in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) was used 16 times in relation to persons convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002; seven times in 2000, six times in 2001, and three times in 2002. It was used to shorten (that is not waive or remove) sentences in relation to individuals who, for technical reasons, were not eligible for the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

The RPM was used once in 1998 and once in 1999 in non-terrorism related cases in Northern Ireland. In one case, an individual was granted the RPM following assistance that person gave to the authorities (reduction in sentence for such assistance is now provided for on a statutory basis under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005). In the other, the RPM was used to commute a portion of a sentence for a soldier who spent time under close military arrest for an offence prior to conviction. Had this person been a civilian, such time (equivalent to being on remand) would have been deducted from the sentence, but there was no statutory provision for this at the time in relation to close military arrest.

Whilst the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for recommending the exercising of the RPM for terrorism-related cases in Northern Ireland, since the devolution of policing and justice in 2010, responsibility for making recommendations for the RPM in all other cases lies with the Minister of Justice in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Office does not hold complete records for 1996 or 1997 due to record retention policies.


Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a list of names of all those who received a Royal Pardon in Northern Ireland in the last 25 years.

There are no statutory requirements relating to the publication of pardons granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM).

When it is used to shorten, rather than to waive or remove sentences, it is the convention of successive governments not to publish the use of the Royal Prerogative. Its use in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2002 was in line with the early release scheme established under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998: the names of those who benefited from the early release scheme were also not published. The names of those who received the RPM in relation to terrorist convictions in Northern Ireland were made public in the judgement issued in the case of Rodgers [2014] NIQB 79.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Supreme Court judgment on 13 May 2020 in the case of R vs Adams (Appellant) (Northern Ireland) which related to the validity of an interim custody order made in 1973, (1) whether compensation has been paid to Gerard Adams, and if so how much; (2) how many claims have been made by others to have their convictions overturned; (3) how many claims for compensation have been lodged with the Northern Ireland Office; and (4) how many of these have been settled and paid, and for what total amount.

There has been no compensation paid to Gerard Adams relating to litigation against the Northern Ireland Office.

There have been two other appeals to have convictions overturned that have been allowed. There are a further two who have filed applications for leave to appeal, which have not yet been dealt with.

There are a number of internment-related civil claims against the Northern Ireland Office. The claims are asking for compensation on the basis of the claimants’ view that they were unlawfully detained on a similar basis to Mr Adams.

None of these have been settled and the vast majority have not progressed far beyond the pre-action stage.

Lord Caine
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date officials from the British Embassy in the USA last met Martin Galvin.

The Government continues to speak to a wide range of stakeholders as part of its commitment to engage all parties and groups on issues relating to Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland undertakes regular wide engagement with civic society and politicians in the USA. As part of this, he and officials met with the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Sunday 10 October. Martin Galvin was part of their delegation. Officials from the UK Consulate in New York were also in attendance.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many ministers have met Martin Galvin in the USA in the past month.

The Government continues to speak to a wide range of stakeholders as part of its commitment to engage all parties and groups on issues relating to Northern Ireland.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland undertakes regular wide engagement with civic society and politicians in the USA. As part of this, he and officials met with the Ancient Order of Hibernians on Sunday 10 October. Martin Galvin was part of their delegation. Officials from the UK Consulate in New York were also in attendance.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to establish a common understanding of the provisions of the Belfast Agreement with the government of the United States.

The Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland are grateful for the deep interest in Northern Ireland shown by President Biden and the new United States Government. The steadfast US support for the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement and the gains of the peace process is undoubtedly one of the key reasons behind its enduring success.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland engages regularly with stakeholders from across the political spectrum in the United States on matters of importance to the Irish American diaspora, which includes a number of meetings over the past week. That is also the case for a number of colleagues across Cabinet and the British Embassy in Washington.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that citizens of Northern Ireland have the same rights as citizens of other nations in the United Kingdom.

The Government is firmly committed to ensuring the ongoing recognition and protection of rights for all people across the UK.

Guarantees of equality and rights, which recognise the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland, are a fundamental part of the Belfast Agreement.

The Government remains firmly committed to upholding the Belfast Agreement in all its parts, including the important rights it protects, the constitutional principles it upholds, and the institutions it established.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish a body similar to InterTradeIreland to promote (1) free trade, and (2) business links, between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s place in the UK customs territory is assured and unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods to the rest of the UK market has been protected. We have also protected tariff-free trade within the UK and Northern Ireland’s place in the UK VAT area.

The Government has put over £200m into the Trader Support Service, supporting businesses engaged in new processes under the Protocol. Further, the Movement Assistance Scheme provides assistance for traders moving agricultural products, meaning traders will not need to pay certification costs, and the UK Trader Scheme ensures there are no new tariffs for businesses and consumers on internal UK trade. This means that trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is as streamlined as possible.

The UK Board of Trade champions exports, inward investment and outward direct investment to deliver economic growth and prosperity across the whole of the United Kingdom. The UK Government committed to hosting the Board of Trade in Northern Ireland annually in the New Decade, New Approach agreement and it will be held in Northern Ireland later this year.

We have also underlined our ongoing support for peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland and we will provide £400m for a New Deal for Northern Ireland - supporting businesses and communities to prosper and thrive from the end of the transition period and beyond.


Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times the Specialised Committee on Ireland and Northern Ireland Protocol has met since 1 January; and when the minutes of any such meetings will be published.

The Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee last met on 17 December 2020.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, it is for the co-chairs of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee to decide to make a summary of the minutes public. Statements following the meetings of the Specialised Committee are published on gov.uk.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who constitutes the full membership of the Specialised Committee on Ireland and Northern Ireland Protocol.

Officials from the UK and EU attend the Specialised Committee, as set out in Article 165 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

As the Government committed to in the New Decade, New Approach deal, the Northern Ireland Executive attends the Ireland/Northern Ireland Specialised Committee whenever the Irish Government forms part of the EU delegation.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)